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“What if the world is holding its breath – 
waiting for you to take the place that only you can fill?”
David Whyte

Why, in the middle of your busy life, would you pause to read poetry?

Because good poetry points us to what truly matters, which is why I use poetry so much in my work.  A good poem offers sanctuary, reminding us of the necessity, power and beauty of contemplation.  In a world hell-bent on filling space with activity and silence with noise, this is a subversive act.  So slow down, digest a poem, let it take you by the hand.  Allow yourself be touched, even changed.  Indeed, poetry has been know to save lives.  Nuff said.  Onward!

Image: Paul Cezanne, Still life, pitcher and fruit

July 2020 ~ Mercy


In a seemingly small act, poet Rudy Francisco shines the light
of compassionate awareness on what we fearfully name “other.”
  

Mercy
after Nikki Giovanni

She asked me to kill the spider
Instead, I got the most
peaceful weapons I can find

I take a cup and a napkin.
I catch the spider, put it outside
and allow it to walk away

If I am ever caught in the wrong place
at the wrong time, just being alive
and not bothering anyone,

I hope I am greeted
with the same kind
of mercy.

Rudy Francisco from Helium

More on Rudy Francisco:  https://www.iamrudyfrancisco.com/bio

 

Bonus poem by Nikki Giovanni
Allowables

I killed a spider
Not a murderous brown recluse
Nor even a black widow
And if the truth were told this
Was only a small
Sort of papery spider
Who should have run
When I picked up the book
But she didn’t
And she scared me
And I smashed her

I don’t think
I’m allowed

To kill something

Because I am

Frightened

— Nikki Giovanni, from Chasing Utopia: A Hybrid

More on Nikki Giovanni:
https://www.nikki-giovanni.com/

By |July 1st, 2020|Tags: |

June 2020 ~ Coyote Roshi Goyoku


Need some Coyote right about now?  Yeah, thought so.
Okay, here you go.  Get enlightened. 

Essential Nature
A student asked, “Can Essential Nature be destroyed?”
Coyote said, “Yes, it can.”
The student asked, “How can Essential Nature be destroyed?”
Coyote said, “With an eraser.”


The Jewel-Net of Indra
A student asked, “What is the Jewel-Net of Indra?”
Coyote drew the student toward him, and bumped heads with him.
The student said, “If I had known that, I wouldn’t have asked.”


Living Buddhas
Everyone knows how Coyote Roshi loves to collect Buddhist images.
Once a disciple of Rahjneesh wrote to him, saying, “You collect wooden Buddhas.
You should come to India and meet a living Buddha.”
Coyote mentioned this letter to his students, and remarked,
“Living Buddhas are all over the place, but a good wooden Buddha is hard to find.”

By Robert Aitken Roshi, excerpts from Coyote Roshi Goyoku, found in Coyote’s Journal; edited by James Kofler, Carroll “Gogisgi” Arnett, Steve Nimirow, and Peter Blue Cloud.

Image:  Coyote Leaping, mixed media painting by Harry Fonseca.

By |June 1st, 2020|Tags: , |

May 2020 ~ Stone


To the simple, humble stone:  All praises!

Stone
Go inside a stone
That would be my way.
Let somebody else become a dove
Or gnash with a tiger’s tooth.
I am happy to be a stone.

From the outside the stone is a riddle:
No one knows how to answer it.
Yet within, it must be cool and quiet
Even though a cow steps on it full weight,
Even though a child throws it in a river;
The stone sinks, slow, unperturbed
To the river bottom
Where the fishes come to knock on it
And listen.

I have seen sparks fly out
When two stones are rubbed,
So perhaps it is not dark inside after all;
Perhaps there is a moon shining
From somewhere, as though behind a hill—
Just enough light to make out
The strange writings, the star-charts
On the inner walls.

By Charles Simic, from What the Grass Says

By |April 30th, 2020|Tags: , |

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Lucky’s Corner

lucky

A tasty morsel of poetic medicine from Lucky,
who now resides in the Spirit-World.  Down the hatch!

“and nothing can harm you –
unless you change yourself
into a thing of harm
nothing can harm you.”

Carl Sandburg