Sunday, February 28, 2016



As Buddha says: live like a mighty river. And as the old Greeks said: live as though all your ancestors were living again through you.

–Ted Hughes

Friday, February 26, 2016



I interviewed a woman who is terminally ill. So I tried to delicately ask, "What is it like to wake up every morning and know that you are dying?
"Well," she responded, "What is it like to wake up every morning and pretend that you are not?

–Marc Chernoff

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Looking Up in the Garden


These trees have no names‬
whatever we call them

where will the meanings be
when the words are forgotten

will I see again
where are you

will you be sitting
in Fran’s living room

will the dream come back
will I know where I am

will there be birds

—W.S. Merwin
The Moon Before Morning


Ophélie ~ Constantin Meunier


Monday, February 22, 2016

That Knot Unties?


If you close your eyes, do you
See any sky?
If you close your eyes, can you
Make out any skies?
Is there a sky
When that knot,
That knot unties?
As you close your eyes.
When you close your eyes, will you step
Into the skies?
As you close your eyes, do you step
Into the skies?
Is there a sky
When that knot,
That knot unties?
As you close your eyes.
When you close your eyes, I will resist
I will not cry.
When you close your eyes, I can't resist
I will not cry.
I will not try,
To know why.
To know why.
But all things stop, die, die, die.

Monday, February 15, 2016

the mystery of man


We come from a distant past that we’ve forgotten
And now we look up and aspire to the stars
We are the mystery that even we can’t decipher
The mystery of man

The story is told in stone and broken arrows
In traces of cities unknown lost in sand
In colours and castle walls silent and unseen statues
The mystery of man

The wind stirs in the trees likes voices in dreams
And then just when it seems we know what it means
Simply its gone

The miracle is the mind asking the questions
Seeking to find itself if it can
Only to see itself endlessly echoed in mirrors
The mystery of man


Friday, February 12, 2016

the old gray couple


They have only to look at each other to laugh — no one knows why, not even they: something back in the lives they've lived, something they both remember but no words can say.

They go off at the evening's end to talk but they don't, or to sleep but they lie awake — hardly a word, just a touch, just near, just listening but not to hear. 
Everything they know they know together — everything, that is, but one: their lives they've learned like secrets from each other; their deaths they think of in the nights alone.

She:  Love, says the poet, has no reasons. He:  Not even after fifty years? She:  Particularly after fifty years. He:  What was it, then, that lured us, that still teases? She:  You used to say my plaited hair! He:  And then you'd laugh. She:  Because it wasn't plaited. Love had no reasons so you made one up to laugh at.  Look! The old gray couple!

He:  No, to prove the adage true: Love has no reasons but old lovers do. She:  And they can't tell. He:  I can and so can you. Fifty years ago we drew each other, magnetized needle toward the longing north. It was your naked presence that so moved me.  It was your absolute presence that was love. She:  Ah, was!

He:  And now, years older, we begin to see absence not presence: what the world would be without your footstep in the world — the garden empty of the radiance where you are. She:  And that's your reason? — that old lovers see their love because they know now what its loss will be? He:  Because, like Cleopatra in the play, they know there's nothing left once love's away . . . She:  Nothing remarkable beneath the visiting moon ...

He:  Ours is the late, last wisdom of the afternoon.  We know that love, like light, grows dearer toward the dark.

Archibald MacLeish


Thursday, February 11, 2016

16th May 1973


One of those many dates
that no longer tell me anything.
Where did I go on that day,
what was I doing - I don't know.
If someone committed a crime
- I would be lost for an alibi.
The sun shone and set
but I didn't notice.
I have no diary note
of the Earth's rotation.
Would have been easier to think
I had briefly died
than remembered nothing,
though I lived without a break.
Assuredly, I wasn't a spirit,
I breathed, I ate,
my steps were audible
and there must be
traces of my fingers on door-handles.
My reflections were mirrored.
I wore something that had a colour.
One or two people must have seen me.
Perhaps that day
I found something I had lost earlier.
Or lost something I found later.
I was full of feelings and impressions.
Now it's all
like dots in brackets.
Where was I shrouded,
where did I hide -
it's rather a clever trick
to vanish from one's own eyes.
I shake memory -
will something slumbering for years
start rustling
from its branches.
Manifestly I demand too much -
no less than one second.

–Wisława Szymborska
Adam Czerniawski translation


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Infinity Burial Suit


Monday, February 8, 2016



For ever we come, for ever we go,
For ever the round of birth and death,
From nothing to nothing.
Yet a mystery here abides,
A something there is for us to know.

–Lal Ded
Jayalal Kaul translation


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

not to worry


There's a moon in my body, but I can't see it! 
A moon and a sun. 
A drum never touched by hands, beating,
and I can't hear it.

As long as a human being worries about when he will die, 
and what he has that is his, 
all of his works are zero. 

When affection for the I-creature and what it owns is dead, 
then the work of the Teacher is over. 

The purpose of labor is to learn; 
when you know it, the labor is over. 

The apple blossom exists to create fruit; 
when that comes, the petal falls. 

The musk is inside the deer, 
but the deer does not look for it: 

It wanders around looking for grass.