Thursday, January 31, 2019

-19

below though

now

three degrees

above


"...like spent arrows, grieving for times past..."
- dhammapada 11.156

house shook
looking into the wind

found small black fly
dying on the white floor

more beautiful than
more beautiful than


Wednesday, January 30, 2019





I thought today
as I wrote one thousand words,
two
you a week ago,
despairing.
Where were the words then?
Here, clearly,
and waiting. 
"...When you are set free, do not run back to the chains."
- dhammapada








no gloves
though fifteen
below
young man's
hands
balled
under
edges of







Sunday, January 27, 2019

moon
last
quarter
counts
coup





Fools on an island
felled all the trees
these to make a raft
none knew how to build.
Killed trees without reason.











Friday, January 25, 2019


Warm house,
bed
said
"safe"
as
outside cold
lowed at the door.

More arctic air 
split vortices,
gripped night.

Sightlines
under stars
crossed.

Polar frost
at twenty below,
caught between
thin glass,
gasped,
gazed into you
who, when
looking back,
remained
so brutally warm,
intact.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

It's best to get on with it. I'd like to to be swallowed whole, as on Monday, happily underwater, creating, invisible to ships and other distractions.  But I can't wait for the next dive, so I'll slog through the snow on the long walk home along the river, as I did tonight, gloveless, cold and immensely happy, in spite of myself.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019


Weir-smug
Grendel
dying
bloodlet
by Beowulf
gets in death's
breath
a forewarning -

the
dragon's
ashes
will return
to
smother
mothers
monsters
heroes
gods.

Fearless
embers,
eaters
of us all!









the woman in the urn


cremation urn, English, woman's name, rune-inscribed



Three circles
quartered
on an indigo lipped jar
are
line driven moons
runes over
waning gold.
Reading all
tells me
that she
within
in leaving
left her tongue
becoming
ours.








Monday, January 21, 2019

Truth...is not subject to aging.
- Dhammapada 



The Dhammapada says to cultivate the company of wise people.  Where do we find such persons? It is unusual to hear them shouting from mountaintops. Often they are are stutterers, like Moses.



Prepare for the wise.
Keep the sidewalk clear
of snow, ice.
Set slippers by the door,
for more often than not,
they will appear
unannounced.


Sunday, January 20, 2019

Όμηρος - for you, five years gone

I looked through the letters of our alphabet to discover you, but could not.

Όμηρος
 Ómiros

heard
your beard
quiver
in the black
boxed ashes
brought you
back to me


***************************************************************************


ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ
πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν·
πολλῶν δ᾽ ἀνθρώπων ἴδεν ἄστεα καὶ νόον ἔγνω,
πολλὰ δ᾽ ὅ γ᾽ ἐν πόντῳ πάθεν ἄλγεα ὃν κατὰ θυμόν,
ἀρνύμενος ἥν τε ψυχὴν καὶ νόστον ἑταίρων.

andra moi ennepe, Mousa, polutropon, hos mala polla
Planchthé epei Troiés hieron ptoliethron epersen;
pollón d'anthrópón iden astea kai no-on egnó,
polla d'ho g'en pontó pathen algea hon kata thumon,
arnumenos hén te psuchén kai noston hetairón

andra moi | ennepe, | Mousa, pol | utropon, | hos mala | polla
Planchthé ep | ei Troi | és hier | on ptoli | ethron e | persen;
pollón | d'anthró |pón iden | astea | kai no-on | egnó,
polla d'ho | g'en pon | tó pathen | algea | hon kata | thumon,
arnume |nos hén | te psu | chén kai | noston he | tairón.
***


Sing (ennepe) to me (moi) O Muse (Mousa) of the man (andra) of many turns (polutropon), who suffered (planchthe) many (polla) evils (mala) after (epei) he sacked (epersen) the holy (hieron) citadel (ptoliethron) of Troy. He saw (iden) the cities (astea) of many (polon) men (anthropon) and learnt (egno) their minds (noon); in (kata) his (hon) heart (thumon) he underwent (pathen) many (polla) pains (algea) on the sea (en ponto), striving to preserve (arnumenos) not only (te) his soul (psuchen) but also (kai) his comrades' (hetairon) homecoming (noston).





listening to ancient Greek music

snow, mid-morning -
slant gold
pigeon blue
under
cloudless
Olympia

traffic
dactylic surrender

reconstructing noon
as shadows
fall
final minutes
morning -
an alcove
niched between
lyre
and
Orestes







































Ancient Greek Music ( Homeric Kythera , double pipes)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hOK7bU0S1Y






Thursday, January 17, 2019

Stefan-Boltzmann law, statement that the total radiant heat energy emitted from a surface is proportional to the fourth power of its absolute temperature. ... The law applies only to blackbodies, theoretical surfaces that absorb all incident heat radiation 
https://www.britannica.com/science/Stefan-Boltzmann-law




One is one's own guardian. What other guardian could one have? with oneself
well disciplined, one obtains a rare guardian indeed.
- Dhammapada 12.160


Sunday, January 13, 2019

"Alone and resolute, living in the forest."
- Dhammapada 21.305


Saturday, January 12, 2019

"Do not be a fool and spend your life as your enemy." -Dhammapada




That bird

language thief
snatched
equations


Thursday, January 10, 2019

"Trying to break out of the Tempter's control, the mind writhes to and fro, like a fish pulled from its watery home and onto dry ground"
Dhammapada. 3.34




Plane overhead , dark dry morning
18 degrees, moon waning crescent
hum of mouse
mind here
body
together
fingers tapping
into




Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Sometimes at night, I wake up terrified of losing everything - my house, my studio, my ability to be happy, my need to draw and paint and write and look. I feel as if all the decisions I've ever had to make have brought me to a place of ruin and despair.

Then I get up and walk through the studio into the kitchen and drink a glass of water. I stand at the sink in the dark, looking out over an empty parking lot and the alley. It's very quiet for the middle of the city because it's the middle of the night. I hear a gull screech, sleepless like me.

Something in the water washes down the dread. Something in the dark lifts the lid on gloom and then, there in the room with me and the echo of the gull's call, I fall into hope again.

This last year I've had a lot of moments like this.

I've pushed myself harder, demanded change. I've acted on intuition and defied cautionary relatives and well-meaning friends.

I've quite literally walked alone at night, in miraculous foreign places where I could do so. I have found the possible at the edges of fear, my own and others.

And yet, in the comfort of my bed, snug and safe, I wake again and again roused by doom. The more I push myself to do during the day, the more I'm pulled by panic at night.

It's the seesaw I called 2018. And it's followed me into the new year.

Let me be clear here. I would rather this than a sound sleep but retreat from challenge.
I'll take this price for living awake over anything any day, or night.  So on into the new year, pig squealing scared and boar bounding brave.

I've left out a water glass by the sink. I'm ready.


this watching wasn't




the ninth day
cobalt
waning crescent


seeking refuge
a little is a lot
not
unexpectedly

Sunday, January 6, 2019

epiphany


in the snowless cold
as yule trees
come down
scenting alleys
with life

three women
are
bicycling
it's uncommon to see
three women
riding abreast
gold-scarved
beckoning west.

one is young,
petite,
the color of night,
down-coated,
scarlet bright.

to her left
another in grey fleece,
middle-aged,
coffee-skinned,
her ample chest
wheezes out and in.

on her right
tallest ebony
under white wool
silver haired
fiercely erect
this third woman
sets the pace
urges on, directs.

they've ridden uphill
past the river
into one of the pine littered
alleys
following a star

beside
a rusting car
they brake
locking bikes
to a broken gate.

backpacks slung
they pass through
to a porchlit house
there's
a stair
they ascend,
and a bell
they
press.
pausing
to listen.

a baby cries within.


three
queens,
bearing gifts,
enter in.











Wednesday, January 2, 2019


this month
then two
you
gone
five
years

here

your bones
in black plastic
waiting

while

I
watch the
snow

writing
at the white
table

painting
in the white
room

sleepless
nights


just as I imagined