The Black Arts Matter   Wednesday, February 24, 2016





More of the same this week, old photos re-imagined for the 22nd time, old  poems (from my eBook Always to the Light, available wherever eBooks are sold), new poems from last week, and selections from The Wisdom  Anthology of North American Buddhist Poetry (good stuff).

And that's it.


Me
so the man is dead

Diane di Prima
I Fail as a Dharma Teacher
For Suyzuki Roshi 

Me
from where I sit

Jane Hirshfield
Theology
Lighthouse

Me
the stoic

Joanne Kyger
The Sweet Dew Law
To Live in This World Again

Me
      scattered in the wide night sky           

Mike O'Connor
The Imperfect Sonnet
On the Way to Zendo
Hymnus Ad Patrem Sinesis

Me
my turn

Cecilia Vacuna
The Shadow of a Loom
Untitled

Me
anticlimax

Andrew Schelling
Haibun

Me
no poem today
the fat man dancing
deep summer
long-haired girls
January 1, 2009
peas in our time

Nathaniel Tarn
Recollections of Being

Me
morning in the city

Arthur Sze
In the Living Room 

Me
what we do until we can think about sex again   

Tsering Wangmo Dhompa
Sun Storm
How Thubten Sang His Songs   

Me
who knew

Me 
a no-drama day     

 










Here's a new poem  from last week.














so the man is dead

so the man is dead,, his  mortal flesh
beginning  the same transit,
the same journey we all will travel, the same
ephemeral bridge we will all in our time cross,
a return to the base elements that made us,
animated us, that brought us the capacity
to  honor and hate, good and evil,
compassion and indifference, charity
and  the selfish grasping of the miser, art,
music, and dry, unimaginative intellect,
Einstein, Mother Teressa, Adolph Hitler, the
Great Alexander, Philandras  the weak, all the
clowns and all the villains who ever were, it is
with them in that same dust he now retires, as will
you, as will I, as will  all who  died before
and all whose  time is yet to come...

he was a judge, one of the highest in the land
for nearly 30 years, never a modest man,
as his tenure grew so did his arrogance,
becoming more radical with ever passing year,
claiming to respect the founders, he made
to twist them into his own prejudices until the end...

becoming a danger to freedom and the compassion
of the  Christ  he claimed to worship...

becoming a a danger to the country and its future...

~~~~

nine children, I read,  and I'm sure many grandchildren,
and it  is certain they all mourn his  passing...

many friends and I'm sure they all mourn his passing...

many theological and ideological admirers, all, I'm sure,
mourning his passing...

perhaps I should respect his flesh, such as my own, and it's inevitable
transition, such as I hope for respect as my flesh begins its return to the
disorganized elements  from which it came,  but I cannot mourn  his passing
for he was a threat to  me and to much I hold dear

and while I value goodness as a way of life,  I am not, I admit,
a very good avatar for the goodness  I value

finding today that I cannot mourn the passing of such a threat
as he...









Here are the first two poems this week from The Wisdom Anthology of North American  Buddhist Poetry. The poet is Diane di Prima.

di Prima, a feminist beat poet, was born in 1934 in Brooklyn and attended Swarthmore College for two years before moving to Greenwich Village and later San Francisco where she currently lives. She has been described as a bridge between the Beats and the Hippy generation of poets.











I Fail as a Dharma Teacher

I don't imagine  I'll manage to express Sunyata
in a way that all my students will know & love
or present the Four Noble Truths so they look delicious
& tempting as Easter candy. My skillful means
is more like a two by four hanging on the head
of a reluctant diver
I then go in and save -
what pyrotechnics!

Alas this life I can't be kind and persuasive
slip the Twelve-part Chain off hundreds of shackled housewives
present the Eight-fold Path like the ultimate road map
at all the gas stations in Samsara

But, oh my lamas, I want to
how I want to!
Just to see your old eyes shin in this Kaliyuga
stars going out around us like birthday candles
your Empty Clear Luminous and Unobstructed
Rainbow Bodies
swimming  in and through all of us like transparent fish.


For Suyzuki Roshi

after you died I dreamed you were at my apartment
we ate soba together, you giggled & slurped a lot

you said "Don't tell them I'm not dead"
& pointed down the street toward the Zen Center
"I don't want them to bother me."
We laughed & drank the broth.

I kept that promise. I think they still don't know.













Here's my first poem this week from my eBook, Always to the Light. I published the book in 2009, or thereabouts.














from where I sit

from
where I sit
I can see past
a small grove of
winter-bare red oak
to Interstate-10, east
& west
routes, the one to
Houston
and, through Houston
to Louisiana
and points east and
north beyond

the other route,
followed westerly
600 miles through
hill country
and high desert to El
Paso
and 4 states beyond,
to the orange-setting
sun
reflected
on Pacific waters

most of
the  people I see
passing
are not  going so far,
most thinking
the furthest your
travel
in any direction
the closer you get to
home,
so why not just stay
there,
untraveled
but satisfied
right where you and
your life
belong

for
myself,
I don't know that I've
ever
been at home
so I'm always pulled
between
go and stay

today,
under a cold,
overcast sky
I  think I want to
stay...

tomorrow?

that's why
we have night and
day,
night a curtain that
comes
down
between old and
new,
a sign to us as it rises
every morning
that new things are
possible

after all, what use a
curtain if nothing
changes
between acts?








 Next from this week's  anthology, two poems by Jane Hirshfield.

A poet,  essayist and translator, Hirshfield was born in New York City in 1953. She earned her bachelor's degree at Princeton University where she was in the university's first graduating class to include women.










Theology

If the flies did not  hurry themselves to the window
they'd still die somewhere.

Other creatures choose the other dimension:
                                                                              to slip
into a thicket, swim into the shaded, undercut
part of the stream.

                                        My dog would make her tennis ball
disappear into just such a hollow,
pushing it under the water with both paws.
the dig for it furiously, wildly, until it popped up again.

A game or theology. I could not tell.

The flies might well prefer the dawn-ribboned mouth of a trout,
its crisp and speed,
                                           if they could get there,
though they are not in truth that kind of fly
and preference is not given often in these matters.

A border collie's preference is to do anything entirely,
with the whole attention. This Simone Weil called prayer.
And almost always, her prayers sere successful -
                                                                                         the tennis ball
could be summoned again to the surface.

When a friend's new pound dog, diagnosed distempered,
doctored for weeks,crawled under the porch to die, my friend crawled after,
puller her out, said "No!",

as if to live were just a simple matter of training.

                                                                                         the coy-dog, startled, obeyed.
Now trots out to greet my car when I come to visit.

Only a firefly's evening blinking outside the window,
this miraculous story, but everyone hurries to believe it.


Lighthouse

Most lights are made to see by,
this to be seen.
It's vision sweeps its one path
like an aged monk raking a garden,
his question long ago answered or moved on.
Far off, night grazing horses,
breath scented with oatgrass and fennel,
step though it, disappear, step through it,  disappear.












From last week.















the stoic

she's my dog
and she knows that
as my dog, she is entitled
to go with me wherever I go
except that I'm going into the diner
for breakfast and they don't allow dogs
so she's stuck in the car and I say goodbye
be a good dog I say but she doesn't look at me
sits in the front seat and stares straight ahead neither
left nor right and definitely not a me grim determination
jaw set alone alone forever alone the horror
the horror oh the horror but like Colonel
Kurtz she endures and she will not
look the lonely horror
she will not look at
me and Jesus on
the cross
she
suffers
jaw set
eyes
straight
ahead
stoic
as the
Zeno
of Citium
(a stoical guy
was he)
she
suffers
in quiet
resolve










Two more poems from the anthology, these are by Joanne Kyger.

Kyger, born in 1934, studied at The University of California, Santa Barbara before moving to San Francisco. Her poetry is influenced by her practice of Zen Buddhism and her ties with the poets of Black Mountain, San Francisco  Renaissance and the Beats.












"The Dew Sweet Law"

              The dew sweet law
                    is not flowing
                       literature
                               but is still

               Open morning
                    after morning
                        and totally excellent

               As the bachelor quail looks up
                  in the quiet air

                        all the food is his

July 23, 1998
Reading about
Nagarjuna


To Live in this World Again

  You must hide yourself
                change your flamboyance
                     to a dull hue

DOES THIS MEAN I'LL NEVER HAVE ANY FUN

    No one will notice you
         The gods won't drag you off
                 the earth for their own

    Entertainment. You are camouflaged
          with simplicity

2000














Here 's another from  Always to the Light.















scattered in the wide night sky

scattered
in the wide night sky
are pinpoints of light
bring star-heat
to  worlds like out
own

biological stews
pining the universal
spark
on some
and on others
life at it's most simple

is cradled,
protected from the
cosmic storms,
and on a relative new
creatures who strive
and dream
like you and
I

I
know this
like some people
know God,  such
knowledge
a product of longing
in the lonely bright
for a companion
worthy 
of our best nature









Mike O'Connor is the next poet from the American Buddhist anthology.

O'Connor is a poet and translator of Chinese literature. A recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, he is also an honorary fellow of the Hong Kong Baptist University.










Kuan-Yin Shan: Mother-of-Mercy Mountain

We also like blown cloud
                           across the face of the mountain...
And old woman cooking
                           noodles for young soldiers
                           in a makeshift wooden lean-t. A nice
                                fire


              while fog-swirls dampen our sweaters.

The summit's not far, a stone's throw to the stone marker
clear of razor grass (mang t'sao) and cloud. And east
in descending veils: the rain - where the Strait should
be - then all the rest of China.

                Kuan-yin, Bodhisattva of Compassion,
                Kuan Shih-yin, Hearer of Cries;  when
                in trouble, she heals without question,
                no credentials required.
                Office hours: Eternal. 

The washed-out  rocky path
drops quickly; grass arches over
our heads. The path becomes trail
through bamboo and mulberry,
becomes road pat  tea farms
and grave sites,
rock quarries and oranges,

descending to the ferry town Pa-li
where the water of the Tamsui broadens
before sweeping to the sea

At the ferry landing, a shack
on pilings pours forth a smoke
black as the sand they're
sucking from the river bottom
and dumping in the bucket of a Cat.

                Then the river ferry comes,
                low in the rainbow oily water
                that reflects Kuan-yin.












Last  week  again. Seeing one brings a memory of another.















never mentioned, but not forgot

long dark hair
strong  jaw
white teeth that flash  white
when  she smiles, or, like now,
as she works them with a toothpick,
and dark, mysterious eyes
like black laser light
as she listens
intently
to  her dinner companion...

as she gets up to  leave
I notice she is a sturdy woman
swaying side to side as she walks away
like a sailor on shore leave

~~~

and a memory from fifty years ago,  another woman like this  woman,
in her twenties, beautiful, with the same dark eyes and black  hair,
the remembered woman unlike the  woman at the diner
because of a small twist on one side or her lip, like she was always asking
a question, like she had been cut, maybe in a fight with a discarded lover,
the remembered woman a Vietnam Veteran and  a  Go-Go dancer in a frilly bra
and panties with all the necessary equipment underneath at a small
bar on the south side of the border town where I worked...

the night I saw her the first time she was drinking at a bar, the bar where she danced,
all alone, like war veterans sometime drink all alone, remembering,
fighting back against memories with Lone Star long-necks, then as she drank more,
beginning to dance on the stage, even though it wasn't  her night to work, sinuous,sensuous,
in a belly-button baring blouse and short, tight jeans, and, as she seemed to drift
more and more into the music, beginning to strip, first her blouse, then unbuttoning
her jeans one slow button at a time, sliding them lower and lower on her hips, stop,
the bartender shouted,  don't do it, the police will shut us down, but the jeans
slipped lower and lower and all the men at the bar were shouting,  do it! do it!, but
she  stopped, in her white bra and white  panties  showing below her  hips,  halfway down
the curvature of her rear, not drunk enough to ignore her boss, she  pulled her clothes back
together and walked out of the bar as the men sighed and the fierce, steaming cloud
of lust that had filled the bar slowly dissipating as the men  headed home, home to the wife
who was not so dark-eyed or built with all the equipment,  headed home fantasy life
primed for disappointment

~~~

as it happened, I came to know the woman - she was Vet and I did Veterans Service, readjustment
services for  the men and  a few woman coming home  from the way, meeting her the next
day...

we  talked about services available to her, the stuff of my job,  not about the night before, it
never forgot,  but never mentioned...









 Now from the anthology, here are three poems  by Philip Whalen.

Born in 1923, Whalen was a poet and Zen Buddhist. He was close to the Beat  Generation and a key figure in the San Francisco Renaissance. Dying in 2002, he is the only poet in the anthology who was not alive at the time of publication.












The Imperfect Sonnet

The person of whom you  speak is dead"
Where is the better crystal?
One  cam in last night & took it; this one
Held the  papers on the table
Now I want topaz.

In the middle of the night -
The glass doors locked, nothing else missing
Worthless Quartz eccentrically shaped gone
As Emperor Nicholas Romanov
As "Bebe' Rebozo

Say that you love me say
That you will bring me
A delicious cut of coffee
A topaz cup! From Silesia -
Property of Hapsburg Emperors
The better crystal is upstairs.

Near Smyrna Beach 12 XI 88


On the  Way to Zendo

A reverse wind blows freeway sounds up-canyon
        through yellow leaves
Ducks quack and cluck flying to Bosque del Apache
SOME VERSIONS  OF THE PASTORAL whistle in one ear,
        out the other.
Christopher robin, Pooh, and Piglet
stomping through the Hundred Acre wood.

18 IX 86


Hymnus Ad Patrem Sinensis

I praise the ancient Chinamen
Who left me a few words,
Usually a pointless joke or a silly question
A line of poetry drunkenly scrawled on the margin of a quick
                            splashed picture - bug, leaf,
                            caricature of Teacher
           on paper held-together now by little more than ink
           & their own strength brushed momentarily over it

Their world & several others since
Gone to hell in a hand basket, they knew it -
Cheered as it whizzed by -
& conked out among the busted spring rain cherryblossom winejars
Happy to have saved us all.

31 VIII 58













From Always to the Light.















my turn

it is a cold
sloppy wet day

a glorious
day

a touch
of winter

finally
in mid-March

evidence

you'll get
what you want

if you'll just
wait long enough

meanwhile

on South Padre
beaches

all the little
bunny-bumps

are freezing
their little cherry butts

not what they wanted
but I don't care

they're young
and haven't waited

long enough









Cecilia Vicuna is the next poet from the anthology.

Born in 1947,  in Santiago de Chile, Vicuna is a poet, artist, filmmaker and political activist. She has been in exile since the murder of elected Chilean president Salvador Allende during the coup which brought the long-lived military dictatorship to power. She has published sixteen books, most of which have been translated into seven languages and has exhibited her art internationally.











The Shadow of a Loom

I set a loom in the street
Looming above
A puddle of rain.

"We are the thread"
                                says she
"To weave is to speak"

Thread in the air
Cloud in the mud


Untitled

And if I devoted my life
to one of its feathers
to living its nature
being it understanding it
until the end

Reaching a time
when my acts
are the thousand
tiny ribs of the feather
and my silence
the humming the whispering
of wind tin the feather
and my thoughts
quick sharp precise
as the non-thoughts
of the feather

translated by Elliot Weinberger












Big news,  but I can't figure out  what  it means.













anticlimax

so Berto's proven right again!

gravity comes in waves
like on the
beach
just like he said...

and so it is now a proven
and, I'm told, mind-blowing
event in the galactic
news feed

but...

I haven't figured out yet
what this means
in the imagination of a poet
who builds sand castle  fantasies
out of superficial
understanding
of such grand and glorious
revelations

a poet's mind that gravitates
(in waves,  I suppose)
to the more dramatic news
as in the two  black holes stumbling
in their ordered galactic waltz,
the two  colliding
like two heavyweights on a swept-black
dance floor,
creating a "chirp" heard  round the universe

that chirp the proof sought for generations
announced like the cry of a tiny fledgling
sparrow upon its maiden flight...

such sturm and drang, the crashing together
of  two gods all-powerful
in their own spaces
contesting
now for us to see, a single space -

now that's the stuff of a poem

but gravitational waves,
all that brings to this  poet's mind
are visions of sand castles
surrendering
to a voracious gravitational tide
eating the beach and all the castles on it

the cataclysmic smashing of god
in the end leveling
only delicate imagined structures
on sandy playgrounds

anticlimactic
at best, seen better
on TV










And now from this week's anthology, this poem is by  Andrew Schelling.

Schelling was born in 1953 in Washington  D.C. and grew up in New England. He received his B.A.from U.C. Sana  Cruz,  followed by Sanskrit studies at  Berkeley. In addition to his own work, he has published five books of translation from ancient India's poetry. The photo I found is a faculty photo from Naropa University.












Haibun

Rock is naturalist scripture. The deeper you go the older the story.
Pikas &  Squirrels scamper over he  tip, then spiral desert
from gone tooth & twig. Petrified bone sediment myth.
Or psychic fossil? Horsefly & algae glow green again,
come to  life in car engines. Fantastic shapes, old as forests.
And now the likelihood we have in the world
as many diverse minds..."as there are
organisms capable of perception."

                            Evolution's basic
                job- turning rock
                            to green growth.













Several short pieces from Always to the Light.













no poem today

but the rustle
of trade winds
softly
through the palms


fat man dancing

throwing
his arms to the
cool
clear
day

the kind
of bright autumn
day
when
that sort of thing
happens


deep summer

sunlight
cracks the window

falls across
the tile floor in bright
shards
of deep summer

blue sky
promises
another day of
cinders


long-haired girls

in sandals
and sun-dresses
laughing
crimson-painted
toes
and brown shoulders
bare to the season

brief summer
reprieves


January 1, 2009

sun came up this
morning -
same one as
yesterday

went out to my car

backed into the street

passed the pile of eaves
beside the driveway

same car
as last year
same street
same leaves blown
into our yard
 by the neighbor's yardman
as well

drove  to Jim's
for coffee
and the morning  paper

very familiar,
like I'd been   there
before

like every day

finished my coffee
drove home

almost  ran over a
squirrel
that ran across the street
and up a tree

same tree -
different squirrel

change

the best part of a
new
year


peas in our  time

dinner
last night
at Grissinis'

Italian
penne pasta
with some kind
of orangish sauce

tiny pieces of ham
and mushrooms
&
peas

&
the peas
did it for me
since peas are
my second favorite
vegetable -
peas & corn
being
my favorite

&
someone mentioned
that it was strange, my
liking peas so much,
since no one was
eating
peas
anymore

&
that's hardly
a surprise to me
since the world slips
further
into decline
every passing day









From the anthology, poet Nathaniel Tarn. He was born in Paris in 1928, one of the older contributors to the anthology. He grew up in France and Belgium,established himself as a poet and editor in the U.K., then moved permanently to the United States in 1967. He attended Cambridge, the Sorbonne, and the London School of Economics, with studies in anthropology and Asian cultures. With twined careers he has published as an scholarly studies as an anthropologist and, as a poet, 35 books and chapbooks.











Recollections of Being

Cloud around tree outside window, in
which, at sudden motion of the mind,
all is contained again. Not to be here -
but there, in a cloud, and to be there
as being here of which, in other wise,
there is no conception.  Birds, joyed at
feeder, raven within my satiation,
each one his one and only mask, and yet
also all others' being and my own. tree's
self at home in cloud, cloud in high sky,
to furthest worlds,  all single dwelling
of this unity. Forgotten now forgetting, no
more the absent-minded in full preoccupation
with the ten thousand things, each separate,
each needing its own space and unique memory.
Years seem to have gone by in this forgetting.
Do thousand lives have to be wasted now
to sharpen this one life? But all the lives
return again into the picture as sun wills me
to wither down to a last flare of love.Day
darkens. The oldsome window overglows my birds.















A morning sketchbook.














morning in the city

young woman at the diner,
round face, dark hair in a topknot
now unattractive

chewing like a cow
in pasture

~~~

homeless
guy
thin,craggy face,
black eyebrows like dark clouds
over rugged terrain
pushes
an over-loaded grocery chart
so much stuff
indicating
a rich man on the street

on a part of the sidewalk
where a driveway
used to be, a slant to the street,
almost loses his cart, talking to himself
like he usually does, just
louder

going on
another day of going
on...

~~~

old man
stoop-shoulder
under  gray sweater
with the broken English
of an  educated man from
somewhere else

well-off, a retiree among the yuppies,
a chess player, stops in looking
for someone to play

too early

~~~

middle-aged couple,
he,  bald with a fringe of gray
above his ears, pocket protector
full of mechanical  pencils,
a bookkeeper, (my guess), maybe
a CPA, she, Saturday fashionable,
probably works at one of the expensive
shops down the street  at the Pearl, a fashionable
job just to get out of the house

old-fashioned people
sharing a New York  Times on the patio,
he with a dark  roast, she with espresso,
tiny cup, sipping

~~~

a neighborhood of new urban  professionals

bike riders with  Star Trek
helmets, pretty girls,there's one
on their morning  run,
green shorts and
red shoes
a young man running
pushing a baby
carriage
a young man walking
his do, frisky black lab,
dancing on the leash,
young man
morning dance with his dog
on a leash
another couple, young man
and woman, walking their dog,
short-legged bulldog, belly brushing
the street as they cross,
no dancing
there...

~~~

my dog in the car
sticks  her  head out the window
and barks at every
passing
dog

we have a staring contest

I win

she withdraws from the window
and barks mysteriously
from inside
the car

equally effective
as none of the passing dogs
make any attempt to
attack me

~~~

bus going downtown,
nearly empty, too early
for tourist, too late for hotel
maids and valet-parkers

~~~

the river runs
early and late, water taxis
make their  turn-around at  the Pearl,
a few early-birds with cameras
primed, picture the water
falls

here on land
the  sight-seeing bus
passes on its regular route

a single man and woman
on the upper deck wrapped tight

mistook the sunshine
for spring

~~~

day's first fire truck
passes screaming

and ambulance and a police  car
follow
screams multiply

~~~

morning  in the city








I have a couple of books by Arthur Sze so he appears regularly here at "Here and Now." In this instance, his poem is from a number included in the anthology.

He is a second generation Chinese-American. He attended the University of California at Berkeley where he studied classical Chinese literature.









In the Living Room

I turn this green hexagonal tile with
a blue dragonfly, but what is it I am turning?
The vertical scroll on the far wall

has seven characters that roughly translate,
"The sun's reflection on the Yangtze river
in ten thousand miles of gold." A Japanese

calligrapher drew these Chinese characters
in the 1890s, but who knows the circumstances
of the event? I graze the crackled paper,

recognize a moment ready to scrape into flame;
gaze at ceiling beams from Las Trampas,
at  Penasco floorboards softened with lye.

Along the wall on a pedestal, a gold-leafed
male and female figure join in sexual embrace.
Hours earlier, my hands on your hips,

your breasts brushed my chest. I close
my eyes, feel how in the circumference
of a circle the beginning and end have no end.













Men, what pigs we are. This another from Always to the Light.

















 what we do until we can think about sex again

I was working
away
on my poem
for the day
when
she walked
in, about five-
four, long dark
hair, long, long,
hair hanging
almost to the
beginning curve
of her butt -
and a very nice
butt it is as I notice
as she passes -
tight white dress,
short, about mid-
thigh and did I
mention
tight
so tight
I can see
indentations
of the freckles
on her rear,
yes,  that same
rear end, the
very same
slightly above
which
hangs her dark
straight hair

I know
it is a moment
in her  life
when every man
she passes
has to stop
and breath
deep, lost
temporarily in the
momentary
fantasies that
male nature
produces
at even the
slightest
provocation,
the natural
horniness
of the human
male, firing
on all eight
cylinders, the
secret of our
rise from the
brutishness
from which
we came, the
lingering imp
of that brute
that hides behind
all our best
intentions
and will not
leave us
until the day
we die

I don't think
women
get this about
us, rational
beings that
they are, they
view life
as an entirety,
sex a part
of that whole
thing called
life and living -
while me see life
as what you
do to kill
time
until you can
think about sex
again

like me
this morning -
I could have
written a poem
deep in meaning
and purpose,
in fact, I  really
meant to do
just that
but
one young woman
in a tight dress
with a well-shaped
rear twitching
when she walked
and long hair
and legs
up to, well
you know where
walks past me
and I end up with
this








Last this week from the North American Buddhist anthology, here's a poem by Tsering Wangmo Dhompa.

Born on a train in 1969 halfway between Delhi and Chandigarh, she grew up in Dharamsala where her mother served as an elected member of the Tibetan Government-in exile. She attended boarding school in northern India and completed a Bachelor and a Master's degrees in English Literature at Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University. She worked as a feature writer for magazines in New Delhi for a year, then came to the United States where she earned a Master's Degree in Professional Writing from the University of Massachusetts and an MFA in Creative Writing at San Francisco State. For the past six years she has worked with the American Himalayan Foundation in San Francisco, providing humanitarian aide to people in Nepal and Tibet and to Tibetan refugees in India.








Sun Storm

Like brides behind veils, my people peep from drawn curtains and
feel the air with their fingers. They do not see any use for heat and
are not hospitable to it. Electric fans focus on are shoulder blades
and erect nipples.

Mosquitoes persist. Hands do not more fast enough.

On arrival, my people were instructed to throw away their black
clothes, the taught to distract the sun. In crisp white pajamas and
khaki shirts, they walked the camp till it paled to a canvas of
gathering spirits.

Night let them to the edge of the stream. Feet in water, they
talked about what they had left to lose.

Some afternoons, old stories were translated into Tibetan.
You are blessed, strangers said. God has delivered you. Such is his
bountiful nature.

Sparrows tattooed the air. Prayer beads clicked as mantas
circulated above the parable of a son who erred and was forgiven.
The story teller's lips bent with crystals of sweat.

Jesus loves you. For years, F thought Jesus was the president of a
country. He thought he was a rich old man.

He told one-story-telling woman she was wrong. Jesus had nothing
to do with it. It was all fate.


How Thubten Sang His Songs

You are adapted to speeches of silence, speak he said, speak.

Magpies shuffled in the neighborhood as the world opened noisily.
Empty tongues are so heavy, I said. What do you know of life, you
who live in a cave.

Someone was getting married next  door. A woman's giggle pierced
the room. The world outside could not be kept out.

He summoned a milkman from the street. What causes you grief?
Milk, said the man, milk.

He said to know where I was, I need to know where I came from.
I could only hear one word at a time.

When I am with people, I am in love with people. When I am
alone, I am alone.

What do you see in a cave when there is no light?

Shadows burn.

Fire.

Fire.













 Here's the last of my old poems for the week,  like the rest, take from my eBook Always to the Light.















who knew

I know
what this poem means
and so do you

but it would be
so great
if we could get together
some rainy afternoon
in a coffeehouse
on a tree-lined boulevard
in a quiet neighborhood
and talk
and
talk
until you understood
what I wrote
and I knew what
you read













Last for the  week, leaving quietly.
















a no-drama day

Monday morning fog,
the real stuff, not the usual
first day of the week brain fog...

the creek clouded hip deep,
and early spring morning,
damp  air from the coast slipping
wetly into cool from the north

the sodden 60 degree mor4ning
will burn under early sun into a crisp
80 degrees...

the peach tree in the still dim morning
already budding out with new leaves,
though not yet for the trees
lining the creek that in a week
or two will provide privacy for
for my afternoon sun-soaking

the muted winter sun will have
passed it's time,the fierce summer sun
waiting its turn

but not yet,
for a few weeks it will  be
the in-between time when,
if there had been weather in the
Garden it would have been this in-
between kind,like the Garden's
own transition the brief passage
between the good in us and the
sinner waiting for its day...

but enough...

it's a day off from writing,
a weed-pulling day, time to saw
some of the rotted fence boards
piled in the back corner into
chiminea sized lengths
for burning...

a day for an afternoon
nap on the patio
the feral cat slipping round
about between my
legs
while Bella watches quietly
from inside, she like me, satisfied
with a no-drama
day







As usual, everything belongs to who made it. You're welcome to use my stuff, just, if you do, give appropriate credit to "Here and Now" and to me

Also as usual, I am Allen Itz owner and producer of this blog, and diligent seller of books, specifically these and specifically here:

 

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBookstore, Sony eBookstore, Copia, Garner's, Baker & Taylor, eSentral, Scribd, Oyster, Flipkart, Ciando and Kobo (and, through Kobo,  brick and mortar retail booksellers all across America and abroad)




Poetry

New Days & New Ways


Places and Spaces
 




Always to the Light






Goes Around Comes Around




Pushing Clouds Against the Wind





And, for those print-bent, available at Amazon and select coffeehouses in San Antonio




Seven Beats a Second






Fiction


Sonyador - The Dreamer








                                                            
  Peace in Our Time






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