Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Mind Wanting More

Only a beige slat of sun

above the horizon, like a shade pulled

not quite down. Otherwise,

clouds. Sea rippled here and

there. Birds reluctant to fly.

The mind wants a shaft of sun to

stir the grey porridge of clouds,

an osprey to stitch sea to sky

with its barred wings, some dramatic

music: a symphony, perhaps

a Chinese gong.

But the mind always

wants more than it has --

one more bright day of sun,

one more clear night in bed

with the moon; one more hour

to get the words right; one

more chance for the heart in hiding

to emerge from its thicket

in dried grasses -- as if this quiet day

with its tentative light weren't enough,

as if joy weren't strewn all around.

~ Holly Hughes ~

(America Zen A Gathering of Poets)

Sunday, April 24, 2005

First Days of Spring - the Sky

By Ryokan
(1758 - 1831)

English version by Stephen Mitchell

First days of spring -- the sky
is bright blue, the sun huge and warm.
Everything's turning green.
Carrying my monk's bowl, I walk to the village
to beg for my daily meal.
The children spot me at the temple gate
and happily crowd around,
dragging to my arms till I stop.
I put my bowl on a white rock,
hang my bag on a branch.
First we braid grasses and play tug-of-war,
then we take turns singing and keeping a kick-ball in the air:
I kick the ball and they sing, they kick and I sing.
Time is forgotten, the hours fly.
People passing by point at me and laugh:
"Why are you acting like such a fool?"
I nod my head and don't answer.
I could say something, but why?
Do you want to know what's in my heart?
From the beginning of time: just this! just this!

Friday, April 22, 2005

The Fools

The moment of your work is unbelievable
When seen through their dogmatic eyes
For they can neither fathom the depth of your focus
Nor measure the strength of your faith
And determination

To them
You are impossible


To them
You do not exist
Unless they need the impossible performed

In which case

They relent to your mastery
For reasons they have yet to appreciate
Let alone accept or declare

They are the blind leading the blind
Through the darkness of illusion
Hiding in vestments
And buildings under bell towers
Fashioned and constructed centuries ago
To house and protect their traditions
And face saving reasons
For being the fools they are

John Christopher

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

National Association for Poetry Therapy

Members' pages

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Streams, Strawberries And Apple Trees

The drifter
Not driven by compulsion
But fear of community
Camps by the wayside
In an orchard that ripples with streams
Strawberries and apple trees.
He picks from the fruit,
Drinks from the water
Then lays his head down
Where the business of small life stinks.
And when he sleeps
Mosquitoes suck from his flesh,
Flies blow with his breath
And brown rabbits eat
His last morsel of bread.
Yet the drifter,
Wilted from establishment
Fellowships with nature
While he dreams of streams,
And apple trees.

©--Christina Cowling