Tuesday, October 03, 2023

testimony of a scrabble player

L          S

I           I

S          L

T          E  

E          N

N         T

In prison yesterday one of the men pointed out that the words “listen” and “silent” and comprised of the same letters.

I’d not noticed that. It was news to me. 

The joy of being a student is the willingness to be surprised.

So it was. So it is.

Monday, October 02, 2023

far behind

 My home is a square inch on four sides surrounding me.

I’ve left the world far behind,
My robe is covered with moss;
A small bundle of firewood burns,
Brightening the night.     

Ryokan (1758-1831)

One day I will gather up these inches, look around, and become the sky kissing ground where once someone sat in silence.

sandbox tantrum

 A pathetic man

Who does not know how to lose

Tears down his country

Whining and threatening all

Who dare see him a loser

these intelligences are angels

  From sunday evening practice last evening: 

If the transfer of thoughts can happen faster than the speed of light, then the whole question of interstellar and intergalactic communication looks very different, as it does when we broaden our thinking about intelligences elsewhere in the cosmos. Instead of confining our attention to minds of biological organisms, suchas ourselves, living in technological civilizations, we can explore the possibility that planets, stars, galaxies, and galactic clusters also have a kind of consciousness. 

This is where the traditional understanding and experience of cosmic intelligences may be able to help us, and especially the angelology of Dionysius the Areopagite, Hildegard of Bingen, and Thomas Aquinas. 

Consider, for example, the possibility that the sun is conscious. This is not a very far-fetched idea, even in terms of the standard materialistic assumptions of orthodox science. Materialists believe that our own mental activity is associated with complex electromagnetic patterns in our brains. These patterns of electromagnetic activity are generally assumed to be the interface between consciousness and the physical activity of our brains. Consciousness is somehow supposed to emerge from these patterns. But the complex electromagnetic patterns in our brains are as nothing compared with the complexity of electromagnetic patterns in the sun. 

The sun is a fireball of plasma assumed to be fuelled by nuclear fusion reactions. A plasma is an ionized gas, and it is highly sensitive to electrical and magnetic influences. The sun is the theater of extremely complex, rhythmic patterns of electromagnetic activity, with an underlying cycle about twenty-two years long. About every eleven years the magnetic polarity of the sun reverses: its north magnetic pole switches to the south, or vice versa; after another eleven years, the poles return to their previous positions. These reversals correspond with cycles of sunspot activity, great flares on the surface of the sun. This reversal of polarity is connected with complex harmonic cycles of vibration, swirling resonant patterns of electromagnetic activity. 

If people are prepared to admit that our consciousness is associated with these complex electromagnetic patterns, then why shouldn’t the sun have a consciousness? The sun may think. Its mental activity may be associated with complex and measurable electromagnetic events both on its surface and deeper within. If there’s a connection between our consciousness and complex, dynamic electromagnetic patterns in our brains, there’s no reason that I can see for denying the possibility of this connection in other cases and especially on the sun. 

If the sun is conscious, why not the other stars too? All the stars may have mental activity, life, and intelligence associated with them. And this is, of course, precisely what was believed in the past—that the stars are the seat of intelligences, and these intelligences are angels.  

(—Rupert Sheldrake, in The Physics of Angels:  Exploring the Realm Where Science and Spirit Meet, with Marrhew Fox, Introduction, c.1996, 2014)

Today in Catholic tradition is the feast of guardian angels.

 What haven’t we been thinking about?

Before bed last night the household stood by gate near road and looked up at moon, stars, and clouds framed by spray of leaves overhead.

To whom

God's love

commits me


Sunday, October 01, 2023

Saturday, September 30, 2023

we don’t yet know

 Don’t be a poet. You’ll have to wander through firewood past it’s usefulness and sit next to overturned rowboat beneath single lightbulb halfway up cedar shingles.

 “We turn to the arts in order to learn what we don’t yet know. We practice the arts to find that which we don’t yet know.” 

(—Jane Hirshfield in How Poetry Can Transform Our Lives, New Dimensions)

I don’t know why there are so many races, languages, customs and outskirts of villages and towns over and over in dusk light when full moon is fazed by smoke from faraway fires.

Gate at end of day is closed and sentinel to road where so very few passing cars go into night.

Do not write poems. 

Instead mutter prayers you cannot believe in. They will sustain you with their orphaned intimation of a once pious sense that all is connected and some knew such an intuition to be true. 

Link opeRoger Housden

he was a hermit-scholar wandering through words

 God is God.

Good is Good.

You are You.

I am I.

God is Good.

You are I.

ONE is One.

Two is Nuptial.

Do we see?

Do we see?

God is God.

We are We.

God becomes We.

We become God.

ONE is No-Other.

No-Other are We.

We are This.

Here we Are.

Whom shall I send?

Send me!



Translate us,

Jerome, translate us . . .

Friday, September 29, 2023

the renown of the inchoate re-known

 A new dialectic:

The known

The unknown

The re-known

 To cycle through the reading of that which presents itself to us is to converse the utterance of the emerging appearance with the reserved silence of that which is not yet manifest within itself.

Our need for one another is great.

not every message can be read

 archangels about

today they are honored -- shhh --

dog and cat listen

Thursday, September 28, 2023

sell, sell, sell

Sad advertisements

Buy, buy, buy — America’s

Only skill belief

as does his silence

 For a short while we live in-between words. When words weary and close their eyes things go silent. It is a time full of reminiscence with eyes looking out over empty space.

The writer is situated in his time;

every word he utters has reverberations.

As does his silence. 

—Jean-Paul Sartre

Then words wake up and reach out to touch ground and sky and bodies no longer breathing are waiting to be taken to a new view of nothing seen before.

The dead walk through everything and touch nothing. They don’t need words. Their language is silence and their pronunciation impeccable. Only the keenest ears hear and the sharpest minds interpret the colloquy with grace and compassion.

We reverberate one another whether with linguistic resonance or susurring soundlessness.

On rare occasions there are phrases that slip between known distinctions and wraith-like make their way past vigilant awareness to sit beside us in motionless company as if in zazen sesshin when no thought bothers mind no movement stirs body no question remains unanswered because no need to ask.

Write this if you can. 

I can’t. 

This seems beyond me. 

Which prospect cheers.

still with you

 If you believe the human brain is a minuscule transmitter whose primary function is to keep out the overwhelming flood of information, raw data, electrical impulses, collective memories, and billions of subatomic particles crowding the foyer seeking entry into a particular consciousness, you might be on to something.

Just as our iPhones are external hard drive brain-transmitters carried in pockets, the biological cranium brain has a limited gigabyte capacity limiting both speed and room for that which traverses the visible and invisible cosmos.

This morning the sun is an orange ball crossing tree limbs and bamboo slats through cloud curtain allowing it to appear like a full moon in an autumn crossing.

The Sun is a 4.5 billion-year-old yellow dwarf star – a hot glowing ball of hydrogen and helium – at the center of our solar system. It’s about 93 million miles (150 million kilometers) from Earth and it’s our solar system’s only star. Without the Sun’s energy, life as we know it could not exist on our home planet. 

From our vantage point on Earth, the Sun may appear like an unchanging source of light and heat in the sky. But the Sun is a dynamic star, constantly changing and sending energy out into space. The science of studying the Sun and its influence throughout the solar system is called heliophysics. 

The Sun is the largest object in our solar system. Its diameter is about 865,000 miles (1.4 million kilometers). Its gravity holds the solar system together, keeping everything from the biggest planets to the smallest bits of debris in orbit around it.


Compared to earth:

Its diameter (the distance from one side to the other through Earth's center) is 7,926 miles (about 12,756 kilometers). Earth is slightly smaller when measured between the North and South Poles which gives a diameter of 7,907 miles (12,725 kilometers).  diameter of earth

The sun fits inside the perspective of the brain. The brain is a drop of individual consciousness inside the mind. 

The mind is the encircling surround encompassing the whole of matter and spirit comprising the cosmos, the minuscule and maximal reality of the cosmos and the whole of being/nonbeing, potential and imagined manifestation of whatever there is that is yet coming to be.

And you, as Alan Watts would point out — You are it!

You and I are all of it. Whatever resides anywhere resides within us. Such knowledge is too wonderful and too beyond us.

Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

1You have searched me, Lord,

and you know me.

2You know when I sit and when I rise;

you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3You discern my going out and my lying down;

you are familiar with all my ways.

4Before a word is on my tongue

you, Lord, know it completely.

5You hem me in behind and before,

and you lay your hand upon me.

6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,

too lofty for me to attain.

7Where can I go from your Spirit?

Where can I flee from your presence?

8If I go up to the heavens, you are there;

if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

9If I rise on the wings of the dawn,

if I settle on the far side of the sea,

10even there your hand will guide me,

your right hand will hold me fast.

11If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me

and the light become night around me,”

12even the darkness will not be dark to you;

the night will shine like the day,

for darkness is as light to you.

13For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful,

I know that full well.

15My frame was not hidden from you

when I was made in the secret place,

when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

16Your eyes saw my unformed body;

all the days ordained for me were written in your book

before one of them came to be.

17How precious to me are your thoughts, a God!

How vast is the sum of them!

18Were I to count them,

they would outnumber the grains of sand—

when I awake, I am still with you.

19If only you, God, would slay the wicked!

Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!

20They speak of you with evil intent;

your adversaries misuse your name.

21Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,

and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?

22I have nothing but hatred for them;

I count them my enemies.

23Search me, God, and know my heart;

test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24See if there is any offensive way in me,

and lead me in the way everlasting. (NIV)

At a loss for how to think about the isomorphic and interrelational nature of reality we stand in awe-stunned confusion as to the confines and defines of our existential situation within and without the anthropological and cosmological conceptualization of what is both apparent and nonapparent.

A profound and abiding nescience overtakes. And when we find we must say something, we say "God."

That which is within and without in the same instant. Above and below. Immanent, transcendent, and surrounding all at once.

We have no other name for it. Some point out that it has no name. Or its name is above and beyond all and any name. Nameless ubiquity. Some try out -- "God."

Goethe wrote that "names are but noise and smoke obscuring heavenly light."

We are "poor passing facts." (Lowell)

Our form is emptiness, our emptiness form. (Heart Sutra)

We go on, not knowing.

Good for you!

Good for us!

God is good.

Good is good.

As is all of it.

Try this on for size.

This is all we have -- this is all there is.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

not(e) what you see

 It’s a crapshoot. Not being a criminal. Luck of the draw. Not killing someone. Not defrauding. Not breaking arms and legs.

It is no accomplishment. It is luck. That’s it. Luck.

We’re all a little crazy. All creepy. All a little unsavory.

Try not to make too much of your innocence. It’s not that big a deal. It can disappear in a minute.

Hell is not an idea. Not some theological fabrication. It is where grace exhausts itself and runs.

If I am not in prison it is no accomplishment. If I am not in a monastery it is no deficiency.

Lowell wrote that we are poor passing facts.

Watch yourself.

You are passing alongside yourself.

Listen carefully.


Tuesday, September 26, 2023

we know it when we hear it

 Listen to brave voice

Saying what heart knows is true, 

We’re better for it

what we are, given, when present

 No worries about

What to say — all words reside

in situ — listen 

Monday, September 25, 2023

enough, she says

 A young woman writes

Book about men she worked for —

Former president

Unworthy, unethical

We listen — words — frightening 

as the people say goodbye to their country

 The news channel folks

Excoriate Trump et al

Such dangerous men

Burning down their own house for

money, bragging spew, and hate

without strings

 I thought you’d never ask.

Most people can read a book with words, but not one without words, and they can play a lyre with strings but not one without strings.

How can they derive tranquil pleasure from a book or lyre, when they exercise their intelligence only on the material, but not on the spiritual aspect of things?   Hung Ying-ming (1596)

And yet, and yet, and yet . . .

I have no answer to give. 

a creative moment

A good way of seeing what is beyond seeing.

As part of his study of mysticism, Howard Thurman attended Quaker meetings and sat in the silence that characterizes unscripted forms of Quaker worship. In a 1951 sermon on the strength of silence in corporate worship ... Thurman speaks of his personal experience of group silence during a traditional Quaker meeting:

Nobody said a word … just silence. Silence. Silence. And in that silence I felt as though all of them were on one side and I was on the other side, by myself, with my noise. And every time I would try to get across the barrier, nothing happened. I was just Howard Thurman. And then … I don’t know when it happened, how it happened, I wish I could tell you, but somewhere in that hour I passed over the invisible line, and I became one with all the seekers. I wasn’t Howard Thurman anymore; I was, I was a human spirit involved in a creative moment with human spirits, in the presence of God. [2] 


—from, A Sense of Presence, CAC, https://email.cac.org/t/d-e-vtuhjhy-tlkridklo-e/

 Of a Monday morning. 

Sunday, September 24, 2023

too close to call

 Frog in high grass jumps

away from sneaker footstep

walking to fire pit

be well

 At conversation last evening talk about where we've come from and, perhaps, going.

As a cultural catholic and zen buddhist I am going nowhere. 

As some point out, we're already in hell, a place where disconnective ambition dissects proper relationally into fragments of dissociative meander. A forgetfulness of primordial wholeness and preference for individualistic hoarding of resources, material, and even spiritual interconnectivity.

Hell is other people, Jean Paul Sartre wrote. And making other is the work of self-absorbed narcissistic personalities intent in excluding, shaming, and cancelling fellow human beings-in-waiting from advancing and arriving at their true home.

Traditionally this has been called sin. 

Even those who claim that to sin is to sin against God, there is much to look at here.

If the metaphoric narrative concerning the one we call God is looked at outside the discreet beliefs of organized religions, we might point to the following:

  • God is what is.
  • What is is reality.
  • Reality is that which is emerging from, through, and into presence itself
A question often asked is -- Is reality good?

False reality is not good.

Authentic reality, true reality, let’s say, is good.

We ask: Can we infer that all-that-is is, ultimately, good-in-itself?

And is the In-Itself that which can be called God?

And, further, do we understand that that which comes from the in-Itself is of-Itself, belonging to-Itself and, hence, nothing other than Itself?

Nothing can separate us from the well-being of Itself (God).

It is given to us to make the journey from that which is not itself to that which is itself, through the jungles of other, toward the clear and open landscape horizon of no-other.

Seeing no-other is what we have called heaven.

Seeing oneself in and as another is the gateway to the vision of God. "No-one has seen God and lived" is a way of saying that when we dwell in the horizon of no-other we are no longer severing or separating reality according to our personal interests. Rather, we surrender, sacrifice, surmount, and survive into what is always and ever the sustaining ground of Being wherein that which we call God surrounds, interpenetrates, embodies, and manifests all-that-is in-and-beyond-Itself,

Christ is the journey through unrealized reality to realized reality. Christ is our journey. It is God to God, human to human, creation to creation.

There is nothing alien to God, not a thing outside God, no-one other than the One/God.

We might be given to say that Christ is emergence. “Christ” is not owned by any religion, not what we think it is. Christ is the moving-through this incomplete reality toward we-know-not-what. This not-knowing is our guiding navigation. 

Because God cannot be known. 

God can only be and become reality. And reality is to be experienced, cared for, seen through, and embodied.

We are often deluded by false proclamations of self-absorbed individuals selling themselves as substitutes for the Reality of One/God. Don't believe them. They will fade away into a deeper realization when all their delusions tire and collapse into something truer, more compassionate, and kinder reality ready to receive their collapse and hold them in comforting acceptance, flaws, failings, and falseness included.

It is Sunday. Tonight Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur. Today zazen and grateful thanksgiving, nature's courageous turnaround, breakfast with family, dozing cat on lap.

Alls well that ends well -- if it's not well it's not the end. (Who said that?)

Be well! 

what shall we call you

 Don't call me.

no promises, just presence

 Not to be bound by 

vows — my words drift away from

mind and body — I

can only stand like a child

in presence — of God — true, mute

….  …   … 

Kol Nidre

Aramaic TextEnglish translation
כָּל נִדְרֵי, וֶאֱסָרֵי, וּשְבוּעֵי, וַחֲרָמֵי, וְקוֹנָמֵי, וְקִנוּסֵי, וְכִנוּיֵי, דִנְדַרְנָא, וּדְאִשְתַּבַּעְנָא, וּדְאַחֲרִמְנָא עַל נַפְשָׁתָנָא. •מִיוֹם כִּפּוּרִים שֶׁעָבַר עַד יוֹם כִּפּוּרִים זֶה, וּ־־• ♦מִיוֹם כִּפּוּרִם זֶה עַד יוֹם כִּפּוּרִים הַבָּא עָלֵינוּ לְטוֹבָה.♦ בְּכֻלְהוֹן אִחֲרַטְנָא בְהוֹן. כֻּלְהוֹן יְהוֹן שָׁרָן, שְׁבִיקין, שְׁבִיתִין, בְּטֵלִן וּמְבֻטָלִין, לָא שְׁרִירִין, וְלָא קַיָמִין. נִדְרָנָא לָא נִדְרֵי, וֶאֱסָרָנָא לָא אֱסָרֵי, וּשְׁבוּעָתָנָא לָא שְׁבוּעוֹת.All vows, and prohibitions, and oaths, and consecrations, and konams and konasi and synonymous terms,[5] that we may vow, or swear, or consecrate, or prohibit upon ourselves, •from the previous Day of Atonement until this Day of Atonement and ...• ♦from this Day of Atonement until the [next] Day of Atonement that will come for our benefit.♦ Regarding all of them, we repudiate them. All of them are undone, abandoned, cancelled, null and void, not in force, and not in effect. Our vows are no longer vows, and our prohibitions are no longer prohibitions, and our oaths are no longer oaths.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

breakfast conversation

 God is

What is

Coming to be

Emerging. And

Beyonding. Evolving

And transcending

What is now and

Has been, as it is


What it


To be 




if belief it is then practice it is

 In hospital she

said “God” — walking side by side

Hallways home, meeting

One another as man sits 

in wheelchair fitting puzzle

Friday, September 22, 2023


 Comes autumn cool air

Goes summer after midnight

Turning earth — (mere) words

Thursday, September 21, 2023

we are given to this

Before poetry there was the gaze. We watched. We listened. 

When we uttered a sound we wanted to be heard, or else we kept silent. We uttered sounds and words so as to convey a part of our understanding into communication that connected intent and meaning from one to another within the context of our nearness and the desire to be-with or think-with another.

The deepening and conveyance of understanding, the exploration and articulation of thinking/feeling, is the origin and continuation of philosophy and poetry.

Before philosophy, there was poetry. Not all poetry is philosophical, of course. But philosophical ideas often appear in poetry. To find a philosophical statement in a poem, or in any kind of narrative literary art, one may need to sort through the deliciously murky waters of metaphor and emotive expression. And it isn’t likely that one will find arguments, counterarguments, and analysis of concepts, as one could expect in a normal philosophical text. Nonetheless, you do often find strongly-expressed propositions, and those propositions can prompt philosophical thinking and discussion. It is probably in poetry that people first expressed their philosophical thoughts in words, and shared them with others.

Excerpt from: "The Earth, The Gods and The Soul - A History of Pagan Philosophy: From the Iron Age to the 21st Century" by Brendan Myers. Scribd.

We are makers. And we want what we make to have use and be useful. Prior to this usefulness, first and foremost, is the urgency to be that inspires us to become what we are coming to be, to make something of nothing, to put together what longs for a manifestation of itself.

Poetry, a term derived from the Greek word poiesis, "making"), also called verse,[note 1] is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and often rhythmic[1][2][3]qualities of language − such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and metre − to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, a prosaic ostensible meaning. A poem is a literary composition, written by a poet, using this principle.  Wikipedia

 We put together. We compose. We present before ourselves and to others what has arisen or emerged from awareness of place or person or event so as to realize what is there and what is coming to be.

composition (n.)

late 14c., composicioun, "action of combining," also "manner in which a thing is composed," from Old French composicion (13c., Modern French composition) "composition, make-up, literary work, agreement, settlement," and directly from Latin compositionem (nominative compositio) "a putting together, connecting, arranging," noun of action from past participle stem of componere "to put together, to collect a whole from several parts," from com "with, together" (see com-) + ponere "to place" (past participle positus; see position (n.)). 

Both philosophy and poetry are invited by, and invite us to be, anthropos. 

άνθρωπος  (ánthroposm (plural άνθρωποι) Greek

  1. humanperson; the species man(in the plural) people                
  2.  cf.  https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ἄνθρωπος#Ancient_Greek

The prospect of becoming human, of being human, is the sound of our coming to word through silence in the presence of this moving manifest cosmos and, of course, one another.

We are given to this.

Ours is to:
Blend and comprehend  
what scattered  
aches for wholeness

one with no title, no shape, as if they knew

                    (after Wallace Stevens)

 a zen hermit -- where, 

who -- don't ask -- the temptation

to say something -- don't   

do you believe in magic

 watching House debate

and voting for a budget

I did not see much

don't look for justice, speak it

The question is: Where is the law of God?

So many inquiries. Up there? Beyond the beyond? In written precepts and scriptures? In the will and direction of elders, ministers, clergy, rabbis, imams, ordained anybodies?

So many places to look. 


Os justi meditбbitur sapiéntiam,

    The mouth of the just one will express wisdom,

et lingua ejus loquétur judнcium:

    and his tongue will speak judgment.

lex Dei ejus in corde ipsíus.

    The law of his God is in his heart.

Noli aemulбri in malignántibus:

    Do not choose to imitate the malicious;

neque zeláveris faciéntes iniquitátem.

    neither should you envy those who work iniquity.

Os justi meditábitur sapiéntiam,

    The mouth of the just one will express wisdom,

et lingua ejus loquétur judícium:

    and his tongue will speak judgment [i.e. justice]:

lex Dei ejus in corde ipsíus.

    The law of his God is in his heart. 

(Feast of Matthew)

In his heart. In her heart. In their hearts.

In your heart.

In my heart.

Begin looking there. 

hospice watch for grand trees

 old large trees, neighbor

takes them down -- weary, limb broke

all their years, merci  

when still, everything is itself

Cape Breton rower

wind vane yellow green back on

spindle after storm 

at rest this September morn-

ing one day left in summer

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

more than meets the eye

Finish building bridge

over brook by pet graveyard

Dry paws up mountain

Of course my life is failure

Galaxies hang over yard

judiciary committee circling three rings

 lawmakers on right

side of tent -- conceptual

clown show makeup -- they

do not care about the law

just blah blah blah -- send money

the brazen subterfuge and dactylic spondee of her sounding mask

                     (A no-ode for T.L.)

A friend says she’s not writing poems these days. I do not believe her. Look what she says:

I’m not

Writing poems

These days

Clearly a poem. She indicates that she is not. Existentia in absentia (existence in absence).

Then she gives a clue to what is happening — the writing poems, (or the writing of poems?), is done by “these days” (that stealth cadre of culprits).

Here’s what I think. She is masquerading as “these days” — having shunted off her moral coil of pretending to be she-who-is-not-writing-poetry — and taken up the amoral disguise of indecipherable everydayness, minute upon minute, lunch too close to breakfast, afternoon nap longing with sultry abandon for five more luxuriant minutes — dust mop across hard surfaces, wet sponge on elevated counters — she disappears into “these days” like a ravished tea bag at end of hot dunking and languorous dip at bottom of spent desire.

She is not writing poems. That task is taken up by “these days” — a clever pseudonym nom-de-plume as ever conceived and birthed into the cloaked ambiance of artificial in-tell-I-gents as any woman might demure while standing flicking hand-fan in midst of gentlemen callers in hot southern parlor.

I rest my case.

She is outwitting us.

She knows what she is, doing.