Saturday, April 30, 2005
"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).
Thursday, April 28, 2005
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
Monday, April 25, 2005
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.
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
Friday, April 22, 2005
Thursday, April 21, 2005
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
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.
Monday, April 18, 2005
"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
Sunday, April 17, 2005
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.
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.
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
Thursday, April 14, 2005
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
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
Monday, April 11, 2005
Sunday, April 10, 2005
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.
Friday, April 08, 2005
Thursday, April 07, 2005
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.
"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
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
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.
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.
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.
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"
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.