Tuesday, June 30, 2020

there are moments in moist love when heaven is jealous of what we on earth can do. —Hafiz





.


Little soul,
you have wandered
lost a long time.
The woods all dark now,
birded and eyed.
Then a light, a cabin, a fire,
a door standing open.
The fairy tales warn you:
Do not go in,
you who would eat will be eaten.
You go in. You quicken.
You want to have feet.
You want to have eyes.
You want to have fears.



—Jane Hirshfield
Amor Fati
Poetry, 2017


.





Friday, June 26, 2020

13 ways of looking at a blackbird


  


.


I

Among twenty snowy mountains,

The only moving thing

Was the eye of the blackbird.

II

I was of three minds,

Like a tree

In which there are three blackbirds.

III

The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.

It was a small part of the pantomime.

IV

A man and a woman

Are one.

A man and a woman and a blackbird

Are one.

V

I do not know which to prefer,

The beauty of inflections,

Or the beauty of innuendoes,

The blackbird whistling

Or just after.

VI

Icicles filled the long window

With barbaric glass.

The shadow of the blackbird

Crossed it, to and fro.

The mood

Traced in the shadow

An indecipherable cause.

VII

O thin men of Haddam

Why do you imagine golden birds?

Do you not see how the blackbird

Walks around the feet

Of the women about you?

VIII

I know noble accents

And lucid, inescapable rhythms;

But I know, too,

That the blackbird is involved

In what I know.



IX

When the blackbird flew out of sight,

It marked the edge

Of one of many circles.

X

At the sight of blackbirds

Flying in a green light,

Even the bawds of euphony

Would cry out sharply.



XI

He rode over Connecticut

In a glass coach.

Once, a fear pierced him,

In that he mistook

The shadow of his equipage

For blackbirds.

XII

The river is moving.

The blackbird must be flying.

XIII

It was evening all afternoon.

It was snowing

And it was going to snow.

The blackbird sat

In the cedar-limbs.


—Wallace Stevens




.




Monday, June 22, 2020

whoever you are






.


You have long been bound thinking:
‘I am a person’.

Let the knowledge: ‘I am Awareness alone’
be the sword that frees you.


—Ashtavakra Gita

.


Whoever you are: in the evening step out
of your room, where you know everything;
yours is the last house before the far-off:
whoever you are.

With your eyes, which in their weariness
barely free themselves from the worn-out threshold,
you lift very slowly one black tree
and place it against the sky: slender, alone.

And you have made the world. And it is huge
and like a word which grows ripe in silence.
And as your will seizes on its meaning,
tenderly your eyes let it go…


—Rainer Maria Rilke
The Book of Images

.




Saturday, June 20, 2020

the secrets of living





.



may my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them men are old

may my mind stroll about hungry
and fearless and thirsty and supple
and even if it's sunday may i be wrong
for whenever men are right they are not young

and may myself do nothing usefully
and love yourself so more than truly
there's never been quite such a fool who could fail
pulling all the sky over him with one smile


—E. E. Cummings

.




Friday, June 12, 2020

The Epic Of Gilgamesh In Sumerian







.



My super power is the thought, Eve should be in my arms
when she’s afraid, and there she is, safe, full of bones
and blood and going nowhere if I have anything
to say about it. Vice versa applies when I’m afraid,
this is our pact, that we’ll hold each other
before we hold a door or gun, feather or piece
of a star, if we’re ever lucky enough to be walking along
and trip over a discarded chunk of heaven.

I can also make anything below eight thousand pounds
levitate, but in comparison, that power is whimsical
and irrelevant to my emotional makeup, I can take or leave
making things float and fly, but I can’t leave Eve.
My whole life has been an argument with the saying,
You’re born alone and you die alone, as I suspect
my mother was there, otherwise, why has she taken credit
for the melding of my spirit and flesh, if we go
with the old-school notion of human beings
as a combo pack of soul and guts. You’re born
into a relay race of affection if you’re lucky, handed
from cherishing to cherishing and likewise
carry others as far as you can, until they ask
to be set down or you get tired, and then,
after a long struggle or just a few seconds
of looking at a donkey in a field eating alfalfa,
you die. There are other sequences, of course—
I’m exhausted, not exhaustive—but I’m pretty sure
I’ve made my point or at least acted convincingly
like I have one, though I’m not sure of much.

Does this sound familiar: one day, I found myself
looking in a mirror and thinking, Well I guess I’m you,
after which I went at the list someone put in my hand,
crossing items off only to have them appear again,
suggesting that the people who say It’s a process
aren’t just annoying but smug and we should ask them
to leave the pool. With thrashing this deeply
at the core of the endeavor, clinging
and being clung to aren’t just romantic,
they’re what static has been telling us to do,
and I refuse to ignore the physical laws of the universe,
especially the one about the Conversation
of Matter—that everything is speaking to us
all the time, we’re just too busy to listen.

You don’t remember that one from school?
Maybe you were absent or absent minded that day,
or it was wrongly presented as the Conservation
of Matter, that misguided notion that energy
is neither created or destroyed. I’ve created
a shit-ton of energy with Eve, that’s a British measure
equal to 2,300 pounds, and plan to keep on
making this stuff up as we go, the going
being the most important part of any journey
or think piece or life, this thing I find myself
in or of, needing or kneading or both, be it desire
or bread I’m after, the love of a good woman
or bad star, as long as there’s light,
I’m going to stand here clinging to the feet
of my shadow, and in the dark, hold its place,
as I would for any stranger in any line.


—Bob Hicok

.





Thursday, June 11, 2020

all for one and all for love





.


Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to a divine purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: That we are here for the sake of others. For the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day, I realize how much my outer and inner life is built upon the labors of people, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received.


—Albert Einstein

.




Monday, June 8, 2020

Be a good animal, true to your instincts. —D.H.L.







.



When we get out of the glass bottles of our ego, and when we escape like squirrels turning in the cages of our personality and get into the forests again, we shall shiver with cold and fright but things will happen to us so that we don't know ourselves.

Cool, unlying life will rush in, and passion will make our bodies taut with power, we shall stamp our feet with new power and old things will fall down, we shall laugh, and institutions will curl up like burnt paper.


—D. H. Lawrence


. . .



I want to let go -
so I don't give a damn about fine writing,
I'm rolling my sleeves up.
The dough's rising...
Oh what a shame
I can't bake cathedrals...
that sublimity of style
I've always yearned for...
Child of our time -
haven't you found the right shell for your soul?

Before I die I
shall
bake a cathedral.


—Edith Södergran



.




Sunday, June 7, 2020

hush





.



Hush.

I am so close, I may look distant.

So completely mixed with you, I may look separate.

So out in the open, I appear hidden.

So silent, because I am constantly talking with you.


—Rumi



...


The clear bead at the center
changes everything.

There are
no edges to my loving now.

You've heard it said there's
a window that opens from one
mind to another,

but if there's no wall,
there's no need for
fitting the window, or the latch.

—Rumi

.





Saturday, June 6, 2020

all things change, no(thing perishes





.



Everything must change
Nothing remains the same
Everyone must change
No one and nothing remains the same

The young becomes the old
Oh, mysteries unfold
Cause that's the way of time
Nothing and no one remains the same

There is so little in life you can be sure of
Except the rain comes from the clouds
Sunlight from the sky
And, Hummingbirds do fly

The young becomes the old
And, mysteries do unfold
That's the way of time
Nothing, no one remains unchanged

There are so little things, so few things in life you can be sure of
Except
Rain comes from the clouds
Sunlight from the sky
And Hummingbirds do fly
Everything must change

Everything
Everything must change


—Bernard Ighner


. . .



Souls never die, but always on quitting one abode pass to another. All things change, nothing perishes. The soul passes hither and thither, occupying now this body, now that … As a wax is stamped with certain figures, then melted, then stamped anew with others, yet it is always the same wax. So, the Soul being always the same, yet wears at different times different forms.

―Pythagoras

.





trans(formation






.



... we ought not to say ‘the tree (became) green’ or ‘the tree (is) now green’ (both of which imply a change in the tree’s ‘essence’), but rather ‘the tree greens’. By using the infinitive form of ‘to green’, we make a dynamic attribution of the predicate, an incorporeality distinct from both the tree and green-ness which captures nonetheless the dynamism of the event’s actualisation. The event is not a disruption of some continuous state, but rather the state is constituted by events ‘underlying’ it that, when actualised, mark every moment of the state as a transformation.

—Gilles Deleuze
The Deleuze Dictionary

.




Wednesday, June 3, 2020

1 and 2




 .


There are no words to express the abyss between isolation and having one ally. It maybe conceded to the mathematician that four is twice two. But two is not twice one; two is two thousand times one.


—G.K. Chesterton

.



Tuesday, June 2, 2020

more than mirage






.



Although most are totally naked
and too scant for even the slightest
color and although they have no voice
that I’ve ever heard for cry or song, they are,
nevertheless, more than mirage, more
than hallucination, more than falsehood. 

They have confronted sulfuric
boiling black sea bottoms and stayed,
held on under ten tons of polar ice,
established themselves in dense salts
and acids, survived eating metal ions.
They are more committed than oblivion,
more prolific than stars. 

Far too ancient for scripture, each
one bears in its one cell one text—
the first whit of alpha, the first
jot of bearing, beneath the riling
sun the first nourishing of self. 

Too lavish for saints, too trifling
for baptism, they have existed
throughout never gaining girth enough
to hold a firm hope of salvation.
Too meager in heart for compassion,
too lean for tears, less in substance
than sacrifice, not one has ever
carried a cross anywhere. 

And not one of their trillions
has ever been given a tombstone.
I’ve never noticed a lessening
of light in the ceasing of any one
of them. They are more mutable
than mere breathing and vanishing,
more mysterious than resurrection,
too minimal for death.


—Pattiann Rogers
Address: The Archaeans, One Cell Creatures