Saturday, April 30, 2005
The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.
"Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong."
--Lao-Tzu (600 B.C.)
Friday, April 29, 2005
"A human being is a part of the whole, called by us "Universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security."
--Albert Einstein, quoted in H Eves Mathematical Circles Adieu (Boston 1977).
"Man's mind once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimension."
--Oliver Wendell Holmes
Thursday, April 28, 2005
smile upon the world
fancy yourself a tulip
wedding songs beckon
Spring longs to marry your soul
accept Her hand gladly
"A little madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King."
"Now Nature hangs her mantle green
On every blooming tree,
And spreads her sheets o' daisies white
Out o'er the grassy lea."
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
By Don & Mary
but never shall we forget her.
We still see her everywhere--
she used to be.
Thirteen years she was there for us,
at times in ways we didn't realize.
Mary's lap will have a heavy empty spot,
where Murphy used to sleep every evening.
My office will be painfully quiet,
without her gentle purr in the background.
Cats grow on you,
like Spring sunshine grows on budding flowers.
Murphy will always be--
a perfectly cloudness day in our imagination.
When life becomes harder than death,
we must go, even when we don't want to.
It was Murphy's time--
to be re-united with Holly, her sister,
and another sun-kissed flower in our lives.
Gentle eyes that see so much,
paws that have the quiet touch,
Purrs to signal "all is well"
and show more love than words could tell.
Graceful movements touched with pride,
a calming presence by our side
A friendship that takes time to grow
Small wonder why we love them so.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
spirits long for love
in love is hope eternal
seek what lasts within
"He who is filled with love is filled with God himself."
"Every calling is great when greatly pursued."
--Oliver Wendell Holmes
Monday, April 25, 2005
from beneath the snow
life leaps into out-stretched arms
hug the morning sun
"The Bible has noble poetry in it... and some good morals and a wealth of obscenity, and upwards of a thousand lies."
"As the poet said, 'Only God can make a tree' -- probably because it's so hard to figure out how to get the bark on."
Sunday, April 24, 2005
By Don Iannone
As I peer out my office window
on this Sunday morning,
and watch heavy snow--
push fragile tree limbs, and
near-ripe tulips to the ground,
the metaphysics of journalism appears
a worthy subject to distract the mind
from its Springtime solar obsessions.
I think I shall shave my head in rebellion.
late April snowfall
whiteness when there should be green
white on green beauty
To understand the present
with its full, rich significance,
the mind must free itself
from the habit
of self-protecting acquisition;
when it is utterly naked,
then there is immortality.
"Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children."
By Ajahn Chah
Do everything with a mind
that lets go.
Don't accept praise or gain
or anything else.
If you let go a little you will have a
if you let go a lot you will have
a lot of peace;
if you let go completely you will have
Saturday, April 23, 2005
"Leadership is action, not position."
--Donald H. McGannon
"The only test of leadership is that somebody follows."
words miss reality
no matter how hard they try
see beyond your words
"Happiness is having a scratch for every itch."
Friday, April 22, 2005
the garden beckons
with grace step into beauty
life meets us there
The only problem
with Haiku is that you just
get started and then
“If Galileo had said in verse that the world moved, the inquisition might have let him alone. “
“Poetry is the language in which man explores his own amazement. “
Thursday, April 21, 2005
hold onto nothing
allow the moment to grow
the future finds you
exist in the absence of time
there you always are
"Books are the bees which carry the quickening pollen from one to another mind."
--James Russell Lowell
"I imagine that yes is the only living thing."
--e. e. cummings
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
sun behind cloud drifts
look beyond what you can see
the light will follow
life's water imagines you
look still deeper
"Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason."
"Poetry should... should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance."
"Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash."
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
By Jane Kenyon
There’s just no accounting for happiness,
or the way it turns up like a prodigal
who comes back to the dust at your feet
having squandered a fortune far away.
And how can you not forgive?
You make a feast in honor of what
was lost, and take from its place the finest
garment, which you saved for an occasion
you could not imagine, and you weep night and day
to know that you were not abandoned,
that happiness saved its most extreme form
for you alone.
No, happiness is the uncle you never
knew about, who flies a single-engine plane
onto the grassy landing strip, hitchhikes
into town, and inquires at every door
until he finds you asleep midafternoon
as you so often are during the unmerciful
hours of your despair.
It comes to the monk in his cell.
It comes to the woman sweeping the street
with a birch broom, to the child
whose mother has passed out from drink.
It comes to the lover, to the dog chewing
a sock, to the pusher, to the basketmaker,
and to the clerk stacking cans of carrots
in the night.
It even comes to the boulder
in the perpetual shade of pine barrens,
to rain falling on the open sea,
to the wineglass, weary of holding wine.
"Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage."
"I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well."
Monday, April 18, 2005
--Poet Robert Bly
"The temple bell stops but I still hear the sound coming out of the flowers."
"Witness Tree is a testimony and a revelation of what Frost has managed to keep, through the happy and tragic years of his life. On the plus side is his passion for the passion that makes flowers bloom, trees scrape stars, and some people love each other. In his latest book, as in his first, Frost still goes for this heavenward earth-love as a horse goes for oats—see parts of his Come In, for instance. When he goes limpingly, as he does on many pages of his book, it is less because of his age than because he has come more & more to favor his worst poetical fault—his rascally independence, based on preternatural selfesteem. When full of this—and he is only occasionally entirely free of it—Frost writes like a wise man ensconced in a pickle jar."
Source: TIME Magazine, May 18, 1942
One for reflection...
''How the world is managed, and why it was created, I cannot tell; but it is no featherbed for the repose of sluggards." From the preface to the best edition of Manilius.
Sunday, April 17, 2005
"Poetry is not an expression of the party line. It's that time of night, lying in bed, thinking what you really think, making the private world public, that's what the poet does."
James Wright: Selected Poems
Edited by Robert Bly and Anne Wright
Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Wesleyan University Press
The new collection was released at the 25th Annual James Wright Poetry Festival in Martins Ferry Ohio. Annie Wright was so excited. It is a great collection with some fascinating commentary by both Robert Bly and Annie Wright. Mary and I were so glad to be there to be a part of the event.
"The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up."
"If you want to be happy, be."
Saturday, April 16, 2005
By James Wright
Twilight bounds softly out on the grass.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead.
At home once more,
They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
By James Wright
The moon drops one or two feathers into the fields.
The dark wheat listens.
There they are, the moon's young, trying
Between trees, a slender woman lifts up the lovely shadow
Of her face, and now she steps into the air, now she is gone
Wholly, into the air.
I stand alone by an elder tree, I do not dare breathe
The wheat leans back toward its own darkness,
And I lean toward mine.
"The essence of intelligence is skill in extracting meaning from everyday experience."
"If you study to remember, you will forget, but if you study to understand, you will remember."
Friday, April 15, 2005
By James A. Wright
Solemnly irritated by the turn
The cold air steals,
He puffs out his most fragile feathers,
His breast down,
And refuses to move.
If I were he,
I would not clamp my claws so stubbornly around
The skinny branch.
I would not keep my tiny glitter
Fixed over my beak, or return
The glare of the wind.
Too many Maytime snowfalls have taught me
The wisdom of hopelessness.
But the damned fool
Squats there as if he owned
The earth, bought and paid for.
Oh, I could advise him plenty
About his wings.
Give up, drift,
But his face is as battered
As Carmen Basilio's.
He never listens
We are here on earth to do good for others. What the others are here for, I don't know.
--W. H. Auden
"To live we must conquer incessantly, we must have the courage to be happy."
--Henri Frederic Amiel
Thursday, April 14, 2005
once sleeping wind chime
warm gentle breeze stirs my heart
sounds of love resonate
fire engine red sunset
my heart burns out of control
life's hills disappear
"Poetry is thoughts that breathe, and words that burn."
"Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance."
"A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What one can be, one must be."
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
but for this moment
little can our hearts grasp
hold onto the now
linger past sunrise
inhale her fleeting beauty
giving rise to hope all day
"Science is for those who learn; poetry, for those who know."
"At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet."
One from Cool Cleveland...
"Poetry is better for the brain and exercises the mind more than a novel, according to psychologists at Scotland's Dundee and St. Andrews universities. Their findings reveal that poetry guarantees more eye movement, which is associated with deeper thought. See story here and here."
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
only words on a page
thoughts chasing reality
poetry is born
sun drops on flowers
birds sing sweet morning love songs
spring day has begun
"Our plans miscarry because they have no aim."
"Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan."
--Norman Vincent Peale
Monday, April 11, 2005
home is everywhere
not just your street address
your heart leads you home
for those that observe
newness abounds in the garden
life is abundant
"We have no right to ask when sorrow comes, "Why did this happen to me?" unless we ask the same question for every moment of happiness that comes our way."
"Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional."
~M. Kathleen Casey
Sunday, April 10, 2005
"Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world."
~Virgil A. Kraft
I sing of brooks, of blossoms, birds, and bowers:
Of April, May, or June, and July flowers.
I sing of Maypoles, Hock-carts, wassails, wakes,
Of bridegrooms, brides, and of the bridal cakes.
--Robert Herrick, Hesperides, 1648
"Keep your faith in all beautiful things; in the sun when it is hidden, in the Spring when it is gone."
--Roy R. Gilson
By Robert Frost
The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You're one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
a cloud come over the sunlit arch,
And wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you're two months back in the middle of March.
Saturday, April 09, 2005
By Ted Kooser
Today, from a distance, I saw you
walking away, and without a sound
the glittering face of a glacier
slid into the sea. An ancient oak
fell in the Cumberlands, holding only
a handful of leaves, and an old woman
scattering corn to her chickens looked up
for an instant. At the other side
of the galaxy, a star thirty-five times
the size of our own sun exploded
and vanished, leaving a small green spot
on the astronomer's retina
as he stood on the great open dome
of my heart with no one to tell.
"Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can read."
"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear -- not absence of fear."
Friday, April 08, 2005
peeking through the barren trees
life’s horizons expand
"Life, according to Zen, ought to be lived as a bird flies through the air, or as a fish swims in the water."
"In Zen the important thing is to stop the course of the mind.”
"Art is frozen zen.”
--Reginald Horace Blyth
Thursday, April 07, 2005
simplify your life
live within peace's boundaries
meaning will emerge
By Mary Oliver
"Make of yourself a light "
said the Buddha,
before he died.
I think of this every morning
as the east begins
to tear off its many clouds
of darkness, to send up the first
signal - a white fan
streaked with pink and violet,
An old man, he lay down
between two sala trees,
and he might have said anything,
knowing it was his final hour.
The light burns upward,
it thickens and settles over the fields.
Around him, the villagers gathered
and stretched forward to listen.
Even before the sun itself
hangs, disattached, in the blue air,
I am touched everywhere
by its ocean of yellow waves.
No doubt he thought of everything
that had happened in his difficult life.
And then I feel the sun itself
as it blazes over the hills,
like a million flowers on fire-
clearly I'm not needed
yet I feel myself turning
into something of inexplicable value.
Slowly, beneath the branches,
he raised his head.
He looked into the faces of that frightened crowd.
"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it."
--W. C. Fields
"Greatness lies, not in being strong, but in the right using of strength; and strength is not used rightly when it serves only to carry a man above his fellows for his own solitary glory. He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own."
--Henry Ward Beecher
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
rising hope within myself
shine today with trust
"Vision is the art of seeing the invisible."
"Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens."
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
green moment in time
under the forest canopy
truth emerges as Spring
By Linda Pasten
When Bess, the landlord's black-eyed
daughter, waited for her highwayman
in the poem I learned by breathless
heart at twelve, it occurred to me
for the first time that my mild-eyed
mother Bess might have a life
all her own—a secret past
I couldn't enter, except in dreams.
That single sigh of a syllable
has passed like a keepsake
to this newest child, wrapped now
in the silence of sleep.
And in the dream I enter,
I could be holding my infant mother
in my arms: the same wide cheekbones,
the name indelible as a birthmark.
"There are no whole truths: all truths are half-truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil."
--Alfred North Whitehead
"Truth is generally the best vindication against slander."
Monday, April 04, 2005
The heart opens us
to see new things, and
altogether new ways of seeing--
The heart teaches us
to walk gently on this Earth.
To care about people--
not because we want something back,
but because they are all we have.
The heart teaches us
to live each moment fully.
For like snowflakes,
each is unique--
and special in its own right.
Live with great heart!
Have you ordered your copy of my new book, Stilling the Waters? Send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about it. Price: $12.95 for almost 150 poems.
love is what we are
it is everything we are
not just one aspect
"There is no such thing as a man willing to be honest that would be like a blind man willing to see."
--F. Scott Fitzgerald
"I am a big believer in the 'mirror test.' All that matters is if you can look in the mirror and honestly tell the person you see there, that you've done your best."
Sunday, April 03, 2005
To the extent that we have free will and we desire to live the life that was intended for us, I believe it is important to have a vision of what our life is all about.
Click here to download a vision statement that I recently developed for myself. Naturally, it takes poetic form, and it is designed as a daily meditation that reminds me of what I intend for my life on a daily basis.
"I think we may safely trust a good deal more than we do."
--Henry David Thoreau
"Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement."
Pope John Paul the Second passed on today--
to a better place,
even than the Vatican.
As a man, he led a very good life,
from everything I can tell,
and I'm not even a Catholic.
John Paul was a courageous man,
who traveled the world,
lifting others up to God.
He was a powerful man
because he was the Pope, but
so many people loved him so dearly.
Love is an even more powerful thing than the Pope.
I'm sure John Paul would say:
"Pass the word."
Saturday, April 02, 2005
...Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are
powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness,
that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be
brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God,
Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We are born to make manifest the
glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.
Source: Marianne Williamson, "A Return to Love"
snowflakes encircle us
they stage one last performance
spring is in the air
"In the face of death, we must accept life, and in the face of life, we must accept death. In either case, we must accept that life and death are parts of the same continuum."
Friday, April 01, 2005
in your life.
Allow love to be
your sunrise and sunset.
Freely share your love--
Accept others' love--
Cultivate, and bring
to all things--
in your life.
"To the poet, to the philosopher, to the saint, all things are friendly and sacred, all events profitable, all days holy, all men divine."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Because philosophy arises from awe, a philosopher is bound in his way to be a lover of myths and poetic fables. Poets and philosophers are alike in being big with wonder."
--Saint Thomas Aquinas