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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 ...

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Ode to the Mode of This and That

Let me start by explaining that whatever it is that I've learned about Buddhism over the last few years comes from reading and translating classical Chinese poetry rather than from attaching myself to any contemporary school or lineage.  I developed a daily practice that involved reading and translation, at first more than meditation I suppose.

Still I've learned a lot in my own peculiar fashion. Lately I'm surprised to find myself meditating more and translating less or at least thinking these are more or less interchangeable activities. And meditation I increasingly favor, perhaps because I also find it has broader health benefits.

In any case,  I wanted to share with you a poem written this afternoon, which is best described as a meditation, inasmuch as it was composed in the course of spending 15 minutes settling in on the mat.

Ode to the Mode of This and That

There’s so many me's
It’s hard to keep track
There’s the mode of this
And the mode of that
An avatar on Linkedin
At home a married man
Held (I sure hope) in warm regard
By a small circle of friends
Every day it seems
Me becomes ever
More prolific

Then there’s
The meditative me
Sometimes the not me
Sitting quiet and alone
On a blue exercise mat
Without pen and notebook
Ready at hand
Outwardly silenced
And more alert
(though ever elusive
and easily spooked)
Inwardly laughing
Often so hard my sides
Just might burst

The gnomon of nothing
That resides in my frame
The shadow of a wraith
Or an indistinct flame
When breathing falls stilled
The inspiration still remains

Friday, January 24, 2014

A Poem for Jeremy England

First a word of explanation.  This morning while reading my daily blogs I came across a news story with a portentous headline -- A New Physics Theory of Life.   I clicked and to my delight came across something truly worth reading.  Jeremy England is a young man at MIT who has come up with a very plausible explanation for why life came into being in the first place.  That's right - not just the how but the why of it!  And it actually is quite intelligible even for someone like me with very little scientific training.  It's really worth reading the article if you're not already familiar with England's basic idea.

And once you read the article (and maybe even before) perhaps you'll enjoy this poem I wrote today as my own take on this noteworthy theoretical breakthrough.

Poem for Jeremy England

We are all
Energy dissipates
Or so it's proposed 
By England's new theorem
As every single living thing
Resonates to a
Common frequency

Being so dissipate myself
Of energy or otherwise
I've long sensed
This was true 
If not in accordance
With Newtonian formula
Then certainly as foretold
By William Blake
Conscious or not
It's the same wavelength
To which we are attuned

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A swan I saw tonight

A swan I saw tonight
Sleeping by the mouth
Of Weesuck Creek
Head tucked under
Its wing all but indistinct
A pile to the right and
Looking ass backwards
Much as I am
And outward
Towards the sea

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My New Marketing Plan (2014 edition)

Every January I like to write up my marketing plan for the coming year, in the form of a poem of course, like a sonnet or villanelle, only shorter and for an expressly crass and commercial purpose, which is to say, here is the kernel for my new strategy as to how I'm going to better convert my prosody into cold hard cash....

My New Marketing Plan - 2014

A magazine is
Nothing more or less
Than an app
However strange
Or inapt a thing
That may seem to be
For me to say

But that's all part
Of my new
Marketing scheme
For 2014 which is
Already shaping up to be
An incredible year
Through an auspicious
Alignment of things
In the moment with
The stars that govern
Our long-term strategy