I Am The All, I Am Nothing

I Am The All, I Am Nothing

I am the peace of still water
in a granite fold of mountains
high up in the cool wild mists.
I am the combusting turbulence of dragon’s breath,
human passions erupting
in angry rebellion against injustice.
I am the fresh breath of life
wafting over a summer sea
to breeze across a warming hill, waving grasses,
and sink deep into earth’s luxuriant embrace
to seed for birth ripening fruits of love.
I am the hard cold solitude of ice
self-preserving against corrupting indolence,
and hard against the trampling mindless herds.
I am the midnight dawn of moonlight,
the mind’s awakening beyond the stars
to deep time’s calming vision.
I am the heat of summer sunshine
evaporating birthing dew from butterfly wings,
freeing my spirit to flutter among flowers of chance
and savor the nectar of experience.
I am the all, I am nothing:
the all of everything down to its subatomic particles,
its quantum fluctuations.
I am the all, I am nothing:
the all-everything by chance erupting from all-nothing,
just as you have.
And so we are linked
like individual ripples arising momentarily
from one great enduring ocean.

11 August 2017

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Garden by the Sea
17 June 2017
https://youtu.be/h4yVMtj8Rg8

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Mazurka Beans

Mazurka Beans

I look down into a pot of beans, shaking oregano,
sunlight shines through the trees and fills the house,
the music of Chopin Mazurkas fills the air,
spilling out the open door diffusing into the streams of light.

I look down into a pot of beans – black beans –
the food of Cuba, of Puerto Rico,
the dish I loved my mother to make.
Below the carpet of basil, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper,
the black beans soak, their skins browned in garlic olive oil,
mingling with chopped ham and onions,
caressed by diced stewed tomatoes,
all blending into a nectar of the earth,
a nourishment, a celebration, an essence of a culture –
sabor.

I look down into that textured herbal blanket
waiting to see the eruption of bubbles signaling a boil,
a brown boil with blood red flashes rending the herbal shroud
and issuing billows of aromatic steam,
the taste of the south like the spirit of its people –
rising, rising –
to overwhelm with luxuriant sensuality
the thin dryness of a pallid north.

I look down into that pot of black beans in this perfect moment
and I see the entire world radiating out –
the entire interpenetrating web
created and unfurled beyond the edges of infinity –
like the eightfold rays of Buddha truth,
flung from the vortex-eye of a Tibetan sand mandala.
Time evaporates, mind is one, “I am who am.”

Outside, I hear my little girl,
babbling and toddling like a little sparrow sifting through the leaves,
as purple florets of lantana sway in the mazurka breeze – music,
the kiss that transcends time,
the breath that transcends death –
and little Ella’s arrow gaze and impish smile
are my eternal rebellion’s salute to a narrow sleeping world.

I am the pepper in your pot of beans,
the heat rising from below,
the browned garlic olive skin rubbing up against you,
the nectar blended from many fine extracts and cultivations,
heir of an ancient and unending impetus,
the innocence and adventure of eternal experience –
an enticement, a flood –
the love-child of revolution and sustenance –
sabor.

19 May 2001

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Passing Thoughts

Everybody I know looks older now,
much older,
and many have fallen away
like last year’s autumn leaves.
I walk through the noisy light of day
wrapped in a quiet mist of memories
rebounding from the unhearing
as wasted words, phantom vibrations.
Silence is best as I watch your sorrows unfold.
After decades I realize it is not my help that matters,
but my empathy,
and have come to be resigned
to its being as unknown as I am unseen.
Perhaps I, too, walked blindly through kind knowing
by souls of living history in my time,
trailing eddies of wasted empathy
in the wake of my blazing urgency.
So now, I look back with understanding and see,
but can only shout to your budding future as silence.
It seems our lives must be this way
so you can discover your anguish
with the same freshness as I did mine.

25 June 2017

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SAME OLD, SAME OLD

SAME OLD, SAME OLD

I have given you the secrets of the human universe.
Did you notice?

You can’t change people,
only they can change themselves,
though they usually would prefer to die
than have to.

It’s not Trump’s fault,
the preference for TV over books
inoculates ignorance and bigotry
against learning and knowledge.

In American politics:
bigotry is allowed to shape the argument,
and money is allowed to control the voting.

Everything you know is wrong,
and you know everything.

It drives me crazy and breaks my heart
to see so much stupidity and cruelty
in our human world.
That is why I hate people.

The graveyards of our war dead
are garbage dumps for capitalist expansion.

I think back to all the times I was kind and unkind,
and I wish I could go back and fix half of them.

21 June 2017

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Love for a Mother

You know how you fall in love with a woman,
young, or at least never a mother,
still with that leanness hinting of girlhood;
and you have your times and adventures,
and wonderful moments together
enjoying all the sweet pleasures that come from love;
till the day comes when you realize –
you’ve grown familiar,
your routines are habits,
life has reached a crux,
will something be added?,
will something be lost?
And she turns to you one day in all her loveliness,
sitting leaning back, soaking up the sun at the beach,
as beautiful as you’ve ever imagined her,
and she says “I want a baby.”
“Of course,” you say, “I love you,”
and it takes a great deal of that to make a baby.
It is then that you learn why nature made love so engaging;
for love’s purpose is to remove the functioning of mind
from the process of reproduction.
Soon, she is absorbed completely in herself,
with life revolving around her three concerns:
what am I feeling?,
what am I eating?,
what am I wearing?
And you, dear boy,
are now a forgotten accessory of a former life,
a life completely taken over by the alien invader,
the explosion in the belly of your former manhood trophy.
You are no longer the practice child,
your second mother has gone,
your role now is to fetch and carry,
to bring what is needed for the comfort of her egg;
and so are children brought into this life.

Time passes,
it never seems that long in retrospect,
and the whole spectrum of this fresh childhood
flashes through your life, and your children grow,
to lose their fascination with your presence,
fading into a smattering of phone calls and birthday cards.

You glance up,
releasing a breath you may have held for decades,
and you see her again,
how beautiful, this mother you’ve married,
a bathing beauty you can still see so clearly
within that soft layer of maternity,
her mind abuzz with families of distractions,
seeing past you like a breeze she walks through
after decades of silent practice with each other.
Time and intermingled living add such depth
to what endures in our affections.
Ah, the young lovers, lost in each other,
how little they know of this love for a mother.
This trophy has taken you
from merely being a man to truly being a hero.
You see that girl who could dance all night,
you see that woman of love beyond dreaming.
You catch her eye, and ask “now?”
She smiles that smile, and walks your way.

3 April 2002

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Worst Disease and Best Health

Capitalism is the worst disease for a planet.
Addiction is the worst disease for a body.
Bigotry is the worst disease for a mind.
Greed is the worst disease for a soul.

Compassion is the best health for a soul.
Rationality is the best health for a mind.
Moderation is the best health for a body.
Socialism is the best health for a planet.

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Young Love

Children touch all the buttons
with dirty little hands, cling
forever fighting weaning
and after suck has ended
sulk sullen seeking second mothers
rebirthing them as love’s evangelicals,
shouting praises of amorous physicality,
lingering languorously on love’s lips and nipples,
iron pinpricks of rootedness awash in pendulous sensuality.
And old men sipping coffee quietly in corners,
stroke ears, raise eyebrows a hair,
remembering the first awakening –
just for a moment –
faint echoes returning to forgetfulness;
and old women walk by
passing hands over fruit
laid in open boxes
mellow sweetness to the sun
squeezing sensing softness
mindlessly,
while chattering one and another
as they stroll through the market.
And each writes their verses on flakes of light –
leaves of memory –
like a forest burning, a crumbling cascade of color
peppering autumn’s wind,
fading to the earth of innumerable beginnings –
again unknowing.

22 March 2004

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