Sunday, November 13, 2011

bound on the wheel of an endless conversation

We were bound on the wheel of an endless conversation.
Inside this shell, a tide waiting for someone to enter.
A monologue waiting for you to interrupt it.
A man wading into the surf. The dialogue of the rock with the breaker.
The wave changed instantly by the rock; the rock changed by the wave over and over.
The dialogue that lasts all night or a whole lifetime.
A conversation of sounds melting constantly into rhythms.
A shell waiting for you to listen.
A tide that ebbs and flows against a deserted continent.
A cycle whose rhythm begins to change the meaning of words.
A wheel of blinding waves of light, the spokes pulsing out from
where we hang together in a turning of an endless
The meaning that searches for its word like a hermit crab.
A monologue that waits for one listener.
An ear filled with one sound only.
A shell penetrated by meaning.
~Adrienne Rich

Sunday, September 11, 2011

seven years, written in 2008

seven years

This year will be seven years on September 11th
Not as momentous as five was
As fresh as one
As strangely distant as two

I won’t re-fan the flames
Spark the ferocious burning memory
Or even blame the clearly incompetent military strategies of our
Leaders proved liars and thieves
When I think back, I remember the days, one by one
And I go back, thinking about seven

I found out there was life in my womb
on the seventh of April
and he was born on the seventh of December
in the year 2005, they tell me,
but in the Mexica calendar
it was year seven Toxtli, rabbit
and day seven Atl, water
and so the number seven has always been special to my son
so to me too

and when i crawl into the women’s new moon lodge,
first we bring in the seven stones, for the seven directions,
north, south, east, west, above, below, within,
and this opens the door for much more

I remember the days, step by step
my walk to work with a charcoal gray cloud
rising through the Brooklyn air
and me, without TV,
imagining a bad factory fire in my borough
I heard the news from a human being
as we all scrambled around our social service agency in Bed Stuy
then walked our ways home through the static streets

I wandered in, then out of my 3rd floor brownstone apartment,
onto the street, seeking human contact
I walked miles, to the park in Fort Green
Where over the billboard of Foxy Brown, we
all we strangers, with dogs, babies, skateboards, journals,
sat to see the sun set through the still swirling smoke
we now knew was ash
and no one ran off to do something
like the usual city strangers
we just sat, seven years ago

Activist and author Jeremy Glick,
had his mic turned off on Bill O’Reilly’s show,
after being told repeatedly to “shut up”
When he calmly defended his anti-war stance
though his father, working for Port Authority, died in the attacks

The empath who had to leave the city
After hearing all the wailing hearts
as she walked past peoples’ homes in Manhattan

so when the seventh time around hits us
I’ll remember the monumental degradation
no longer shoved in my face by TV news
feeding numbed consumers like strip malls
the political process investigations and
secret detentions that were left behind
by the newer horrors of war
I’ll remember to vote Democrat, and pray
and do my best to remember the people and stories
behind the massive cliché.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Will the real Wonder Woman please stand up?

wonder woman

she can barely disguise herself as wonder woman with a cog job
she can rise early and stay up, wringing the midnight oil hours of their juicy flow
she can daily grind social good, multiple arts, and a burning activist spark
she can amuse and confuse with confounding tangents of inquiry
she can constantly percolate a new idiosyncrasy
she can do it all with a foxy muse’s deep wet eyes and sinuous shape
she can do it all with a zip and not a wink of mortal quiet time

zippity hooray, she-ra rises today
all this she can, all this she can, all this she can
without stop; all this she can, all this she can,
without stop; all this she can,
without stop; all this she can,
without what? STOP!

A tremulous virus made a run of her, crown to sole
Sick, a circus tent, with skin stretched pole to pole
Ambitions hanging high from trapeze swings
Altruistic contortionist rolling around in circles
Imagination in unrest, stripping down to rhinestones to
Swan dive into a tin tub, she shivered
at the smoke-and-mirrors whirlwind of pursuits which
Left no room for her stuff
A fake-out which began way back when

Sitting in a puddle of imagination
A lil girlchild looked up and saw that someone would stay cuz
she can save the poor and do laundry
she can trudge through mud still swinging sexy
she can stand spine strong and still melt to his knee

This lil girlchild woke up from a dusty dream-path
And scrambled to look for alla her stuff
Elbow corners, navel alcoves, where mosquitoes hide behind the knees
Under the tongue, behind her pride,
And down there where she knew she had new lips to speak
She gave herself a real down-up-down
And found her stuff all there

Throw it off and roll it down
she can save the day
breathing in the mundane
To wonder
And wonder
And wonder
Curious about the worlds inside a woman’s tides
Supported, held and freed
she can
just be
A wonder under her skin

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Peace is every step

Thich Nhat Hanh 

Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts.

In true dialogue, both sides are willing to change.

The practice of peace and reconciliation is one of the most vital and artistic of human actions.

We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

Le Petit Prince

What comes up has been so raw, so personal, so sensitive... I haven't wanted to write about it here, to protect myself from overexposure, from putting my process out there too much, and also to extend that respect to other people involved. 

Yesterday as I ran open-armed into these thoughts from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the author of The Little Prince, I realized how much I continue to be inspired so deeply as I surf these incredible waves of high highs and low lows, and how this inspiration helps animate me to "take a step. Then another step." I once again give thanks for that inspiration.

Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.

Love does not cause suffering: what causes it is the sense of ownership, which is love's opposite.

Each man carries within him the soul of a poet who died young.

What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step.

A pile of rocks ceases to be a rock when somebody contemplates it with the idea of a cathedral in mind.

The machine does not isolate us from the great problems of nature but plunges us more deeply into them.

If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea. 

Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

day two of my 33rd revolution round the sun

Day one brought death and rebirth.
Day two welcomed in the truest rhythms.

Practically speaking, a life that is vowed to simplicity, appropriate boldness, good humor, gratitude, unstinting work and play, and lots of walking brings us close to the actual existing world and its wholeness. ~ Gary Snyder

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

music muse

The darkness of his fire
emerges from the core, out of the void
He blazes deep down the roots
detonating through the crown
engulfing stray thoughts
and ideas for feeble verse
igniting straight up, moving through
undulating rivers of blood and
airy leaps of synapses
reconnecting luminous whispers

Abundant recollections teeming
in the lustrous pools of
imagination that bend space
part open the veils of time
welcome in ancient truths
again brought in through the egress
on the edge of what’s been alleged
and freshly understood again

His bass strings pull away from their source
opening cathedrals of ample air
His drumming binds my heartbeats
in polyrhythmic harmony,
a dissonant crash then dive into the puddle
lifting out strands of swirling wine winds
golden blinding air bursts into steam
breathed up mind’s deepest pathways
down through eclipsing masses

His voice sinks down the apple’s core
bricolage of the pieces pulled apart
dust devil of sun’s desire
gathers the lingering melodies
evocative bass lines
perpetual rhythms
into a brewing center which
opens to reveal
inner knowing
not sensed

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I woke up with 'Love left the room' hanging around my mind

Love left the room
We missed it
Saw his shell still sitting there
and thought he was inside
Felt his children running around
and mistook them for him
in the lightning flashes of their eyes

Love left the room
Staying embedded in her devotees
but long gone from their daily temples
She submerged out of form

Love left the room
Became slowly apparent
in his absence
After dragging afternoons
saturated in ironic sunlight
cut into empty wintry nights,
one frosty back curled up against another

Love left the room
Her presence dissipated into focus
on what those hearts held
Running with the children
Profound and spacious in the mountains
Open to the river’s harmony
And that one union
slipped out the door

Friday, April 8, 2011

From an Atlas of the Difficult World ~ Adrienne Rich

I know you are reading this poem
late, before leaving your office
of the one intense yellow lamp-spot and the darkening window
in the lassitude of a building faded to quiet
long after rush-hour.  I know you are reading this poem
standing up in a bookstore far from the ocean
on a grey day of early spring, faint flakes driven
across the plains' enormous spaces around you.
I know you are reading this poem
in a room where too much has happened for you to bear
where the bedclothes lie in stagnant coils on the bed
and the open valise speaks of flight
but you cannot leave yet.  I know you are reading this poem
as the underground train loses momentum and before running
up the stairs
toward a new kind of love
your life has never allowed.
I know you are reading this poem by the light
of the television screen where soundless images jerk and slide
while you wait for the newscast from the intifada.
I know you are reading this poem in a waiting-room
of eyes met and unmeeting, of identity with strangers.
I know you are reading this poem by fluorescent light
in the boredom and fatigue of the young who are counted out,
count themselves out, at too early an age.  I know
you are reading this poem through your failing sight, the thick
lens enlarging these letters beyond all meaning yet you read on
because even the alphabet is precious.
I know you are reading this poem as you pace beside the stove
warming milk, a crying child on your shoulder, a book in your
because life is short and you too are thirsty.
I know you are reading this poem which is not in your language
guessing at some words while others keep you reading
and I want to know which words they are.
I know you are reading this poem listening for something, torn
between bitterness and hope
turning back once again to the task you cannot refuse.
I know you are reading this poem because there is nothing else
left to read
there where you have landed, stripped as you are.

Thursday, April 7, 2011



Before Eve’s dawn of an era on Gaia
Lilith and Adam formed the roots of our walks,
together out of the mud
hardened into one love’s dream of life,
relinquishing whole power to hierarchy,
they sat out the dance of balance

The old ones dug and worked and formed it
The clay pots, heavy holding vessels ready to contain
Walking among those who feel
profound, solid, unmoving certainty down in the bones         
The container is open only where it’s open,
and moved with care it won’t crack or shatter
Respect its form or it resists all movement

The humans formed the mud back into
Goopy gods and goddesses
deep damp Venuses,
receiving branches and rocks and limbs,
anything that falls in
A softer warmer quicksand
shoving your face into the earth,
releasing it to breathe
then back in, through the roots’ bottoms
to the fiery core

Here awakened strands of
alive adobe emanate flexible from every pore,
breathing softly in your ear with the tides of earth’s waters,
dancing with creatures’ feet,
tickling an angled wing
Embracing fallen trees and
pooling in the leaves
Sliding down rock mudfalls
moving heartbeats through arroyos
opening bubbles of air in the rapids
basking in the sun to a more solid stillness
perfectly ecstatic constantly changing forms and
thriving with aliveness

Still in form,
Still moist
Pure solid and still yielding
Building an ever-moving morphing home
Refreshing form in each moment
into a whole