Saturday, May 31, 2014

Not Seen

why are they hiding Bowe Bergdahl
said to be in good physical health
released by the Taliban but not
by American authorities why not

nothing is said about his person
he is not seen by his own family
he is held in a series of hospitals
who is afraid he will tell the truth

Stolen Wealth

"The world order is a unity made up of multiplicity." —Marcus Aurelius

a catalog of crimes
against the earth
and all its beings

a list of countries
with civil wars
bad governments

diseases thieving
leaders prisons
rising waters

our faults as well
injustice greed
broken systems

crises we share
stolen wealth

write everything
that's going wrong
and how to fix it

Friday, May 30, 2014


Is it virtue to go to the gym and the swimming pool and do yoga and tai chi and take care of one's body?

To clear gardens and plant flowers and grow our own food?

Is there room in the world anymore for connoisseurship of beauty and craft?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Still There

unable to remember
things I was doing
or even where I was
hardly a moment ago
what's wrong with me
I was dreaming body
lying still mind there

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Another Layer

sometimes one cause sometimes
several everything leads up to this
moment and back to more possible
outcomes before the die was cast
Caesar at the Rubicon before that
something else could have been

every moment is like that chosen
or not never a choice to avoid it
another layer peeled back done
flutters out of reach even if you're
not quite finished understanding
what you did what may do now

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Far Worse

if birdsong doesn't help what else
can I do or say thought my enemy
words idle arrangements of letters

day distracts me while it wanders
forward hours demanding actions
constrained like a too small valise

not the future but the now impels
vain flight into dark unbreathing
would be far worse if it was bad

do I dare go back to bed beside
myself squirm against gravity's
unavoidable unwinding descent

Monday, May 26, 2014

Other Opinions

playing Bach for a two-year-old
seems important enough to do it
as beautifully as we can happily
augmenting the day's perfection

later we talk and wander about
watching her opinions solicited
orders obeyed we non-parentals
keep other opinions to ourselves

Sunday, May 25, 2014

No Air

writing swims through time
like a diver exploring a reef

instead of water I find air
all things fall to the bottom

what fluid do I swim in
how propel myself ahead

words as letters all around
free loaded with meaning

suddenly no air or gravity
what am I to breathe now

Saturday, May 24, 2014

All Sides

fragility of certainty of who I am seeing
this play's dazing brilliance disliking the
new lights shining in my eyes changing
color without defining space or character

everything is flat lit from all sides once
again advanced technology undoes years
of thoughtful subtlety considered power
wasted on rationalizers living in ideas

Friday, May 23, 2014

My Choice

verbal selfies justify existing protocols
redefined language obsolete distinctions
not held against me for furthering work

no such thing unpublished by my choice
await successor distribution savor books
technology still supported accessible to all

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Life Choices

almost time for whatever's next on the agenda
implicit in a long sequence of key life choices
none of which I can regret without denying an
integral step in the drama of becoming myself

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Begin Again

delirious housework satisfies nesting
birds sing pleasantly daylight's out
no more color in the natural world

almonds are a beneficial nut several
a day involves going to the store I
need a few of my obligatory foods

then it'll be time for something else
begin again shoeless feeling the rug
completion available the way familiar

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Highest Value

continuing happiness nothing to scoff at
Theravada accords it the highest value
Mahayana wants you to sacrifice it to others
happiness can afford to be generous kind
not having to work anymore helps too
maintenance not preclude improvement

Monday, May 19, 2014

Stop Time

A good idea attracts images like honey flies, they swarm around it, but the thing itself is intangible and evanescent. That's why philosophers seek a system, where they can attach their ideas, and return to them, and reveal their significance. Otherwise we spend all our time blundering into rooms that have been explored already infinite times, and long ago stripped of their treasures. Does a thought need to be new to be worth uttering? Aren't we all always referring to the same underlying realities of transcendence and mortality, imagination and reality, drops trembling on the edge of time? Is it a point, line, or plain (plane)? Our only (limited) option is to move horizontally or radially, perpendicular or at least aslant to the arc of time's arrow. Only mind stops time.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Rain Light

exhilarating cloud circus cheers spirit
brilliant sunlight lowering clouds rain
light brightening colors flowers round
about knee strengthening toe mending

I'll iron by daylight let my routine go
where other people's needs impinge
welcome interaction interest helping
buoy us forward to more radiant life

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Another Level

shaking dancing slow-motion relaxation
seeing saying the words releases energy

merely reading about Mila Repa brings
enlightenment whatever else is going on

writing tells itself what it wants to mean
another level hidden behind the content

Friday, May 16, 2014

Not Stop

Flanagan not Finnegan how easy it is to
slip these days not look not see not stop
scare self mindfulness critical every sec

Thursday, May 15, 2014

How It Is

nobody says anything substantive about anything I write
and if they do I can't take it in I think I have been thinking
about this for years anything you think I have already thought
and decided to do what I did never enough which is not always
true Alfred had several precious thrilling thoughts about "Life
Before Death" they went right through me exquisite at the time

thus I really have no idea what gets through what I have made
if I can persuade anyone to read it who reads and isn't already
reading several books they have enough books without mine
still I want to be read to be heard to share my story not to be
misunderstood in this little time crystallize keen perception
how it is to be alive here now me you anywhere always

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Can't Wait

deny nothing doesn't make a positive impression
like fessing up to every trivial slip and peccadillo
obscured by success lies in wait when you finally
fall pick yourself up and pretend it was deliberate

they didn't hire you to be nice when you weren't
it all added up because suffering doesn't count
except to the sufferer and fading sentimentalists
who can't wait to see you go through it all again

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Not Alone

tragedy strikes suddenly everything
is normal then out of the blue it's not
you don't see it coming or if you did
you didn't believe it never wanted to
know this part of life's confoundment

you are not alone in it everyone else
affected too but only one or very few
is in the bullseye with you shattered
and having to go on somehow doing
all that tragedy requires to get better

Monday, May 12, 2014

Editing People

I feel inclined to edit the world
I want to laugh and have fun not
worry about everything all the time

people can keep their personal style
and good-bad taste just clean it up
correct the grammar simple errors

clear away all the roadside trash
it's a beautiful country underneath
places don't have to be so messy

get rid of all the stuff that's broken
and not being used or taken care of
paint scrub tidy up make it look good

editing people is more problematic
obviously there are far too many
I have no idea what to do about that

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Palpable Progress

unable to do everything
I can still do something
make palpable progress
wishing garden beautiful

typical middle of spring
too much for just us two
instead of writing I weed
hoping help is on the way

Saturday, May 10, 2014

All Right

about to be touched I shy away
knowing that feeling will fade
unwilling to invest my capital

it's all right I've done it enough
embraced risk rich in rewards
memory as good as experience

Friday, May 09, 2014

How To

I think about doing it for months
years suddenly do it and move on

transparent crisp routine reveals
nothing convention habit process

determination to go on powers
ever-fresh revelations of how to

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Main Players

I knew your mother and father
and yours such wonderful people
and mine how can they be gone

complicated lives personalities
to reckon with so much at stake
and not even existing anymore

the main players in our drama
left the stage what are we to do
but finish the story they began

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

New Doctor

my new doctor looks at me
asks me probing questions
makes notes on a computer
shares some personal history
has me take off everything
examines me thoroughly
looking touching listening
makes a few suggestions
excises an annoying bump
just exactly what I wanted
ready to trust and like her I
do even more than expected

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Too Late

I haven't been to this part of Africa before. It's beautiful. I am expected to cook something, but I don't know what, or why. The food here is the best I've tasted. Really!... Anticipation of new doctor prompts life review, like someone dying. How much can I say about what I want? Is it too late?... It is too late for the low ground, the ocean front, sea-level islands, coastal cities. Hundreds of millions of people will have to move. The Willamette Valley was once part of the ocean; we are safe from it for now, but earthquakes may increase...

Monday, May 05, 2014

Weeding the Path

pull the grass plants one by one
roots yielding bring up clumps
of clinging soil through gravel

gloves make gardening possible
can I think without speaking or
writing idea sufficient to itself

conversation with myself agree
how right I am about everything
how willing to sit on the ground

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Help Her

how to relax do what needs to be done
what your true heart suggests help her
play solitaire exercise pick more irises
make soup eat wash the dishes feed the
chickens write read practice Beethoven

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Only Time

eyes cross species we meet
individuals circumstances
irrelevant to the encounter

how we came to be here is
a lengthy story in any case
this our first and only time

count it part of a day that
counts like every moment
existing planetary mortal

Friday, May 02, 2014

Usually Better

there goes the sun after three
days of summer cloudy skies
falling water don't mind rain

water should be portable like
words the ultimate virtuality
and pictures equally abstract

weathermen wrong as usual
predicting something worse
what happens usually better

Thursday, May 01, 2014

May I

May I
take a day off