Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Overcome anger with freedom from anger.  Overcome evil with good. overcome meanness
with generosity, and overcome a liar with truthfulness.
Dhammpada 17.223

All this cool completes
the happiness I
feel as I, forward,
paint, write
here at home,

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

spill 2019

s p i l l

Flowers: A holy man should behave in a village like a bee which takes its food from a flower
without hurting its appearance or its scent.
Dhammapada 4.49

the bees,
are pleased.



Monday, July 29, 2019


leave of absence

Better than a thousand pointless words is one saying to the point, on hearing which one finds peace.
Dhammapada 8.100

Cool today, with wind and cardinals.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

m a r g i n s

milkweed                                hosta
          Asclepias                           hemerocalli
Daucus carota         R              yew
              vetch                            birch 
        bee balm                            maple                                         
                sumac                        ash
       goldenrod          I                    wild grape
         coneflower                       nightshade
black-eyed Susan                     thistles
      joe-pye weed                     walnut
oak                           V                     apple
fir                                              coreopsis
raspberry canes                           box elder
tallgrass                                    spruce
aster                                          burdock
clover                       E                  marestail
plantain                                     chickweed
dame's rocket                            creeping bellflower
teasel                                         wild buckwheat
smartweed                                        lambs quarters
pigweed                    R                 field pennycress
cockle                                        curly dock
timothy                                          side oats

Friday, July 19, 2019

water tale 3

"My mind used to go off wandering whenever it felt like it..."

Before six
this summer morning,
I look down
into a
garden of
creeping bellflower,
Queen Anne's lace
with central purple floret.
This last, Daucus carota,
a refugee,
should not be confused with
native hemlock,
a wildly poisonous

Bindweed, hops,
and wild grape
rabbit warrens which
exist under
lamium and gout weed.
Celandine and nettle flourish
near ripening mulberries.
Beside these,
plum trees have been weather stunned,
and remain barren,
though sumac's thriving in the heat.
The garden's circumference is neat,
colored blue, white and yellow.
Here at the edge a chicory hedge,
while sentries yarrow and tansy
let in ladybugs, are spider's allies.

Underground, nematodes
near the house, rain doused, eat
as songbirds who
flew here feed
on millet seed,
near thistles, 4 varieties.

While I seek
adlumia, the Allegheny vine,
white star grass and
wild leek,
asters lie close to the ground, a
patient perennial, waiting.

Such plants hiding,
biding time
may be seen again
in fall.
Yet this garden's season
excludes few
in color, origin,
renews hope that each year
will reappear
an abundance
perhaps reticulate,
a wish that exists,
at least now,
in the midst
of summer.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

water tale 2

"...There is no companionship with a fool."

she sees trees
within land
a language

Sunday, July 14, 2019

water tale 1

A red dog
two girls
he's spotted
squatting near a river
where a young gull
bobs in the wake
of a red boat.
Both children
webbed toes
they've loosed from
shoes and
red socks.
The red dog,
from these feet

The trees are eating air.
Where and when did I first learn
that the invisible fed them?
It's led to this -
a walk within their reach,
as boughs soughing,
we, the trees and me,
hear bells ring out
our hunger,
supper's number,


"...Occasions of hatred are never settled by hatred. They are settled by freedom from hatred."
Dhammapada 1.5

1. 2. 3. 4. 5
I've heard this sweet crescendo
then descend to silence, repeat,
neatly marking a turn from dusk or dawn,
a song
drawn out into the light,
while the singer 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

first quarter

suffering disappears.....


I wrote small medium espresso
because my mind wasn't behind the enterprise,
but following with them, listening to the quips,
I slipped.


I slept for 12 hours.
I cannot seem to escape the exhaustion.

the robin

this bird, this bird,
flush throated,
dusk sung,
brings me home.


doesn't seem
but is.

b o r o

Monday, July 8, 2019

always tired -
will be good to
have one job,
not two
for a few

Sunday, July 7, 2019

the back alley cat
that I saw
killed a large rat.
This tiny calico, with
its great grey prey
up the hill
as I wandered to
the riverside.
Finding a single lily, fire-flecked
drew me to
a few
false indigo in bloom,
while four
young ducks nodded
in the dark water
as a boat's wake shook them.
Then I took the wood path
for the footbridge
its floor boro
sashiko stitched
pitched in
a slight sweep
where underneath ashore
three men fished
loosened lines, slipped creels
into currents
for their
I took the stairs up
the bluff and
some streets away
a man named Gary
who showed me
his garden folly
in green perspective
before I left
and met
a teacher
a dog
a soused lout outside
the grocery store.
All this
before I slipped
a peek inside
my own garden
rusting bells told
the hour
and time turned
the walk
and home.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Where the expert in the right and wrong road?
asked of the Dhammapada 26.403

      At the end of the story, the hero dies. He has saved a woman's life, arrested the man who intended to kill her. He has made peace with his sister, found the promise of love, feels good, happy. He smiles at a stranger, and she smiles back. Abruptly, his eyes grow large, his hand hovers over his chest like a dragonfly. He topples.

     At four, your mother went away. "Play outside," said the woman watching your baby sister.
She locked the door. You lived in a new American subdivision with no trees, a hot sun, not one swing, or thing to do. For hours, you and your brother sat under the eaves of your house, silently drawing in the dirt.

Revision: The hero calls your father, who sweeps you into an air-conditioned sedan, takes you for ice cream, and finds a playground full of trees. He takes you home, unlocks the door, fires the woman inside, and brings your mother, balanced and well, home from the hospital.

    My mother sent us frozen strawberries by post. The box came stained red, berry bled, spoiled.

Revision: The hero is alarmed when you report your mother's behavior. He convinces her to see a specialist, who diagnoses her illness. After treatment, she spends many happy and productive years with her husband. 

    His mother walked the street in slippers, accusing passersby of collaborating with the Nazis. Few knew that, during the war, she had seen them shoot green boys for laughing.

Revision: The hero listens, looks for and alerts the authorities, who prosecute the collaborators. Your father asks the hero to find a place for your mother to rest, and you and your brothers live with a kindly older couple. You go on picnics, read books and play music together. 

    Where do you buy your chicken? Not that shop, no. That one, over there, dumped his mother's body in the rice field. When the Guadalquivir rises, she does too. At such times, we listen to her bones sing.

Revision: The hero repeatedly visits the son in his dreams. Overwhelmed by remorse, the son confesses and shows where the body is. 

    You went out to shovel snow, suited for it, though it was July. Your mother was told,. She looked out the window, shrugged, lit a cigarette and went to fetch you.

Revision: The hero understands you are different and protects you. He whispers in the ear of your parents, brothers, sister, wife, and friends to care for you. Does it change anything?  The hero watches you live as before and realizes you haven't changed, but those who love you have.  

    Why did you give me away? They say it was poverty, youth, the wrong boy, violence. I looked you up and visited. It was awkward, unwelcoming. I can look back now, over a sea of life, and wonder what difference you and I have made.

Revision: The hero gives your birth mother courage. She defies custom and loves you unconditionally. Still, you are taken from her. Later, when you meet she tells how she has searched for you. 

      After the hero dies, he has helped unhappy children,  sick women,  sluggish husbands, guilty sons who killed during war and peace. Families, finding the promise of love,  feel good. He smiles at these strangers, but they cannot see him. Abruptly, his eyes grow large, his hand hovers over his chest like a dragonfly.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

July 4th

this independence night
pop and bluster of
I prefer
the Tanabata sky
looking for
you up there on a bridge, waiting for me