Poetry

Zen Poems

1
Quiet
Away
In it…

2
Water flows… streams, rivers.
Words fail- fall- against the grain.
World will thaw in the spring

3
I spoke “mountain” to the
mountain this morning, but
it didn’t recognize me.

4
Arrive from nowhere
Both here and also not here
Morning light dances
Across the water’s surface
-August 2012.

5
Before the river’s flow
Its sound penetrated the pine forest
Look into its illumined waters
The shadow of the mountain
-September 2012.

6
All things arrive in their own accord
And take their leave
A light rain falls
A river empties
Butterflies turn to falling leaves
Blowing snow reveals a well-worn path.
-November 2012.

7
The mysterious mixing of self and other
Both in fact and in metaphor
Is the mind unfolding
Is life’s essence broken open.
Thought reveals mind
Energy streams the self.
Images appear
And leave on their own accord.
Light illumines form
Darkness, the source of being.
-December 2012.

8
Silence unfolds
-January 2013.

9
Entirely useless, no one sees it.
-January 2013.

10
Alone
Each of us.
In our thought
-January 2013.

11
All things
Arrive and pass
As thought would have them

Beyond categories
Having never departed
Arrive at your original face

Mind-field
Wide and quiet
Jewels dance on a mountain lake.
-May 2013.

 

12

When I go to the mountain,
The voice is of the mountain.

When I go to the stream,
The voice is of the stream.

When I come to you
You are the voice, within me.

-2014

 

13
Beyond the ten thousand things, not a speck.
The shore arrives ceaselessly beneath your feet.
Listen beyond the water’s crisp crests to its source-
Have you missed it all this time?
-September 2014.

14
The temple bell struck.
I return many years later
From a mountain journey,
to catch the last sound
of its resonate voice.
-April 2015.

15
On the forest trail
The mountain illumines the body
Skin becomes non-distinct
Mind and butterfly – no difference
-May 2015.

16
The path to the mountain temple
opens in your secret room
-May 2015.

17
Self – in full possession
Embryonic to life.

Quiet self, is soft
In innocent inquisitive moments

No pretense
Water flows as water, in a water-filled stream.
-July 2015.

 

18

Beyond the ten thousand things, not a speck.
The shore arrives ceaselessly beneath your feet.
Listen beyond the water’s crisp crests to its source-
Enter there.
-March 2018

Bright field empties
The mountain pass is illuminated

A pine-bound bird calls
The stream’s source is silent.
-April 2018

 

On Shakuhachi

1
Shakuhachi chant, here
A knife hits a cutting board there
Sun sets and soft light illumines the Autumn house

2
Wouldn’t one wish well, the lone migratory bird whose path-breaking is uniquely timed, or whose flight bridged unseen land?
-November 2012.

3
There is a mountain in the score,
a cool breeze moves through the pine trees,
a creek gurgles across your fingers.
If we are sensitive to it, an intense quiet awaits us on the mountain trail.
Our playing should echo this no-sound, as a mountain rolling down a mountain.
-January 2013.

4
Bridging two realms | a single tone
-January 2013.

5
Silence
occurs
outside
music
-April 2013.

6
The vibrant morning air

Under the mountains most treasured rock face

Fills the iron flute

Old melodies, forgotten by everyone

Rest on the damp soil; Sink into boulders
-September 2013.

7
I rest in brief periods thought the day
In confidence that
This quiet knowing is shared
With the pines in their deepest night
Fresh and new each day
The river runs
Through the forest’s
Anticipatory air, damp, and mysterious
-April 2014.

Mountains

1
Blue hour blue jay
Beneath the purple mountain
preparing the shrine

2
Morning snow-capped peaks
Rushing waves under the clouds
Too soon turns to day

3
Mountain stands alert
Clouds gather around its top
Wait for the cool rain

4
Snow-tinged blue hour
Winds gust from the mountain peak
Blossoms of spring green

5
For a mountain, a moment is a long time
A flower pot recalls its creation
Thoughts and clouds come and go
Sit by the river, it will teach you
-Nambe, New Mexico. August 2012.

6
Those mountains walking-
Hiking on their forests’ trails
No one is sane there
-September 2011.

7
Fog and mist on the mountain peaks
A light spring rain falls, the sound gives form to the quiet morning
The smell of masala chai cooking fills the warm house
-April 2015.

Birds & Other Creatures

1
Lone bird flies eastward
Into the morning sunlight
Time to move back home

2
Before morning’s blue
First call from a pine-bound bird
Divides night from day

3
Flickers, blue jays, doves
Juniper, squirrels and finches
Live strongly, strongly

4
Coyote calls in a dream awake
Surrounded by thick night
I wait until I can’t hear it again
Before drifting back to sleep

5
Robin’s feathers
A subdued kimono
Old wooden fence

6
Coyote
Tugs at sleep
Nothing else
Stirs

7
Dusk finds its way
In the blue jay’s wing
Going home
-December 2014.

Night

1
Night, interior
Ocean beats against the glass
Settled inside, peace.

2
Stars over pine trees
Quiet still of a long night
Sentience all around

3
Old flutes voice tonight
Songs of the distant island
Calm ocean and earth
-(on the occasion of the Great Japan Earthquake)

Fall

1
Juniper dances
Twin trunks, move together
Into fall’s cool air

2
Red leaves among green
Along the old wooden fence
Prepare for winter

Winter

1
River of clouds
Runs above the snow-tipped trees
Empty coffee cup

2
Overnight clouds fell
Morning pine draped by pale light
Snow tips, distant trees

3
Ripples of snow fall
Through the white-out morning fog
Flute sits patiently

4
All things arrive in their own accord
Appear in an empty field
And take their leave… inexplicably
Soon, wind-blown snow will reveal the well-worn path
Today,
A light rain falls and the river empties
Butterflies turn to falling leaves
-October 2012.

Spring

1
Morning light returns
To this quiet window’s view
From where poems spring

2
Fossil-stone’s face, cold
Looks out across the garden
Fresh snow will melt soon

3
A cool spring morning
Snow mixes with tree blossoms
birds call overhead

4
Suspended | Snow falls | Directionless
-April 2013

5
Mid-spring snowflakes
Hurrying pass the window-
Deep silence
… a lapping calm
-May 2013

6
Unexpected
Lightness

snow and rock intermingle on the mountain peak
as
the spring sky holds, shifting blue and white

A single stem waves gently in the breeze.
two delicate twin leaves.
-May 2014

Summer

1
June wildflowers on the high plains
-June 2013

Misc.

1
Sumac and apple trees
Dot the pinon valley
Narrrow road winds
Between old adobe houses
Cundiyo, New Mexico. August 2012.

2
Open transcription
Identity
an evolving ocean of interaction

Suddenly, another place
Meaning
Cast adrift
-August 2014.

3
Gathering My Spirit
This shadow-horse
Has strode with me
Since I surrendered my integrity
When he
Finally broke my spirit.

Using pain, fear, and manipulation
He dressed himself
In the darkest aspects offered by the world
Whispered shadowy judgements and spite
As I bled and writhed in pain…
“It’s a good thing they did this to you.
Otherwise I would have done it myself”

I had a life and direction of my own
No value
Unless I submitted
Unless I gave in
Unless I was broken.

But break the horse and
Unnaturalness imprisons us both.
Release and let it roam free
And I return to my volition
Gathering my spirit.
-May 2015

4
Integrity
Skeletal sense
Self.
Space, movement, integrity.
A direct connection, communication…
Soil, in your bones,
Earth – the forest’s voice…

I evaporate so easily,
Sun-thinned fog over a mountain lake.
-Old Colorado City, Colorado. October 2015.

5
Sensory Processing Disorder
Weathered the storm
For years the wind pulled apart my cumulousness

Senses, amock
Confusion, and need of touch
So many sounds
None so sweet as silence

Here, finally. Pulling myself together.
A life spent trying to figure out what makes sense to me
Now, just touch, listen, and feel…. I see, I sense
I am finally one integral being.
-Palmer Lake, Colorado. September 2016.