Karuna!

travelling is not about a place;
it’s more about a state not unlike grace
a new awareness of the smallest things
sometimes the way a foreign cell phone rings
the way the grass defies the sidewalk grates
the shape of doors and windows, locks and gates
the way some salt a pretzel, ice a cake
the dark blue heads of weeds along a lake –
it isn’t famous sights or unknown parts
that spark the traveller’s mind or lift our hearts
it’s in the eyes – the eyes of every day
in fact one doesn’t even have to stray

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in sanskrit and pali the term implies compassion,
but “karuna” was translated by Huxley to mean “attention”
in The Island.

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What’s In A Name…

Whatchya doin’ my lamb,
what on earth are ya lookin’ for
that might be in that drawer ?

Should I not call you that, my sweet
pussycat; do such terms of endearment
taint somehow your virility –
Not to me they don’t.
This fucked-up world
has sliced so mindlessly
this gender thing –
as if gents were all
javelin, ladies
all ring.

When you lie with your head
on my thigh by that stream,
please let me ne the guard
of your tenderest dream –
you be chick, I be hen –
play like children again.

Then let me be the princess,
you ride up to rescue
smiting the dragon
and all of his retenue
or I’ll be your milkmaid
and you, a great a sage
or a king on a throne
and I’ll be your page.

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WHAT HAVE WE HERE…?

…a machete for zones of turbulence
some ballast for the forest primeval
we’re doin’ fine……………FINE
me and my handsome fella
right as rain, by crikey….
though he’s managed to lose the umbrella

listen: the only way
to win some wars
is to lay down all your weapons
and forget about keeping scores

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A Case of Do or Die

Love enables
    enables love
             enables love…
enabling love
       is love
love is
       enabling
that is what is
Love –
     Verb of verbs –
not a thing you feel –
            something done,
not a package
     bound in ribbons, lodged
              beneath and behind the ribs
       [and besides, there is no cage could restrain
                          the enabling power that is Love]

Better
         not speak your love
and show it
                       than
speak it
           on the threshold
                                 of embrace.
Better yet – far better still –
            to step over
                       the dumb pickets
                              guarding  
                                       your vanity –
that puffed-up fan poster –
      immaturity’s sheild –  the thing                
            you call ego
                   you call me
                           you call self –
image –
        [ icons invite idolatry ]
and let love’s words resound –
           speak it
                     sing it out
                                  whisper
                                              shout
                                                        love.
Love  
           enables
                            the lover
so enabling
         the one
                     the lover
                               claims to love.  

…and the conversion of willful pride into Love
           is the beating of a sword
                       into a plowshare.

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P.S. if this be error…and upon me proved…

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Red wine just makes me sleepy

Well, if you must know,
my thing is apple juice –
in a mini-brick with a silly
stick-in straw – I mean this
wine and fireplace routine is
old movies with Alan Bates
or some other pretend bruiser.
I’d rather a box from the cooler, then
we can grab a plaid from the trunk –
the boot if you insist – and those stones
still standing, from what looks like
an abandoned farm, will do for shelter
long as the sun’s still warm and
bless me please, ô lord, with a dude
who’s not put out by a woman in jeans –
who knows how to whoosh them off
the way his mom used to – thwack –
both legs at once – as he giggled on his back
on her bed when it was bath time
and if the radio is on
and we can just about hear it
I hope it’s Miles or Monk or ‘trane
or a sound at least as cool as Traubert.

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My Uncle Bud

Uncle Bud – he’s not blood; he’s
mom’s sister’s man
but he can tell ya
how to like no one can
’bout huntin’ with beagles, say –
said when his dogs would bay
it was like music to him –
or how to fix a toaster even –
or shoot clay pîgeons the way
we used to in the country.

Made his own beer, he did,
and we would drink it
and throw horseshoes
in the side yard where
they lived for 40 years…

Took us deer hunting –
tried to teach us
how not to get lost in the woods.
Saw a fair bit of life
goin’ on on that farm
where he grew up –
knows what it’s all about,
knows for sure what it means to be 83

Bud was in France during the war
even got to see Paree –
He and Norma saw some far
off parts of the world too, ya know –
Australia, Tahiti… Mexico

Some ways it’s sad that he
had to leave the farm –
they all did – those were
manufacturing times –
not that anybody wanted
to build aircraft for the military.
But he gave that up for junkin’
as he called it – pullin’ freezers
out of other people’s basement
at 70 – rebuild a car too – or haul
lumber. Yup, he was quite a number
my uncle Bud.

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(This, if you haven’t figured that out,
is my rendition of Alan’s voice)

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