Saturday, March 04, 2023

may your going be with comfort and good cheer

 So much snow — Ellsberg 

is in hospice, Carter too —

One by one, good men

nothing left, to be, desired

 Reading New York Times

Article “Just Breathe” — Recall 

song line: “Sometimes, all 

I need is the air that I 

breathe, and to love you.” (Encore)


the gift of final look — no longer there

 One of these nights I

Will wake up dead wondering

Where I am. When I

Realize I am dead, I 

will disappear, (no more I)

Friday, March 03, 2023

for meandering deer

 Opening wood gate

at road for snowplow to come

Tomorrow — After  

long falling snow — Again — late 

winter high-pack pushed piles

time within eternity, the freedom of conversation

 In prison today

Talk of time, eternity

infinity, space —

The mythology of “as-

it-is”  our möbius (yes)

no whisper of spring near cracked birdseed

For all of us there comes a time when oars fail, when there is nothing left to do but surrender to the great unknown.

(—Noelle Oxenhandler, Go Bang Your Head Against the Wall”, Tricycle)

Overturned in dooryard

Under three hefty snowfalls

Two sleeping rowboats

In barn, above cowshed, four

Dry oars near closed umbrellas

Thursday, March 02, 2023

benedictus fructus

“ In you, my God, my body will rest in hope.”(Antiphon, Compline, Thursday)

Hope is the shadow of human activity.

That which is below and behind the activity of mind and body everyday.

We’re uncertain about hope,

It follows us.

As shadows do.

a helm unerring for the rule of life;


He who loved change. 

The story told by Ariston of Socrates, and his remarks when he came upon the book of Heraclitus, which Euripides brought him, I have mentioned in my Life of Socrates.​17 [link to original Greek text] 12 However, Seleucus the grammarian says that a certain Croton relates in his book called The Diver that the said work of Heraclitus was first brought into Greece by one Crates, who further said it required a Delian diver not to be drowned in it.​b The title given to it by some is The Muses,​18 by others Concerning Nature; but Diodotus calls it19

A helm unerring for the rule of life;

others "a guide of conduct, the keel of the whole world, for one and all alike." We are told that, when asked why he kept silence, he replied, "Why, to let you chatter." Darius, too, was eager to make his acquaintance, and wrote to him as follows:20

[link to original Greek text] 13 "King Darius, son of Hystaspes, to Heraclitus the wise man of Ephesus, greeting.

"You are the author of a treatise On Nature which  p421 is hard to understand and hard to interpret. In certain parts, if it be interpreted word for word, it seems to contain a power of speculation on the whole universe and all that goes on within it, which depends upon motion most divine; but for the most part judgement is suspended, so that even those who are the most conversant with literature are at a loss to know what is the right interpretation of your work. Accordingly King Darius, son of Hystaspes, wishes to enjoy your instruction and Greek culture. Come then with all speed to see me at my palace. [link to original Greek text] 14 For the Greeks as a rule are not prone to mark their wise men; nay, they neglect their excellent precepts which make for good hearing and learning. But at my court there is secured for you every privilege and daily conversation of a good and worthy kind, and a life in keeping with your counsels."

"Heraclitus of Ephesus to King Darius, son of Hystaspes, greeting.

"All men upon earth hold aloof from truth and justice, while, by reason of wicked folly, they devote themselves to avarice and thirst for popularity. But I, being forget­ful of all wickedness, shunning the general satiety which is closely joined with envy, and because I have a horror of splendour, could not come to Persia, being content with little, when that little is to my mind."

So independent was he even when dealing with a king.

(— Diogenes Laërtius, Lives of the Eminent Philosophers, BOOK Ix, Chapter 1, Heraclitus)

Becomes, off and on, reluctant to change.

Becoming this or that  is where change goes to remain itself.

Throughout and as consequence to causes and conditions.

As his thought-filled rival said, “Nothing changes.” (Parmenides)


 Such favored pre-Socratics!

inside me now

This poem: 


        (by Maxine Scates)

The dead are breathing inside me now, 

everything slowing to the pace of the newt 

crawling across the bricks, the old cat watching, 

the newt too slow for even him 

as the crack in the earth opens and the roots 

rise up to trip me. Fire lives in me 

and the fear of fire, plague and the fear 

of plague, death and the fear of death 

though only it will silence me. I remember 

the abandoned freight cars 

standing on unused tracks, doors open. 

I saw through them to the stubbled fields 

beyond. The owl sitting on its fencepost late 

in the day, the creek and its flowing, 

the pied horse in its pasture—I was afraid 

I’d lose them. If I could only do just this, 

the long days filled, me longing, in pursuit 

of something exquisite that eludes me, always 

clumsy, never knowing the manners 

of the place I have entered

(Poem, “Look”, © 2023 by Maxine Scates. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 2, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets)

il est maintenant temps de regarder attentivement et de faire confiance… dire la vérité

There’s something about facts. Sooner or later they break through concrete and asphalt like natural life after a long time covered over with grievance expedience — the urge of truth breaks through the most coarse covering to reappear.

We continue to be assaulted by the mendacity and malignant utterances of a man who was president and his followers who do not care to know better, a man who, inconceivably, could become president again. The incarceration of truth, the silencing of truth-telling, is a felonious injustice.

There are instances of the cry for parole.

But that protest is unlikely to change the behavior of right-wing members of Congress. Yesterday, Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Mark Green (R-TN) blamed the Biden administration for the deaths of Caleb and Kyler Kiessling from fentanyl poisoning after their mother, an attorney and conservative activist, testified before the House Committee on Homeland Security. But the young men, along with 17-year-old Sophia Harris, died in July 2020, when Trump was president.

When senior CNN reporter Daniel Dale asked Greene’s office why she had blamed Biden for the deaths, her congressional spokesperson, Nick Dyer, “responded by saying lots of people have died from drugs under Biden and ‘do you think they give a f*ck about your bullsh*t fact checking?’” Dale also asked him to comment on Greene’s lies about the 2020 presidential election yesterday. Dyer answered: “F*ck off.

(Heather Cox Richardson, 1mar23) ,

We sorrow for Kyler and Sophia. We wish them well in their journey through the disappearing unknown of death.

As for those of us temporarily remaining visible and engaged in the jousting turmoil of verition and deception, there’s something inside us, however covered over by ignorance and ill-will, that insinuates upward and outward until, finally, it emerges into light and fresh air.

Et voilà — il est maintenant temps de regarder attentivement, et de faire confiance.

 (And there you go — now is the time to look carefully, and trust.)

Truth, it is said, sets free.

But only if you value freedom.

Dire la vérité.

(To tell the truth.)

mirror mirroring what is not there

 I am no poet

Poets create the world with

Vision and feeling —

Au contraire — I unsay it

With silence inside silence

Wednesday, March 01, 2023

change your heart, change the world


 demands building together

something of value

Spiritual life

demands breathing together

true contemplation

It is not hard to

be compassionate right now — 

drop all opinions

rotting from within

 Sober assessment

threats against democracy —

inside this country

failure of integrity

savage weakness, lies, damn lies

open window, early gaze


Morning after snow — zazen

No trace of footprints

just like that

 Friend sends poem “For the Traveler” by John O’Donohue.

In response:


       (for Jude, unobscured)

Even alone one

Travels with companions — greet

Each one seen, unseen

And, just like that, dawns the day!

you never know what-is being-served

 Do not be afraid

of being-food, of feeding 

One-another, then

Washing up, putting away

Going down stairs, off

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

an underlying truthful goodness

 Is now

And will be





do you want to know what heaven is

 I heard these words: "on 

earth as it is in heaven"

and it occurs to

me that "as it is" describes

the dimension of heaven

Monday, February 27, 2023

zen evening gatha

Let me respectfully remind you:

Life and Death are of supreme importance.

Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost.

On this night, the days of our life are decreased by one.

Each of us should strive to awaken.


Take heed! Do not squander your life

(NY Zen Center)

reading poem “why i am not a buddhist”*

 Prison this morning 

Talk about passion, and the 

Inside outside dream —

We think mind is inside us

And the world outside us . . . Ha!


Sunday, February 26, 2023

in winter blooming radiant

Walking into bookshed today to water plants - I was greeted and surprised by the beautiful blooming christmas cactus that was my Mother's.  We would see it on sunday evenings in winter blooming radiant.  So wanted to send a gift from bookshed delight today to you all.



central befuddlement unmasked

Self: What do you want?

Not-self: Nothing.

The doctrine of not-self (anatta) is one of the most central, and befuddling, concepts in all of the dharma—one that often becomes a stumbling block for Western practitioners. 

What does it really mean to say, “All phenomena are not-self”? And how do we make skillful use of both self and not-self along the path of awakening?  (Tricycle email) 

Self: You can go now.

Not-self: I’m not here. You’re delusional, talking to what-is not here.

Self: I’ve thought so.

Not-self: Thinking doesn’t make it so.

Self: So, this is goodbye?

Not-self: You’re talking to your self, not me. I’m not here.

                       . . .

           [exeunt omnes; scene]

for a moment here

Prime chant after logs

Catch glow in brown waterford —

Glass of orange juice

Sobriety all these years

Sitting mute in wohnkuche