Saturday, July 03, 2021

ainsi soit-il

Prayer is 

becoming aware 

of the absence 

of prayer — 

that you 




(Let us pray)

Friday, July 02, 2021

did you say i’m an idiot

 from now on

everyone stands

on own feel

no structures apply

no ideology

no method

each person, each animal

carries within the whole

monastery, mosque, zendo

There isn’t anything outside

equal to inner holy unfolding

awkward and sideways

kinhin around kitchen island

coffee beans to english muffin

cats waiting to be served

woman complaining about numbers

dog contemplating all the feet

joy of invitatory antiphonal

I don’t know what I used to think

or why it’s taken so long — this

procession into sacred presence

sweet rain

 holiday weekend —

cool air through window, eaves drop

drip by drip to earth

Thursday, July 01, 2021

of prayer

 Do I know how to pray?


How is that?

When the word “to” collapsed, I forgot how to pray.

I do not know how to pray “to.”

What then do I do?

I flounder. I stutter. I contradict.


Yes, I go against what I am saying. 

I am a contrarian of prayer.

Nothing seems to satisfy. 

I am dissatisfied oration.

I don’t know how to pray.

Empty words, no destination,

Turned back on themselves.

A whirlpool of adumbration.

Hidden from anything other 

Than itself; 

Itself nowhere to be found,

Wordless, nameless, senseless



At center root




Absurd — (my life

of prayer)

heart appointment


might say

I have 

no heart

(zen master 

could not 

say it




as clear as


always (add comma)

 How does always change?

“Language is always (,) changing”*

Just this time, speak now


*(—linguist from southern maine on radio show 'maine calling')


 Donald Rumsfeld?

Ask me something else.

Bill Cosby?

Ask me something else.

Is there something else?

. . . No!





(No you

No now!)

Go ahead...

Make my day

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

one didn't manage baseball teams

 Billy Martin and 

Nicolae Ceaușescu both 

die Christmas 89

obvious matter for thought

Ask me no questions

I’ll tell you no lies.

No foolin’! 

 Definition of koan

a paradox to be meditated upon that is used to train Zen Buddhist monks to abandon ultimate dependence on reason and to force them into gaining sudden intuitive enlightenment. 

koan (n.)

Zen paradox meant to stimulate the mind, 1918, from Japanese ko "public" + an "matter for thought." Online Etymology Dictionary

 I have a question for you.

Go ahead, ask.

No, you ask.

Ok — you mean now?

Well done!

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

25 years ago today, a bookshop/bakery


Quiet air

In thru window

Our through door

Brown and white dog

Brief stand in disappearing brook 

This hot edge end of june

Monday, June 28, 2021

what difference 'and'

Someone pointed out that the quote attributed to St. Augustine (354-430 CE) has been wrongly translated.

That instead of --

"Love and do what you will,"

 It should read --

"Love do what you will."

What difference 'and'?

Such a change does shift things.

It is from his Sermon on Love, his commentary on 1 John 4:4-12

(Here from New International Version) 
4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit[a] of truth and the spirit of falsehood.  

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God;but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 

1 John 4:4-12
 Love, we might suggest, is in itself invisible -- only made visible by the action or activity of love.

Evelyn Underhill writes in her work Mysticism that "When St Paul saw God he saw nothing."

Vladimir Putin on 16june21 at a news conference said "In this life there is no happiness, there is only the specter of happiness."

Do we see happiness? Or do we look through the illusion of happiness?

Or is it the looking itself that is what we are looking at, from, with, for, and as?

The poet writes:

Primary Wonder

          by Denise Levertov

Days pass when I forget the mystery.

Problems insoluble and problems offering

their own ignored solutions

jostle for my attention, they crowd its antechamber

along with a host of diversions, my courtiers, wearing

their colored clothes; cap and bells.

And then

once more the quiet mystery

is present to me, the throng's clamor

recedes: the mystery

that there is anything, anything at all,

let alone cosmos, joy, memory, everything,

rather than void: and that, O Lord,

Creator, Hallowed One, You still,

hour by hour sustain it.

- from Denise Levertov: Selected Poems, by Denise Levertov

(photo by saskia)

Turtle holds up earth 
and cosmos by each measured
 step on its way here

What you will, with or without 'and' -- whoever you think the doer is.

when I am just that

I'd rather be alive because I am alive. 

The Catholic Church no longer claims that opposition to abortion is scriptural. It is not a religious issue. It is called a matter of natural law, which should be discernible by natural reason. Yet as the Catholic judge John T. Noonan said, the most recognized experts on natural law, in universities, human rights organizations, medical and psychological bodies, do not generally oppose abortion. Nor, according to polls, do a majority of American citizens, even Catholic citizens. Some women of my own extended family have had abortions and still consider themselves Catholics. President Biden seems to be on their side, as is Pope Francis. This, of course, does not affect the American bishops. They hate this pope and this president anyway.

(--from, The Bishops Are Wrong About Biden — and Abortion, NYTimes, June 27, 2021, by Gary Wills)

And when time comes, I'd rather be dead because I will be dead.

Either way, no one need tell me what I ought to be or do.

Except that I ought to be what I am when I am just that. 

Sunday, June 27, 2021

the one thing remaining

 There’s nothing left but compassion

No hope, no trust better angels will prevail

No optimism democracy is stronger than self promotion 

No belief there’s a greater plan for a return to sanity

Only this

There is suffering and distress

Everybody hurts in their own way

No rhyme, reason, or justified wherewithal 

What’s left

Is compassion 

Plain and simple

Kindness and empathy

The one thing remaining

When all is lost

When justice flees 

Stupidity and mindlessness moves in

Forget about any plan to reconstruct civility

Or appeals to crossing aisles, or decency rhetoric —

Forget slogans, advertisements, or placard philosophy

There’s no diversity in singularity

There’s only compassion

Sympathetic consciousness 

Caring attention

What once was called


Action and attitude of authentic respect

There — As you are

As each is — alone with one another

After everything collapses

Nothing resembles what has been known

Just broken glass and fallen debris —

I look for you to see what I am