Featured Post

The Journey to the West

Though we journey to the West We pray to the East More or less that's the way Each day begins and ends It’s a tale everyone ...

Friday, October 30, 2015

Poem Written on the Back Porch in Late October

The clarity 
Of the last two
Crickets chirping on
An October evening
Just before the first frost
Can be heard with something
Much less pure than
The mind of winter

Surely the sadness
Is completely imagined
But not so the beauty 
Of the duet which is
Palpable in its vibration
In the way it stirs up
  And still fills up
The melody of 
The night

Nothing is too small not to be wondered about -- that is the name of a fine Mary Oliver poem that my friend Genie had posted to Facebook a short while ago.  And after reading the Oliver poem online I went outside and sat on the back porch in the twilight and was treated to a serenade by the last two crickets of the season.  So very much with Mary Oliverin my mind, it was just us crickets chirping.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Poem written while waiting for Greg

Waiting for Greg
In front of má pêche
A slight queasiness
In my chest
Nothing it seems
Is quite good enough
In the lifelong quest
To open the interior
Realms of being
And every day
Indifference is
A steeper hill
To surmount

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A Poem About My Addiction

Didn't you post a picture
Earlier today showing Narcissus
Looking into the pool of
The Facebook home page
And if so how come I can’t  
Find it now on your timeline?

Social media can be
Just as addictive
As crack cocaine
Whether you get hooked
To a thumbs up or connections
Or the number of rementions
This is not a problem much
Discussed in the social realm
(for reasons I guess there’s  
no need to explain)

But no matter how pressing
And widespread a problem
This may already be
The social networks
Are more than happy to
Continue underwriting
The cost of our addiction
As long as it remains payable
In a currency of their coinage

And so the ancient symbol
Ouroboros has come to aptly portray
Our modern day self love affair 
As our consciousness has been 
Seduced into swallowing its tail

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Birthday Poem for Marissa

As your birthday
Draws near I’m drawn
Into closest orbit
The very nub that
Speaks for our love
It starts as a smoldering
In the belly and picks up
In intensity as it proceeds
Out towards the extremities
It’s neither dampened
By second guessing
Nor banked by doubt
It’s the fire forever
Burning bright
A sure sign of
The plenitude
Of love that’s
Still to come
A perpetual flame
In fact like Moses
That’s just how
Fulsomely the
Berries adorn the
Pyracanthus bush
So who needs
To paint the town red
When we’ve got this
Ripe orange glory
That binds us together
In and out of garden beds
Growing entangled as one

Friday, October 23, 2015

Song of Myself (Tang Dynasty Edition)

More than a millennium before Walt Whitman wrote his famous Song of Myself, the great Tang poet Bai Juyi (白居易, 772 to 846) sat down and composed a much shorter poem by the same name.  This morning I had the chance to translate the Tang Dynasty version of the refrain as follows:

Song of Myself

Bai Juyi

With a white beard
And face mottled red
I’m either half drunk or
In the midst of a bender

A lifetime passes
Before you know it and
Everything turns out
To be empty anyway

Lying on a sickbed
A frail old minister
Yet still singing
Like a crazy old man

And even so I hear 
Those busybodies
Want to make me the subject 
Of their painted screens


白面微    醺醺半醉中
百年随手    万事
疾瘦居士    行歌狂老翁
好事者    将我画屏