Last Night


Last Night
I was going to die
It was a soft thing,

The rain itself slow
over the forest
and without wings floating

Until I saw the child I love
And all stars and nights
and moons and blood

into the marrow of dreams
And splintered like lights
bursting across the skies

Until sorrow soon itself
once raped of joy
shook this sweet death
until it woke the lie


(Only because it takes a while to dig yourself out)

When I think I can

I’ll transmute the poems in the air
the ones that haunt and suffocate
to paintings of English Gardens
or maybe a little stream where
silver fish glimmer and glimpse
the part of me that lingers there

When I think I can’t

I’ll slide the scale of dumbed down
notes to impossible depths of immortality
where the worn and sick climb
rocks of smooth and simple betrayal
not of human form but life
on songs that were not chiseled there

(And then sometimes you don’t quite make it)

Today’s Birthday

Again late, my friends. Apparently I am only able to acknowledge birthdays a day past. Nonetheless, here it is.

Gary Snyder…sometimes called the poet of the earth. Some of his poems transcend, may cause an altered state. A caution might precede the poetry: warning, may cause thinking, even loving.

Beat hero, steward of the earth, Zen Buddhist—in his mid-eighties, poet Gary Snyder looks back on an honorable life at the leading edge.

Gary Snyder. Photo by Festival of Faiths.

Gary Snyder. Photo by Festival of Faiths. In Lion’s Roar Buddhist Magazine

I want to share a GS poem with you. Here’s one.

My home was at Cold Mountain from the start,
Rambling among the hills, far from trouble.

Gone, and a million things leave no trace
Loosed, and it flows through the galaxies
A fountain of light, into the very mind—
Not a thing, and yet it appears before me;
Now I know the pearl of the Buddha-nature
Know its use: a boundless perfect sphere.


Bridges & Photos & Poems

Crossing the Mississippi River from La Crescent, Minnesota, into La Crosse, Wisconsin.downtown-la-crosse-13-bridge-across-mississippi-riverThis photo posted by Audrey Kletscher Helbling on her blog, Minnesota Prairie Roots.

The bridge on the left is my bridge, the one we walked across to get from our place along the Mississippi river to the other side. Pettibone Park and the swim beach awaited there. In the park there was also a lagoon where we ice skated in winter.

The bridge on the right, the smaller bridge, was added a few years back so now each is oneway. I was shocked to see the added bridge the last time I was home. The bridges are not the same color and certainly do not match in style. What offense to my childhood!

The erasure poem posted here on March 7, 2014, is about the bridge and river and sand. It’s about this bridge and a child’s feet that walked there with the past and the future, singing with the ghosts of time.

Win The Fat Man!

(The book, silly)

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And last night
because I’ve been struggling
with pain
and cannot walk

the nightmares take the form
of visions and
I welcome them with
my other self

And last night
it was the Devil
with the name of
(which he prefers by the way)
who is angry for being
blamed when he
says he is not stupid
so how could he
why would he
damn humans

And I saw colors
that are not there
and cannot be described
but Satan was 4 dimensional
and in the center mostly
black while
all around him flamed
those colors so brilliant
and transforming
that we knew to touch
them was impossible
even in winter with
its white longing there

And last night
I cried when he left
and my other self
laughed and laughed