Monday, January 31, 2011

Mindful of Mindless

Ah, our mindless meditator

keeps slipping away from the moment

from the present, from the now,

from what is, from loving what is,

the way he used to slip his pew.

What can we do, what can he do

if he won't stay mindful? Not

a bad boy, really, maybe not,

but ripe for meditation and prayer

right? Only not his own.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Given

The problem that does

not admit of any

solution is not

a problem. That damn

thing is a given.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Another Long Pause

That. That was it. That was

reality. I almost missed it.

But I remembered it

from childhood--peculiar

not-quite boredom,

not-quite melancholy,

stillness, almost

satisfaction, the underneath

of being human

doing human things,

when the not human

world rises, floating,

into uncertain

becalmed awareness,

be it a blue sky

outside, dusty sun

inside, the lack

of voices or music,

everything nothing

doing, a crack in the floor,

a long pause before

another long pause--

that. That was it.

That was reality.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Tiny Prayer to My Daughter Sequoia, Seven Weeks Old This Morning

Oh child, oh infant

if only you slept well

you would be happiness

personified. You, my joy,

are the most fascinating

child on Earth, I swear

and yet you can scream

oh you can scream

an extraordinary ascending

rupture in the night

sufficient to scare

the local mountain lion,

to send the desert foxes

back into their dens trembling,

to give the coyotes pause

and to silence the cry of the peacocks,

yes, a beautiful, powerful

arbitrary, murderous

hollering bellow to horrify

a horror movie itself into silence.

I'm so proud. I'm so impressed.

Please don't do it again.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Behold this spiral

in her hair, regard

those spiral branchings

in that tree, observe

that spiral made of

stars and promise not

to link them, promise

yourself to let them

be, to signify

nothing, let them mean

wonderful nothing,

nothing, the only

real world miracle

that cups everything

in its emptiness

dour only to us,

we few somethings who

remain the bridges

between manifest

spirals and unreal

labyrinths. Believe!

Believe, have faith, trust

in nothing itself,

wonderful wreckage.

Trying costs us nothing.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


There are no signs

in this universe save

those we add to it,

such as the logo

on this air dryer

in a unisex washroom

at a roadside rest stop

in Utah, USA,

proclaiming "Extreme

Air." And that, my friends,

is what all our signs

and signifying amount to.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Unbeliever Revisited

Snow falls outside my window

hard as diamonds to destroy.

This world is too delicate,

too hard on itself,

everything is breaking

on everything else, into

everything else. Nothing

isn't always crumbling

Risibly ancient mountains

serve up melting wrecks

of dissolving ruptures

carving up the winds.

The softest beats

the hardest core to pulpy

jagged martyred mush,

breaking down in breaking up,

one universal whirl

of rock, paper, scissors,

and, speaking of scissors,

not a moment's cut so fine

that smaller fractures

aren't continuously shifting

within each micro-moment.

The never-ending endingness!

How can awareness ever

be attached, be one

of any compound crystal

shambles twirling down?

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Wisdom of the Moment

is wreckage

is wordless

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Poem for Sarah’s Walk with Sequoia

Emotions and weather ignore us.

We are no more our sorrows

Than we are the rain, no

More the possessors of our joys

Than of a sudden shaft of sunlight.

“The weather will be what the weather

Will be, whether we like it

Or not.” So said you

In a brilliant coastal mood

And so, on a pearl blue afternoon

Waiting for your return, say I.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Poem for Sarah's Bath

In truth, we're attached

to the bodies we dream.

Nobody will ever be

anybody else. Local,

gorgeous awareness

is all we are,

passing details, passing

shows are all we have,

dreaming our theaters

in which our worlds perform

their matinees

and moonlight sonatas

over which we exert

no more control

than a theater space

exerts over its performances,

and no less. A lizard

scuttles in the sunny dust

of a rented window.

An infant snores

on her old father's

bony chest. Somewhere,

the woman of the house

is drawing a bath,

and the red and green valley

warms in late January sun.

These are not parts

of a world, nor

a world entire.

These are waves passing,

which are not waves

when we capture them

but are waves again

when we allow them, being

ourselves, spaces

for some things to happen.