How Mind Moves

The splash of water on rocks

at the high end

vibrations move, ripple the surface
but not the sweet calm
a center of lotus and lily pads
like a quiet deep of sea —
But water arrives by many ways
to be a pond: fed by mountain-top rain
seeping to a circle of stone
where deer drink
turtles sun and dream white and gold
orange and black koi
rising and falling like ideas
frogs in a daze
noon only a notion here, and slowly
at low end, the water flows out
mind twisting through pines
senses thought concept reason time
enter the high end noisy waves

leave the low, fulfillment

running to the sea

cropped-cropped-dsc0045111 Photo by Tom Gable Nature Photographer

Poets & Writers

Christmas Eve Afternoon

for Kelli Parrish

I found you gone when I arrived

The grey Buddha in your garden covered with black dirt
Made me remember

When he attained enlightenment
Buddha touched the earth declaring, “By this sign I bear witness.”

In a Buddha’s eyes
All things are pure

Still tradition has a power and Tibetan traditions states

A Buddha must be elevated
Above the ground.

I turned a white flower pot over, set Buddha on top
Surrounded him with bougainvillia, offered for luck

The nickel I found
On your front step

Then in the high noon Christmas sun I waited
While at my feet, a fly feasted on the feces of a dog…

A cat…. perhaps a raccoon?
And it occurred to me

One minute, one discovery after another
Buddha and Jesus wanted the same for all: truth freedom peace

And their greatest gift, a mind of love, even for a fly.

 

Dharma Fire

Raga by Shankar

Creative-Ceramic-font-b-Flower-b-font-font-b-Pot-b-font-Personalized-Buddha-Monk-Pattern.jpg8498676_f260

If I Spoke

If I spoke from the heart and you could hear
You would ride the sound
Back to the beginning and see who you really are.

If I spoke from the heart, my tears would be a river
Running into the sea, an Ocean of sweetest water.

If I spoke from the heart, my joyful laughter
Would fill the universe
And ring the galaxies like a wind chime

If I spoke from the heart, you would hear my voice call
From time past, present and to come
All our wounded children– It would heal them, every last one

And the world, if ever it were, would be whole again.

Two in The StreamPhoto by Rayn Roberts

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The Lesson

Today, ignoring the voice of memory: my mother saying, “Never,
Never stand on furniture to change a light bulb”…
I stood on a desk to change a light bulb

Slipped, fell… hit the floor

But before I did
The desk flipped
I hit the steel frame with all the force of gravity
On my side
Nearly cracked a rib!

I could barely stand.

The students were astounded.
The class was canceled.
The doctors were astonished
I didn’t break a bone, damage an organ —

I love the pain killers, ordered pizza
May stay home tomorrow,
It only hurts when I recall having sex five years ago
Or watch an action movie —

Someone saw a lesson in The Fall, Yes:
Follow the rules, abuse no tree or furniture
Cause no pain or injury, simple gravity
Is greater than man’s best balance, ignore not the ancient Mother Voice.

 

third eye

What Should Americans Be Reading?

What Should Americans Be Reading Now?

 

March 2 ~ Washington Post
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Juan Felipe Herrera, 68, is the son of immigrant farmworkers from Mexico. He was born in California and lives there with his wife and children but is in Washington regularly for his position.Is this a good time to be a poet?It’s always a good time to be a poet. At this particular moment the world is going through major shifts. Major political shifts, social shifts, cultural shifts. And it’s good to observe the world, to respond to it. So this is a great time, not necessarily for us as poets to fill our books with “great” observations. It’s more like responding and providing, in many ways, consolation.

How do you see your role as U.S. poet laureate?

It’s kind of a multi-role. I have a great time at the Library of Congress with the team there that assists me. Without them I’d just be a washing machine walking down the street and falling apart. So I want people to connect with the Library of Congress. It’s for you, it’s all for you. My other role is to remind the American people that they have the most worthy, significant, beautiful, brilliant voice. And without it what would our lives be? We need it. Silence erodes our lives. It erases our lives. I want them to ask questions. To speak up. To ask what you feel is most important to you right now.

Is there a time when you feel least like a poet?

Oh, a poet is all of us in a way, so it’s hard to say there’s a time when you’re not a poet. A poet means you’re human. It really means you’re looking around and responding to reflections. Reflections of things that stop you cold, of things that pull you in.

You wrote a poem called “Don’t Worry, Baby “ that includes the line, “I worry about people who say, ‘Don’t worry, Baby.’ “ Are you worried?

Yeah, I get worried. I have a degree in worrying. I work on it as much as I can, and writing keeps me away from all that stuff. All the itchy social ills. When I’m writing, I kind of get calmer. When I write, all is well. That’s what I find very positive. I find a lot of peace. But yeah, I’m a worrywart.

Your parents were migrant workers. What would they think of you becoming the poet laureate?

My father passed away when I was 16 and my mother when I was 36. My mother was the one who encouraged me. Sang songs since I was a child. Recited poems to me. She liked to stand up and applaud and smile. She would be super thrilled and happy. My father, he was a hardcore worker of the earth, really. He would wonder how on Earth I could do this without working in the blistering heat. What are you doing? Put your hands in the earth, come on! You’re using a pen? Wow, that’s incredible. But he’d probably look at me and smile.

We’re in this turbulent time, and America feels fractured. Is there a poem that would be particularly useful for our country to read right now?

Well, for sure [Walt] Whitman’s “Song of Myself.” I would also read poems by the great Chinese poet Bai Juyi. Quiet observations of nature and self. And I would read “Memory Foam,” a book of poems by Adam Soldofsky. Such a quiet, personal, deep, philosophical, unflinching, peaceful voice.

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Juan Felipe Herrera’s poetry @  The Poetry Foundation