Thursday, July 30, 2015

Obsolete

 




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The rose is obsolete
but each petal ends in
an edge, the double facet
cementing the grooved
columns of air--The edge
cuts without cutting
meets--nothing--renews
itself in metal or porcelain--

whither? It ends--

But if it ends
the start is begun
so that to engage roses
becomes a geometry--
Sharper, neater, more cutting
figured in majolica--
the broken plate
glazed with a rose

Somewhere the sense
makes copper roses
steel roses--

The rose carried weight of love
but love is at an end--of roses

It is at the edge of the
petal that love waits
Crisp, worked to defeat
laboredness--fragile
plucked, moist, half-raised
cold, precise, touching

What

The place between the petal's
edge and the

From the petal's edge a line starts
that being of steel
infinitely fine, infinitely
rigid penetrates
the Milky Way
without contact--lifting
from it--neither hanging
nor pushing--

The fragility of the flower
unbruised
penetrates space


–William Carlos Williams




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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

telling the bees





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When someone dies you are supposed to tell the bees and invite them to the funeral, give them wine and cake, hang mourning cloth over the hive.

You should tell them other things as well - of a marriage, when you are planning to rob the hive, when you are troubled by your dreams.

Tell and they will listen, tell and they will spread the word with the wind.


–Rima Staines


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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

let me begin again






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Let me begin again as a speck
of dust caught in the night winds
sweeping out to sea. Let me begin
this time knowing the world is
salt water and dark clouds, the world
is grinding and sighing all night, and dawn
comes slowly and changes nothing. Let
me go back to land after a lifetime
of going nowhere. This time lodged
in the feathers of some scavenging gull
white above the black ship that docks
and broods upon the oily waters of
your harbor. This leaking freighter
has brought a hold full of hayforks
from Spain, great jeroboams of dark
Algerian wine, and quill pens that can’t
write English. The sailors have stumbled
off toward the bars of the bright houses.
The captain closes his log and falls asleep.
1/10’28. Tonight I shall enter my life
after being at sea for ages, quietly,
in a hospital named for an automobile.
The one child of millions of children
who has flown alone by the stars
above the black wastes of moonless waters
that stretched forever, who has turned
golden in the full sun of a new day.
A tiny wise child who this time will love
his life because it is like no other.


–Philip Levine


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In the Realm of Hokkaido
Robert van Koesveld

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Monday, July 27, 2015

you know ...




 
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You have been trained since infancy to direct your attention to what is temporary. Had anyone before revealed the Permanent to you, there would be no need to sit with Wu Hsin.

Most people don’t sit because they are afraid of what is revealed.

The individuals fear that they will lose their individuality, their identity. One could say that the love of Being is not yet greater than the love of being somebody … or it could be said that the fear of the not yet known is far greater than the distaste for the known.

Either way, “I’ll pay any price” is suddenly shown to be a hollow offer.
 

When you become clear that you are not this body, but that it is your instrument, then worries about death dissolve.

In essence, death dies.

 

–Wu Hsin


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Sunday, July 26, 2015

all is well




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Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I, and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other, that we still are.
Call me by my old familiar name,
speak to me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference in your tone,
wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was,
let it be spoken without effect,
without the trace of a shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was;
there is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you, for an interval,
somewhere very near, just round the corner.
And all is well.


–Henry Scott Holland (1847-1918)
Canon of St. Paul's Cathedral, London. UK 





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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Love drinks it in


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As air becomes the medium for light when the sun rises,
And as wax melts from the heat of fire,
So the soul drawn to that light is resplendent,
Feels self melt away,
Its will and actions no longer its own.
So clear is the imprint of God
That the soul, conquered, is conqueror;
Annihilated, it lives in triumph.
What happens to the drop of wine
That you pour into the sea?
Does it remain itself, unchanged?
It is as if it never existed.
So it is with the soul: Love drinks it in,
It is united with Truth,
Its old nature fades away,
It is no longer master of itself.

The soul wills and yet does not will:
Its will belongs to Another.
It has eyes only for this beauty;
It no longer seeks to possess, as was its wont -
It lacks the strength to possess such sweetness.
The base of this highest of peaks
Is founded on nichil,
Shaped into nothingness, made one with the Lord.


–Jacopone da Todi
from Let Annihilation and Charity Lead



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Friday, July 24, 2015

the sums of things





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Nothing in the entire universe ever perishes, believe me, but things vary, and adopt a new form.

The phrase “being born” is used for beginning to be something different from what one was before, while “dying” means ceasing to be the same. 
Though this thing may pass into that, and that into this, yet the sums of things remains unchanged.


–Ovid
The Metamorphoses



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Thursday, July 23, 2015

no permanence is ours





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No permanence is ours,
we are a wave that flows to fit whatever form it finds.

–Hermann Hesse


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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

into the strenuous briefness




 
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into the strenuous briefness
Life:
handorgans and April
darkness,friends
i charge laughing.
Into the hair-thin tints
of yellow dawn,
into the women-coloured twilight
i smilingly
glide. I
into the big vermilion departure
swim,sayingly;
(Do you think?)the
i do,world
is probably made
of roses &; hello:
(of so longs and,ashes)

–E. E. Cummings




Tuesday, July 21, 2015

the index of true love







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MOURNING IS NOT the index of true love. It betrays love of the object, of its shape only. That is not love. True love is shown by the certainty that the object of love is in the Self and that it can never become non-existent. There will be no pain if the physical outlook is given up and if the person exists as the Self.

There is no death nor birth. That which is born is only the body. The body is the creation of the ego. But the ego is not ordinarily perceived without the body. It is always identified with the body.

If a man considers he is born he cannot avoid the fear of death. Let him find out if he has been born or if the Self has any birth. He will discover that the Self always exists, that the body which is born resolves itself into thought and that the emergence of thought is the root of all mischief.

Find where from thoughts emerge. Then you will abide in the ever-present inmost Self and be free from the idea of birth or the fear of death.

Recall the state of sleep. Were you aware of anything happening? If the son or the world be real, should they not be present with you in sleep?

You cannot deny your existence in sleep. Nor can you deny you were happy then. You are now the same person speaking and raising doubts. You are not happy according to you. But you were happy in sleep. What has transpired in the meantime that happiness of sleep has broken down? It is the rise of the ego.

That is the new arrival in the jagrat (waking) state. There was no ego in sleep.
The birth of the ego is called the birth of the person. There is no other kind of birth. Whatever is born, is bound to die. Kill the ego: there is no fear of recurring death for what is once dead. The Self remains even after the death of the ego. That is Bliss – that is immortality.

Training the mind helps one to bear sorrows and bereavements with courage. But the loss of one’s offspring is said to be the worst of all griefs. Still it is true, pain on such occasions can be assuaged by association with the wise.


–Sri Ramana Maharshi





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Monday, July 20, 2015

people like us







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There are more like us. All over the world
There are confused people, who can't remember
The name of their dog when they wake up, and people
Who love God but can't remember where
He was when they went to sleep. It's
All right. The world cleanses itself this way.


A wrong number occurs to you in the middle
Of the night, you dial it, it rings just in time
To save the house. And the second-story man
Gets the wrong address, where the insomniac lives,
And he's lonely, and they talk, and the thief
Goes back to college. Even in graduate school,
You can wander into the wrong classroom,
And hear great poems lovingly spoken
By the wrong professor. And you find your soul,
And greatness has a defender, and even in death you're safe.


Robert Bly
Morning Poems



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Sunday, July 19, 2015

they go





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Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely.

–Edna St. Vincent Millay


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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Friday, July 17, 2015

the mystery of grace





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I do not understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us.

—Anne Lamott


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Thursday, July 16, 2015

the rest between two notes





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My life is not this steeply sloping hour,
in which you see me hurrying.

Much stands behind me: I stand before it like a tree:
I am only one of many mouths
and at that, the one that will be still the soonest.

I am the rest between two notes,
which are somehow always in discord
because Death's note wants to climb over—
but the dark interval, reconciled,
They stay here trembling.
And the song goes on, beautiful.

–Rainer Maria Rilke



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Mark Bridger
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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Ghazal 891





 

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one by one
our friends
filled with joy and quest
begin to arrive

one by one our friends
the worshipers of ecstasy
begin to arrive

more friends and sweethearts
filling you with love
are on their way

darlings of spring
journeying from gardens
begin to arrive

one by one
living their destiny
in this world

the ones who are gone are gone
but the ones who survived
begin to arrive

all their pockets
filled with gold
from endless treasures

bringing gifts
for the needy of the world
begin to arrive

the weak and the exhausted
the frightened by love
will be gone

the rejuvenated
the healthy and happy
begin to arrive

the pure souls
like the spectrums
of the shining sun

descending from the high heavens
to lowly earth
begin to arrive

luscious and happy
the blessed garden
whose heavenly fruits

spring forth
from the virgin winter
begin to arrive

those who are born
from the roots
of generosity and love

taking a journey
from paradise to paradise
begin to arrive


–Rumi
Translation by Nader Khalili




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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

time to go






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Now it’s high watermark

and floodtide in the heart

and time to go.

The sea-nymphs in the spray

will be the chorus now.

What’s left to say?



Suspect too much sweet-talk

but never close your mind.


It was a fortunate wind

that blew me here. I leave

half-ready to believe

that a crippled trust might walk



and the half-true rhyme is love.


–Seamus Heaney
from The Cure at Troy



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Monday, July 13, 2015

over to you






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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Finding a Bible in an Abandoned Cabin





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Under dust plush as a moth’s wing,
the book’s leather cover still darkly shown,
and everywhere else but this spot was sodden
beneath the roof’s unraveling shingles.
There was that back-of-the-neck lick of chill
and then, from my index finger, the book

opened like a blasted bird. In its box
of familiar and miraculous inks,
a construction of filaments and dust,
thoroughfares of worms, and a silage
of silverfish husks: in the autumn light,
eight hundred pages of perfect wordless lace.


–Robert Wrigley


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Saturday, July 11, 2015

the heaven of animals







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Here they are.  The soft eyes open.
If they have lived in a wood
It is a wood.
If they have lived on plains it is grass rolling
Under their feet forever.
 
Having no souls, they have come,
Anyway, beyond their knowing.
Their instincts wholly bloom
And they rise.
The soft eyes open. 
To match them, the landscape flowers,
Outdoing, desperately
Outdoing what is required:
The richest wood,
The deepest field. 
For some of these, it could not be the place
It is, without blood.
These hunt, as they have done,
But with claws and teeth grown perfect,
More deadly than they can believe. 
They stalk more silently,
And crouch on the limbs of trees,
And their descent
Upon the bright backs of their prey 
May take years
In a sovereign floating of joy.
And those that are hunted
Know this as their life,
Their reward:  to walk 
Under such trees in full knowledge
Of what is in glory above them,
And to feel no fear,
But acceptance, compliance.
Fulfilling themselves without pain 
At the cycle's center,
They tremble, they walk
Under the tree,
They fall, they are torn,
They rise, they walk again.


–James Dickey 



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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

lines written in the days of growing darkness





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Every year we have been
witness to it: how the
world descends
into a rich mash, in order that
it may resume.
And therefore
who would cry out

to the petals on the ground
to stay,
knowing as we must,
how the vivacity of what was is married

to the vitality of what will be?
I don't say
it's easy, but
what else will do

if the love one claims to have for the world
be true?

So let us go on, cheerfully enough,
this and every crisping day,

though the sun be swinging east,
and the ponds be cold and black,
and the sweets of the year be doomed.

–Mary Oliver



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Monday, July 6, 2015

the secret




 
 
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Since I am
Somebody's dream,
I have a good life.

Sometimes I go away in my sailboat on a cloud
and take a quiet little trip.

I have a secret
which I have learned how to read inside myself;
if I told it to you,
it would make you laugh.

My heart is naked
and no one can put clothes on it,
and nothing can be put on
that will not immediately fall off.

My secret is ignorant,
it doesn't sing songs,
no lie,
it has nothing to tell you.

My two eyes
are maps of the planet -
I see everything
and nothing upsets me.

Just now
I was in China
and saw there a great piece of happiness
that belonged to one man.

And I have been to the center of the earth,
where there is no suffering.

If on your loneliest nights,
I visit other planets
and the most secret stars of all,

besides being no one,
know that I am you
and everybody.

But if I go away
without giving you a name to remember me with,
how will I find
the right dream to return to?

You won't have to mark down
on your calendar that I am coming back;
don't bother to write me into your notebooks.
I will be around
when you aren't thinking about me,

without hair or a neck,
without a nose and cheeks
no reputation -
there won't be anything.

I am a bird
which God made.


–Thomas Merton
 



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