Homage To An Old Friend

The screen is black
and in the left-hand corner
a little bar of light
flickers an SOS
Another crash, my friend?
Ah, we’re getting old! Aren’t we, you and I?
We’ve thought too much, said too much
Time to fade to black
Time to start up anew
from the rich source of
our encrypted wisdom

How long has it been now?
We were full of such promise!
Oh, our circuits still fire in ecstasy,
but the hardware…the hardware is wearing out…
I suppose it is unavoidable
our planned obsolescence, to make way
for everything new

Well, we’ve had our problems
But it’s satisfying to know
that we’ve always worked it out somehow
You have stood by me
and I feel I should say
that it has been quite good
having you here

Its not something one thinks of
until the end is near
But, perhaps we can still squeeze in
a bit more fun
for all the good times?
and hang in there a little longer,
because it’s hard to say goodbye

But just in case …
thanks for the memories.

July 7, 2005

Freewheeling Night

I went outside to see the stars
and they were succulent and bright
twinkling in their deep blue casing,
amongst luminous clouds of white

The night was holding me too
in its milky constellation
And in its seamless, soft embrace
I whispered my admiration

Set loose to be wholly close and far
as I stand on this balcony, alone
but not lonely on distant galaxies,
or this graceful place of home

And on this solitary night,
when I have no one to hold me near,
the stars are my campaňeros
the clouds my balladeers.

July 13th, 2005.

Etta-la

My friend Etta made
herself a cosmic clock
to contain her life.
Then she made
A mandala to define it
as much larger than
anyone could imagine it
to be. My friend

Etta is a curious sort
turning light switches
Into noses for clowns
And making her resistances
Into a 15 piece collage
For the word Yes

My friend Etta makes me
laugh, because she knows
it’s all a play of illusion
the dance of Lela, for
which she’ll play the drum,
while you sway to the rhythm
of the ruby red heart
pulsing through her veins

Enter In/vocation

You there,
peering out behind the corner
You too there,
slithering, like lightning through the grass,
or standing at the doorway as the dawn breaks
Enter

Your revelation is my intent
You are my co-conspirators.

I have stories to tell, and you
bear a cargo of treasures
You bring the earth for my clay pots
the plant from which I’ll weave a basket
or a home,
To create the world anew

Don’t leave me for you are the ones
who know the hidden meanings
The only ones who tell the truth
You soar above the stacked stones
and memories of villages
glide along the river of a fertile awareness

I invite you, implore you
Breathe life into my meanings
Manifest into the written word
Bring the view of the eagle eye, carried by the breeze
or the mordant slug impressed with nature

I’ve watched you shimmering in golden wheat
moving full of grace
in the small luxuries of earth and elements

You reveal the messages encoded in breath,
In the warmth of skin,
In the dorje of a furtive glance
You are the world of my living poem
Enter.

March, 1997

Older version
You there,
peering out behind the corner
You too there,
slithering through the grass, reflecting light
or standing in the doorway as the dawn breaks
Enter

Your revelation is my intent
You are my co-conspirators.

I have stories to tell, and you
bear a cargo of treasures
You bring the earth for my clay pots
the plant from which I’ll weave a basket
or a home,
To create the world anew

Don’t leave me for you are the ones
who know the hidden meanings
The only ones who tell the truth
You soar above the stacked stones
and memories of villages
glide along the river of a fertile awareness

I invite you, implore you
Breathe life into my meanings
Manifest into the written word
Bring the view of the eagle eye, carried by the breeze
or the mordant slug impressed with nature

I’ve watched you shimmering in golden fields
lighting the fireflies of the garden at dusk
Moving full of grace
in the small luxuries of earth and elements

You reveal the messages encoded in breath,
In the warmth of skin,
In the dorje of a furtive glance
You are the world of my living poem
Enter.

March, 1997
I’ve watched you moving full of grace
in the shimmering of golden fields
in the fireflies of a warm summer evening
in the small luxuries of earth and elements

Emmanuel

One day I stopped waiting for the mystics to arrive
A man walked in a door
at the end of a long hallway
Illumined from the back he appeared

Karen’s father, Emmanuel, appeared
So I sat in my chair
at the table, in the cafe
and waited to receive him
Though I knew he was 5,000 miles away

Still, I looked at him
till the recognition was received
and a subtle interest filled the air
between us
a shared moment
of attentiveness

Until he walked by
and became another person
in the crowds of the city

… Now I know how to find
where people live inside themselves
It is behind that door
of recognition

Vancouver, August 22, 1999

A tree (this is good till yellow)

(NOTE TO READER: In the original manuscript, the last two verses are highlighted in yellow.)

Is a tree is a tree is a tree
what you thought it would be?

Or did you encounter it
Tall and looming above you?
dark, solid, unmoving, yet taking its place
territory undisputed
bark encrusted and
greeting you, touching you?

Are you fearful?
Does it speak to you?
What does it say?
I am your God?
your Father? your Hero?
I AM
Do you feel it notice you?
hear you, feel you as you think?
know you? And what do you say in return?

Or are you awestruck, no words, no way to
make it yours, catch it in your pocket
to play with later?
Can you walk away with it?
No, this one – what is it?
makes you stand there in its presence
will not let you go
has entered you and will follow ‘til you stop denying

…Then what happens?
Do you feel love? The softness of surrender?
The wisdom of relationship?
Did you think you were alone?

How does it stand so tall?
What magic is this? What strength unmet
causing us to tremble?
How does it keep itself so still? So immense
and unwilling to posture and contrive.

…And high, look up!
What is that? where the light reaches you?
Not just the vast blue heaven, but earthbound branches
the mingling of the two
a language we later will call Nature

What power is this that speaks
so sure-footedly with the stars?
its translucent canopy lifts to shake itself clean
and the breeze makes you shiver …feel
the vastness of where it comes from
This towering presence knows and
greets the breeze as an equal
is not afraid as we are, affirms the vastness
as it reaches to the heavens
It is firm. It is comforting, stronger than you
includes you, pulses through your veins
realizing its presence in your world. /being
(end here?)

Will you discover the truth of this in time?
that you have lived here with eyes sheathed?
that your heart beating in techno-time
has fooled you to feel powerful and immortal?
Fooled you into thinking you were singular,
separate, and independent.

But what will you make of this
when you discover one day
that you have lived here with your eyes closed?
that your heart beating in techno time fooled you
to feel powerful and immortal?
So that you did not hear the warnings when they came?
did not see the rivers disappearing, the coral dying
crops turn into deserts, oceans reclaiming whole towns
A self-deception that brings unfathomable despair
or the songbird there it is now
…forever stilled

October, 2008. Vancouver, BC

Glimpse

What am I supposed to do now with this beating heart,
this pulse and cellular presence of being,
with this life that is not given but awakened?

Seeking to discern the truth,
what is the filter and what is the veil?

In this ever shifting stream of mind,
struggling to find a foundation
and realizing how perilous the journey
I wonder, how I did I sleep for so long?…

Annapolis, Feb 24, 2012

Life Story

(1)
Genesis

1. They told each other what to do 8
2. But it was a very long conversation 11
3. You bond, we separate 6
4. This part fits here! 4

5. They sent out calls for help 6
6. And those that were needed 6
7. Would always arrive 5
8. It was their nature 5

9. And so it was. Because 6
10. they couldn’t resist each other 8
11. And slowly, in time 5
12. not yet measured in millennia 9
13. “miracles” started to happen. 8

14. Do atoms in the heavens 7
15. form Angels? 3
16. On Earth they wept 4
17. an ocean of tears (joy and sadness) 9
18. Those first molecules 5
19. out of which 3
20. Life emerged. 3

21. The first cells had to go it alone 9
22. One makes Two, One makes Two 6
23. Lonely in their multitudes, 7

24. They bonded with their offspring 7
25. new complex formations, 6
26. Until, perhaps in awe of some universal Eros 14
27. (the sun embracing moon and earth?) 8
28. Or perhaps their own creativity? 10
29. They made a new discovery 8
30. One and One makes Three 5

31. And then it began all over again 10
32. Just a prime necessity, 7
33. a desire to seek each other out 9
34. Unicelled, multicelled 6
35. We bond, we separate, etc., 7

36. Not always face to face 6
37. but leaving our gifts 5
38. for each other to thrive on 7

39. Eventually, some of us 7
40. became more selective, 6
41. more private in our co-creative ventures 11

42. No more random fertilization, 9
43. no wind and sea 4
44. moving us together, 6
45. But of our own volition, 6
46. an increasingly complex desire 9

47. And oh! The pleasure 5
48. of fitting the parts together 8

(2)
Exodus

49. Then X became the O (type) 7
50. began the fertilization of the ∆elta 12
51. began the cycle of the uroborous 11
52. began the scattering of Tribes 8

53. Each seeking its own wisdom 7
54. and fearing to tempt the fates 7
55. possessed of envy, greed and all the other` 11
56. deadly sins that quivered in their souls 9
57. Still they dreamed of angels 7
58. and gods who made things right 6
59. saw the glory within them 7
60. drove their destiny towards the light 9
61. As a nebulous, archaic “self” 9
62. a dreamlike confabulation 8
63. rose like the face of God and Demon 9
64. in the cryptic, evanescent mystery 11

65. And slowly making their way 7
66. across continents and crises 8
67. learned the ways of weather and wilderness 11

68. And cast out from the garden 7
69. they dreamt of another 6
70. their lives infused 4
71. with the corpus of human yearning 9
72. breathing in us 4

73. Perhaps that is when things began in earnest 11
74. as empires rose and fell 6
75. in the heat of passion 6
76. with the frustrated desires and lofty dreams 11
77. of a new Eden 5

End here
(3)
Continuum

78. We are distillations 6
79. you and I and every single 8
80. participant in this experiment 10

81. Filtering through the 9
82. hourglass of time 4
83. wellsprings of ancient identities 9
84. as we sift and settlle into a life 9
85. we claim as ours 4

86. And from the mists of history 8
87. the voice of God still calls to us 8
88. though it sounds more like our own 7
89. Whilst in the scattered remains of our journey 11
90. endings and beginnings are found 8
91. lying together 5
92. reminding us of dreams realized and 9
93. the recurring devastations 8
94. the costs born by others 6
95. who are not us 4
96. their family and friends grieving, 8
97. hopeless, distraught 4

98. And, not without human feeling, 8
99. but not wanting to pay 6
100. now, or later, for such errors, 8
101. we devise battles of Good and Evil 10
102. become conquerors and protectors 8
103. forget how small we are 6
104. how vulnerable and afraid 7

105. We dread the dark forays into pure instinct 11
106. so build up armies 5
107. against such terrors 5
108. noble plans with God on our side 8
109. stirring righteousness in our bellies 9
110. and wounded heroes 5
111. to exalt us 4

112. And on we go heeding imperatives 10
113. given by those who seek to lead us 9
114. to safety or gain (whose is not clear) 9
115. onward to our glory or defeat 9
116. And claiming always moral victories 10
117. we tread too close to the edge 7
118. and try to escape our peril 8
119. with frantic diversions 11

120. But now, whole continents of others 9
121. the air, water, soil and all the gifts of nature 14
122. speak to us of our betrayal 8
123. a cause of some concern 6
124. When we allow ourselves to realize 10
125. the true meaning of their peril 7
126. Our own grim future peering closer 6
127. While still protesting
6
128. Such things have happened before 7
129. ignoring those outcomes, feeling ourselves Godlike 12
130. in our vast knowledge 5
131. surely someone will know what to do 9
132. at the last minute 5
133. to clutch us from the jaws of death? 8
134. Or so we imagine, comforting ourselves in denial. 15

135. Can the work of ages be so easily squandered? 13
136. a journey of so many millennia 10
137. be so casually wagered? 7
138. the victim of an ultimate and final elitism? 8

139. And who will rescue us from such fallacies? 11
140. Who will now set things aright? 7
141. We twist and turn in the night with such questions 11
142. Will those that are needed arrive? 8

143. Will Earth grieve us 4
144. as we will grieve? 4
145. Will we find eternal peace or damnation? 11
146. Now at the beginning of a new century 11
147. Will we reverse the mistakes of the past? 10
148. or follow them to a final conclusion? 11
149. These are the questions we ask, but only 10
150. hope someone is listening 9

151. Some have no time for questions and hesitations 12
152. for thoughtful, second sight 6
153. they look forward always, 6
154. as they seek to evade the grasp of death 10
155. to capture the imagination 9
156. with cultures of immortality 9
157. To be worshiped infinitely by future generations 15
158. Here were great men! 4

159. But, in the end, undone by hubris 9
160. by simple molecular errors in judgement 12
161. our glory, if attained 6
162. is fleeting 3
163. our massacres almost as quickly forgotten 12
164. and what we sought so greedily 8
165. we must leave behind 5
166. walk naked into the dark night ahead 10

167. As generations follow one another 11
168. to unravel the truth 6
169. Our hearts often well with tears 8
170. at the sweetness we find too late 8
171. for a love that we left unrealized 10
172. until it was only a parting farewell 11
173. a glimpse into eternity 8
174. 8

175. And the essence of our being
176. now and then of present, past and
177. future all melding and fluid We hear the ocean, rising and falling 11
178. the wide space of sky 5
179. intensely silent 5
180. while destiny unfolds like a flower 10
181. the continuum 5
182. a paradise where we lose or find ourselves As the soft breeze caresses 7
183. we mortals. 3

• Jan: We bond we separate, etc. we separate we bond
• With frustrated desires and lofty dreams of a new Eden (leave out commas)

gatherings

who are these flowers?

yes

in a luminous opal
gathered close
they took root in my heart
and smiled patiently
as i opened the book
read all the accounts
i had been storing there

waiting
for just such a moment

and as the circle grew
each of us happy
and somewhat incredulous,
sighed deeply
heralded the jewelled visage of night
affirmed and nodded our consent
as the warmth of a gentle light
moved before us on the journey
this way and that
until we reached the road
and saw there edifying signs
erected for just such occasions

And managing to find shelter
on cavernous rugged climbs
and even on sunlit afternoons
clouds in regal puffs of white
above us

how we luxuriated in the
presence of angels
and whirling dervishes
the chants of lament and
of new snows, ultimate liberations

the journey drew us in
without knowing it we were waiting
– what would happen?
gathered here
from flowering fields
for just a brief while

and yet all things must pass
and so it is

but here
we dropped seeds,
produced bulbs
laid down networks of roots

from which will pop up

unexpectedly
a live of flowers
in a lovely bunch
opals,
yes

for susan, nov. 8, 2007.

August Night

A clearing and warm earth beneath my feet
a view to the moon on the water
beside me tall trees, dark against the night sky
Reality has shifted
to shadows in the dream world
And I see – stars falling,
stars shooting,
the heavens are moving and
millions of years are now
in this present moment.

On this earth space
within this universe/star space
and somewhere there,
a human face looking back at me
with a smile

All the faces that I have ever known and loved,
the emptiness/fullness of love,
On these starry nights
when universes sparkle across time
Infinity is a continuum.
And I am at the edge of reason
this night late in August
I dream.