Poetry

More and more of mine, but most are poems by better writers that I’ve found essential. Fun Fact: All poems prefer being read aloud.

I know the way you can get
When you have not had a drink of Love:

Your face hardens,
Your sweet muscles cramp.
Children become concerned
About a strange look that appears in your eyes
Which even begins to worry your own mirror
And nose.

Squirrels and birds sense your sadness
And call an important conference in a tall tree.
They decide which secret code to chant
To help your mind and soul.

Even angels fear that brand of madness
That arrays itself against the world
And throws sharp stones and spears into
The innocent
And into one’s self.

O I know the way you can get
If you have not been drinking Love:

You might rip apart
Every sentence your friends and teachers say,
Looking for hidden clauses.

You might weigh every word on a scale
Like a dead fish.

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by Louis Jenkins.

Unlike flying or astral projection, walking through walls is a totally earth-related craft, but a lot more interesting than pot making or driftwood lamps. I got started at a picnic up in Bowstring in the northern part of the state. A fellow walked through a brick wall right there in the park. I said, ‘Say, I want to try that.’ Stone walls are best, then brick and wood. Wooden walls with fiberglass insulation and steel doors aren’t so good. They won’t hurt you. If your wall walking is done properly, both you and the wall are left intact. It is just that they aren’t pleasant somehow. The worst things are wire fences, maybe it’s the molecular structure of the alloy or just the amount of give in a fence, I don’t know, but I’ve torn my jacket and lost my hat in a lot of fences. The best approach to a wall is, first, two hands placed flat against the surface; it’s a matter of concentration and just the right pressure. You will feel the dry, cool inner wall with your fingers, then there is a moment of total darkness before you step through on the other side.

 

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From blossoms come
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the boy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward
signs painted Peaches.


From laden boughs, from hands,
from sweet fellowship in bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.


O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us this orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.


There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.

– Li Young Lee

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In a dream more real than waking,
we were athletes, running true
and dancing hard, till breath was short
and you breathed me and I breathed you
pressed together, holding tight,
the pressure built to a teapot boil, and

off we took! Away we flew!
Plucked and held by the Angel, Eros
flown at mad speeds, swerving through
the sleeping trees, and over
the fields of aster, balsam, thistle, rue*

Faster than suddenly, lifted UP
UP to the highest open-air
and UP over green hill,
we startled the wind, who softened,
and sighed to an evening prayer

all the town spread out below
all the lights, warm loving stars
face to face, our hair askew
our mouths, as one, agape, ajar, said:
God, I hope you see this too!

 

Hugh Miller

*Aster, Balsam, and Thistle plants are symbolically associated with great love, Rue is associated with regret.

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How about them Moose goosers, Ain’t they recluse?
Up in them boondocks, goosin’ them moose
Goosin’ them huge moose, goosin’ them tiny,
Goosin’ them meadow moose in they hiney!
Look at them Moose goosers, Ain’t they dumb?
Some use an umbrella, some use a thumb.
Them obtuse Moose goosers, sneakin’ through the woods,
pokin’ them snoozey moose in they goods,
How to be a Moose gooser? It’ll turn you puce;
Gitcher gooser loose, and rouse a drowsy moose!

-Mason Williams

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in this infinite blue-gray ocean of
moments that never were, and moments that never can be
ours
come to me, before the horizon takes you,

come to me in this beautifully flowered raft for the moment that is ours alone,
drink wine with me and close the never away outside, for now.
let us

love each other foolishly and fearlessly,
by the light of the other’s eyes, a graze of soft warm breath
on the cheek,
along the neck,
then tender kisses, deep kisses, and kisses on the smile.
our bodies merge, inside as inside can be,
it is impossible to say
who is farther inside the other
then everything, everything, shakes hard.

the scent of warm skin,
heads touching, hair mingled.
in the quiet,
a shared thought cradles us as one.

sleep close to me then, with your head on my shoulder
and my arm around yours,
we’ll rise and fall on soft waves, embracing…whispering until
the morning sky claims you and carries you away

no plan. no goal.
none of this to make the future
bend along the path of an old sad story that
we never remembered in quite the same way.
we’ll use our always to cut this glowing moment
out of the never.
forever.

 

Hugh Miller

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I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me; so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

 

Theodore Roethke, 1908 – 1963

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My love story is laden with unlikeliness, and met with disbelief
I have a mad true tale to tell you, of redeeming love as unlikely and essential as redemption itself
my love is not believable unless you can believe, nor provable unless you test

I want you to see my love for you as I do, as a blessed sea-change in my soul
as mysterious
and linked to God as every truly soulful thing is. It is grace unearned.
My love for you is the overthrowing of small good things for great ones,
My love for you is a revolution against dismal expectations, half hearts and half measures.

There is no controller, no governor of love, it pops like flowers through our tired sidewalks, where it will,
bright petals against gray.
Love is not a zero sum game of losers and winners but the approach to love’s door
is treacherous, as every wounded heart can attest.
There is no science of love, nor organized agencies of love, though some make the claim,
statistics cannot chart it, nor prediction find it, nor expert testimony confirm it.
Love is found not in safety, through exhaustive research, or any collective judgement pro or con,
Love is the end of shopping, of the hard bargain, of grudging and holding out, comparing for the best deal.
Love seems mad to those who do not, and a flat memory of could to those who can’t. Love is the dammed up river
in every human heart.

Love and the magic in it BECOMES when two hearts admit it,
a shared smile cuts an exit from emptiness and two pass through, as the gates to the garden move open,
love calls magic to exist, and you cannot know magic without it
love is the unforbidding of itself. The releasing, revealing, recognizing, and receiving of itself.
Love makes possible both flight, and the ascendant soul.
Love is the heart at last released outside to run and play like joyful dogs along the river trail
Love is restoration, the engine of forgiveness, and the place made ready for peace. The place where differences matter least.
Love is the gravity of life.

Love is the unreserved kiss, it is lust turned sacrament, the unshaming of Adam and Eve, the many economies of joy
love is the absurd, complete undeserved welcome of our truest self by its truest twin,
Love is what mirrors see in themselves.

 

 

 

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You are where you are going. When you remember where that was.
In the middle of life you found yourself in a dark wood, dazed and shaken,
circling slowly in the reeds, crashed in the ditch beside the road,
or stalled with a dead battery where some cruelty left you broken and alone.

And perhaps that’s where you dropped the map. Where love failed with a slammed door
and left you alone you on a sidewalk downtown, with a child holding your hand.
and from that day home wasn’t home, it was a hideout, a lean-to, a make do, a rented perch to hold
and protect the sacred half broken love that you gathered up gently and held in a blanket on your lap
Whispering “don’t worry love, I’ll be your home, home is where we are together”
as the wind shook the walls.

You remembered home, and knew it must still be somewhere
whole and golden, simple and safe, true and untouched
by the callous fist that you witnessed batter it coldly down.
On the hurried shores of every day – and through every night with and without sleep,
you and home called to each other across the dark, never finding the others hand.

But the map waits where you dropped it, and shows where you placed your mark and
Home comes home when two souls bless it with one true love
and two souls make one open heart,
and a single  forever
with a single YES
that outweighs
every maybe, and “for a while” in this world.

 

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the first thing you lose is the comfortable
story of how much time you have ahead
It’s clothing, a drape, wrapped around you,
Ripped away, you are a naked instead
 
existence is naked, past and future,
sky and earth, in the raw.
Aghast and shaken, you feel 
the unfairness of it all:
Cruel and cold beyond measure,
beyond measure because never before – have you had
nothing left at all,
 
and nothing raced across everything
unwinding at terrible speed.
 
A white-hot voice without a sound
filled the earth and shook the ground.
YOU WASTED YOUR TIME
YOU DID NOT LOVE
YOU WASTED YOUR TIME
YOU DID NOT LOVE ENOUGH
LOOK AT HOW YOU SHOULD HAVE LOVED
 
Four faces appeared inside my heart
four faces of the ones I love
The ones I love with all my heart
with each, shame shook me like a rag
and showed me who I should have been
and showed me what I should have done and
Every way I should have loved
those who were my few, and one.
I ached for them, despaired for them,
despaired and ached for me.
 
somewhere in here, it shifted and I began to see,
I saw that I wasn’t dying,
I saw that I had some time
but relief was shouldered to the side
by the burning truth that I now knew
from the moment that I thought I died
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In the morning before dawn, I know west is the direction of my feet. Soon it will be the direction where I don’t see the sun but the sun sees me, finger pointed at my back, never takes a break.I smell water everywhere but it’s useless, molecules under pebbles, if I could lift a square acre and tilt it toward a drinking glass would a teaspoon be a good guess? Or less? Too challenging for an ant to slake his thirst. What is smaller than an ant and needs water? I forget again. Remember yesterday? I panicked and tried to hide from the sun, and finding nothing to get in or behind, tried to run, a scarecrow late for work. Blisters down there somewhere still talking about it, I miss grass.Bad dad in back of my head reminds me today might be it, possibly tomorrow, definitely not much more than that. “I know, shut up” I say and all the little water molecules that were close enough to hear, quiver uncomfortably “don’t worry” I say gently”you’re safe from me, you little fuckers.”  The horror in the east clears his throat with the first noticeable light. “I’m going” I tell something, and rise up to the person position, my body feels like a bunch of badly tied strings, the knots are getting looser every day.

~

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I have stood on beaches and in forests eating solitude like beef stew,
I have smiled at parties with loneliness bones stuck in my throat,
I have turned from a friend parting as if to a better friend &
and I’ve dreaded goodbye and the descent to my own dark company.

what is it that is full when emptiness can fill us?
& what is empty when abundance leaves us starving?
what is this tide that rises and retreats in us?
what moon does it follow?

I have raced along the beach in twilight
to catch that tide and swim with it
avoiding the strewn once loved things
abandoned in the sand, denying that I am one of them
though I am here and alone

the ocean withdrew and left a desert here
I settle down in the bleak dunes and wait, my head full
of calling seabirds and crashing waves.

 

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“It may be that when we no longer know what to do,
we have come to our real work,
and when we no longer know which way to go,
we have begun our real journey.”

Wendell Berry

 

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There is a wolf in me . . . fangs pointed for tearing gashes . . . a red tongue for raw meat . . . and the hot lapping of blood—I keep this wolf because the wilderness gave it to me and the wilderness will not let it go.

There is a fox in me . . . a silver-gray fox . . . I sniff and guess . . . I pick things out of the wind and air . . . I nose in the dark night and take sleepers and eat them and hide the feathers . . . I circle and loop and double-cross.

There is a hog in me . . . a snout and a belly . . . a machinery for eating and grunting . . . a machinery for sleeping satisfied in the sun—I got this too from the wilderness and the wilderness will not let it go.

There is a fish in me . . . I know I came from salt-blue water-gates . . . I scurried with shoals of herring . . . I blew waterspouts with porpoises . . . before land was . . . before the water went down . . . before Noah . . . before the first chapter of Genesis.

There is a baboon in me . . . clambering-clawed . . . dog-faced . . . yawping a galoot’s hunger . . . hairy under the armpits . . . here are the hawk-eyed hankering men . . . here are the blonde and blue-eyed women . . . here they hide curled asleep waiting . . . ready to snarl and kill . . . ready to sing and give milk . . . waiting—I keep the baboon because the wilderness says so.

There is an eagle in me and a mockingbird . . . and the eagle flies among the Rocky Mountains of my dreams and fights among the Sierra crags of what I want . . . and the mockingbird warbles in the early forenoon before the dew is gone, warbles in the underbrush of my Chattanoogas of hope, gushes over the blue Ozark foothills of my wishes—And I got the eagle and the mockingbird from the wilderness.

O, I got a zoo, I got a menagerie, inside my ribs, under my bony head, under my red-valve heart—and I got something else: it is a man-child heart, a woman-child heart: it is a father and mother and lover: it came from God-Knows-Where: it is going to God-Knows-Where—For I am the keeper of the zoo: I say yes and no: I sing and kill and work: I am a pal of the world: I came from the wilderness.

 

Carl Sandburg

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The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

– GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS

(all poems are half asleep till you read them aloud, read this aloud to yourself and you will shiver with the beauty)

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pity this busy monster, manunkind,
not. Progress is a comfortable disease:
your victim (death and life safely beyond)
plays with the bigness of his littleness
— electrons deify one razorblade
into a mountainrange; lenses extend
unwish through curving wherewhen till unwish
returns on its unself.
A world of made
is not a world of born — pity poor flesh
and trees, poor stars and stones, but never this
fine specimen of hypermagical
ultraomnipotence. We doctors know
a hopeless case if — listen: there’s a hell
of a good universe next door; let’s go

— e. e. cummings

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Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-the one who the one who has flung herself out of the grass, the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down –
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver

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Even as we try
to behave as
decently as little ministers
ought to:

We ought to
salute the rippling black
pirate flag
snapping in the windy sky within us.

Even as we try
to behave as
decently as the Sunday school teachers
ought to:

We ought to
enjoy the Sunshine
on the leather brown skin of our pirate souls
and the way it glitters off our
bone notched blade.

Hugh Miller

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When your father dies, say the Irish,
you lose your umbrella against bad weather.
May his sun be your light, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the Welsh,
you sink a foot deeper into the earth.
May you inherit his light, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the Canadians,
you run out of excuses.
May you inherit his sun, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the French,
you become your own father.
May you stand up in his light, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the Indians,
he comes back as the thunder.
May you inherit his light, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the Russians,
he takes your childhood with him.
May you inherit his light, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the English,
you join his club you vowed you wouldn’t.
May you inherit his sun, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the Armenians,
your sun shifts forever.
And you walk in his light.


~ Diana Der-Hovanessian ~

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(Read aloud, even if under your breath)

Glory be to God for dappled things –
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle, and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

 

 

 

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There is a deep cool to this city
like the chill underside of a large rock lifted from the soil.
And Spring fights for every moment of warm sunshine pried from the hands of Winter.
There is a chill in the bones of this deep water town, crowned with western blue skies and a storm to the east, the color of navy hulls and sorrow.
There is a wind across this tall forest town that sets the daisies and the pine trees to nodding their heads in agreement.

 

Hugh Miller

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by Wendell Berry
(and here we are, D)

I.

I dream of you walking at night along the streams
of the country of my birth, warm blooms and the nightsongs
of birds opening around you as you walk.
You are holding in your body the dark seed of my sleep.

II.

This comes after silence. Was it something I said
that bound me to you, some mere promise
or, worse, the fear of loneliness and death?
A man lost in the woods in the dark, I stood
still and said nothing. And then there rose in me,
like the earth’s empowering brew rising
in root and branch, the words of a dream of you
I did not know I had dreamed. I was a wanderer
who feels the solace of his native land
under his feet again and moving in his blood.
I went on, blind and faithful. Where I stepped
my track was there to steady me. It was no abyss
that lay before me, but only the level ground.

III.

Sometimes our life reminds me
of a forest in which there is a graceful clearing
and in that opening a house,
an orchard and garden,
comfortable shades, and flowers
red and yellow in the sun, a pattern
made in the light for the light to return to.
The forest is mostly dark, its ways
to be made anew day after day, the dark
richer than the light and more blessed,
provided we stay brave
enough to keep on going in.

IV.

How many times have I come to you out of my head
with joy, if ever a man was,
for to approach you I have given up the light
and all directions. I come to you
lost, wholly trusting as a man who goes
into the forest unarmed. It is as though I descend
slowly earthward out of the air. I rest in peace
in you, when I arrive at last.

V. Continue reading

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In the life I didn’t live with you I am not such a pain in the ass, and you are slower to anger. 

In the life I didn’t live with you, you didn’t find so many reasons to give up and I didn’t provide so many in the first place.

In the life I didn’t live with you we had more sex and accepted the imperfections calmly.

Partly as a result, in the life I didn’t live with you, we have two children. Yes, a boy and a girl.

And In the life I did not live with you, we are driving with them, through the forest to the sea.

Hugh Miller

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by Hugh Miller

At the peak of summer, the people here turn into bears
on the day we realize
that the blackberries are ripe

bicycles lie beside the bushes and cars are parked
next to sunny, vacant lots that usually nobody comes to visit

blackberry: the practical sister of the glamorous rose
a factory weaving its blue-black sweetness in a nest of cruel thorns
as if it hated being thought generous and didn’t want to be bothered
by fingers and beaks and mandibles reaching like jewel thieves for the dark gems

red berries gleam a warning sign “Stop, all I have is bitterness”
and resist greedy hands like proud virgins

but the purple ones, like little jam fingerprints among the thorns,
drunk on their own sugar,
cooked by sunshine,
& yearning to drop their seeds,
sigh with pleasure as
they tumble
into
your mouth.

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All of us need a perfect, imperfect thing
that completes the circuits of a life worth living:
Someone too short, or intemperate,
Someone a little chubby, who never puts away her socks

Someone who doesn’t talk to us often enough
or a little too often
perhaps someone slightly crazy, drunk or bitter…

who makes weird noises while sleeping
and ties their shoes strangely.

But without them, our whole story would droop, linger pointlessly for a while, and collapse into the swamp.

The perfect thing is the thing we couldn’t live without
because of the way that it slipped past the defensive perimeter,
domesticated us and became another word for Home before
we even knew what was happening.

 

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by David Budbill

Han Shan, that great and crazy, wonder-filled Chinese poet of a thousand years ago, said:
We’re just like bugs in a bowl. All day going around never leaving their bowl.
I say, That’s right! Every day climbing up
the steep sides, sliding back.
Over and over again. Around and around.
Up and back down.
Sit in the bottom of the bowl, head in your hands,
cry, moan, feel sorry for yourself.
Or. Look around. See your fellow bugs.
Walk around.
Say, Hey, how you doin’?
Say, Nice Bowl!

 


Poem: “Bugs in a Bowl,” by David Budbill, from Moment to Moment: Poems of a Mountain Recluse (Copper Canyon Press).

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Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that a spring was breaking
out in my heart.
I said: Along which secret aqueduct,
Oh water, are you coming to me,
water of a new life
that I have never drunk?

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that a fiery sun was giving
light inside my heart.
It was fiery because I felt
warmth as from a hearth,
and sun because it gave light
and brought tears to my eyes.

Last night as I slept,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that it was God I had
here inside my heart.

Antonio Machado

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You fell into life sideways, your parachute fouled in the airplane’s doorway.

Like a tossed coin, rotating slowly for nine months, you hung between life and death every moment of your journey; we hovered there with you, exhausted by hope.

You sailed from the unknown land in a fretful loving ship and drowned at the dock of the new world.

I am so sorry every day that I didn’t see your face, but it would have killed me. Your departure burns my eyes, it’s hard to do more than glance in your direction.

I am sorry we argued in front of you so much, I wish now that we had simply sung to you and told you stories but we were not strong enough…as you found out, life is hard. We never so much as touched your precious body and now I am puzzled like an abandoned dog, I run randomly, looking. We go again and again to the little floating dock where we said goodbye to you, like people hoping to learn of a change; hoping for a chance encounter.

We rise and fall, we watch the waves. the ghost of your future life telescopes out before me and against my will I fill it with pictures of what you might have found here.
I stand in the shadows gathering light for you; you who had only the glow of your little cave to tell you about the sun.

 

Hugh Miller – November 2010 

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I died as a mineral and became a plant,rumi2
I died as plant and rose to animal,
I died as animal and I was Man.
Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?
Yet once more I shall die as Man, to soar
With angels bless’d; but even from angelhood
I must pass on: all except God doth perish.
When I have sacrificed my angel-soul,
I shall become what no mind e’er conceived.
Oh, let me not exist! for Non-existence
Proclaims in organ tones,
To Him we shall return.

Rumi

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1.

In the kitchen, the colorful magic begins.
From red burners comes boiling water
and steam softens the air and clouds the light
tertiary colors rise like smoke in the clean glasses
to nail the vividness, a dash of vinegar
like a slap to the senses
as the eggs are lowered out of sight

2.

In the great vaulted room, the beautiful windows hide
the swelling sea of buds just outside
and the talk is of scourging, and nails through flesh
and a forsaken man
with gall and vinegar on his breath

3.

Great doors roll open and at last
the children burst across the cool grass
seeking sweetness, baskets held tight,
to gather the jewels hidden almost in plain sight.

Hugh Miller

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Membership is forbidden to anyone:Retro-Thinker-Mom-Image-GraphicsFairy

Who has inappropriate sexual fantasies or…experiences.
Who has been profoundly depressed or considered suicide.
Whose parents were broken in some way.
Who cheated on a mate or dreamed of doing it
Who has done the wrong sort of drugs or too many of the right kind.
Who has wished ruin on someone or behaved cruely,
or stolen something
or believed something crazy
or acted bananas from a broken heart.

Liars Welcome

 

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Why you need to have one
is not much more mysterious than
why you don’t say what you think
at the birth of an ugly baby.
Or, you’ve just made love 
and feel you’d rather have been
in a dark booth where your partner
was nodding, whispering yes, yes,
you’re brilliant. The secret life
begins early, is kept alive
by all that’s unpopular
in you, all that you know
a Baptist, say, or some other
accountant would object to.
It becomes what you’d most protect
if the government said you can protect
one thing, all else is ours.
When you write late at night
it’s like a small fire
in a clearing, it’s what
radiates and what can hurt
if you get too close to it.
It’s why your silence is a kind of truth.
Even when you speak to your best friend,
the one who’ll never betray you,
you always leave out one thing;
a secret life is that important.

 

– by Steven Dunn

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  1. Mrs. Jackson is traveling west by train to visit her sister. The distance of the trip is 417 miles and the
    train is averaging 37 MPH. For a distance of 30 miles the train slows to an average speed of 14 MPH. Is
    there a God?
  2. A rock falling at 32 feet/second/second for 16 seconds bounces off a trampoline which gives it an
    upward velocity of 16 feet/second. What is the difference between having lived and then died and
    simply never having lived?
  3. Water is dripping into a 2 gallon container at a rate of two ounces per/hour. With what units can we
    measure justice?
  4. The speed of light is 186,000 MPS. If a woman looks at a sunflower 30 feet away in a mirror she is
    holding 2 feet away from her body, where does love go when it’s gone?
  5. A person is walking down the street breathing with an average tidal air volume of 500 Mls each at a rate
    of 16 breaths per minute. How many do they have left?
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by Eleanor Lerman
 

Just when you think that you are

on the road to success and the

medications have calmed down

your wife, plus a big sale at

the food store means that you

can finally buy your cat a

decent meal—that’s when

you get the news that it’s time

to stare calamity in the face

 

And what a face: it comes

at you like a speeding pie

It has three eyes. It was created

by an overdose of nuclear

radiation. Its cunning knows

no bounds. Meaning, now

you are going to pay for something

you did in a past life, or didn’t

do or should have thought

about doing. If you even rated

a past life. If not, then these are

just the normal ups and downs

Which do you think is worse?

 

Anyway. A procession of ghosts

will carry your pencil box

down to the office from which

you will never be allowed

to retire. Lunch will be served,

but all you can expect is

a bag of blood and trans fat:

In other words, to rub it in,

even the cat will get a better deal

 

Meanwhile, the universe remains

an incomprehensible wheel of

grave attraction. Fish, swans,

and archers lie in each other’s

starry embrace while dark particles

have been driving by your house

all day in their neutrino cars,

in a hurry to do a job that will

never be revealed to us. And in

some versions of this story,

the cat has magical powers

Oh my God, you say. I had no idea

 

Well, now you do. In fact,

in some versions of this story,

beings of faith and light

are in the kitchen, dancing

with your wife. Then your

friends arrive, still lugging

around their own dilemmas,

hoping you will feed them

from the common pot, like

in the old days. And as tired

as you are, you think you can

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Hugh Miller

 

If everyone drove like me, every car would flow seamlessly through welcoming gaps of opportunity like the teeth of perfectly machined gears.

If everyone drove like me we would put away the cell phones and makeup, hamburgers, and Nintendos because when I was a child I drove like a child but when I became a man I drove away from childish things.

If everyone drove like me, the Tao would be present in every yield and in every pass. The Me listening to Bach would merge in harmony with the Me listening to death metal in a mashup but never a smash-up.

If everyone drove like me, a magic carpet race would replace the crunch at lunch or the drive at five. We would float together in harmony like leaves on the river, like blood cells in an artery.

If everyone drove like me, politeness and speed would blend in a pas de deux of platonic perfection where all are fast and none are rude: Behind every wheel, a philosopher king.

Beautiful justice would be metered out the perfect number of car lengths fore and aft, with order achieved innately as the orbits of the planets.

If everyone drove like me.

 

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