Friday, February 28, 2014

1979











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Shakedown 1979, cool kids never have the time
On a live wire right up off the street
You and I should meet
Junebug skipping like a stone
With the headlights pointed at the dawn
We were sure we'd never see an end to it all

And I don't even care to shake these zipper blues
And we don't know
Just where our bones will rest
To dust I guess
Forgotten and absorbed into the earth below

Double cross the vacant and the bored
They're not sure just what we have in store
Morphine city slipping dues down to see

That we don't even care as restless as we are
We feel the pull in the land of a thousand guilts
And poured cement, lamented and assured
To the lights and towns below
Faster than the speed of sound
Faster than we thought we'd go, beneath the sound of hope

Justine never knew the rules,
Hung down with the freaks and the ghouls
No apologies ever need be made,
I know you better than you fake it

To see that we don't even care to shake these zipper blues
And we don't know just where our bones will rest
To dust I guess
Forgotten and absorbed into the earth below
The street heats the urgency of now
As you see there's no one around 








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Thursday, February 27, 2014

why, then?






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Why then have to be human?
Oh, not because happiness exists,
Nor out of curiosity...

But because being here means so much;
Because everything here,
Vanishing so quickly, seems to need us,
And strangely keeps calling to us...
To have been
Here once, completely, even if only once,
To have been at one with the earth -
This is beyond undoing.



–Rainer Maria Rilke







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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

messengers of grief














There is a sacredness in tears. They are not a mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition and of unspeakable love.


—Washington Irving








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datura

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Monday, February 24, 2014

How long is forever?









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Alice: How long is forever?

White Rabbit: Sometimes, just one second.



–Lewis Carroll








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Sunday, February 23, 2014

section V of Little Gidding, excerpt








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Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning,
Every poem an epitaph. And any action
Is a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea’s throat
Or to an illegible stone: and that is where we start.


We die with the dying:
See, they depart, and we go with them.
We are born with the dead:
See, they return, and bring us with them.


 
–T. S. Eliot
Four Quartets
 


 
 
 
 
 
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Saturday, February 22, 2014

not to worry



 




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The great sea
Has sent me adrift,

It moves me as the weed in a great river,
Earth and the great weather move me,

Have carried me away,
And move my inward parts with joy.


–Eskimo woman shaman







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Friday, February 21, 2014

shadows








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Everyone knows the great energies running amok cast
terrible shadows, that each of the so-called
senseless acts has its thread looping
back through the world and into a human heart.
And meanwhile
the gold-trimmed thunder
wanders the sky; the river
may be filling the cellars of the sleeping town.

Cyclone, fire, and their merry cousins
bring us to grief - but these are the hours
with the old wooden-god faces;
we lift them to our shoulders like so many
black coffins, we continue walking
into the future. I don't mean
there are no bodies in the river,
or bones broken by the wind. I mean
everyone who has heard the lethal train-roar
of the tornado swears there was no mention ever
of any person, or reason - I mean
the waters rise without any plot upon
history, or even geography. Whatever
power of the earth rampages, we turn to it
dazed but anonymous eyes; whatever
the name of the catastrophe, it is never
the opposite of love.

–Mary Oliver








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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

from Romeo and Juliet







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Friar Laurence: 

The earth that’s nature’s mother is her tomb; 
What is her burying grave that is her womb, 
And from her womb children of divers kind 
We sucking on her natural bosom find, 
Many for many virtues excellent, 
None but for some and yet all different. 

O, mickle is the powerful grace that lies 
In herbs, plants, stones, and their true qualities: 
For nought so vile that on the earth doth live 
But to the earth some special good doth give, 
Nor aught so good but strain’d from that fair use 
Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse: 
Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied; 
And vice sometimes by action dignified. 

Within the infant rind of this small flower 
Poison hath residence and medicine power: 
For this, being smelt, with that part cheers each part; 
Being tasted, slays all senses with the heart. 
Two such opposed kings encamp them still 
In man as well as herbs, grace and rude will; 
And where the worser is predominant,
Full soon the canker death eats up that plant.

—Shakespeare









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saturnrising 

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Names



 





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Yesterday, I lay awake in the palm of the night.
A soft rain stole in, unhelped by any breeze,
And when I saw the silver glaze on the windows,
I started with A, with Ackerman, as it happened,
Then Baxter and Calabro,
Davis and Eberling, names falling into place
As droplets fell through the dark.
Names printed on the ceiling of the night.
Names slipping around a watery bend.
Twenty-six willows on the banks of a stream.
In the morning, I walked out barefoot
Among thousands of flowers
Heavy with dew like the eyes of tears,
And each had a name --
Fiori inscribed on a yellow petal
Then Gonzalez and Han, Ishikawa and Jenkins.
Names written in the air
And stitched into the cloth of the day.
A name under a photograph taped to a mailbox.
Monogram on a torn shirt,
I see you spelled out on storefront windows
And on the bright unfurled awnings of this city.
I say the syllables as I turn a corner --
Kelly and Lee,
Medina, Nardella, and O'Connor.
When I peer into the woods,
I see a thick tangle where letters are hidden
As in a puzzle concocted for children.
Parker and Quigley in the twigs of an ash,
Rizzo, Schubert, Torres, and Upton,
Secrets in the boughs of an ancient maple.
Names written in the pale sky.
Names rising in the updraft amid buildings.
Names silent in stone
Or cried out behind a door.
Names blown over the earth and out to sea.
In the evening -- weakening light, the last swallows.
A boy on a lake lifts his oars.
A woman by a window puts a match to a candle,
And the names are outlined on the rose clouds --
Vanacore and Wallace,
(let X stand, if it can, for the ones unfound)
Then Young and Ziminsky, the final jolt of Z.
Names etched on the head of a pin.
One name spanning a bridge, another undergoing a tunnel.
A blue name needled into the skin.
Names of citizens, workers, mothers and fathers,
The bright-eyed daughter, the quick son.
Alphabet of names in a green field.
Names in the small tracks of birds.
Names lifted from a hat
Or balanced on the tip of the tongue.
Names wheeled into the dim warehouse of memory.
So many names, there is barely room on the walls of the heart.


–Billy Collins






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Monday, February 17, 2014

10 seconds



 
 
 
 
 


 
























Saturday, February 15, 2014

science meets non-dualty













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not to worry







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It makes no difference how deeply seated may be the trouble, how hopeless the outlook, how muddled the tangle, how great the mistake. 

A sufficient realization of love will dissolve it all.


—Emmet Fox























Friday, February 14, 2014

Ode to Clothes






 
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Every morning you wait,
clothes, over a chair,
to fill yourself with
my vanity, my love,
my hope, my body.
Barely
risen from sleep,
I relinquish the water,
enter your sleeves,
my legs look for
the hollows of your legs,
and so embraced
by your indefatigable faithfulness
I rise, to tread the grass,
enter poetry,
consider through the windows,
the things,
the men, the women,
the deeds and the fights
go on forming me,
go on making me face things
working my hands,
opening my eyes,
using my mouth,
and so,
clothes,
I too go forming you,
extending your elbows,
snapping your threads,
and so your life expands
in the image of my life.
In the wind
you billow and snap
as if you were my soul,
at bad times
you cling
to my bones,
vacant, for the night,
darkness, sleep
populate with their phantoms
your wings and mine.
I wonder
if one day
a bullet
from the enemy
will leave you stained with my blood
and then
you will die with me
or one day
not quite
so dramatic
but simple,
you will fall ill,
clothes,
with me,
grow old
with me, with my body
and joined
we will enter
the earth.
Because of this
each day
I greet you
with reverence and then
you embrace me and I forget you,
because we are one
and we will go on
facing the wind, in the night,
the streets or the fight,
a single body,
one day, one day, some day, still


–Pablo Neruda
 








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Thursday, February 13, 2014

over, last lines







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I say your name
again. It is a key, unlocking all the dark,
so death swings open on its hinge.

I hear a bird being its song,
piercing the hour, to bring first light this Christmas dawn,
a gift, the blush of memory.


Carol Ann Duffy
Rapture









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thingsthatsing

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Journal of an Ordinary Grief, excerpt








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And if happiness should surprise you again, do not mention its previous betrayal.

Enter into the happiness, and burst.


—Mahmoud Darwish









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Sunday, February 9, 2014

not to worry


 



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I died as a mineral and became a plant, 
I died as plant and rose to animal, 
I died as animal and I was Man.
Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?

Yet once more I shall die as Man, to soar
With angels blest; but even from angelhood
I must pass on: all except God doth perish.

When I have sacrificed my angel-soul,
I shall become what no mind e’er conceived.
Oh, let me not exist! for Non-existence
Proclaims in organ tones, ‘To Him we shall return.’


–Rumi







 
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ashramof1 

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Friday, February 7, 2014

Dirge Without Music







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I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely.  Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.


Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains,—but the best is lost.


The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,—
They are gone.  They are gone to feed the roses.  Elegant and curled
Is the blossom.  Fragrant is the blossom.  I know.  But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.


Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know.  But I do not approve.  And I am not resigned.

–Edna St. Vincent Millay




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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

what i leave behind







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Loveliest of what I leave behind is the sunlight,
And loveliest after that, the shining stars and the moon’s face,
but also cucumbers that are ripe, and pears, and apples

Praxilla of Sicyon
5th century B.C.








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Monday, February 3, 2014

how it works







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... when the hour of his departure drew near—
"Ah,” said the fox, “I shall cry.”

"It is your own fault,” said the little prince. “I never wished you any sort of harm; but you wanted me to tame you …”

"Yes, that is so,” said the fox.

"But now you are going to cry!” said the little prince.

"Yes, that is so,” said the fox.

"Then it has done you no good at all!”

"It has done me good,” said the fox, “because of the color of the wheat fields.”


―Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The Little Prince 








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Sunday, February 2, 2014

the waking










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I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.
Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me, so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.


–Theodore Roethke











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Saturday, February 1, 2014

the sum of things remains the same








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Nothing retains its form; new shapes from old.
Nature, the great inventor, ceaselessly contrives.


In all creation, be assured, there is no death—no death,
but only change and innovation; what we people call birth
is but a different new beginning; death is but
to cease to be the same. 


Perhaps this may have moved to that and that to this,
yet still the sum of things remains the same.


–Pythagoras
Ovid, Metamorphoses
translation by A.D. Melville