Wednesday, November 29, 2017



The moment when, after many years
of hard work and a long voyage
you stand in the centre of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,

is the same moment the trees unloose
their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language,
the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave
and you can't breathe.

No, they whisper. You own nothing.
You were a visitor, time after time
climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
We never belonged to you.
You never found us.
It was always the other way around.

–Margaret Atwood
the moment


i am this


And yet, and yet … Denying temporal succession, denying the self, denying the astronomical universe, are apparent desperations and secret consolations. Our destiny is not frightful by being unreal; it is frightful because it is irreversible and iron-clad. Time is the substance I am made of. Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire. The world, unfortunately, is real; I, unfortunately, am Borges.

–Jorge Luis Borges



The language we’ve inherited confuses (this). We say “my” body and “your” body and “his” body and “her” body, but it isn’t that way. … This Cartesian “Me,” this autonomous little homunculus who sits behind our eyeballs looking out through them in order to pass judgment on the affairs of the world, is just completely ridiculous. This self-appointed little editor of reality is just an impossible fiction that collapses the moment one examines it.

–Robert M. Pirsig
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Ch. 15


the fall


There is no where in you a paradise that is no place and there
You do not enter except without a story.

To enter there is to become unnameable.

Whoever is there is homeless for he has no door and
no identity with which to go out and to come in.

Whoever is nowhere is nobody, and therefore cannot
exist except as unborn:
No disguise will avail him anything

Such a one is neither lost nor found.
But he who has an address is lost.

They fall, they fall into apartments and are securely established!

They find themselves in streets. They are licensed
To proceed from place to place
They now know their own names
They can name several friends and know
Their own telephones must some time ring.

If all telephones ring at once, if all names are shouted
at once and all cars crash at one crossing:
If all cities explode and fly away in dust

Yet identities refuse to be lost. There is a name and
number for everyone.

There is a definite place for bodies, there are pigeon holes for ashes:

Such security can business buy!
Who would dare to go nameless in so secure a universe?
Yet, to tell the truth, only the nameless are at home in it.

They bear with them in the center of nowhere the unborn flower of nothing:
This is the paradise tree. It must remain unseen until words end and
arguments are silent.

–Thomas Merton

camels on a beach
Todd Kennedy drone pic


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

the price of admission


You have not danced so badly, my dear,
Trying to hold hands with the Beautiful One.
You have waltzed with great style,
My sweet, crushed angel,
To have ever neared God's heart at all.
Our Partner is notoriously difficult to follow,
And even His best musicians are not always easy To hear.
So what if the music has stopped for a while.
So what
If the price of admission to the Divine
Is out of reach tonight.
So what, my dear,
If you do not have the ante to gamble for
Real Love.

The mind and the body are famous
For holding the heart ransom,

But Hafiz knows the Beloved's eternal habits.
Have patience,
For He will not be able to resist your longing For Long.

You have not danced so badly, my dear,
Trying to kiss the Beautiful One.

You have actually waltzed with tremendous style,
O my sweet, O my sweet crushed angel.



your work is deeper


Be with those who help your being.
Don't sit with indifferent people, whose breath
comes cold out of their mouths.

Not these visible forms, your work is deeper.
A chunk of dirt thrown in the air breaks to pieces.
If you don't try to fly,
and so break yourself apart,
you will be broken open by death,
when it's too late for all you could become.

Leaves get yellow. The tree puts out fresh roots
and makes them green.
Why are you so content with a love that turns you yellow?

Ode 2865
Coleman Barks version




Your love should never be offered to the
mouth of a stranger,

Only to someone
Who has the valor and daring
To cut pieces of their soul off with a knife
Then weave them into a blanket
To protect you.



Sunday, November 26, 2017

wb, let me count the ways


"My writing, when it hasn't been in defense of precious things, has been a giving of thanks for precious things."


note to self


As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are.

Otherwise you will miss most of your life.

–Siddhartha Guatama


this much is true


You know quite well, deep within you,
that there is only a single magic,

a single power, a single salvation...
and that is called loving.

–Herman Hesse


Imagine better than the best you know. —Neville Goddard


If it looks like wisdom but is unkind, it’s not wisdom.
If it feels like love but is not wise, it’s not love.

–Lama Surya Das


love seeks no cause


Love seeks no cause beyond itself and no fruit;
it is its own fruit, its own enjoyment.

I love because I love;
I love in order that I may love.

–Saint Bernard


Saturday, November 25, 2017

i am


I am the bird that knocks at your window in the morning
and your companion, whom you cannot know,
the blossoms that light up for the blind.
I am the glacier’s crest above the forests, the dazzling one
and the brass voices from cathedral towers.
The thought that suddenly comes over you at midday
and fills you with a singular happiness.

I am one you have loved long ago.
I walk alongside you by day and look intently at you
and put my mouth on your heart
but you don’t know it.

I am your third arm and your second
shadow, the white one,
whom you don’t have the heart for
and who cannot ever forget you.

–Rolf Jacobse
translated from the Norwegian
by Roger Greenwald




For small creatures such as we,
the vastness is bearable only through love.

–Carl Sagan


Friday, November 24, 2017

merrily, merrily


Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains. I would drink deeper; fish in the sky, whose bottom is pebbly with stars. I cannot count one. I know not the first letter of the alphabet. I have always been regretting that I was not as wise as the day I was born.

–Henry David Thoreau
Walden: Where I lived and What I lived for


pray without ceasing


Meditation must be unceasing even when one is engaged in work. Particular time for it is meant for novices.

–Sri Ramana Maharshi


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

the window is the absence of the wall –Nisargadatta Maharaj


Time is what keeps the light from reaching us. 
There is no greater obstacle to God than time: and not only time but temporalities, not only temporal things but temporal affections, not only temporal affections but the very taint and smell of time.

–Meister Eckhart


Tuesday, November 21, 2017



And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.

–William Shakespeare


Saturday, November 18, 2017



We’ve seen nonlocality pop up all over the place: in experiments on the quantum realm, in the paradoxes of black holes, in the grand structure of the universe, in the maelstrom of particle collisions.

In all these examples, physics enters a twilight zone.

Things can outrun light; cause and effect can be reversed; distance can lose meaning; two objects may actually be one. The universe becomes spooky.

—George Musser 
Spooky Action at a Distance: The Phenomenon That Reimagines Space and Time–and What It Means for Black Holes, the Big Bang, and Theories of Everything


Thursday, November 16, 2017



The human skin is an artificial boundary: the world wanders into it, and the self wanders out of it, traffic is two-way and constant.

–Bernard Wolfe


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

know thyself


For as those who claim to know nothing about ultimate reality are called agnostic (literally, “not-knowing”), the person who does claim to know such things is called gnostic (“knowing”). But gnosis is not primarily rational knowledge. The Greek language distinguishes between scientific or reflective knowledge (“He knows mathematics”) and knowing through observation or experience (“He knows me”), which is gnosis. As the gnostics use the term, we could translate it as “insight,” for gnosis involves an intuitive process of knowing oneself. And to know oneself, they claimed, is to know human nature and human destiny.

–Elaine Pagels
The Gnostic Gospels




Close both eyes.

Look from the other eye.



Sunday, November 12, 2017



There is no alternative for you but to accept the world as unreal, if you are seeking the Truth and the Truth alone.

–Ramana Maharshi


Saturday, November 11, 2017

needful things


...  a man can know nothing by himself, save after a natural manner, which is only that which he attains by means of the senses. For this cause he must have the phantasms and the forms of objects present in themselves and in their likenesses; otherwise it cannot be, for, as philosophers say: Ab objecto et potentia paritur notitia. That is: From the object that is present and from the faculty, knowledge is born in the soul.
Wherefore, if one should speak to a man of things which he has never been able to understand, and whose likeness he has never seen, he would have no more illumination from them whatever than if naught had been said of them to him.

–John of the Cross
(1542 - 1591)




In the very essence of poetry there is something indecent: / a thing is brought forth which we didn’t know we had in us, / so we blink our eyes, as if a tiger had sprung out / and stood in the light, lashing his tail.

–Czeslaw Milosz
Ars Poetica


how to make poems


In your light I learn how to love.
In your beauty, how to make poems.

You dance inside my chest,
where no one sees you,

but sometimes I do,
and that sight becomes this art.



Friday, November 10, 2017

master of metaphor


… the greatest thing by far is to be a master of metaphor.

It is the one thing that cannot be learnt from others; and it is also a sign of genius, since a good metaphor implies an intuitive perception of the similarity in dissimilars.

Poetics, 1459


We recognize things, as in poetry, through resemblances. Through metaphors. This way we gather them into wider systems so that they don’t dangle alone.

—Anna Kamienska

Thursday, November 9, 2017




The tiny particles which form the vast universe are not tiny at all.
Neither is the vast universe vast.
These are notions of the mind, which is like a knife,
always chipping away at the Tao,
trying to render it graspable and manageable.
But that which is beyond form is ungraspable, and
that which is beyond knowing is unmanageable.
There is, however, this consolation:
She who lets go of the knife will find the Tao at her

–Lao Tzu
Hua Hu Ching


the keeper of fragile things


Cease trembling and shaking and gasping
and cursing and find again your core which I am. 
Rest from twistedness, distortion, deformations. 

For an hour you will be me; that is, the other
half of yourself. The half you lost. 

What you burnt, broke, and tore is still  in my hands: I am the keeper of fragile things
and I have kept of you what is indissoluble.

–Anaïs Nin


Saturday, November 4, 2017

attractive to the eye, soothing to the smell


supposing i dreamed this)


supposing i dreamed this)
only imagine,when day has thrilled
you are a house around which
i am a wind-

your walls will not reckon how
strangely my life is curved
since the best he can do
is to peer through windows,unobserved

-listen,for(out of all
things)dream is noone’s fool;
if this wind who i am prowls
carefully around this house of you

love being such,or such,
the normal corners of your heart
will never guess how much
my wonderful jealousy is dark

if light should flower:
or laughing sparkle from
the shut house(around and around
which a poor wind will roam

–E. E. Cummings


Two Tanka


From outside my house,
only the faint distant sound
of gentle breezes
wandering through bamboo leaves
in the long evening silence.

Late evening finally
comes: I unlatch the door
and quietly
await the one
who greets me in my dreams.

–Otomo No Yakamochi

images - Nordin Seruyan,
central Borneo