Saturday, November 28, 2020

Sometimes I think how relieved the world must be that we live such short lives.

metal god

 

Amenomahitotsu no Kami (天目一箇神)

Amenomahitotsu no Kami is a Shinto god of iron manufacture and blacksmiths who appears in Japanese mythology. He appears in the "Kogoshui" (History of the Inbe Clan), the "Nihonshoki" (Chronicles of Japan), and the "Harimanokuni Fudoki" (Records of the Culture and Geography of Harima Province). He is also known as Amenomahitotsune no Mikoto and Amenokushimahitotsu no Mikoto. He has something to do with Daidara-bocchi (a giant in Japanese mythology).

Summary

According to the "Kogoshui," Amenomahitotsu no Kami is a child of Amatsuhikone no Mikoto. He made swords, axes, and bronze bells during the 'iwato-gakure,' when Amaterasu Omikami, the sun goddess, hid herself in a cave after a fight with her brother. He worked as a blacksmith to make the necessary items when the god Omononushi was enshrined. The document also says that during the reign of Emperor Sujin, a descendant of Amenomahitotsu no Kami and a descendant of Ishikoridome (the ancestral goddess of mirror makers) recast the sacred mirror. In the "Nihonshoki," the second issho (addendum) in the section on the pacification of Ashihara no Nakatsukuni (the Central Land of Reed Plains) says that Takamimusubi (one of the three creator gods of Japanese mythology) designated Amenomahitotsu no Kami as the blacksmith when they enshrined the gods of Izumo. In the "Kogoshui," he is described as the ancestor of the Inbe Clans in Tsukushi Province and Ise Province, and it also mentions some relationship to Futodama (another ancestral deity of the Inbe Clan).

He is a god of blacksmithing and is thought to be the same god as Amatsumara, who is described as a smith in the iwato-gakure section of the "Kojiki" (the Records of Ancient Matters). The 'mahitotsu' part of his name means 'one eye,' and it is said this was derived from the fact that blacksmiths closed one eye to judge the temperature of iron from its color, or another story that blacksmiths had an industrial disease which made one eye blind. The same thing can be said about Amatsumara because the 'mara' in 'Amatsumara' is derived from the word 'meura,' which also means 'one eye'.

Amenomahitotsu no Kami appears under the name of Amenomahitotsu no Mikoto in the section on the Takanokori region in the "Harimanokuni Fudoki" (the topography of Harima Province). The story has it that Michinushihime no Mikoto, the local guardian goddess, gave birth to a child whose father was unknown, but when she let the child choose which god out of the many he would pour ukeizake (sake which is offered to a deity to ask his or her will) for and the child chose Amenomahitotsu no Mikoto, she realized that Amenomahitotsu no Mikoto was the father. It is believed that this myth represents a close relationship between agricultural people and metalworkers. Amenomahitotsu no Kami is enshrined at Amenomahitotsu-jinja Shrine (Ogi-cho, Nishiwaki City, Hyogo Prefecture (formerly Ogi, Hino Village, Taka District), the current shrine building is a reconstruction), where he was worshipped as a god of iron manufacturing.

Ichimokuren

Although Ichimokuren, also known as Hitotsume no Muraji, is thought to be the same as the Amenomahitotsu no Kami enshrined at Ichimokuren-jinja Shrine, which is an annex shrine of Tado Taisha Shrine (Tado-cho, Kuwana City, Mie Prefecture), this deity was originally a dragon which had lost one eye and this led people to eventually identify him with Amenomahitotsu no Kami.

Ichimokuren is regarded as a god who controls the weather and, in the Edo period, people frequently prayed to him for rain and for protection against shipwrecks in Ise Bay. Kunio YANAGIDA concludes that this belief originated in sailors at sea on Ise Bay using the appearance of Mt. Tado to predict changes in the weather. Mt. Tado, which is at the southern tip of the Yoro Mountains, must have been a good mountain for predicting the weather because, of the mountains to the north of Ise Bay, it is the closest to the bay and changes in the weather, such as fog on the mountain, can easily be seen.

The section on 'umi no okase' (whirlwind) in the "Wakan Sansai Zue" (an encyclopedia compiled in the Edo period) says 'Well, unexpected windstorms sometimes occur in Sei-shu (Ise Province), Bi-shu (Owari Province), No-shu (Mino Province), and Tan-shu (Hida Province), and such storms are generally called Ichimokuren and considered as a divine wind. Once this wind blows, it destroys everything: it pulls out trees, makes big rocks fall, and breaks houses. However, this occurs just along a narrow corridor and it does not damage any other places. A shrine for Ichimokuren is located on Mt. Tado, in Kuwana District, Sei-shu.'
According to a legend from Ise, Owari, Mino, and Hida Provinces, a windstorm occurred when Ichimokuren left the shrine and ran wild, and it is believed that the description in the encyclopedia was derived from this folklore. The main building of Ichimokuren-jinja Shrine does not have a door, and it is said this is to enable Ichimokuren to go in and out of the shrine anytime he wants in order to show his divine power.
 

https://japanese-wiki-corpus.github.io/Shinto/Amenomahitotsu%20no%20Kami.html

 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

relic


 This is a WWll rosary ring ring made from an artillery shell case. I find it a very disturbing object.

Monday, November 23, 2020

the hen

 

Called you.

Talked about your friend,  a hen.

Three years old, this friend!

You worried when

you saw her stumble 

and the pet peacock, close,

began pecking at her eyes

(surprised at such cruelty).

You rescued her, unharmed,

made a hay bed in the barn,

where she lay all night.

She died.

You cried.

After our talk,

you'll bury her.


 


What kind of alliances do I wish for, build?

Do I transact or transform? 

 

Remember to keep 

compassion

at the center

of....

small acts

 1

Along the river,

wrote "vote"

(cursive)

with a finger in the sky.

2

I've learned 

that weeks of

hoaxes coax

the worst from us.

Told jokes because

extremism lacks them.

3

Somewhere someone's

burning books -

I salvage one in my mind,

a  justice manual ,

look up "resistance".


Saturday, November 21, 2020

Ramana Maharshi

 


EIGHT POINTS
 
1. Turn the mind inward and rest in your own Self.
2. Mind is the cause of bondage.
3. Give up one thing after another and rest in peace.
4. What we get, we shall lose, so desire not.
5. There are two kinds of meditation. The first is to be practised by advanced aspirants — nirguna dhyana — where one seeks to know the Meditator himself. The second kind is to be practised by those less advanced — a some what round about course — saguna dhyana — where the meditator, meditation and the object of meditation get merged ultimately into one.
6. When I come to know that I was never born, I shall never die. Death is for one who is born. I was never born. I have no body and so I shall never die. I am everywhere; where am I to go and where am I to come?
7. When a man’s mind is dead, he will not die again.
8. Attain the sushupti (state of sleep) in the jagrat (waking) state, and you become a jnani.
 
Recorded in June 1918 By C.V. Subramania Aiyer
 

"Everybody knew that Sri Ramana was very careful with everything, particularly with food, and never wasted anything. This was, of course, especially noticeable in the kitchen. When once some mustard seeds fell on the floor, the cooks took no notice, but Ramana picked them up one by one with his fingernails and placed them in a small bowl.
Raja Iyer reports that Ramana had shown him how to use the ladle in such a way as to avoid a single morsel of food falling on the floor, how to pour without spilling anything and how to make a fire with only a few drops of kerosene.
For each vegetable Ramana knew a special kind of preparation.
Nothing was thrown away. If he cut spinach, he separated the leaves, the stalks and the roots. With the leaves he made the curry,
the stalks were bound together, cooked and put into the sambar and the roots were washed carefully, squeezed and their juice put into the rasam. Any orange peel or apple peel was put into the chutney. The leftovers from the previous day were warmed up and served at the following breakfast, along with the iddlies. If there was any soup or vegetables left, they were put into the sambar. This was against the caste rules of the Brahmins, according to which leftovers may not be used the following day. But Ramana insisted that the avoidance of waste was more important than anything else. To give the leftovers to beggars was also not practicable, as they had to have the same as everyone else and not be given poor quality food.
One evening Ramana had cut spinach and brinjal (aubergines) and laid aside the pieces which he could not use so as to make use of them the following day. The next morning, when he came into the kitchen as usual and asked for the pieces he had put aside, he was told that they had already been thrown away. He therefore went outside, found them, cleaned them, cut them into smaller pieces and used them.
Sampurnamma recounted another story along the same lines,
“Once a feast was being prepared for his birthday. Devotees sent food in large quantities: some sent rice, some sugar, some fruits.
Someone sent a huge load of brinjals and we ate brinjals day after day. The stalks alone made a big heap which was lying in a corner.
Bhagavan asked us to cook them as a curry! I was stunned, for even cattle would refuse to eat such useless stalks. Bhagavan insisted that the stalks were edible, and we put them in a pot to boil along with dry peas. After six hours of boiling they were as hard as ever. We were at a loss what to do, yet we did not dare to disturb Bhagavan. But he always knew when he was needed in the kitchen and he would leave the Hall even in the middle of a discussion. A casual visitor would think that his mind was all on cooking. …
‘How is the curry getting on?’ he asked.
‘Is it a curry we are cooking? We are boiling steel nails!’ I exclaimed, laughing.
He stirred the stalks with the ladle and went away without saying anything.
Soon after we found them quite tender. The dish was simply delicious and everybody was asking for a second helping. Bhagavan challenged the diners to guess what vegetable they were eating.
Everybody praised the curry and the cook, except Bhagavan. He swallowed the little he was served in one mouth-full like a medicine and refused a second helping. I was very disappointed, for I had taken so much trouble to cook his stalks and he would not even taste them properly.
The next day he was telling somebody, ‘Sampurnam was distressed that I did not eat her wonderful curry. Can she not see that every-one who eats is myself? And what does it matter who eats the food?
It is the cooking that matters, not the cook or the eater. A thing done well, with love and devotion, is its own reward. What happens to it later matters little, for it is out of our hands.”
 
- Ramana Maharshi: His Life
 

Friday, November 20, 2020

things


1

not alone

stone in water

tree in sea

 

 2

bird (s)

verb

noun

sound  

of river



Thursday, November 19, 2020

lessons

Bull and cow elk make a whistle (descending) and a whistle roar (clear your throat)

Kaixo (kigh show) is hello in Euskara

Tony's grandmother was mugged

Paul gives excellent advice

Tim has more work

Travis the poodle visits even if I don't give him eggs

My sister Maureen gives 150% of herself to her family

I couldn't call Gyongyi but we'll talk next week

The squirrels are very fat now

I think I saw a beaver marks on a felled tree along the river greenway

 


Thursday, November 12, 2020

 

What bird represents hope to you? To me, it is the slate-colored junco. I found a nearly mature fledgling hopping about on the greenway path along the river. I thought it hurt, but discovered juncos build their nests on the ground. I caused the poor thing such a fright it sighed and went limp. I thought I had killed it! Yet its heart said no. I put it near the ground, off the path, in a safer place. Came later to find it gone! Trickster! You gave me grief and joy, taught me to not underestimate the wit and wiles of small things.!
 
Time to focus on the last green things of the season, and small, dark birds. Words and images. Hope.

 


Let's say the weekend proper starts on Thursday during the pandemic.  I am going to do a bit of magical thinking on this, and declare it so. Three sabbaths and an eve. How Abrahamic of me!




Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Amabie アマビエ

 

 アマビエ

Give illness a face,

frightening and funny,

a strong-smelling

charm of the

sea.

 

 

We wanted

a faith healer,

a gatekeeper, 

but got instead what we forgot - how to live with death.

Between

sickness and health,

island wisdom

still rises from the sea.

Amabie 

meets spirits and earth,

dives

into

hope,

lives underneath

this epidemic,

in  our dreams.

Seems she's especially 

seen in hard times.

Why not?

We always  welcome

a storyteller

who makes

fun of our

scared  faces,

our races for cures.

 Peak and trough -

sit still,

give it time.

peace cage

 


 from Louise Glück (All Hallows):

toothed moon

seeds

and the soul creeps out of the tree

quill

 main tail or wing things

hollow feathers, sharp spines or a bird-birthed pen, 

yet again an old word for pan pipes, or the weaver's spindle

fabric in cylindrical folds molded

or old porcupine spines finely hand-worked

into boxes

a beautiful and appeasing thing 

can spring

from a word 

fixed on 

flight and protection

connected

deeply

to creating

as 

some words

are




Monday, November 9, 2020

quote verse

 quote verse (poem made of heard quotes, those in italics)

 

a period of liminality

where

a committment to memory

overwhelms numbness

becomes

restorative

initiates a

reimagining of place

 

 

 

 


Thursday, November 5, 2020

 When did it first arrive

this feeling

that whatever happens

won't be enough


Monday, November 2, 2020

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Thursday, October 29, 2020


So many people sick and dying.

I am in the moderate risk group.

30X more likely to contract the virus.

I had a panic attack Monday night.

I decided not to work the polls.

27 people will. 

27!

That is in a precinct with 3,000

registered,

40% of whom have already 

voted.


 beautiful gloom

 


Wednesday, October 28, 2020

 ventifacts - things made by the wind

stine - human purposed

Rock - not


 sleepless night

breathing not good

should call the nurse

cancelled poll working

would like sleep

desire deep peace

instead, dread, a panic

all apace

run with this body

that hasn't forgiven this epidemic 

even if the mind believes otherwise

Thought

 The Galaxies, planets, continents adrift, sailing


Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Monday, October 19, 2020

american prayer

Save us from temptation.

Deliver us from evil

and

bad teeth.

dreams

 Saw numbers as symbol manipulators

orchestrate the departure of indifference.

Saw flowers, news, phone calls, books.

Saints are resting

under the elms and next to yard signs.

Is this what

indeterminacy looks like?

Afterward,

pelagic thoughts.

Ought to write them down, but don't.

Mind overwhelmed by

"wash hands"

and

"vote".


 



 1

Roots

have been

killed -

fill,

patch,

caulk.

After,

walk

in

water,

wearing

new

shoes.

 

2

 

She

(sometimes)

bridges

interstices.

 

3

Copper

culture

altered

water.

 

4

Nemotodes?

Neem and toads?

Nemophila?

Nem szabad!

All the while,

a

dog begs.

 

5

K2

you

lie

underneath

two

mountains

a dry valley

and Huron's 

ice age

ledges.

 

6

wrote

"vote"

got a manual

labored

through it

wrote

note

"return

library books"

had coffee with...

then worked on...

Debated with myself -

" What will you do if ...."

 


 

Friday, October 16, 2020

 " To go  in search of what once was is to postpone the difficulty of living with what is."

Lopez, Horizon, p.400

 

A rosary 

of wallabies - in Walpiri a rufous hare-wallaby (Lagorchestes hirsutus) is a mala.

Lopez, Horizon, 403 

 

Malas and songlines

"...in interviews with Western field biologists  over the years, I've found that the issue of local extinction is, for many of them, not entirely clear. There are to many cases of animals being declared locally extinct only to have them turn up again. "singing" an animal back into existence is a metaphorical expression for some as-yet-umplumbed biological process of restoration, quaint only in the minds of those who believe they already know, or can discover, precisely how the world is hinged."

Lopez, Horizon, p.406

 

 

 

The need for greed contrition (Horizon)

 "The modern urge to turn a landscape into "what it once was", to make it "better" by eliminating "pests", to rid it of plants and animals that, because they didn't co-evolve with the environment, have a special capacity to devastate it, is a complex desire to appease - biologically, ethically, and practically. It is impossible, biologically, truly to "restore" any landscape. The reintroduction of plants and animals to a place suggests that though human engineering of one sort or another has "destroyed" a place, human engineering can bring it back, a bold but wrongheaded notion: humans aren't able to reverse the direction of evolution, to darn a landscape back together like a sweater that has unraveled. Restoration privileges some animals and plants over others, and therefore presents ethical problems identical to those one faces in examining any project of social engineering or any country's policies of  racial and ethnic discrimination. Finally, it is not possible to restore the soil chemistry of lands turned nearly lifeless by decades of irrigation, chemical fertilizers, and overgrazing.

Lopez, Horizon, pp396-397

Sunday, October 11, 2020

"In every corner of the world there was such resplendent life, unexpected, integrated, anonymous."

Barry Lopez, Horizon, p.263 

 

Remember Lopez' habit of using a navigational map to chart notes, memories of site

experiences.

 

Perspective: 

Light as solar, otherworldly, light as underwater, submerged, limninal.  

 indeterminancy

 Bob said

doing your work during this time

is a kind of protest.


Bells

knell deep

in the cool air

where

a plane

and a sparrow

narrow

space

that

soon

isn't enough

for the wind

or a car.

_______

Hear

a river

widen,

course

west.

Locks open. 

Voices,

doors

shudder.

____________

A

thrush

shows 

how,

with just a flicker,

she quickens

time,

opens

it

again.




Saturday, October 10, 2020

 w i d e     a t t e n t i o n

return to

the old ways of sleeping

the old ways of dreaming


Friday, October 9, 2020

My country under construction.

Early sounds of hammering, hollow as a bell, or striking thick like a log.

The sounds accompany troubled dreams.

I wonder as I wake up,

what we've become.

The hammering, as in bells, fists, clubs, clasping

hands.

The hammering bands round

the heart, round as beads, rosary recitations.

Empathic or fanatic?

We control the breath, the praying sounds.

And then, slowly, the hands, arms, our bodies smacking

to the ground around us.

The knees. The pleas.

My chest constricts.

The hammering, as in the voices of interruption,

the threats, the scenes of confusion, the violent memes.

What lies are within us? 

What lies are before us?

 


 

 

 

 

t

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

 w  i  d  e 

 

attention


more

 

 

doors



open





 Eternal inflation predicts that time will end
Raphael Bousso a;b;c, Ben Freivogeld, Stefan Leichenauera; b and Vladimir
Rosenhaus a;b 

a Center for Theoretical Physics and Department of Physics University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-7300, U.S.A.
b Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720-8162, U.S.A.
c Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe University of Tokyo, 5-1-5 Kashiwa-no-Ha, Kashiwa City, Chiba 277-8568, Japan
d Center for Theoretical Physics and Laboratory for Nuclear Science Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, U.S.A.

 

Abstract:

 

Present treatments of eternal inflation regulate in finities 

by imposing a geometric cutoff . 

We point out that some matter systems 

reach the cutoff in finite time.

 

This implies 

a nonzero probability 

for a novel type of catastrophe.

 

According to the most successful measure proposals, 

our galaxy 

is likely to encounter the cuto ff


within the next 5 billion years.

 

 

 sick

spent a day in bed

tightness spread

across chest

 

I get tested Friday morning.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

 notes to myself:

(pink notes):
 
Think,
execute,
respond,
review.
 
You, the fruit
the airborne
Prunus spinosa
 
a winged thing
without wings
believe in
regeneration.
 
It starts like this -
you,
a fish
out of water
alter
your
fins,
begin
to grow 
legs,
to walk,
or take root,
and so
become
the  loaves
and fields
that feed 
what you need.
 
I too am
on fire 
in California.
Best to remember
as I do, 
that we all fall
through time,
and change -
you, me, 
sea fish, tree.
 
Nothing lasts,
not even ash.
Think link.
It's 
this I see
that's
eternity.
 
 
__________________

It's now or never,
sever links
from....
(finish this sentence)
 
__________________
 
(blue notes)
 
a celestial
terrestrial -
thrush
warbler
creeper
 
(blew)
 
Blown
off course!
I've always known
you'd hurt them,
me, again.
See?
I've given 
too much time
to your (wind) 風 Kaze.

_________________________
 
(wind) άνεμος  ánemos
Who stole your brave heart?
Aren't you longing
for your pain to end?
Hah.
You'll be the last to know,
though you've
been
again and again
mindworked,
psyche culled.
It's
still all 
inside
as it ever is,
always was.

I stay afloat
by pushing my boat
into deeper seas,
when
terror
returns,
churns sand,
reveals
old stones.
Flaked chert 
hurts,
but somehow not as much 
in open water.
___________________________

Me too.
I'm through with weaponized empathy.
 ___________________________
 
The snow collector,
whorled milkweed,
requires clay
to flourish,
flowers summerlong.
 
Asclepias verticillata -
does no harm,
whispers to snakes,
makes me
monarch strong.
Milkweed,
are you ready
for our long voyage 
to the end?
_______________________________
 

Thursday, September 24, 2020

 red-breasted nuthatch -

a plum's shadow

on white building

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

 Early

morning

in the

garden -

a

brown

house 

wren

under

the

white

mulberry

Sunday, September 20, 2020

I hear

no machinery 

scream,

ring,

whistle

whine,

just

a steady stream

(well, almost)

of traffic,

today,

Sunday,

at 9.




Two rabbits

a fat squirrel

are

grazing

in the garden.

The rabbit next

to the white fence

half hidden

feints a freeze 

but kicks instead

at the squirrels head

who surprised

skedaddles 

up the mulberry tree.

Two rabbits now.

The doe, 

though smaller,

emboldened,

comes away from

the fence

into new grass

the best grass I guess.

She eating

pauses

for a long minute

stares down the buck

one almond eye at a time.

 

 

fall morning, September 20th

 I thought last night's light

(that feather moon!)

was too much for me,

but this morning

blindsided by clarity

the arrival of autumn air

and autumn

light

doubles the wonder.

The window screen disappears into silver, 

the window glass into gold.

I've been told

every day looks

new to you, earth, air, tree,

now I understand

now I also see.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

We discovered

a grey mouse 

under mulch.

Her silver fur

shook

the shredded

wood.

She would, 

and could, 

and did,

ignore

us,

continue,

and

calmly

cover 

herself 

again.

 

 


Tonight,

the moon's

a

lure.

You,

me,

tree,

we're

under

it,

deeper

down.



 


 

        d a r k e r                                  

        d a y s                                       

         a h e a d                                   

                                                         

                                                         

                                                         

                                                         

                                                         

                                                         


she

she died

trying.

stay.

watch

this system,

never perfect,

never blind,

unwind.


Ginsburg’s final statement, dictated to her granddaughter Clara Spera from her deathbed, was simply: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

lichen and moss

 Lichen is symbiotic

algae and fungi

not a plant.


These I see 

feed on bark,

favor sun,

need clean air.

They alert

me and tree

to

danger, disease -

crown drop, black spot,

borer, weevil, moth.

 

Tree lichen lift living grey into green.

I have seen them cover ash and elm,

the helmsmen 

signaling storm.

 



dream, with back pain

A dull ache

kept me awake.

I burrowed into myself.

When sleep came,

the pain

remained,

followed me into a dream.

Seems

I was a tree

half in and half out of

water earth air

there on my bark

lichen,

moss.

 


 


Sunday, September 13, 2020

morning walk, lynden

 you knew

dew would be there


a blue jay

cries

like 

a

hawk

 

talk

of

a

bronze

horse

looks

like

wood

(should

feel

warm)

 

leaf

forms 

saw

pawpaw

sugar maple


 

eight 

of 

us

36

birds

heard

more

of 

them

stems

from

less

of

us

 



 


Saturday, September 12, 2020

 wet

ground

red 

worms

sounds

of

warbler

thrush

in 

the

brush

 

 

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

contrast

 It's raining, and cool.
After  breakfast,
I'll clean the cellar.

In the hills near my sisters in East San Diego,
the Valley Fire rages, 11% contained.
Their cars are packed, warned that evacuation is
uncertain,
and could happen quickly.

If this weather contrast were animals,
my northern cold
could be a Costa Rican three-toed sloth,
its slow metabolism creeping
like coolness through the body.

Fire's a bee, seizing the urgency of its
energy as fuel, and forcing itself
to feed,
to spread seed,
make make more of itself.
 

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

my food routines

During a pandemic it's important
to eat wisely.
I search for
nutritious foods,
in portions
suited to
my temperament and preference for
interstices.
I eat no meat.
I'm called to have small
meals, throughout my
waking hours.
I began this habit in Japan
and continue now in Wisconsin.
Mornings, it's
coffee, twice and black,
with oatmeal or a slurry made
of nut milk and fruit.
Then at ten I have a snack,
a banana or
dried figs,
followed by lunch.
In Japan, I ate buckwheat soba,
plain, in its cooking water,
with a piece of cheese and tofu.
I would treat myself to an egg salad sandwich,
though it wore thin
if indulged in
more than once a month.
Dinner was soba or tofu, vegetables, daifuku or melon.
In the States I eat more eggs
and have developed a fondness for lentil fusilli, arugula, and watermelon.
Fruit is cheap here - I feel rich and spoiled.
I drink more green tea for memory.
The matcha taste
makes me long for mountains and the trains that go there.
The last 2 weeks, I've eaten a non GMO ear of corn,
raw and salted after shucking,
an evening second supper.
At night, spiced tea ,
with a slice of vegetable cheese
that tastes more like straw than Swiss.
This, then, is my food routine,
carried between two countries.

I've heard food is a portrait of the soul.
I wonder what this split existence reveals?


Monday, September 7, 2020

Today in the plum tree
common yellow throat,
pine warbler


And what of the
ancestors?
These,
the coke workers
boilermakers
tobacco strippers
apple pickers
pit miners
steel workers
corn sorting
rice growing
crop sowing
field gleaning
men,
women,
and children.
If these lives
covered pages
onion skin thin
we'd begin
to see
how their work
over the ages
built books as well as
empires.


thrushes
goldfinch songs
along with
pit ponies

Saturday, September 5, 2020

brown thrasher

is a bird
also called red mavis
symbolising
stability
balance
harmony
inclusivity.

Friday, September 4, 2020


I'm having trouble recalling a
dream. 
Instead
I've read
it took 50 bullets to kill a man,
saw a monastary ruined in Syria,
heard about a daughter 's endless sinking
into madness.
I look outside.
There will be
30 million migrating birds
under a gibbous moon tonight.
The lake is so high
you cannot swim at Oostburg,
because of slippery stones.
The bones of a robin and a rabbit
have disappeared into my garden's soil, where
yesterday, an old mulberry stump fell out of the
ground, rotted through.
 
You cannot calculate the depth of death,
or the will to it, of it,
the power it inspires in some hearts.

Oh yes.
My dream.
I saw a roll of plastic tape
unwinding in the wind:
"Caution, Caution". it said.

Monday, August 31, 2020


Odysseus and the Magi
(Caspar, Balthazar and Melchior)
hold a conversation

In Galilee
she measures a face
at 33, 
it
could have been
the sun-roughened one
of the man walking towards you
on this street
someone you'd also meet
in Gaza or Jerusalem

a field is
a museum of thoughts



w i d e  a t t e n t i o n




Saturday, August 29, 2020

Seventy one degrees today -
that would have been your age next March.
In Celsius, that's twenty two -
the year you
first read
Dostoyevsky.
kodokushi
a pandemic

Thursday, August 27, 2020

too much of everything

storms
fires
lies
spies
poisons
palliatives


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Monday, August 24, 2020



no anomaly
that 12,00 lightning strikes
caused loss, fires raging
as we are, after watching
Jacob Blake shot in the back




Last night
thunder
came,
and
a little
rain.


This morning
cicadas,
as
tansy,
costmary bloom,
make room
in the garden 
for asters,
crysthanthemums.




Sunday, August 23, 2020


The cool night
howls.

An owl
shadows
the street lamp.

A
young woman
carried home
by friends
drunkenly shouts
"Guys, you don't know
 my people,
where we came from,
what we've endured -
it's so fucked up".

Silence,
for minutes or hours.

Phone keys punched,
a ring,

unanswered.






Clearances -
the cupboards first
or the cellar?

garden

daylilies spent
dirt dent
sleeping space
a cicada's
hole,
sweat bee's
towered furrow
burrowed
into the
ground


Saturday, August 22, 2020

Friday, August 21, 2020

waka

Waka -
make this word
a Maori canoe.

Said twice
in Cameroon,
watch it dance.

In Japan
write a
a tanka
ku,
you
5
7
5
7
7.

Go to
heaven
in Hawaii,
where Waka's
a lizard goddess.

Nigerians will
walk there, waka,
while spinning
a yarn, a fabu.


Such storytellers, perhaps,
walk high
in the Andes,
passing
sacred Quechuan objects -
waka.
I am looking.
I sit in a chair
where above the garden
I watch
a young cardinal flex and preen.
Seen from this window
he is so small
but not at all
insignificant.

Monday, August 17, 2020

color, august 16th

yellow
is the
late afternoon
sunflower
coneflower
coreopsis.
It's the
compass plant
complaint
to an ox-eye
or black-eyed Susan
as they wither
in the heat,
high
above
verbena,
hover over
wild onions.

Yellow is a
dusk goldfinch,
thistle fed,
flying
wind-combed
over rattlesnake master,
to perch upon
tall teasle
and praise the dying day.

Yellow
is the
last light
upon an
evening
river,
rising,
as fiery starred hearts of milkweed
lift up from the
green again grass,
so full of shadows,
that will
soon swallow everything.







readjustment

Clearing away,
pulling up roots,
dry leaves,
I pile
place
them
here,
below
the plum tree.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

goldfinch and swallowtail, August

commoners -

thistled

grey
green
led to
reddish
violet
under
black
and
yellow


spinus tristus

in summer

and

Papilio glaucus

also in summer

her wings
abalone
iridescent
blue
as she flew

Monday, August 10, 2020

sleep
less
ness

v i n e


Bon

winged

thing

salt
perimeter



Para hacer el retrato de un pájaro



Para hacer el retrato de un pájaro

Pintar primero la jaula
con la puerta abierta
pintar después
algo gracioso
algo simple
algo hermoso
algo útil
para el pájaro
apoyar después la tela contra un árbol
en un jardín
en un montecillo
o en un bosque
esconderse tras el árbol
sin decir palabra
sin moverse…
A veces el pájaro aparece al instante
pero a veces puede tardar años
antes de decidirse
No desalentarse
esperar
esperar si es necesario durante años
la prontitud o la demora en la llegada del pájaro
no guarda relación
con la calidad del cuadro
Cuando el pájaro aparece
si aparece
observar el más profundo silencio
aguardar a que el pájaro entre en la jaula
y una vez que haya entrado
cerrar suavemente la puerta con el pincel
después
borrar de uno en uno todos los barrotes
con cuidado de no rozar siquiera las plumas del pájaro
Reproducir después el árbol
cuya más bella rama se reservará
para el pájaro
pintar también el verde follaje y la frescura del viento
el polvillo del sol
y el zumbido de los bichos de la hierbas en el calor
del verano
y después esperar que el pájaro se decida a cantar
Si el pájaro no canta
mala señal
señal de que el cuadro es malo
pero si canta es buena señal
señal de que podéis firmar
Entonces arrancadle suavemente
una pluma al pájaro
y poned vuestro nombre en un ángulo del cuadro.

To Paint the Portrait of a Bird

To Paint the Portrait of a Bird


a poem by Jacques Prevert
 (translated by Lawrence Ferlinghetti)

First, paint a cage
with an open door
then paint
something pretty
something simple
something beautiful
something useful
for the bird
then place the canvas
against a tree
in a garden
in a wood
or in a forest
hide behind the tree
without speaking
without moving...
Sometimes the bird comes quickly
but he can just as well spend long years
before deciding
Don't get discouraged
wait
wait years if necessary
the swiftness
or slowness of the coming
of the bird having no rapport
with the success of the picture
When the bird comes
if he comes
observe the most profound silence
wait till the bird enters the cage
and when he has entered
gently close the door with a brush
then
paint out all the bars one by one
taking care not to touch
any of the feathers of the bird
Then paint the portrait of the tree
choosing the most beautiful of its branches
for the bird
paint also the green foliage
and the wind's freshness
the dust of the sun
and the noise of insects in the summer heat
and then wait for the bird to decide to sing
If the bird doesn't sing
it's a bad sign
a sign that the painting is bad
but if he sings it's a good sign
a sign that you can sign
so then so gently you pull out
one of the feathers of the bird
and you write your name
in a corner of the picture

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Pour faire le portrait d'un oiseau - To paint the portrait of a bird



Pour faire le portrait d’un oiseau

Peindre d’abord une cage
Avec une porte ouverte
Peindre ensuite
Quelque chose de joli
Quelque chose de simple
Quelque chose de beau
Quelque chose d’utile
Pour l’oiseau
Placer ensuite  la toile contre un arbre
Dans un jardin
Dans un bois
Ou dans une forêt
Se cacher derrière l’arbre
Sans rien dire
Sans bouger…
Parfois l’oiseau arrive vite
Mais il peut aussi bien mettre de longues années
Avant de se décider
Ne pas se décourager
Attendre
Attendre s’il le faut pendant des années
La vitesse ou la lenteur de l’arrivée de l’oiseau
N’ayant aucun rapport
Avec la réussite du tableau
Quand l’oiseau arrive
S’il arrive
Observer le plus profond silence
Attendre que l’oiseau entre dans la cage
Et quand il est entré
Fermer doucement la porte avec le pinceau
Puis
Effacer un à un tous les barreaux
En ayant soin de ne toucher aucune des plumes de l’oiseau
Faire ensuite le portrait de l’arbre
En choisissant la plus belle de ses branches
Pour l’oiseau
Peindre aussi le vert feuillage et la fraîcheur du vent
La poussière du soleil
Et le bruit des bêtes de l’herbe dans la chaleur de l’été
Et puis attendre que l’oiseau se décide à chanter
Si l’oiseau ne chante pas
C’est mauvais signe
Signe que le tableau est mauvais
Mais s’il chante c’est bon signe
Signe que vous pouvez signer
Alors vous arrachez tout doucement
Une des plumes de l’oiseau
Et vous écrivez votre nom dans un coin du tableau.