Journal XV

Found

Maybe it’s all utterly meaningless.
Maybe it’s all unutterably meaningful.
If you want to know which,
pay attention to
what it means to be truly human
in a world that half the time
we’re in love with
and half the time
scares the hell out of us…

The unexpected sound of your name on somebody’s lips.
The good dream.
The strange coincidence.
The moment that brings tears to your eyes.
The person who brings life to your life.

Even the smallest events hold the greatest clues.

– Frederick Buechner

Homesick Son
Boo Hewerdine

Somewhere out west you might find
Someone better than I am
If I ever leave your mind
You’ve been gone too long
My homesick son

In the land of Greyhound dreams
You must grab it while you can
Nothing’s ever what it seems
Are you that strong
My homesick son?

And the ciphers you meet
On the roads and the rails
And the traces of love
In the clues and the trails

Even in your best disguise
I can tell there’s something wrong
Hell is other people’s lives
You knew all along
My homesick son

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
– Jeremiah

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
– Romans

As a friend of mine likes to say: what do you love? what will it cost? what are you prepared to pay? That’s part of the ethics of a fairy tale. That’s when you get off your big horse and bend your head to the whispers of the forest.
– Dr. Martin Shaw

…wherever you go I will let you escape with your life. (Jeremiah 45:5)

This is a promise given to you for the difficult places in which you may find yourself – a promise of safety and life even in the midst of tremendous pressure. And it is a promise that adjusts itself to fit the times as they continue to grow more difficult, as we approach the end of this age and the tribulation period.
What does it mean when it says that you will “escape with your life”? It means your life will be snatched from the jaws of the Enemy, as David snatched the lamb from the lion. It does not mean you will be spared the heat of the battle and confrontation with your foes, but it means “a table before [you] in the presence of [your] enemies” (Ps. 23:5), a shelter from the storm, a fortress amid the foe, and a life preserved in the face of continual pressure. It means comfort and hope from God, such as Paul received when he and his friends “were under great pressure,…so that they despaired even of life” (2 Cor. 1:8). And it means the Lord’s divine help, such as when Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” (2 Cor. 12:7) remained, but the power of Christ came to rest upon him, and he learned that God’s “grace is sufficient” (2 Cor. 12:9)….

We often pray to be delivered from afflictions, and even trust God that we will be. But we do not pray for Him to make us what we should be while in the midst of the afflictions. Nor do we pray that we would be able to live within them, for however long they may last, in the complete awareness that we are held and sheltered by the Lord and can therefore continue within them without suffering any harm.

The Savior endured an especially difficult test in the wilderness while in the presence of Satan for forty days and nights,…The three Hebrew young men were kept for a time in the flames of “the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual” (Dan. 3:19)….they remained calm and composed as they waited for their time of deliverance to come. And after surviving an entire night sitting among the lions, “when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God” (Dan. 6:23).

They were able to endure in the presence of their enemies because they dwelt in the presence of their God.
– Lettie Cowman, Streams in the Desert

I can’t bear to see, one of our own kind in trouble.
– Akira Kurosawa, The Hidden Fortress

The Custom Builder

My soul was carefully constructed
of two opposing forces. One that
wants to nest, to tend a place of
otherness, the other to fly freely,
everywhere, endlessly.

One can travel, but a suitcase does
not a nest make. One can hope to
nest, but some longings, alas, don’t
land with the same capacities that
desires take flight.

The robin in the pine with last season’s
grasses clumped and streaming from
her beak is nesting. I adore this. I adore
my memories of robin nests discovered:

The deep, mud-fiber bowls that hold
beautiful sky-blue eggs, maybe five, then
cheeping nestlings that beg for parental
deliveries all day long, then nothingness.

The robin is common, yes.
Springtime nesting is predictable, yes.
Yet, there is always magic, yes. Always.

As a child I was told that somewhere,
out there, there resides a great custom
builder.

All my life, I’ve wondered:

Does he have a plan for me and,
if so, is it ordinary enough to become
something magical?

– Jamie K. Reaser

Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
– Psalms 51:10

I have been reading in the Hebrew Bible. I have noticed, in a new way, that in the beginning it is words that create this world, that damns it, and ultimately saves it. There is power in language. That’s what we do: speak what we do not see and save what we refuse to let go.
– @stewartdantec

God is the story
of whatever works.
God is the twist at the end
and the quirks.

We are the start,
and we are the centre,
we’re the characters,
narrators, inventors.

God is the bit
that we can’t explain –
maybe the healing
maybe the pain.

We are the bit
that God can’t explain
maybe the harmony
maybe the strain.

– Pádraig Ó Tuama

But what is poetry itself —one glorious quotation?
– Akhmatova

I don’t know where a poem comes from until after I’ve lived with it a long time. I’ve a notion that a poem comes from absolutely everything that ever happened to you.
– Donald Hall

Holy Emptiness.
Jesus is sleepin’ in the
Shadow of Buddha . . .
– Pál Péter Hetesi

Humanness, whether sacred or mundane, is at the center of this devastation.
What is the plan now?
What is the sound of the plan?
– Anisa George

Writing is stupid. I never encourage my students to become professional writers, unless they feel they can’t do other things.
– Ha Jin

FOR WHEN PEOPLE ASK
I want a word that means
okay and not okay,
more than that: a word that means
devastated and stunned with joy.
I want the word that says
I feel it all all at once.
The heart is not like a songbird
singing only one note at a time,
more like a Tuvan throat singer
able to sing both a drone
and simultaneously
two or three harmonics high above it—
a sound, the Tuvans say,
that gives the impression
of wind swirling among rocks.
The heart understands swirl,
how the churning of opposite feelings
weaves through us like an insistent breeze
leads us wordlessly deeper into ourselves,
blesses us with paradox
so we might walk more openly
into this world so rife with devastation,
this world so ripe with joy.
– Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul.
– Saint Augustine

Never waste any amount of time doing anything important when there is a sunset outside that you should be sitting under.
– C. JoyBell C.

You will never have to contort yourself for that which is aligned. That’s how you will know.

You will grow and not find yourself disappearing. That’s how you will know.

– Dr. Thema

And did you feel it, in your heart,
how it pertained to everything?
And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for?
And have you changed your life?
– Mary Oliver

A novelist can’t keep discrete worlds. Your business is to smash them together, against each other.
– Arundhati Roy

And when you appear
All the rivers sound
In my body, bells
Shake the sky,
And a hymn fills the world.

Only you and I,
Only you and I …
Listen to it.

– Pablo Neruda, Love Poems

What is it
my mind wants to get at, always extending, hungering, looking
back, always tearing open again its own modernity,
as if each thought is more than the little present
moment it sounds like, but, raised at an angle, piercing me, having me imagine,
to build such antique violences in my head, it is a thorn? This moss
has been growing for ages now, can do nothing
but snag and grow   …    What is it the mind won’t
unsee, beautiful flaw?
– Ricky Laurentiis

There always was a relationship between poet and place. Placeless poetry, existing in the non-geography of ideas, is a modern invention and not a very fortunate one.
– Archibald MacLeish

Your memory creates postcard images, but it doesn’t really comprehend the world at all. That’s why a landscape is so affected by the mood of the person looking at it. In it a person sees his own inner, transitory moments. Wherever he looks, he sees nothing but himself.
– Olga Tokarczuk

Capitalism works by making us compete with everyone else to get things that should have been ours to begin with.

Consumerism works by making us think everyone else has got more than us, so we should compete even harder.

Together they’re destroying everything.

– @ClimateDad77

The stories weren’t brilliant. But I wrote them, I began and ended them.
– Joy Williams

We tend to think that the nature of knowing means capturing truth in ideas. We know what something is because we have a label for it. We decide who someone is, how someone is, how someone should be – and these are all determinate ideas. But in fact life resists definition in this way if we really look at it. There is actually a whole other way of knowing that is experiential. We can experience it; we just can’t capture it. If we try to capture it, we’re not seeing it and it is obscured. This is where the split occurs between seeing things in their natural state versus their contrived state. This is the difference between the view, and not the view.
– Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel

the point is not for women to simply take power out of men’s hands, since that wouldn’t change anything about the world. it’s a question precisely of destroying that notion of power.
– simone de beauvoir

Become a crack in the network that undermines the great towers of establishment.
– Toko-pa Turner

Without surprise
The world might change to something quite different,
As the air changes or the lightning comes without our blinking,
Change as our kisses are changing without our thinking.
– Elizabeth Bishop

When I first faced pain I was shattered. When I first met failure, defeat, denial, loss, death, I died. Not today. I believe in my power, in my magic, and I do not die. I survive, I love, live, continue.
– Anais Nin

It is quite possible that we look at the world from the wrong side and that we might find the right answer by changing our point of view and looking at it from the other side, that is, not from outside, but from inside.
– Carl Jung

I have always liked people who can’t adapt themselves to life pragmatically.
– Andrei Tarkovsky, Sculpting in Time

Dogen: Eihei Koroku, “The family style of all buddhas and ancestors is to first arouse the vow to save all living beings by removing suffering and providing joy. Only this family style is inexhaustibly bright and clear.”

Knowing who to be mad at is part of the work. Whether it’s intellectually, politically, or emotionally.
– Tamara K. Nopper

The determination to know a particular place, in my experience, is consistently rewarded. And every natural place, to my mind, is open to being known. And somewhere in this process a person begins to sense that they themselves are becoming known, so that when they are absent from that place they know that place misses them. And this reciprocity, to know and be known, reinforces a sense that one is necessary in this world.
Perhaps the first rule of everything we endeavor to do is to pay attention. Perhaps the second is to be patient. And perhaps a third is to be attentive to what the body knows . . . . The moment is an invitation, and the bear’s invitation to participate is offered, without prejudice, to anyone passing by.
– Barry Lopez

at sunset
a group of kites
flying in the sky
– Issa

Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well.
– Vincent Van Gogh

Psychoanalysis is often a clarifying lens, but it doesn’t determine the direction of your gaze…
– Jayce Long

Obscenity begins when there is no more spectacle, no more stage, no more theater, no more illusion, when everything becomes immediately transparent, visible, exposed in the raw and inexorable light of information and communication…
– Jean Baudrillard

there’s truly no salvaging American Christianity at this point. it’s hateful, judgmental, violent-minded, capitalist, and regressive, all of which even as an atheist I know denigrate the message of it’s central savior.
– Brian Tierney

Free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having.
– C.S. Lewis

My brain had begun to endure its familiar siege: panic and dislocation, and a sense that my thought processes were being engulfed by a toxic and unnameable tide that obliterated any enjoyable response to the living world.
– William Styron

There are people out there in the world who almost inspire me to join the government witness protection program, just so I can be sure I will never have to talk to them again.
– Anne Lamott

That swoony feeling you get when you realize that you’ll never get to the end of your thinking…
– Sven Birkets

He says that woman speaks with nature. That she hears voices from under the earth. That wind blows in her ears and trees whisper to her. That the dead sing through her mouth and the cries of infants are clear to her. But for him this dialogue is over. He says he is not part of this world, that he was set on this world as a stranger. He sets himself apart from woman and nature …

We are the birds eggs. Birds eggs, flowers, butterflies, rabbits, cows, sheep; we are caterpillars; we are leaves of ivy and sprigs of wallflower. We are women. We rise from the wave. We are gazelle and doe, elephant and whale, lilies and roses and peach, we are air, we are flame, we are oyster and pearl, we are girls. We are woman and nature. And he says he cannot hear us speak.

But we hear.

– Susan Griffin, Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her

A NAME
When Eve walked among
the animals and named them –
nightingale, red-shouldered hawk,
fiddler crab, fallow deer –
I wonder if she ever wanted
them to speak back, looked into
their wide wonderful eyes and
whispered, Name me, Name me.
– Ada Limón

As a writer, you withdraw and disconnect yourself from the world in order to connect to it in the far-reaching way that is other people elsewhere reading the words that came together in this contemplative state. What is vivid in the writing is not in how it hits the senses but what it does in the imagination;
– Rebecca Solnit

Meditation is the energy
that thought cannot touch.
– Krishnamurti

“Step Forward, O Spell-Caster”

What are words?

Words are songs
of birds come to Earth

feathers on a wizard’s cloak

vines on branches

red berries among brambles

the hiss and hum of the cosmos
awaiting our ear
in the 3 a.m. night air.

Words are tinctures, medicine.

Words are spells, power,
healing, curses.

Words are the spinning cells
in your own body,
sometimes quiet and gestating,
sometimes crackling awake
like lightning behind clouds.

Step forward, O Spell-Caster,
for you already know:

You are a writer.

There is nothing additional needed, except paper, and ink;
and if you don’t have that
use bark and blood, parchment and crushed-rock paint,
like the mountain priests
and forest priestesses of old.

You
are already
a writer.

There are no impediments.

There is nothing
to subtract from the process
with the exception
of ways of thinking
inherited from sources
that had hoped
to silence your voice
in the first place.

Prove them wrong.

– Frank Inzan Owen (Hidden Mountain)

I speak
knowing that it is not about that
always it is not about that
oh help me to write the most unnecessary poem
that cannot be used
to be useless
help me to write words
on this night in this world
– Alejandra Pizarnik

June, July, August. Every day, we hear their laughter. I
think of the painting by van Gogh, the man in the chair.
Everything wrong, and nowhere to go. His hands over
his eyes.
– Mary Oliver

wknds for theory, wkdays for practice. balance is important. apply this to sports, startups, etc
– Sara Du

How lucky we are
That you can’t sell
A poem, that it has
No value. Might
As well
Give it away.

That poem you love,
That saved your life,
Wasn’t it given to you?

– Gregory Orr

I don’t like writers. I don’t like seeing writers. I’m not good at it. It upsets me. It’s been too hard a struggle. I’m very competitive, and that side comes out. I’m uncomfortable with writers. I love painters and sculptors.
– May Sarton

I became a writer because my memory flashes are so sudden and drenching they leave me immobilized in images I can’t shake or fathom—I stand in the grip of the images and try to transcribe and expand them, turn them into rude ornate flowers.
– Wayne Koestenbaum

Memory is the space between the real and the unreal
– Dorothea Lasky

God can be reached and held by means of love, but by means of thought, never.
– The Cloud of Unknowing

I pin my hopes to quiet processes and small circles, in which vital and transforming events take place.
– Rufus Jones

Who trusts a cook who makes a dish with rotten meat? Spoiled vegetables? Well, a lot of actors work with rotten meat and bruised fruit in the form of bad scripts and with bad actors, and they will stand before us and ask to be seen as artists. You make your choices, and I’ve made some bad ones, but fail as I might have, I always opted to be an artist. I understand the desire, even the need, to make some money, but I don’t understand the desire to be famous, known, and that hunger leads people to degrade the talent they have. Elbows deep in rotten meat, and praying that the spice of money and fame will hide the bad taste.
– Kim Stanley

Children have more need
of models than critics.
– Joseph Joubert

to know one’s self
in a field of others
four-leaf clover
– Cam Sato

People generally just do what they can “get away with” doing. I think I see this in poems sometimes. People really look at an unclear line or botched metaphor and think, “I can probably get away with this” when excellence could have been waited on and taken up.
– Jericho Brown

Instead of writing against anyone else, write towards you.
– Jaquira Diaz

You keep waiting for something to happen,
the thing that lifts you out of yourself,
catapults you into doing all the things you’ve put off
the great things you’re meant to do in your life,
but somehow never quite get to.
You keep waiting for the planets to shift
the new moon to bring news,
the universe to align, something to give.
Meanwhile, the pile of papers, the laundry, the dishes the job —
it all stacks up while you keep hoping
for some miracle to blast down upon you,
scattering the piles to the winds.
Sometimes you lie in bed, terrified of your life.
Sometimes you laugh at the privilege of waking.
But all the while, life goes on in its messy way.
And then you turn forty. Or fifty. Or sixty…
and some part of you realizes you are not alone
and you find signs of this in the animal kingdom —
when a snake sheds its skin its eyes glaze over,
it slinks under a rock, not wanting to be touched,
and when caterpillar turns to butterfly
if the pupa is brushed, it will die —
and when the bird taps its beak hungrily against the egg
it’s because the thing is too small, too small,
and it needs to break out.
And midlife walks you into that wisdom
that this is what transformation looks like —
the mess of it, the tapping at the walls of your life,
the yearning and writhing and pushing,
until one day, one day
you emerge from the wreck
embracing both the immense dawn
and the dusk of the body,
glistening, beautiful
just as you are.
– Leza Lowitz

to the ones with mountains in their eyes
to those struggling to throw the sun over the darkest ridges
to my friends stuck in the perpetual night of grief
it’s okay to let stuckness dissolve
to let your earth shake
and take a dive
into the protection of you own starry
night womb
to kiss the ground of your broken village
and free yourself from its guilt burn
roping at your ankles
to find a place inside
where your lamps aren’t on consignment
anymore
so set your grief on fire
and burn your armor against the night
watch your blood
turn into rivers of light
and you
into
in canyons of god
– Kendall Rosenberg

Life and dreams are the pages of the same book; to read these pages in order is to live; to read them out of order is to dream.
– Schopenhauer

The distance between dreams and reality is called discipline.
– Paulo Coelho

I do dimly perceive that whilst everything
around me is ever changing, ever dying,
there is underlying all that change
a living power that is changeless,
that holds all together, that creates,
dissolves and recreates…for I can see
that in the midst of death, life persists,
in the midst of untruth, truth persists,
in the midst of darkness, light persists.
– Mahatma Gandhi

And what happens to us when we leave our world? […] ‘we become everything that we pass until we become the thing we created.’
– Sequoia Nagamatsu

The daily routine of most adults is so heavy and artificial that we are closed off to much of the world. We have to do this in order to get our work done. I think one purpose of art is to get us out of those routines. When we hear music or poetry or stories, the world opens up again. We’re drawn in — or out — and the windows of our perception are cleansed, as William Blake said. The same thing can happen when we’re around young children or adults who have unlearned those habits of shutting the world out.
– Ursula K. Le Guin

A practice is any act habitually entered into with our whole heart that takes us to the deeper place. Some of these practices, we might not think of as prayer and meditation: tending the roses, a long, slow walk to no place in particular, a quiet moment at day’s end, being vulnerable in the presence of that person in whose presence we’re taken to the deeper place, the pause between two lines of a poem. There are these acts that reground us in the depth dimensions of our life that matter most; so if we’re faithful to our practice, our practice will be faithful to us.
– James Finley

Blessed are those who feel the anger, but channel it into the creative energy of change. Blessed are the frustrated, for their determination drives the cause of justice. Blessed are the forgiving, for they keep the bridges between us from collapse. Blessed are the listeners, for they are our last hope. Blessed are the dreamers, for they show us the future is still possible. Blessed are the open-minded, for they show us the diversity of heaven. Blessed are the faithful, for they are our memory. Blessed are those willing to risk love, for without them our vision would reach no farther than our politics.
– Steven Charleston

Not that I want to be a god or a hero. Just to change into a tree, grow for ages, not hurt anyone.
– Czesław Miłosz

there just is no limit to how much this country can break your heart
– Chen Chen

My best poems were all written when I felt the worst.
– Langston Hughes

no prognosis
the daily reshuffling
of my destiny
– Barbara A. Taylor

The older I get the less purchase do I seem to have on the tight plastic packaging that covers everything…
– Sven Birkets

It feels like so much has been dismantled in our society, that our ability to cope depends almost entirely on wealth, connections, family, employer—which is so bound up in race, gender, age, etc. It’s like all that’s left is privilege, which makes for a seriously unequal society.
– Alexandria Villaseñor

Many ills are cured by a good long nighttime walk through Paris.
– Summer Brennan

I am making a home inside myself.
A shelter of kindness where everything is forgiven, everything allowed—a quiet patch of sunlight to stretch out without hurry,
where all that has been banished
and buried is welcomed, spoken, listened to—released.

A fiercely friendly place I can claim as my very own.
I am throwing arms open
to the whole of myself—especially the fearful,
fault-finding, falling apart, unfinished parts, knowing
every seed and weed, every drop of rain, has made the soil richer.

I will light a candle, pour a hot cup of tea, gather
around the warmth of my own blazing fire. I will howl
if I want to, knowing this flame can burn through
any perceived problem, any prescribed perfectionism,
any lying limitation, every heavy thing.

I am making a home inside myself
where grace blooms in grand and glorious
abundance, a shelter of kindness that grows
all the truest things.

I whisper hallelujah to the friendly sky.
Watch now as I burst into blossom.
– Julia Fehrenbacher

I read nonfiction to figure out how to get up in the morning.
– Joe Mackall

Nothing so dates an era as its conception of the future.
– Brian Eno

When we know deep down that we’re acting with integrity despite impulses to do otherwise, we feel gates of higher energy and inspiration open inside of us.
– Dan Millman

Writing inspires writing, images construct images, and words seek out their space on the page.
– Diamela Eltit

The garden is a special spiritual place in which the mind dwells.
– Shunmyo Masuno

Anger is our friend. Not a nice friend. Not a gentle friend. But a very, very loyal friend. It will always tell us when we have been betrayed. It will always tell us when we have betrayed ourselves.
– Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way

We are beginning to understand that the world is always being made fresh and never finished; that activism can be the journey rather than the arrival
– Grace Lee Boggs

Most of the brain’s work is done while the brain’s owner is ostensibly thinking about something else, so sometimes you have to deliberately find something else to think and talk about.
– Neal Stephenson

The Dream Keeper
Bring me all of your dreams,
You dreamer,
Bring me all your
Heart melodies
That I may wrap them
In a blue cloud-cloth
Away from the too-rough fingers
Of the world.
– Langston Hughes

Sun Ra’s consistent statement, musically and spoken, is that this is a primitive world. Its practices, beliefs, religions, are uneducated, unenlightened.. already in the past. . . .That’s why Sun Ra returned only to say he left. Into the Future. Into Space.
– Amiri Baraka

Buddhism wouldn’t be on this continent if there wasn’t enough pain
– Chogyam Trungpa

Poem for My Children Born During the Sixth Extinction
by Laura Cresté

The first things kids learn in school are the seasons.
By now they already know their colors, maybe even their last names.
My children will learn hurricane and wildfire. It is summer and then it is winter.

They won’t know the sweet weeks of early June, honeysuckle,
wearing a sundress without sweat pooling behind a knee.
Maybe even a little cold at night.

They might not know bumblebees, not personally.
Polar bears they’ll read about like dinosaurs.
We’ll still have the old-fashioned disasters, a broken elbow, split lip.

I’ll try not to scare them, but when I see them eating unwashed grapes
I’ll tell them about pesticides. One will forget but the other won’t eat fruit for years.
When they ask if I believe in heaven I will lie.

When they’re little I want them to feel safe.
When they’re older I want them to believe their bones
will lie dumb in the earth forever. This is your one life.

They’ll want to know what their parents did before they were born
We had dinner parties. Traveled a little, not enough.
Read our friends’ books. Had a dog they won’t remember

but will pretend to, and too many plants.
Water-damaged the windowsill and lost our deposit.
When our spider plant mothered into twelve stalks, we potted them,

called them spiderettes. They were supposed to be housewarming
gifts, but we didn’t know twelve people moving. We tried
not using too much plastic, not eating too much meat. It didn’t matter.

We knew our children’s lives would get worse every year.
We thought they might like to be here anyway,
to give them oceans, ice cream, optic nerves, the flowers, and all their names.

It shouldn’t take a pandemic to convince people to put their mental health above their careers.

In the long run, the choice between success and well-being is a false dichotomy.

The best way to achieve your goals is to lead a life that invigorates you—not one that drains you.

– Adam Grant

It is our duty to motivate and inspire our fellow human beings. How can we be successful if even one segment of humanity fails?
– Daaji

a mountain stream
the seek of water
the stay of stones
– Richard Barnes

a gentle touch
maybe it’s a memory
or a butterfly
– Dimitar Argakiev

cloudless sky
for a second or two
world peace
– Carlos Colón

When the whole world crumbles, you have to build a new one out of all the pieces that are still here.
– Rudy Francisco

To die will be like tearing the music out of a song.
– Leonard Cohen

A prayer for baristas
Who don’t look at you funny
As you step outside to smoke
Every twenty minutes
While it’s something below zero
Too polite to mention your body shaking
Empathic enough to notice your ship is sinking
A prayer for all women
Who have a phone
Full of contacts
No one to call
With full, breaking hearts
And eyes full of fresh mascara
Invisible suffering
A prayer for the healers
Who take us broken deer
Screeching and kicking
And gently with grace
Remind us
Not every single thing moving
Is a car speeding toward us
– Fee Thomas

I hope you heal and stop chasing things that are behind you.

You already did that.

Forward. Growth. Evolve. Heal.

– Dr. Thema

Shankar Vedantam’s The Hidden Brain, talks about a swim he once took. A decent swimmer in his own estimate, Vedantam went out into the sea one day and discovered that he had become superb and powerful; he was instantly proud of his new abilities. Far from shore, he realized he had been riding a current and was going to have to fight it all the way back to shore. “Unconscious bias influences our lives in exactly the same manner as that undercurrent,” Vedantam writes. “Those who travel with the current will always feel they are good swimmers; those who swim against the current may never realize they are better swimmers than they imagine.
– Joan Halifax

Be a good person, but don’t waste your time trying to prove it.
– Paulo Coelho

Take advantage of the opportunity
to spend time in the country,
away from distractions
caused by diverse needs.
Use the time to create
a new mythology.
Grab your possibilities
and make them realities.
– Karen Dalton

It’s interesting that penny-pinching is an accepted defense for toxic food habits, when frugality so rarely rules other consumer domains. The majority of Americans buy bottled drinking water, for example, even though water runs from the faucets at home for a fraction of the cost, and government quality standards are stricter for tap water than for bottled. At any income level, we can be relied upon for categorically unnecessary purchases: portable-earplug music instead of the radio; extra-fast Internet for leisure use; heavy vehicles to transport light loads; name-brand clothing instead of plainer gear. “Economizing,” as applied to clothing, generally means looking for discount name brands instead of wearing last year’s clothes again. The dread of rearing unfashionable children is understandable. But as a priority, “makes me look cool” has passed up “keeps arteries functional” and left the kids huffing and puffing (fashionably) in the dust.
– Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

The ideas in my novels are fused with the ideas of the poets and philosophers I am reading at the time. This method has also enabled me to tell people about the writers I think are important.
– Kenzaburo Oe

The wish for an unthinking, reckless solitude.
To be face to face only with myself.
– The Diaries of Franz Kafka, July 1, 1913

A good person gives in five ways: out of faith, with respect, at the right time, generously, and without denigrating the other.
– Buddha

We must not see any person as an abstraction. Instead, we must see in every person a universe with its own secrets, with its own treasures, with its own sources of anguish, and with some measure of triumph.
– Elie Wiesel

If you feel safe and loved, your brain becomes specialized in exploration, play, and cooperation; if you are frightened and unwanted, it specializes in managing feelings of fear and abandonment.
– Bessel van der Kolk

The stories that define our thinking today describe an eternal battle between good and evil springing from an originating act of sin. But these terms are just metaphors for something more difficult to explain, a relatively recent demand that simplicity and order be imposed upon the complexity of creation, a demand sprouting from an ancient seed of narcissism that has flourished due to a new imbalance in human societies.

There is a pattern to the universe and everything in it, and there are knowledge systems and traditions that follow this pattern to maintain balance, to keep the temptations of narcissism in check. But recent traditions have emerged that break down creation systems like a virus, infecting complex patterns with artificial simplicity, exercising a civilizing control over what some see as chaos. The Sumerians started it. The Romans perfected it. The Anglosphere inherited it. The world is now mired in it.

The war between good and evil is in reality an imposition of stupidity and simplicity over wisdom and complexity.

– Tyson Yunkaporta, Sand Talk

Healing is the end of conflict with yourself.
– Stephanie Gailing

For one who sees with the eyes of the heart, rather than the senses, the world looks different; the blades of grass, the song of the birds, the drops of dew, all are seen to be none other than the One Life that surrounds us in every moment. They see the One in every creature and every creature in the One… they see everything with an equal eye.
– Bhagavad Gita

A medallion gleams in air, like sun thru ice. Below, its flutings glow more kin to fireplace flames bent into ball-socks, as thru thick ribs of glass. Above, straight spikes of light.
– Stan Brakhage

See Them Coming

Here come the octopi of war
tentacles wielding guns, missiles
holy books and colorful flags.

Don’t fill your pens with their ink.
Write with your fingernails, scratch
light upon these darkened days.

– Sholeh Wolpé

For broken dreams, the cure is, dream again, and deeper.
– C.S.Lewis

To be alive is to be searching, to be inquiring. To be alive is to be filled with curious thinking. The reverse implication, then, is that to be static, to be content with where we are, to have ended the journey – this is to be dead.
– John Lundin

A writer is someone who has taught their mind to misbehave.
– Oscar Wilde

The world is upside down, it’s going to take a lot of hands to turn it right side up.
– Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee

She is a woman on her terms, a woman with the lump of a soft leather billfold in her back pocket, who holds my doors and doesn’t mind that my grandma calls her a little gentleman.
– Rachel Wiley

In poetry, the voice can float
– Richard Siken

Now, I want living to take up my whole life.
– Deanna Kell

If we are to better the future we must disturb the present.
– Catherine Booth

Even more than reading, writing helps me map the world, reconcile disparate pieces of information, and integrate them into my understanding. I am simply more tuned in when I am writing; I prefer that to letting the world slide by.
– Cack Wilhelm

Simplifying our lives does not mean sinking into idleness, but on the contrary, getting rid of the most subtle aspect of laziness: the one which makes us take on thousands of less important activities
– Matthieu Ricard

Love at First Sight
by Wislawa Szymborska

They’re both convinced
that a sudden passion joined them.
Such certainty is beautiful,
but uncertainty is more beautiful still.

Since they’d never met before, they’re sure
that there’d been nothing between them.
But what’s the word from the streets, staircases, hallways—
perhaps they’ve passed by each other a million times?

I want to ask them
if they don’t remember—
a moment face to face
in some revolving door?
perhaps a “sorry” muttered in a crowd?
a curt “wrong number” caught in the receiver?—
but I know the answer.
No, they don’t remember.

They’d be amazed to hear
that Chance has been toying with them
now for years.

Not quite ready yet
to become their Destiny,
it pushed them close, drove them apart,
it barred their path,
stifling a laugh,
and then leaped aside.

There were signs and signals,
even if they couldn’t read them yet.
Perhaps three years ago
or just last Tuesday
a certain leaf fluttered
from one shoulder to another?
Something was dropped and then picked up.
Who knows, maybe the ball that vanished
into childhood’s thicket?

There were doorknobs and doorbells
where one touch had covered another
beforehand.
Suitcases checked and standing side by side.
One night, perhaps, the same dream,
grown hazy by morning.

Every beginning
is only a sequel, after all,
and the book of events
is always open halfway through.

I give poems to other mouths,
the mouth of the cocoon,
the mouth of the tear in a snake skin,
the mouth of the trough between dark waves
where wind is born, the mouth
of the sparrow, but it must be
a kind of sparrow I have never seen,
living in a desert olive tree, near you.
I give poems to the mouths of roses
that grow by the sea in a ruined abbey.
I place them in the parted lips
of evening, ambiguous curvature,
holding a final drop of fire
in the silence between earth and stars.
You are gone, I do not ask where.
I drop this poem in our wound,
the well of emptiness, the fault line
in the shattered mirror of our seasons,
as you pause to breathe
through your entanglement,
unable to tell if this be Winter
or Spring, Summer’s end or Fall.
Let this poem be a kiss
on the mouth of “ever,”
in the frail brown body
of the word, “ever-changing.”
– Fred LaMotte

All My Friends Are Finding New Beliefs
by Christian Wiman

All my friends are finding new beliefs.
This one converts to Catholicism and this one to trees.
In a highly literary and hitherto religiously-indifferent Jew
God whomps on like a genetic generator.
Paleo, Keto, Zone, South Beach, Bourbon.
Exercise regimens so extreme she merges with machine.
One man marries a woman twenty years younger
and twice in one brunch uses the word verdant;
another’s brick-fisted belligerence gentles
into dementia, and one, after a decade of finical feints and teases
like a sandpiper at the edge of the sea,
decides to die.
Priesthoods and beasthoods, sombers and glees,
high-styled renunciations and avocations of dirt,
sobrieties, satieties, pilgrimages to the very bowels of  being …
All my friends are finding new beliefs
and I am finding it harder and harder to keep track
of the new gods and the new loves,
and the old gods and the old loves,
and the days have daggers, and the mirrors motives,
and the planet’s turning faster and faster in the blackness,
and my nights, and my doubts, and my friends,
my beautiful, credible friends.

I was once that mote of dust,
Dancing in the sun. Softly, softly sifting
Down to you.
– Marwa Sayed

Loneliness was something they had in common. Knowing each other only made it worse.
– Greg Sellers

For him, the past could be the silence we feel
with whatever songs, whatever memories we hold or invent.
– Richard Jackson

How perilous is it to choose not to love the life we’re shown?
– Seamus Heaney

In America 2.0, I really hope this upcoming holiday comes to be known as Interdependence Day.
– Ethan Nichtern

Boundary lines, of any type, are never found in the real world itself, but only in the imagination of the mapmakers.
– Ken Wilber

i find i am constantly being encouraged to pluck out some one aspect of myself and present this as the meaningful whole, eclipsing or denying the other parts of self.
– audre lorde

Just imagine what could be achieved if people cared as much about ensuring a liveable planet as they do about people kicking, hitting & throwing balls around.
– @ClimateDad77

As long as we realize and admit our mistakes, let them go, and make corrections immediately, that is practice.
– Master Sheng-Yen

I really don’t think enough people realize how thin a thread democracy here is hanging by.
– John Pavlovitz

We create so many barriers trying to keep who we are that we lose ourselves.
– @gindaanis

slowly, then all at once — summer rain
– @BriFrancis

It’s not enough to be nice in life. You have got to have nerve.
– Georgia O’Keeffe

We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made of us.
– Jean-Paul Sartre

Sssh the sea says
Sssh the small waves at the shore say, sssh
Not so violent, not
So remarkable.
Sssh
Say the tips of the waves
Crowding around the headland’s
Surf. Sssh
They say to people
This is *our* earth,
*Our* eternity.

Sssh by Rolf Jacobson
trans. Robert Bly in: The Soul is Here for Its Own Joy, Sacred Poems from Many Cultures

Tomorrow
a whole field of it can
be there and gone
before you know it
– Frank Stanford

Instead of becoming the world’s expert on Buddhism, just let go, let go, let go.
– Ajahn Sumedho

Blackberry Time
by Luka Bloom

There’s no need to verbalise
When two hearts sometimes harmonise
Walking along the Salthill promenade
Talking about these perfect days we had
All our lives in one place
And though the light just bounces off your face
I know you know

Everything is possible in God’s time
But nothing is for sure
All our hurts to wade through
And still we find
Blackberry time

There’s no need to understand
Whenever you try to trust in the plan
We stand in the water and open our toes
And laugh at and love the way the river just goes
Downstream, some islands to round
I step out and dry my feet on the ground
We soak up Burren blue skies
The sun blinds me in your eyes
And I know you know

Everything is possible in God’s time
But nothing is for sure
All our hurts to wade through
And still we find
Blackberry time

A poet is someone
Who can pour Light into a cup
and raise it to nourish your
beautiful parched holy mouth
– Hafiz

A symphony must be like the world. It must contain everything.
– Gustav Mahler

Nothing Twice
Nothing can ever happen twice.
In consequence, the sorry fact is
that we arrive here improvised
and leave without the chance to practice.

Even if there is no one dumber,
if you’re the planet’s biggest dunce,
you can’t repeat the class in summer:
this course is only offered once.

No day copies yesterday,
no two nights will teach what bliss is
in precisely the same way,
with precisely the same kisses.

One day, perhaps some idle tongue
mentions your name by accident:
I feel as if a rose were flung
into the room, all hue and scent.

The next day, though you’re here with me,
I can’t help looking at the clock:
A rose? A rose? What could that be?
Is it a flower or a rock?

Why do we treat the fleeting day
with so much needless fear and sorrow?
It’s in its nature not to stay:
Today is always gone tomorrow.

With smiles and kisses, we prefer
to seek accord beneath our star,
although we’re different (we concur)
just as two drops of water are.

– Wislawa Szymborska

Systems designed for domination and extraction can’t solve problems that require mutual care, whether that’s growing food or keeping people safe or stabilizing an unbalanced climate system.
– Dr. Elizabeth Sawin

John Ashbery, in an interview… : “I waste a lot of time. That’s part of the [creative process]….The problem is, you can’t really use this wasted time. You have to have it wasted. Poetry disequips you for the requirements of life. You can’t use your time.”
– Mary Ruefle

Rejection, I have found, can be the only antidote to delusion
– Ottessa Moshfegh, My Year of Rest and Relaxation

I worked at a snail’s pace even though I was not independently wealthy.
– Lydia Davis

Thinking of Joanna Macy as I rest in relative solitude at the Refuge, and the words here of Rilke: “Don’t let your solitude obscure the presence of something within it that wants to emerge. Precisely this presence will help your solitude expand. People are drawn to the easy and to the easiest side of the easy. But it is clear that we must hold ourselves to the difficult, as it is true for everything alive. Everything in nature grows and defends itself in its own way and against all opposition, straining from within and at any price, to become distinctively itself. It is good to be solitary, because solitude is difficult, and that a thing is difficult must be even more of a reason for us to undertake it.
– Joan Halifax

Why is it important to understand our programming?

We talk about cells as the “antennas of self” — how our bodies are receptors of our own broadcasts. We also discuss the importance of creating and of breaking through our old programs and taking on new programs that don’t perpetuate disharmony. And to our giddy pleasure we also touch upon the importance of dreams: disconnecting from the machine and doorways.
– Bruce H. Lipton Ph.D

To tell someone not to be emotional is to tell them to be dead.
– Jeanette Winterson

I wish that every human life might be pure transparent freedom.
– Simone de Beauvior

Take in the wisdom
of old rocks and scrubby pines
alpine flowers and thin air
slow to melt snow & clear water gushing
to learn your own story
of what it means
to find yourself
in the ancient
dance with mountains.
– Heidi Barr

In the next century, the inner nature of man, with these developments, will free itself from many constraints that have bound it. A new era will indeed begin—not, now, a heaven on earth, but a far more sane and just world, in which man is far more aware of his relationship with his planet and of his FREEDOM within time.
– Jane Roberts

None of the beaten end up how we began.
A poem is a gesture toward home.
– Jericho Brown, Duplex

bell hooks said, “No insurgent intellectual, no dissenting critical voice in this society escapes the pressure to conform…we are all vulnerable. We can all be had, co-opted, bought. There is no special grace that rescues any of us. There is only a constant struggle…”

A rejection [of Communist ideology] is more than a political act. It is a protest of our souls against those who would have us forget the concepts of good and evil.
– Aleksandsr Solzhenitsyn

I think of poetry as an attempt to use language as completely as possible.
– W. S. Merwin

There are two things that one cannot fight against because they are too long and too fat, and have neither head nor foot: Karl Kraus and psychoanalysis.
– Robert Musil

Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and nights.
– Kahlil Gibran

To find a form that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now.
– Samuel Beckett

America who am I becoming here with you
If I wander the same as without you, barely visible amid your indigenous trees
– Aria Aber

We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims.
– Buckminster Fuller

I see your soul is made of poetry and starlit skies and forests, just like mine.
– Flora Turrill

I am left with plain hands and
nothing to give you but poems.
– Lucille Clifton

What is wrong / with the mind is what is wrong with the poem.
– @dlseuss #revision #franksonnets

don’t you remember
how she could make you
think the moon was a salt lick
for her cattle of darkness
– Frank Stanford

Myths are stories about people who become too big for their lives temporarily, so that they crash into other lives or brush against gods. In crisis their souls are visible.
– Anne Carson

Abandoning one coast for another has its hardships.
– Nicholas Pierotti

Obviously a poet has got to find a way of making a living apart from his poetry.
– T. S. Eliot

Solitude is for me a fount of healing which makes my life worth living. Talking is often a torment for me, and I need many days of silence to recover from the futility of words.
– Carl Jung

The New Jerusalem

the new Jerusalem is in all that was
is & will ever be —
but as our awareness of it
is resurrected in loving-kindness
& non-judgmental Light
it will manifest
with our eyes & ears also.

if you want to touch it
look to sky & earth

& yes, travel deeply within
feel who you really are —

Love.

you have many aspects —

that stuff we’d like to deny
until we turn on the news.

but it can be reshaped
by simply closing your eyes
deeply traveling within

not with dogma
but with a felt Word
or just intent

letting yourself
explore limitless
Love —

transforming what
is hard to accept in
ourselves

& out of this
interior/outer
Core

we can attract
whatever it is
we want & need

& yes
Jerusalem
will Be.

it is already here

but it will be
lived & the craziness

will not hold
nor enslave
anymore.

Contemplate Love
in clouds,
dirt, water

and feel it
with heart
beyond mind

and attract
& reveal
whatever it is
you need & desire —

Jerusalem.

– Rick Davis

To a humiliating (but helpful) extent, some of the gravest problems we face during a day can be traced back to a brutally simple fact: that we have not had enough sleep.
– The School of Life

We make them reveal / the brutes they are by the things / we make them name.

– Solmaz Sharif

Sand From the Gobi Desert
by Lorna Crozier

Sand from the Gobi Desert blows across Saskatchewan,
becomes the irritation in an eye. So say the scientists who
separate the smallest pollen from its wings of grit,
identify the origin and name. You have to wonder where
the dust from these fields ends up: Zimbabwe, Fiji,
on the row of shoes outside a mosque in Istanbul,
on the green rise of a belly in the Jade Museum in Angkor Wat?
And what of our breath, grey hair freed from a comb, the torn
threads of shadows?
Just now the salt from a woman’s tears settles finely its invisible kiss
on my upper lip. She’s been crying in Paris on the street that means
Middle of the Day though it’s night there, and she doesn’t want
the day to come.
Would it comfort her to know another, halfway round the world,
can taste her grief?
Another would send her, if she could, the rare flakes of snow
falling here before the sunrise, snow that bare4ly fleeces the brown
back of what’s
too dry to be a field of wheat, and winter’s almost passed. Snow
on her lashes.
What of apple blossoms, my father’s ashes, small scraps of sadness
that slip out of reach? Is it comforting to know the wind
never travels empty? A sparrow in the Alhambra’s arabesques
rides the laughter spilling from our kitchen, the smell of garlic
makes the dust delicious where and where it falls.

Among the biggest challenges we face is convincing people that what they think of as ‘normal life’ is completely incompatible with a liveable planet.
– @ClimateDad77

Anyone with gumption and a sharp mind will take the measure of two things:

what’s said and what’s done.
– Seamus Heaney

Wanting to keep the planet from being destroyed by companies isn’t a “leftist political opinion.”

It’s basic human decency to leave the planet healthy for those who come after us.

– Edgar McGregor

One wants to tell a story, like Scheherezade, in order not to die. It’s one of the oldest urges in mankind. It’s a way of stalling death.
– Carlos Fuentes

pushed through the needle,
a thread wonders what in God’s
name is going on
– @lit_hum

If trees could speak,
they wouldn’t, only hum some low
green note
– Dorianne Laux

If you are never alone, you cannot know yourself.
– Paulo Coelho

Academia has peddled the false notion that use of language is in itself a form of organizing
– @leftiply

My strength is in solitude. I’m not afraid of pouring rains or great gusts of wind, for I too am the darkness of the night.
– Clarice Lispector

The democratic man our poets sang of but who, alas, is being rapidly exterminated, along with the buffalo, the moose and the elk, the great bear, the eagle, the condor, the mountain lion. The sort of American who never starts a war, never raises a feud, never draws the color line, never tries to lord it over his fellow-man, never yearns for a higher education, never holds a grudge against his neighbor, never treats an artist shabbily, and never turns a beggar away. Often untutored and unlettered, he sometimes has more of the poet and the musician in him, philosopher too, than those who are acclaimed as such. His whole way of life is aesthetic. What marks him as different, sometimes ridiculous, is his serenity and originality. That he aspires to be none other than himself, is this not the essence of wisdom?”
– Henry Miller

Sometimes when I meet old friends, it reminds me how quickly time passes. And it makes me wonder if we’ve utilized our time properly or not. Proper utilization of time is so important. While we have this body, and especially this amazing human brain, I think every minute is something precious. Our day-to-day existence is very much alive with hope, although there is no guarantee of our future. There is no guarantee that tomorrow at this time we will be here. But we are working for that purely on the basis of hope. So, we need to make the best use of our time. I believe that the proper utilization of time is this: if you can, serve other people, other sentient beings. If not, at least refrain from harming them. I think that is the whole basis of my philosophy.

So, let us reflect what is truly of value in life, what gives meaning to our lives, and set our priorities on the basis of that. The purpose of our life needs to be positive. We weren’t born with the purpose of causing trouble, harming others. For our life to be of value, I think we must develop basic good human qualities – warmth, kindness, compassion. Then our life becomes meaningful and more peaceful – happier.
– Dalai Lama XIV

Dependence Day
by John Daniel

It would be a quieter holiday, no fireworks
or loud parades, no speeches, no salutes to any flag,
a day of staying home instead of crowding away,
a day we celebrate nothing gained in war
but what we’re given—how the sun’s warmth
is democratic, touching everyone,
and the rain is democratic too,
how the strongest branches in the wind
give themselves as they resist, resist
and give themselves, how birds could have no freedom
without the planet’s weight to wing against,
how Earth itself could come to be
only when a whirling cloud of dust
pledged allegiance as a world
circling dependently around a star, and the star
blossomed into fire from the ash of other stars,
and once, at the dark zero of our time,
a blaze of revolutionary light
exploded out of nowhere, out of nothing,
because nothing needed the light,
as the brilliance of the light itself needs nothing.

You were frightened by our first meeting,
but I already prayed for the second, and now
the evening is hot, the way it was then …
– Anna Akhmatova

A poet is somebody who feels, and who expresses his [her] feelings through words.

This may sound easy. It isn’t.

A lot of people think or believe or know they feel — but that’s thinking or believing or knowing; not feeling. And poetry is feeling — not knowing or believing or thinking.

Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single human being can be taught to feel. Why? Because whenever you think or you believe or you know, you’re a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you’re nobody-but-yourself.

[…]

As for expressing nobody-but-yourself in words, that means working just a little harder than anybody who isn’t a poet can possibly imagine. Why? Because nothing is quite as easy as using words like somebody else. We all of us do exactly this nearly all of the time — and whenever we do it, we’re not poets.

If, at the end of your first ten or fifteen years of fighting and working and feeling, you find you’ve written one line of one poem, you’ll be very lucky indeed.

And so my advice to [those] who wish to become poets is: do something easy, like learning how to blow up the world—unless you’re not only willing, but glad, to feel and work and fight till you die.

Does that sound dismal? It isn’t.

It’s the most wonderful life on earth.

Or so I feel.

– e e cummings

I was stuck so I searched  
in the clouds, in the street, 
in the supermarket, in the bar,
in the gestures 
of strangers–how their faces shined.
Poetry is the art of observation:
an overheard phrase,
a certain light across a face 
we give syntax and shape.
– Sean Thomas Dougherty

Cold hearted orb that rules the night, removes the colors from our sight. Red is Grey and yellow white, but we decide which is right, and which is an illusion.
– Moody Blues

The sky is not black but blue — dark purple, aubergine, night blue, and the stars

Milky Way stitched like that, celestial ladder, Father of forms, arced over the hills, over

the flat fields, over mounds of earth. Star-sky settles, above and across, every night

— To gaze at it, at the hour of standing, still —
for a while — You, looking up. You can

almost see it — move, the slow spin of space
—keep your head up, see night lit, nothing more

beautiful, nothing — more real — you are
the axis — the unmoving — around which,

the planetary turning, slowmoves
Stay still, at least, long enough to see,

the slow rotation, the sky’s slow animation,

silently sing

– Marian Haddad

How Could I Have Known
I Would Have to Remember
Your Laughter
by Lauren K. Alleyne

the way it ricocheted—a boomerang flung
from your throat, stilling the breathless air.
How you were luminous in it. Your smile. Your hair
tossed back, flaming. Everyone around you aglow.
How I wanted to live in it those times it ignited us
into giggles, doubling us over aching and unmoored
for precious minutes from our twin scars—
the thorned secrets our tongues learned too well
to carry. It is impossible to imagine you gone,
dear one, your laugh lost to some silence I can’t breach,
from which you will not return.

When a tree is cut down, the sky’s like
finally, and rushes in.

Even when you trim a tree,
the sky fills in before the branch

hits the ground. It colors the space blue
because now it can.
– Maggie Smith

It is possible that the things we live through
do not make us stronger.
I think of the ways I am more fragile
now. The blueness larger, the heart a well-damaged
muscle. The way my mind and heart
must sometimes close their eyes upon meeting.
– Missy-Marie Montgomery

Nothing is sometimes a good thing to do
and a clever thing to say.
– Will Durant

There is a secret medicine
given only to those who hurt so hard
they can’t hope.
Hopers would feel slighted if they knew.
– Rumi

How shall quiet mosses ease me,
Or the night-wind cool my craving?
Hill and hedgerow, cloud-sweet sky,
Echo our good-by.
– Leonora Speyer

I take this as a point of departure and argue that capitalism is a form of enchantment—perhaps better, a misenchantment, a parody or perversion of our longing for a sacramental way of being in the world. Its animating spirit is money. Its theology, philosophy, and cosmology have been otherwise known as “economics.” Its sacramentals consist of fetishized commodities and technologies—the material culture of production and consumption. Its moral and liturgical codes are contained in management theory and business journalism. Its clerisy is a corporate intelligentsia of economists, executives, managers, and business writers, a stratum akin to Aztec priests, medieval scholastics, and Chinese mandarins. Its iconography consists of advertising, public relations, marketing, and product design. Its beatific vision of eschatological destiny is the global imperium of capital, a heavenly city of business with incessantly expanding production, trade, and consumption. And its gospel has been that of “Mammonism,” the attribution of ontological power to money and of existential sublimity to its possessors.
– Eugene McCarraher – The Enchantment of Mammon – How Capitalism became the Religion of Modernity

I am going to make everything around me beautiful – that will be my life.
– Elsie de Wolfe

It may be unhealthy, but I feel that without literature my life would have no meaning.
– Naguib Mahfouz

Poetry is going on, all the time, inside my head. — I occasionally snip off a length.
– John Ashbery

The action of writing is the successive discovery of cumulative epiphanies in the self’s encounter with the world.
– William Stafford

Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.
– Leonardo da Vinci

It is like what we imagine knowledge to be:
dark, salt, clear, moving, utterly free,
drawn from the cold hard mouth
of the world, derived from the rocky breasts
forever, flowing and drawn, and since
our knowledge is historical, flowing, and flown.
– Elizabeth Bishop

Dreams are today’s answers to tomorrow’s questions.
– Edgar Cayce

The medicine of the future will be music and sound.
– Edgar Cayce

And in the depths of music, I didn’t find the answer,
And again there was silence, and again the ghost
of summer.
– Anna Akhmatova

Reality, it appears, is always interwoven—artistically, intellectually, and politically.
– Mohamed Shoair

In order to restore the sensation of life, in order to feel things […] we have something called art.
– Jason DeYoung revisits Viktor Shklovsky’s On the Theory of Prose, newly translated by Shushan Avagyan

I dream of an art so transparent that you can look through and see the world.
– Stanley Kunitz

At last we create some Space between this and that, which liberates us tremendously ~ Chogyam Trungpa

When artists create pictures and thinkers search for laws and formulate thoughts, it is in order to salvage something from the great dance of death, to make something that lasts longer than we do.
– Hermann Hesse

Thou dusky spirit of the wood,
Bird of an ancient brood,
Flitting thy lonely way,
A meteor in the summer’s day,
– Henry David Thoreau

The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up
– J.M. Power

We have to take a stand against the crazy mental busyness that has become the new normal. We’re bombarded with things to think about all day long, flooded with words and images to process, and forced to juggle unprecedented complexities.

Our minds are being hauled along behind a culture without a speed limit – but the human body and brain does have a limit, a natural carrying capacity, and when we exceed it there’s always a price. It’s like being trapped in rush hour your whole life. Each time you know this, each time you pull out of the mental traffic, it’s an act of freedom and kindness and wisdom.

– Rick Hanson

Oh, you’re a poet? How many plums did William Carlos Williams eat out the icebox?
– @lutherxhughes

Too much talk of inclusion but no mention of belonging. I don’t want to be included in a place where I don’t feel like I belong.
– Autumn A. BlackDeer, PhD

And they say that when any two things meet there is a little duet—a song of some kind. If you put your best ear forward, you can hear it. Every person, if pitched right, meets things with a song—a just right resonance.
– William Stafford

For what can a poet do before history’s bulldozer but guard the spring and trees, visible and invisible, by the old roads?
– Mahmoud Darwish

What survives the wreck of time is the force of the imagination and the power of expression.
– Lewis Lapham

God never gave
me a single usable passion, but did give me sharp teeth

and a strong jaw.

– Traci Brimhall, The Fate of My Seven Husbands

*

I was born shy, congenitally unable to do anything
profitable

– Mary Ruefle, How I Became Impossible

All that might have been. Exhausts me.
– Hélène Cixous

The homeland was born in exile. Paradise was born from the hell of absence.
– Mahmoud Darwish

You see, my plans for the summer are no plans.
– Hannah Arendt

Writing for me is just a very sustained process of reading.
– Toni Morrison

Reading is eating the forbidden fruit, making forbidden love, changing eras, changing families, changing destinies, and changing day for night.
– Hélène Cixous

The scientists of the world are being ignored. And it’s got to stop. We’re going to lose everything. And we’re not joking. We’re not lying. We’re not exaggerating.
– Peter Kalmus

There are a hundred paths through the world that are easier than loving. But, who wants easier?
– Mary Oliver

The dream of my life
Is to lie down by a slow river
And stare at the light in the trees—
To learn something by being nothing
– Mary Oliver, Entering the Kingdom

We never intended
to be the muses
to the world’s most
popular music.
– Steven Willis

the rain became
lovely translucent
thunderheads
– Buson

There are thousands of people out there with the same knowledge you have; when you have a job, there will be thousands of people doing what you do for a living. But you are the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Your particular life. Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk, or your life on the bus, or in the car, or at the computer. Not just the life of your mind, but the life of your heart. Not just your bank account, but your soul.
– Anna Quindlen

Each of us knowing something, not us, had opened the door to this blueness, this light on the back of the hand, the mountain rising in front of us not like something we would wear in the end but the thing that might carry us…
– Richard Robbins

hope is goldenrod in an arc
over a stem of purple asters,
a bee nuzzling blossom to blossom,
a proliferation of tiny white petals
– Margaret Rozga

What is poetry which does not save / Nations or people?
– Czesław Miłosz

Sometimes the image
finds a place in my mind’s eye
a library of words.
– @Ginekevk

We live and spawn and want—always there is this ghastly wanting.
– Joy Williams

most universities are really hedge funds, landlords, and real estate developer firms all rolled into one with some classrooms attached
– @crystaljjlee

If you think about and feel it beautifully, more soundly, more clearly, you will understand that my Ancestors are not behind me but have gone before me into the future. Only my Descendants are behind me, and they will follow me into the future. This is the truest way to think about our path, and this is the way to listen to the Elders who are now in the future. This is why the Native listens to the Elders like the Stone Nations, the Greening Nations, the Flying Nations, the Invisible Nations, Walking and Water Nations as with Mother Earth — these are the Path of the Future. It’s their experience that helps us in the present and those to follow.
– Tiokasin Ghosthorse

It’s kind of get your boats time, but it’s also rebuild your levees time, and it’s also time to address the climate change that drives the floods literally and in terms of this metaphor. You can mourn and organize. And there will always be lives, projects, communities, hopes, ideas worth fighting for. There are so many. In that sense we are rich.
– Rebecca Solnit

I am often struck by the dangerous narcissism fostered by spiritual rhetoric that pays so much attention to individual self-improvement and so little to the practice of love within the context of community.
– bell hooks

Poetry might be defined as the clear expression of mixed feelings.
– W.H. Auden

dewdrops are
what life
is
– Ogawa

Tell me, what is the long stretch of road for if not to sort out the reasons why we are here and why we do what we do, from why we are not in the other lane doing what others do.
– C.D. Wright, Cooling Time

The call of the writer is the same as the call of the reader. Take me to other planes of myself. Agnes Martin said her paintings were for people to look at before daily care strikes. Suppose reading & writing do their best work after daily care has struck (and struck hard).
– C.D. Wright

I liked the sounds of metempsychosis, jazz, cooler, and did not know that words would guide me, under the bluest sky, to where a single wedge of geese caught the low sunlight with wings, to you—
– Arthur Sze, Zuihitsu

In the open space of democracy, beauty is not optional, but essential to our survival as a species. And technology is not rendered at the expense of life, but developed out of a reverence for life.
– Terry Tempest Williams

Real beauty is so deep you have to move into darkness to understand it.
– Barry López

what do we call the moment, then, when / the words are finally summoned, like a / sparkle of fireflies, and by grace, by the / mercy of the night, what was damaged / has been restored?
– Kwame Opoku-Duku, Nocturne

In mythology and especially in alchemy, to heal the sick King does not mean restoration of the old order but instead signifies renewal of the old world through transformation.
– Tatsuhiro Nakajima

Good [artistic] work is produced in spite of suffering…and as a victory over suffering.
– Leonard Cohen

The something undone, the something that won’t ever be done, always remains unendurable to consider.
– Alexander Chee

Our Old Town canoe
moved a V through the water
Dad steered us well
– @poseofpower

By looking at the footsteps of so many,
I learned to find my own!!
– @Ginekevk

Come with me tonight so that we might make tonight a shared past, says the one afflicted with longing.
I will come with you to make a shared tomorrow, says the one afflicted with love.
– Mahmoud Darwish (trans. by Sinan Antoon)

The Rising Wind
by John Daniel

If the way is anywhere it’s in
the dodge and mingle of mustard flowers
flattening as the wind comes on,
in the blue eucalyptus swirling wild
with a shimmer of water-sound,
and even in the stiff oak limbs
that stir as if remembering just now
what motion is. It doesn’t seem
so difficult, this fluid amilessness,
this ease with which things bend
as they hold firm– what flows in trees
and ripples silvery through the grass
is loosening my fear-bound spirit
that thinking tried and tried to free.
If I can learn this limbering,
if I can dance this earthly dance
like all things touched by the wind,
when the hour comes I might be ready
to swirl loose from all I know.

We live a form of false perception of reality
– Matthieu Ricard

Ludicrous mode, just saying
– Bill McKibben

‘Tis wealth enough of joy for me
In summer time to simply be.
– Paul Laurence Dunbar

Poet tip: Remember how incredibly lucky you are to be a poet.
– Kathleen Ossip

CALMNESS
Just for now
put down your phone –
your book –
your to-do-list-
your laptop –
your mind –
your beliefs –
turn off your television –
leave the roles you play –
be completely alone –
Observe all noises
come and go –
don’t even worry
how the world is doing.
Just be here.
Here is not a location –
It is the entry into
the ground from which
all grows –
Be calm.
calmness erases
time and karma –
calmness
is not the absence
of sound –
it is the absence
of you.
It is the only way
one can dissolve
into this bliss
where nothing lacks.
– Guthema Roba

Heatwave—
the soft sound of the ocean
moving through a dream
– @wingsoverwaters

I feel so unequal to what I always handled before, the abominations outside that echo the pain within. And yes I am completely self-referenced right now because it is the only translation I can trust..
– Audre Lorde

Something is well-written if, after some time, it strikes one as alien—one would be incapable of writing it that way a second time. Such an idea (expression) did not come from the fund that is available for daily expenditure.
– Robert Musil, Diaries

a restless heart
wandering the Milky Way
searching for new dreams
– @DeepSouldiver

Evening
By Rainer Marie Rilke
Translated by Robert Bly 

Slowly the west reaches for clothes of new colors
which it passes to a row of ancient trees. You look,
and soon these two worlds both leave you,
one part climbs toward heaven, one sinks to earth,
leaving you, not really belonging to either,
not so hopelessly dark as that house that is silent,
not so unswervingly given to the eternal as
that thing that turns to a star each night and climbs-
leaving you (it is impossible to untangle the threads)
your own life, timid and standing high and growing,
so that, sometimes blocked in, sometimes reaching out,
one moment your life is a stone in you, and the next, a star.

There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.
– @susancain

Hi can someone tell me where there’s a low cost thriving city of artists staying up all night in anarchic cafes, please?
– M.S. Evans

alone gazing
at wildflowers
summer moon
– Issa

Every poem is a scene of language.
– Edward Hirsch

There is no chance that we will fall apart
There is no chance
There are no parts.
– June Jordan

No rhyme can be said
where reason has fled.
– June Jordan

It’s as important to write silly poems, absurd poems, even childish poems as it is to write poems of great depth and emotion. Poems should make us laugh as well as cry. I’m bored of gloomy poems.
– Damen O’Brien

I am a stranger
learning to worship the strangers
around me


whoever you are
whoever I may become.

– June Jordan

It may be that the movement for national and state and municipal parks . . . is the most important, the most deeply impassioned, spiritual and aesthetic enterprise of our time.
– Harriet Monroe

The creations of the mind are more numerour than specks of dust in a ray of sunlight
– Milarepa

Talk to me. Tell me the things I see
fill the tables between us or surround
the precipice nobody dares to forget.
– June Jordan

But what I write and how I write is done in order to save my own life. And I mean that literally. For me literature is a way of knowing that I am not hallucinating, that whatever I feel/ know is.
– Barbara Christian

TRUTH

I think 99 times and find nothing.
I stop thinking,
swim in silence,
and the truth comes to me.

– Albert Einstein

after the storm—
fishermen untangle nets
from trees
– Neil Young

the house painter
descending his ladder
blue sky
– Martin Lucas

end of summer
my garden
in one wheelbarrow
– Margaret Chula

a dog walker
relaxes the leash
autumn leaves
– Richard Straw

Indian Summer
blueberries burst
in the batter
– Jennie Townsend

autumn rain
the spider rides a napkin
back outside
– Paul Cordeiro

We do not need
interstellar leaps
we want to shorten
distances between
hospitals
– Olive Senior

Watching the sunset, but singing so many folk songs in the bar that you realize the sun is actually rising.
– @lizzyhardingham

Just remember that sometimes, the way you think about a person isn’t the way they actually are.
– @valand_rakesh

The problem is, we look for someone to grow old together, while the secret is to find someone to stay a child with
– Charles Bukowski

The universe was born restless and has never since been still.
– Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Cleaning and therapy and meds. The holy trinity.
– @hmvanderhart

Every time I make a quantum leap I wake up as myself only six hours later.
– @Powell_DA

Knowledge has entertained me and it has shaped me and it has failed me. Something in me still starves. In what is probably the most serious inquiry of my life, I have begun to look past reason, past the provable, in other directions. Now I think there is only one subject worth my attention and that is the precognition of the spiritual side of the world and, within this recognition, the condition of my own spiritual state.
– Mary Oliver, Winter Hours

I was a Zen monk who didn’t know Zen
so I chose the woods for the years I had left
a robe made of patches over my body
a belt of bamboo around my waist
mountains and streams explain Bodhidharma’s meaning
flower smiles and birdsongs reveal the hidden key
sometimes I sit on a flat-topped rock
after midnight cloudless nights when the moon fills the sky
– Stonehouse, translated by Red Pine

Are you too deeply occupied to say if my verse is alive?
– Emily Dickinson

“Floods” is the word they use, but in fact it is not flooding; it is remembering. Remembering where it used to be. All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was.
– Toni Morrison

The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.
– Antonio Gramsci

Poets live outside institutions … Lyric poets don’t tell stories; they react to moments of lucidity. A good poem is a record of a moment of lucidity. There is no story, no lessons, no moral lessons. The lucidity itself is a value.
– Adam Zagajewski

The sound of great music might cause us to worship in our bedrooms.
– Martin Luther King Jr.

Once you start describing nothingness, you end up with somethingness.
– Mark Strand

All these great barns out here in the outskirts,
black creosote boards knee-deep in the bluegrass.
They look so beautifully abandoned, even in use.
You say they look like arks after the sea’s
dried up, I say they look like pirate ships,
and I think of that walk in the valley where
J said, You don’t believe in God? And I said,
No. I believe in this connection we all have
to nature, to each other, to the universe.
And she said, Yeah, God. And how we stood there,
low beasts among the white oaks, Spanish moss,
and spider webs, obsidian shards stuck in our pockets,
woodpecker flurry, and I refused to call it so.
So instead, we looked up at the unruly sky,
its clouds in simple animal shapes we could name
though we knew they were really just clouds—
disorderly, and marvelous, and ours.
– Ada Limón, What It Looks Like To Us and the Words We Use

he put gently into the earth
some plants which, most likely,
some of them, in all likelihood,
continue to grow
– Ross Gay

“He who cannot be content in adversity,” wrote Merton, “cannot be free.”

new tea aroma
my afternoon
drowsiness shattered
– Issa

Buddhist psychology doesn’t distinguish between thought and emotion in a neat way… There is an understanding that even what seems like a neutral state of mind will have an emotive tone.
– Thupten Jinpa

Day after day,
this sentence grew longer. The verb ran faster

than expected. Pushy

as ever, it hurt the feelings of its own

speaker.

– Fiona Sze-Lorrain

Lessening
by Linda Gregg

Without even looking in the album
I realized suddenly, two months later,
you had stolen the picture of me,
The one in color in the Greek waves.
After you had hurt me so much,
how could you also take the picture
from me of a time before I knew you?
When I was with Jack.
Steal the small proof that once
I lived well, was loved
and beautiful.

The brain appears to possess a special area which we might call poetic memory and which records everything that charms or touches us, that makes our lives beautiful … Love begins with a metaphor. Which is to say, love begins at the point when a woman enters her first word into our poetic memory.
– Milan Kundera

Say blue, instead of sapphire, red instead of crimson.

In late November, an American Catholic priest studying at Oxford, Father Michael Carey, began sending Plath his poems. Despite her marital crisis, she read his poems carefully and offered sound advice. She told him to read more of Thomas Wyatt, Gerard Manley Hopkins, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, and Emily Dickinson. “Beware, for Heaven’s sake, the fey, the pretty, the ‘cute’…let the world blow in more roughly….Do read Hopkins….Rhymes, exact rhymes, and especially feminine rhymes tend to ‘jingle’ too much….Speak straight out. You should give yourself exercises in roughness, not lyrical neatness. Say blue, instead of sapphire, red instead of crimson.”

– Heather Clark

Between heart and heart there is always a gap. You must enter it slowly– til the eye absorbs colour, the ear tunes to rhythm.
– Karol Wojtyla

Phrases came. Visions came. Beautiful pictures. Beautiful phrases. But what she wished to get hold of was that very jar on the nerves, the thing itself before it has been made anything.
– Virginia Woolf

According to Buddhism, the root of suffering is neither the feeling of pain nor of sadness nor even of meaninglessness. Rather, the real root of suffering is this never-ending and pointless pursuit of ephemeral feelings, which causes us to be in a constant state of tension, restlessness and dissatisfaction. Due to this pursuit, the mind is never satisfied. Even when experiencing pleasure, it is not content, because it fears this feeling might soon disappear, and craves that this feeling should stay and intensify. People are liberated from suffering not when they experience this or that fleeting pleasure, but rather when they understand the impermanent nature of all their feelings, and stop craving them. This is the aim of Buddhist meditation practices. In meditation, you are supposed to closely observe your mind and body, witness the ceaseless arising and passing of all your feelings, and realise how pointless it is to pursue them. When the pursuit stops, the mind becomes very relaxed, clear and satisfied. All kinds of feelings go on arising and passing – joy, anger, boredom, lust – but once you stop craving particular feelings, you can just accept them for what they are. You live in the present moment instead of fantasising about what might have been. The resulting serenity is so profound that those who spend their lives in the frenzied pursuit of pleasant feelings can hardly imagine it. It is like a man standing for decades on the seashore, embracing certain ‘good’ waves and trying to prevent them from disintegrating, while simultaneously pushing back ‘bad’ waves to prevent them from getting near him. Day in, day out, the man stands on the beach, driving himself crazy with this fruitless exercise. Eventually, he sits down on the sand and just allows the waves to come and go as they please. How peaceful!
– Yuval Noah Harari

If they come for the innocent without stepping over your dead body, cursed be your religion and your life.
– Ciaron O’Reilly

Forgiveness paints a picture of a world where suffering is over, loss becomes impossible and anger makes no sense. Attack is gone, and madness has an end.
– A Course in Miracles

The strangeness that made everything sparkle came from me. Worlds rose out of my bottomless perplexity.
– César Aira

My life goes on in endless song above Earth’s lamentations,
I hear the real, though far-off hymn that hails a new creation. Through all the tumult and the strife I hear its music ringing,
It sounds an echo in my soul; How can I keep from singing?
– Robert Lowry

What does patience feel like? It’s a subtle unfolding with time as your ally. You feel relaxed and trust that it will all work out, even if in this very moment, there’s no clear path to the end. It feels like the subtle uneasiness of allowing all you’re uncomfortable with to be exactly as it is.
– Mastin Kipp

Humor is laughing at what you haven’t got when you ought to have it … what you wish in your secret heart were not funny, but it is, and you must laugh. Humor is your own unconscious therapy. Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air, and you.
– Langston Hughes

Habits by Nikki Giovanni

i haven’t written a poem in so long
i may have forgotten how
unless writing a poem
is like riding a bike
or swimming upstream
or loving you
it may be a habit that once acquired
is never lost

but you say i’m foolish
of course you love me
but being loved of course
is not the same as being loved because
or being loved despite
or being loved

if you love me why
do i feel so lonely
and why do i always wake up alone
and why am i practicing
not having you to love
i never loved you that way

How many
rocks and stars shall we visit
until we remember we’re human?
– Andre Naffis-Sahely

Life is too short to be mean to strangers online. Go outside and look at some trees.
– Lynda Carter

The sixties were an era that spoke a language of inquiry and curiosity and rebelliousness against the stifling and repressive political and social culture of the decade that preceded it. The new generation causing all the fuss was not driven by the market: we had something to say, not something to sell.
– Suze Rotolo

These days much of what we hear is not the truth. Now it takes not just listening and mulling with our minds but sensing with our guts what to pay attention to and what to ignore. Our senses though specific in their functions can work together. We can listen with our whole being and be more discerning. That takes ears, hearts and a lot more.
– Gunilla Norris

Praying is talking to the Universe. Meditation is listening to it.
– Paulo Coelho

Oh, how this love/lineage
drops into me, begs me
to hold my breath, and sink.
– Desireé Dallagiacomo

Study me as much as you like,
you will not know me,
for I differ in a hundred ways
from what you see me to be.

Put yourself behind my eyes
and see me as I see myself,
for I have chosen to dwell
in a place you cannot see.

– Jalāl al-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī

My friend,
I am not what I seem.
Seeming is but a garment I wear,
a care-woven garment
that protects me from thy
questionings and thee
from my negligence.

The “I” in me, my friend,
dwells in the house of silence,
and therein it shall remain
forevermore, unperceived,
unapproachable.

I would not have thee believe in
what I say nor trust in what
I do, for my words are naught
but thy own thoughts in sound
and my deeds thy own hopes
in action.

– Gibran Khalil Gibran

Bare bones of zen
a lesson taught long ago
but not forgotten —
back straight
chin tucked
change is natural
…empty.
– Shinzen

When, on a summer evening, the melodious sky growls like a tawny lion, and everyone is complaining of the storm, it is the memory of the Méséglise way that makes me stand alone in ecstasy, inhaling, through the noise of the falling rain, the lingering scent of invisible lilacs.
– Marcel Proust

i’m so tired of poetry that traffics in knowing platitudes when catastrophe is so intricate, spectacular, complex, various, & omnipresent.
– @tindsaylurner

I think everything in life is art. What you do. How you dress. The way you love someone, and how you talk. Your smile and your personality. What you believe in, and all your dreams. The way you drink tea. How you decorate your home. Or party. Your grocery list. The food you make. How you’re writing looks. And the way you feel. Life is art.
– Helena Bonham Carter

Your body is an ancestor. Your body is an altar to your ancestors. Every one of your cells holds an ancient and anarchic love story. Around 2.7 billion years ago free-living prokaryotes melted into one another to form the mitochondria and organelles of the cells that build our bodies today. All you need to do to honor your ancestors is to roll up like a pill bug, into the innate shape of safety: the fetal position. The curl of your body, then, is an altar not just to the womb that grew you, but to the retroviruses that, 200 million years ago taught mammals how to develop the protein syncytin that creates the synctrophoblast layer of the placenta. Breathe in, slowly, knowing that your breath loops you into the biome of your ecosystem. Every seven to ten years your cells will have turned over, rearticulated by your inhales and exhales, your appetites and proclivity for certain flavors. If you live in a valley, chances are the ancient glacial moraine, the fossils crushed underfoot, the spores from grandmotherly honey fungi, have all entered into and rebuilt the very molecular make up of your bones, your lungs, and even your eyes. Even your lungfuls of exhaust churn you into an ancestor altar for Mesozoic ferns pressurized into the fossil fuels. You are threaded through with fossils. Your microbiome is an ode to bacterial legacies you would not be able to trace with birth certificates and blood lineages. You are the ongoing-ness of the dead. The alembic where they are given breath again. Every decision, every idea, every poem you breathe and live is a resurrection of elements that date back to the birth of this universe itself.
– Sophie Strand, Your Body is an Ancestor

To study the Way
is to study the self.

To study the self
is to forget the self.

To forget the self
is to be enlightened by all things.

To be enlightened by all things
is to remove the barriers
between self and others.

No trace of enlightenment remains,
and this no-trace continues endlessly.

– Eihei Dogen

If you want to be a writer, at some point your allegiance must shift from experience – what is important to you, what happened to you, what you saw – to artifact – what you make of it.
– Richard Hoffman

Struggling through the work is extremely important—more important to me than publishing it.
– Toni Morrison

So we bring ourselves to relationship. With scant knowledge, we seek our identity in the mirror of the Other…we bring…the yearning to merge with the Other, the one who will protect, nurture, save us.
– James Hollis

One must go on working.
And one must have patience.
– Auguste Rodin to Rainer Maria Rilke

We must agree on what matters: kissing in public places, bacon sandwiches, disagreement, cutting-edge fashion, literature, generosity, water, a more equitable distribution of the world’s resources, movies, music, freedom of thought, beauty, love.
– Salman Rushdie

Since all infrastructures break, they require continuous maintenance. Information scientist Steven Jackson therefore proposes that the starting point to our thinking on the human relationship to technology has to be a contemplation of “erosion, breakdown, and decay, rather than novelty, growth, and progress.” If we accept that our world is “always-almost-falling-apart,” then instead of simply focusing on technological innovation as the vessel of our salvation, we need to look at the ways in which the world is constantly fixed, cared for, and maintained. This, of course, does not only translate to humans’ relationship to machines, but also to our relationship to our environment –in fact, feminist scholars have already made this point about dealing with our environmental problems: historian of science Donna Haraway’s concept of “staying with the trouble” explicitly pleads for the foregrounding of the inherent interconnectedness and interdependence of living, and for working on restoring our broken systems. What we are looking at here is a promising paradigm shift in human-machine and human-nature relations that promotes the recognition that the processes of care and maintenance are foundational to the way humanity relates to our biotic and abiotic environments.
– Réka Patrícia Gál

Folk-lore means that the soul is sane, but that the universe is wild and full of marvels. Realism means that the world is dull and full of routine, but that the soul is sick and screaming. The problem of the fairy tale is – what will a healthy man do with a fantastic world? The problem of the modern novel is – what will a madman do with a dull world? In the fairy tales the cosmos goes mad; but the hero does not go mad. In the modern novels the hero is mad before the book begins, and suffers from the harsh steadiness and cruel sanity of the cosmos.
– G. K. Chesterton

where we stay awake all night,
where the heavens are shallow as the sea
is now deep, and you love me.
– @ebishopbot

Get away from being at the computer all hours, from people calling at all hours. I feel great now because I have more simplicity and more balance. I can move, but I can also be still.
– Bell Hooks, On Touching Grass

Our economy is at war with many forms of life on earth, including human life. What the climate needs to avoid collapse is a contraction in humanity’s use of resources; what our economic model demands to avoid collapse is unfettered expansion. Only one of these sets of rules can be changed, and it’s not the laws of nature.
– Naomi Klein

Translation is for me the deepest form of reading and at the same time the riskiest, implying the greatest responsibility.
– Antonella Anedda

RADICAL HONESTY

The human brain did not evolve to seek truth. Like the rest of our bodies, our brains evolved for survival and reproduction. If left to its own devices, our brains will tend to prove we are right no matter what the issue.

If we want to seek truth, we must realize the mind is a wayward steed requiring a bit and saddle. In other words, we cannot trust ourselves to be honest. We must devise tests for our thinking and sometimes even lay traps for ourselves to get beyond our own projections and denials.

There is a fake Buddha quote one often sees on the internet:

“Believe nothing just because a so-called wise person said it. Believe nothing just because a belief is generally held. Believe nothing just because it is said in ancient books. Believe nothing just because it is said to be of divine origin. Believe nothing just because someone else believes it. Believe only what you yourself test and judge to be true.”

I still love the quote even though it isn’t really accurate. A translation of Buddha’s original statement is found in the Kalama Sutra:

“Now, Kalamas, don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’ When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness’ — then you should enter & remain in them.”

The translator, Thanissaro Bhikkhu warns:

“Although this discourse is often cited as the Buddha’s carte blanche for following one’s own sense of right and wrong, it actually says something much more rigorous than that. Traditions are not to be followed simply because they are traditions. Reports (such as historical accounts or news) are not to be followed simply because the source seems reliable. One’s own preferences are not to be followed simply because they seem logical or resonate with one’s feelings. Instead, any view or belief must be tested by the results it yields when put into practice; and — to guard against the possibility of any bias or limitations in one’s understanding of those results — they must further be checked against the experience of people who are wise.”

If I understand what is said there, Buddha was teaching that healthy spiritual practice requires a radical, even ruthless, honesty.

Science and reason are not sufficient for the life of love but they are absolutely necessary. When Saint Paul wrote his epic poem to love he spoke of looking through a glass dimly. We cannot love another human being fully until we can see beyond the fog of our own self concern and our biased beliefs about them.

– Jim Rigby

To the wise, a storm of difficulty may be a school.
The slaps of waves resemble the slaps of a master.
– Mirza Ghalib

I don’t think we should organize a society around the sensibilities of the most easily upset people because then you have a very neurotic society… The main thing is to realize that words depend on their context. Very literal-minded people think a word is a word but it isn’t.
– John Cleese

The Charm of 5:30
It’s too nice a day to read a novel set in England.

We’re within inches of the perfect distance from the sun,
the sky is blueberries and cream,
and the wind is as warm as air from a tire.
Even the headstones in the graveyard
seem to stand up and say “Hello! My name is…”

It’s enough to be sitting here on my porch,
thinking about Kermit Roosevelt,
following the course of an ant,
or walking out into the yard with a cordless phone
to find out she is going to be there tonight.

On a day like today, what looks like bad news in the distance
turns out to be something on my contact, carports and
white courtesy phones are spontaneously reappreciated
and random “okay”s ring through the backyards.

This morning I discovered the red tints in cola
when I held a glass of it up to the light
and found an expensive flashlight in the pocket of a winter coat
I was packing away for summer.

It all reminds me of that moment when you take off your
sunglasses after a long drive and realize it’s earlier
and lighter out than you had accounted for.

You know what I’m talking about,
and that’s the kind of fellowship that’s taking place in town, out in
the public spaces. You won’t overhear anyone using the words
“dramaturgy” or “state inspection” today. We’re too busy getting along.

It occurs to me that the laws are in the regions and the regions are
in the laws, and it feels good to say this, something that I’m almost
sure is true, outside under the sun.

Then to say it again, around friends, in the resonant voice of a
nineteenth-century senator, just for a lark.

There’s a shy looking fellow on the courthouse steps, holding up
a placard that says “But, I kinda liked Clinton.” His head turns slowly
as a beautiful girl walks by, holding a refrigerated bottle up against
her flushed cheek.

She smiles at me and I allow myself to imagine her walking into
town to buy lotion at a brick pharmacy.
When she gets home she’ll apply it with great lingering care
before moving into her parlor to play 78 records and drink gin-and-tonics
beside her homemade altar to James Madison.

In a town of this size, it’s certainly possible that I’ll be invited over
one night.

In fact I’ll bet you something.

Somewhere in the future I am remembering today. I’ll bet you
I’m remembering how I walked into the park at five thirty,
my favorite time of day, and how I found two cold pitchers
of just poured beer, sitting there on the bench.

I am remembering how my friend Chip showed up
with a catcher’s mask hanging from his belt and how I said

great to see you, sit down, have a beer, how are you,
and how he turned to me with the sunset reflecting off his
contacts and said, wonderful, how are you.

– David Berman

The world is fun and familiar, and healthful and unbelievably refreshing and lovely, and it is the theater of the spiritual, it is the multiform utterly obedient to a mystery.
– Mary Oliver

I opened two gifts this morning. They were my eyes.
– Zig Ziglar

Ralph Ellison said in the fifties that he got sick of hearing about the freedom of Parisian cafés. Black expatriates were aware that Paris was the capital of a colonial empire, but Paris was not segregated, the urban freedom was real.
– Darryl Pinckney

Maybe love, too, is beautiful because it has a wildness that cannot be tamed. I don’t know. All I know is that passion can take you up like a house of cards in a tornado, leaving destruction in its wake. Or it can let you alone because you’ve built a stone wall against it, set out the armed guards to keep it from touching you. The real trick is to let it in, but to hold on. To understand that the heart is as wide and vast as the universe, but that we come to know it best from here, this place of gravity and stability, where our feet can still touch ground.
– Deb Caletti

There is a great deal of pain in life and perhaps the only pain that can be avoided is the pain that comes from trying to avoid pain.
– R.D. Laing

By meditation we mean something very basic and simple that is not tied to any one culture.
– Chogyam Trungpa

The little magazine is something I have always fostered; for without it, I myself would have been early silenced. To me it is one magazine, not several.
– William Carlos Williams

If you live in a country where politics are oppressive and you write—or try to write—you can’t avoid being a political writer.
– Josef Skvoercky

Poetry is a place where both grief and grace can live, where rage can be explored and examined, not simply exploited.
– Ada Limón

Life is imperfect. People are imperfect. Love is the perfect response.
– Kristi Nelson

Ruth Wilson Gilmore said that Cedric J. Robinson was “an old-fashioned scholar who always bothered to learn things before he tried to teach them, and he continued to learn by teaching.” We need more old-fashioned scholars.

Nothing about you needs to be destroyed, or razed; no warfare is necessary.
– Chogyam Trungpa

We can’t control changes we wish for in others, but sometimes the shifts we make in ourselves (ie. a mindset shift, a shift in our boundaries, a softening of our energy about “issues”, a new way of communicating), have the power to catalyze positive shifts in them and the issues.
– @iammybesttoday

Practice the Dharma in your daily life whereby you can note afflictions when they arise and become familiar enough with the antidotes that you can apply them right away.
– @sravasti_abbey

At times, the most wise, skillful, and soulful action is to establish a boundary with another. To stand up and assert what it is that we need and deserve. To move in an empowered and swift way to protect your own integrity.
– Matt Licata PhD

Make a writing life, one that helps others, one that respects who came before you.
– Lidia Yuknavitch

The aim of poetry and the poet is finally to be of service, to ply the effort of the individual into the larger work of the community as a whole.
– Seamus Heaney

1 of the greatest pieces of wisdom I’ve ever heard comes from [psychiatrist] Fritz Perls–He said: “Fear is excitement without the breath.” Same mechanisms that produce excitement also produce fear & any fear can be transformed into excitement by breathing fully with it.
– Hendricks

I think midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear:
I’m not screwing around. It’s time. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go. Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts….

Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.

– Brené Brown

There is only one heart in my body, have mercy
on me.
– Franz Wright

Like genetics, destiny is both fixed and flexible. Without this, there would be no evolution!
– Daaji

To think of time as an adversary rather than a comrade is to invent an inconsolable agony.
– Sommer Browning

If the creation is the work of love, its ‘security’ lies not in its conformity to some predetermined plan but in the unsparing love which will not abandon a single fragment of it.
– W. H. Vanstone

When you feel pressures surging and collecting in the heart or swelling in the sushumna, or you feel light exploding in the brain and energies moving, that is the kundalini shakti talking to you personally. You need to listen to it. In the end, that’s what meditation is about because enlightenment doesn’t happen in one blinding flash — it’s a sustained conversation from the depths of creation to creation itself.
– Mark Griffin

The goal of a great discussion isn’t to land on the same page. It’s to explore different views.

Nods and smiles stroke your ego and close your mind. Thoughtful questions stoke your curiosity and stretch your thinking.

Consensus makes you comfortable. Dissent makes you smarter.

– Adam Grant

Has anyone anywhere not had a boomer recommend Yellowstone to them?
– Lisa Lucas

Every so often, across the expanses of time, a mountain remakes itself, a forest clears itself, and the ocean reshapes its shore. And once in a generation of two, humanity remakes itself, such as we are right now. And such a remaking is both profound and painful…
– Mark Nepo

Angie Minkin

FIFTY WORDS

for Pancho

Imagine fifty words
to describe your world,
to define yourself,
your heart.
Imagine your thoughts
trapped like thousands of blue jays,
caught in a too-small cage,
wings battering iron bars.
Imagine no movement, decades of stillness.
You are inside this body, this corset
of bones and muscles, slack, useless.
You move your head and neck in residual
tics; hunt and peck so slowly,
it hurts you, but you persevere.
You type and you learn English, you learn French,
you graduate from high school.
All this after your accident at age 20,
all this after your devastating stroke.
All this after you can no longer move.
Imagine brilliant doctors who implant
a sensor in your brain and those 128 electrodes
pick up forgotten movements
of your vocal cords, your larynx, your throat.
Imagine a cable like a new umbilical cord,
linking your brain to the computer
that starts writing words. Your words.
The algorithm learns as you do,
and suddenly you have fifty words of speech,
racing from your brain waves to the screen.
What words do you need?
Hunger, thirst, hurt, good, bad.
Love, soul, heart.
Hug me. Kiss me.
Family.
Perseverance. Hope.
Tell me you love me.
Miracles.
Thank you.

I am for an art that is political-erotical-mystical, that does something other than sit on its ass in a museum.
I am for an art that grows up not knowing it is art at all, an art given the chance of having a starting point of zero.
I am for an art that embroils itself with the everyday crap and still comes out on top.
I am for an art that imitates the human, that is comic, if necessary, or violent, or whatever is necessary.
I am for all art that takes its form from the lines of life itself, that twists and extends and accumulates and spits and drips, and is heavy and coarse and blunt and sweet and stupid as life itself.
– Claes Oldenburg

I am making a home inside myself.
A shelter of kindness where everything is forgiven, everything allowed—a quiet patch of sunlight to stretch out without hurry,
where all that has been banished
and buried is welcomed, spoken, listened to—released.

A fiercely friendly place I can claim as my very own.
I am throwing arms open
to the whole of myself—especially the fearful,
fault-finding, falling apart, unfinished parts, knowing
every seed and weed, every drop of rain, has made the soil richer.

I will light a candle, pour a hot cup of tea, gather
around the warmth of my own blazing fire. I will howl
if I want to, knowing this flame can burn through
any perceived problem, any prescribed perfectionism,
any lying limitation, every heavy thing.

I am making a home inside myself
where grace blooms in grand and glorious
abundance, a shelter of kindness that grows
all the truest things.

I whisper hallelujah to the friendly sky.
Watch now as I burst into blossom.
– Julia Fehrenbacher

Please God
Let autumn come tomorrow and last heartily through winter

Let autumn be winter in winter
Winter be autumn

We will never tire of the autumnal season

Summer is hard

– Marian Haddad

THE PERILS OF UNDIGESTED RELIGION

Until food is digested, it is disgusting to look at. In the same way, someone else’s undigested religion can be hard to take.

When food is fully digested, it is not to be found in its original form. Fully digested food is found in the form of skin, muscles and teeth, not in the form of partially chewed or regurgitated food. When religion consists of answers to questions someone has never authentically asked, it is not yet fully chewed. When religion consists of imposing what one was taught upon others, it is being regurgitated.

Digested religion can speak in the vocabulary of the listener, undigested religion only repeats the jargon of its own sect. Digested religion speaks of life and love, undigested religion speaks only in terms of hypothetical beliefs, magical rituals and inherited rules.

Dealing with undigested religion can be like watching people chew with their mouth open. As long as religion can only be expressed AS religion, it is unfinished. Just as we best exemplify education by being wise, not by pointing at our books; just as we best exemplify our fitness by growing muscles, not by pointing at our exercise equipment; in the same way, we best exemplify faith by compassion, wisdom and fairness, not by pointing at religion itself. Until religion becomes love, wisdom and justice, it is best to keep one’s mouth closed and keep chewing.

– Jim Rigby

Sometimes, if you are lucky and brave, you can watch someone who’s met with serious illness or loss do the kind of restoration that I suspect we are here on earth to do.
– @ANNELAMOTT

a rainstorm
greetings from heaven
midsummer heat
– Issa

feathered dinosaurs
a wood duck floats
on its bright colors
– Robert Mainone

Even a good word of friendly criticizm tossed your way looks like an atom bomb of insultery when you see it through your fraidyful specks.
– Woody Guthrie

To be alive is to be searching, to be inquiring. To be alive is to be filled with curious thinking. The reverse implication, then, is that to be static, to be content with where we are, to have ended the journey – this is to be dead.
– John Lundin

We hardly knew each other and life was already planning to separate us.
– Cortazar

There is a tendency–unfortunate, and one of which I am guilty–to be right, to be in control of all things. This is folly in life; it is destructive in art. This desire to be in control, to be correct, to nail all things down is not representative of life. Life is frightening and mysterious and beautiful and out of our control. It is better I think–now, after many mistakes–to be honest, to be open in one’s fear, and to ask a reader or a friend or an audience or a loved one to simply walk along with you and figure things out. It’s okay to not know.
– Arthur Miller

More important than a work of art itself is what it will sow. Art can die, a painting can disappear. What counts is the seed.
– Joan Miró

Planetary consciousness for me is not a reductive projection of universality or a centralized scale of observation, but rather an experiential appreciation of the manifold complexities of living systems arising from engagement in the local particular.
– Jason Snyder

The opposite of hibernation is AESTIVATION—the act of retreating somewhere during the hot summer months.
– @haggardhawks

So our families were train wrecks; we’ve ruined the earth; kids die all the time. How do we understand that something welcoming remains, sometimes hidden, that we can still trust? When all seems lost, a few friends, the view, and random last-ditch moments of grace, like Liquid Wrench, will do. Otherwise, I don’t know. We don’t exactly solve this problem, or much of anything, although one can learn to make a perfect old-fashioned, or blinis.”
– Anne Lamott, Small Victories

Introverts focus on the meaning they make of the events swirling around them; extroverts plunge into the events themselves. Introverts recharge their batteries by being alone; extroverts need to recharge when they don’t socialize enough.
– @susancain

The body never lies. Its tone, colour, posture, proportions, movements, tensions, and vitality express the person within. […] The body says things about one’s emotional history and deepest feelings, one’s character and personality.
– Hector Prestera & Ron Kurtz

Listen to the people who are talking about how to fix what’s wrong, not the ones who just work people into a snit over the problems. Listen to the people who have ideas about how to fix things, not the ones who just blame others.
– Molly Ivins

Paradise is not a place. It is a condition of the heart. Some travel to all the world’s wondrous places and never truly arrive, for they go with a clenched heart that blinds them to the shallowed muting of their unusual life. Others stay home yet arrive over and again to the most enchanting places and discoveries. For they live with a wide open heart that journeys ever beyond the body as a spirit in love with life. Open your phenomenal heart. Travel beautifully.
– Jaiya John, Fragrance After Rain

Rain gives us back something that has been stolen, a dimension we’ve been missing—our body, and our soul. Your mind can’t give you these. Your sick, worried mind can’t heal your sick, worried mind.
– Anne Lamott

How I linger
to admire, admire, admire
the things of this world
that are kind, and maybe

also troubled—

– Mary Oliver, Heavy

There is a silence more musical than any song.
– Christina Rossetti

We can search in all directions, drawing in knowledge from the vast sea of data and words.
We can look into the eyes of the newborn and see that they have come here with precious gifts.
We can look within and see the wise old one sharing the years of story and teachings.
A memory that has been forgotten by most cultures is ready and waiting to emerge.
Bring it home, truly home within and weave the fine threads of its value in expression within your own inner and outer world…it is simply knowledge until we make an act of creation with it.
Weaving the threads of a whole, big, beautiful life today…it is good and I am in gratitude!
– Cheri Lynn Kittel

Forgive yourself these
tiny acts of self-destruction.
Watch the sunrise for the
fourth time this week. Allow
the new day to give you hope.
– Jared Singer

We too easily forget that we live as One Body. One great, big, boundless, vast, maha body. Of course this body includes lots of individual bodies like yours and mine. In fact, everything you have ever seen or heard appears as part of the One Body. When we don’t see the One Body, we get blind-sided and believe that we are separate and that we live in an exclusive body.

Thich Nhat Hanh described the One Body so clearly when he said that our body is made from the rain, the air, the food, and all the people who helped produce the food. Unless we realize the One Body, we will always be fighting, afraid of one another and preoccupied with ourselves. When we realize that the One Body is here, there and everywhere it is really joyous. This One Body is hard to put into words. It is something like a quantum field, and we are but particles zooming around in the field. It is like the way all the fish in the ocean live in the One Body of the Atlantic or the Pacific. It is something like the internet with its World Wide Web. As the first Zen teacher Bodhidharma said, “it has no blocks or barriers.” In the Heart Sutra, when you realize the One Body, there is “no obstacle for the mind” and you “overcome fear, liberating yourself forever from delusion.”

Small mind and the belief in a separate body will always result in fearing others, putting them down or trying to control them. But when you realize that everywhere is the One Body, magically connected by space and time, it is all very amazing. We tend to believe that when we are in the bottom of the 9th inning and we lose our sight, smell, and cognitive faculties and our body deteriorates, withers and dies, that it is all over.

But the One Body doesn’t die. The game doesn’t just end with you or I. Because it is not limited by anything, because it moves everywhere, the One Body never “lives” or “dies.” To realize the One Body is to celebrate the way we are all interconnected, that we need not harm each other, and that we need not fear death.

– Tias Little

You deserve a system of governance that can comprehend an interconnected living planet, a time horizon of centuries, and the conditions for human and non-human well-being.
– Dr. Elizabeth Sawin

A real story touches not only the mind but also the imagination and the unconscious depths in a person, and it may remain with him or her through many years, coming to the surface of consciousness now and then to yield new insights.
– Helen Luke

Without pleasure the body functions mechanically. Pleasure keeps the body alive and promotes one’s identification with it. When the body sensations are unpleasant the ego dissociates from the body.
– Alexander Lowen

Plotinus suggested that while the body favors a straight line, the soul hankers for the circle. This mythic, circular time, (which is really no kind of time at all) laughs at the straight line & the alarm clock. Without it…we can enter the arena of the meaningless.
– Martin Shaw

Lullaby of the Onion
by Miguel Hernández

Translated by Robert Bly

The onion is frost
shut in and poor.
Frost of your days
and of my nights.
Hunger and onion,
black ice and frost
large and round.

My little boy
was in hunger’s cradle.
He was nursed
on onion blood.
But your blood
is frosted with sugar,
onion and hunger.

A dark woman
dissolved in moonlight
pours herself thread by thread
into the cradle.
Laugh, son,
you can swallow the moon
when you want to.

Lark of my house,
keep laughing.
The laughter in your eyes
is the light of the world.
Laugh so much
that my soul, hearing you,
will beat in space.

Your laughter frees me,
gives me wings.
It sweeps away my loneliness,
knocks down my cell.
Mouth that flies,
heart that turns
to lightning on your lips.

Your laughter is
the sharpest sword,
conqueror of flowers
and larks.
Rival of the sun.
Future of my bones
and of my love.

The flesh fluttering,
the sudden eyelid,
and the baby is rosier
than ever.
How many linnets
take off, wings fluttering,
from your body!

I woke up from childhood:
don’t you wake up.
I have to frown:
always laugh.
Keep to your cradle,
defending laughter
feather by feather.

Yours is a flight so high,
so wide
that your body is a sky
newly born.
If only I could climb
to the origin
of your flight!

Eight months old you laugh
with five orange blossoms.
With five little
ferocities.
With five teeth
like five young
jasmine blossoms.

They will be the frontier
of tomorrow’s kisses
when you feel your teeth
as weapons,
when you feel a flame
running toward your gums
driving toward the centre.

Fly away, son, on the double
moon of the breast:
it is saddened by onion,
you are satisfied.
Don’t let go.
Don’t find out what’s happening,
or what goes on.

With the psyche more than any other subject it is very difficult to distinguish between objective fact and personal bias.
– Edward Edinger

It is not skill, knowledge, intellect,
good luck or bad, but choosing
to feel the strange notes
of our wildness,
for there is not nothingness
despite the easy magic
of despair.
– Terrance Keenan

By learning to open to the poisons of the mind and recognizing how they are all self-created fixations, arising out of our disconnection from our own true nature, we no longer fall under their power.
– John Welwood

Before it all is gone
wash your cells in the fecund aliveness
of the forest, in the jungle
this garden, on this mountain.
Even in the driest desert
there is some life.
Find it.
Allow the endless living pulsation to fill you
and also the endless death.
Let that grief and release
sink into your bones
and back out again
Until you are bathed
enough to remember
what it is you’re fighting for
and living for
and dying for.
As the web of life that’s always been there
to hold us all up
slowly unravels
and we see the rending quicken,
our choices become less about
the this and the that.
The battles waged have turned
now into a clamorous war
with no certain point of reference.
This one is unwinnable.
It’s all consuming and
terror has taken so much space.
So go out into the wilderness
and be with what is.
Be what is.
Let it be what it is
for even just a few fleeting moments.
You are the imaginal cell
waiting to become
what will be.
Be with what is.
Be now, with what it is
to make space for what it will be
after the war has ended
and something new is woven
with the interminable threads
of existence.
Amen
– Eartha Dancier

i know it’s not really a battle worth fighting but i despise the proliferation of terms like “content,” “content creators,” “creatives,” “media consumption” (when it comes to art). i’m a poet. i write poems and sometimes essays. i write books. i’m a reader. i’m an artist.
– @chenchenwrites

The best way to solve [a] dilemma is to stand absolutely still & that is what Psyche finally does. . . she sits very quietly. If you have been dazzled out of your wits, if you have been knocked totally out of orbit, it is best to keep very still.
– Robert A. Johnson, She

Crumbling is not an instant’s Act
by Emily Dickinson

Crumbling is not an instant’s Act
A fundamental pause
Dilapidation’s processes
Are organized Decays —

‘Tis first a Cobweb on the Soul
A Cuticle of Dust
A Borer in the Axis
An Elemental Rust —

Ruin is formal — Devil’s work
Consecutive and slow —
Fail in an instant, no man did
Slipping — is Crash’s law —

Jung’s dialogue with Western society would be different from Freud’s, and operate on a broader time scale. Jung’s message was: if the soul fails to find its meaning, it goes mad.
– David Tacey

I love you. I love you, 
but I’m turning to my verses 
and my heart is closing 
like a fist.
– Frank O’Hara

He thought that God’s goodness appeared in strange places. Don’t close your eyes.
– Cormac McCarthy

And though I came to forget or regret all I have ever done, yet I would remember that once I saw the dragons aloft on the wind at sunset above the western isles; and I would be content.
– Ursula K. Le Guin, The Farthest Shore

Society can change only when we want it to change, and when we change, society has already changed to that extent.
– Chariji

Alan Watts once asked me what  spiritual practice I follow, 
and I responded, ‘underlining books’
– Joseph Campbell

Maybe we have to betray ourselves in order
just to be ourselves. In the end, Truth taps
at the window of our souls. What quivers on the lake
are only the footprints of Fate. Even our astronomers
hear the funeral sounds of dying galaxies before they
ever see them. Gusts of time are filling my lungs.
– Richard Jackson

JOY
Know that joy is rarer, more difficult,
and more beautiful than sadness.

Once you make this all-important discovery,
you must embrace joy as a moral obligation.

– Andre Gide

Day after day I invent you
and that’s my way
of confronting your absence
because if I don’t invent you
the joy of my hours
would vanish
and you as well.
– Claribel Alegria

There is no escape. You can’t be a vagabond and an artist and still be a solid citizen, a wholesome, upstanding man. You want to get drunk, so you have to accept the hangover. You say yes to the sunlight and pure fantasies, so you have to say yes to the filth and the nausea. Everything is within you, gold and mud, happiness and pain, the laughter of childhood and the apprehension of death. Say yes to everything, shirk nothing. Don’t try to lie to yourself. You are not a solid citizen. You are not a Greek. You are not harmonious, or the master of yourself. You are a bird in the storm. Let it storm! Let it drive you! How much have you lied! A thousand times, even in your poems and books, you have played the harmonious man, the wise man, the happy, the enlightened man. In the same way, men attacking in war have played heroes, while their bowels twitched. My God, what a poor ape, what a fencer in the mirror man is- particularly the artist- particularly myself!
– Hermann Hesse

Before
by Ada Limón

No shoes and a glossy
red helmet, I rode
on the back of my dad’s
Harley at seven years old.
Before the divorce.
Before the new apartment.
Before the new marriage.
Before the apple tree.
Before the ceramics in the garbage.
Before the dog’s chain.
Before the koi were all eaten
by the crane. Before the road
between us, there was the road
beneath us, and I was just
big enough not to let go:
Henno Road, creek just below,
rough wind, chicken legs,
and I never knew survival
was like that. If you live,
you look back and beg
for it again, the hazardous
bliss before you know
what you would miss.

Of all my thoughts, in fact, the one for you is the only one in which I find rest, sometimes I relax completely in it and in it I sleep and from that I get up … You walk in the wind that transforms the world
– Rainer Maria Rilke to Lou Salomè , Letters, Rome 1903

observing the clouds
drifting asleep
summer mountain
– Issa

Toni Morrison said of writing, “It stretches you, makes you think the unthinkable, project yourself into people you even dislike…It makes you stay in touch with yourself; I guess it’s like going under water for me, the danger, yet I’m certain I’m going to come up.”

Never argue with someone whose TV is bigger than their bookshelf.
– Emilia Clarke

Truth isn’t always beauty, but the hunger for it is.
– Nadine Gordimer

Love what you will never see twice.
– Alain Badiou, Theory of the Subject

I have to see a thing a thousand times before I see it once.
– Thomas Wolfe, You Can’t Go Home Again

You live in a deranged age, more deranged that usual, because in spite of great scientific and technological advances, man has not the faintest idea of who he is or what he is doing.
– Walker Percy

Stolen Dress
by Tess Gallagher
I was walking through a vast darkness
in a dress studded with diamonds, the cloth
under them like chain mail—metallic,
form fitting like the sea to its horizon. I could
hear waves breaking on the shore and far off
concertina music drifting over the dunes. What
was I doing in high heels in sand in a diamond-studded

dress that had to be stolen? Fear washed
through me, as if one of those waves had
risen up and, against all the rules of waves,
splashed me from the shoulders
down. I was wet with diamonds and fear.
A small boat held offshore with its cold
yellow light pointing a long watery finger at me

while the stolen feeling of the dress sparkled
my location out into the universe. Thief! Thief!
came an interplanetary cry, causing me to
gaze up into the star-brilliant firmament,
for it wasn’t just a sky anymore. It had
taken on biblical stature. How had I
gotten into this dress, these unruly

waves, this queasy feeling I would be
found out? Time to run! my heart said,
pumping away under its brocade
of diamonds. Strange vacancies had
accumulated after all my sleep-plundered
nights. Thief! came the cry again, as if
I should recognize myself. And I did.

I flung those high heels into the depths,
took up my newfound identity, and without
the least remorse, began to run those diamonds
right out of this world.

My dad used to say to me, ‘You look more like me than I do.’
– Dhani Harrison

I used to think that’s what love was: knowing someone so well he was like a part of you.
– Lauren Oliver, Before I Fall

I don’t think we can have a good society if we don’t have good poetry.
– Octavio Paz

My grief is not a montage.
My grief does not feel like
a cinematic device, is not
character development, is not
making me stronger or better.
– Reagan Myers

If you insist on having a destination when you come into a library, you’re shortchanging yourself.
– Anne Lamott

my head
slayed by sunshine
summer heat
– Issa

One moment your life is a stone in you, and the next, a star.
– Rainer Maria

A poet is a fixed position most cannot stand to be in long.
– Solmaz Sharif

A novel does not exist until it is published and in the hands of the readers.
– Camilo José Cela

Whatever problem, question, or confusion we have, whatever seems impossible in our lives—if we go toward it, see it, feel it, make a relationship with it, use it—becomes our path.
– John Welwood

Sometimes, after injuries and rehab, people emerge with new strengths and new directions. Like Gregory Porter, who transitioned from sports to jazz. “I was in rehab for nine months, and I needed some solace and distraction…stumbled into a jazz jam session, and kept going back.”
– @tamaranopper

When I say “the times are urgent, let us slow down,” I am neither asking for some thoughtful reflection nor a cognitive strategy intended to enhance clarity. Slowing down is not a matter of reflection; it is a matter of diffraction. Becoming-crossed-out. Losing one’s way….
– Bayo Akomolafe

It suits us to pretend that we all belong to the one world, but we are more alone than we realize. This aloneness is not simply the result of our being different from each other; it derives more from the fact that each of us is housed in a different body. The idea of human life being housed in a body is fascinating. For instance, when people come to visit your home, they come bodily. They bring all of their inner worlds, experiences, and memories into your house through the vehicle of their bodies. While they are visiting you, their lives are not elsewhere; they are totally there with you, before you, reaching out toward you. When the visit is over, their bodies stand up, walk out, and carry this hidden world away. This recognition also illuminates the mystery of making love. It is not just two bodies that are close, but rather two worlds; they circle each other and flow into each other. We are capable of such beauty, delight, and terror because of this infinite and unknown world within us.
– John O’Donohue

Our mind is capable of passing beyond the dividing line we have drawn for it. Beyond the pairs of opposites of which the world consists, other, new insights begin.
– Hermann Hesse

I’m a late bloomer. Better late than never. I once thought I was getting more emotional with age, but then I realized I was only recovering my humanity. For too many years it was buried beneath layers of a religion that told me my heart was deceitful and wicked. I once was a frozen man, but I thawed out. My heart and I become friends, and we could no longer betray the other. Free at last.

I believe in the goodness of our common humanity, however diminished, bruised or buried it might sometimes seem. The saga of our species found something transcendent within ourselves and discovered that acting upon it was wise, meaningful, and beautiful. I believe when we are true to our highest nature, we are loving, kind, peaceful, compassionate, empathetic, kind, caring, courageous, generous and accordant.

Religion taught me that being human was the problem. Eventually I discovered that the problem was not being human enough.

– Jim Palmer

The effort to identify the enemy as singular in form is a reverse-discourse that uncritically mimics the strategy of the oppressor instead of offering a different set of terms.
– Judith Butler

When you run after your thoughts, you are like a dog chasing a stick:every time a stick is thrown, you run after it. Instead, be like a lion who, rather than chasing after the stick, turns to face the thrower. One only throws a stick at a lion once.
– Milarepa

His whole face was darkened from incessant exposure to the brutal world of dreams.
– Yukio Mishima, Star (trans. Sam Brett)

The universe is a vast system of exchange. Every artery of it is in motion, throbbing with reciprocity, from the planet to the rotting leaf. The vapor climbs the sunbeam, and comes back in blessings upon the exhausted herb. The exhalation of the plant is wafted to the ocean. And so goes on the beautiful commerce of nature. And all because of dissimilarity — because no one thing is sufficient in itself, but calls for the assistance of something else, and repays by a contribution in turn.
– E.H. Chapin, Sunbeams

You have time. Meaning don’t use it, but pass through time in patience, waiting for something to come. Prepare for its arrival. Don’t rush to meet it. Be a conduit.
– Rachel Kushner, The Flamethrowers

The poem, the song, the picture, is only water drawn from the well of the people, and it should be given back to them in a cup of beauty so that they may drink – and in drinking understand themselves.
– Federico Garcia Lorca

We live, as you may have noticed, in a degraded era, bombarded by facile, shallow, agenda-laced, too rapidly disseminated information bursts.
– George Saunders, A Swim in a Pond in the Rain

That’s all poetry is, really: something odd, coming out. Normal speech, overflowed. A failed attempt to do justice to the world. The poet proves that language is inadequate by throwing herself at the fence of language and being bound by it. Poetry is the resultant bulging of the fence.
– George Saunders

People who stay in place may come to know that place more deeply. People who know a place may come to care about it more deeply. People who care about place are more likely to take better care of it.
– Robert Thayer, Jr.

Here shall my soul find its true repose
Under a sunset sky of dreams
Diaphanous, amber and rose.
– Sarojini Naidu

There is no more light in a genius than in any other honest man — but he has a particular kind of lens to concentrate this light into a burning point.
– Ludwig Wittgenstein, Culture and Value

The best protection against propaganda of any sort is the recognition of it for what it is. Only hidden and undetected oratory is really insidious. What reaches the heart without going through the mind is likely to bounce back and put the mind out of business. Propaganda taken in that way is like a drug you do not know you are swallowing. The effect is mysterious; you do not know afterwards why you feel or think the way you do.
– Mortimer J Adler

Who doesn’t love a small kingdom?
The lion has her pride, the mole
her starnosed tunnel. My mother
grows three kinds of basil, and I
collect movie stubs in a box marked
Memories. A whelk knows only
the golden ratio of its chambers,
its figure 8 of nerve endings –
drawbridge, mantle, moat ocean.
Washed up, its perfect enclosure
reeks of salt. I sort by color.
I file by coast. I know a man
by the cans and coffee cups
he leaves in his car, the thick
puppy mess of him. Who doesn’t
dream of cleaning out her small
kingdom, tilting the whole stable
on its Augean edge? Who doesn’t love
the disaster of her own making?
Boy, give up your slow reach
before I try to fix your life, before
I let your shell jangle to dust
in my pocket, before I burn
your operculum gate for incense.
I don’t know how to keep you
without killing you a little – the way
my mother pares down the rosemary
each year to keep its flavor bright.
The way we must make all our loves smaller
before they can enter our kingdom.
– Sandra Beasley

Love is a very dangerous thing. At times it must reach down into the fathomless lower levels of the human spirit, it must expose itself to ugliness, to the violation of harmony.
– Saint Mother Maria Skobtsova of Paris

So as I say poetry is essentially the discovery, the love, the passion for the name of anything.
– Gertrude Stein

To hear is to let the sound wander all the way through the labyrinth of your ear; to listen is to travel the other way to meet it. It’s not passive but active, this listening. It’s as though you retell each story, translate it into the language particular to you, fit it into your cosmology so you can understand and respond, and thereby it becomes part of you. To empathize is to reach out to meet the data that comes through the labyrinths of the senses, to embrace it and incorporate it. To enter into, we say, as though another person’s life was also a place you could travel to.
– Rebecca Solnit

You learned to stifle, shake it off, remain silent.

It’s good to see you breathing, speaking, roaring, laughing, living.

You made it.

– @drthema

the moon over
my home town
brings tears
– Issa

Poets too often eat each other. I’ve never understood it. There are much better dishes to be had.
– Sean Thomas Dougherty

bell hooks said, “All individuals who are genuinely seeking well-being within a healing context realize that it is important to that process not to make being a victim a stance of pride or a location from which to simply blame others.”

Everyone who does not NEED to be a writer ought to do something else.
– George Simenon

Having family and a support system near where you live is a form of generational wealth. It’s an invisible advantage that’s unnoticed and taken for granted unless you don’t have it.
– @GraceLP

there’s an american poet ex-pat summer vibe out there and I’m jealous.
– Brian Tierney

At any point as an artist—like the universe itself—if you’re not expanding, you’re contracting.
– Jim Harrison

cloudless blue . . .
only the day moon
reciting poetry
– @ruralitalics

It’s one whole planet, indivisible, with interconnection and interdependence for all.
– Dr. Elizabeth Sawin

The poem and the stock market welcome speculation.
The poem is a high-risk investment, a long-term commitment.
Like a big dirty city, it should make you feel
a little uncomfortable.
– Susan Briante

Today i was happy, so i made this poem
by James Wright

As the plump squirrel scampers
across the roof of the corncrib,
the moon suddenly stands up in the darkness,
and I see that it is impossible to die.
Each moment of time is a mountain.
An eagle rejoices in the oak trees of heaven,
Crying,
This is what I wanted.

It’s kind of a big planet to knock out of balance you know…
– Dr. Elizabeth Sawin

The author enters into his own death, writing begins.
– Roland Barthes

Love Poem with Bighead
by Kaveh Akbar

the dignity I’ve actually earned could fit
in a pigeon’s eye, holy and not merely so,
jupiter holy, gravity-making holy
jerking me around like a horse dragging
his cowboy through the mud, no ghoulish cruelty though,
no genius, just our cat leering out the window
like a French marquise, sprinkling drugs into our
drugs like it’s 2009, Jehovah, the aridness
of prayer, the aridness of public hygiene, holy too
that babies recognize logos at six months, generous
to be given detectable villains, birdgrass
growing up to the pink striped fruit you’ll leave
for the squirrels, ya Ali, the part of you that weeps
at dead fish in the market, how to extract that,
inject it straight into my hippocampus, mine
and everyone’s, fix all the unsolvable problems
in countries that don’t exist on a map, origami
god, boiled fox, how the new translation left out my
crimes, and how much better I liked it that way,
my carrion crown finally slackening a bit

Frantz Fanon said, “The more the people understand…that their salvation lies in their solidarity, in recognizing their interests and identifying their enemies. The people understand that wealth is not the fruit of labor but the spoils from an organized protection racket.”

Every one says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive.
– C.S. Lewis

There’s a niche in his chest
where a heart would fit perfectly
– @sikenpoems

Misprize thou not these echoes that belong
To one in love with solitude and song.
– Emma Lazarus

But there are maps
and then again, there are maps;
for what to call the haphazard
dance of bees returning
to their hives but maps
that lead to precise
hibiscuses, their soft
storehouses of pollen?…
And what are turtles born with
if not maps that break
eggs and pull them up from sand
guide them towards ocean instead of land?

– Kei Miller, The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion

and sometimes I am that madcap person clapping my hands and singing;
and sometimes I am that quiet person down on my knees.
– Mary Oliver

Spiritual awakening is the difficult process whereby the increasing realization that everything is as wrong as it can be flips suddenly into the realization that everything is as right is it can be. Or better, everything is as It as it can be.
– Alan Watts

True silence is the speech of lovers. . . .
True silence is a key to the immense and flaming heart of God.
It is the beginning of a divine courtship that will end only in the immense,
creative, fruitful, loving silence of final union with the Beloved.

Yes, such silence is holy, a prayer beyond all prayers.
True silence leads to the final prayer of the constant presence of God,
to the heights of contemplation, when the soul, finally at peace,
lives by the will of whom she loves totally, utterly, and completely.

This silence, then, will break forth in a charity that overflows
in the service of the neighbor without counting the cost.


It will witness to Christ anywhere, always.
Availability will become delightsome and easy,
for in each person the soul will see the face of her Love.
Hospitality will be deep and real, for a silent heart is a loving heart,
and a loving heart is a hospice to the world.
– Catherine de Hueck Doherty

The soul that is attached to anything,
however much good there may be in it,
will not arrive at the liberty of divine union.

For whether it be a strong wire rope
or a slender and delicate thread that holds the bird,
it matters not, if it really holds it fast;
for, until the cord be broken,
the bird cannot fly.

– Saint John of the Cross

A Brief For The Defense
by Jack Gilbert

Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies
are not starving someplace, they are starving
somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils.
But we enjoy our lives because that’s what God wants.
Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would not
be made so fine. The Bengal tiger would not
be fashioned so miraculously well. The poor women
at the fountain are laughing together between
the suffering they have known and the awfulness
in their future, smiling and laughing while somebody
in the village is very sick. There is laughter
every day in the terrible streets of Calcutta,
and the women laugh in the cages of Bombay.
If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction,
we lessen the importance of their deprivation.
We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,
but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have
the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless
furnace of this world. To make injustice the only
measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.
If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down,
we should give thanks that the end had magnitude.
We must admit there will be music despite everything.
We stand at the prow again of a small ship
anchored late at night in the tiny port
looking over to the sleeping island: the waterfront
is three shuttered cafés and one naked light burning.
To hear the faint sound of oars in the silence as a rowboat
comes slowly out and then goes back is truly worth
all the years of sorrow that are to come.

Sonic Fireflies
by Quincy Troupe

the beauty of jazz & blues voices,
syncopation of syllables flowing
free form through improvising sentences
sluicing, embracing, metaphors glowing
eyes in the dark are words imitating
fireflies pulsating bright in a black sky
are gleaming eyes of a prowling black panther
suddenly clicking on bright as flashlight beams
under moon rays probing hidden places
isolated mysterious somewhere
deep in a buzzing alive countryside

Honor the hands that harvest your crops.
– Dolores Huerta

nothing but
a calm heart
and cool air
– Issa

there is a certain hour of the day called the Am I Giving Up Yes I Am Giving Up Hour. and some days that is 6pm. and some days it’s like 2pm
– @chenchenwrites

All sorts of things in this world behave like mirrors.
– Jacques Lacan

Our present lives are dominated by the goddess Reason, who is our greatest and most tragic illusion. By the aid of reason, so we assure ourselves, we have “conquered nature.
– CG Jung

Color bleeds, so make it work for you.
Gravity pulls, so make it work for you.
– @sikenpoems

As James Baldwin said, “I consider that I have many responsibilities, but none greater than this: to last, as Hemingway says, and get my work done. I want to be an honest man and a good writer.”

why do mutants always find out about their powers at adolescence? I want a comic about people who get superpowers around age 40. your back hurts all the time, but now you have telekinesis
– @JordanSCarroll

Maybe I write because if someone, a person, a system, tries to erase me, someone will be able to read this and remember that I existed.
– E.M. Tran

A small green plant
Contemplates
A thunderous sky
– James Welsh

Summer heat
– wondering whether to have
A third shower
– James Welsh

As I dream
What is actual
Passes me by
– James Welsh

It is when you are really living in the present-working, thinking, lost, absorbed in something you care about very much, that you are living spiritually.
– Brenda Ueland

Thera
by Brian Turner
We were all Jack Gilbert’s lovers, not in the world
but in the poems, in the world of the poems, dying
on the rocky broken spurs of hard islands in a blue
country across the sea, lovers carried in his arms
for decades sometimes, more, the wind a character
that refused to lift the center of the word pain, where
vowels fall into the letter n the way the summer,
wheat-blazed and feral, pours into the cold weeks
of November, winter in its bones to come. Jack
loved us, not as a god or a devil, however nuanced,
but as one who must attend to the difficult harvest
of a life, to the losses and the simple grain that we might,
if we listen beyond the howling in our own hearts, hear
him singing about as he carries us up the dead mountain.

I am planning my entire day today around gelato.
– @PaisleyRekdal

We are a landscape of all we have seen.
– Isamu Noguchi

Your self-awareness in times of stress should serve as your third ear to listen to your body’s cries for help. Your body speaks volumes when you push it too hard. Take the time to recognize these signals and recharge your emotional battery before your stress causes permanent damage to your system.
– Travis Bradberry

The courage to be is rooted in the God who appears when God has disappeared in the anxiety of doubt.
– Paul Tillich

Nature is ever at work building and pulling down, creating and destroying, keeping everything whirling and flowing, allowing no rest but in rhythmical motion, chasing everything in endless song out of one beautiful form into another.
– John Muir

The highest function of ecology is understanding consequences.
– Frank Herbert, Dune

Activism without mystical inspiration and the strength, stamina, and passion that springs from divine love and divine knowledge will inevitably cause us to grow jaded and despairing in the bitter, fierce world of reality; mysticism without a commitment to enacting justice and truth in life will degenerate into what Ghandi called “the higher narcissism” and what Vivekananda derided as “heartless escapism masquerading as illumination”. Krishna’s revelation to Arjuna, then, of a middle way that fuses the deepest insights of contemplation with tireless service of the Divine in the Real may well hold the secret to our survival as a race, and to the survival of the natural world .
– Andrew Harvey

Everybody knows that really intimate conversation is only possible between two or three. As soon as there are six or seven, collective language begins to dominate.
– Simone Weil

Olive Oil

The toast would taste better with egg, but there aren’t any,
so I pour a thimble-sized serving of oilve oil on, to make it more

flavorful. I like the taste of olive oil. It reminds me of the time
when I was eighteen and jumped clear over the hood of my car

because I could. To be more specific, olive oil is the part where
I leave the ground and I’m in the air, half way across. Right then,

before landing on the other side. That’s the taste of olive oil.
It also tastes the way Madagascar sounds when you say it

backwards. If there were olive oil cologne, I would wear it and if
there were olive oil goldfish, I would have two in a bowl on the

table. For some reason, it is also a man swallowing lighter
fluid because the pain in his belly is bigger than the Kalahari

Desert. But maybe that’s only when you drink it straight and
sometimes it tastes like Brigitte Bardot. To be more specific,

in the scene where she is sunning naked in Capri, an impossibly
blue ocean wrestling with the sky in the distance.

– Paul Suntup

Something changed in the world. Not too long ago, it changed, and we know it. We don’t know how to explain it yet, but I think we all can feel it, somewhere deep in our gut or in our brain circuits. We feel time differently. No one has quite been able to capture what is happening or say why. Perhaps it’s just that we sense an absence of future, because the present has become too overwhelming, so the future has become unimaginable. And without future, time feels like only an accumulation. An accumulation of months, days, natural disasters, television series, terrorist attacks, divorces, mass migrations, birthdays, photographs, sunrises. […] Perhaps if we found a new way to document [the world], we might begin to understand this new way we experience space and time.
– Valeria Luiselli

Meditation is done by our mind. But in zazen, we don’t do anything with our mind. We don’t count breath. We don’t watch breath. We don’t chant mantra. We don’t contemplate anything. We don’t try to concentrate our mind on any particular object. We have no techniques. We really just sit with both body and mind. We sit in an upright posture, breathe through the nose quietly, deeply, and smoothly from our abdomen. We keep our eyes open. Even when we sit in this posture, our mind is functioning. Our heart is beating; our stomach is digesting food. Each and every organ in our body continues to function. There is no reason that our brain stops working in our zazen. The function of our brain is to secrete thoughts. Thoughts well up in our mind moment by moment. But we refrain from doing anything with our thoughts. We just let everything come up freely and go away freely. We don’t grasp anything. We don’t try to control anything. We just sit.

This is such a simple practice. To be simple does not mean to be easy. It is very difficult and it is very deep practice. In zazen, we accomplish nothing. As Sawaki Roshi said, zazen is good for nothing. But zazen is itself Buddha Dharma. Refraining from doing anything, the self is illuminated and verified by all things. Just sitting is not our personal practice. But we let go of our karmic self that always wants to be satisfied.

– Shohaku Okumura

One must accept the fact that others don’t see what you do.
– Louise Bourgeois

Today men’s nerves surround us; they have gone outside as electrical environment. The human nervous system itself can be reprogrammed biologically as readily as any radio network can alter its fare.
– Marshall McLuhan

Sometimes people let the same problem make them miserable for years when they could just say, So what. That’s one of my favorite things to say. So what.
– Andy Warhol

Narrow minds devoid of imagination. Intolerance, theories cut off from reality, empty terminology, usurped ideals, inflexible systems. Those are the things that really frighten me. What I absolutely fear and loathe.
– Haruki Murakami

Anon, to sudden silence won,
In fancy they pursue
The dream-child moving through a land
Of wonders wild and new,
In friendly chat with bird or beast—
And half believe it true.
– Lewis Carroll, All in the Golden Afternoon

You missed that. Right now, you are missing the vast majority of what is happening around you. You are missing the events unfolding in your body, in the distance, and right in front of you.By marshaling your attention to these words, helpfully framed in a distinct border of white, you are ignoring an unthinkably large amount of information that continues to bombard all of your senses: the hum of the fluorescent lights, the ambient noise in a large room, the places your chair presses against your legs or back, your tongue touching the roof of your mouth, the tension you are holding in your shoulders or jaw, the map of the cool and warm places on your body, the constant hum of traffic or a distant lawn-mower, the blurred view of your own shoulders and torso in your peripheral vision, a chirp of a bug or whine of a kitchen appliance.
– Alexandra Horowitz, On Looking: A Walker’s Guide to the Art of Observation

I went into the deserts of dim sleep —
That world which, like an unknown wilderness,
Bounds this with its recesses wide and deep —
– Percy Bysshe Shelley

So, if you’re too tired to speak,
sit next to me,
because I, too,
am fluent in silence…
– R. Arnold

Listen, it is because I dove into the abyss that I am beginning to love the abyss I am made of.
– Clarice Lispector, trans. by Ronald W. Sousa

We move from part to whole and back again, and in that dance of comprehension, in that amazing circle of understanding, we come alive to meaning, to value, and to vision: the very circle of understanding guides our way, weaving together the pieces, healing the fractures, mending the torn and tortured fragments, lighting the way ahead — this extraordinary movement from part to whole and back again, with healing the hallmark of each and every step, and grace the tender reward.
– Ken Wilber

I think I like myself a little broken, with rough edges, a little harder to grasp. I like poetry better than therapy anyway. The poems never judge me for healing wrong.
– Clementine von Radics

Listen! I will tell you
a secret…

the Earth told me
we are free,
and filled with purpose,
that we matter much
and alter little
even when we falter big

– Timothy P. McLaughlin

The biggest thing I’ve learned about writing is that we tend to underestimate and marginalize the irrational, intuitive aspects of it.
– George Saunders

I am very wary of individual journeys of salvation or emancipation, of personal enlightenment workshops. I am not sure what the ‘individual’ is anyway anymore, when we find microbial communities living in our guts, and viruses living within bacteria. Post-humanist processes are always involved. Even if you deem it fit to focus on yourself as a separate entity, you would need physical resources to do that. Thought is not always as internal as cognitive scientists would have us believe. I feel it is environmental and ecological and that you are pulling on outside resources, even as you turn to your navel.

Empires colonise conversations about change. They capture conversations that might redeem it from what you call the holding station, and then take these conversations and put them in ‘the family way.’ Soon the ways we speak about decolonisation and racial justice, which might otherwise ring true for other people and cultures and lead to new sites of shared power, become about how do we appeal to the powers that be, or use certain languages or phrases to signal I am woke, or woke enough. Soon, the nuances and complexities of navigating a difficult world are reduced to a few codes, a few linguistic choices, which Empire selects, and which others must adhere to in order to be righteous. So it becomes very territorial.

– Charlotte Du Cann and Bayo Akomolafe

A Little Closer Though, If You Can, for What Got Lost Here
by Carl Phillips

Other than that, all was still — a quiet
so quiet that, as if silence were a kind of spell, and
words the way to break it, they began speaking.
They spoke of many things:
sunset as a raft leaving the water in braids behind it;
detachment, the soul, obedience;
swans rowing at nightfall across a sky filled with snow;
what did they wish they could see, that they used to see;
to mean no harm, or to not especially, just now, be looking for it;
what would they wish not to see, could they stop seeing;
courage mattering so much less than not spooking easily — 
maybe all nerve is; the search-and-rescue map wildflowers
make of a field in summer; deserving it, versus asking for it,
versus having asked, and been softly turned from.
They said it would hurt, and it does.

We gather to sing whole villages awake
– Brandy Nālani McDougall

I’ll tell you right now, the doors to the world of the Wild Self are few but precious. If you have a deep scar, that is a door; if you have an old, old story, that is a door. If you love the sky and the water so much that you almost cannot bear it, that is a door. If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door.
– Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Four Studies in Perception
Laurels

A grove of Laurel grows in the city park.
It grows whether I look at it or not.
It grows whether I look at it or not,
By a path deliberately unintended (unattended).
I can find it. I can see it. I can sing:
Magical tree!
Leaf in my Mother’s stew!
Crown! Chew
The leaves to brighten
The color in my eyes?
But all of it,
Singer, Song, the Grove itself
Disappears, instantly,
If I only look another way.
If I only look another way, I make
Bulldozers, Baseball Players, and, later
Owls
(To become enamoured of our Powers is to lose them, at once!)
It grows whether I look at it or not.
If, as I plan, I wish to chew these leaves and
Braid myself a wreath,
I cannot wish the Grove to grow on Taraval Street.
And all our Certainties are
Tinier thoughts, even,
Than that.

– Lew Welch

Soldiering through life as an automaton means refusing to live consciously & take responsibility. But we are made for conscious life & if we refuse it, our inner voice will continue trying to get our attention through dreams & through emotional and physical symptoms.
– Bud Harris

Whenever I groan within myself and think how hard it is to keep writing about love in these times of tension and strife which may at any moment become for us all a time of terror, I think to myself “What else is the world interested in?” What else do we all want, each one of us, except to love and be loved, in our families, in our work, in all our relationships. God is Love.
– Dorothy Day

Sometimes I don’t even know what poets are saying.
– @hmvanderhart

Not having to think about something sounds like an amazing privilege.
– Adam Falkner

It’s time to learn again to celebrate, as we once did, our instinctive affinity with the earth community in which we’re rooted.
– Wild Mind by Bill Plotkin, PHD

I Have No F*cking Clue What’s Happening
by Lissa Rankin, MD

We are coming undone
The way people unravel when they find a lump.
You feel the lump, and it frightens you.
But oh, maybe it’s nothing.
You go to the doctor and get it checked out.
The doctor looks alarmed, so now you’re scared again.
She orders a test.
You wait through sleepless nights until the day of the test.
Then you wait more days, wondering, wondering.
When you go back to the doctor to get your test results,
She looks at you with kind eyes.
You know before she speaks.
Something is wrong.
Next, the biopsy.
More waiting.
More waiting.
Stomach churning.
Heart flip-flopping.
Catastrophizing. What-if-ing.
It could be nothing.
You’re overreacting.
But gah! What if?
Then finally, the news.
You have cancer.
The prognosis is not good.
We will do what we can.
You can tell the doctor has pity on you.
She is confident about some things.
But not this.
The ways she knows won’t help much here.
Still, she tries to comfort you.
You are grateful.

Such are solutions in the times of corona.
The old ways of fixing have lost their potency.
Unemployment checks.
Stimulus packages.
Livestream Andrea Bocelli to replace Easter church.
More ventilators.
Quick fix drugs.
A rush to vaccines.
Zoom yoga while we come undone.

The bad news emerges slowly
A gentling that helps.
Hope comes in spurts.
Maybe this drug.
Maybe a vaccine sooner than we thought.
Put them prone on pregnancy massage tables.
Fewer deaths than expected.
The curve is flat.
Hallelujah! It’s working!
We are all in this together.

Disappointment comes in bursts too.
The stimulus packages are out of money.
Your small business didn’t get chosen.
The bank passes the buck. Not their fault.
The politicians pass the buck too.
Only there’s no buck.
Your employees are family but might get fired.
The money is running out.
The ventilators are causing more damage than good.
The million dollar tests were an epic fail.
The masks never made it.
Grandfather didn’t make it.
People are dying alone.
The scientists made a mistake.
The politicians lied.
The epidemiologists got the numbers wrong.
The doctors said “Oops. Sorry.”
The economists roll their eyes.
China’s numbers were off.
California got it right.
No, Sweden got it right.
No…what’s right?
We have no f*cking clue what’s happening.

But one day, it hits you.
Like cancer, when the news finally strikes.
Business as usual is over.
Life will never be the same,
And you might die soon.
You might not.
You will die some day.
We enter the Not Knowing,
The place that has always been true
Beneath the illusions of certainty.

Willingly or not, we enter the space between stories,
The liminal space
When one story of life as we know it has ended
And another has not yet begun.
It is here, the Not Knowing.
Speculation abounds,
But at some point, you can’t take it anymore.
You crave Knowing, even if what we know
Is Not Knowing.
You hope someone will say The Emperor Has No Clothes,
Someone who will admit
We have no f*cking clue what’s happening.
You crave the end of the pretending,
The smashing of hubris,
The grand pretense.
The desperate attempt to know
Like the death throes of a patient on a ventilator
Taking his last mechanical breath- alone
As his heart stops.
No more codes.
Stop.
Just stop.
Enough.
Surrender.

You can resist.
You can find the next grasp for certainty.
You can laugh at how adorable we are,
How much we crave the addiction of control,
How much we’re willing to try anything,
As long as it’s not “Let go.”

You can wait for the next talking head with the “answers,”
The next sense-maker speaking nonsense.
Or you can consent to what is.
Dissolving.
Bug soup in the cocoon.
Let yourself get shattered.
You grieve.
The shock wears off.

We’re going down now, down inward,
Down in the heartbreak,
Down into our shared heart, our collective grief.
You descend into the territory of soul
Down to holy ground.
You find refuge here.
You grieve some more.
You try to walk outside in nature.
The wildflowers are bursting on fire-swept mountains.
The sheriff stops you.
Go home.
Shelter in place.
There is nobody around.
Why can’t you walk?
He is inflated and on a power trip.
You feel it in your bones.
He is afraid too.
But he has to dominate someone.
His wife is not safe at home.
She shivers when he walks in.
She knows the code word “Mask-19”
In case she ever gets up the courage to ask the pharmacist to call the cops.
Only he’s the cops.
Maybe she’s safer if he makes me go home.
No good reason. I’m local, just out for a walk.
Go home anyway, bitch.
The fear kicks in.
The police state is here.
You also know he is in pain.
You feel a wave of compassion.

Then a burst of anger spikes.
You understand the protestors.
Righteous rage floods your system.
You also understand the ones we’re corona shaming,
The ones throwing three person wine parties
6 feet apart on the beach.
You want your old life back too.
Waves of nostalgia flood you.
You miss so much.
You feel yourself descend again, down, down, down
You are falling, crashing, tumbling.

But then a rush of love meets you
Where you thought you’d hit bottom.
The bad news is you’re falling apart.
The good news is you’ve been praying for this moment your whole life
In dreams, in visions, in meditation
In vague memories of how you chose to come here now- for THIS.
You were called here.
You said yes.
We all did.
Everyone who’s here came to be part of this,
Falling together, rising together.
There is no concrete to splat on,
Only a cushion of love,
This descent into holy ground.

Something settles.
Everything other than “This is” strips away.
Even “I am” makes you laugh.
“We are” feels more honest.
We are all in this together,
And this is a Mystery.
You remember to trust.
Something is happening.
Something had to happen.
You have been waiting for this moment.
Now it is here.

You remember the dying, the crying, the underlying
Fabric of society unraveling.
You feel guilty for feeling a rush of excitement.
The Great Change Is Upon Us.
Business as usual is over.
You are surprised to feel relief.
Gratitude riding shotgun with despair.
Curiosity next to contradiction.
Polarization becomes paradox.

Let us pause.
The world is in rehab,
Taking a breather from business as usual,
Examining our addictions, distractions, numbness, and habits of destruction.
Rehab doesn’t last forever.
It’s a reset, a chance to dive down, to go deep,
To interrupt business as usual,
To question everything.
Recovery is a journey.
We could fall off the wagon again.
We probably will.
But first, this.

Stillness.
Silence.
And in the emptiness bubbles up the fizz of remembering.
Remember our children, Gaia, our sisters and brothers,
The ones we have forgotten in our rush to “progress,”
The ones we enslaved, dehumanized, exploited, marginalized, overlooked, neglected.
Grief. Shame.

Feeling so sorry I am so white, powerful, entitled, and privileged.
It is not my fault. I was born this way.
It is not my fault, but it is my responsibility.
How do we make apologies and make amends,
Make sacrifices and make gifts?
I don’t know.
How do we use the hellfire of righteous rage
To say a fierce HELL NO
To those trying to rebuild business as usual,
The business that is killing the world,
Killing Mother Earth, Lover Earth, Gaia?
I don’t know.

How do we choose HELL NO
To feeling entitled to that which is not ours to take.
To hoarding and greed
To violating nature, each other, and our other precious Earthling creatures
To the war machine
To destroying what is not ours to devastate
To endless growth
To constant “upgrades”
To globalization
To the “ascent” of humanity at a cost we cannot afford.
Where is our HELL YEAH?
I’m not sure.

“If you knew She could feel, you would not do this,”
Say the Kogi mamas,
As business as usual rips open our Earth body to extract more resources.
This must stop.
This has stopped!
Gaia herself has stopped us.
Maybe a Chinese lab.
Maybe a pangolin.
Maybe it’s not even a virus, but an exosome.
Maybe it’s not a respiratory disease but a hematologic one.
I don’t know.
I don’t know.
The words we doctors hate to say,

A pandemic of immodesty,
Everyone pretending to know the unknowable.
The scientists doubling down on measures that don’t acknowledge
The soil of a corrupt culture ripe for pandemics.
The doctors doubling down on disease care
When we so desperately need health care that prevents and heals.
The politicians doubling down on myopic bailouts and blaming the corrupt others.
The bliss hunters doubling down on spiritual bypassing.
The New Agers doubling down on grandiose notions
Of chosen aliens and the Pleiadian star gates.
The light workers doubling down on denying the call for holy darkness.
The religious doubling down on karma and Armeggedon.
It’s all trauma, I say, doubling down.

All of us afraid to feel our human emotions all the way.
All of us too wounded to even know how
To ride the waves of emotion
The way the monkey mind rides thoughts.

We think we know what’s happening,
But even our experts can’t find consensus.
Where are the humble ones?
May we let them lead!
Where are the pure of heart?
May we grant them a long overdue stage.
Where are the ones unafraid of suffering?
May they show us how to be merciful.
Where are the elders to initiate us?
May they help midwife the descent of humanity.
Where are the ones who see best in the dark?
May they guide the way.
Where are the ones skilled in listening in time of not knowing?
Let the others be silent so we may listen to them.
Where are the ones who trust the Mystery?
May they help us learn to trust.

Let us not wait to wave the white flag until we’ve destroyed more.
Let us cave early, surrendering to not knowing,
Yielding to the organizing intelligence of the great Force of Love.
Resist the temptation to control,
Stop pretending we know.
Learn what we can but be willing to admit when we’re out of our league.
Give in to the mystery.
Relinquish our personal will to Divine Will.
Find solace in that kind of trust.
“Let us pray for that which is most right,” says my teacher,
Always remembering none of us really know that which is most right.
Perhaps the pure of heart get glimpses of it.
They feel intuitively guided.
Somatically guided.
Emotionally guided.
Spiritually guided from within their own heart.
But always with the humility of “Maybe, maybe not.”

Do what we can. And… do nothing.
Shelter in place. And… dive deep into not knowing what’s best.
Rise up and resist. And…let go and surrender.
Be with fear, vulnerability, shame, death, grief…
And know we are more than all that too.
Gather knowledge…
And admit how limited our small human minds are.
Feel our smallness…and become our true size
Immense without grandiosity
Empowered without dominating
Yielding yet not tolerating those who cross our HELL NO
Resisting business as usual and accepting what is.
Meeting the intimacy of right here, right now
Eyes wide open
Hearts daring to crack
Tears streaming as the ice around our hearts melts
Generosity streaming
Towards our suffering soul sisters and brothers.

We are all just walking each other home
To a home we don’t know yet,
A home Earth is helping us birth.
Let us pray for that which is most right.
I will see you there.
Until then, let us be kinder than is necessary.
Let us have mercy on our own folly.
Let us bless each other
Be willing to be blessed.
Let us heal- together- apart- together.

Resources are not limited, only knowledge of how to get them is.
– Gabriel Keczan

Matthew Burnside:
five reasons to keep writing
1. readers need other worlds to reimagine our own
2. to know others are as lost as we are
3. to know others are as found as we are
4. the pluck & snap of language
5. because yr creations matter. maybe they won’t make u rich or famous but they matter

Enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It’s seeing through the facade of pretense. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.
– Adyashanti

What I had learned from Buddhism was that I did not have to know myself analytically as much as I had to tolerate not knowing.
– Mark Epstein

A bunch of thoughts
Transformed into words
Risky business
– @frghtndmn

bell hooks said there are “constant reminders that life is not promised—that it is crucial for a writer to respect time…I am protective of the time I spend writing.”

She also noted the “whole other parts of life I needed to cultivate…away from being at the computer all hours.”

– @tamaranopper

GREAT THINGS HAVE HAPPENED
by Alden Nowlan

We were talking about the great things
that have happened in our lifetimes;
and I said, “Oh, I suppose the moon landing
was the greatest thing that has happened
in my time.” But, of course, we were all lying.
The truth is the moon landing didn’t mean
one-tenth as much to me as one night in 1963
when we lived in a three-room flat in what once had been
the mansion of some Victorian merchant prince
(our kitchen had been a clothes closet, I’m sure),
on a street where by now nobody lived
who could afford to live anywhere else.
That night, the three of us, Claudine, Johnnie and me,
woke up at half-past four in the morning
and ate cinnamon toast together.

“Is that all?” I hear somebody ask.

Oh, but we were silly with sleepiness
and, under our windows, the street-cleaners
were working their machines and conversing in Italian, and
everything was strange without being threatening,
even the tea-kettle whistled differently
than in the daytime: it was like the feeling
you get sometimes in a country you’ve never visited
before, when the bread doesn’t taste quite the same,
the butter is a small adventure, and they put
paprika on the table instead of pepper,
except that there was nobody in this country
except the three of us, half-tipsy with the wonder
of being alive, and wholly enveloped in love.

Chaos doesn’t mean that the system is behaving randomly, it means that it is unpredictable because it has many variables, it is too complex to measure, and even if it could be measured, theoretically the measurement cannot be done accurately and the tiniest inaccuracy would change the end result an enormous amount.
– Michael S. Gazzaniga, Who’s in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain

To produce a perfect pearl the oyster needs some piece of matter, a sandcorn or a small splinter round which the pearl can form. Without such a hard core it may grow into a shapeless mass. If the artist’s feelings for forms and colours are to crystallize in a perfect work, he, too, needs such a hard core – a definite task on which he can bring his gifts to bear.
– E.H. Gombrich

To arrive at the simplest truth, as Newton knew and practiced, requires years of contemplation. Not activity. Not reasoning. Not calculating. Not busy behavior of any kind. Not reading. Not talking. Not making an effort. Not thinking. Simply bearing in mind what it is one needs to know. And yet those with the courage to tread this path to real discovery are not only offered practically no guidance on how to do so, they are actively discouraged and have to set abut it in secret, pretending meanwhile to be diligently engaged in the frantic diversions and to conform with the deadening personal opinions which are continually being thrust upon them.
– George Spencer Brown

Poetry proper is never merely a higher mode (melos) of everyday language. It is rather the reverse: everyday language is a forgotten and therefore used-up poem, from which there hardly resounds a call any longer.
– Bruce Chatwin, Martin Heidegger, Language, The Songlines

In fairy-tale justice, as in the deep psyche, kindness to that which seems less is rewarded by good, and refusal to do good for one who is not beautiful is reviled and punished. When we enlarge ourselves to touch the not-beautiful, we are rewarded. If we spurn the not-beautiful, we are severed from life and left out in the cold.”
– Clarissa Pinkola Estes

I would leave everything here: the valleys, the hills, the paths, and the jaybirds from the gardens, I would leave here the petcocks and the padres, heaven and earth, spring and fall, I would leave here the exit routes, the evenings in the kitchen, the last amorous gaze, and all of the city-bound directions that make you shudder, I would leave here the thick twilight falling upon the land, gravity, hope, enchantment, and tranquility, I would leave here those beloved and those close to me, everything that touched me, everything that shocked me, fascinated and uplifted me, I would leave here the noble, the benevolent, the pleasant, and the demonically beautiful, I would leave here the budding sprout, every birth and existence, I would leave here incantation, enigma, distances, inexhaustibility, and the intoxication of eternity; for here I would leave this earth and these stars, because I would take nothing with me from here, because I’ve looked into what’s coming, and I don’t need anything from here.
– László Krasznahorkai, translated by Ottilie Mulzet

But let us imagine RIGHT NOW that we find out about a world where there are artists who paint without brushes, make music without instruments, and write without pen and paper. The very thought makes me happy. That this world could be ours, right here and now.
– László Krasznahorkai

The land of healing lies within, radiant with the happiness that is blindly sought in a thousand outer directions.
– Swami Vivekananda

Life is all about the multitudes 
the creatures
the beings
the stones and the castles
and all the lighted windows you pass
and the stories behind them

the world is ultimately unknowable
and that is
a knowing in itself
– Nicholas Pierotti 

I don’t know if God actually spoke, but if he did, here’s what I think he would say to the believer:

Stop praying. What I want you to do is go out into the world and enjoy your life. I want you to sing, have fun and enjoy everything I’ve made for you.

Stop going into those dark, cold temples that you built yourself and saying they are my house. My house is in the mountains, in the woods, rivers, lakes, beaches. That’s where I live and there I express my love for you.

Stop blaming me for your miserable life; I never told you there was anything wrong with you or that you were a sinner, or that your sexuality was a bad thing. Sex is a gift I have given you and with which you can express your love, your ecstasy, your joy. So don’t blame me for everything they made you believe.

Stop reading alleged sacred scriptures that have nothing to do with me. If you can’t read me in a sunrise, in a landscape, in the look of your friends, in your son’s eyes… you will find me in no book!

Stop asking me “will you tell me how to do my job?” Stop being so scared of me. I do not judge you or criticize you, nor get angry, or bothered. I am pure love.

Stop asking for forgiveness, there’s nothing to forgive. If I made you… I filled you with passions, limitations, pleasures, feelings, needs, inconsistencies… free will. How can I blame you if you respond to something I put in you? How can I punish you for being the way you are, if I’m the one who made you?

Do you think I could create a place to burn all my children who behave badly for the rest of eternity? What kind of god would do that?

Respect your peers and don’t do what you don’t want for yourself. All I ask is that you pay attention in your life, that alertness is your guide.

My beloved, this life is not a test, not a step on the way, not a rehearsal, nor a prelude to paradise. This life is the only thing here and now and it is all you need.

I have set you absolutely free, no prizes or punishments, no sins or virtues, no one carries a marker, no one keeps a record.

You are absolutely free to create in your life. Heaven or hell.

I can’t tell you if there’s anything after this life but I can give you a tip. Live as if there is not. As if this is your only chance to enjoy, to love, to exist.

So, if there’s nothing after, then you will have enjoyed the opportunity I gave you. And if there is, rest assured that I won’t ask if you behaved right or wrong, I’ll ask. Did you like it? Did you have fun? What did you enjoy the most? What did you learn?

Stop believing in me; believing is assuming, guessing, imagining. I don’t want you to believe in me, I want you to believe in you. I want you to feel me in you when you kiss your beloved, when you tuck in your little girl, when you caress your dog, when you bathe in the sea.

Stop praising me, what kind of egomaniac God do you think I am?

I’m bored being praised. I’m tired of being thanked. Feeling grateful? Prove it by taking care of yourself, your health, your relationships, the world. Express your joy! That’s the way to praise me. Stop complicating things and repeating as a parakeet what you’ve been taught about me.

What do you need more miracles for? So many explanations?

The only thing for sure is that you are here, that you are alive, that this world is full of wonders.

Don’t look for me outside, you won’t find me. Find me inside… there I’m beating in you.

– Dorion Sagan and Lynn Margulis, Truth of My Father, variation

Times you forget to remember
the times you are wrapped up solemn and high
in all your aloneness like some dignified

chieftain of sorrow,

– Elisabeth Harvor

If I ran from you
to Ouagadougou,
I’d hear your voice in
talking drums.

If I ran from you
to Coromandel,
I’d catch your scent off
salted winds.

If I ran from you
to Auxerre,
I’d feel your touch in
blades of grass.

If I ran from you
to the well of Khaba,
I’d see your shape in
whirling djinns.

If I ran from you
to Madurai,
I’d taste your kiss from
banana leaves.

If I ran from you
to Muktinath,
I’d send you my prayers off
spinning wheels.

– Karen Shenfeild

We take one step at a time when we leave
a love, a job, a belief
after spending days, perhaps months, years
dismissing doubts
their presence, ripples in the air
that can be as soft as moths
wings we pretend are only
the ordinary in and out of our breath
clouds against windows
clear, and one day we see our world differently
feel our hands press against that glass
the cold of it flinging us back
one last time
into the heart of a home we have known
where each piece in its usual place
seems rearranged
as if we are already gone
– Sandy Shreve

I visit you
with the ache of travel, fold myself
into the space between your arms
and make that leap again
inhabiting, for now, these chambers
we beat against together
making doors in the heart’s walls
small enough to enter
without damage.
– Rhona McAdam

If the best love poems have a little darkness,
how far down can I go?
– Katrina Vandenberg

sometimes I worry I haven’t read enough or I’m not smart enough and how can I make poems etc then I remember Paul McCartney still can’t read music and I get back to work
– Brian Tierney

There’s a point, around the age of twenty, when you have to choose whether to be like everybody else the rest of your life, or to make a virtue of your peculiarities.
– @UrsulaBot

going into seclusion
like wise men do
summer heat
– Issa

The child alone a poet is:
Spring and Fairyland are his.
Truth and Reason show but dim,
And all’s poetry with him.
– Robert Graves

The obsession of the capitalist class with “innovation” sits awkwardly alongside their insistence that “there is no alternative”.

We are allowed to imagine new gadgets but not a just economy.

– @jasonhickel

Angela Y. Davis said, “Freedom can’t be contained within a paradigm that is individualistic. One cannot be free alone: freedom is collective. Freedom is about transforming conditions so that communities can live in more habitable conditions.”

Writing isn’t what you do after you have an idea. It’s how you develop an inkling into an insight.

Turning thoughts into words sharpens reasoning. What’s fuzzy in your head is clear on the page.

“I’m not a writer” shouldn’t stop you from writing. Writing is a tool for thinking.

– Adam Grant

We cannot, for example, draw a line around the eyes that is not necessarily arbitrary. There is no point at which the eyes begin or end, either in time or in space or conceptually. The eye bone is connected to the face bone, and the face bone is connected to the head bone, and the head bone is connected to the neck bone, and so it goes down to the toe bone, the floor bone, the earth bone, the worm bone, the dreaming butterfly bone. Thus, what we call our eyes are so many bubbles in a sea of foam. This is not only true of our eyes but of our other powers of sensation as well, including the mind.
– Red Pine

Which memories will we take with us? The swimming lyricism of paintings, a last breath of a stanza, the mute kiss of a lover? And there is nothing compared to this: lying awake under the truth of you, the wide eyed sleeplessness of lost dreams.
– Jill Battson

The Perfect Poem
by Kaveh Akbar

In god’s gleaming empire, herds of triceratops
lunge up on their hind legs to somersault
around the plains. The angels lie in the sun
using straight pins to eat hollyhocks. Mostly
they just rub their bellies and hum quietly

to themselves, but the few sentences
they do utter come out as perfect poems.
Here on earth we blather constantly, and
all we say is divided between combat
and seduction. Combat: I understand you perfectly.
Seduction: Next time don’t say so out loud.
Here the perfect poem eats its siblings

in the womb like a sand shark or a star turning
black hole, then saunters into the world
daring us to stay mad. We know most of our
universe is missing. The perfect poem knows
where it went. The perfect poem is no bigger
than a bear. Its birthday hat comes with
a black veil which prattles on and on about

comet ash and the ten thousand buds of
the tongue. Like people and crows, the
perfect poem can remember faces and hold
grudges. It keeps its promises. The perfect
poem is not gold or lead or a garden gate
locked shut or a sail slapping in a storm.
The perfect poem is its own favorite toy.

It is not a state of mind or a kind of doubt
or a good or bad habit or a flower of any
color. It will not be available to answer
questions. The perfect poem is light as dust
on a bat’s wing, lonely as a single flea.

I Wouldn’t Even Know What to Do with a Third Chance
by Kaveh Akbar

I wouldn’t even know what to do with a third chance,
another halo to shake loose galloping into the crossfire.
Should I be apologizing? Supposedly, what’s inside my

body is more or less the same as what’s inside yours—
here, the river girl clutching her toy whistle. There,
the black snake covered in scabs. Follow my neckline,

the beginning will start beginning again. I swear on my
head and eyes, there are moments in every day when
if you asked me to leave, I would. Heaven is mostly

preposition—up, above, around—and you can live
any place that’s a place. A failure of courage is still
a victory of safety. Bravery pitches its refugee tent

at the base of my brain and slowly starves, chipping into
darkness like a clay bird bouncing down a well. All night
I eat yogurt and eggplant and garlic, water my dead

orchids. In what world would any of me seem credible?
God’s word is a melody, and melody requires repetition.
God’s word is a melody I sang once then forgot.

A whirling phantasmagoria can be grasped only when arrested for contemplation
– Marshall McLuhan

Nobody sees anybody truly but all through the flaws of their own egos. That is the way we all see …each other in life. Vanity, fear, desire, competition– all such distortions within our own egos– condition our vision of those in relation to us. Add to those distortions to our own egos the corresponding distortions in the egos of others, and you see how cloudy the glass must become through which we look at each other. That’s how it is in all living relationships except when there is that rare case of two people who love intensely enough to burn through all those layers of opacity and see each other’s naked hearts.
– Tennessee Williams

What [George] Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What [Aldous] Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism … In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.
– Neil Postman

…And if you’re waiting
for the moment
this poem pivots
into joy, I’m sorry,
it’s not coming this time,
I thought it might
here in this quiet kitchen,
but it didn’t
and that’s all right.
– Keith Leonard

Prayer is a mystery, with so many paths to walk, so many branches of communication, so many pools of wonder.
– Thomas Merton

Our Age of Anxiety is, in great part, the result of trying to do today’s jobs with yesterday’s tools!
– Marshall McLuhan

With the arrival of electric technology, man has extended, or set outside himself, a live model of the central nervous system itself. To the degree that this is so, it is a development that suggests a desperate suicidal autoamputation, as if the central nervous system could no longer depend on the physical organs to be protective buffers against the slings and arrows of outrageous mechanism.
– Marshall McLuhan

I am positive of only a few things in life, and one is that if you want to have a decent middle and old age, you have to get exercise almost every day.
– Anne Lamott

Wholeness is found in silence.
– Dogen

The best remedy for the current inflation is a combination of a windfall profits tax, price controls, and antitrust enforcement to reduce the pricing power of big corporations — not higher interest rates that will slow the economy, cost jobs, and reduce wage gains.
– Robert Reich

A question must never be wasted, for the answer might be magic.
– Simon Sinek

(a friend who is a literary agent told me that he cannot even get editors to read first novels by young white male writers, no matter how good; they are just not interested. this is heartbreaking for writers who may, in fact, be brilliant, & critical of their own “privilege.”)
– Joyce Carol Oates

Family heirloom
dad’s tiny war journal
full of poems
– Kath Abela Wilson

if I could buy the sea
I’d save its silver waves
for all eternity
– @Jocelynx44

Think like a river, downstream in time. Are we being good ancestors?
– Robert Macfarlane

In That Other Fantasy Where We Live Forever
we were never caught

we partied the southwest, smoked it from L.A. to El Dorado
worked odd jobs between delusions of escape
drunk on the admonitions of parents, parsons & professors
driving faster than the road or law allowed.
our high-pitched laughter was young, heartless & disrespected
authority. we could be heard for miles in the night

the Grand Canyon of a new manhood.
womanhood discovered
like the first sighting of Mount Wilson

we rebelled against the southwestern wind

we got so naturally ripped, we sprouted wings,
crashed parties on the moon, and howled at the earth

we lived off love. It was all we had to eat

when you split you took all the wisdom
and left me the worry

– Wanda Coleman

To be held
by the light
was what I wanted,
to be a tree drinking the rain,
no longer parched in this hot land.
To be roots in a tunnel growing
but also to be sheltering the inborn leaves
and the green slide of mineral
down the immense distances
into infinite comfort
and the land here, only clay,
still contains and consumes
the thirsty need
the way a tree always shelters the unborn life
waiting for the healing
after the storm
which has been our life.
– To Be Held by Linda Hogan (Chickasaw)

the first time you feed yourself
a hearty word like
beautiful
it will taste unconvincing and wrong.

– Roscoe Burnems

You’d think we were blind,
the things we can see through,
the things we look past
when emboldened inside.
– Ellery

It just turns out Einstein’s equations are so complicated that we’re discovering new properties of them on a yearly basis.
– Paul Chesler

Humility is not the same as self-humiliation. Rather, it points to a secure sense of self, self-dignity, and so being able to draw the focus away from the self. By consciously ‘offering’ dignity to everyone around (even to those whom we might feel do not deserve it), we cut through the vertical conceptions of humanity that are so intertwined with mechanisms of violence and scapegoating. We sacrifice our self-preserving tendencies, our habitual patterns tied to our fears of being too vulnerable and powerless…these tendencies run deep and the risk of being vulnerable is real, but letting go of them leads to a transformation in the direction of a truer sense of autonomy, another way of ‘being’ and a different kind of power. This dynamic of sacrificing the self for the shared dignity of all people, bringing integrative power to the surface, is captured in alay dangal (active non-violence), that is to say, creating an example of nonviolence as a life stance in which tapasya, an attitude of humility, sacrificing the desire-self, and offering dignity (and the study of how to do this) are central.
– Saskia L. E. van Goelst Meijer

The most important thing is to write in your own blood. I bare intimate feelings because people should know how other people feel.
– Joni Mitchell

My atmosphere is nothing but the impressionism of the painter adapted to literature.
– Georges Simenon

One of the symptoms of loneliness of the ordinary person is talking in clichés which is a preliminary form of speechlessness.
– Hannah Arendt

people in my everyday life: poetry is lame..
poets online: your poetry means the world to me.
– Jose Hernandez Diaz

Some day… there will come a reckoning. The country will discover… that no nation can exist or have any solidity which ignores the land. But it will cost the country dear.
– Louis Bromfield

The way we see the world shapes the way we treat it. If a mountain is a deity, not a pile of ore; if a river is one of the veins of the land, not potential irrigation water; if a forest is a sacred grove, not timber; if other species are biological kin, not resources; or if the planet is our mother, not an opportunity — then we will treat each other with greater respect. Thus is the challenge, to look at the world from a different perspective.
– David Suzuki

You decide today to
swallow this foolishness,
to let it die somewhere
deep inside you.
This is also unhealthy.
– Javon Johnson

All you really have is the day or the night, or the lunch with a friend, or maybe a couple of hours where you’re working well. To me, that’s success—if you can put together some moments that actually go well, that give you something you can hang your hat on having to do with work that you’ve created.
– Philip Seymour Hoffman

All I am is literature, and I am not able or willing to be anything else.
– Franz Kafka

Reminder: Many of the same corporations that profess openness and inclusion also donate to politicians who embrace oppression and exclusion.
– Robert Reich

I had a lot more fun being 20 in the 70s than I’m having being 70 in the 20s.
– Joe Walsh

The lesson of the moment: Invest in Indigenous stories by Indigenous directors, producers, writers, actors, etc — and you will get amazing results.
– Dallas Goldtooth

The descendants of the tribes of Europe were so successfully and completely colonized and assimilated that we have been conditioned to confuse the narratives of Empire with our own, identifying with the ruling-class elite and confusing their interests with our own, which we in turn work to protect and defend. We were forced off our ancestral lands into the cities and factories of industrialism, shipped around the world to feed the growing industry in newly-colonized areas, and we continue to destroy the Earth that gives us life today, because we think industrial civilization feeds, clothes, and shelters us, rather than the Earth herself. It is therefore both attractive and mutually beneficial for all to aspire and actively work towards once again becoming Indigenous in place, firmly rooted in a landbase with which one’s culture has an intimate and deep-rooted connection.
– Tlalli Yaotl

I know there’s only so much dark
you can pass
like a kidney stone.
– Ruth Madievsky

ife, what kind of game have you played?
If the night is full, then the day is loneliness.
– Gulzar

One of the gifts of being a writer is that it gives you an excuse to do things, to go places and explore. Another is that writing motivates you to look closely at life, at life as it lurches by and tramps around.
– Anne Lamott

Buddhist service–
the butterfly too
voiceless
– Chiyo-ni

a garden of herbs
which flowers are
for my pillow?
– Basho

Appreciation
Buys the plucked flower
Love leaves it to grow
– James Welsh

It is not a question
of being happy or satisfied,
but to feel the fire inside.
– Anaïs Nin

The anxiety which haunts all such stories (Jekyll, Faust, Biblical story of Adam) is not so much a fear of being caught as fear that the evil side will get out of control.
– Anthony Stevens

I was not a writer to begin with; I was a listener.
– Erskine Caldwell

the caretaker
pushes Friday evening
with his broom
– D. Claire Gallagher

The poem eats when it is hungry, sleeps when it is tired.
– Frank Stanford

My role in society, or any artist’s or poet’s role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all.
– John Lennon

Message from The Christian Left:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

– Galatians 3:28 (ESV)

“Just because you’ve evolved your consciousness to take on any perspective doesn’t mean you have evolved your consciousness to know which one is good and sustainable for you, your communities and the world.

“Having more power does not mean you have the skill, capacity, and wisdom use it responsibly.

“Skill, capacity and wisdom come with the integration of this power into your life.

“These things don’t happen instantly. They take time and plenty of mistakes along the way.

“If you just got new perspectives that instantly give you power, get ready to leave a path of destruction in your wake.

“Living responsibly is the ability not only to act well NOW, but to also back and clean things up later on.

“This is why we don’t hand knives to toddlers.”

– Philippe Lewis

Only man as an individual human being lives; the state is just a system, a mere machine for sorting and tabulating the masses. Anyone, therefore, who thinks in terms of men minus the individual, in huge numbers, atomizes himself and becomes a thief and a robber to himself. He is infected with the leprosy of collective thinking and has become an inmate of that insalubrious stud-farm called the totalitarian State.
– C.G. Jung

You are to me a silent wind
of no leaf stir or ocean rage
that makes my million molecules dance
to endless songs of change.

You are to me a solemn star
intent on something unforeseen,
revealing wonders from afar
that only lovers dare receive.

You are to me a secret seed,
the dream of some age-spanning night.
Wrought in wells of amity
to flower on exultant heights.

You are to me a touch or word
of such hushed and exquisite breath
that all my senses are consumed
and to the clash of worlds grown deaf.

As if the silences of love
had swallowed up all sounds of strife,
as if a mutual gentle nod
had given birth to worlds of light.

– George Gorman

Don’t ever be so broke that you can’t leave town.
– unknown

This body’s lifetime is like a bubble’s
may as well let things go
plans and events seldom agree
who can step back doesn’t worry
we blossom and fade like flowers
we gather and part like clouds
earthly thoughts I forgot long ago
withering away on a mountain peak

– Stonehouse (Translated by Red Pine)

One’s first step in wisdom is to question everything—and one’s last is to come to terms with everything.
– Georg Lichtenberg

REFLECTIONS

closures, openings
how do we live
except in memory
and half memory––
around me
as I turn 82
is a live area
in which everything
I did or thought
still exists
or seems to…
I, Jack Foley, came from the town of Neptune *
Grew up in Port Chester, home of Ed Sullivan
And appeared once on his show, in 1955
When I was nearly fifteen.
There is video on YouTube.
All the dead crowd round me
And I say, “I loved you
How could it be that you are gone?”
They answer that everything goes
But not so far
As to entirely disappear.
As I listen to the recording
Of a musical I partially wrote
Sixty years ago
I am vividly there;
As I play a radio show
I did with Adelle
I can feel her living presence
Throughout the program.
This must mean
That death does not signify
Total oblivion
But leaves a residue
Of something behind.
Perhaps
When I die
It will die too.
I can’t tell you.
History
Is the constant recovery
Of wisps
And the assertion
That they were real.
Art
Is the cunning
Resurrection
Of the dead,

*Except we know
Except we know*––

* Ich, Bertolt Brecht, bin aus den schwarzen Wäldern….

– Jack Foley

We sometimes live our lives as if we are under a spell, an enchantment. We are captivated by the craving, aversion, biases and distortions of the mind. As addicts, this enchantment manifests as destructive habit patterns.

When we cultivate Mindfulness, Serenity, Insight and Ethics, we open up new ways of seeing ourselves, new ways of seeing the world, and new ways of living. We break the spell and become disenchanted.

– Vince Cullen

HOME
By Marjorie Lotfi

Mysterious lonely apple tree on uninhabited Hebridean island baffles scientists

This, I understand: the instinct to cling,
at any cost, to the place you are rooted,
to see another season through, though
the others seed elsewhere; your own young
move with tides and summer squalls.
Even in this sedentary act you push
the limit: winter becomes summer
becomes winter and you are steadfast
on your crag, your outcrop. You bear fruit
for yourself; there is purity in solitude.
No one hears your language, the shape
of your limbs against a darkening sky.
You question the need to grow against
the wind. Despite what they say, there’s
no mystery in simply holding on.
But what is home if not the choice—
over and over again—to stay?

You the
only person
in the only language
I knew.
– Porsha Olayiwola

Frank O’Hara
By Ted Berrigan
Winter in the country, Southampton, pale horse
as the soot rises, then settles, over the pictures
The birds that were singing this morning have shut up
I thought I saw a couple kissing, but Larry said no
It’s a strange bird. He should know. & I think now
“Grandmother divided by monkey equals outer space.” Ron
put me in that picture. In another picture, a good-
looking poet is thinking it over, nevertheless, he will
never speak of that it. But, his face is open, his eyes
are clear, and, leaning lightly on an elbow, fist below
his ear, he will never be less than perfectly frank,
listening, completely interested in whatever there may
be to hear. Attentive to me alone here. Between friends,
nothing would seem stranger to me than true intimacy.
What seems genuine, truly real, is thinking of you, how
that makes me feel. You are dead. And you’ll never
write again about the country, that’s true.
But the people in the sky really love
to have dinner & to take a walk with you

So much of what we dream flickers out before we can
name it. Even the sun has been frozen on the next street.
Every word only reveals a past that never seems real.
Sometimes we just stare at the ground as if it were
a grave we could rent for a while. Sometimes we don’t
understand how all that grief fits beside us on the stoop.
There should be some sort of metaphor that lifts us away.
We should see the sky open up or the stars descend.
There are birds migrating, but we don’t hear them, cars
on their way to futures made of a throw of the dice.
The pigeons here bring no messages. A few flies
stitch the air. Sometimes a poem knows no way out
unless truth becomes just a homeless character in it.
– Richard Jackson

Each weekend echoing my own false notes
and scrambled lines
I tried to use as decoys to coax the real things down
Out of the air they hid in and out of the pencils they hid in …
– Charles Wright

The memory, or vision, is not static. The car moves around the curve, and I see the cove below, see the buoys and dark water, the rickety docks leaning out from edges. All this seen behind a scrim of pine-trees, and I can enter it completely. It’s as if the landscape itself is a character who appears and takes over, the way some writers describe being overcome by a voice and personality. If you live in the South and this happens to you, some might say you are possessed by a ‘haint.’ A haunt. You are inhabited, visited, haunted. To dwell in the mind continually—this is one definition of haunting.

The landscape returns and returns—in the parking lot, while driving, at home, talking to friends or co-workers, showering, eating—as if I am dreaming while awake, this subconscious invasion of the conscious world. And when it reaches a point of complete permanence, I know I am living in two places at once, I know it’s the beginning of a new piece of writing—because writing about the landscape, finally, is the only way to make it go away.
– Sarah Messer

I can’t stand the idiocy of war. This poem speaks to war, violence, and displacement with clarity and urgency. It disagrees with war as a blueprint for anything.
– Uche Nduka

Document
by Uche Nduka

Change the bedding.
Rescue the last
clean shirt.

Heads on top
of each other.
Feet unshod.

This genocide
is yet

to tumble into
memory.

Garbage rots, reeks
under the sun.

Smoke rises
from
bodies
in
flames.

There’s nothing impermissible
in the bunker.

What’s the value of this blueprint?

Something quite other than
god-awful rumor,
guns trained on their backs.

Air-raids, rubble, fog.
Evidence heats up again, and again.

It’s only because of their stupidity that they’re able to be so sure of themselves.
– Franz Kafka

From death of star to new star’s birth,
This ache of limb, this throb of head,
This sweaty shop, this smell of earth,
For this we pray, “Give daily bread.”
– Countee Cullen

The dog searches until he finds me
upstairs, lies down with a clatter
of elbows, puts his head on my foot.

Sometimes the sound of his breathing
saves my life—in and out, in
and out; a pause, a long sigh. . .

– Jane Kenyon

THE BROKEN

Something is always broken.
Nothing is perfect longer than a day –
Every roof has a broken tile,
Every mouth a chipped tooth.
Something is always broken
But the world endures the break:
The broken twig is how we follow the trail.
The broken promise is the one we remember.
Something changed is pushed out the door,
Sad, perhaps, but ready, too ready, for the world.
Something is always broken.
Something is always fixed.

– Alberto Rios

A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.
– Saul Bellow

She was no longer seeking the truth, her journey had become a desperate hunt for a turning point.
– Roy Jacobsen

I was a gangster on the one hand and an avid reader on the other.
– Roy Jacobsen

The hero must thus become a breaker of the old law, because he is the enemy of the old ruling system and the existing court of conscience. So he necessarily comes into conflict with the fathers and their personal spokesmen.
– Liz Greene

My Turn Now
TPR 7.24.22

Guess I don’t know how to help you
No idea what to say
I can see your fingers tremble
Every time you try to play
You were always there to save me
Now it’s my shoe that fits
I know it’s not the way you planned it
Brother it’s just how it is

So it’s my turn now
My turn now
Hand on the Bible
My solemn vow
Everything I do
I learned from you
I got your back
Brother that’s a fact
It’s my turn now

They say a man is never given
Anymore than he can take
I’m not so sure that I believe them
I know how a heart can break
I’m with you in your time of trouble
Into the great unknown
For I am my brothers’ keeper
And you will never walk alone

Cause it’s my turn now …

If seeing is believing
I will find you in the dark

It’s my turn now …

We’re usually too hurried to savor the elemental in our lives: the reeling sun, moon, and stars; prophecy of clouds; ruckus of birdsong; moss brightly blooming; moon shadows and dew; omens of autumn in late summer; fizzy air before a storm; wind chime of leaves; fellowship of dawn and dusk…. It’s as survivors that we greet each day.
– Diane Ackerman

Walking in the Spirit is an endless Epiphany, an endless revelation.
– Bob Holmes

Every time we speak for real
and understanding’s born
we make new sounds
that only feelings can.

When we meet
without pretense
or coercive rhyme,
we weave those sounds between.

Still learning here
through eyes and ears and
dreams and honest words
to mean what matters now.

– George Gorman

Wait for someone kind.

Wait for someone respectful, not only in the beginning stages of the relationship when things are bright and beautiful, but also when things get hard. Wait for someone who respects your boundaries and does not force you to do things that you’re not willing or ready to do.

Wait for someone who is giving and does not keep count of the good things they do for you.

Wait for someone who challenges you mentally. Someone who inspires you to be a better person.

Wait for someone who takes their time to learn and understand you.

Wait for someone who is consistent with their efforts in showing you how much they care about you.

Wait for someone who wants to be part of your world, and wants you to be part of theirs.

Wait for someone who lets you know you’re on their mind, someone who checks in on you, someone who wants you to know that they care for you.

Wait for someone who is willing to commit to you, someone who is willing to choose you.

Wait for someone who makes love feel easy, calm. Like coming home.

Wait for someone sincere. Someone who doesn’t confuse you because their actions match their words. Wait for someone honest.

Wait for someone who does their absolute best to not hurt you, someone who strives to protect your heart.

Wait for someone who will choose you over and over and over again. Love is a choice you make every single day. You deserve to find the kind of person who shows up for what you share, someone who believes in it.

Wait for someone who’s not perfect, but rather, real. Perfect is an illusion. Real is where you find something rare and special.

Wait for someone who reminds you that love was always meant to be soft.

– walkwithmaria

Ego needs to be just left alone, Trying to destroy the ego is ego.
– Guthema Roba

There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.
– Aldous Huxley

Technique is the proof of your seriousness.
– Jim Harrison

butterflies dancing
everything is forgotten
for a while
– Issa

Hidden
In the flowing water
The river’s true name
– James Welsh

Listening does not grant the other side legitimacy. It grants them humanity—and preserves our own.
– Valarie Kaur

Writers are the middlemen between the human race and immortality.
– Yuri Andrukhovych

JOY

I truly believe that the Egyptians are right when they posit that we will be confronted by the god Osiris with a quiz that has to be answered honestly.

After forty-two routine questions concerning how the deceased has lived, Osiris asks the crucial question that has two parts:

First, “Did you find joy?”
And second, “Did you bring joy?”

– Tom Owen-Towle

Light in your eyes–with its own orbit
and tremulous glory–tells your side of the story.

– Jason Stocks

Once I learned how to write at all, rather than merely floundering, I found that a poem can start virtually anywhere: with a fragment of overheard speech, a headline in the local newspaper, the sight of a child being carried on her father’s shoulders, a fragment of guilt I’ve tried for years to bury. Sometimes I long to capture something I’ve encountered in that gorgeous, ephemeral present-tense of the theater—the turn of an actor’s head, an ingenious use of stage prop, etc. And like so many writers, I find that photographs can be powerful incitements.

For the most part, I try to hold off on the ‘about’ part for as long as I can. Attending to syntax and stanza form is one of the ways I try to do that. No one needs to hear me ruminate (or worse, hold forth) on something I already think I know. In one of her very early poems, Brenda Hillman wrote something like ‘the jetty of my ignorance’ (I’m sure I’m getting that wrong: I seem to remember a walkway of some sort and a large body of water). Jetty, or footbridge, or causeway, the point is this: a certain kind of ignorance is good, even necessary, for the making of a poem. I’m not talking about willful mystification or atmospherics, God forbid, but rather about the momentum of good-faith wanting-to-discover-something. Deferring the ‘about’ part is rather like deferring the main clause of a sentence: it stores up energy.

All of us carry around enormous repositories of grief and longing and wonder and memory, and these will always make their way into poems. Frontal attack, I’ve found, is rarely the way to unlock them.

– Linda Gregerson

here is a German word, Sehnsucht, which has no English equivalent; it means ‘the longing for something.’ It has Romantic and mystical connotations; C. S. Lewis defined it as the ‘inconsolable longing’ in the human heart for ‘we know not what.’ It seems rather German to be able to specify the unspecifiable. The longing for something–or, in our case, for someone. Sehnsucht describes the first kind of loneliness. But the second kind comes from the opposite condition: the absence of a very specific someone. Not so much loneliness as her-lessness.
– Julian Barnes

After twenty years of nights beneath the moon and the clouds
to find myself old is hard
crows come looking for food at the altar
monks return with empty begging bowls
others work the waves for shrimp and clams
I swing a hoe in the mountains
when Solomon’s seal is gone there is still pine pollen
and one square inch free of care
– Stonehouse
translated by Red Pine

I dream through a wordless, familiar place.
The small boat of the day sails into morning,
past the postman with his modest haul, the full trees
which sound like the sea, leaving my hands free
to remember. Moments of grace. Like this.
– Carol Ann Duffy

Children of immigrants, like poets, know that language is sometimes a textural thing… Lilt of a tone as something woven, like a nest or blanket or boat. They know that language is… a process of raveling and unraveling and in that, love.
– Jennifer S. Cheng

How do we write about the systems we’re embedded in?
– Vanessa Hua

Be present as the watcher of your mind – of your thoughts and emotions as well as your reactions in various situations. Be at least as interested in your reactions as in the situation or person that causes you to react.
– Eckhart Tolle

higher than a lark
resting above the sky
on a mountain path
– Basho

softened by passing time
the old pear
and i
– Luna

Indian summer
a spent salmon
washes ashore
– w. f. owen

Honesty is the great defense against genuine evil. When we stop lying to ourselves about ourselves, that’s the greatest protection we can have against evil.
– John Sanford

Why is the Fed raising interest rates again? Because it assumes that inflation is being driven by wage increases.

That’s incorrect. (Wages are lagging behind inflation.)

More accurate: Corporations with outsized market power are driving up prices for profit.

– Robert Reich

the lawn becomes
our teahouse under
summer trees
– Issa

There is nothing at all that can be talked about adequately, and the whole art of poetry is to say what can’t be said.
– Alan Watts

It’s really all about death — not just our own personal death and not in a natural way.

It’s the death of everything in the most horrific ways: famine, heat, fire, floods, storms, disease and more.

It’s the death of culture, beauty, art, medicine, music, nature, life, love …

– @EliotJacobson

time travel
in the normal direction
winter evening
– George Hawkins

midstream
in the river of time
trout versus current
– @hegelincanada

on a sunday, just like this one, / all quiet and mostly made of four colors, / we will die, but only on the very surface / knowing the many things we have not known yet.
– Olena Kalytiak Davis

I am no Poet, but if you think for yourselfs, as I proceed the facts will form a poem In your minds.
– M. Faraday

today I think I’ll carry my heart
down to the waters
of my soul
and kneel
wetting my feet
and my hair
in the nectar of my own starlight

I’ll tip toe into my night river
carefully
to let the water be louder than me
and I’ll stop obscuring my heart
in unkindnesses –
the kind that leaks in
from the outside
when we’re vulnerable –
the kind that stays with us
like the little thorns of others expectations
even when we’ve asked them to go away

I’ll ask the cosmos for forgiveness
because I’ve spent a lot of time
being in the rush of
this day
and that day
and I’ve missed so much summer
I’ve missed so much silence

today I think I’ll carry my heart
down to the waters
of my soul
and set it free once again

– Kendall Rosenberg

I am certain
that if God is anything

They are a transgendered, autistic, Black being who was so excited about reptiles
they made dinosaurs ascendant
for millions of years.

I am certain
that if God is anything
She is a great lover of science,
the genius behind the motivation
to make quarks and nuclear fusion,
elemental reactions and orbits.

I am certain
that if God is anything
She is a wild painter with ADHD
who will not not stop Her creative impulses
to pour Her muse over all existence
to tend to trivial matters

I am certain
that if God is anything
She is an alien creature
with infinite uteruses
that automatically blow up
any man ignorant and arrogant
enough to meddle
in vandalizing nature
by thinking he can make choices
about them.

I am certain
that if God is anything
She is the ultimate heretic
who would be excommunicated
from most holy places
for telling you to disrobe
your innocence.

I am certain
that if God is anything
She is an eccentric inventor
who invented the religions
to kiss each other—

for Christianity and Islam
to run off together
like two wild lovers in the night
to whisper to each other
the enticing languages
of their amorous secrets.

I am certain
that if God is anything
It is a child
that has not for an instant
been interested in wrath,
Whose single commandment
is to discover your tenderness,
Who since time immemorial
has been invoking
your original joy.

– Chelan Harkin

The most subversive thing you can do is to write clearly and directly, Asserting the facts as you understand them,your perceptions as you’ve gathered them.
– Verlyn Klinkenborg

Conscience can be described as the ‘voice of the heart’.
– Chari

Nobody has it all figured out. It’s our job to cheer each other on, lift each other up, and push each other to keep giving it our best. It matters who we surround ourselves with… We need to be better to each other. We’re all we have.
– Amy Weatherly

The mind is never passive; it is a perpetual activity, delicate, receptive, responsive to stimulus. You cannot postpone your life until you have sharpened it. Whatever interest attaches to your subject-matter must be evoked here and now; whatever powers you are strengthening in the pupil, must be exercised here and now; whatever possibilities of mental life your teaching should impart, must be exhibited here and now. That is the golden rule of education, and a very difficult rule to follow. […] The solution which I am urging, is to eradicate the fatal disconnection of subjects which kills the vitality of our modern curriculum. There is only one subject-matter for education, and that is Life in all its manifestations. Instead of this single unity, we offer children – Algebra, from which nothing follows; Geometry, from which nothing follows; Science, from which nothing follows; History, from which nothing follows; a Couple of Languages; never mastered; and lastly, most dreary of all, Literature, represented by plays of Shakespeare, with philological notes and short analyses of plot and character to be in substance committed to memory. Can such a list be said to represent Life, as it is known in the midst of the living of it? The best that can be said of it is, that it is a rapid table of contents which a deity might run over in his mind while he was thinking of creating a world, and has not yet determined how to put it together.
– Alfred North Whitehead

It is easy to mourn the lives we aren’t living. Easy to wish we’d developed other talents, said yes to different offers. Easy to wish we’d worked harder, loved better, handled our finances more astutely, been more popular, stayed in the band, gone to Australia, said yes to the coffee or done more bloody yoga.
It takes no effort to miss the friends we didn’t make and the work we didn’t do the people we didn’t do and the people we didn’t marry and the children we didn’t have. It is not difficult to see yourself through the lens of other people, and to wish you were all the different kaleidoscopic versions of you they wanted you to be. It is easy to regret, and keep regretting, ad infinitum, until our time runs out.
But it is not lives we regret not living that are the real problem. It is the regret itself. It’s the regret that makes us shrivel and wither and feel like our own and other people’s worst enemy.
We can’t tell if any of those other versions would of been better or worse. Those lives are happening, it is true, but you are happening as well, and that is the happening we have to focus on.
– Matt Haig, The Midnight Library

A Green Crab’s Shell
Not, exactly, green:
closer to bronze
preserved in kind brine,

something retrieved
from a Greco-Roman wreck,
patinated and oddly

muscular. We cannot
know what his fantastic
legs were like—

though evidence
suggests eight
complexly folded

scuttling works
of armament, crowned
by the foreclaws’

gesture of menace
and power. A gull’s
gobbled the center,

leaving this chamber
—size of a demitasse—
open to reveal

a shocking, Giotto blue.
Though it smells
of seaweed and ruin,

this little traveling case
comes with such lavish lining!
Imagine breathing

surrounded by
the brilliant rinse
of summer’s firmament.

What color is
the underside of skin?
Not so bad, to die,

if we could be opened
into this—
if the smallest chambers

of ourselves,
similarly,
revealed some sky.
– Mark Doty

I cannot really work unless I set a problem for myself to solve.
– William Gaddis

On Growth
Dressed all in plastic,
which means oil,

we’re bright-eyed, scrambling
for the colored cubes

spilled
on the rug’s polymer.

Inside each
is a tiny car.

When we can’t unscrew the tops
we cry for help.

We’re optimists.

To sleep is to fall
into belief.

Airing even
our worst suspicions
may be pleasurable;

we are carried,
buoyed.

In sleep,
the body can heal,
grow larger.

Creatures that never wake
can sprout a whole new
limb,

a tail.

This may be wrong.

– Rae Armantrout

Our love is made
Of the South Wind and the West Wind,
And the soft falling of rain;
– May Sinclair

You must speak straight so that your words may go as sunlight into our hearts.
– Cochise (Chiricahua Apache)

Human beings have a strong dramatic instinct toward binary thinking, a basic urge to divide things into two distinct groups, with nothing but an empty gap in between. We love to dichotomize. Good versus bad. Heroes versus villains. My country versus the rest. Dividing the world into two distinct sides is simple and intuitive, and also dramatic because it implies conflict, and we do it without thinking, all the time.
– Hans Rosling

Power is not controlling other people. Power is controlling yourself. Trying to control other people is the first sign that you are entirely out of control. Controlling others is what weak people think power looks like.
– Karen Dion

I prefer the earthy mud of zen
to the chorus of angels in the heavens.
I prefer the aches of my body
to the comforts of the privileged.
let the rains come
and the knees throb,
this life is special
…why miss it?
– Shinzen

Between the foliaged zone and sky,
Where sentries of the forest stand,
It peeps and flits—a firefly;
It soars and glows—a firebrand.
– Ameen Rihani

Amy Irvine writes “When men hold all the power, we are dumbed down; we die.”

HOLDING THE LIGHT

Gather up whatever is
glittering in the gutter,
whatever has tumbled
in the waves or fallen
in flames out of the sky,

for it’s not only our
hearts that are broken,
but the heart
of the world as well.
Stitch it back together.

Make a place where
the day speaks to the night
and the earth speaks to the sky.
Whether we created God
or God created us

it all comes down to this:
In our imperfect world
we are meant to repair
and stitch together
what beauty there is, stitch it

with compassion and wire.
See how everything
we have made gathers
the light inside itself
and overflows? A blessing.

– Stuart Kestenbaum

We cannot, of course, save the World because we do not have authority over its parts. We can serve the world though. That is everyone’s calling, to lead a life that helps.
– Barry Lopez

I’m not sure it is possible to articulate grief through language. You can say, I was so sad I thought my bones would collapse. I thought I would die. But language always falls short of the body when it comes to the intensity of corporeal experience. The best we can do is bring language in relationship to corporeal experience—bring words close to the body—as close as possible. Close enough to shatter them. Or close enough to knock a body out. To bring language close to the intensity of experiences like love or death or grief or pain is to push on the affect of language. Its sounds and grunts and ecstatic noises. The ritual sense of language. Or the cry.
– Lidia Yuknavitch

Don’t forget, as busy as you may be, to quickly raise your head and cast a glance at those great silver clouds and that silent blue ocean in which they are swimming…take notice of the resplendence and glory that overlie this day…because this day will never, ever come again! This day is a gift to you like a rose in full bloom, lying at your feet, waiting for you to pick it up and press it to your lips.
– Rosa Luxemburg

I swear I will not dishonor my soul with hatred, but offer myself humbly as a guardian of nature, as a healer of misery, as a messenger of wonder, as an architect of peace.”
– Diane Ackerman

Buddha-nature is the luminous, ceaseless, and primordial nature of mind. It has not been fabricated or created by various causes and conditions. It does not dwell as a separate entity that truly exists. It did not begin and therefore it cannot cease. It is simply the ultimate nature of phenomena.
– Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche. The Great Medicine That Conquers Clinging to the Notion of Reality

The correct response to uncertainty is mythmaking. It always was. Not punditry, allegory, or mandate, but mythmaking. The creation of stories. We are tuned to do so, right down to our bones.
– Martin Shaw

Taking Your Olympic Measure

—Poetry was an Olympic event from 1912-1948.

Think of the records you have held:
For one second, you were the world’s youngest person.

It was a long time ago, but still.
At this moment, you are living

In the farthest thousandth-of-a-second in the history of time.
You have beaten yesterday’s record, again.

You were perhaps the only participant,
But in the race to get from your bedroom to the bathroom,

You won.
You win so much, all the time in all things.

Your heart simply beats and beats and beats—
It does not lose, although perhaps one day.

Nevertheless, the lists of firsts for you is endless—
Doing what you have not done before,

Tasting sake and mole, smelling bergamot, hearing
Less well than you used to—

Not all records are for the scrapbook, of course—
Sometimes you are the best at being the worst.

Some records are secret—you know which ones.
Some records you’re not even aware of.

In general, however, at the end of a long day, you are—
Unlikely as it may seem—the record holder of note.

– Alberto Ríos

Everything is like something else.
– John Ashbery, No Longer Very Clear

I want to watch my kids grow, not the economy.
– @ClimateDad77

We live in bewildering, drastic times, and a little spiritual guidance never killed anyone.
– Anne Lamott

getting lost with me
in the dark
firefly
– Issa

I hear your name
rhyming, rhyming,
rhyming with everything.
– Carol Ann Duffy

I also think there’s something great about a poem that just sits quietly waiting to be seen by the one reader for whom it resonates.
– D. A. Powell

For three years and more I continued to dream about her in the same way, according to the same narrative. Then I had a kind of meta-dream, one which seemed to propose an end […]. And, as with all good endings, I didn’t see it coming. In my dream we were together, doing things together, in some open space, being happy–all in the way I had become accustomed to–when suddenly she realised that this could not be true, and it all must be a dream[.]
– Julian Barnes

EVERYTHING

Fling me across
the fabric of time
and the seas of space.

Make me nothing,
and from nothing
make me everything.

– Rumi

You don’t know anyone at the party, so you don’t want to go. You don’t like cottage cheese, so you haven’t eaten it in years. This is your choice, of course, but don’t kid yourself: it’s also the flinch. Your personality is not set in stone. You may think a morning coffee is the most enjoyable thing in the world, but it’s really just a habit. Thirty days without it, and you would be fine. You think you have a soul mate, but in fact you could have had any number of spouses. You would have evolved differently, but been just as happy. You can change what you want about yourself at any time. You see yourself as someone who can’t write or play an instrument, who gives in to temptation or makes bad decisions, but that’s really not you. It’s not ingrained. It’s not your personality. Your personality is something else, something deeper than just preferences, and these details on the surface, you can change anytime you like. If it is useful to do so, you must abandon your identity and start again. Sometimes, it’s the only way.
– Julien Smith

[Poetry] is the liquid voice that can wear through stone.
– Adrienne Rich

And if, as we work, we can transmit life into our work,
life, still more life, rushes into us to compensate, to be
ready
and we ripple with life through the days.
– D. H. Lawrence

I am done with great things and big plans, great institutions and big success. I am for those tiny, invisible loving human forces that work from individual to individual, creeping through the crannies of the world like so many rootlets, or like the capillaries.
– William James

What we learn, of value, we get indirectly, largely unconsciously. It is too often stressed, in my opinion, that we learn through sorrow and suffering. I do not deny this to be true, but I hold that we also learn, and perhaps more lastingly, through moments of joy, of bliss, of ecstasy. Struggle has its importance, but we tend to overrate it. Harmony, serenity, bliss do not come from struggle but from surrender.
– Henry Miller

It’s good to do uncomfortable things. It’s weight training for life.
– Anne Lamott

There is a bird and a stone / in your body. You job is not / to kill the bird with the stone.
– Victoria Chang

Are our dreams born, like Athena, full blown from our heads? In a sense, we do not dream – we are dreamed. Some autonomous process, which for lack of a better word we call the imagination or the unconscious (we used to call it “God”), composes our dreams.
– Michael Vannoy Adams

At the bottom of great doubt lies great awakening. If you doubt fully, you will awaken fully.
– Hakuin Ekaku

I always feel very suspicious when somebody assures me that he is very normal–too many normal people are just compensated madmen,
– CG Jung

Y’all Twitter is wild. A place where someone who might have invested multiple decades of their career studying a topic and experiencing the work is being challenged by someone who “read a paper”…
– @JayceLong

the best line in this poem
still waiting
to be written
– Luna

Writing poetry is an unnatural act. It takes great skill to make it seem natural.
– Elizabeth Bishop

where, silted red,
sometimes the sun sets
facing a red sea,
and others, veins the flats’
lavender, rich mud
in burning rivulets;
– @ebishopbot

What the creative person and the mad person have in common is that they are not confined to a single self located in the ego, but their subjectivity extends across a spectrum of possibilities.
– David Tacey

The coming to consciousness is not a discovery of some new thing;
it is a long and painful return to that which has always been.
– Helen Luke

See the tide rise,
these are the best days
spent on the sand.
– @celestial_write

In the haze of afternoon,
while the air flowed saffron,
I played my game for keeps–
for love, for poetry,
and for eternal life–
after the trials of summer.
– Stanley Kunitz

Ada Limón:

How I feel about poetry:


“Not knowing when the Dawn will come
I open every Door.”

– Emily Dickinson.

Forgetting is a normal process in which certain conscious ideas lose their specific energy because one’s attention has been deflected.
– CG Jung

The true and durable path into and through experience involves being true … to your own solitude, true to your own secret knowledge.
– Seamus Heaney

The Love of Travelers
by Angela Jackson

At the rest stop on the way to Mississippi
We found the butterfly mired in the oil slick;
its wings thick and blunted. One of us, tender in the fingertips,
smoothed with a tissue the oil
that came off only a little;
the oil-smeared wings like lips colored with lipstick
blotted before a kiss.
So delicate the cleansing of the wings I thought the color soft as
watercolors
would wash off under the method of her mercy for something so slight
and graceful, injured, beyond the love of travelers.

It was torn then, even after her kindest work,
the almost-moth, exquisite charity could not mend
what weighted the wing, melded with it,
then ruptured it in release.
The body of the thing lifted out of its place
between the washed wings.
Imagine the agony of a self separated by gentlest repair.
“Should we kill it?” one of us said. And I said yes.
But none of us had the nerve.
We walked away, the last of the oil welding the butterfly
to the wood of the picnic table.
The wings stuck out and quivered when wind went by.
Whoever found it must have marveled at this.
And loved it for what it was and
had been.
I think, meticulous mercy is the work of travelers,
and leaving things as they are
punishment or reward.

I have died for the smallest things.
Nothing washes off.

Record

Late night July, Minnesota,
John asleep on the glassed-in porch,
Bob Dylan quiet on a cassette

you made from an album
I got rid of soon after
you died. Years later,

I regret giving up
your two boxes of vinyl,
which I loved. Surely

they were too awkward,
too easily broken
for people who loved music

the way we did. But tonight
I’m in the mood for ghosts,
for sounds we hated: pop,

scratch, hiss, the occasional
skip. The curtains balloon;
I’ve got a beer; I’m struck

by guilt, watching you
from a place ten years away,
kneeling and cleaning each

with a velvet brush before
and after, tucking them in
their sleeves. Understand,

I was still moving then.
The boxes were heavy.
If I had known

I would stop here
with a husband to help me
carry, and room—too late,

the college kids pick over
your black bones on Mass. Ave.,
we’ll meet again some day

on the avenue but still,
I want to hear it,
the needle hitting the end

of a side and playing silence
until the arm gives up,
pulls away.

– Katrina Vandenberg

You must be careful not to deprive the poem of its wild origin.
– Stanley Kunitz

The task that remains is to cope with our interdependence – to see ourselves reflected in every other human being and to respect and honor our differences.
– Melba Pattillo Beals (Journalist/Activist)

I stopped believing in god
because god is an
imprecise metaphor.
An absent father.
Ancestry.
– Dave Harris

Who hasn’t scratched
at the question of what it means to be here?
– Kari Gunter-Seymour

A poet yelled at me:
the poems won’t give up their wealth
until life itself gives up its poverty.
– Almog Behar (tr. Shoshana Olidort)

The poem comes in the form of a blessing, like rapture breaking on the mind.
– Stanley Kunitz

THE LAYERS

I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being abides,
from which I struggle
not to stray.
When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look
before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires trailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.
Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face.
Yet I turn, I turn,
exulting somewhat,
with my will intact to go
wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road
precious to me.
In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
directed me:
“Live in the layers,
not on the litter.”
Though I lack the art
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.
I am not done with my changes.

To meet your higher self
is to welcome the Christ.
To meet your higher self
is to hug the Buddha.
To meet your higher self
is to become the Guru.
This is liberation from God,
for the sake of God,
by the grace of God,
as when two mirrors face
one another, nothing between
but a gaze into the gazer,
igniting the formless radiance
of the sun in every cell
of your body, pouring
the milk of unborn stars
down your spine, setting
an amethyst of boundless sky
between your heartbeats.
Now shake off the illusion
of “higher” and “lower.”
The Gaze you long for
is not above, but deeper
inside your chest
than you are,
where wonder precedes thought,
and “I” falls away in the wild
effortless clarity of Am.
What is your true name, friend?
This breath, gently given,
softly received
in silence.

– Fred LaMotte

As the planet gets progressively less innocent, you need a more innocent eye to see it.
– Martin Amis

Trees
by Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

I can’t rest, can’t get no relief from fragments
of a life that come at me like pages in a flipbook…
– Diane Seuss

A poem has secrets that the poet knows nothing of. It takes on a life and a will of its own…Valéry said that poetry is a language within a language. It is also a language beyond language, a meta-medium—that is, metabolic, metaphoric, metamorphic.
– Stanley Kunitz

I’ve noticed that I’m reading less by my contemporaries and more by writers of the past.
– Mario Vargas Llosa

In all classes, from the lowest to almost the highest, economic fear governs men’s thoughts by day and their dreams at night, making their work nerve-racking and their leisure unrefreshing. This ever-present terror is, I think, the main cause of the mood of madness which has swept over great parts of the civilized world.
– Bertrand Russell

I’m perfectly ready to describe a lot and be flowery and emotive, but you can do that briefly and it works better.
– Ursula K. Le Guin

I’m all for bribery when it’s for a good cause….We’re herd animals, horse-people, and sometimes a bright orange carrot is the only thing that will get us to move.
– Anne Lamott

The taste of the apple lies in the contact of the fruit and the palate, not in the fruit itself; in a similar way would I say poetry lies in the meeting of the poem and reader, not in the lines of symbols printed on the page of a book.
– Borges

One difference between a new and an experienced meditator:

The new meditator tends to believe meditation is only useful if the mind is peaceful and settled.

The experienced meditator eventually learns that practice delivers insights whether or not the mind ever settles down.

– Ethan Nichtern

Often we think of the people we don’t like as our enemies, but in fact, they’re all-important to us. They’re our greatest teachers: special messengers who show up just when we need them, to point out our fixed identity.
– Pema Chodron

still calling to Jesus,
as if I was
some Lazarus
needing a shake

to remember—what?
I remember:
how to be alive,
awake.

___

– Molly Lanzarotta

The purpose of civilization is to conquer barbarism, which is the condition of living in a state of fear.
– Anne Baring

I never meant to break—but love,
the hymn and bells of her.
— Natalie Diaz

…each story pushes us to consider, and then re-consider, who and what we consume; what we allow to become a part of us…
– @ruwa_alhayek

for an ice age I knew you only as an idea of longing
– D. A. Powell, continental divide

The best texts are the ones that have been written in one draft. But that is rare, almost impossible.
– Tahar Ben Jelloun

I quite agree with you: without relatedness individuation is hardly possible. Relatedness begins with conversation mostly.
– Carl Jung

And a youth said, Speak to us of Friendship.
And he answered, saying:
Your friend is your needs answered.
– Kahlil Gibran

It’s not enough to love something–or someone. Of course you love a person or art or music or the theatre. But you have to imagine that this person or this thing is trapped in a house afire, and the fire is apathy, and the fire is ignorance, and you have to go into the house all the time, day after day, year after year, and put out the flames and save the thing you love and rebuild the house in which it lives, and show it to others who will come to the rescue when you no longer can. Love is cheap and silly–a moron can love ice cream–but devotion is something worth talking about.“
– Eva Le Gallienne

TWO RELIGIONS

“When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.”
– Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa.

I love religion when it asks the great questions of life, I hate religion when it comes to believe it has found all the answers.

I love religion when it seeks to serve, I hate religion when it presumes to rule on God’s behalf.

I love religion when it awakens curiosity, creativity and empathy, I hate religion when it is certain, orthodox and judgmental.

If religion does not lead us to love, it will lead us to cruelty.

If religion does not lead us to honest awakening, it will lead us to hypocrisy and trance.

If religion does not call us from our every pedestal, it is but a sandaled foot on the throat of humankind.

– Jim Rigby

Tearing off the tissue paper, she lifted [the scarf] out of its folds. The heavy, slippery silk flooded into her lap, lithe and vivid as an animal, it was nicer even than she’d remembered, the tan and green colours making her think of woodland and fresh leaves. When she put it around her neck its touch was subtle, cool. She felt a moment’s stabbing sorrow for everything she’d lost and left behind. But she knew from past experience how to push that sorrow down and bury it.
– Tessa Hadley

Grief reconfigures time, its length, its texture, its function: one day means no more than the next, so why have they been picked out and given separate names? It also reconfigures space. You have entered a new geography, mapped by a new cartography. You seem to be taking your bearings from one of those seventeenth-century maps which feature the Desert of Loss, the (windless) Lake of Indifference, the (dried-up) River of Desolation, the Bog of Self-Pity, and the (subterranean) Caverns of Memory. In this new-found-land there is no hierarchy, except that of feeling, of pain.
– Julian Barnes, Levels of Life

The beauty and mystery of this world only emerges through affection, attention, interest and compassion … open your eyes wide and actually see this world by attending to its colors, details and irony.
– Orhan Pamuk

To the child of my child: I may not be around when you read this but I want you to know that this morning I walked on a path and I could see the full moon above the pine trees. It was very bright and round and full and it made me very happy to see it. Someday you will be watching that same moon. I hope it makes you happy too.

Love, Your Grandfather.

– Leonard Cohen

On Earth, just a teaspoon of neutron star
would weigh six billion tons. Six billion tons
equals the collective weight of every animal
on earth. Including the insects. Times three.

Six billion tons sounds impossible
until I consider how it is to swallow grief—
just a teaspoon and one might as well have consumed
a neutron star. How dense it is,
how it carries inside it the memory of collapse.
How difficult it is to move then.
How impossible to believe that anything
could lift that weight.

There are many reasons to treat each other
with great tenderness. One is
the sheer miracle that we are here together
on a planet surrounded by dying stars.
One is that we cannot see what
anyone else has swallowed.

– Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

god is a future, a safety
that exists against all odds
where we all stay alive
and can be together. god
is a city where we each have
a home that doesn’t cost
too much.
– Amy Bornman

for if the stars were
arbitrary, if it meant nothing,
what is there to believe? i want
to believe it all. i want to imagine
that everything on earth knows
more than i do, turns and turns
and carries the timing of life.
instead of a doctrine of subtraction
give me a doctrine of everything
knows. give me the stars and
the heavens, looking down on me
with love and the fullness of time.
– Amy Bornman

Progressive, holistic education, ‘engaged pedagogy,’ is more demanding than conventional critical or feminist pedagogy. For, unlike these two teaching practices, it emphasizes well-being. That means teachers must be actively committed to a process of self-actualizaroon that promotes their own well-being if they are to teach in a manner that empowers students. Thich Nhat Hanh emphasizes that ‘the practice of a healer, therapist, teacher, or any helping professional should be directed towards his or herself first, because if the healer is unhappy, he or she cannot help many people. In the United States it is rare that anyone talks about teachers in university settings as healers. And it is even more rare to hear anyone suggest that teachers have any responsibility to be self-actualized individuals.
– bell hooks

I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
I shall sing when night’s decay
Ushers in a drearier day.
– Emily Brontë

It is understandable.
You were dealing with obstacles beyond your ken.
But that was then.
This is now.
Find your way back to yourself.
– LA Hutchings

I should be content
to look at a mountain
for what it is
and not as a comment
on my life.
– David Ignatow

Literature is nothing more than words and it is within these words that the idea resides. There is not a single word in all the languages of the world that doesn’t have a meaning.
– Camilo José Cela

I began to realize that the only place where things were actually real was at this frontier between what you think is you and what you think is not you.
– David Whyte

For who, if I don’t speak in Poetry,
will understand me?
Who will speak to me
of hidden longing for a lost age
if I don’t speak in Poetry?
– Mahmoud Darwish

True art, when it happens to us, challenges the ‘I’ that we are.
– Jeanette Winterson

bell hooks said, “Subculture stardom can be as seductive a distraction as speaking in the interests of mainstream cultural politics of domination.”

I love, I love beauty
and in it I worship my follies,
the ones I found on my own,
and the ones to which I was led.
– Adonis

still I wonder: isn’t there a rock-solid unchanging
“me”
hidden somewhere underneath it all?

This unexamined self feels like an isolated, self-sufficient, permanent individual,
essentially separate from others and all that surrounds it. Yet even a few moments
of self-reflection suggests otherwise. My body is not the same as when I was eight
or eighteen years old. If all humans are mortal, then my life will also end,
exact time of departure unknown. Similarly, all my feelings of happiness and sadness
come and go, arise and cease, changing gradually or suddenly,
but always, inevitably, changing.

Looking closely, I also see that I’m not a self-contained, entirely independent individual.
I need food, water, and air to survive. I speak and write a language generously passed on to me
by others from long ago. I engage in everyday activities that were all part of my cultural training
from childhood onward: brushing my teeth, exchanging greetings of “good morning”
and saying “good night,” attending ceremonies, weddings, funerals.

Even at the most basic level of existence, I did not arise as a spontaneous,
self-created human being. I was born and nurtured through the union and love
of my parents, and they are also descendants of many ancestors before them.
We are all “dependently related” beings, developing and aging in rapidly changing societies.

When we conduct our lives as though, all evidence to the contrary, we are separate,
permanent, unitary selves, we find ourselves constantly living in fear of the large,
looming shadow of change. Actions based on a mistaken sense of self, or “ego,”
as an unchanging, isolated essence are filled with anxious struggle.
We fight many futile battles against the way things actually are. How are they really?
They are changing, connected, fluid. It’s as though we are standing waist-deep
in the middle of a rushing river, our arms outstretched wide,
straining to stop the flow.

This mistaken sense of self arises as a solidified set of beliefs about who we are
and how the world is. When we proceed on that basis, all our life experiences are filtered
through a rigorous, simplistic, for-and-against screening process:
“Will this person or event enhance my permanent sense of self?
Will this encounter threaten the ideas I’ve already accumulated?”

Believing the inner voice of deception, we grasp and defend and ignore in service to an illusion,
causing suffering for ourselves and others.

Letting go of the false sense of self feels liberating, like being released from a claustrophobic prison
of mistaken view. What a relief to discover that we don’t have to pretend to be something
we’re not! The initially surprising and challenging news of “no solid self”
turns out to be a gentle invitation into a more spacious approach to living
and being with others. Releasing fixation on permanence goes hand in hand
with taking brave steps toward more communication and harmony in our lives,
our actions, our relationships, and our work.

We might call this fluid inter-being an “open self,” one that is more sensitive
to other living beings and nature. This open sense of self allows us to proceed from empathy
and compassion for ourselves and for those suffering around us and elsewhere.
With the dissolving of the seemingly solid walls of ego’s fragile tower, our experience is porous
and permeable, less cut off and isolated. As we gradually release the old commitment
to conquering the unconquerable, to denying the undeniable, we explore the many genuine
and fresh possibilities in our ever-changing situation.
– Gaylon Ferguson

The little things that you saw with a child’s eye and that will never go away. That’s what consciousness is all about.
– Derek Mahon

More than ever, I’ve come to see conspiracy theories as the refuge of those who have lost their natural curiosity and ability to cope with change. Is it any wonder that the world seems full of strange and implacable forces to someone who doesn’t know how to look up a Zip Code, use a computerized card catalog, or even make a long-distance phone call? When my husband tended bar in Lemmon, he was often asked to place calls for people flustered by a pay phone. The night he telephoned a research library at a university in California to settle a barroom dispute about the planets is now part of local legend. He might as well have been a shaman.
– Kathleen Norris

If a nation has a partisan head of state as well as being a de facto two-party state then that nation will be in a perpetual state of civil war. There is no avoiding it. The United States has two royal families who are constantly warring with each other to take the crown. It is a forever War of the Roses.
– Jonathan Hagger

Silhouette
by Janice Lobo Sapigao

After Robert Minervini’s “Improvised Garden II (Water Street)”

more and more of my friends
are becoming parents or partners
to plants

i have lived long and short enough
to remember the homegirls who
danced non-stop until three a.m.
the moon a parabola to our party
i’ve grown up enough
to see them sing their favorite slow songs
to herbs and succulents on their windowsills
in homes they sowed from dreams

the same sister who once dug a heel into
a man’s oblique now steals thyme with me
off of suburban bushes after brunch
in my neighborhood

when a friend locked herself out—
the same person who loses wallets &
laptop chargers & saves my broken earrings
with a hot-glue gun in her backpack—
this pinay macguyver
has me breaking into her house at night
where we be tiptoeing over her
forest of planted avocado jars
into her dark room to find warmth

the one whose living room and bedroom
once resembled a flea market
or a super fly thrift store
and sometimes ikea—
the one who let me stay
she pays full price for potters &
vases—pronounced with the short
& therefore expensive ‘a’ sound

one womxn named her garden
“grown and sexy”
bringing new meaning
to the phrase garden hoe.

another who tops burritos with
white sauce dots like queen anne’s lace
also commits the crime of eating
one half at a time, you know, meal planning
with a sweet tooth, she drinks all of her horchata
& knows how
my family loves orchids &
she brings me them for my birthday
or any other tuesday
just because.

my mentee once congratulated me with
mint & basil & lavender & rosemary—
sweet aromas gifted when i
was leaving a job that left me to rot
for another that was not an office
with no windows, no green

the women in my life reroot
over oceans & provinces & planes to cultivate
a geography of trunks & limbs
reminding me that to decompose
is the chance to live again

my mother’s rose bushes open wide this spring
in her backyard without her
my mother’s body is buried in a plot
of other bodies without mine
isn’t a cemetery a garden
of all we’ve loved?

and isn’t a garden full
of already dead things?
those who bury their beloved
put the gentlest parts
of themselves into soil
my mother is a seed
the first woman i cannot unplant
cannot pull or twist back into my hands
her orchids bloom reaching
how delicately the petals hang off
their stakes like gold, glass bangles on wrists
against disco lights against the ambiance of a food truck menu
like lip gloss how bougainvillea spill onto sidewalks
like how the sun stays lit
during an eclipse

the flowers in my garden grow lively
& loving & hungry from pods & cinderblocks
my friends are florists
they water & cry & bloom & sleep
from loss & clay & unfolded laundry
sometimes we grow tired & tough
sometimes you have to open a cactus to cut
pieces off so we don’t grow stuck

arranging the flowers
in my garden
is a lattice
a life lesson
on how
to grow
up.

I’m not really interested in people who start off possessing power—royal people, for example.
– Hilary Mantel

You only start asking questions about how the system works when it isn’t working. You only start asking ‘Why are we living like this’ when your way of life leaves something to be desired.
– Nietzsche

It was disconcerting to live in a time in which accepting reality required a suspension of disbelief.
– @Danchaon

What we do not know does indeed hurt us, and others, and has the potential to guide our choices in directions quite different from those the soul desires.
– James Hollis

BROKEN

I consider it my sacred duty
to break the rules.
A broken rule is the open gate
to a wilder meadow.
I smoked an Arturo Fuentes cheroot
with the Buddha.
Forgive me.
Asked if he had any rules.
He said, just one.
Vow to be healed by your tears.
Then he opened up to me about his sadness,
admitted he had to come back
because he was lonely.
Maybe as Anthony Bourdain.
Maybe Dolly Parton.
I made a bourbon smoothie
and shared it with Jesus.
Asked if he had any rules.
He said, just one.
Call me brother, not Lord.
Cucumber, mint, and kale
with a shot of Wild Turkey,
forgive me, it was delicious.
A broken rule is the open gate
to a deeper rule, unwritten
and harder to disobey.
The rules of the body
lead to the rules of the soul.
Like the one that says,
love for no reason.
The one that says,
make friends with the brokenhearted.
The one that says, forgive yourself
again and again.
So I discover the rules I cannot break
by breaking the ones
I can.

– Fred LaMotte

A river does not just happen; it has a beginning and an end. Its story is written in rich earth, in ice, and in water-carved stone, and its story as the lifeblood of the land is filled with colour, music and thunder.
– Andy Russell, The Life of a River

To the intelligent man or woman, life appears infinitely mysterious. But the stupid have an answer for every question.
– Edward Abbey

But I’ll tell you what hermits realize: if you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you’ll come to understand that you’re connected with everything.
– Alan Watts

Where there is no water, no moisture, we cannot even cry. Poseidon, god of the sea and ruler over fish (and son of Cronos), is called the earth shaker—everything may be shaken when we are flooded by emotions.
– Erel Shalit

You see, I have no religious or other convictions about my symbols. They can change tomorrow. They are mere allusions, they hint at something, they stammer and often they lose their way.
– CG Jung

To acknowledge death is to acknowledge that we must take another shape.
– Victoria Chang

Any one of our senses can make some sense of things that are close at hand, can absorb the beauty and the ugliness that is there, can be avenues of acceptance, can become means of discernment and grace.
– Gunilla Norris

I’m fighting myself. I know I am. One minute I want to remember. The next minute I want to live in the land of forgetting. One minute I want to feel. The next minute I never want to feel ever again.
– Benjamin Alire Sáenz

To-day, I will seek not the shadowy region;
Its unsustaining vastness waxes drear;
And visions rising, legion after legion,
Bring the unreal world too strangely near.
– Emily Brontë

None of it is important or all of it is.
– John Steinbeck

I’ll be your mirror
Reflect what you are, in case you don’t know
I’ll be the wind, the rain and the sunset
The light on your door to show that you’re home.
– Lou Reed

It’s not only moving that creates new starting points. Sometimes all it takes is a subtle shift in perspective, an opening of the mind, an intentional pause and reset, or a new route to start to see new options and new possibilities.
– Kristin Armstrong

The person I once was found himself
in the present, which was the only place he could be.
– James Longenbach

What I wanted was…To live beyond ideas.
– James Longenbach

We don’t live from our minds—we live in community, which is to say, in shared loss and hope, singing, hanging out together.
– Anne Lamott

The habitability of the planet is at stake.

Surely changing a man made economic system is the least we can do to address this?

– @ClimateDad77

The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.
– Abraham Lincoln

How did we afford this house? / Why, if it exists / In the present, / Am I speaking in the past?
– James Longenbach

I don’t know, maybe if I’m honest poetry doesn’t do anything, maybe just a pause amidst the cruelty and only for the few. But even so, if that were true, I can think of at lot worse ways to have wasted my life.
– Sean Thomas Dougherty

Poetry filled my entire world and I did not lack anything except the poems that were far away from me and were not reconciling with me. My greatest aspiration was to reach my uncomposed poems.
– Parvin Etesami

The best poems ever written constitute our future.
– James Longenbach

Some men never discover the divine presence within because they can’t bring themselves to face their demons. Don’t try to engineer this process or manufacture any angels. It will be done to you; just do not hate or fear the falling.
– Richard Rohr

Poetry finds you. It comes without a price, without judgement, a metalanguage of introspective self-expression, a way to process the unprocessable. Poetry is joy, beyond comprehension.
– Daniel McCosh

We lunge and dive and bob like wind and lions and waves, we crawl and duck and jump like frogs and drops of water and crabs, we gather and float and pause like leaves and butterflies and oceans. And we stand around. We stand around a lot.
– Annie-B Parson

Become a ghost. Forget attention. Just grow in private.
– @ML_Philosophy

Confronting our shadows, as Dr. Jung articulates in his writings, is the most fundamental step in gaining any kind of spiritual or psychological maturity. To think this step can be avoided is to live in a state of illusion and denial.
– Bud Harris

As imperceptibly as Grief
The Summer lapsed away —
– Emily Dickinson

We become lyrical when we suffer.
– James Longenbach

every morning
a cricket practicing
to improve
– Basho

Jung was one hero who made the shamanic journey into the underworld of the soul and returned with a treasure that has enriched our culture.
– Anne Baring

in the distance
above green fields
three mountains
– Issa

It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.

In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.
– Goethe

a willow tree
waiting and waiting
for sunset
– Issa

Scatter the ground with flowers, shepherds,
Set out two bowls,
One of milk & one of oil.
Then carve these verses on his tomb.
– James Longenbach, Arcadia

My hands
these dear hands
no longer know
what to hold on to.
– Idea Vilariño

I have often told my students that if you walk around with your eyes and ears open, you can’t possibly live long enough to write all of the potential stories you will glimpse along the way.
– Jill McCorkle

Adults live in fear of one kind or another—fear of failure, poverty, isolation, fear of loss of soul in the destruction of the earth. Those fears create a mood of “being lost in the forest.”
– Robert Bly, More Than True

We hold a mirror up to life, and are surprised when objects in the mirror may be smaller than they appear.
– Nora Ephron

I know a case where children who have been brought up in a too rationalistic way, that is have been deprived of a proper knowledge of the fairy world, have invented fairy tales all by themselves, obviously to fill the gap left by the stupid prejudices of the adults.
– CG Jung

[T]the anima and the animus—connect our conscious and unconscious selves repeatedly throughout our lives. Our experience of this connection brings healing and wholeness, then plunges us back into the stream of life again.
– Bud Harris, Knowing the Questions, Living the Answers

It all matters. That someone turns out the lamp, picks up the windblown wrapper, says hello to the invalid, pays at the unattended lot, listens to the repeated tale, folds the abandoned laundry, plays the game fairly, tells the story honestly, acknowledges help, gives credit, says good night, resists temptation, wipes the counter, waits at the yellow, makes the bed, tips the maid, remembers the illness, congratulates the victor, accepts the consequences, takes a stand, steps up, offers a hand, goes first, goes last, chooses the small portion, teaches the child, tends to the dying, comforts the grieving, removes the splinter, wipes the tear, directs the lost, touches the lonely, is the whole thing. What is most beautiful is least acknowledged. What is worth dying for is barely noticed.
– Laura McBride

– Hindus have been waiting for Kalki for 3,700 years.
– Buddhists have been waiting for Maitreya for 2,600 years.
– Jews have been waiting for the Messiah for 2,500 years. 
– Christians have been waiting for Jesus for 2,000 years.
– Sunnah has been waiting for the prophet Issa for 1,400 years.
– Muslims have been waiting for a messiah from the line of Muhammad for 1,300 years.
– Shiites have been waiting for the Mahdi for 1,080 years.
– Druze have been waiting for Hamza Ibn Ali for 1,000 years.

Most religions adopt the idea of a ‘saviour’, and claim that the world will remain full of evil until this saviour comes and fills it with goodness and justice. Perhaps our problem on this planet is that people are waiting for somebody else to come and solve their problems, rather than doing it themselves!

– Ryan Fortune

I’m not waiting on anybody .

I’m just waiting for my tea water to boil

– Nicholas Pierotti

My curriculum is tough. 
But I don’t twist noses.
– Nicholas Pierotti

I am equal parts Walter Benjamin, Lao Tzu, James Joyce, and a Shasta Daisy , 
playing an old guitar in the dusk of the Sea
– Nicholas Pierotti 

I hope your rise in dopamine levels comes more from healthy food, healthy exercise, healthy sex, healthy relationships, healthy sleep, healthy environments, healthy music & other healthy practises, and less from the highs you can get from instant gratification & unhealthy habits.
– @IAmMyBestToday

Just breathe
– Tang Chan

How do you imagine the shape of one lifetime?
A circle, a tangle of lines? He knows
That if he kisses her
She’ll kiss him back,



Behind them, growing louder, the past.

– Two People, James Longenbach

May you spend less time in places and spaces that are meant to nourish you but only deplete you.

May you be loyal to your mental health and protective of your peace.

You deserve better.

– @drthema

Witness, not achievement, is what I was after.
– Barry Lopez

There’s no way around it. We’ve failed our kids.

And to push on with fossil fueled business as usual is an admission that we’ve given up on them completely.

– @ClimateDad77

Dread is just memory in the future tense.
– Winnicott

Staying the course when the roadmap is faulty or the terrain just changed is not a good strategy.
– Dr. Elizabeth Sawin

My mentor died and the pain of it is so immense I am reminded of how deeply we need those we respect intellectually to really love us for our minds. It is more crucial to some of us than parental or romantic love. Good mentoring is the most powerful form of liberation I’ve known.
– Arielle Zibrak

To care about climate change, you only need to be one thing, and that’s a person living on planet Earth who wants a better future.
– Prof. Katharine Hayhoe

main street at dawn –
all the pot holes full
of cherry blossoms

– d.a. bennett
Wales Haiku Journal, Summer 2022

the heat
in a big sky’s
splendiferous sunset
– Issa

The Tomato Salad by Emily Berry

was breathtaking. Sometime in the late 1990s
the Californian sun ripened a crop of tomatoes
to such a pitch you could hear them screaming.
Did I mention this was in California? There was
corn on the cob. She was English and her heart
almost stopped when her aunt served her a bowl
of red and yellow tomatoes so spectacular she would
never get over them. I can only imagine the perfectly
suspended seeds, the things a cut tomato knows
about light, or in what fresh voice of sweet and tart
those tomatoes spoke when they told my dearest
friend, ‘Yosçi yosçi lom boca sá tutty foo twa
tamata,’ in the language of all sun-ripened fruits.

for Lois Lee

forever, flowing and drawn, and since
our knowledge is historical, flowing, and flown.
– @ebishopbot

We are saved only by love–love for each other and the love that we pour into the art we feel compelled to share… We live in a perpetually burning building, and what we must save from it, all the time, is love.
– Tennesee Williams

You have to fiercely claim your reading time. Distractions and familial duties are endless. The news cycle is 24 hours. Give your soul the gift of story.
– @Dolen

But if you want to escape evil, you will create no God, everything that you do is tepid and gray. I wanted my God for the sake of grace and disgrace. Hence I also want my evil.
– CG Jung

I don’t work with plots. I work with intuition, apprehension, dreams, concepts.
– John Cheever

My loathing of poets who give readings off their cellphones is actually self-loathing that others are still capable of reading large blocks of tiny text on a tiny screen without glasses & I am not.
– Robin Beth Schaer

Every day that I exist I acknowledge that being alive is an act of resistance.
– Chet’la Sebree

I think that there has been a kind of Russian problem for many centuries – that Russia doesn’t exactly know where it begins and where it ends.
– Václav Havel

[Hate] has a lot in common with love, chiefly with that self-transcending aspect of love, the fixation on others, the dependence on them and in fact the delegation of a piece of one’s own identity to them. . . The hater longs for the object of his hatred.
– Václav Havel

Courage means going against majority opinion in the name of the truth
– Vaclav Havel

What educated elites can never understand is that what a functional, gainfully employed, economically resilient person without too long a rope can integrate into their life is vastly different from a dysfunctional person. Everything elites can do without any large impact on their lives degrades as you move downwards.

Now waking and baking will begin to look much like alcoholism, even if the affect is contained only to the smoker.

I think what we are learning is America is too deeply sick and large to abandon certain norms.

– @VaclavHavel9

Those that say that individuals are not capable of changing anything are only looking for excuses.
– Vaclav Havel

The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less.
– Vaclav Havel

Politics can be not simply the art of the possible… it can also be the art of the impossible.
– Vaclav Havel

Vision is not enough. It must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps; we must also step up the stairs.
– Vaclav Havel

Follow the man who seeks the truth; run from the man who has found it.
– Vaclav Havel

Isn’t it the moment of most profound doubt that gives birth to new certainties?

Perhaps hopelessness is the very soil that nourishes human hope;

perhaps one could never find sense in life without first experiencing its absurdity.

– Vaclav Havel

It is as if something were crumbling, decaying, and exhausting itself—while something else, still indistinct, were rising from the rubble.
– Vaclav Havel

The salvation of the world lies in the human heart.
– Vaclav Havel

When Columbus got off the boat he asked us who we were. We said we’re the human beings, we’re the people. Conceptually the Europeans didn’t understand that, it was beyond their conceptual reality. They didn’t see us. They couldn’t see who we were. Historically speaking, we went from being Indians to pagans to savages to hostiles to militants to activists to Native Americans.
Now its five hundred years later & they still can’t see us. We are still invisible. They don’t see us as human beings, (their answers are always interrupting and fragmented, individualized denials) but we’ve been saying to them all along that’s what we are [that’s who we are], We are invisible to them because we are still the human beings. We’re still the People, but they never call us that. They taught us to call ourselves Indians. Now they’re teaching us how to call ourselves Native Americans. Its not who we are. We’re the People. They can’t see us as human beings. But they can’t see themselves as human beings. The invisibility is at every level, its not just that we’re tucked away out of sight. We’re the evidence of the crime. They can’t deal with the reality of who we are because then they have to deal with what they have done. If they deal with the reality of who we are, they have to deal with the reality of who they aren’t. So they have to fear us, not recognize us, not like us. The very fact of calling us ‘Indians’ creates a new identity for us, an identity that began with their arrival. Changing identity, creating a new perceptual reality, is another form of genocide. It’s like severing a spiritual umbilical cord that reaches into the ancestral past. The history of the Indians begins with the arrival of the Europeans. The history of the People begins with the beginning of the history of the People. The history of the People is one of cooperation, collectivity, and living in balance. The history of the Indians is one of genocide, rather that a history of peace and balance. The history of the People under attack, the Indians, in an evolutionary context is not very long; it’s only five hundred years. The objective of civilizing us is to make Indian history become our permanent reality. The necessary objective of Native people is to outlast this attack, however long it takes, to keep our identity alive.
– John Trudell

CATASTROPHE
This land of feet
Ever running, racing
But knows not the dirt beneath
Empty sifting hands
Ever reaching, grasping
For more again and again

Welcome to the catastrophe
The magnificent descent
Weaving us in
Drawing us down
This is no place for Saviors
In the territory of rough gods

Will you get your hands dirty?
Will you carry this burden?
Even that which you did not intend
Walking the road of your old people

Be worked upon by this place
Be deepened by your diminishment
The cave god is calling
There’s no time for denying—
The darkness around us is deep

– @care2gather

Can the mind which has been subjugated, intimidated, forced, compelled to believe, can such a mind be free to think? Can it look anew and remove the process of isolation between you and another? Please do not say that belief brings people together. It does not. That is obvious. No organized religion has ever done that. Look at yourselves in your own country. You are all believers, but are you all together? Are you all united? You yourselves know you are not. You are divided into so many petty little parties, castes; you know the innumerable divisions. The process is the same right through the world—whether in the east or in the west—Christians destroying Christians, murdering each other for petty little things, driving people into camps and so on, the whole horror of war. Therefore belief does not unite people. That is so clear. If that is clear and that is true, and if you see it, then it must be followed. But the difficulty is that most of us do not see, because we are not capable of facing that inward insecurity, that inward sense of being alone. We want something to lean on, whether it is the State, whether it is the caste, whether it is nationalism, whether it is a Master or a Saviour or anything else. And when we see the falseness of all this, the mind then is capable—it may be temporarily for a second—of seeing the truth of it; even though when it is too much for it, it goes back. But to see temporarily is sufficient; if you can see it for a fleeting second, it is enough; because you will then see an extraordinary thing taking place. The unconscious is at work, though the conscious may reject. It is not a progressive second; but that second is the only thing, and it will have its own results, even in spite of the conscious mind struggling against it.
– Krishnamurti

With regards to climate chaos, I find that what is most needed in these moments is more than just political will, new solutions, techno-bureaucratic agency, amplified activism, green legislation, international compliance, indigenous participation, civic education, and intensified philanthropy. We need a break.

Some sort of ontological apostasy is required to compost the human agent, dragging him away from his centralized throne. Something that flashes up, trips up, and offends – like the shaman’s knife poised on the client’s arm. Something that enacts a pause – in the spirit of Wendell Berry’s invitation to consider that “the impeded stream is the one that sings”.

Zizek calls this disruption an event; I call it “breaks” or “cracks”. By “breaks”, I refer to transversal events that disrupt the smooth continuity of the modern subject. A trip-epistemology, if you will. Something that decenters the knowing subject, recasting him as the known. Something that forcefully demonstrates that the Human project – tied to legacies of the 19th century Enlightenment movements – is heavily indebted to and subsidized by the more-than-human.

Until the modern subject is crippled, tripped up, split open, impeded, disrupted, offended, paused, and defeated (a la Rilke), we will continue to roam the dry wastelands of a modern cosmovision suddenly drowning in waters too deep for its placemaking rituals.

– Báyò Akómoláfé

if we begin with the poverties, we won’t betray anyone.
– Josh Avritt

When you finally go “there” and the illusion that you can be broken crumbles, the impossible blooms from the living stillness that you are. Immediately.
– Kevin Allan Stansbury

If you have the words, there’s always a chance that you’ll find the way.
– Seamus Heaney

a firefly
evicted from
a sunset bell
– Issa

city at dawn
when
sounds have smells
– Emiko Manning

“That’s just the way I am” is a missed opportunity for growth.

Personality is not your destiny. It’s your tendency. No one is limited to a single way of thinking, feeling, or acting.

Who you become is not about the traits you have. It’s what you decide to do with them.

– Adam Grant

Not only the things of poetry, stars, moon, wood, flowers, but even a white trouser button glittering out of a puddle in the street … everything has a secret soul, which is silent more often than it speaks.
– Russell Lockhart

By nature, a reader is independent and fierce. The folks who want to ban books are not readers; they are wannabe oppressors. The reader will win.
– Min Jin Lee

In a different world the infrastructure of care built to address covid-19 in 2020 would, just about now, be ready to be re-deployed towards getting us through floods, fires, other new diseases, and the challenges of rapid decarbonization.
– Dr. Elizabeth Sawin

Write the moment! When Wordsworth talked about emotion recollected in tranquillity, I suppose there was tranquillity to recollect it in. I don’t think we have time for that now.
– Jacqueline Saphra

I see the repression of the feminine principle as the biggest problem on the planet, and since the planet has become a global village, power alone just isn’t going to work anymore. We will destroy ourselves.
– Marion Woodman

I Remember
by Anne Sexton

By the first of August
the invisible beetles began
to snore and the grass was
as tough as hemp and was
no color—no more than
the sand was a color and
we had worn our bare feet
bare since the twentieth
of June and there were times
we forgot to wind up your
alarm clock and some nights
we took our gin warm and neat
from old jelly glasses while
the sun blew out of sight
like a red picture hat and
one day I tied my hair back
with a ribbon and you said
that I looked almost like
a puritan lady and what
I remember best is that
the door to your room was
the door to mine.

Lord, let me live
long enough to dare
a love poem—
– Cyrus Cassells

How those fires burned that are no longer, how the weather worsened, how the shadow of the seagull vanished without a trace. Was it the end of a season, the end of a life? Was it so long ago it seems it might never have been? What is it in us that lives in the past and longs for the future, or lives in the future and longs for the past?
– Mark Strand

INVISIBLE
The water of the mind, how clear it is!
Gazing at it, the boundaries are invisible.
But as soon as even a slight thought arises,
ten thousand images crowd it.
Attach to them, and they become real.
Be carried by them, and it will be difficult to return.
How painful to see a person trapped in the ten-fold delusions.
– Ryokan

…everything was caught in her chest. In her chest that knew only how to give up, knew only how to withstand, knew only how to beg forgiveness, knew only how to forgive, that had only learned how to have the sweetness of unhappiness, and learned only how to love, love, love.
– Clarice Lispector

Some days in late August at home are like this, the air thin and eager like this, with something in it sad and nostalgic and familiar…
– William Faulkner

Poets don’t run out of material the way novelists do,’ she instructed me. ‘Because they don’t depend on material in the same way.
– Julian Barnes

As we age and plasticity declines, it becomes increasingly difficult for us to change in response to the world, even if we want to. We find familiar types of stimulation pleasurable; we seek out like-minded individuals to associate with, and research shows we tend to ignore or forget, or attempt to discredit, information that does not match our beliefs, or perception of the world, because it is very distressing and difficult to think and perceive in unfamiliar ways.” “One reason we can change our brains simply by imagining is that, from a neuroscientific point of view, imagining an act and doing it are not as different as they sound. When people close their eyes and visualize a simple object, such as the letter a, the primary visual cortex lights up, just as it would if the subjects were actually looking at the letter a. Brain scans show that in action and imagination many of the same parts of the brain are activated. That is why visualizing can improve performance.
– Norman Doidge, M.D.

Sometimes we use our minds not to discover facts, but to hide them. We use part of the mind as a screen to prevent another part of it from sensing what goes on elsewhere. […] One of the things the screen hides most effectively is the body, our own body, by which I mean the ins and outs of it, its interiors. Like a veil thrown over the skin to secure its modesty, the screen partially removes from the mind the inner states of the body, those that constitute the flow of life as it wanders in the journey of each day.

The alleged vagueness, elusiveness, and intangibility of emotions and feelings are probably symptoms of this fact, an indication of how we cover the representation of our bodies, of how much mental imagery based on nonbody objects and events masks the reality of the body. Otherwise we would easily know that emotions and feelings are tangibly about the body. Sometimes we use our minds to hide a part of our being from another part of our being.

– António Damásio

In a state of grace, one sometimes perceives the deep beauty, hitherto unattainable, of another person. And everything acquires a kind of halo which is not imaginary: it comes from the splendor of the almost mathematical light emanating from people and things. One starts to feel that everything in existence—whether people or things—breathes and exhales the subtle light of energy. The world’s truth is impalpable.
– Clarice Lispector

And objects are reborn on paper, true to life and more than true to life, beautiful and more than beautiful, strange and endowed with an enthusiastic vitality, like the soul of the author.

– Charles Baudelaire (trans. A. S. Kline)

Matisse said, “I believe in God when I’m working.” If our creative energy is blocked, it will find an outlet in some kind of distorted religion, or addiction. An addiction to me is a distorted religion.
– Marion Woodman

Most people are operating on the persona, which is the masquerade. They are performing–they aren’t in touch with their real feelings They are unhappy about not being able to express their emotions & terrified to do so, because expressing them has led to rejection.
– Marion Woodman

to be lost is a kind of leaving
and poetry rectifying life
rectifies poetry’s echo
– Bei Dao (translated by Eliot Weinberger and Iona Man-Cheong)

In this void we create empty patches existing only in our inner world, where we fancy ourselves living, while it absorbs everything.
– Radu Jude

My wound existed before me;
I was born to embody it.
– Joë Bousquet

If the notion is good enough, if it truly belongs to you, then you can’t forget it—it will haunt you till it’s written.
– Truman Capote

If you attend to a series of synchronistic experiences, you will begin to see a pattern to the inner and outer events woven together in time. Look for the pattern in synchronistic phenomena over time. There you will see the threads of your fate right before your eyes.
– R Lockhart

evening sun
I hang my dreams
on a rainbow
– @moscowdandelion

Be strange to yourself,
in your love, your grief.
– Brenda Shaughnessy, Headlong

When religion does not move people to the mystical or non-dual level of consciousness it is more a part of the problem than any solution whatsoever. It solidifies angers, creates enemies, and is almost always exclusionary of the most recent definition of “sinner”.
– Richard Rohr

The very word re-ligio means “to reconnect”, otherwise referred to as “return to the Source”.
– Scott Preston

Perfection, rather, is the ability to incorporate imperfection! There’s no other way to live: You either incorporate imperfection, or you fall into denial.
– Richard Rohr

People can’t, unhappily, invent their mooring posts, their lovers and their friends, any more than they can invent their parents. Life gives these and also takes them away and the great difficulty is to say ‘Yes’ to life.
– James Baldwin

There’s a lot of things wrong with this country, but one of the few things still right with it is that a man can steer clear of the organized bullshit if he really wants to. It’s a goddamned luxury, and if I were you, I’d take advantage of it while you can.
– Hunter S Thompson

behind the cotton wool is hidden a pattern…all human beings…are connected with this; that the whole world is a work of art; that we are parts…the words…the music…the thing itself.
– Virginia Woolf

Toni Morrison said, “There was this free space opened up by refusing to respond every minute to…somebody else’s gaze.” Reclaim your time.

Decades I’ve carried this poem to homes from coast to coast to remind me that hitching rides under the hiss of meteors, leaning into the insistent wind you were as rich that night as any of us poets would ever need to be.
– Pam Uschuk

That is the ultimate project for me—figuring out how language can perform this same kind of trick that music does.
– John Edgar Wideman

There is no work of literature that is not the fruit of tradition.
– Elena Ferrante

The Store Poem
by Emanuelee Bean

I’m past the point of no return
Then I remember—my promise
In making me a customer to my service
That came with non-Negotiable terms
Targeted as a Non-Walmart policy
That I won’t nor can’t return myself
When I left the shelf
I started life
These priceless times are tagged on me
to remind myself
that I have to retail
Re-tail
Re-tell myself not to discount me

I am the manager
On call and general
The answer to how can I help you
Is always found on the
row with the mirrors

What’s new in store
Has always been In store
The inventory has been
Barcoded and account for
My worth is my offer
And that’s my only offer
Attention shoppers
We have a steal of deal
Here I am
On and in an isle

I am No longer waiting for intercoms
To announce my calling

What goes too long unchanged destroys itself.
– Ursula K. Le Guin

We sorely fail when trying to tend ten thousand things with just two hands. I know. I have tried. But devote the ten thousand hands to the one thing before us and the care of the heart can empower us with the strength of those who’ve come before and those yet to be born. Then, we are stronger than we are and more loving than we can imagine.
– Mark Nepo

You’re not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You’re by no means alone on that score. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You’ll learn from them—if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It’s a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn’t education. It’s history. It’s poetry.
– J.D. Salinger

Experience is a comb which nature gives us
when we are bald.
– Chinese Proverb

“this isn’t how I planned for
my life to look like,” I whispered
under my breath as I walked to my car

“tell me about it,”
an eavesdropping cloud
replied to me from above

I looked up and watched
the cloud billow between looking
like a dove and an open hand

the cloud continued:

“I used to be a snowfield in Montana.
I used to be a dewdrop kiss on a lily.
I used to be a puddle in a parking lot.
I used to be a river in Mexico.
I used to be a glacier.
I used to be a waterfall mist in a jungle.

I used to be so many things.”

“doesn’t that make you sad?” I asked the cloud

“it used to – but not anymore,” the cloud replied while wrapping herself around me like a scarf. “I don’t think either of us were created to stay the same form our entire life.”

“I’m not sure I can let go of my old life,” I sighed.

“oh you simply must,” the cloud whispered in my ear.
” because once you release what you used to be
and embrace who you are meant to be now –
something amazing will happen,” the cloud said

“what’s that?” I asked while looking at my hands that were beginning to billow and shapeshift.

“you’ll start to float.”

and with that my feet lifted off the ground”

– john roedel

Human arrangements are nothing but loose ends and hazy reckoning, whatever art may otherwise pretend in order to console us.
– Iris Murdoch

There’s too much negative energy out there. Slouched shoulders. Puppy eyes. Excessive exhales. Too many people with fixable problems that they don’t want to fix. For some reason people love to identify themselves by their problems. They just don’t know who they are without some major issue. They love to say ‘I cant.’ Or: ‘If I was this, then I could be that.’ Or ‘I’ll always be this way because of xyz.’ But that kind of thinking never ends. You’ll always have another box you can check. You can always qualify for victimhood. There’s always a reason to opt out of self-responsibility. Because God forbid the problem is you. It’s toxic thinking. I can’t be around it. It’s too draining. I’m trying to grow. I’m trying to be great. I’m trying to be thankful for all that I have. So when I feel negative energy, I’m looking for an exit strategy. I’m not going to give up on you right away. I’m going to speak my truth. But if you have no interest in helping yourself, I’m out.
– Humans of New York

What is the difference between consciousness and awareness? Consciousness keeps changing. Awareness is to see how consciousness is functioning.
– Daaji

If you consider any man a friend whom you do not trust as you trust yourself, you are mightily mistaken and you do not sufficiently understand what true friendship means… When friendship is settled, you must trust; before friendship is formed, you must pass judgment…Ponder for a long time whether you shall admit a given person to your friendship; but when you have decided to admit him, welcome him with all your heart and soul.
– Seneca

Myth and worldview are inseparable. They feed off of one another. One of the most helpful insights of contemporary times is the realization that all human activity is mythological and imaginal to some degree.
– David Fideler

[C]entral to the recovery of one’s more authentic conduct of one’s life is the recovery of permission, the recovery of personal authority, and the recovery of personal aspiration. Each depends on the others for strength.
– James Hollis, Living Between Worlds

the always-astonishing realization / of just how generic one’s most deeply personal / torments really are.
– Franz Wright

I read that the earth is spinning faster than usual and we might need a “negative leap second” to account for it?? Truly the falcon cannot hear the falconer.
– Elisa Gabbert

I don’t really believe anymore in having blind loyalty to people or the idea that I should always have someone’s back. I believe in being as authentic, kind, generous and loving as I can. And also giving myself permission to dislike things, even about the people that I love.
– @Maryamhasnaa

I’ll rewrite this whole life and this time there’ll be so much love,
you won’t be able to see beyond it.
– Warsan Shire

We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infinitesimal hairline between an all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future. We have no present. Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation. We do not realize that there never was, is, nor will be any other experience than present experience. We are therefore out of touch with reality. We confuse the world as talked about, described, and measured with the world which actually is. We are sick with a fascination for the useful tools of names and numbers, of symbols, signs, conceptions and ideas.
– Alan Watts

UNDIVIDED

Today more than ever the world appears full of contradiction. Like fracking for oil, the very bedrock beneath our feet seems to split apart. This divide is not just in the Senate and the House, on school boards and social media platforms, but likely in your own living room as you may come to see things differently from your spouse or family member. It is tempting to take sides of the great divide. Our binary brain will always default to taking sides, deeming things either/or, right/wrong, good/bad.

Can we avoid getting split in two? I’ll share with you what I do. I feel melancholic in the morning and joyful in the afternoon. I retreat into solitude and then come roaring forward into the mix of others. I feel hope and despair at the same time. I realize I am pretty much 50/50 masculine and feminine. I see the world as simultaneously violent and loving.

Here is a yoga teaching that pretty much sums it all up and is a good one to know, bheda-abheda, meaning the world is “divided-undivided”. What a contradiction! Acknowledging that the world is full of splits and splinters is the best way to learn to love. Smack dab in the middle of the split try to find love. Love itself has no sides, no angles, walls or barriers. Love is like space, love is indivisible. Yet the world is full of contradiction. So take each new day as an opportunity to love a little more your divided/undivided heart- mind.

– Tias Little

The Cows at Night
by Hayden Carruth

The moon was like a full cup tonight,
too heavy, and sank in the mist
soon after dark, leaving for light

faint stars and the silver leaves
of milkweed beside the road,
gleaming before my car.

Yet I like driving at night
in summer and in Vermont:
the brown road through the mist

of mountain-dark, among farms
so quiet, and the roadside willows
opening out where I saw

the cows. Always a shock
to remember them there, those
great breathings close in the dark.

I stopped, and took my flashlight
to the pasture fence. They turned
to me where they lay, sad

and beautiful faces in the dark,
and I counted them–forty
near and far in the pasture,

turning to me, sad and beautiful
like girls very long ago
who were innocent, and sad

because they were innocent,
and beautiful because they were
sad. I switched off my light.

But I did not want to go,
not yet, nor knew what to do
if I should stay, for how

in that great darkness could I explain
anything, anything at all.
I stood by the fence. And then

very gently it began to rain.

The psyche is a self-regulating system that maintains its equilibrium just as the body does. Every process that goes too far immediately and inevitably calls forth compensations, and without these there would be neither a normal metabolism nor a normal psyche.
– Carl Jung

Unless you let the truth of life teach you on its own terms, unless you develop some concrete practices for recognizing and overcoming your dualistic mind, you will remain in the first half of life forever—as most humanity has up to now. In the first half of life, you cannot work with the imperfect, nor can you accept the magic sense of life, which finally means that you cannot love anything or anyone at any depth. Nothing is going to change in history as long as most people are merely dualistic, either-or thinkers. Such splitting and denying leaves us at the level of mere information.

Whole people see and create wholeness wherever they go; split people see and create splits in everything and everybody. We are meant to see in wholes and no longer just in parts. Yet we get to the whole by falling down into the messy parts—so many times, in fact, that we long and thirst for the wholeness and fullness of all things, including ourselves. I promise you this unified field is the only and lasting meaning of up.

– Richard Rohr

A nation is a story that a people chooses to tell about itself, and at its heart is a stumbling but deep-felt need for those people to be connected to the place they live and to each other. Humans in all times and places have needed ancestors, history, a place to be and a sense of who they are as a collective, and modernity and rationalism have not abolished these needs [for belonging]. […] If we want to see what a world without belonging would look like, we have only to look around. If an identity is an alliance between people and places, then airport-lounge modernity means taking the places out of the picture. All that is left is people who could be anywhere: citizens of nowhere, consumers of objects and experiences, connected by their little screens […].

[The word] parochial denotes the small and the particular and the specific. It can also mean insular and narrow-minded, but it doesn’t have to, any more than ‘cosmopolitan’ has to mean snobbish and rootless. This negative meaning has attached itself to the word because contemporary globalised culture is resolutely anti-parochial. It sets out to destroy local particularity and our attachment to it, because if we remain attached to it we may not buy into the placeless nowhere civilisation that is being built around the globe in the name of money.

– Paul Kingsnorth

Protest that endures, I think, is moved by a hope far more modest than that of public success: namely, the hope of preserving qualities in one’s own heart and spirit that would be destroyed by acquiescence.
– Wendell Berry

The greatest and most important problems of life are fundamentally unsolvable. They can never be solved, but only outgrown.
– Carl Jung

Didn’t you like the waythe ants help
the peony globes open by eating the glue off?
– Galway Kinnell, Why Regret?

I have great faith in all things not yet spoken.
I want my deepest pious feelings freed.
What no one yet has dared to risk and warrant
will be for me a challenge I must meet.
– Rilke

like a thought one can’t stop
like a thought you want nothing to do with

like that thought finally put to rest
like putting a thought in its place

like taking a thought away from other thoughts
like not letting one kind of thought

overwhelm all others

– Dara Barrios/Dixon

Son Volt Came to Town
by Deb Talan

Son Volt came to town
I missed them again
Old ghosts hanging ’round
Like some long ago friend
I keep thinking ’bout you
Still strange to be living without you
I’d take a plane to see you
But then I’d miss this train I’m on
I guess I’ll just keep feeling that you’re gone
Water’s on the rise again
This river doesn’t miss a drop
And every second person has some story that could make your heart stop
Son Volt came to town
I bet they played that song
“You’re causing it to drown”
I would have sung along
Have a drink the wine in this town makes my body ache
And every second person has some story that could make your heart break

The gods do sit at our table. / But when they leave, we don’t follow.
– Linda Gregg

In those days, we were drunk on reaching up and pulling the night sky apart, swallowing it in chunks, until we were as dark inside as we were out. Until it held us tight like no one else dared to.
– Hanif Abdurraqib

If you’re reading for the love of reading, you look for what it gives you.
– Salman Rushdie

I Went into the Maverick Bar
BY GARY SNYDER

I went into the Maverick Bar
In Farmington, New Mexico.
And drank double shots of bourbon
backed with beer.
My long hair was tucked up under a cap
I’d left the earring in the car.

Two cowboys did horseplay
by the pool tables,
A waitress asked us
where are you from?
a country-and-western band began to play
“We don’t smoke Marijuana in Muskokie”
And with the next song,
a couple began to dance.

They held each other like in High School dances
in the fifties;
I recalled when I worked in the woods
and the bars of Madras, Oregon.
That short-haired joy and roughness—
America—your stupidity.
I could almost love you again.

We left—onto the freeway shoulders—
under the tough old stars—
In the shadow of bluffs
I came back to myself,
To the real work, to
“What is to be done.”

An elegy is really about the wilting of a flower,
the passing of the year, the falling of a stone.
– William Stafford

Gulls keep turning
the pages of the sky. I write

the way a shore bird prints her words
in sand to be read by water.

I name it romantic, this belief
that pain is only the bad year of an orchard.
– Enid Shomer

One can never ask anyone to change a feeling.
– Susan Sontag

You can find something truly important in an ordinary minute.
– Mitch Albom, For One More Day

My intellect is locked, guarded; my emotions, shuttered; my sexuality and my needs, watched over. Everything is protected, and these very jailers that we have created are precisely what prevent us from being creative.
– Alejandro Jodorowsky

I have forgiven mistakes that were indeed almost unforgivable. I’ve tried to replace people who were irreplaceable and tried to forget those who were unforgettable. I’ve acted on impulse, have been disappointed by people when I thought that this could never be possible. But I have also disappointed those who I love.

I have laughed at inappropriate occasions. I’ve made friends that are now friends for life. I’ve screamed and jumped for joy. I’ve loved and I’ve been loved. But I have also been rejected and I have been loved without loving the person back. I’ve lived for love alone and made vows of eternal love. I’ve had my heart broken many, many times!

I’ve cried while listening to music and looking at old pictures. I’ve called someone just to hear their voice on the other side. I have fallen in love with a smile. At times, I thought I would die because I missed someone so much. At other times, I felt very afraid that I might lose someone very special (which ended up happening anyway). But I have lived! And I still continue living everyday. I’m not just passing through life and you shouldn’t either, Live!

The best thing in life is to go ahead with all your plans and your dreams, to embrace life and to live everyday with passion, to lose and still keep the faith and to win while being grateful. All of this because the world belongs to those who dare to go after what they want. And because life is really too short to be insignificant.

– Charlie Chaplin

We remarked earlier that with wisdom also comes compassion. Interestingly, so does humor. Wise people laugh a lot, though often times no one else understands why.
– Robin Robertson, Jung and Frodo

Remember Jack Gilbert was nearly 70 when he published his finest book The Great Fires. And he was 80 when Refusing Heaven was released. What’s the rush? Hear the slow rain. What notes is it playing? This wet August light. Make what ink of it and the trees.
– Sean Thomas Dougherty

HEALING

This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.

I know the world is bruised and bleeding, and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence. Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge – even wisdom. Like art.

– Toni Morrison

Where the earth and ocean meet,
And all things seem only one
In the universal sun.
– Percy Bysshe Shelley

Even when we’re most sure that love can’t conquer all, it seems to anyway. It goes down into the rat hole with us, in the guise of our friends, and there it swells and comforts. It gives us second winds, third winds, hundredth winds.
– Anne Lamott

Much of our lives involves the word ‘no.’ In school we are mostly told, ‘Don’t do it this way. Do it that way.’ But art is the big yes. In art, you get a chance to make something where there was nothing.
– Marvin Bell

There is a huge distinction between the ordinary person, the esoteric practitioner, and the perfected saint or tzadik. The ordinary person is oblivious to their true situation, and they abide in a state of existential angst but have no idea why. The tzadik has no worries at all and abides in perpetual bliss. The esoteric practitioner has tremendous longing for the essence of reality, and experiences the peaks and valleys of experience. They might have periodic breakthroughs and glimpses of the ultimate, but these insights are not under their control and quickly fade away. The ordinary person and the tzadik are quite content to remain what they are. The esoteric practitioner, however, is not satisfied. They pursue something that cannot be caught. This is a volatile and dangerous place to be.

Neither the ordinary person nor the tzadik can make an effective esoteric cartographer. The ordinary person has no idea what the process is all about, and frankly doesn’t care. The tzadik is all through with the struggle and simply rests in perfection. The esoteric practitioner’s unresolved longing pushes through the territories and maps out the tensions and releases that constitute the realms. They are the ones that need to conjure images from the aethers to see what is invisible. This is their expressed mission, and it rests between the worst problem and the best solution. Therefore, the practitioner lives in-between in the twilight shadows of reality, and seeks ever deeper into the unanswered questions of the mysteries.

– David Chaim Smith

Narrow road, wide road, all of us on it, unhappy,
Unsettled, seven yards short of immortality
And a yard short of not long to live.
Better to sit down in the tall grass
and watch the clouds,
To lift our faces up to the sky,
Considering – for most of us – our lives have been a constant mistake.
– Charles Wright

If you only write what you’re expecting to write, you’ll be bored. Take a risk. Work against the grain.
– Blake Morrison

Twilights, V
Now the great wheel of darkness and low clouds
Whirs and whirls in the heavens with dipping rim;
Against the ice-white wall of light in the west
Skeleton trees bow down in a stream of air.
Leaves, black leaves and smoke, are blown on the wind;
Mount upward past my window; swoop again;
In a sharp silence, loudly, loudly falls
The first cold drop, striking a shriveled leaf . . .
Doom and dusk for the earth! Upward I reach
To draw chill curtains and shut out the dark,
Pausing an instant, with uplifted hand,
To watch, between black ruined portals of cloud,
One star,—the tottering portals fall and crush it.
Here are a thousand books! here is the wisdom
Alembicked out of dust, or out of nothing;
Choose now the weightiest word, most golden page,
Most somberly musicked line; hold up these lanterns,—
These paltry lanterns, wisdoms, philosophies,—
Above your eyes, against this wall of darkness;
And you’ll see—what? One hanging strand of cobweb,
A window-sill a half-inch deep in dust . . .
Speak out, old wise-men! Now, if ever, we need you.
Cry loudly, lift shrill voices like magicians
Against this baleful dusk, this wail of rain . . .
But you are nothing! Your pages turn to water
Under my fingers: cold, cold and gleaming,
Arrowy in the darkness, rippling, dripping—
All things are rain . . . Myself, this lighted room,
What are we but a murmurous pool of rain? . . .
The slow arpeggios of it, liquid, sibilant,
Thrill and thrill in the dark. World-deep I lie
Under a sky of rain. Thus lies the sea-shell
Under the rustling twilight of the sea;
No gods remember it, no understanding
Cleaves the long darkness with a sword of light.
– Conrad Aiken

It is the responsibility of intellectuals to speak the truth and expose lies.
– Noam Chomsky

I would say that there exist a thousand unbreakable links between each of us and everything else, and that our dignity and our chances are one. The farthest star and the mud at our feet are a family; and there is no decency or sense in honoring one thing, or a few things, and then closing the list. The pine tree, the leopard, the Platte River, and ourselves – we are at risk together, or we are on our way to a sustainable world together. We are each other’s destiny.
– Mary Oliver

i touch the soft belly of a raspberry,
and it feels just like his lower lip,
as i fed him his pills one by one
just a few days before.
– Ollie Schminkey

If you are best in the morning, cultivate Tao in the morning.

If you are best in the evening, cultivate Tao in the evening.

– Sifu Deng Ming-Dao

The word Tao is often translated as Way, Path, or route, and can also mean practice; and, embedded within all of these terms is the understanding that Tao is the natural order of the universe as a cosmic principle.

Tao can also mean way in the sense of an art, and this is on clear display in Japanese culture where the Chinese word Tao becomes Dō, which also means Way, Path, Practice, Principle, Teaching, or Art, and as a suffix is attached to dozens of different arts and practices such as

Chadō – the Way of Tea

Kendō – the Way of the Sword

Kadō – the Way of Flowers (or flower-arranging)

Shodō – the Way of the Brush (calligraphy)

Aikidō – a martial art whose name means the Way of Harmonizing Life-Force

and Shijindō – the Way of the Poet

Each of these arts are ways that lead the practitioner into greater depths of intuitive understanding of the Way, Tao or Dō. One way of thinking of this is that these martial and artistic disciplines help us to harmonize our own energy with the cosmic energy of the Tao.

We all have our own natural rhythms and one of the aspects of any contemplative path, including the contemplative arts, is that cultivating our relationship to Nature, heart-mind, and our own natural rhythms is a standing invitation from the Cosmos.

“There is never a time when you are not on the Path.

The only difference is whether you are neglecting it

or cultivating it.”

Am I neglecting or cultivating heart-mind?

Am I neglecting or cultivating my body?

Am I neglecting or cultivating my diet?

Am I neglecting or cultivating my imagination?

Am I neglecting or cultivating my art?

Am I neglecting or cultivating my spirit?

Am I neglecting or cultivating my living space?

and for the past two years:

Am I neglecting or cultivating the many green

and growing things in the garden?

You already know. At all times, you already know whether you’re working for yourself or working against yourself.
– Kuma-sensei and Frank LaRue Owen

You must not be frightened
if a sadness
rises in front of you,
larger than any you have ever seen;
if an anxiety,
like light and cloud-shadows,
moves over your hands and over
everything you do.
You must realize that something is happening to you,
that life has not forgotten you,
that it holds you in its hand
and will not let you fall.

– Rainer Maria Rilke

You would not seek me if you had not found me.
– Pascal

GALILEO

There is one among millions
Who doesn’t fit the definition

One who will suffer
The short sight of others

One who will die
Without a word of remembrance

One who will give
Much more than (s)he takes

One who believes
Refusing to recant.

– Laurence Overmire

When a person identifies himself with a group, his reasoning faculties are diminished and his passions enhanced by a kind of emotive resonance or positive feedback.
– Arthur Koestler

In the ancient house of poetry
where myths are born
and where they crawl to die,

in the dark and doorless
house of words, a crystal world
that makes its own strange light,

I dangle on the hook
of this old hope and sing
of unlost love –

a love so fraught with truth
that gods must die
and spells must fail

and still the house survives.
Where the news of the stars comes down.

– George Gorman

Sunrise

What it says is this:

You are here.
Make the most of it.
I’ll offer you something,
but not much.
Lovely colors. A bright form.
An idea, perhaps.
You must be brilliant about it.
Make thoughtful observations.
Commit your heart.
Do something brave.
Make it an act of love.
You won’t get this day again.

– Jamie K. Reaser

Imagination may be the most essential, uniquely human capacity – creating both the dead-end crises of our time and the doorway through them.
– Bill Plotkin

We are so fixated on curing illness and eradicating pain that we’re unable to consider people living in pain as leading intact lives. But perhaps more insidious is how this estranges us from our own pain and wretched illness. We are so driven to ‘get well’ that we rarely show any welcoming kindness to this unexpected guest in our lives.
– Toko-pa

THE GENERAL RULE OF WORK

There is a general rule; one should not work for more than a third of one’s waking time. The other two-thirds should be spent in living automatically, as you are accustomed to. For the work, the other third; only that. Never more. Start from there. If you work for three hours you can spread them over the morning, the afternoon and the evening, but divide your waking time into three parts. Two for ordinary life, one for the work. That is the rule.

– Transcripts of Gurdjieff’s Wartime Meetings 1941-1946

The earth is sore with them.

– C. K. Williams, It Is This Way With Men

when it is over said and done
it was a time
and there was never enough of it.

– Allison Adelle Hedge Coke

BLUE

they tried to make us good
To color inside thick lines
when we were already
Creating our books

ones where we knew
We were good
whether or not we
Colored at all

because why paste
Onto a page
the changing sky
That infinite blue

that we relegate
Into 4-letters
one word

A border
a crayon
Too fat
for small fingers

For the clouds
frustrated depths

We melt the crayon
between our fingers

To feel
what it means

To be a sky

– Valerie A Szarek

In order to do it is necessary to be. And it is necessary first to understand what it be means. If we continue our talks you will see that we use a special language and that, in order to talk with us, it is necessary to learn this language. It is not worth while talking in ordinary language because, in that language, it is impossible to understand one another. This also, at the moment, seems strange to you. But it is true. In order to understand it is necessary to learn another language. In the language which people speak they cannot understand one another. You will see later on why this is so.

Then one must learn to speak the truth. This also appears strange to you. You do not realize that one has to learn to speak the truth. It seems to you that it is enough to wish or to decide to do so. And I tell you that people comparatively rarely tell a deliberate lie. In most cases they think they speak the truth. And yet they lie all the time, both when they wish to lie and when they wish to speak the truth. They lie all the time, both to themselves and to others. Therefore nobody ever understands either himself or anyone else. Think—could there be such discord, such deep misunderstanding, and such hatred towards the views and opinions of others, if people were able to understand one another? But they cannot understand because they cannot help lying. To speak the truth is the most difficult thing in the world; and one must study a great deal and for a long time in order to be able to speak the truth. The wish alone is not enough. To speak the truth one must know what the truth is and what a lie is, and first of all in oneself. And this nobody wants to know.

– Gurdieff to Ouspensky

I’d like to be remembered as a guy who tried…tried to be part of his times, tried to help people communicate with one another, tried to find some decency in his own life, tried to extend himself as a human being. Someone who isn’t
complacent, who doesn’t cop out.
– Paul Newman

The color of air is in our eyes, / the colors of everything visible, our / voices making sylllables of / the wind that gets inside us
– Dan Gerber

Can you see? Can you hear? Can you walk? Can you talk? Can you hug? Can you love? “To them that have more shall be given” is a true saying. The moment we realize the gifts that are already in our lives, we will be in wonder for the list is endless. We’ll want to give back. That life-giving impulse is also something we already have.
– Gunilla Norris

Seek the one who seeks you and not the ones who tend to neglect you.
– Babuji Maharaj

Here’s how it ends: Prisoners who remind us of the precariousness of our freedom, cancer patients who remind us of our own mortality, immigrants who encroach upon our territory, and widow and widower who prove to us that at any moment we may lose the people we love are a source of anxiety and threat. We choose to deal with our fear by turning away from its source, by rejecting the prisoner, jollying the cancer patient along, excluding the immigrant, or avoiding contact with the widow and widower. But each time we do this we only add to the fear, perpetuate the problems, and miss an opportunity to prepare ourselves for the changes that are inevitable in a changing world.
– Stuart Ross

You don’t have to attend every argument
to which you are invited.
– Leandro Herrero

Do you believe at times that a moment chooses
you to remember it entirely & tell about it —
so that it may live again?
– Laure-Anne Bosselaar

Listen to me. English words are like prisms. Empty, nothing inside, and still they make rainbows.
– Denis Johnson

Thinking of [her], but singing to something else.
– Jack Gilbert

When we slow,
the garden can choose what we notice. Can change
our heart.
– Jack Gilbert

Deeper, deeper
down where a woman’s heart is holding its breath,
where something very far away in that body
is becoming something we don’t have a name for.
– Jack Gilbert, Happening Apart from What’s Happening Around It

He moves toward her knowing he is about to
spoil the way they didn’t know each other.
– Jack Gilbert, Adults

Poetry is a way of mind; the exploration of a tunnel, where blind albino fish seem to float in nostalgic pools of unremembered memory.
– Russell Edson

We are at work on the past to make the future
More bearable.
– Mark Strand

and my secret part returns perhaps to a place it knew
and lost,
– Chris Forhan

One day you’ll fold

into nights devoid of liquor and lose the taste.

Your joints will ache; your body will try to leave

in ways only your ancestors understand.

– Destiny O. Birdsong

No amount of sugar hidden in our food could mask our growing bitterness toward the world. We, too, became paralyzed with longing and, soon, loneliness.
– Cleyvis Natera

A book read by a thousand different people is a thousand different books.
– Andrei Tarkovsky

Revision can grind a good impulse to dust.
– Billy Collins

I am alone in my room, between two worlds.
– Sylvia Plath

I am not the first person you loved.
You are not the first person I looked at
with a mouthful of forevers. We
have both known loss like the sharp edges of a knife. We have both lived with lips more scar tissue than skin. Our love came unannounced in the middle of the night.
Our love came when we’d given up
on asking love to come. I think that has to be part of its miracle.
This is how we heal.

I will kiss you like forgiveness. You
will hold me like I’m hope. Our arms
will bandage and we will press promises between us like flowers in a book.
I will write sonnets to the salt of sweat
on your skin. I will write novels to the scar of your nose. I will write a dictionary of all the words I have used trying to describe the way it feels to have finally, finally found you.

And I will not be afraid of your scars.

I know sometimes it’s still hard to let me see you in all your cracked perfection, but please know:
whether it’s the days you burn
more brilliant than the sun
or the nights you collapse into my lap
your body broken into a thousand questions,
you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
I will love you when you are a still day.
I will love you when you are a hurricane.

– Clementine von Radics

This massive ascendancy of corporate power over democratic process is probably the most ominous development since the end of World War II, and for the most part ‘the free world’ seems to be regarding it as merely normal.
– Wendell Berry

Perhaps the most instructive question we can ask of a good friend – the question that teaches us most about where we might have lost perspective – is simply: what do I need to be teased about?
– The School of Life

Be a free thinker and don’t accept everything you hear as truth. Be critical and evaluate what you believe in.
– Aristotle

We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.
– C.S. Lewis

In general, I like the idea of going right up to the edge of cliché and then stopping.
– Henri Cole

The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists.
– Hannah Arendt

When I die, dear God,
please, let me take something
of the mountains with me.

May I stow away,
inside some caverns of myself,
a glow from the moon?

Let me fill
any pockets my soul might have
with bits of silver rivers
and quiet moments
of starlight.

Can I pack a bag before I go
and bring only sunrise?

May I keep a souvenir
from whatever it is
Autumn does to the heart?

Of course I’ll keep the pang—
won’t I?—

of knowing I’ll never be
high or low enough
to fully hold
or bow to
the immeasurable kindness
of Love

and how this sacred inadequacy
at once sears and sings
and is the reason why
I grow?

How many songs may I take?

Please say you have room
for all my laughter

And the vast collection of diamonds
that are my tears

What will happen
with that kingdom
of love
that builds itself in my heart
as my daughter
clumsily and perfectly
toddles toward me
with the most wild grin
that is totally unhinged with joy
and chubby arms open wide enough
to somehow
hold the sky
and unconditionally enough
to embrace all
my limitations?

Tell me that
is an empire that cannot fall.

May I be rich enough
to bring remembrance
of the way
the jeweled stars
are set
in that great crown
of the night?

Can I bring a moment
of that eternal peace
found in the spirit
of the forest’s exhale
after the rain?

Please, may our passage
into the Beyond
only widen our access
to the spectrum of beauty

Though my wildest imagination
cannot possibly believe anything
could be better
than a naked sole
pressed into the dew-drenched grass
of this utterly love-soaked earth
woken early enough
to be kissed alive
by the dawn

Please, still, may the Beyond
be a space
where I may feel
a closer kinship
with the heart of everything
I’ve come to love
here.

– Chelan Harkin, Susceptible to Light

I now think this ability to divide oneself in two, which all actors have, is also a condition for writing and even for living.
– Elias Khoury

Let me turn my face toward my life.
Let me live inside it forever.
– Claire Schwartz, CIVIL SERVICE

Myth is the natural and indispensable intermediate stage between unconscious and conscious cognition.
– CG Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections

Spirituality is not a trend. It’s not something you get cute for on social media, or crystals you play with until you’re bored.

It’s walking through the fire of your own evolution. It’s reprogramming your subconscious. It’s unlearning, healing, and remembering.

Understand this.

– @thesoleromero

There is no reality except the one contained within us. That is why so many people live such an unreal life. They take the images outside of them for reality and never allow the world within to assert itself.
– Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf

In eternity there is no time, only an instant long enough for a joke.
– Hermann Hesse

As a spiritual alchemist, you must skim out the dross, concentrate the essence and pour yourself into a new shape. This transformative process is not easy, or necessarily enjoyable. It is, however, inherently redemptive and one of the most meaningful things you can do to propel yourself forward on your path.
– Temperance

All of us are largely defined by what and whom we have successfully ignored. Really important work happens in the circle of light in the midst of a lot of blind spots.
– Bette Davis

I am surrounded by an abundance of family and friends, and yet I am alone with the writing. And that is perfect.
– Louise Erdrich

I now see my life, not as a slow shaping of achievment to fit my preconceived purposes, but as the gradual discovery of a purpose which I did not know.
– Marion Milner

the mountains
in silence
nurturing the spirit
– Basho

The world is full of paper.
Write to me.
– Agha Shahid Ali

Instant communication is not communication at all but merely a frantic, trivial, nerve-wracking bombardment of cliches, threats, fads, fashions, gibberish and advertising.
– Edward Abbey

The function of freedom is to free someone else.
– Toni Morrison

I really wish you an ever deeper peace. I know that that peace quite often lives underneath the turmoils and anxieties of our heart and doesn’t always mean inner harmony or emotional tranquility. That peace that God gives us quite often is beyond our thoughts and feelings, and we have to really trust that peace is there for us to claim even in the midst of our moments of despair.
– Henri Nouwen

When we are young, the words are scattered all around us. As they are assembled by experience, so also are we, sentence by sentence, until the story takes shape.
– Louise Erdrich

Every You in the world is doomed by its nature to become a thing or at least to enter into thinghood again and again. In the language of objects: every thing in the world can — either before or after it becomes a thing — appear to some I as its You. But the language of objects catches only one corner of actual life.

The It is the chrysalis, the You the butterfly. Only it is not always as if these states took turns so neatly; often it is an intricately entangled series of events that is tortuously dual.

Listen to it!

How dissonant the I of the ego sounds! When it issues from tragic lips, tense with some self-contradiction that they try to hold back, it can move us to great pity. when it issues from chaotic lips that savagely, heedlessly, unconsciously represent contradiction, it can make us shudder. When the lips are vain and smooth, it sounds embarrassing or disgusting.

Those who pronounce the severed I, wallowing in the capital letter, uncover the shame of the world spirit that has been debased to mere spirituality.

– Martin Buber, I and Thou

Mostly I’d like to feel a little less, know a little more.
– Catherine Barnett

Snow covered
The mountain thinks itself
A cloud
– James Welsh

Some of us choose not to go through the solar struggle. It is more comfortable to identify with one’s collective and have one’s sense of who one is provided on a plate. It may also be easier to blame the outer world for one’s problem.
– Liz Greene, Apollo’s Chariot

The way is long only
because you delay to start on it;
one single step
would bring you to Him:
become a slave,
and you will become a king

Whatever befalls you, misfortune or fortune,
is unalloyed blessing;
the attendant evil
a fleeing shadow.

No more nonsense! Lose yourself,
and the hell of your heart becomes a heaven.
Lose yourself, and anything can be accomplished.
Your selfishness is an untrained colt

Apply yourself, hand and foot,
to the search;
but when you reach the sea,
stop talking of the stream.

And if, my friend, you ask me the way
I’ll tell you plainly, it is this:
to turn your face towards the world of life,
and turn your back on rank and reputation;
and, spurning outward prosperity, to bend
your back double in his service;
to part company with those who deal in words,
and take your place in the presence of the wordless

When the eye is pure
it sees purity.

Unself yourself…

– Hakim Sanai

Whatever you do and wherever you go, never forget what you did to make the world a better place.
– Chuck Schumer

the time to listen to each other has just begun
– Kealoha Wong

…if we define Megaphone as the composite of hundreds of voices we hear each day that come to us from people we don’t know, via high-tech sources, it’s clear that a significant and ascendant component of that voice has become bottom-dwelling, shrill, incurious, ranting, and agenda-driven. It strives to antagonize us, make us feel anxious, ineffective, and alone; convince us that the world is full of enemies and of people stupider and less agreeable than ourselves; is dedicated to the idea that, outside the sphere of our immediate experience, the world works in a different, more hostile, less knowable manner. This braindead tendency is viral and manifests intermittently; while it is the blood in the veins of some of your media figures, it flickers on and off in others.
– George Saunders, The Braindead Megaphone

We are in an age that assumes the narrowing trends of specialization to be logical, natural, and desirable. Consequently, society expects all earnestly responsible communication to be crisply brief. Advancing science has now discovered that all the known cases of biological extinction have been caused by overspecialization, whose concentration of only selected genes sacrifices general adaptability. Thus the specialist’s brief for pinpointing brevity is dubious. In the meantime, humanity has been deprived of comprehensive understanding. Specialization has bred feelings of isolation, futility, and confusion in individuals. It has also resulted in the individual’s leaving responsibility for thinking and social action to others. Specialization breeds biases that ultimately aggregate as international and ideological discord, which in turn leads to war.
– R. Buckminster

Just as the physicist regards the atom as a model, I regard archetypal ideas as sketches for the purpose of visualizing the unknown background.
– CG Jung

Buddha’s don’t arise independently.

It takes a Sangha to raise a Buddha.

– Vincent Fakhoury Horn

And, if I may say it in a very condensed way, it is precisely the godlike in ourselves that we are ambivalent about, fascinated by and fearful of, motivated to and defensive against. This is one aspect of the basic human predicament, that we are simultaneously worms and gods.
– Abraham Maslow

The soul, in its longing to grow, will push us toward crisis points, bringing about a situation that will force us to leave behind the old toys and the worn-out ways of operating. Our soul brings us these crises to remind us that we don’t have to remain stuck in the land of the hunters and the hunted. We are called to draw ourselves up to our full height and confidence, even when terrified at the prospect of the unknown.
– Alberto Villoldo

As I lay there, listening to the soft slap of the sea, and thinking these sad and strange thoughts, more and more and more stars had gathered, obliterating the separateness of the Milky Way and filling up the whole sky. And far far away in that ocean of gold, stars were silently shooting and falling and finding their fates, among these billions and billions of merging golden lights. And curtain after curtain of gauze was quietly removed, and I saw stars behind stars behind stars, as in the magical Odeons of my youth. And I saw into the vast soft interior of the universe which was slowly and gently turning itself inside out. I went to sleep, and in my sleep I seemed to hear a sound of singing.
– Iris Murdoch, The Sea, The Sea

I think that metaphor really is a key to explaining thought and language. The human mind comes equipped with an ability to penetrate the cladding of sensory appearance and discern the abstract construction underneath – not always on demand, and not infallibly, but often enough and insightfully enough to shape the human condition. Our powers of analogy allow us to apply ancient neural structures to newfound subject matter, to discover hidden laws and systems in nature, and not least, to amplify the expressive power of language itself.
– Steven Pinker

Not wanting system change means you’re comfortable sacrificing countless species, the poor, the global south, your own future & the habitability of the planet you live on.

Im afraid this is the cost of business as usual.

– @ClimateDad77

Democrats are at least trying to save human civilization.

Republicans want people with diabetes to have medical debt.

There’s no “middle” here.

– Ethan Nichtern

Keep feeling there’s something kinda off about an economic system where the stock market falls in response to people having jobs.
– Ethan Nichtern

I continue to believe these are the last gasps of a dying system of power being held by a conservative white minority.

It’s just that those holding power in that dying system have more money, and more civilian weaponry, than ever before in human history.

So yeah, buckle up!

– Ethan Nichtern

The exit
was always viable:

the shelter in dreams
the support in words

poems like burning nails
flying melodies: rise up, my soul…

behind the darkness,
a future in full color!

– Ingibjörg Haraldsdóttir

Chögyam Trungpa ~ RICHNESS
Automatically, if you disown the path, then the path is you. If you stop making money, then you’re rich enough not to make any more money. You are really ultimately rich, because you don’t have to try and make money anymore at all. That is the real mentality of richness; whereas if you are trying to maintain & make money; that is still the mentality of poverty. You are still maintaining your mentality of being poor.

You attract what you judge until you no longer judge what you attract.
– Diane Brown

Once
by mistake
She tore a map
in half.
She taped it back
but crookedly.
Now all the roads
ended in water.
There were mountains
right next to her hometown.
Wouldn’t that be nice
if it were true?
I’d tear a map
and be right next
to you.
– Naomi Shihab Nye

Call & Response

I look at wealth
And it is beautiful
In its own distant way
Foreign
So far removed
I am, at once,
Attracted
And repelled
I’m a lover
of beauty
And it is often beautiful
The palatial
The garb
I see it and
appreciate
While, at once,
I cannot enter
Even in dreams
Something about
my spirit
says so
And that’s okay
Maybe better
There is something beautiful
In the less extravagant being
called ours I know a king,
who, when on earth,
did not live in a palace
A simple robe
Dusty straps of sandles
Traveling the walking ways
The roads
The earth
he made

– Marian Haddad

A hermit meditates in the peaceful silence of his woodland home. Suddenly a group of nay-sayers burst in with questions. Shocked at seeing the man sitting naked before them, they demand to know, “What are you doing sitting in your hut without any pants on?” The sage answers, “Within me is an entire universe. This little hut is just my pair of pants. What are you fellows doing inside my pants?”
– story from the Taoist tradition

Hey leaders: If people aren’t coming to the office, look in the mirror.

They’re not avoiding work. They’re avoiding toxic cultures, micromanagers, constant interruptions, and countless hours wasted commuting.

If you want people to show up more often, make it worth the trip.

– Adam Grant

All poems live or die in the concerted arrangement of syllables into patterns that are alternatively broken or reinforced.
– James Longenbach

How can you not know
this world is but a fleeting dream?
How strange now — black hair one day
…gray the next.
– Shinzen

I need a father, I need a mother, I need some old, wiser being to cry to. I talk to God but the sky is empty.
– Sylvia Plath

At its simplest, a network is any whole, composed of parts, distinguished from a background, and composed of other parts and wholes, layered into each other at multiple levels of scale.
– Christopher Vitale, Networkologies

Tradition is about innovation. Tradition is not about passing on things as they are. It’s about constantly trying new things for the age you live in. In the spirit of daring, innovation is what will keep a tradition alive.
– Tanabe Chikuunsai IV, bamboo artist/weaver

Santiago
by David Whyte

The road seen, then not seen, the hillside
hiding then revealing the way you should take,
the road dropping away from you as if leaving you
to walk on thin air, then catching you, holding you up,
when you thought you would fall,
and the way forward always in the end
the way that you followed, the way that carried you
into your future, that brought you to this place,
no matter that it sometimes took your promise from you,
no matter that it had to break your heart along the way:
the sense of having walked from far inside yourself
out into the revelation, to have risked yourself
for something that seemed to stand both inside you
and far beyond you, that called you back
to the only road in the end you could follow, walking
as you did, in your rags of love and speaking in the voice
that by night became a prayer for safe arrival,
so that one day you realized that what you wanted
had already happened long ago and in the dwelling place
you had lived in before you began,
and that every step along the way, you had carried
the heart and the mind and the promise
that first set you off and drew you on and that you were
more marvelous in your simple wish to find a way
than the gilded roofs of any destination you could reach:
as if, all along, you had thought the end point might be a city
with golden towers, and cheering crowds,
and turning the corner at what you thought was the end
of the road, you found just a simple reflection,
and a clear revelation beneath the face looking back
and beneath it another invitation, all in one glimpse:
like a person and a place you had sought forever,
like a broad field of freedom that beckoned you beyond;
like another life, and the road still stretching on.

Most Boomers can’t seem to help centering “the individual” in their framing of virtually everything.

Digital natives, on the other hand, have networked identities.

– Vincent Fakhoury Horn

Soul on deck
by Clarissa Pinkola-Estes

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these — to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.

There are always moments when one feels empty, estranged and afraid. You are detaching, the old is over and the new has not yet come. The soul has cast its moorings and is sailing for distant places.

Remember the instruction: whatever you come across — go beyond.

– Nisargadatta Maharaj

Sometimes,
loneliness assaults me out of the blue,
and I let it be.
Loneliness & I stay quiet.
We go to the bathroom,
to the grocery store,
to visit my mother…
I keep loneliness
company. No
it’s not so bad.
Sometimes she
looks me in the eyes
and cries.

– Puri Teruel Robledillo

A Joke About How Old We’ve Become

I take a break from one thought or another
to pay a credit card bill,
to take the dog out, to water the two

plants in the hanging basket
because Kim asked me to,
but why not instead take a walk

through the early August morning
before the heat wave hits
while the body still stretches itself out?

The music goes from minor to major
when you flip the album, but sometimes
the minor starts over before you

cross the room (it’s a big room)
and sometimes it’s best to just listen,
it’s best to not fill any space with words

but the stars and the stripes catch
the eye more so than the white
blank space like a life to be filled up with

something bigger than itself. My dad
last night on the phone telling me the tests
came back positive but not to worry (but how

not to worry?), his almost three decades
ahead of me and what is a year
really when they pile up, time to dust

the furniture again, to check
on the sink that’s draining slow,
clean it out, start the day with a list

of what a day should even mean
or be, not minding how fast the hours go by
until I will mind, which by then it will

be too late, though I do not mean
my life means anything in the scheme
of stepping back we all do, chipping

at some unmovable block of rock
as if time won’t eventually
undo even its looming shape too.

– Adam Clay

Quantum Foam
by Elizabeth Jacobson

The air is close by the sea and the glow from the pink moon
drapes low over a tamarind tree.

We hold hands, walk across a road rushing with traffic
to an abandoned building site on the bay, look out across the dark marina.

Sea cows sleep by the side of a splintered dock, a cluster of them
under the shallow water,

their wide backs covered in algae like mounds of bleached coral.

Every few minutes one floats up for air,
then drifts back down to the bottom,

without fully waking.
They will do this for hours, and for a while we try to match

our breath to theirs, and with each other’s.

In the morning, sitting in the garden beneath thatch palms,
we drink black coffee from white ceramic cups.

Lizards killed by feral cats are scattered on the footpath.
I sweep them into a pile with the ones from the night before.

Waves of heat rise from the asphalt,
and we sense a transparent gray fuzz lightly covering everything

as if there were no such thing as empty space,
that even a jar void of substance holds emptiness as if it were full.

When one man takes up responsibility for his blindness without any false guilt, even in the smallest things, the self-pity and the projections of blame onto others or onto God drop away, and the blessing beyond the opposites is strengthened in our environment.
– Helen M. Luke

either side
of the old stone wall
bleeding heart
– Tom Painting

You have two choices, to control your mind or to let your mind control you.
– Paulo Coelho

Being an artist means forever healing your
own wounds and at the same time
endlessly exposing them.
– Annette Messager

People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.
– Emerson

imprint of an
oar upon the water–
the fading light
– @juliusorlovsky

If you were here, we need not talk at all for our eyes would whisper for us and, your hand fast in mine, we would not ask for language.
– Emily Dickinson

Originality is being different from oneself, not others.
– Philip Larkin

Are you healed or do you only think you’re healed?
– Louise Glück

Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.
– Benjamin Franklin

LET IT ALL BE

Give up all clinging to love and hate,
Just rest with things as they are.
Do not try to become anything.
Do not make yourself into anything.
Do not be a meditator.
Do not become enlightened.
When you sit, let it be.
When you walk, let it be.
Grasp at nothing.
Resist nothing.
It all comes back to this –
just let it all be.

Step over here where it is cool,
out of the battle.
Why not give it a try.
Do you dare?

– Achaan Chah

Poetry is the most inclusive form of thought we have yet devised, a conscious call upon those resources of myth which underlie all language and all thinking.
– Elizabeth Sewell

Also important: fuck all theory, and other poetry, and what’s been said about it, and just write write write and see what happens. Like, me right now realizing I use reading to avoid my own thoughts and ideas. I love to read and reference. Writing is hard. But the rewards–
– Bianca Stone

If there’s nothing you can do, then do nothing. If there’s something you can do, then give it all you’ve got.
– Ajahn Brahm

just beyond
the sun-baked mirage…
more desert
– Stephen J. DeGuire

I try to give words
to how a song can
crawl up inside you
shine a light
on something
forgotten & make it
live again
– Fred L. Joiner

Rejoice! Rejoice!
You plaster-saints —

the children are gone,
but your guns are safe.

– @scotianselkie

My email address is older than you, sit down.
– @onionheart_

Unclose your mind. You are not a prisoner. You are a bird in flight, searching the skies for dreams.
– Haruki Murakami

Roman Year by Reginald Shepherd

Martius

The corrugated iron gates are
rolling down storefronts
in paradise, late light flecks windows,
rain’s acid fingerprints. Motes
float between iron and glass, sink
into sanded pavements, weather’s
footprints, cracked mappa mundi: silk
tea roses with a fringe of plastic fern;
grapes, apples, and bananas ripened
to painted wax: your eyes
blinking away pollen
in wind that says spring’s coming, wait
for me. Months sometimes it takes

Aprilis

lights scrolls across an unmade bed,
we were setting out for Aries
in paper planes (white dwarf stars
bright in a wilderness of wish scatter
white feathers among me, fistfuls
of light): bees busied themselves
with the seen, moment’s
multiple tasks, for the pollen, honey
in the blood, bees would drown
each day: from a thicket of nos
to one sepaled blossoming, all
in an afternoon

you thought of bees as summer

Maius

This heliotrope gaze has fixed me
in its sights (the turning solar year suffers
in sudden rain, grazes my cold
with vague waves, plashing
particles, but lightly): lightly
take this sky, bound up in so much
loose light, light wind brushes chapped
lips. Light-footed gods break open
day to see what it contains: body
survives light’s inquisitions.

Junius

Beside the shale pigeons a dove
color of old brick dust, the sound
of brick dust settling: traffic noise
rides heat-rise off wet streets, summer
music echoes borrowed air: light
centrifugal, sent scattering, lost later
every day:some gold
against bright water (handfuls
scattered over lake), unnecessary, true
candleland waning to wax
and wick, silver water shattering
like backed glass

Quintilis

When I was in Egypt, light fell
instead of rain, congealed to grains of sand,
pyramidal, uninterred. Uninterrupted waves
of palms departed for shuddering oases. Why was it
I spent centuries in that mirage, caravanserai
of the sirocco stopped, pausing at
reflection, also called the polished sky,
and still no fall of shade? The light hung
triangular, aslant, touched the colossus
to song.

Sextilis

Wanting to understand, not wanting
to understand, worried that
by taking thought you lose it, by not
taking, thought. Watching him run a hand
through thin blond hair, passing
at arm’s length on a lunch hour
street. Wondering is it good now, am I
pleasure, and which part is it that I need,
while air migrates too slowly to be seen
and noon crawls groggy over August
skin. Then thinking No, it’s too
and turning back to look at traffic.

September

Sudden storm, then sudden sun. Give me,
I almost said: and stopped, began again
with your voice, what gets invented by the
I-can’t-say-that-here. The afternoon of after rain
dazzles with cloudlessness and a painful green
set casually against blue: light
mottled by fractal leaves
freckles your outstretched arm,
repeating apple, apple, apple, sour
fruit and crabgrass. A damp T-shirt
takes on that color, nothing
will wash it out. I wear it for weeks.

October

doorway, flutter, moth
or leaf in flight, in fall
foyer, stammer of wind, a patter
hovering, dust hushed or
pressed to trembling
glass, smut, soot, mutter
of moth or withered stem,
late haze, gray stutter
crumpled, crushed,
falter, fall, a tread …

November

williwaw, brawl in air,
shunt or sinew of wind shear
blown off course, pewter skew
vicinity, winnow and complicit

sky preoccupied with grizzle,
winter feed of lawns’ snared
weathervane, whey-faced day
brume all afternoon of it

(lead reticence of five o’clock)
remnant slate all paucity and drift
salt splay, slur and matte brink
snow stammers against sidewalks

December

White light seen through
the season’s double window
clouding the room reveals the roses’
week-old gift of petals bruised purple-black.
Dry paper falling on white cloth
seconds the white room’s wonder
at cold sun flurried, crumbling stars
compacted underfoot: lattice
of fixed clarity, wintrish eidolon
half patience, half at prayer.

Is a reminder of the strength and pain
Of being young; that it can’t come again,
But is for others undiminished somewhere.
– Philip Larkin

Lake Havasu
by Dorianne Laux

Man-made, bejesus hot, patches of sand turned to glass.
Home of Iron Mountain and McCulloch chainsaws.

London Bridge, disassembled, shipped, reassembled.
The white sturgeon stocked, found dead, some lost,
hiding in the depths of Parker Dam. Fifty year-old
monsters, maybe twenty feet long. Lake named

for the Mojave word for blue. Havasu. Havasu.
What we called the sky on largemouth bass days,

striped bass nights, carp, catfish, crappie, razorback,
turtles, stocked, caught, restocked. I stood waist deep
in that dammed blue, and I was beautiful, a life saver
resting on my young hips, childless, oblivious

to politics, to the life carted in and dumped
into the cauldron I swam through, going under,

gliding along the cool sand like a human fish,
white bikini-ed shark flashing my blind side.
We heard a woman died, face down in the sand,
drunk on a 125 degree day. That night we slept

on dampened sheets, a hotel ice bucket on the
bedside table. We sucked the cubes round, slid

the beveled edges down our thighs and spines,
let them melt to pools in the small caves
below our sternums. While you slept beside me
I thought of that woman, her body one long

third degree burn, sweating and turning
under a largo moon, the TV on: seven dead

from Tylenol, the etched black wedge of the
Vietnam Memorial, the Commodore Computer
unveiled, the first artificial heart, just beginning
to wonder if something might be wrong.

Pain and suffering are a kind of currency passed from hand to hand until they reach someone who receives them but does not pass them on.
– Simone Weil

Our fearsome gods have only changed their names: they now rhyme with—ism.
– CG Jung

beyond the trees
a strange desire
to lose oneself
– @Jocelynx44

Gods are unavoidable. The more you flee from the God, the more surely you fall into his hand.
– CG Jung

Dharma is accessible everywhere, including those places where the word “dharma” has never been uttered.
– @VinceFHorn

Society pushes us since childhood to be in a constant state of fight or flight. Rush to school. Compete for good grades. Compete in sports. Achieve. Perform. Our nervous needs stillness, quiet, play, and creativity. We’re human, not machines.
– Dr. Nicole LaPera

How does meaning get into the image? Where does it end? And if it ends, what is there beyond?
– Roland Barthes

the image has touched the depths before it stirs the surface
– Bachelard

Whatever Else
by Jim Moore

Whatever else, the little smile on the face of the woman
listening to a music the rest of us can’t hear and a sky at dawn
with a moon all its own. Whatever else, the construction crane
high above us waiting to be told how to do our bidding,
we who bid and bid and bid. Whatever else, the way cook #1
looks with such longing at cook #2. Let’s not be too sad
about how sad we are. I know about the disappearance
of the river dolphins, the sea turtles with tumors.
I know about the way the dead
don’t return no matter how long they take to die
in the back of the police car. I know about the thousand ways our world
betrays itself. Whatever else, my friend, spreading wide his arms,
looks out at the river and says,
“After all, what choice did I have?” After all,
I saw the man walking who’d had the stroke, saw the woman
whose body won’t stop shaking. I saw the frog in the tall grass,
boldly telling us who truly matters. I saw the world
proclaim itself an unlit vesper candle while a crow
flew into the tip of it, sleek black match, burning.

Some poets marry a language; some have affairs with it; some treat it as a parent, some as a child, some as an equal, or as a friend.
– Stephen Burt

There’s a middle ground between barely any thinking about complexity, interconnection, and scenarios (the status quo) and using highly complicated computer simulation that are very expensive to produce and take a lot of training to use.
– Dr. Elizabeth Sawin

It is simply this: do not tire, never lose interest, never grow indifferent—lose your invaluable curiosity and you let yourself die. It’s as simple as that.
– Tove Jansson

It is a thorny undertaking, and more so than it seems, to follow a movement so wandering as that of our mind, to penetrate the opaque depths of its innermost folds, to pick out and immobilize the innumerable flutterings that agitate it.
– Michel Montaigne

You see, I have some rare and beautiful plants. I offer them the soil. If they like it they can stay here and bloom and grow. If they don’t, well then, nothing can be done.
– CG Jung

As Mircea Eliade points out, the shaman himself does not heal; he mediates the healing confrontation of the patient with the divine powers.
– Marie Louise von Franz

Trauma comes back as a reaction, not a memory.
– Bessel Van Der Kolk

If tendencies towards disassociation were not inherent in the human psyche, parts never would have been split off; in other words, neither spirits nor gods would ever have come to exist.
– CG Jung

We are indebted to Jung because he rediscovered this religious attitude not only toward the dream but also toward man’s ills. “Man needs his difficulties,” he said, “they are necessary for health.
– Russell Lockhart

The project of growing up is to keep working to heal the splits within until we serve what is wishing to enter the world through us in the first place.
– James Hollis, Living Between Worlds

Poets are necessarily outcasts. I cannot write the truth, I cannot make use of language in new and subversive ways, unless I’m standing both in the culture and on the rim of the culture.
– Jericho Brown

beyond belief
software named after
a doomed goddess
– @pauldavidmena

It is a very powerful experience to discover myths living themselves through your own life. Your see that they are living things, not just untrue stories with no point other than entertainment. I makes one feel humble about what one thought was knowledge.
– Liz Greene

biology

i dreamed a boat, filled it with soil,
trees, worms, blackbirds.

i said: let it find its way to the light
in slow, convoluted travels.

one half, we shall call day. the other
night. each equally correct, and

dotted with whatever walks, pedals,
swims. i will not name an end.

let it happen: perhaps it could
grow its own volition. whichever way

the kaleidoscope elects or rejects, each
bright fragment, overlaid or cloisonné,

is beautiful. i love every grass blade
the same. the eater of the grass.

the eater of the eater of the grass.
i make my love a long, repetitive ribbon,

or better yet, a circle, and call it:
biology.

– Lorelei Bacht

lakes evaporate
soil dried to dust
—heat beyond heat
– @grayladywriter

Just because you write a verse first, doesn’t mean it’s your first verse.
– Pat Pattison

religions are bogus. all of them. free yourself. try poetry
– Brian Tierney

REMEDY
When I was young, exorcisms were quite common, a remedy not unlike ice baths. Plus, devils were shorter in those days just as people were. They hadn’t eaten enough fruits or vegetables, and lacked essential vitamins and iron, grew thin and pale, fell easily into brooding depressions. They looked more like deer than sheep, and when they possessed you it was usually because they were fleeing from someone else and didn’t realize where they were until it was too late. It was more a question of giving directions than driving them out. “Turn right at the hairdresser’s, go straight until you get to the abandoned schoolhouse, then turn left. You should see the exit from there.” “Thank you. I was completely lost.” “You’re welcome. Good luck.” “You too, and thanks again.”
– Dag T. Straumsvåg, translated by Robert Hedin

a hundred hearings
cannot surpass
one seeing
– Ryutan

The earth is round remember
We live not under the stars
But among them.
– D. A. Powell

When I have nothing in my pocket
I have poetry
When I have nothing in my fridge
I have poetry
When I have nothing in my heart
I have nothing.
– Abbas Kiarostami

When I pursue happiness,
I can never find it.

Then suddenly when I’m not looking
it just appears.

– Yang Wan-li

I’m no longer interested in any forms of spirituality, self mastery programs, success mentors, coaches, healers, spiritual thinkers, or activists that don’t ultimately lead their communities back to responsible association to tending the Earth.

The never ending quest for self-realization, personal brand mastery, self-success “soul”-preneurship all strike me as bypasses that have only served to keep us disassociated from what’s actually going on here.

Which requires us to exit the cult of individual success, whether seen through foggy spiritualized goggles or not, and get our hands dirty in the immediacy of our grounded environmental issues around us.

The world dies while we buy in to yet another charismatic voice telling us how to heal some yet unmastered part of ourselves even more deeply into narcissistic individual “success.”

The world dies while charismatics make millions on their self help platforms.

Sure.. and for that matter, Please: do your personal healing.

But if my healing only keeps looping back to myself, and doesn’t ultimately lead to reassociation with the Earth and my work to be part Of It,

then I’m just a casualty of healing-themed consumerism. And still contributing to the problems that are destroying the planet.”

– Adrianne Tamar Arachne

It’s no wonder we don’t defend the land where we live. We don’t live here. We live in television programs and movies and books and with celebrities and in heaven and by rules and laws and abstractions created by people far away and we live anywhere and everywhere except in our particular bodies on this particular land at this particular moment in these particular circumstances.
– Derrick Jensen

This morning I interviewed someone in Iceland who taught me the beautiful word “Útilykt,” the scent of the outdoors that clings to your clothing and hair.
– Maggie Downs

I looked at the sky and the earth and straight ahead
and since then I’ve been writing a long letter to the dead
on a typewriter that doesn’t have a ribbon.
– @ttranstromer

A leader’s job is not to fix disengaged people.
A leader’s job is to fix the environment that results in disengaged people.
– L. David Marquet

The mystery and beauty of a wild river is beyond our ability to comprehend, but within our capacity to destroy.
– River the Movie

Speed and Perfection
How quickly the season of apricots is over–
a single night’s wind is enough.
I kneel on the ground, lifting one, then the next.
Eating those I can, before the bruises appear.
– Jane Hirshfield

You either have writer’s block or too many ideas and can’t seem to focus on one. Different vibes, same anxiety result.
– @vic_toriawrites

A reminder, should you be in need of a smile, that eggs were once called ‘cacklefarts’, penguins were known as ‘arse-feet’, umbrellas as ‘bumbershoots’, and sausages as ‘bags of mystery’ because you never quite know what’s in them.
– Susie Dent

Divorcing capitalism from consumerism was capitalism’s cleverest PR move. Everyone is happy to make a full-throated denunciation of capitalism, but suggest that buying endless amounts of unnecessary crap might be part of the problem and you get run out of the room.
– Gwen C Katz

Jung points out that the whole purpose of the awakening of the Kundalini is to separate the gods from the world – where they have slept – so that they become active, and with that we necessarily start a new order of things.
– Barbara Hannah

Then Ebony arrived in 1945 … to inform us and assure us that our lives were so important, they could never be edited out of the history of our people.
– Maya Angelou

Be careful about overlooking the moments when people extend beyond the story you have created or been told about them.

Very rarely do people exist in narrow boxes.

– Dr. Thema

We sat on the small veranda of the cottage,
& listened hours to the sea talk.
I didn’t have to look up to see if it was still there.

– Yusef Komunyakaa

Happy am I who can recognize the multiplicity and diversity of the Gods.
– CG Jung, Liber Novus

What remains after a year of rot? / Always the pit, never the peach. / I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. / To become, overnight, a survivor—
– Julian Gewirtz

Why should I feel lonely? is not our planet in the Milky Way?
– Thoreau

She still asks for my number
every time we kiss. Still
stops me from carving our
initials into a tree, whispering
“Everything that grows
already knows who we are.”
– Andrea Gibson

Language is a rascal. If you attempt to pin it down or restrict it, it might elude you. Attempt to charm it, it might strike back. Examine it from a distance, and watch it run straight into your arms.
– Omotara James

I was gonna say rural in tone, urban in aims — but then I realized the complete opposite is true too. So…
– Kathleen Ossip

If you ever get the chance, go alone. Walk alone, travel alone, live alone, dance alone. Just for a while. If you ever get the chance, learn who you are when the world isn’t demanding you be one way or another…
– Brianna Wiest

The anima is the mover, the instigator of change, whose fascination drives, lures, and encourages the male to all the adventures of the soul and spirit, of action and creation in the inner and the outward world.
– Eric Neumann, The Great Mother

Much analysis, and even more psychotherapy, is ludicrously omnipotent and optimistic.
– Bion.

Maybe it would make it more obvious if we stopped calling it “global warming” (and definitely stop calling it “climate change”, which is really weak) and started calling it “mass extinction”, which is the net effect.
– Timothy Morton, All Art Is Ecological

Some people say, I don’t read fiction because it isn’t real. This is incredibly naive.
– Ursula K. Le Guin

Don’t take it personally when others avoid, reject, invalidate or skip over your pain. Take it personally when you do it to yourself.
– @Maryamhasnaa

I think that what poets do is decipher silence.
– Ekiwah Adler Beléndez

Revivify your dead Heart.
– Shaykh Sa’adi Shirazi

Human existence is so fragile a thing and exposed to such dangers that I cannot love without trembling.
– Simone Weil

The Death of Antinoüs
by Mark Doty

When the beautiful young man drowned—
accidentally, swimming at dawn
in a current too swift for him,
or obedient to some cult
of total immersion that promised
the bather would come up divine,

mortality rinsed from him—
Hadrian placed his image everywhere,
a marble Antinoüs staring across
the public squares where a few dogs
always scuffled, planted
in every squalid little crossroads

at the furthest corners of the Empire.
What do we want in any body
but the world? And if the lover’s
inimitable form was nowhere,
then he would find it everywhere,
though the boy became simply more dead

as the sculptors embodied him.
Wherever Hadrian might travel,
the beloved figure would be there
first: the turn of his shoulders,
the exact marble nipples,
the drowned face not really lost

to the Nile—which has no appetite,
merely takes in anything
without judgment or expectation—
but lost into its own multiplication,
an artifice rubbed with oils and acid
so that the skin might shine.

Which of these did I love?
Here is his hair, here his hair
again. Here the chiseled liquid waist
I hold because I cannot hold it.
If only one of you, he might have said
to any of the thousand marble boys anywhere,

would speak. Or the statues might have been enough,
the drowned boy blurred as much by memory
as by water, molded toward an essential,
remote ideal. Longing, of course,
become its own object, the way
that desire can make anything into a god.

Hell is a state where everyone is perpetually concerned about his own dignity and advancement and where everyone has a grievance.
– C.S. Lewis

The occurrence of thought is sickness; not continuing thoughts is medicine.
– Anthology on the Cultivation of Realization. Author, Unknown. Ming Dynasty

The brain-disease model overlooks four fundamental truths: (1) our capacity to destroy one another is matched by our capacity to heal one another. Restoring relationships and community is central to restoring well-being; (2) language gives us the power to change ourselves and others by communicating our experiences, helping us to define what we know, and finding a common sense of meaning; (3) we have the ability to regulate our own physiology, including some of the so-called involuntary functions of the body and brain, through such basic activities as breathing, moving, and touching; and (4) we can change social conditions to create environments in which children and adults can feel safe and where they can thrive. When we ignore these quintessential dimensions of humanity, we deprive people of ways to heal from trauma and restore their autonomy. Being a patient, rather than a participant in one’s healing process, separates suffering people from their community and alienates them from an inner sense of self.
– Bessel van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score

The specialist has his function,
but, to him, we are merely banal examples of
what he knows all about. The healer I faith
is someone I’ve gossiped
and drunk with before I call him to touch me,
someone who admits how easy it is to
misconster
what our bodies are trying to say, for each
one talks in a local
dialect of its own that can alter during
its lifetime.
– W. H. Auden

The Art of Healing (W.H. Auden)
(In Memoriam David Protetch, M. D.)

Most patients believe
dying is something they do,
not their physician,
that white-coated sage,
never to be imagined
naked or married.

Begotten by one,
I should know better.
‘Healing,’
Papa would tell me,
‘is not a science,
but the intuitive art
of wooing Nature.
Plants, beasts, may react
according to the common
whim of their species,
but all humans have
prejudices of their own
which can’t be foreseen.
To some, ill-health is
a way to be important,
others are stoics,
a few fanatics,
who won’t feel happy until
they are cut open.’
Warned by him to shun
the sadist, the nod-crafty,
and the fee-conscious,
I knew when we met,
I had found a consultant
who thought as he did,

yourself a victim
of medical engineers
and their arrogance,
when they atom-bombed
your sick pituitary
and over-killed it.

‘Every sickness
is a musical problem,’
so said Novalis,
‘and every cure
a musical solution’:
You knew that also.
Not that in my case
you heard any shattering
discords to resolve:
to date my organs
still seem pretty sure of their
self-identity.
For my small ailments
you, who were mortally sick,
prescribed with success:
my major vices,
my mad addictions, you left
to my own conscience.
Was it your very
predicament that made me
sure I could trust you,
if I were dying,
to say so, not insult me
with soothing fictions?

Must diabetics
all contend with a nisus
to self-destruction?
One day you told me:
‘It is only bad temper
that keeps me going.’

But neither anger
nor lust are omnipotent,
nor should we even
want our friends to be
superhuman. Dear David,
dead one, rest in peace,
having been what all
doctors should be, but few
are,
and, even when most
difficult, condign
of our biased affection
and objective praise.

All human beings are faced with the challenge of transforming themselves throughout the stages of their lives. If we don’t deal with the challenge, we end up sick, depressed, without meaning. I try to suggest how people can re-form themselves. We are faced with a crisis indeed when we find out we can’t really express ourselves truthfully, we only know how to perform.
– Stanley Keleman

CATASTROPHE IS NEXT TO GODLINESS

A poem for Sunday by Franny Choi

Lord, I confess I want the clarity of catastrophe but not the catastrophe.
Like everyone else, I want a storm I can dance in.
I want an excuse to change my life.

The day A. died, the sun was brighter than any sun.
I answered the phone, and a channel opened
between my stupid head and heaven, or what was left of it. The blankness
stared back; and I made sound after sound with my blood-wet gullet.
O unsayable—O tender and divine unsayable, I knew you then:
you line straight to the planet’s calamitous core; you moment moment moment;
you intimate abyss I called sister for a good reason.

When the Bad Thing happened, I saw every blade.
And every year I find out what they’ve done to us, I shed another skin.
I get closer to open air; true north.

Lord, if I say Bless the cold water you throw on my face,
does that make me a costume party. Am I greedy for comfort
if I ask you not to kill my friends; if I beg you to press
your heel against my throat—not enough to ruin me,
but just so—just so I can almost see your face—

The 77th anniversary of the attack on Nagasaki that was also the third atomic explosion ever (the first at White Sands, NM, in July; the second on Hiroshima, three days earlier). Japan was already defeated and the bombs were dropped in part to assert the US’s dominance in the postwar order. They are also listed as tests on the list of atomic tests the US Dept. of Energy maintained.

On the fiftieth anniversary, in 1995, I attended an antinuclear event at which a survivor spoke. She had been a young girl at the time. She spoke so slowly I was able to write down her words.

The city was a flat sea in flames
and the dust from the sky
is complete
Sky is black
That time we don’t feel anything.
Not fear
[she had a nail in her foot]
I do not feel pain
Nearby we have a big pan full of water
When I looked, no water, none, no fish
Under the house they are screaming Help me, help me
but there is no way I can help them.
Some of them they crawl because foot is smashed
And on the way is dead I had to pass one by one
After three days is smell….
from the dead people,
Even the clothes, even the money smell for long after
You could wash yourself, you smell
They bring body, part of body, and cremate it in open sky
and I hear that noise, I can’t forget that noise—
excuse me but like a barbeque.
I couldn’t touch the meat for many years.
Every time I see–I don’t want to remember–but after fifty years I say, If I don’t tell them who will?
I lose six members of my family and I can’t cry, I am in shock, I say maybe it was burned, that’s why I can’t cry
[burnt man full of maggots screaming Help, please kill me]
some like mummy
and the skeleton all over the place
One time I find a string
My mother says don’t touch
Now I think it was intestine
I had no shoes–because was inside the house
So we have to tear up our clothes to walk
I was drinking the dirty water because we had no water–no food, no medicine
Next thing I see body floating down towards me in the water
Most of the half-burned body is that way–eyes open, surprised
I don’t even know how long I survive. Maybe tomorrow. Of course I have scar on side back arm
Doesn’t show face leg
[man blackened exiting train, frozen in place, inside the train sitting there–of courses all dead, black burned]
It was so hot
Nagasaki is so hot.
But we can’t make it
We are so sick
Infection from nail, spent one night in bamboo then decide to go back to grandmother’s home
The Americans coming so we [young girls] all have to cut hair
but I no cut hair
Every time you comb like this hair comes out
gum start losing teeth start losing
I was so skinny, my grandmother could pick it [me?] up
My cousins started dying one by one
They die
They didn’t have big scar, they die from radiation symptoms
They start vomiting
It is black, black
The plutonium in Nagasaki is different
Whatever comes out is black.
Grandmother took us to hospital but they say we cannot help you
We stayed there in the hospital
My mother starts getting very sick
pimple spots all over stomach is bloated
Every day she is by the train: Father come home
Of course he didn’t come
And her condition was so bad that no one would go near….
smell like decay
from her nose it looks like black oil comes out
Whatever comes out is turned to black
I don’t understand it
Uncle took back to his my grandmother’s home
and on the way she drink the spring water
and she say
delicious
and those were her last words.
Then she was at peace
She had been in hell.
When I saw those bones I thought, I said
Am I living
or am I dreaming,
in other world
and that’s why I am here speaking.

– Rebecca Solnit

The innocent mistake that keeps us caught in our own particular style of ignorance, unkindness, and shut-downness is that we are never encouraged to see clearly what is, with gentleness. Instead, there’s a kind of basic misunderstanding that we should try to be better than we already are, that we should try to improve ourselves, that we should try to get away from painful things, and that if we could just learn how to get away from the painful things, then we would be happy. That is the innocent, naïve misunderstanding that we all share, which keeps us unhappy.
– Pema Chödron

The nearer any disease approaches to a crisis, the nearer it is to a cure. Danger and deliverance make their advances together, and it is only the last push, in which one or the other takes the lead.
– Thomas Paine

To what does the soul turn that has no therapists to visit? It takes its trouble to the trees, to the riverbank, to an animal companion, on an aimless walk through the city streets, a long watch of the night sky. Just stare out the window or boil water for a cup of tea. We breathe, expand, and let go, and something comes in from elsewhere. The daimon in the heart seems quietly pleased, preferring melancholy to desperation. It’s in touch.
– James Hillman

If I were really asked to define myself, I wouldn’t start with race; I wouldn’t start with blackness; I wouldn’t start with gender; I wouldn’t start with feminism. I would start with stripping down to what fundamentally informs my life, which is that I’m a seeker on the path. I think of feminism, and I think of anti-racist struggles as part of it. But where I stand spiritually is, steadfastly, on a path about love.
– Bell Hooks

Poetry is a rich, full-bodied whistle,
cracked ice crunching in pails,
the night that numbs the leaf,
the duel of two nightingales,
the sweet pea that has run wild,
Creation’s tears in shoulder blades.
– Boris Pasternak

A Green Crab’s Shell
by Mark Doty

Not, exactly, green:
closer to bronze
preserved in kind brine,

something retrieved
from a Greco-Roman wreck,
patinated and oddly

muscular. We cannot
know what his fantastic
legs were like—

though evidence
suggests eight
complexly folded

scuttling works
of armament, crowned
by the foreclaws’

gesture of menace
and power. A gull’s
gobbled the center,

leaving this chamber
—size of a demitasse—
open to reveal

a shocking, Giotto blue.
Though it smells
of seaweed and ruin,

this little traveling case
comes with such lavish lining!
Imagine breathing

surrounded by
the brilliant rinse
of summer’s firmament.

What color is
the underside of skin?
Not so bad, to die,

if we could be opened
into this—
if the smallest chambers

of ourselves,
similarly,
revealed some sky.

There are those fortunate hours when the world consents to be made into a poem.
– Mark Doty

Many folks continue to miss a key point on climate change solutions –that solutions deployed *today* are far more useful than those that come later.

Why?

It’s because of the “time value of carbon”

– Dr. Jonathan Foley

Critique is not a passion of the head; it is the head of passion.
– Marx

Look, America is awful and the world is too hot and the truth of the matter is we’re all up against the clock. It makes everything simple and urgent: there’s only time to turn toward what you truly love.
– J. Sullivan

Contemporary civilization is returning to begging to stop ecocide, but the first step in this return should be to leave the parental home in the great house of the world. Our parents are everywhere – because everything instructs us, encourages us, educates us. Does anyone really believe that humans invented the wheel, or fire, or tools on their own? Stones roll downhill, flames fall from the sky, birds weave nests and pull ants out of their nests with sticks, just like monkeys or elephants. The natural sciences were taught by nature itself.
– James Hillman

UNIVERSE

This is not your week to run the universe.
Next week is not looking so good either.

We live the strangeness of being momentary,
and still we are exalted by being temporary.
[…]
It is the fact of being brief,
being small and slight that is the source of our beauty.
We are a singularity that makes music out of noise
because we must hurry. We make a harvest of loneliness
and desiring in the blank wasteland of cosmos.
– Jack Gilbert

Mercy, grace, forgiveness, and compassion are synonyms, and the approaches we might consider taking when facing a great big mess, especially the great big mess of ourselves—our arrogance, greed, poverty, disease, prejudice.
– Anne Lamott

Even So

Love, if it is love, never goes away.
It is embedded in us,
like seams of gold in the Earth,
waiting for light,
waiting to be struck.

– Alice Walker, Hard Times Require Furious Dancing

I want you to know / none of us knows what to do with wonder not one of us / knows how to love the world.
– Chelsea B. DesAutels

Just a lowly poet alone on the range.
– @LeahJCallen

When a man can’t find a deep sense of meaning, they distract themselves with pleasure.
– Viktor Frankl

When religion collapses, we discover the unconscious and open the Pandora’s box of the inner life.
– David Tacey, How to Read Jung

You never get the book you wanted, you settle for the book you get.
– James Baldwin

Fascism may be funny to you, motherf-cker, but it’s not funny to me, ok?
– Ethan Nichtern

Real misanthropes are not found in solitude, but in the world; since it is experience of life, and not philosophy, which produces real hatred of mankind.
– Giacomo Leopardi

The problem is not our emotions but our clinging to them. We think we suffer because of what we feel, but in reality, we suffer because we think about our feelings in ways that create new, even more painful feelings: we compound jealousy w/hatred, sadness w/ self-doubt.
– Weinfield

This is how we apply the Dharma: we identify the suffering, discover its cause, and apply the path of cessation.
– Dzigar Kongtrul

Jung said that what you don’t bring to consciousness you live out unconsciously. So if you look at your relationships you can begin to see certain patterns. Certainly your dreams will show you archetypes you’ve been living.
– Marion Woodman

Just as a diamond is coal’s response to the press of the earth, in its broadest terms a style is an aesthetic response to being an individual in the grip of the world.
– Dana Levin

Don’t fall in love with
me today: this is a ghost
of who I will be
tomorrow and tomorrow
and tomorrow.
– @olicketysplit

The kind of hope I often think about I understand above all as a state of mind, not a state of the world. Either we have hope within us or we don’t; it is a dimension of the soul; it’s not essentially dependent on some particular observation of the world or estimate of the situation.

Hope is not prognostication. It is an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart; it transcends the world that is immediately experienced, and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons. Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but, rather, an ability to work for something that is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed.

The more unpropitious the situation in which we demonstrate hope, the deeper the hope is. Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.

In short, I think that the deepest and most important form of hope, the only one that can keep us above water and urge us to good works, and the only true source of the breathtaking dimension of the human spirit and its efforts, is something we get, as it were, from “elsewhere”. It is also this hope, above all, which gives us the strength to live and continually to try new things, even in conditions that seem hopeless as ours do, here and now.

– Vaclev Havel

No people are uninteresting.
Their destinies are like histories of planets.
Nothing in them is not particular,
and no planet is like another.

And if someone lives in obscurity,
befriending that obscurity,
he is interesting to people
by his very obscurity.

Everyone has his own secret, private world.
In that world is a finest moment.
In that world is a tragic hour,
but it is all unknown to us.

And if someone dies
there dies with him his first snow,
and first kiss, and first fight.
He takes it all with him.

[…] What do we know of brothers, of friends?
What do we know of our one and only?
And about our own fathers,
knowing everything, we know nothing.

They perish. They cannot be brought back.
Their secret worlds are not regenerated.
And every time I want again
to cry out against the unretrievableness.

– Yevgeny Yevtushenko

I release my partner from the obligation to complete me. I release my parents from the feeling they failed with me. I release my children from the need to bring me pride, so they can write their own paths to the rhythm of their hearts. I don’t lack anything. I cherish my essence, my way of expressing it, even if not everyone can understand me. I learn from all beings, all the time. I honor the divinity in me and you.
– from a Shamanic blessing translated from Nahuatl

Confusion is a luxury which only the very, very young can possibly afford and you are not that young anymore.
– James Baldwin

This is what it means to be entangled: it is to see that we are not complete, removed, or boundaried. We are not independent. To speak from a place of manicured morality, to attempt to stand outside the mess of it all, to try to be sincere, is to be blind to our rapturous entanglement with the multiple. A ‘flower’ doesn’t ‘begin’ at its roots and terminate abruptly at its petals; it is the ongoing intra-activity (notice I do not say ‘inter-activity’, for this would suggest that ‘things’ pre-exist relationships) of clouds, rain, sunlight, swirling dust, the keen attention of the gardener, and a cocktail of colourful critters and ecosystems of organisms. One might say that there are no ‘things’ at all. To come to the edge is thus to come to the curdling middle, where wild meets wild, where we meet the universe halfway in acknowledgement of our intra-dependence and co-emergence with ‘movements’ we cannot control or assuage.

Perhaps in situating his home at the edge of the village, the indigenous healer reminds himself and everyone else that we are not the central concern of an unspeakable universe. We are reminded of the ineffable, that words are not little epistemological mirrors that can reflect the state of things. We are part of the world’s ongoing complexity, yes, but not its prime movers, sole actors or longed-for apotheoses. As such, all the qualities we think of as unique to humans – thought, agency, will, intentionality, creativity, subjectivity – are performative qualities of a larger field in constant flux. Thus in order to really account for ourselves, in order to tell the stories of what is happening, we must come to the ends of ourselves, we must gravitate towards the edges in the middle…towards the incomprehensible, where wholly new ways of thinking are gestating in puddles of the forgotten.

– Bayo Akomolafe

This is the field where the battle did not happen,
where the unknown soldier did not die.
This is the field where grass joined hands,
where no monument stands,
and the only heroic thing is the sky.

Birds fly here without any sound,
unfolding their wings across the open.
No people killed—or were killed—on this ground
hallowed by neglect and an air so tame
that people celebrate it by forgetting its name.

– William Stafford

I cannot be weaned / Off the earth’s long contour
– Seamus Heaney

The hardest thing of all to see is what is really there.
– J.A. Baker, The Peregrine

The thinking type finds feeling type stupid & sentimental; the latter takes thinking type to be a cold intellectual. To sensation type, intuitive is “unreal,” whereas latter finds sensation type a “flat spiritless pedestrian creature. Food for 1 is poison for the other.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

We cannot change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.
– Carl Jung

Don’t tell me how
embodied you are,
or how hard it is
to be an empath.
Just feel the full moon flowing
through every nerve.
Taste the birth of stars
eight billion light years away
through the pulse of the blue vein
in your bare foot.
Let the photons in your bloodstream
dance with Sundara
through his cavern of
radiant darkness, your heart,
no, not in a dream
but a flesh-flame too wild,
too beautiful to name
except in the language of tears,
or quickly taken breaths
slowly surrendered.
Nothing can blind you
but your mind,
busy with explaining things.
Just for tonight,
let your religion
be astonishment.
– Fred Lamotte

Architecture is not based on concrete and steel and the elements of the soil. It’s based on wonder. And that wonder is really what has created the greatest cities, the greatest spaces that we have had.
– Daniel Libeskind

I broke my life, to seek relief
From the flawed light of love and grief.
– Louise Bogan

I wonder scientifically
how my brain was created,
what am I doing with this mistake.
I pretend to have a soul and thoughts
in order to mingle better among others,
sometimes I even seem to love
faces and the words of people, how strange…
being touched I wish I could touch [back],
but I always discover that my every emotion
depends on a nearby storm.
– Patrizia Cavalli

What keeps me alive is found between the images, between the words, between thoughts, the emptiness of feeling and in the emptiness of the body – there arises the fullness and significance of life.
– Basarab Nicolescu

What keeps me alive is found between the images, between the words, between thoughts, the emptiness of feeling and in the emptiness of the body – there arises the fullness and significance of life.
– Basarab Nicolescu

To change the past is not to change a mere single event; it is to annul its consequences, which tend to infinity. In other words, it is to create two histories of the world.
– Jorge Luis Borges

You can never win a revolution without being cheerie.
– John Maclean

The Ballad of John Maclean
by Matt McGinn

Dominie, Dominie
There was nane like John MacLean,
The fighting Dominie

Tell me where ye’re gaun, lad, and who ye’re gaun to meet–
I’m headed for the station that’s in Buchanan Street,
I’ll join 200,000 that’s there to meet the train
That’s bringing back to Glasgow our own dear John MacLean

Tell me whaur he’s been, lad, and why has he been there?
They’ve had him in the prison for preaching in the Square,
For Johnny held a finger at all the ills he saw,
He was right side o’ the people, but he was wrong side o’ the law:

Johnny was a teacher in one o’ Glasgow’s schools
The golden law was silence but Johnny broke the rules,
For a world of social justice young Johnny couldnae wait,
He took his chalk and easel to the men at the shipyard gate.

The leaders o’ the nation made money hand o’er fist
By grinding down the people by the fiddle and the twist,
Aided and abetted by the preacher and the Press —
John called for revolution and he called for nothing less:

The bosses and the judges united as one man
For Johnny was a danger to their ’14-’18 plan,
They wanted men for slaughter in the fields of Armentiers,
John called upon the people to smash the profiteers:

They brought him to the courtroom in Edinburgh toun,
But still he didnae cower, he firmly held his ground,
And stoutly he defended his every word and deed,
Five years it was his sentence in the jail at Peterheid:

Seven months he lingered in prison misery
Till the people rose in fury, in Glasgow and Dundee,
Lloyd George and all his cronies were shaken to the core,
The prison gates were opened, and John was free once more:

To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.
– Soren Kierkegaard

“Look out for that one,”
They said of the woman
Who didn’t move within the lines.
“She’s becoming free.”
“What do you mean, free?”
A little girl asked, attracted, intrigued.
“She sees what she sees and she speaks it
And she seems to be breaking
The last boundary
In that she’s caring less
And less
What men think of her
What the judgmental history
Still lodged in people’s hearts
Thinks of her.
Somehow, un-ensnaring herself
From the million commandments
She must abide by to please
The patriarchy,
She seems to be finding
A well within
And is able to source
Her own happiness.
Stay away from her.
She is dangerous.
The status quo untames itself
Around her.
In her presence the sword
Of justice
Is drawn
Like a clear blade
She seems to be becoming
One of those destructive ones
Who are devotees of truth
And who whirl
While the old world
Crumbles down.
She’s as ravenous for her shadows
As she is her light.
She is not afraid
Of the dark.”
The little girl sat watching
Wide eyed and said,
“But…do you think
She might teach me
How to dance?”
– Chelan Harkin

First, calm down.
Next, stay the way
for the rest of your life.

– Ron Padgett

Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.
– John Locke

COOL

nothing but
a calm heart
and cool air

– Issa

nightswimming in the still, silent sea; hope is a falling star
– @philipwhale

Men always imagine poets are lascivious women waltzing buck naked through the woods, rain, wheat, and sea… wearing nothing but pearl anklets, moonshine cologne, and their own rabbit heat.

But that’s only true on Fridays.

– @LeahJCallen

We lost most inner experience of our own outer belief systems. That is religion’s problem & it is a deep and serious problem. My generation took the symbols too literally, and now the following generation is just throwing them all out as useless. We are both losing.
– Richard Rohr

Growth includes no longer chasing what isn’t good for you and learning to recognize, receive, and appreciate what nourishes you.
– Dr. Thema

In PhD programs—or at least when I was a grad student—there was such emphasis on finding the flaws in thinking and making an “intervention.” No wonder people stop loving what they do and keep tearing themselves and others down. Time for a new paradigm?
– @rajivmohabir

academia is so conservative it’s always hilarious to me when conservatives frame it as a hotbed of leftist radicalism
– @chenchenwrites

But whoever looks from inside, knows that everything is new. The events that happen are always the same. But the creative depths of man are not always the same.
– CG Jung, The Red Book

THE SYMPATHIES OF THE LONG MARRIED
Oh well, let’s go on eating the grains of eternity.
What do we care about improvements in travel?
Angels sometimes cross the river on old turtles.

Shall we worry about who gets left behind?
That one bird flying through the clouds is enough.
Your sweet face at the door of the house is enough.

The two farm horses stubbornly pull the wagon.
The mad crows carry away the tablecloth.
Most of the time, we live through the night.

Let’s not drive the wild angels from our door.
Maybe the mad fields of grain will move.
Maybe the troubled rocks will learn to walk.

It’s all right if we’re troubled by the night.
It’s all right if we can’t recall our own name.
It’s all right if this rough music keeps on playing.

I’ve given up worrying about men living alone.
I do worry about the couple who live next door.
Some words heard through the screen door are enough.

– Robert Bly, Talking into the Ear of a Donkey

Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer:

Oh, the universe is big, and tonight,
I’m in love with being small

It’s a very important thing to learn to talk to people you disagree with.
– Pete Seeger

sharing tree shade
with a butterfly
friends from a different life

– Issa

Pema Chödrön:

We think that if we just meditated enough or jogged enough or ate perfect food, everything would be perfect. But from the point of view of someone who is awake, that’s death. Seeking security or perfection, rejoicing in feeling confirmed and whole, self-contained and comfortable, is some kind of death. It doesn’t have any fresh air. There’s no room for something to come in and interrupt all that. We are killing the moment by controlling our experience. Doing this is setting ourselves up for failure, because sooner or later, we’re going to have an experience we can’t control: our house is going to burn down, someone we love is going to die, we’re going to find out we have cancer, a brick is going to fall out of the sky and hit us on the head, somebody’s going to spill tomato juice all over our white suit, or we’re going to arrive at our favorite restaurant and discover that no one ordered produce and seven hundred people are coming for lunch.

The trick is to keep exploring and not bail out, even when we find out that something is not what we thought. That’s what we’re going to discover again and again and again. Nothing is what we thought.

Things are always in transition, if we could only realize it. Nothing ever sums itself up in the way that we like to dream about. The off-center, in-between state is an ideal situation, a situation in which we don’t get caught and we can open our hearts and minds beyond limit. It’s a very tender, nonaggressive, open-ended state of affairs. To stay with that shakiness—to stay with a broken heart, with a rumbling stomach, with the feeling of hopelessness and wanting to get revenge—that is the path of true awakening. Sticking with that uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic—this is the spiritual path.

Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.

If you wish to give your children the best possible heritage, give them a clean unconscious, not your own unlived life, which is hidden in your unconscious until you are ready to face it directly.
– Robert A. Johnson, She

A poet’s work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it going to sleep.
– Salman Rushdie

This is a moment where we get to decide which side we’re on.
– Jon Meacham, historian

There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
– Proverbs 6:16-19

Oh, the streets of Rome are filled with rubble
Ancient footprints are everywhere
You could almost think that you’re seeing double
On a cold, dark night on the Spanish Stairs

Gotta hurry on back to my hotel room
Where I got me a date with a pretty little girl from Greece
She promised she’d be there with me
When I paint my masterpiece.

– Bob Dylan

You can’t blow up a world in which Beethoven is possible, Mozart is possible, Cezanne is possible, Dostoyevsky is possible, Nietzsche is possible, the city of Paris is possible… You can’t destroy a world which is capable of such beauty, such glory. You cannot destroy a world that demonstrates, despite all the suffering and injustice, all the cruelty and stupidity, that there is light, there is generosity, there is ecstasy ecce homo, there is hope.
– Jeff Gross

Language is courage: the ability to conceive a thought, to speak it, and by doing so to make it true.
– Salman Rushdie

The death of the mind is the birth of wisdom.
– Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Unlike philosophy
which closes doors,
poems sneak through alchemies
of impulsive communiqués –
outguessing sophic
cathedrals of knowledge
while suggesting more
than any monologue
by asking you to join in too.
– George Gorman

I’ve never seriously asked myself the question, Do you believe in God? I believe in the words and the tunes; that’s quite enough for me.
– Derek Mahon

One of the greatest acts of giving that you can undertake is to make the other givers in your life feel appreciated. And the only way that you can do that is to go out of your way to show gratitude.
– Adam Grant

Whenever society is momentarily stationary, the people who live in it imagine that no further change will occur, just as, in spite of having witnessed the birth of the telephone, they decline to believe in the aeroplane.
– Marcel Proust

People are giving out clues as to how they are feeling all of the time. If you are unaware of them it will be more difficult to nurture your personal relationships.
– @MindfulEveryday

I think it would be hard to play the piano against itself anywhere except in the first line of a poem, which is precisely the appropriate time and place for opposition.
– @aliner

To be silent the whole day, see no newspaper, hear no radio, listen to no gossip, be thoroughly and completely lazy, thoroughly and completely indifferent to the fate of the world is the finest medicine a man can give himself.
– Henry Miller

bell hooks: We have to constantly critique imperialist white supremacist patriarchal culture because it is normalized by mass media and rendered unproblematic

The right-hand path is that of living in the context of the ideology & mask system, persona system, of one’s local village compound. The left-hand path is that of the individual quest. Each of us is an individual. Earlier societies did not pay much attention to this.
– Joseph Campbell

Everywhere i go people are talking about flying around the world for fun, making money, complaining about masks. basically acting as if we aren’t all spiraling downwards in overlapping climate, ecologic, democratic and economic emergencies.
– Greg Spooner

The word “eclipse” comes from ancient Greek ekleipsis, “a forsaking, quitting, abandonment.” The sun quits us, we are forsaken by light.
– @carsonbot

How about a system that:

Recognizes us as people. Not consumers.

Recognizes Earth as a complex living system. Not a resource.

– @ClimateDad77

When the fury and frenzy of ego strategies grow exhausted, the psyche reasserts itself. As Jung noted, whatever we deny within ourselves will come to us sooner or later and demand payment.
– James Hollis, Living Between Worlds

Most Zen masters expressly decline to take serious account of dreams, which they look upon as fragments of illusion which must be overcome. Jung, on the other hand, regards dreams as ”messages from the Self” which support the way of meditation.
– Marie Louise von Franz

We are described into corners, and then we must describe ourselves out of corners.
– Salman Rushdie

You can’t create an equitable clean energy system with an inequitable process for visioning, permitting, investing, building, and operating that system.
– Dr. Elizabeth Sawin

The only people who see the whole picture,’ he murmured, ‘are the ones who step out of the frame.
– Salman Rushdie

The best way to improve your ability to think is to spend large chunks of time thinking.

One way to force yourself to slow down and think is to write. Good writing requires good thinking.

Writing gives poor thinking nowhere to hide. A lack of understanding becomes visible.

– Shane Parrish

Three sunflowers
in a slender glass vase
guitars not wars again
– @haikueveryday

I learned never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.
– Ernest Hemingway

lavender stalk
the weight of one
white butterfly
– André Surridge

The earliest storytellers were magi, seers, bards, griots, shamans. They were, it would seem, as old as time, and as terrifying to gaze upon as the mysteries with which they wrestled. They wrestled with mysteries and transformed them into myths which coded the world and helped the community to live through one more darkness, with eyes wide open and hearts set alight.
– Ben Okri

Go for broke. Always try and do too much. Dispense with safety nets. Take a deep breath before you begin talking. Aim for the stars. Keep grinning. Be bloody-minded. Argue with the world. And never forget that writing is as close as we get to keeping a hold on the thousand and one things–childhood, certainties, cities, doubts, dreams, instants, phrases, parents, loves–that go on slipping, like sand, through our fingers.
– Salman Rushdie

In an ever-changing, incomprehensible world the masses had reached the point where they would, at the same time, believe everything and nothing, think that everything was possible and nothing was true… The totalitarian mass leaders based their propaganda on the correct psychological assumption that, under such conditions, one could make people believe the most fantastic statements one day, and trust that if the next day they were given irrefutable proof of their falsehood, they would take refuge in cynicism; instead of deserting the leaders who had lied to them, they would protest that they had known all along that the statement was a lie and would admire the leaders for their superior tactical cleverness.
– Hannah Arendt

…I came to see that movement is one of the great laws of life. It is the primary medium of our aliveness, the flow of energy going on in us like a river all the time, awake or asleep, twenty-four hours a day. Our movement is our behavior; there is a direct connection between what we are like and how we move…As people begin to move in their own way, they are faced with feelings of surprise and delight and often of anxiety and embarrassment. Judgments, corrections and explanations are of no use. It is their movement, and it happened just that way.
– Mary Whitehouse

Machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don’t hate: only the unloved hate, the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers, don’t fight for slavery, fight for liberty! You the people have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You the people have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure! Then… let us use that power. Let us all unite! Let us fight for a new world, a decent world …
– Charles Chaplin

The human psyche is a womb through which we gain awareness of a deeper self that is intimately connected with the sacred. Task is to link the ego with the self, to differentiate it and incarnate it, at least partially, in our daily life.
– Stein & Arzt

Therefore individuation is a sin; it is an assertion of one particle against the gods, and when that happens even the world of the gods is upset, then there is turmoil.
– CG Jung, Visions Seminar

Telling people there’s nothing they can do and then saying no one wants to do anything to justify telling people there’s nothing they can do is an endless cycle leading to nowhere good.
– Dr. Elizabeth Sawin

Sometimes you are erased before you are given the choice of stating who you are.
– @oceanvbot

English remains the most beautiful of languages. It will do anything.
– Maya Angelou

It’s only “espionage” if it comes from the Espionage region of France. Otherwise, it’s “sparkling treason.”
– Lestje B. Juddged

when i find out a poet’s not gay i’m always like “wow, very interesting”
– @cyreejarelle

Central Avenue Beach
by Adrian Matejka

—Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, 2016

1.

Just off of Highway 12, Sandburg’s signature
of time & eternity: the muggy marshes

& thick forests of the mind, sand that sings
its memory of glaciers & the glaciers before

them. 14,000 years of them. After
the Potawatomi got marched away & before

the steel makers’ smokestacks & the abandoned
Bailly Nuclear Plant cupped this lakeshore

like hands around a beach party’s last
dry match: Lake Michigan’s wide-brimmed

posture as close to an ocean as the scrub
brush, gulls, & rocks around here will get.

2.

Every town around here
has a Central Avenue, complete
with blustery flags & home-
cooked meals. Blank storefronts
& churches next to other churches—
lake light filtering through
their stained glass windows
most sunny afternoons after 3pm.
Steeples, one after another,
like the Great Lakes’ waves
trying to blink constant sand
out of wet eyes. & at night, all
of the avenue lights up. No street
lights, but stars & moon blinking
in agitated water while the industrial
lights on the fringes dim like blank
faces traced in constellations.

3.

Listen to the Sand
Hill Cranes folding
into the dim fringes

of themselves
like prayer hands.
Listen to the yellow

warblers clustered
up in the middle
of knotted branches

like a hungry chorus
in these perfectly
paused trees. Even

at night, the birds
grab sand-swirled air
with nonchalant wings.

4.

In the day or at night, central is centrālis in Latin & means exactly
what the warblers, trees, & restless dunes think it means: ruffles
of sand between the angry human fist & the equally angry
human face of industry, deregulations & pollutants as uninvited
as the sea lamprey wiggling through the locks & canals.

5.

After the canals & their creaking locks
& the oxidized ships & their bleary horns,

the sun edges the blue between cuffed waves
& unrepentant shore. After gravity’s

insoluble gears pull all of this water away
from Central Avenue & back to the center

& the fish swim away from shore through
the gills of noises & sediment in that sideways

way fish do. In a lake this big, it’s possible
to swim in circles all day & get no further

from the moon than this parade of whitecaps
on the edges of the dunes. The same

frustrated tendencies of circle, these waves.
The same cornered ingenuity, this great lake.

These dunes, always on the mainline’s wet
cusp—polished, brocaded & fabulous.

Mercy Beach
by Kamilah Aisha Moon

Stony trails of jagged beauty rise
like stretch marks streaking sand-hips.
All the Earth has borne beguiles us
& battered bodies build our acres.

Babes that sleep in hewn rock cradles
learn to bear the hardness coming.
Tough grace forged in tender bones—
may this serve & bless them well.

They grow & break grief into islands
of sun-baked stone submerged in salt
kisses, worn down by the ocean’s ardor
relentless as any strong loving.

May they find caresses that abolish pain.
Like Earth, they brandish wounds of gold!

We’re entitled to ask the most basic question: why would people read poems by a poet who repeatedly gestures towards having given up on poetry?
– Steven Lovatt, Emily Berry

Throw away the light, the definitions, and say what you see in the dark.
– Wallace Stevens

People don’t always express their inner thoughts to one another; a conversation may be quite trivial, but often the eyes will reveal what a person really thinks or feels.
– Alfred Hitchcock

Words were originally magic, and even today words retain much of their ancient magical power. By words, one person can make another blissfully happy or drive him to despair.
– Sigmund Freud

Chogyam Trungpa ~ SPIRITUAL PIZZA

People have different experiences of reality, which cannot be jumbled together. Invaders and dictators of all kinds have tried to make others have their experience, to make a big concoction of minds controlled by one person. But that is impossible. Everyone who has tried to make that kind of spiritual pizza has failed. So you have to accept that your experience is personal. The personal experience of nowness is very much there and very obviously there. You cannot even throw it away!

Interrupting the momentum of our discomfort with change in the small things can, over time, subtly alter our perception of the big things. In some ways, this is indeed at the heart of mindfulness.
– @Shihnode

I think of publishing as a road trip, where we’re all driving our little cars to the same destination and supporting each other along the way.
– Brittany Wallace

Do not get into the boat and start pushing the river! When things are not “in the flow,” pay attention to that. And don’t insist on having “your way.” But watch Life resolve itself in the process of Life itself.
– Neale Donald Walsch

The wise employ their mind as a mirror. Grasp nothing. Refuse nothing. Receive, but do not keep.
– Chuang-Tzu

In the fast-fading century,
As we spin through the years,
I pray that our failing vision clears
– Dan Fogelberg

And if you complain once more you’ll meet an army of me…
– Björk

Though the people in the ‘twenties’ seemed like flops, they weren’t. Fitzgerald, the rest of them, reckless as they were, drinkers as they were, they worked damn hard and all the time.
– Dorothy Parker

We come and go, but the land is always here.
– Willa Cather, O Pioneers

Ranking, of any kind, produces hierarchy. So, get better at making distinctions and ranking things.
– @VinceFHorn

oping around the office one afternoon, a question popped into my head, Am I going to spend the rest of my life in France? The answer was an emphatic ‘No!’ and I knew that this was the time for me to go home.
– Maxine Groffsky

Of all of our political divides, the fact that one party votes unanimously to address the climate crisis and one votes unanimously to do nothing might be the most jaw dropping for future generations (as it is to many who are here right now).
– Dan Rather

The quietly pacifist peaceful
always die
to make room for men
who shout.
– Alice Walker

(De)coloniality of power is not only about epistemology but also about the metaphysical infrastructure, that is, the ontological assumptions of the world that undergird the epistemological, teleological, affective, ethical/relational, etc.)
– Jairo I. Fúnez

When in danger the sea-cucumber divides itself in two: / one self it surrenders for devouring by the world, / with the second it makes good its escape
– Wisława Szymborska, Autotomy

How sweet to be a cloud floating in the blue.
– A.A. Milne

I didn’t go to bookshops to buy.
That’s a little bourgeois.
I went because they were civilized places.
It made me happy there were people
who sat down and wrote and wrote and wrote
and there were other people
who devoted their lives
to making those words into books.
It was lovely.
Like standing in the middle of civilization.
– Jerry Pinto

My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions, but in the fewness of my wants.
– Brotherton

The Air by Jackie Henshall

Nothing more strange than living inside
the wild unshaped nourishment of air
this angel of no fixed abode

trekking continuously across
the globe with tribes of clouds and winds
pitching tents here and there like scents
honeysuckle feelings rosemary
musings minty questionings from
who knows where full of the breathings
of all of us mingling our meanings

could it be my dreamings of Welsh
hills are lifted in gusts by this
nomad of a home to rain in the
desert as a wet scent of green?

The only thing more strange to me
than the air is the wondrous fact
I am born with lungs to breathe it

A Citizen of the Land

It does not matter to me
where you came from
what your eyes have seen,
what your hands have done.
What matters to me
is whether you are
a citizen of the land.
No, I don’t mean
whether you possess
the proper documents,
the passport, the green card,
the identity,
what I mean is
are you a citizen of THE land.
Do you belong to the earth,
do you treat her
with the dignity and respect
that we all deserve.
Do you pledge your allegiance
to wild nature?
Do you sing, as your anthem,
the song of the stars?
Do you have the remembering
in your bones,
of one who has not forgotten
their true home?
These are the things
that matter to me,
because we are all one.
Do not worry
if you have forgotten
where your true allegiance lies.
We are still all one.
It is our duty
as citizens of the land,
to remind each other
that this is our home.
It is our responsibility
to help those who have forgotten,
now forget the lies
that they have learned.
It is our path to guide
those who have forgotten
to the wild water,
so that they may know its feel
when they cup it
in their hands
and drink.
It is our duty
to help them remember
that they have always known
how to plant seeds,
how to tend the growing shoots
of new life,
when it is proper to harvest,
and how to do so
with true respect.
It does not matter to me
the color of your skin,
where your ancestors lived,
when they reached
these shores.
What matters to me
is what we may share
with each other,
how we may remind each other
of what has been lost
to our lineage,
how we may stir
the old stories
with our knowing,
how we may bring
new ways of honoring
to our mother tongue,
how we may teach each other
to make offerings
and never forget.
And so, I ask you,
are you willing to reclaim
your birthright
as a citizen of the land?
Are you willing
to accept the blessing
of always being at home?
Are you willing to take on
the responsibility
of reminding others
that they, too,
were born
with this gift,
even if it means
the hardship
of reminding those
who try to divide,
disenfranchise,
and isolate
out of scarcity
and fear?
Will it be easy?
I cannot say it will be so,
but what other choice
do we have?
We need this,
the earth needs this,
she needs us to remember
that we are all citizens
of her land,
that countries
are just an illusion,
borders a mirage,
visible only
to those
who believe
that they
never can be at home.
It is time
we all become
citizens of the land,
rise up,
root down,
remember,
that everything
begins as a seed.
So, I pledge my allegiance
to one nation
under an endless sky
on a fertile earth,
together
with all beings remembering,
that we all have
a place we belong,
as citizens of the land.

– Peter Fonken

Few people realise the immensity of vacancy in which the dust of the material universe swims.
– H.G. Wells

For years now my personal motto has been “Ecology, not theology!” If the Buddha himself wanted to contradict that, I would call him a liar to his face.
– Clark Strand

God stages sit ins
in your body
on a regular basis—

It’s very inconvenient
to law and order.

She says,

“Every time
there’s even a micro-judgement
an othering, a subjugation,
a hierarchical belittlement,
a domination

I sit. And stay.”

We beg Her to be reasonable—

“Get over it, God!
These infractions happened
in the past.
Grow up.
Let bygones be bygones.”

“Nope.”

She says, in that unshakably
subversive way of Hers.

“Until you find a framework
of profound care, respect
and reverence
for those who have been
systematically wounded
by arrogance
I will not give up my protest.

Your happiness
will have to be detoured,
your life force
held up,
your wisdom stalled,
your progress stunted
until it becomes such an inner upset
that you have to give these matters
attention.

Until on all levels
of your mind, nervous system,
and operating patterns
you fully value
as much as anyone else

the immigrant,
the Black man,
the fat, impoverished mother,
the old people who can provide nothing
for you,
the toothless, back-ally drunk

My sit in will continue
as stuck energy
inside of you
and the suffering therein
will grow and rise
until you topple
these old structures
of ignorance.

My sit ins are always
eventually effective
because the longer
I hold Myself hostage
inside of you
the more desperate
you will be for Me
which will make you look
more and more
like those other folks
you’ve so judged.

I am The Great Nuisance,

The Insatiable Menace,

The Radical One.

I am The Crazy Bitch,

Society’s Holy Wreckage.

I am She Who Must Have Anger Problems,

She Who Can’t “Just Get Over It,”

And She Who “Must Be Coming From Victim Consciousness”

For caring all the way
to the core
about the plight
of the disenfranchised

and about your liberation
from idiocy.

Call Me what you will
and ignore Me
as long as you like

but I promise
that until I become so miserable
to contend with
that you finally become brave enough
to change

I ain’t moving.

– Chelan Harkin

One very important pattern in the Trickster is that he crosses a forbidden line to bring light to humankind.
– Pia Skogemann

Surely I was not born for this!
I feel a loftier mood
Of generous impulse, high resolve,
Steal o’er my solitude!
– Letitia Elizabeth Landon

One summer I taught myself
how to announce in Latin
to the world that I wanted nothing at all
when, in truth, I was desperate
to be heard, understood, loved, my name a warm memory.
– Paul Guest

Together—starlight seemed to touched them.
Apart—they felt a distance greater than that of any star.
— Greg Sellers, Notes from Neruda’s Ghost

So, my love, remember this:
There is no you without me.
– Faylita Hicks

The non-doing of any evil,
the performance of what’s skillful,
the cleansing of one’s own mind:
this is the teaching of the Awakened.
– The Dhammapada

There are all these stories about gods going down into the underworld to slaughter demons. We all have to learn how to negotiate our unconscious worlds. We have to go into the labyrinth of our own selves and fight our own monsters.
– Karen Armstrong

The more we seek the light, the more darkness forms in compensation, in an attempt to make us whole.
– Robin Robertson

God is Spirit experienced in the 2nd person with a Western twist.

Dharma is Spirit experienced in the 3rd person with a Eastern twist.

– @VinceFHorn

Leaders don’t “fix” people.
Leaders fix the environment.
– L. David Marquet

To be fully human is to forge bridges between earth and sky, form and emptiness, matter and spirit.
– John Welwood

On the Beach at Night Alone
by Walt Whitman

On the beach at night alone,
As the old mother sways her to and fro, singing her husky song,
As I watch the bright stars shining, I think a thought of the clef of the universes, and of the future.

A vast similitude interlocks all,
All spheres, grown, ungrown, small, large, suns, moons, planets
All distances of place however wide,
All distances of time, all inanimate forms,
All souls, all living bodies, though they be ever so different, or in different worlds,
All gaseous, watery, vegetable, mineral processes, the fishes, the brutes,
All nations, colors, barbarisms, civilizations, languages,
All identities that have existed or may exist on this globe, or any globe,
All lives and deaths, all of the past, present, future,
This vast similitude spans them, and always has spann’d,
And shall forever span them and compactly hold and enclose them.

To Lend a Hand

I was discord and my teacher tuned me.
I was an empty cup and a stranger filled me.
I was a dry seed when my brother put me
in earth, fed me rain. I was the stray dog
my friend took in, gave bowl and bed.

Discord, cup, and seed—a helper seeks
a stranger’s need. I was the silence
you sang. I was the bell you rang. You
baked the bread, left each secret said,
took my hand for where our journey led.

– unknown

I turned 29 the way any man turns
In his sleep, unaware of the earth
Moving beneath him, its plates in
Their places, a dated disagreement.
– Jericho Brown

Truth can be intuited even when it cannot be articulated in language. Such intuition is rooted in our broader obfuscated mind, which can apprehend—in symbolic ways—aspects of reality beyond the grasp of our self-reflective thoughts and perceptions.
– Bernardo Kastrup

The real food of the soul is metaphor. The whole world of dreams is a metaphorical, symbolic one. Religion is based on symbol. Art, music, poetry, the whole creative world, “the world of the soul” is based on it.
– Marion Woodman

The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.
– Geoffrey Chaucer

The left hemisphere is not in touch with reality but with its representation of reality, which turns out to be a remarkably self-enclosed, self-referring system of tokens.
– Iain McGilchrist

My cousin’s 2 year old daughter is SOBBING in the car right now “I want the moon” I think she’s gonna grow up to be a poet
– @ayahshatara

A human being is a creative force thirsting for conscious realization. Our creativity isn’t as a mere hobby, a sideline, something that we should just indulge in on our days off. The creative spirit is an essential part of our being, the life-giving oxygen for our soul.
– Paul Levy

thunder—
I just miss
my bus

– Christopher Suarez

Sometimes I think I’m terrified/That it was all a style…
– @dchiasso, on John Koethe

Psychotherapists and psycho analysts have to be “silence experts.” Through their training and with their third ear, they try to listen to the symphony of what is not being said.
– Henry Abramovitch

Though I play at the edges of knowing, truly, I know our part is not knowing; but looking, and touching, and loving.
– Mary Oliver

I no longer want
to write about heartbreak,
nor about the wounded wolf
who tears my flesh
every night:
this insomnia
which defeats me.

I drank in one gulp
the biggest words…
and now
I only want
to sit on the edge of a verse
that heals me.

– Mariana Finochietto

Unexpressed creativity…is poison to the human psyche. The malady that our species is collectively suffering from is, in essence, the fact that we are not connecting with, mobilizing & expressing our creative nature, which turns against us in self-&-other-destruction.
– Paul Levy

Whenever we touch nature we get clean. People who have got dirty through too much civilization take a walk in the woods or a bath in the sea…
– Carl Jung

Out of sight, out of mind” doesn’t apply at the level of the Heart.
– @VinceFHorn

We are creatures who need to understand, at any cost. And so we “story” our experiences, and those stories—provisional, localized, and often created at an early stage of our history—become defining narratives.
– James Hollis

If reality fails to fills with wonder, it is because we have fallen into the habit of seeing it as ordinary.
– Brassai

This music is part of another tomorrow
It’s the music of the sun and the stars.
– Sun Ra

Buddhism teaches that joy and happiness arise from letting go. Please sit down and take an inventory of your life. There are things you’ve been hanging on to that really are not useful and deprive you of your freedom. Find the courage to let them go.
– Thich Nhat Hanh

What distinguishes the Jungian approach to developmental psychology from virtually all others is the idea that even in old age we are growing towards realization of our full potential.
– Anthony Stevens

Reason becomes unreason when separated from the heart, and a psychic life void of universal ideas sickens from undernourishment.
– CG Jung

You know that even as some people break things, other people are healing, mending, creating, and tending. The world we create depends on the balance of the two.
– Dr. Elizabeth Sawin

When searching for a book you know you have becomes a referendum on your fitness to carry on…
– sven birkerts

Isn’t it wild
That many are so often more comfortable
Projecting their anger and control
Onto the family system,
Work system,
Social system
That has an impact
On everybody
And that everybody on some level
Absolutely sees and experiences
Though it often also casts a spell
Of dissociated enabling
And people pleasing
Over all connected with the system.
The spell says:
“Dissociate from your power
or you will touch the rage
inside those who are
its unstable containers.
Dissociate from your worth
or you will touch your power
that will shake the rage
held by the frail.
Dissociate from your seeing,
your knowing,
or you will see this violence clearly
and then you’ll have to speak it.”
So people
Scurry around this unconscious anger,
Tiptoe and bring things
To its owner
And give him compliments
With the hope it may keep
The eruption latent longer.
This fear that makes people extra “nice”
Is just strategic cautiousness.
There isn’t love here, exactly,
Or if there is
It is a fragmented, shard of love
Mostly self-protective—
This type of relating
To violent anger in a person
That its host is not willing
To see
Is a survival tactic
That detours literally every part of life,
Movement, expression, truth
So as not to wake the dragon.
Isn’t it wild
That many would so much rather
Avoid and then deeply mishandle
And project their anger
And be a source
Of wide-spread
Damage
Rather than just saying,
“I’m hurting so deeply!
I feel out of control.
My pain is too big for me.
Will you please hold me?”
– Chelan Harkin

The sea is not less beautiful in our eyes because we know that sometimes ships are wrecked by it.
– Simone Weil

There is nothing more luxurious than eating while you read—unless it be reading while you eat.
– Edith Nesbit

We are not our brother’s keeper we are our brother and we are our sister. We must look past complexion and see community.
– Maya Angelou

When men feel the wound that cannot heal, they either bury themselves in woman’s arms and ask her for healing, which she cannot provide, or they hide themselves in macho pride and enforced loneliness.
– James Hollis

Whoever can’t laugh doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously.
– Thomas Bernhard

There’s a lot of talk about patriotism these days. Who is one, who isn’t one. Perhaps real patriots aren’t acknowledged. Such as our writers and poets. Who tell the stories of this land and its people so we get to know ourselves a little better. And to love, not hate, everyone.
– Arunava Sinha

You must be like me; you must suffer in rhythm.
– Jean-Paul Sartre

My Valley by Anya Kamenetz

I’m in a porta-potty in Death Valley. There’s blood in my underwear.

I’ve fallen in with a group of people whose idea of a good time is to rent 4x4s, drive many hours into the California desert, drop acid, and climb one of the Eureka Dunes just before sunset. The hike takes about half an hour. By the time you get to the top, you are good and high and good and high.

The sky is a gradient field. When you slide down the dune, the grains of sand start vibrating. You ride a wave of sound, the hum of the universe. As the night cools, you can burrow into the dune, finding the stored warmth of the day. If you do this you are dubbed a “sand tiger.” Your prey is stars.

No one hikes down from the ridge until sunrise. They call this an “epic outdoor.” “No one but you is responsible for your safety,” the email said. “No guarantees about your safety are made.”

I was nearing thirty, on a trip on a trip, to escape, outside and insides. I was trying to get pregnant. My hormones were fucked. My tubes were blocked. My dreams were bleak. My ovaries were crusted with cysts. Once I went off the pill, I bled only on the occasions I ingested psychedelics. Like on this cracked morning after, bleak with sun bleaching.

I did not get my babies until I walked through this valley. I did not become a mother without twisting in the weirdness of the body-mind connection, jagged and slant like an empty orange skin.

I must have needed to learn that motherhood requires holding the power of death and the power of life in one hand, a thin skein of red wool.

The flood of death. The bliss of death. Cool-enfolding death. Santa Muerte. Kali Ma.

Listen.

With countless needles and many drugs and vial upon vial of blood, I formed and sacrificed thirty-seven embryos to grow my two girls. That makes me more like a lizard or an insect, some spawning thing, than a mammal mother. The profligacy, the reptilian indifference is chilling. And it forever severed me from any woo-woo discourse on the flow of nature, the power of attraction, the cycle of life. My will to mother was no watery upwelling. It was a sharp and steely will. And unnaturally selective.

Mother Earth? Fuck your mother and everyone on her; my babies must live. Fuck the redwoods; fuck the honeybees. Fuck the mama orca carrying her dead baby orca for three weeks across the Pacific; my babies must thrive. The will to mother: selfish and unrepentant.

I don’t crave your indulgence. I just want you to recognize. Either you are like me, or you can’t understand. Some people have the simple wish they were born with. To be happy. That wish fits inside the days of a life. So they are lucky. As the Stoics advise, they can live, or leave anytime.

Other people have reached inside and broken off pieces of ourselves that are meant to live on after us. It’s a terrifying and irreversible division, like the one that gave the Little Mermaid her legs.

Gorged, I disgorged. My daughters emerged through the portal that was my self. Through a transparent screen I watched my own belly sliced open. I swallowed my own placenta. I gave blood and I gave milk and I wiped up shit and vomit and tears year upon year.

All that? Table stakes. Ordinary mother love. What no one cares to hear. Especially not the girls who emerged this way, shining and intact. The invisible crone you passed today with her grocery cart slogged through the same or worse.

But unlike her, I divided myself on a cracked sphere. Now I have to mother through a mass extinction. My very will to live, my two travelers, sealed inside space capsules that travel across the event horizon: 2030, 2050, 2100. 1.5 degrees, 2 degrees, 3.

Did I commit them to a suicide mission, as doomed as Laika the dog’s? To burn up, with no breathable atmosphere? It makes me no better than Medea. Or the one who drove into a lake. Or the one who drowned them in the bathtub. “No guarantees about your safety are made.”

Or the one I can never forget, in Baltimore, my birthplace. The one who put her toddler in a swing at the playground and kept pushing him for two days straight. Psychotic break. He was three years old.

They didn’t put her in prison. No. Her sentence is she has to wake up every day in a world where she did that.

And my daughters and I wake up every day to this world, with sunny days in November, red skies, people drowning in basements, Paradises razed, dying glaciers, ghost coral, zombie fires.

This is the world I am making. “No one but you is responsible . . .” With my actions and my sloth, with my purchases and my silence, in a biocidal, catatonic fugue of spam tweets and Amazon clicks. My nurturing destroys nature: diapers, Mylar balloons, an SUV, airplane trips to the jellyfish-choked ocean and the charred-stick mountainside to see what we have wrought. I’m like a spider, feeding my children on choked creatures swathed in my accretions. Dangling from playground swings.

I need them happy and whole. I want them shining and intact. I brought them to this world, but I can’t take them out of it. I am a mother. Powerless and monstrous. Everything I do for them burns fuel, fuel that mars their skies and steals the breath from their throats. They will forge their destinies in the rubble of bad choices because there is nowhere else to be. “No guarantees about your safety are made.”

Maybe I can help them stoke their coals. Conveniently there is a senator (meaning, from the Latin, an old man), that troll from a state pocked with decapitated mountaintops, his pockets lined with black gold. One who has lived his allotted threescore years and ten, doing all he can to ensure his grandchildren’s misery. Like a greedy Cronus swallowing his children. A monstrous maw, eating our future before it takes its first gasp.

Throw him a stone, girls, and run for the sunrise.

But once their rage is lit, I fear it. I know the better target. After the Exodus, after he parted the Red Sea and brought them forth from the narrow place, when they wandered without water or hope in the desert, the Jews asked Moses: “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness?”

Mama, was it because there were no graves in oblivion? Why not leave us in the bardo with our ill-conceived siblings? Why have you taken us away to this wilderness-less plane to live and die among the last frogs and salamanders?

Grit in my mouth, dust in my eyelashes. My head is bent; my words are spent. I have no excuse, neither ignorance nor accident. I suffered, paid thousands, spilled blood to bring them here. And like any mortal condemned by the gods, I would do it again. A thousand times. Because the will to mother is prideful and inexorable. If you possess it, it possesses you.

Surprise! I speak in my own defense. Surprise! The spider would eat her own children. So would the tiger. This too is nature.

A mother, powerless and monstrous. I gave them life, but I can’t promise more. Not happy or whole, shining or intact. I can promise only pain in time.

We all must die. But first we must live. Life stands athwart the body of death, trails the shadow of death, is draped in a caul of death. So where exactly is the crime?

Grow up, Raskolnikova. Put down that axe. Enough with the low-rent TikTok nihilism. Those of us who made the bargain with the sea witch gave up the joy of living only in the present. We made ourselves into future ancestors. We took that trip. And climbed to look across time from a high ridge. From here you can clearly see the gradient that separates sane and sacred death, which waits for each of us since the beginning of everything, from filicide, for which few will be left to forgive us.

Let’s not drive into that lake. Let’s back away slowly. Blood has been shed. But it can’t be too late. The hillside is humming, an aubade. Wake up.

old rowboat …
listening to the
sounds of the rain
– Richard Barnes

My generation was lost. Cities too. And nations.
But all this a little later. Meanwhile, in the window, a swallow
– Czeslaw Milosz

We learned not to meet anymore,
We don’t raise our eyes to one another,
But we ourselves won’t guarantee
What could happen to us in an hour.
– Anna Akhmatova

Give Me a Boat That Can Carry Two
by Rajiv Mohabir

See there, the grapes
in the bowl you threw
with your own hands against
the wheel turning anti-clock
wise, at rest on the granite
countertop—first the globes’
gloss will corrode and the air
will spin a fine white cotton
to shroud it into dust—
The quarried stone counter
also marches slowly
to dust. Today, outside
the sky and sea both share
a dark blue-grey stoneware—and this,
this is how you love:
as the crescendo of morning’s bright,
its silver spears, diffused
through a veil, as the kiss
of grape-skin against
lilac glaze, even,
until from the dark
that formed you, you hear
that whisper call you back
to purple wideness, and you return
to the wheel to practice
giving shape to one vessel
that can hold another,
that can feel it pulse
and then slacken.

See, a hand sweeps stars
from the August sky,
as if my mother swept off the supper crumbs from the table at home.
– Sandor Csoori

Together, I want to tell her, we built one/beautiful soul. What I really mean is/I don’t trust us enough to make another.
– Camille T. Dungy

I can hardly write because a tiny kitten sitting in front of me keeps biting my pen, so you’ll have to blame any inkblots on its little paws.
– Sophie Scholl

The sound of an airplane overhead is the sound of Earth getting hotter.
– Peter Kalmus

Human beings are a part of a whole, called by us “the universe,” a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.

Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.

– Albert Einstein

It is very important to go out alone, to sit under a tree—not with a book, not with a companion, but by yourself—and observe the falling of a leaf, hear the lapping of the water, the fishermen’s song, watch the flight of a bird, and of your own thoughts as they chase each other across the space of your mind. If you are able to be alone and watch these things, then you will discover extraordinary riches which no government can tax, no human agency can corrupt, and which can never be destroyed.
– Jiddu Krishnamurti

It is an age-old fact that God speaks chiefly through dreams and visions.
– C.G. Jung

Poetry by Pablo Neruda

And it was at that age … Poetry arrived
in search of me. I don’t know, I don’t know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I don’t know how or when,
no they were not voices, they were not
words, nor silence,
but from a street I was summoned,
from the branches of night,
abruptly from the others,
among violent fires
or returning alone,
there I was without a face
and it touched me.

I did not know what to say, my mouth
had no way
with names,
my eyes were blind,
and something started in my soul,
fever or forgotten wings,
and I made my own way,
deciphering
that fire,
and I wrote the first faint line,
faint, without substance, pure
nonsense,
pure wisdom
of someone who knows nothing,
and suddenly I saw
the heavens
unfastened
and open,
planets,
palpitating plantations,
shadow perforated,
riddled
with arrows, fire and flowers,
the winding night, the universe.

And I, infinitesimal being,
drunk with the great starry
void,
likeness, image of
mystery,
felt myself a pure part
of the abyss,
I wheeled with the stars,
my heart broke loose on the wind.

No one expected me.
Everything awaited me.
– Patti Smith

What I’ve learned from working on student debt & studying shmita is that sometimes a one-time fix is what we need. W/so many injustices built over decades, doing better in the future isn’t enough. We owe relief to ppl who trusted the system & had their trust violated.
– Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg

Ninety percent of good writing is rewriting. I don’t think first thought is always best thought—sometimes it is—but it’s the hundredth thought that strikes me as the one you’re looking for sometimes.
– Charles Johnson

Poetry is not a career: it is a destiny.
– Alejandra Pizarnik

We cannot underestimate how even a change for the better is a searing passage, a death of an older understanding, and its gradual replacement by something larger still.
– James Hollis

What’s the use of Spring if it doesn’t please the dead / and show them the joy of life and the shock of forgetfulness?
– Mahmoud Darwish

Contemplation is meeting as much reality as you can handle in its most simple and immediate form—without filters, judgments, or commentaries. The ego doesn’t trust this way of seeing, which is why it is so rare.

The only way you can contemplate is by recognizing and relativizing your own compulsive mental grids—your practiced ways of judging, critiquing, blocking, and computing everything.
When your judgmental mind and all its commentaries are placed aside, God finally has a chance to get through to you, because your pettiness and self-protective filters are at last out of the way.
Then Truth stands revealed on its own!
– Richard Rohr

Meanwhile, I searched for her in the underlined passages of her books, which she’d left behind, as if for a final sentimental education. I read and reread those words she’d imprinted inside her, as if that might bring her back.
– Juan Villoro, The Reef

my grief for myself
is mostly in the past
blind no longer
I see
the difference
between these vines
this flower
one exists
to serve
the other
– Iris McCloughan

Happiness and safety are not individual matters.
– Thích Nhất Hạnh

after
the fire
a green sprout
– Tozan

“Paradise,” he said, “is hidden in each one of us, it is concealed within me, too, right now, and if I wish, it will come for me in reality, tomorrow even, and for the rest of my life.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

A bit of advice given to a young Native American at the time of his initiation: As you go the way of life, you will see a great chasm. It is not as wide as you think.
– Joseph Campbell

I have just realized that the stakes are myself
– Diane di Prima

Just beyond my door
A captivating sound
– summer rain
– James Welsh

I understand civil society and the coordinates of the transcendental aesthetic . . . to be the fundamentally and essentially antisocial nursery for a necessarily necropolitical imitation of life.
– Fred Moten

A day will come when you will be stirred by unexpected events. A part of you will die and you will begin to search for the elixir to bring this part of you back to life.
You will seek this elixir in friends, lovers, enemies, books, religions, foreign countries, heroes, songs, rituals, and jobs. But no matter where you look, the treasure will evade you.

All will seem lost. You will lose all hope that this magic potion even exists. It will be the darkest of nights, and the promise of certain death will lead you to the abyss of despair.

But, staring into this abyss, you will begin to see the dim light of your own illumined soul. Your radiance will transform the abyss itself into the elusive elixir of life. And for the first time you will realize that all the while . . . it was your own light that you were searching for.
– Mastin Kipp

It’s not a coincidence that two highly feminized professions, teaching and nursing, are in crisis.
– @lesbrains

The basic instruction is simple: Start taking off that armor. That’s all anyone can tell you. No one can tell you how to do it because you’re the only one who knows how you locked yourself in there to start.
– Pema Chodron

Poems can be so weird. You get these flood of sentences & words that seemingly make no sense for months. You research, pray, bite the nails on both thumbs off, nothing. Then one day you get this crazy idea to turn the sentences/words around & boom! A poem is born!
Edit. Edit.
– Jakky Bankong-Obi

It is okay to decide not to write about something. You are not more brave for suffering.
– Carmen Maria Machado

Everything Falls Apart

It is the rule of the universe,
the writing encoded in the old ways,
the immutable force
that even the goddesses
and old gods could not forestall.
Everything falls apart.
It is laughable that we,
frail flesh and transitory form,
could resist what even
the most stolid mountain knows
to be its inevitable demise.
But the real tragedy
is our failure to know
that we can weave so much more,
without touch of our hand,
without tool or technique,
that our true and lasting gift
is our ability to speak
the Earth’s dream
back to her.
When did we forget?
When did we start believing
that imagination, relationship, and adoration
are bad words,
that letting ourselves dream
is anything but
the best use
of a life?
I, for one,
am only afraid of only one thing,
that through our small and selfish distractions
we will fail to hear even a single story
spoken by an unseen being
from out of the void,
and so do not reply,
“Yes, I hear you.
You are not forgotten.
Thank you for being here.”
Only if this were to happen
would everything,
really,
fall apart.

– Peter Fonken

Love the pitcher less, and the water more.” Sufi saying

As many of us are entering our autumnal
decade/s … I hold onto this

“Let the spirit of what you love
Be what you do”

Not allowing the world to shape you
Follow your spirit
Shape your own world

– via Keo Cavalcanti

Friends feel more than words.
They exchange more than reasons.
They are more than metaphors.
– George Gorman

I write pieces, and move them around. And the fun of it is watching the truthful parts slide together.
– Elizabeth Strout

A man is not a scholar unless he acts upon his knowledge.
– Prophet Muhammad

The problem is that the analytical mind cannot be freed by another aspect of analytical mind.
– Chogyam Trungpa

Translators are jugglers, diplomats, nuance-ticklers, magistrates, word-nerds, self-testing lie detectors, and poets. Translators rock.
– David Mitchell

At the center of
all my sorrows
I have felt a presence
that was not mine alone.
– Susan Griffin, 1987

Make no mistake—the temple of originality is not yours alone, but something we’re building together. After all, we share the same origins and one day we will, like all our ancestors, return to them. In the meantime, creativity is essential to belonging because it serves as a way for us to recognize each other. We listen for that pulse of originality coming through us, giving it the unique form that comes from our particular encounter with it. And as we make beauty from our origins, we find networks of people just like us, adding their voice to a thing we’re all trying to make real.

As extensions of nature, we need our differences to thrive. Some people will be the fire of inspiration you need to inch you closer to your edges, and others will look to you for that push. Originality needs many emissaries with different voices to get its message across. Like a choir, every voice is necessary to make a grand swell.
– Toko-pa Turner

To those devoid of imagination a blank place on the map is a useless waste; to others, the most valuable part.
– Aldo Leopold

The reason we take refuge in anything is because we need protection. But very often we take refuge in people or things that are not at all solid. We may feel that we are not strong enough to be on our own, so we are tempted to look for someone to take refuge in. We are inclined to think that if we have someone who is strong and can be our refuge, then our life will be easier. We need to be very careful, because if we take refuge in a person who has no stability at all, then the little bit of solidity we have ourselves will be entirely lost. Many people have done that and they have lost the little solidity and freedom they once had.

When a situation is dangerous, you need to escape, you need to take refuge in a place that is safe, that is solid. Earth is something we can take refuge in because it is solid. We can build houses on earth, but we cannot build on sand. The sangha is the same. Mindfulness, concentration and insight have built up sanghas and individuals that are solid, so when you take refuge in the sangha, you take refuge in the most solid elements.

When you are angry, if you know how to go back to your mindful breathing and take refuge in your mindfulness, you become strong. You can dwell peacefully in that moment and you are capable of dealing with the situation in a much more lucid way. You know that within you there are the elements of mindfulness, concentration and insight. Those seeds are always there. If you have a friend, a teacher, a sangha that can help you to touch those seeds and help them to grow, then you have the best kind of protection.

This is the role sangha plays in supporting, protecting and nourishing us. In the sangha there is stability and joy. The sangha is devoted to the practice of mindfulness, concentration and insight, and while everyone in the sangha profits from his or her own mindfulness, they can also take refuge in the collective energy of mindfulness, concentration and insight of the sangha. That is why there is a sense of solidity and security in the sangha. We are not afraid because the sangha is there to protect us.

It is like the flocks of wild geese that travel together from the north to the south in huge numbers. If one bird goes off on its own, it will be easily caught, but if they stay together, they are much safer. Near Plum Village there are hunters who use a bird cry to lure the geese down. If a wild goose leaves the flock and comes down alone, he will easily be shot by the hunters.

It’s the same with the sangha. If we think we can live alone, apart from the sangha, we don’t know our own strength or our own weakness. Thanks to the sangha we do not enter paths of darkness and suffering. Even when the sangha doesn’t seem to be doing anything at all, in fact it is doing a lot, because in the sangha there is protection.

Without the sangha we easily fall into the traps of the five cravings. Once in those traps, we will be burnt by the flames of the afflictions and suffering. Keeping the mindfulness trainings and taking refuge in the sangha’s protection is a very good way to avoid being caught in the traps of the five cravings. We keep the mindfulness trainings so that they protect us. The rest of the sangha will also be keeping the same mindfulness trainings and helping us.

Some people have told me that they have never felt secure before coming to a retreat. Then after sitting, eating and walking mindfully with the sangha, for the first time they get a feeling of security. Even small creatures living nearby feel safer, because we are mindful and do our best not to harm them. That feeling of security can lead to joy. We can practice like this:

Breathing in, I see that I am part of a sangha, and I am being protected by my sangha.
Breathing out, I feel joy.

The dharma can protect you—dharma not in the sense of a dharma talk or a book—but dharma as the practice embodied by people like yourself. When you practice mindful breathing, mindful walking, mindful listening to the bell, you bring into yourself the elements of peace and stability, and you are protected during that time. You begin to radiate the energy of stability and peace all around you. This will help to protect your children and your loved ones. Although you may not give a dharma talk with your words, you are giving a dharma talk with your body, with your in-breath, with your out-breath, with your life. That is the living dharma. We need that very much, just as we need the living sangha.

– Thich Nhat Hanh

Our unity is born in the presence of God,
and not in the doctrines of men.
– Bob Holmes

I believe in the complexity of the human story.
– Chinua Achebe

Don’t be angry at a ‘story’
because it isn’t a ‘map.’
There is more than one way
to share information, more than
one way to navigate being lost.
– Kyle Guante Tran Myhre

The best writing comes not when you want to say something but when you want to find something.
– André Dubus III

SURVIVING
There are days when the fear of death
is as ubiquitous as light. It illuminates
everything. Without it, I might not
have noticed this ladybird beetle,
bright as a drop of blood
on the window’s white sill.
Her head no bigger than a period,
her eyes like needle points,
she has stopped for a moment to rest,
knees locked, wing covers hiding
the delicate lace of her wings.
As the fear of death, so attentive
to everything living, comes near her,
the tiny antennae stop moving.
– Ted Kooser

WEEKEND WEATHER

I misheard the weatherman say
There was rain and a chance of lizards this weekend.

I knew I had misheard it, but still.
I knew, too, never tot take anything for granted,

Never to assume, which makes you know what
Out of u and me. Thank you

Miss Lee and second grade. What I heard –
It was silly, perhaps, but I looked around anyway

At least once or twice during the day
As I carefully crossed the very dry street.

This is a place of lizards, after all, and the news
As I head it was not impossible. Blizzards

Somewhere else, but lizards here. Very possible.
My childhood, after all, was made of them.

I remember a summer of migrating tarantulas,
And I think today they would have made the news

Similarly. Rather than mishearing, perhaps
I heard news meant only for me.

Sometimes, that’s how the world is,
Speaking in whatever voice it can find.

A chance of lizards for me –
And me ready for them, old friends, old friends.

– Alberto Rios

Presence is what Enlightenment feels like.
– @VinceFHorn

Stop complaining.

Start building capacity

– @VinceFHorn

the mountains
in silence
nurture the spirit
– Basho

As a rule the tales which get abroad in the world are false – perhaps because the truth is not interesting enough?
People always exaggerate things. More so, when months and years have passed and the place is distant do they relate any story they please, or even it put down in writing, so that at last it becomes established fact.

Anyhow, it is a world that is full of lies, and we shall make no mistake if we make up our minds that what we hear is really not at all strange and unusual but merely exaggerated in the telling.
– Yoshida Kenkō

but whenever I begin
“the trees wave their knotted branches
and …” god
there is always under that poem
an other poem

– Lucille Clifton

It is impossible that the whole truth should not be present at every time and every place, available for anyone who desires it.
– Simone Weil

In the feminine side of our being is a much slower, less rational side, a part that moves in a much more spontaneous, natural, and receptive way, a part that accepts life as it is without judgment.
– Marion Woodman

Audacity of the Lower Gods
by Yusef Komunyakaa

I know salt marshes that move along like one big
trembling wing. I’ve noticed insects
shiny as gold in a blues singer’s teeth
& more keenly calibrated than a railroad watch,
but at heart I’m another breed.

The audacity of the lower gods—
whatever we name we own.
Diversiloba, we say, unfolding poison oak.
Lovers go untouched as we lean from bay windows
with telescopes trained on a yellow sky.

I’d rather let the flowers
keep doing what they do best.
Unblessing each petal,
letting go a year’s worth of white
death notes, busily unnaming themselves.

You yourself become a living teaching; you yourself become living dharma.
– Chogyam Trungpa

Walker, these are your footprints
the way and nothing else;
Walker, there is no way,
you make a way by walking.
Walking makes the way,
and turning back the view
you see the path that never
you have to step back on it.
Walker, there is no way
but waking up in the sea.

Traveler, your footprints
are the only road, nothing else.
Traveler, there is no road;
you make your own path as you walk.
As you walk, you make your own road,
and when you look back
you see the path
you will never travel again.
Traveler, there is no road;
only a ship’s wake on the sea.

– Antonio Machado

It is only when we are truly alone, without someone else to lean on, left with our own inner solitude that we can undergo a process of change. The introspection that is needed to bring out the light that has dwindled down to ash and reignite the fire of our being. So let the darkness shape you, let it reform you, let it cradle you and birth you into a new life. Let the spark flame again, in the darkness is where you will find it.
– LJ Vanier

We would much rather be undefined than ordained in traditions that don’t fit our curves.
– ​​Mirabai Starr, Wild Mercy

Flying at Night
Above us, stars. Beneath us, constellations.
Five billion miles away, a galaxy dies
like a snowflake falling on water. Below us,
some farmer, feeling the chill of that distant death,
snaps on his yard light, drawing his sheds and barn
back into the little system of his care.
All night, the cities, like shimmering novas,
tug with bright streets at lonely lights like his.
– Ted Kooser

If, as David R Loy puts it, “to try to see the-world-as-it-really-is is to enact a story”, we damn-well-better come up with some better stories!
– @VinceFHorn

I know the room you’ve been crying in
is called America.

– Ocean Vuong

If rather than seeking powers, you seek the liberation of all beings, you will gain powers you couldn’t have anticipated or imagined.
– Kenneth Folk

Cost of living crisis, debt crisis, financial crisis, housing crisis, unemployment crisis, food price crisis, climate crisis, ecological crisis… our economic system rages from one crisis to the next, destroying lives and futures. Crisis isn’t a bug it’s a feature.
– @jasonhickel

Converging crises show you where the synergistic solutions are to be found.
– Dr. Elizabeth Sawin

Men will literally become tenured professors of literature at incredibly remote, rural liberal arts colleges rather than go to therapy.
– @DeanBakopoulos

Send

Send loving-kindness in whispers
& shouts, in elations & through tensions
to those who adore you & to those
who can’t stand or resent you —

feel this Love as you send it
with joy & acceptance —
silent or screamed

but do it in humility flying
from your inner eyes —
in quiet obedience to the will
of all that is —

which sings with the sighs
of your monarch butterfly,
or smallest of spiders.

Pray for those who you bug
the heck out of, when you
can’t figure out why

knowing that in the name
of the sun & moon
they are loved
just as much as you are:

be sure to touch their radiance,
even if when veiled
that is just trying to learn
more about the sacrednesses
of winter’s leaves.

Be good to everyone
even in thought —

if someone treats you poorly
extend them the same love
but don’t forget to love yourself.

so protect yourself by living in simple
Lights of faith, as best you can —

sharing your circle of angst
with those who love you
without measure or constraint —
these are the eyes that
you can share
angst, mirky past & present
(your missed targets),
while accepting that
they remain imperfect
as are you.

these near ones
are feathered doves
of peace that you’ll want
to be your glue —
allowing them to dry
adhering tears.

If you do this
you’ll hold your
lit candle

to light up
every trail

– Rick Davis

F. Scott Fitzgerald famously said, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function,” but the summations of the state of the world often assume that it must be all one way or the other, and since it is not all good it must all suck royally. [The same is true of individuals, projects, countries.] Fitzgerald’s forgotten next sentence is, “One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise.”
– Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark

Without suffering nothing genuinely new will come forth. Like Jacob wrestling with the angel, the courageous artist says “unless you bless me, I will not let go of you.”
– James Hollis

The Arabic equivalent of the formula once upon a time is “Kan ma kan,” which translates, it was so, it was not so. This great paradox lies at the heart of all fiction. Fiction is precisely that place where things are both so and not so…
– Salman Rushdie

One does not play the piano with one’s fingers: one plays the piano with one’s mind.
– Glenn Gould

The Weak
by Greg Kuzma

So much that is weak has survived
and lives out its long wondrous days
with only the least of annoyance.
The grim and holy, the loud and reckless,
pass them, making their great surface
disruptions. So much that is weak and
slight has bloomed beneath the dark brow
of the storm. Rage, rage, or whisper,
everything fades. The tall trees of the
yard, the small dry walnut shells.

Life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quickly you hardly catch it going.
– Tennessee Williams

A poet’s work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it going to sleep.
– Salman Rushdie

We live in a world of theophanies. Holiness comes wrapped in the ordinary. There are burning bushes all around you. Every tree is full of angels. Hidden beauty is waiting in every crumb. Life wants to lead you from crumbs to angels, but this can happen only if you are willing to unwrap the ordinary by staying with it long enough to harvest its treasure.
– Wiederkehr

Perhaps it is from here that true humility comes.Not from falsely lowering ourselves, but rather from reweaving our understanding of who we are into the fabric of life, stitching our self-conception back into our true nature: connected, supported, multi-faceted, interdependent.
– Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg

We wanted to stay rooted in a community that means something to us.
– Jenny Mendez

I will not excuse my body, unless my hip or breast should brush your body when we cross paths, but, if we’re being honest, a ‘you’re welcome’ is more likely in order.
– Rachel Wiley

Let someone love you just the way you are …. as flawed as you might be, as unattractive as you sometimes feel, and as unaccomplished as you think you are. To believe that you must hide all the parts of you that are broken, out of fear that someone else is incapable of loving what is less than perfect, is to believe that sunlight is incapable of entering a broken window and illuminating a dark room.
– Marc Hack

Wellbeing comes from one place, and one place only — a positive culture.
– Emma Seppälä and Kim Cameron

Keats would leave blank places in his drafts to hold on
to his passion, spaces for the right words to come.
We use them sideways. The way we automatically
add bits of shape to hold on to the dissolving dreams.
So many of the words are for meanwhile. We say,
‘I love you’ while we search for language
that can be heard. […] The way my heart carols sometimes,
and other times yearns. Sometimes is quiet
and other times is powerfully quiet.
– Jack Gilbert

All the lovely emptiness
On earth is easy enough to find.
– James Wright

When I was young,
I must have been a whisper.
I had to clean things up,
so I found a little rain,
– Christopher DeWeese

Poets are damned but they are not blind, they see with the eyes of the angels.
– William Carlos Williams

Did you fall in love with anyone/anything this summer?!
– Dr. Han VanderHart

I was always afraid that if I started to become too literary it would end my street and kitchen life.
– Grace Paley

Know then thyself, presume not God to scan,
The proper study of mankind is Man.
Placed on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,
With too much weakness for the Stoic’s pride,
He hangs between, in doubt to act or rest;
In doubt to deem himself a God or Beast;
In doubt his mind or body to prefer;
Born but to die, and reas’ning but to err;
Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
Whether he thinks too little or too much;
Chaos of thought and passion, all confused;
Still by himself abused or disabused;
Created half to rise, and half to fall;
Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl’d;
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!
– Alexander Pope

Provocation and manifesto
If it wasn’t for poetry the sun wouldn’t shine
And the moon would be a whore
Poetry is a way to frame mystery
Which takes us out of our artificial frame
Into the living breathing outlines
Our mechanically drawn outlines never had any life
Our equations never any totality
Poetry is at war with science
Because it deems science to imprecise
Of course it is a war among admiring friends, a flowery war
For poetry has its uses of science
As science is impotent without poetry
But the illusion that the subject isn’t real
That he is crushed under the heels of facts and numbers
Is the bane of our time
The remedy of which is poetry
The most despised
The most ignored
The most ridiculous
William Blake the true poet rightly said:
You so called enlightened thinkers are all fakes and phonies
Only the imagination/intellect/heart is holy
Only poetry (in the largest sense) can open the doors of the sun
– Andrew Sweeny

Articulations and ejaculations
Part of the human trap is hope and the other part is despair, which are the same dynamic of the generalised lie. They are a lie because both hope and despair rely on a pretence and a dream (of fulfilment or annihilation) and evade the clarity and realism of the instant. And yet beyond that hope and despair is another kind of hope.
A genuine liberation principal is always and still available, including and beyond that tension of hope and despair, even amidst a highly toxic world situation, and hopes that things will shift. But hope is a confession of despair. Despair is the hangover of too much hope. Beyond and prior to hope and despair is the real. Which is the soul. Which is our hope, but which requires no hope. The soul is hopelessly in love with the real, and finds all a rich tapestry, woven of darkness and light.
– Andrew Sweeny

I believe that all great art holds the power to dissolve things: time, distance, difference, injustice, alienation, despair. I believe that all great art holds the power to mend things: join, comfort, inspire hope in fellowship, reconcile us to our selves. Art is good for my soul precisely because it reminds me that we have souls in the first place.
– Tilda Swinton

Literature is like a race run with torches. Each generation bears its testimony to the point it desires, or to where it is able, then passes it along to the next.
– Camilo José Cela

Poverty is not caused by men and women getting married; it’s not caused by machinery; it’s not caused by “over-production”; it’s not caused by drink or laziness; and it’s not caused by “over-population”. It’s caused by Private Monopoly. That is the present system.

They have monopolized everything that it is possible to monopolize; they have got the whole earth, the minerals in the earth and the streams that water the earth. The only reason they have not monopolized the daylight and the air is that it is not possible to do it. If it were possible to construct huge gasometers and to draw together and compress within them the whole of the atmosphere, it would have been done long ago, and we should have been compelled to work for them in order to get money to buy air to breathe. And if that seemingly impossible thing were accomplished tomorrow, you would see thousands of people dying for want of air – or of the money to buy it – even as now thousands are dying for want of the other necessities of life. You would see people going about gasping for breath, and telling each other that the likes of them could not expect to have air to breathe unless the had the money to pay for it.

Most of you here, for instance, would think and say so. Even as you think at present that it’s right for so few people to own the Earth, the Minerals and the Water, which are all just as necessary as is the air. In exactly the same spirit as you now say: “It’s Their Land,” “It’s Their Water,” “It’s Their Coal,” “It’s Their Iron,” so you would say “It’s Their Air,” “These are their gasometers, and what right have the likes of us to expect them to allow us to breathe for nothing?” And even while he is doing this the air monopolist will be preaching sermons on the Brotherhood of Man; he will be dispensing advice on “Christian Duty” in the Sunday magazines; he will give utterance to numerous more or less moral maxims for the guidance of the young.

And meantime, all around, people will be dying for want of some of the air that he will have bottled up in his gasometers. And when you are all dragging out a miserable existence, gasping for breath or dying for want of air, if one of your number suggests smashing a hole in the side of one of the gasometers, you will all fall upon him in the name of law and order, and after doing your best to tear him limb from limb, you’ll drag him, covered with blood, in triumph to the nearest Police Station and deliver him up to “justice” in the hope of being given a few half-pounds of air for your trouble.
– Robert Tressell, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

Something I heard an archaeologist say in Oslo about deep time returns to me: Time isn’t deep, it is always already all around us. The past ghosts us, lies all about us less as layers, more as drift. […] The problem is not that things become buried deep in strata – but that they endure, outlive us, and come back at us with a force we didn’t realise they had. […] We all carry trace fossils within us – the marks that the dead and the missed leave behind. Handwriting on an envelope; the wear on a wooden step left by footfall; the memory of a familiar gesture by someone gone, repeated so often it has worn its own groove in both air and mind: these are trace fossils too. Sometimes, in fact, all that is left behind by loss is trace – and sometimes empty volume can be easier to hold in the heart than presence itself.
– Robert Macfarlane

Trust your heart
if the seas catch fire
(and live by love
though the stars walk backward)
– e. e. cumming

I want you to come to me
like an afternoon, come
to me slowly as if you were
a broken sunset with a
lazy sky on your shoulders.
– Rudy Francisco

Take some books and read; that’s an immense help; and books are always good company if you have the right sort.
– Louisa May Alcott

The more we practice it, the more we discover how thinking in poetry is actually the closest thing we have to enlightenment. Poetic consciousness is the deepest, fullest form of consciousness there is.
– Li-Young Lee

This life I led was mostly private, and hours were spent // sweeping bat guano from a crumbling set of stairs. / Nobody knew the half of it, and nobody seemed to care.
– Mark Wunderlich

A complex is an emotionally charged cluster of energy in the psyche. We may or may not be aware of such psychic charges, but when activated they have the power to temporarily take over the conscious personality.
– James Hollis

If my poems are solving your racism based on what you have in common with me, then they haven’t solved your racism – because you better believe we gon’ get to some shit you ain’t got in common with me.
– Jericho Brown

Never be ashamed to say, ‘I’m worn out. I’ve had enough. I need some time for myself.’ That isn’t being selfish. That isn’t being weak. That’s being human.
– Topher Kearby

So my body went on growing, by night,
went on pleading & singing to the earth…
– Yusef Komunyakaa

By all means said the virus, please do continue addressing complex, dynamic, collective problems with simplistic, linear, and individualistic solutions.

Yeah, said the fossil fuel barons, great idea.
– Dr. Elizabeth Sawin

Is it time yet for a global teach in about the dynamics of growth in a finite system?
– Dr. Elizabeth Sawin

Psychological realism demands that sometimes the wicked prosper.
– Ian McEwan

Abolition is not absence, it is presence. What the world will become already exists in fragments and pieces, experiments and possibilities. So those who feel in their gut deep anxiety that abolition means knock it all down, scorch the earth and start something new, let that go. Abolition is building the future from the present, in all of the ways we can.
– Ruth Wilson Gilmore

Create a new pace. You know how to sprint, running from here to there.

Give yourself the gift of marathon. Live on terms that allow you to breathe.

– Dr. Thema

forest walk—
all that’s worth saying
being said by trees
– @Meraki_k

unable to blow away
my poem
— autumn gale
– @Meraki_k

I am always entering the dome
in search of a vision beyond the corridor
A way to calculate the slope of your ascent
When you walk up the stairs
Leaking memory.
– Jackie Wang

Because I don’t know how to be in the world
I don’t know how to write toward you
– Jackie Wang

Anger does not have to be violent. Anger can be the most liberating force available to us. It can be the brawn of love.
One of anger’s healthy and wonderful purposes deals with helping us to break out of limited patterns.
A limited pattern is a closed, unquestioned system based on renouncing, being ignorant of, or not being ready to accommodate wider truths.
While some degree of emotional pain is always inherent in these patterns, they also provide a measure of safety and comfort because they give us the illusion of predictability and control which helps us feel some degree of safety.
The purpose of these limiting patterns is largely to edge out unknowns and ambiguities which feel too much for our system to contend with.
We can protect these patterns fiercely and if we can find a way for enough people who can leverage resources in a certain way that protects our group from having to look at, address and move beyond these patterns at the expense of anyone or anything, we have systems of oppression.
Violent anger protects oppressive patterns. It is not always active, but just beneath the surface it says “don’t question me, don’t confront me, don’t reveal my fragility with your true strength, resilience, power and light or I will justify projecting my pain onto you. Repress your truth to enable me or else.”
Healthy anger is a tool for fortifying one’s system psychologically and emotionally to provide the necessary strength, clarity and insight to free oneself more from the trappings of internalized oppression—ways of capitulating with the demands of external oppression to stay safe.
Healthy anger is a redistribution of power, a change from using life force to repress and hold parts of ourselves back to expressing boundaries, clarity, truth and power in the name of liberation, love, and advocacy for worth and innocence. Healthy anger supports breaking through old molds and desires to move forward into healthier ways of relating. It reveals what is deeply precious that has had to stay hidden in unsafe conditions.
Mistakenly, people think that it is anger itself that is the perpetrator of oppression and it is often naively assumed that the way to come out of oppression is to somehow bypass this right of passage that is connection with anger—that ambassador of deepest care for all that is so sacred and precious that has been violated and desecrated and basically just be okay with being desecrated and violated. (see: be silent and complicit and impossibly in confrontational amidst terrible and unjust circumstances to be considered good)
Because anger has been so shamed and mislabeled as an ultimately damaging force, most of us as children never had the support of co-regulation with our anger. Co-regulation is the experience of a loving, accepting, safe and trusted adult staying with us witnessing us with connection and respect through an emotional process into a new and more deeply regulated and connected state. Co-regulation bestows is with the resilience to feel strong in relationship with our feelings rather than frail in our loneliness and abandonment of our feelings. It teaches us to access in an embodied, experiential way power WITH our feelings, rather than power OVER our feelings which is the root of the power distortion we see in our society.
Because few children have been shown healthy support in relating to their anger which is such a huge, over-powering feeling for a small nervous system/psyche to contend with,
many adults, myself included, have stayed stuck to some degree in anger. We have some degree of arrested development with our anger, this vital part of our being. Because we haven’t learned how to fully feel our anger, this potentially sacred, restorative energy has stayed lost, disenfranchised and disempowered and parts of ourselves have stayed scared of those angry parts, those “monsters” that have been kept in the dark.
Looking at my own truth, one of my deepest furies, points of helplessness, grief and ultimately one of my deepest places of passionate care is in wanting the bliss, the fullness, the extraordinary satisfaction of accessing the power and connection and courage and truth and deep security that would come from more fully being with, relating to, trusting and being more skilled at stewarding and staying with my anger.
Anger is a natural human emotion. There is nothing wrong with natural human emotions and in fact they are tremendous guides, entry points and allies. You can’t “just get over” human emotions. And by the way to “transcend” is just spiritual jargon for “to flee.”
We’re in a catch 22 when there’s both no ultimate and absolute way out of ever experiencing anger while it’s simultaneously loaded with the damaging belief that some part of us is irredeemably dangerous and ultimately unlovable through having it!
When anger is so wronged and shunned and healthy contact with it is deeply avoided it ferments in the dark cellars of our body into the belief,
“I am evil.”
I think we all know what implications that belief has. To fear we might be evil on a deep unconscious level is way too much for any nervous system/psyche to handle and so we must either hide in some complex way largely through desperate attempts at redemption or project its dangerously deep otherness onto others.
As it turns out though, perhaps we don’t really need redemption as it’s been shown to us. Perhaps what we most need to do to is humanize our anger.
– Chelan Harkin

I will always be on the side
of those who have nothing
and who are not even allowed
to enjoy the nothing they have in peace.
– Federico Garcia Lorca

Hide Under the Blanket and Pull It Over Your Head
Lyudmyla Khersonsky
Translated from the Russian by Olga Livshin & Andrew Janco

Actually, if you hide under a blanket and pull it over your head,
then, for sure, World War II won’t come. Instead,
lie there don’t breathe, don’t let your feet stick out,
or, if you do, stick one out bit by bit.
Or try this helpful trick to stop a war:
first, carefully stick out one foot, then the other, now touch the floor,
lay back down, turn to one side, facing the wall,
turn your back to the war:
now that it’s behind your back, it can thrash and shred,
you just close your eyes, pull the blanket over your head, stock up on bread,
and when you just can’t deal with caring for peace anymore,
tear off some chunks, and when the night comes, eat what you’ve stored.

What frightens me is that–along with financial concerns–the arts are now preoccupied with taking people–dancers, actors, directors, writers–and molding them into something recognizable and safe and easily discerned. The marketing and the easy display of the artist has taken precedence over the bold decision to let someone step forward and be, for lack of a better word, as weird as God and their desires and their dreams have made them.
– Agnes DeMille

Every man is more than just himself; he also represents the unique, the very special and always significant and remarkable point at which the world’s phenomena intersect, only once in this way, and never again.
– Hermann Hesse

The beauty of the world is the mouth of a labyrinth.
– Simone Weil

Do you want to hear the morning news?
The evening news?
Then why listen to the Cable Noise Network?
Real news comes from within,
and it is good news.

Just listen to what is listening,
before a single thought arises.
Then you will hear the music of Divine Silence,
which is always new.

– Fred LaMotte

Metempsychosis
by Jane Hirshfield

Some stories last many centuries,
others only a moment.
All alter over that lifetime like beach-glass,
grow distant and more beautiful with salt.

Yet even today, to look at a tree
and ask the story Who are you? is to be transformed.

There is a stage in us where each being, each thing, is a mirror.

Then the bees of self pour from the hive-door,
ravenous to enter the sweetness of flowering nettles and thistle.

Next comes the ringing a stone or violin or empty bucket
gives off —
the immeasurable’s continuous singing,
before it goes back into story and feeling.

In Borneo, there are palm trees that walk on their high roots.
Slowly, with effort, they lift one leg then another.

I would like to join that stilted transmigration,
to feel my own skin vertical as theirs:
an ant-road, a highway for beetles.

I would like not minding, whatever travels my heart.
To follow it all the way into leaf-form, bark-furl, root-touch,
and then keep walking, unimaginably further.

When I’m working on a book,
I constantly retype my own sentences.
Every day I go back to page one
and just retype what I have.
It gets me into a rhythm.
Once I get over maybe a hundred pages,
I won’t go back to page one,
but I might go back to page fifty-five,
or twenty, even. But then every once in a while
I feel the need to go to page one again
and start rewriting. At the end of the day,
I mark up the pages I’ve done—
pages or page—
all the way back to page one.
I mark them up so that I can retype them
in the morning.
It gets me past that blank terror.

– Joan Didion

To deny scientific evidence, in the hope of protecting yourself against the need to change your beliefs or your behaviour, is to side with stupid.
– George Monbiot

She looks at the void.
But she does it well.
– Marguerite Duras

Worrying doesn’t mean you’re neurotic. It’s a sign that you care—and a strategy to prepare.

If you don’t anticipate problems, you can’t prevent them. If you never sweat the small stuff, you don’t practice for the big stuff.

In uncertain times, concern can build resilience.

– Adam Grant

May the path of forgiveness and acceptance
be the path of peace,
and may we find it.
– Cathy Song

This is an old man’s poetry,
written by someone who’s spent his life
Looking for one truth.
Sorry, pal, there isn’t one.
Unless, of course, the trees and their blow-down relatives
Are part of it.
Unless the late-evening armada of clouds
Spanished along the horizon are part of it.
Unless the diminishing pinprick of light
stunned in the dark forest
Is part of it.
Unless, O my, whatever the eye makes out,
And sends us, on its rough-road trace,
To the heart, is part of it,
then maybe that bright vanishing might be.
– Charles Wright, Ancient of Days

This is the message of your life and my life – it’s that nothing lasts. Heraclitus said it: Panta Rhei. All flows, nothing lasts. Not your enemies, not your fortune, not who you sleep with at night, not the books, not the house in Saint-Tropez, not even the children – nothing lasts. To the degree that you avert your gaze from this truth, you build the potential for pain into your life. Everything is this act of embracing the present moment, the felt presence of experience, and then moving on to the next felt moment of experience. It’s literally psychological nomadism is what it is.
– Terence McKenna

Climate change isn’t just more floods, fires, storms, droughts, and heat waves. It’s the ripples those set off – food prices, housing availability, supply chain disruptions, the solvency of insurance programs, the trauma of first responders, the impacts on local tax bases.
– Dr. Elizabeth Sawin

You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make the revolution. You can only be the revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere.
– @UrsulaBot

Whenever someone complains about unlikable characters I want to whisper to them “you are an unlikable character in someone’s life”
– Amber Sparks

If I don’t learn to use my mind, my mind will begin to use me. Meditation is absolutely the right way to take control of your brain. It balances the pre-frontal cortex, reduces activity in the amygdala [fear center], balances the left and the right hemisphere, improves the immune system and decreases blood pressure. Above all, meditation gives you insight about your true self, about who you really are.
– Dr. Shyam Bhat

And the creative type
who can renounce this protection by art
and can devote his whole creative force to life
and the formation of life
will be the first representative
of the new human type,
and in return for this renunciation
will enjoy, in personality-creation
and expression,
a greater happiness.
– Otto Rank

Ah, so much nothing
…what is there truly to own?
– Shinzen

There are years that ask questions and years that answer.
– Zora Neal Hurston

God only appears in the unrehearsed, authentic dialogue between two living centers.
– Mark Nepo

I hate when people pretend something is what it is not. You know when they pretend that watching me implode is love. It’s not love it’s a spectacle. I don’t want to be a spectacle anymore.
– Desireé Dallagiacomo

You meant more to me than any of them
I said as I wound around the bend
But you never listened
Just like every single person in the poem
You just up and went…
– Dorothea Lasky

All of you, without exception, have access to unlimited information. You have “soul training” if you will. You need only raise your consciousness.
– 9D Pleiadian Collective

Eventually we’re going to get to the point where we are so busy trying to adapt to the climate crisis that we’ll have little energy and resources left available to work to stop it.
– Edgar McGregor

you loved me in many dialects but never in my love language.
– @iambrillyant

Electric cars are a popular solution for those who don’t want anything much to change.

Beware of the EVangelists.

– Extinction Rebellion

At one point, there were very few writers—now there are so many of them.
– Walter Mosley

The Map
for Clifford Nāhinu Kekauoha, Hanalei, and Haleakalā

This was always the map:

from Pō to Pō

You begin here

E haʻalele mau i ka lipolipo

The old roads must be there
moonlit enough to walk

Here is when I think your favorite mele is Hanalei Moon
since you played it on the organ most nights before bed

I played with dolls on the floor as you handwrote
the notes onto the manuscript paper above

when you sang the words to find the right chords. Here
was where you grew up, where you said every ʻohana

had their own loʻi kalo, a mala. Here is where you made me
butterfish and poi, the eggs with salted water and poi

when I was sick, where you taught me to twirl the poi
on my spoon and kahi the bowl. Here was when we laughed

and listened to the ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi tape, asking
each other Nohea mai ʻoe? Mahea kou ʻāina hānau?

Later when you heard I was going to Hanalei, you’d draw
me a map of what you remembered as a child before you left

with your ʻohana. Here is when you ask if I could find
your brother’s grave. I found him with your map

by the church where the tī grew thick and wild, and the ‘ieʻie
climbed up the trunks of so many trees and the forest felt

like it would reclaim him. Here is when you tried to send
me poi in Aotearoa twice. Here is where you planted kalo,

avocado, orange, and jabong, maiʻa, when you gutted the fish. Here
is when you were maybe 4, youngest keiki of 5, when you were

made to speak English only, though your mother’s first
language was Cantonese and your father’s was ʻōlelo.

Here is where you joke that everyone needs to be careful
what they say around me because it could turn into a poem.

Here is when I was 4 and you told the haole girl
next door to apologize to me for throwing water

in my face. You were watering the plants and asked her:
What’s the matter with you? How would you like it if I did that

to you? Here is where you teach me about germinating seeds,
algebra, how to give and take a joke, how blue light is carried and

scatters. Where we read books of moʻolelo together. Where
I can’t help but think so much about you is a poem, where you tried

to grow beans, squash, corn, grew protea to sell wholesale
and sprayed the pesticides again and again to save them. When

you told me I couldn’t have an allowance like the haole girl next door
because I get fed and clothed, sheltered and loved and in return I

should just learn to see what needs to be done for our ʻohana
and do it. Here is when you asked me to help you get up, where

you watched from bed as Hanalei flooded, the church steeple and
the roof of your old school resting just above the ʻalae water

as it bled into the bay. That summer was wela. I got that
portable air conditioner because the fans just blew hot air

around you. Here is the first time I had to help you in the bathroom,
where I make the bad joke that I’m relieved that you’re relieved

and you groan-laughed as I told you you’re the only one
who would ever get that, as bad as it is. Here is when you fell, when

the carpet became too slippery for you to walk on, where
you mixed the poi and kept the bowl full, when you would slice the ahi

into sashimi over cabbage, the last holiday turkey you cooked
on the Weber, the last 5-meat stuffing, the last pot of jook. Here

was when you stopped playing the organ at night. I called
the hospice nurse because you were sleeping too long.

You woke up, made jokes with her, and later I walked her to her car
and she told me it’s good for you to sleep, that I just have to help

make you comfortable. I have to face you don’t have much time.
Here is when you asked to call the folks from church, where you sang

Hanalei Moon with them before their blessing. Here is where
I became strong enough to hold you, to turn you, to carry you,

and when you stopped asking me to help you get up. Here, you
asked if I was happy. Here, you asked if I was sure that I was happy.

It was Pōʻakahi when the last hua ʻōlelo you learned was lawa.
Just a little poi. No more medicine. Lawa already. You said.
Pōʻalua, when I started sleeping in the chair next to your bed with
my baby because there was a ghost you kept seeing in the corner.
Pōʻakolu, when you slept for most of the day, where I realized too
late that there were too many lasts in the past few years and days.
Pōʻahā when you seemed like yourself again and asked me to wheel
you outside on the balcony and deck to see the sky and Haleakalā
in the ahiahi as the moon was rising. Finally a cool breeze as you
looked over that darkening ʻāina of fruit trees and flowered green,
the orange-pink streaks piercing the clouds as the sun sunk. Ua lawa.
Pōʻalima when you kept sleeping, started gasping like ʻaʻohe lawa.
Pōʻaono when—you stopped it all—when all of us were out of the room,
when all of us thought there’d be more time, when

ʻaʻohe lawa ka manawa
we thought we’d be with you, when

you end and begin end and begin

Lawa pono ʻole kēia mau hua ʻōlelo
e hanohano i kou ʻāina hanau,
e hanohano i ka ʻāina hānau
āu i hoʻokumu ai no ka ʻohana

This was always the map:

from Pō to Pō

The roads are said to edge toward
the pali overlooking the ocean

E hoʻihoʻi mau i ka uliuli.

I’ll look for you here where when.

– Brandy Nālani McDougall

Time is an enormous, long river, and I’m standing in it, just as you’re standing in it. My elders are the tributaries, and everything they thought and every struggle they went through and everything they gave their lives to, and every song they created, and every poem that they laid down flows down to me – and if I take the time to ask, and if I take the time to see, and if I take the time to reach out, I can build that bridge between my world and theirs. I can reach down into that river and take out what I need to get through this world.
– Utah Phillips

as if I were dying tomorrow

I want to absorb all there is

even this little potato plant
which has laid something
into the ground
like a chicken

– Ivan Malkovych
Translated from Ukrainian by Mark Andryczyk and Yaryna Yakubyak

If people are patient and kind, that’s a lot—something of the spirit is at work. The result of grace. It doesn’t come naturally.
– Anne Lamott

Art is that which endures
– Gwendolyn Brooks

What I think is that a good life is one hero journey after another. Over and over again, you are called to the realm of adventure, you are called to new horizons. Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare?
– Joseph Campbell

[T]he unconscious can make a fool of you in no time.
– CG Jung

An artist has to stand out against the tenor of the age and not go flopping along; he must offer some little opposition.
– Evelyn Waugh

Anger, annoyance, and impatience deplete energy. Patient effort strengthens our resources.
– Allan Lokos

Looking back at the worst times, it always seems that they were times in which there were people who believed with absolute faith and absolute dogmatism in something. And they were so serious in this matter that they insisted that the rest of the world agree with them. And then they would do things that were directly inconsistent with their own beliefs in order to maintain that what they said was true.
– Richard Feynman, The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist

Why Are Your Poems so Dark?
by Linda Pastan

Isn’t the moon dark too,
most of the time?

And doesn’t the white page
seem unfinished

without the dark stain
of alphabets?

When God demanded light,
he didn’t banish darkness.

Instead he invented
ebony and crows

and that small mole
on your left cheekbone.

Or did you mean to ask
“Why are you sad so often?”

Ask the moon.
Ask what it has witnessed.

Life is going to give you just what you put in it. Put your whole heart in everything you do, and pray, then you can wait.
– Maya Angelou

August of another summer, and once again
I am drinking the sun
and the lilies again are spread across the water.
I know now what they want is to touch each other.
– Mary Oliver, The Pond

It is ever a grace and a benediction to be able to come to a halt, to stop, to pause, to make a rest of motion.
– Howard Thurman

Hazy afternoon—
magic somethings
hidden in your smile

– @wingsoverwaters

There is no doubt that solitude is a challenge and to maintain balance within it a precarious business. But I must not forget that, for me, being with people or even with one beloved person for any length of time without solitude is even worse. I lose my center…
– May Sarton

All change is a miracle to contemplate; but it is a miracle which is taking place every instant.
– Henry David Thoreau

Action and contemplation are very close companions; they live together in one house on equal terms. Martha and Mary are sisters.
– Bernard of Clairvaux

The true self is like a very shy wild animal that never appears at all whenever an alien presence is at hand… he responds to no lure except that of the divine freedom.
– Thomas Merton

Queerness has taught us to expect surprise, even from ourselves.
– Mark Larrimore

Projection is part of the false self. We diminish our God-given empowerment when we spend energy projecting rather than feeding our interior life.
– Laura Swan

The institutionalization and commercialization of the church has undermined the power of religious community to transform souls, to intervene politically.
– bell hooks

How do we best cultivate a quiet inner spirit? Do we attend to what feeds and expands our soul? …have we made a cell in our home, at the ocean, or in our favorite park? It is that place where we are away and alone.
– Laura Swan

As an act of bravery, love cannot be sentimental; as an act of freedom, it must not serve as a pretext for manipulation. It must generate other acts of freedom; otherwise, it is not love.
– Paulo Freire

Many who are self-taught far excel the doctors, masters, and bachelors of the most renowned universities.
– Ludwig von Mises

Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is. The only function of a school is to make self-education easier; failing that, it does nothing.
– Isaac Asimov

In difficult times carry something beautiful in your heart.
– Blaise Pascal

wrote a poem, fed it into Google Translate, and discovered that my poem sounds more revolutionary and spiritual in Italian—or perhaps I’d pre-programmed the poem to sound like Pasolini, with talk of stratosphere and sorrow and gardens and abandonment?
– Wayne Koestenbaum

I don’t think you can put yourself in other people’s positions. Nor should you. All you can do is occupy your own.
– Emmanuel Carrère

The binary view of grammar is not as fun as the organic view.
– @DrCarmenButcher

Never be afraid, whatever it is, that it’s too beautiful or too terrible to tell.
– Ntozake Shange

an old photograph
something is missing
in the fading light
– James Welsh

In order to be gentle and create an atmosphere of compassion for yourself, it’s necessary to stop talking to yourself about how wrong everything is or how right everything is, for that matter.
– Pema Chodron

An ecomodernist argument for urbanization is that population density enables resource and energy efficiency. But this ignores the fact that cities largely don’t produce their own primary goods, and depend on linear far flung extraction, distribution, and waste disposal networks.
– Jason Snyder

Many spiritual teachers, who are also super anti-authoritarian, struggle to find their way. As a result, they develop a super powerful personal intuition that’s also riddled with blindspots, due to their social isolation and lack of regular honest feedback…

…Instead, find teachers who are embedded in wise networks of interbeing, who think for themselves, yet have a track record of being able to submit their egos to another’s gaze. You will thank yourself later for the days, weeks, months, & years of heartache saved.

PS – I know this well, because I’ve walked the edge around it for a long time. What I’ve come to understand is that we’re full-spectrum beings, and we need both a healthy relationship to wise authority and a skeptical discernment toward unwise sources of authority.
– Vince Fakhoury Horn

… Sometimes I wonder
if music isn’t just another version of light
slowed down enough for the living to dance with the
living
– Patrick Rosal

slowly lifting fog
the treetops
hidden

somewhere
churchbells

– @ruralitalics

What I’m proudest of, I guess, is having a life where work and love are impossible to tell apart.
– Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

Becoming whole means passing through the wilderness of the false selves which are imposed by others…
– Patrick W. Collins

The best traveler is one without a camera.
– Kamand Kojouri

Contemplation is always a revolutionary act. It subverts the daily tedium and searches for the kernel of meaning hidden at the center of each thing. It its thus not the talent of a spiritual elite, but the deepest core of silence present in all of us.
– @BeverlyLanzetta

Things! Burn them, burn them! Make a beautiful fire! More room in your heart for love, for the trees! For the birds who own nothing—the reason they can fly.
– Mary Oliver, Storage

I must feel the fire of my soul so my intellectual blues can set others on fire.
– Cornel West

Theology is a queer thing. It is has always been a queer thing.
– Gerard Loughlin

I find that we can truly love only when we are so anchored in life that we are connected with the people who lived before us and with those yet to be born. When we destroy that connection and limit ourselves singly to our existence, we destroy ourselves.
– Dorothee Soelle

indivisible place, this world…which is faithful beyond all our expressions of faith
– Mary Oliver

No soul can grow to its full stature without spells of solitude.
– Marie Carmichael Stopes

Whenever possible, attend to life from the center of yourself.
– Cassidy Hall

I believe that by openness to Buddhism, Hinduism & to these great Asian traditions, we stand a wonderful chance of learning more about the potentiality of our own traditions, bc they have gone, from the natural point of view, so much deeper in this than we have.
– Thomas Merton

Stop measuring days by degree of productivity and start experiencing them by degree of presence.
– Alan Watts

Perhaps contemplative spaces can be found wherever people skirt the margins of inclusion.
– Dr. Barbara A. Holmes

Contemplation is a soft word in a hard world.
– Dr. Barbara A. Holmes

To know God means to know what has to be done.
– Emmanuel Levinas

The whole of humanity is diminished when a language dies, and we are not made more tolerant, open-minded, enquiring or adventurous by being monoglots.
– James Robertson

The only world we humans know is the one we can create together through the actions of our coexistence.
– Francisco Varela, Evan Thompson

EMPTY SPACE

People tell you
to control your thoughts.
try it if you want but
things don’t work that way.
Being real is more
heart-opening than
being reasonable.
what you try to control
controls you.
have you ever noticed
thar the urge to control
strengthens the ego?
let your thoughts
come and go.
don’t buy what
they are trying
to sell to you.
when there is no
buyer guess what
can happen.
The shopping malls
will be empty.
remember that
God resides
in the empty
Space.
– Guthema Roba

Vast emerald all day,
at dusk the sea turns to ink.
The sky, a bonfire.
Now let it be what it must,
though you will ask, Why? What did I do?
– Julia B. Levine

This is what you call a major vicious feedback. Burning coal -> global warming -> worse heatwaves and droughts -> so, burn more coal?!
– Prof Katharine Hayhoe

THIS INFINITE BLACKNESS

You have to find reality, ultimate reality, here, where you are, in this apparent body, surrounded by these apparent colors and movements, and shapes and forms and sounds and noises. And they (the ancient Greek mystics) gave the techniques. They gave the methods for using our senses to find oneness all around us.

Empedocles and Parmenides were very, very up front, as most great mystics are, and at the beginning of their teachings they say, “Everybody is living a totally wasted life.” Everybody’s life is a sham, everybody is living in a dream. We can think we are driving down the road, we can think we’re shopping, we can think we’re in a business meeting. We are asleep. We are never actually using our senses.

Sometimes there can be the brief moment when we look out at a tree, or we’re driving down the road, and just for a brief moment we can say, “Good Lord, I’m holding a steering wheel. I have my foot on the gas pedal!” Or, “Good Lord, I’m looking at a tree!”

Usually we’re just looking at a tree and thinking about something else. Or we’re driving down the road and thinking about the argument we just had with our partner. It’s very, very rare that we simply look and are aware that we are looking.

And that involves being aware of what we’re looking at, and being aware of ourselves looking at the same time. So right now, I can be aware that I’m moving my hand, and that I’m talking, and that you there are in front of me. But it’s actually not a very, very common state at all, to be aware like that.

Empedocles gave very, very specific directions for how to start to become conscious through your senses. How to look and be aware that you’re looking. How to feel your tongue inside your mouth, and be aware of it. Not just rub your tongue on the top of your mouth, but actually be aware that it’s happening. And how to do this with all of the senses at the same time.

And this last stage, about how to do it with all the senses at the same time, this is very, very powerful, it’s very, very esoteric, it is an extraordinarily elegant way of realizing God.

Not by leaving the senses behind, but by consciously using all of your senses at the same time. If you do that, if you actually do that, you start to become aware… there is your sense of sight, there is your sense of hearing, there is the sense of feeling what you feel, your backside on the chair, or you feel your shoes on the floor. The hearing, the seeing, the feeling, the tasting, the touching. And it’s difficult enough even to do one of those consciously, but if you do them all consciously, you become aware of this infinite blackness between them.

There is a void that connects the seeing to the hearing, to the tasting, to the touching.

And that’s ETERNITY.

And that eternity is totally unchanging, but that eternity is also what gives rise to the physical world. And it’s out of that experience of eternity that people like Empedocles or Parmenides, these ancient Greeks, were actually able to bring the germs of a new civilization.

Because that eternity – it never changes, but it contains the seeds of all change.

– Peter Kingsley

I wanna release these hands
to dance and fight and fly
and write grief a love letter
saying it’s time to let go now—
I gotta make room for me.
– Ebony Stewart

For the Master to have an effect, we have to reach that state where we can no longer tolerate our old way of being. The Master works uniformly on all of us, but the results vary. How is it that he is not able to create such a state in everybody? Because success is in the hands of the abhyasi (aspirant), not in the hands of the Master. That’s why we practice, and that’s why we need a living guru. How can we surrender to a dead person, who cannot fight with us, irritate us, and challenge us to transform?
– Daaji

If mothers ruled the world
all would be whole, fed and well.

War would cease,
I mean, what kind of crazy fools
send their babies to war?

Instead we would simply ask,
“how to meet that unmet need?”

The table of the world
would be set
with square meals for hearts
and all would gather round,
nourished.

The problem to solve
would be how to make
society more tender

and how do we open
all the borders
around our hearts
that all parts of us
may have a place
for refuge.

If mothers ruled the world
we would be stewards
of the health, diversity and wild
of Mother Earth
and each night
the stars would applaud
the beauty they witnessed here.

Magic would rise with the sun
and light
would migrate back home
to our eyes

Creativity would pour abundantly
from humanity
like a full pitcher
of honeyed cream

song, dance, storytelling, tribe
would not be luxuries, garnishes, dreams
they would be as universal and essential
as our breath,
they would be the main dish
of our lives.

There would be ceremony
around resurrecting
every unblossomed voice
as it rooted into itself
and found its flower

there would always be circles
to hold and witness
all laughter and tears

Deep listening
would be as requisite as taxes
and taxes would go to healing,
growing, celebration.

If mothers rules the world
this world would go
from barren to fertile,
from wasteland
to rosegarden,
from revenue
to relationship,
from burned out
to powerful, full bellied flame
almost overnight

but we’re tired, we’re lonely,
we’re malnourished
because we don’t have the support
we need

because mothers do not yet
rule the world.

– Chelan Harkin

Hope is always accompanied by the imagination, the will to see what our physical environment seems to deem impossible.
– @jerichobrown

Socrates worried about the deceptive and unreliable nature of written as opposed to oral communication. Once written down, Socrates argues in the Phaedrus, words might “roam around” because their originator cannot be interrogated about their meaning. Belonging to a largely oral culture, Socrates did not write anything, and Plato wrote dialogues, mimicking orality. But writing increasingly became part of culture. Initially writing was about preserving thoughts that were considered worth keeping for centuries and about record-keeping for political purposes.
– Onora O’Neill

Realize that for every ongoing war and religious outrage and environmental devastation… there are a thousand counterbalancing acts of staggering generosity and humanity and art and beauty happening all over the world, right now, on a breathtaking scale, from flower box to cathedral…

Resist the temptation to drown in fatalism, to shake your head and sigh and just throw in the karmic towel…

Realize that this is the perfect moment to change the energy of the world, to step right up and crank your personal volume; right when it all seems dark and bitter and offensive and acrimonious and conflicted and bilious … there’s your opening.

– Mark Morford

You must go in quest of yourself, and you will find yourself again only in the simple and forgotten things. Why not go into the forest for a time, literally? Sometimes a tree tells you more than can be read in books.
– C. G. Jung

METTA SUTRA

This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be honest and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech.

Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied.
Unburdened by duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful,
Not proud and demanding in nature.

Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
One should wish:

In gladness and in safety,
May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born,
May all beings be at ease!

Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm or suffering upon another.

Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings:

Radiating kindness over the entire world
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.

By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
and no longer confused by sense desires,
Is not born again into suffering.

– Buddha

The greatest forces lie in the region of the uncomprehended.
– George MacDonald

Action and contemplation belong together like siblings.
– Rev. Uwe Gerstenkorn

Come. Let’s feel our way beneath the noise…
– Mark Nepo

Becoming whole means passing through the wilderness of the false selves which are imposed by others…
– Patrick W. Collins

Poetry is not a healing lotion, an emotional massage, a kind of linguistic aromatherapy. Neither is it a blueprint, nor an instruction manual, nor a billboard. There is no universal Poetry, anyway, only poetries and poetics, and the streaming, intertwining histories to which they belong.
– Adrienne Rich

Do you know what frees one from this captivity? It is every deep serious affection. Being friends, being brothers, love, these open the prison by supreme power, by some magic force. Where sympathy is renewed, life is restored.
– Vincent Van Gogh

If I could not stand criticism I would have been dead long ago, since I have had nothing but criticism for 60 years.
– C.G. Jung

I felt a door opening in me and I entered the clarity of early morning. One after another my former lives were departing, like ships, together with their sorrow.
– Czeslaw Milosz, trans. Robert Haas

I have been to the end of the earth, I have been to the end of the waters, I have been to the end of the sky, I have been to the end of the mountains, I have found none that are not my friends.
– Navajo Proverb

Adverse conditions are your spiritual teacher; Demons and possessor spirits, the Buddha’s emanations; Sickness is a broom for negative karma and defilements; Sufferings are displays of ultimate reality’s expanse—
– Serlingpa

The extent of your realization will be known when you encounter difficult circumstances. You will not know the extent of your realization when things go well.

The difficult circumstances will reveal your hidden faults.
– Khenpo Munsel

All gods are homemade, and it is we who pull their strings, and so, give them the power to pull ours.
– Aldous Huxley

A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him, I may think aloud.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sometimes we use our minds not to discover facts, but to hide them. We use part of the mind as a screen to prevent another part of it from sensing what goes on elsewhere. […] One of the things the screen hides most effectively is the body, our own body, by which I mean the ins and outs of it, its interiors. Like a veil thrown over the skin to secure its modesty, the screen partially removes from the mind the inner states of the body, those that constitute the flow of life as it wanders in the journey of each day.

The alleged vagueness, elusiveness, and intangibility of emotions and feelings are probably symptoms of this fact, an indication of how we cover the representation of our bodies, of how much mental imagery based on nonbody objects and events masks the reality of the body. Otherwise we would easily know that emotions and feelings are tangibly about the body. Sometimes we use our minds to hide a part of our being from another part of our being.

– António Damásio

Telling the Bees
by Faith Shearin

In Europe’s towns, two-hundred years ago, bees
were believed to be little emissaries to God.
They were loved for the way they made food
that tasted like the village itself: its flowers
and fields and rains and grief. You told the bees
when someone inside your house took ill;
it was the bees you consulted
when you found yourself pregnant. You served
the bees cake before a party and consoled them
when your father died. You spoke to the hive,
which is mostly feminine: that fat queen
and her ladies in waiting, eternally listening
In a castle made of wax. And the bees turned
the news, all news, to honey —
dark or golden, enough for everyone to survive
winter, enough to sweeten dreams or tea.

If any man cannot grasp this matter, let him be idle and the matter will grasp him.
– HENRY SUSO

We need to acknowledge that it is not our discriminating and reflexive self-consciousness that makes us human, but rather the ability to move beyond this self-consciousness to engagement and beholding, the irruption of our core silence into everyday life. Robert Bringhurst notes, “If you divide the world into them and us, and history into ours and theirs, or if you think of history as something only you and your affiliates can possess, then no matter what you know, no matter how noble your intentions, you have taken one step toward the destruction of the world.” Life really does hang in the balance in every moment. It hovers horizontally between the past, which cannot be changed, and the future, which is refulgent with potential but fraught with our projections. It is poised vertically between self-conscious rationality, which is the source of these projections, and deep silence, where we touch reality directly. We need to recover the ability to live at the intersection: in the present moment, energized by the upwelling from deep silence where, in Christian terms, our shared nature with God becomes manifest.

– Maggie Ross

Future generations will look back on TV as the lead in the water pipes that slowly drove the Romans mad.
– Kurt Vonnegut

Hold fast the time! Guard it, watch over it, every hour, every minute! Unregarded it slips away, like a lizard, smooth, slippery, faithless, a pixy wife. Hold every moment sacred. Give each clarity and meaning, each the weight of thine awareness, each its true and due fulfillment.
– Thomas Mann

My starting point is the fundamental initial fact that each one of us is perforce linked by all the material organic and psychic strands of his being to all that surrounds him.
– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

You will search, babe, at any cost
But how long, babe, can you search for what is not lost?
Everybody will help you
Some people are very kind
But if I can save you any time
Come on, give it to me
I’ll keep it with mine
I can’t help it if you might think I am odd
If I say I’m not loving you not for what you are
But for what you’re not
Everybody will help you
Discover what you set out to find
But if I can save you any time
Come on, give it to me
I’ll keep it with mine
The train leaves at half past ten
But it’ll be back in the same old spot again
The conductor
He’s still stuck on the line
And if I can save you any time
Come on, give it to me
I’ll keep it with mine
– Bob Dylan

Why is it no one ever sent me yet
One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Ah no, it’s always just my luck to get
One perfect rose.
– Dorothy Parker

As a poet, wielding the written word, I am responsible for what the word may do. If the word—the verse, the image, the poetic line—falsifies, fails at telling the truth, I am at fault…

I approach language with something akin to reverence… the path from poem to prayer is a short one.

Time on earth is short, and the poet, like the religious supplicant, knows each word must count.

– Rachel Tzvia Back

I Try for a Gentler World
by Carol Mikoda

I start with the way
I speak to myself,
each green word tender
against my darkness
like leaves that overlap,
cascade through tangles
of trees standing close
to shelter each other
from winds and stress.

I spend more time in hugs,
arms cradling shoulders
for long seconds,
without worrying about time,
without counting those seconds,
hearing heartbeats pulse
their surf in those inward seas,
hearing the songs
rising from our pores.

Then I try singing your song,
as you try singing mine,
after we have let go and returned
to this strange world of illusion.
Who knows what harmonies
we will create that might
be heard across galaxies,
vibrating in just the right
frequencies to heal disease
and reconstruct a gracious world?

When you learn to cry and laugh at the same time, with a gentle heart, All my belongings are yours.
– Chögyam Trungpa

A thread is now a line of conversation via email or other electronic means, but thread must have been even more compelling a metaphor when most people witnessed or did the women’s work that is spinning. It is a mesmerizing art, the spindle revolving below the strong thread that the fingers twist out of the mass of fiber held on an arm or a distaff. The gesture turns the cloudy mass of flax or wool into lines with which the world can be tied together. Likewise the spinning wheel turns, cyclical time revolving to draw out the linear time of a thread. The verb to spin first meant just this act of making, then evolved to mean anything turning rapidly, and then it came to mean telling a tale.

Strands a few inches long twine together into a thread or yarn that can go forever, like words becoming stories. The fairytale heroines spin cobwebs, straw, nettles into whatever is necessary to survive. Scheharazade forestalls her death by telling a story that is like a thread that cannot be cut; she keeps spinning and spinning, incorporating new fragments, characters, incidents, into her unbroken, unbreakable narrative thread. Penelope at the other end of the story archive prevents her wedding to any one of her suitors by unweaving at night what she weaves by day on her father-in-law’s funeral garment. By spinning, weaving, and unraveling, these women master time itself, and though master is a masculine word, this mastery is feminine.

Women were spinsters before the word became pejorative, when distaff meant the female side of the family. In Greek mythology, the three Moirae, or Fates, spin each human life as a thread, measure and cut it. With Rumpelstilskin’s help, the unnamed girl spins straw into gold but the wonder is that every spinner takes the amorphous mass before her and makes a thread appear, from which comes the stuff that contains the world, from a fishing net to a nightgown. She makes form out of formlessness, continuity out of fragments, narrative and meaning out of scattered incidents, for the storyteller is also a spinner or weaver and a story is a thread that meanders through our lives to connect us each to each and to the purpose and meaning that appear like roads we must travel. As we did on that midnight walk on the beach, trailing footprints behind like stitches.

“The ‘I’ is a needle some find useful, though/the thread, of course, is shadow,” writes Brenda Hillman in her poem “String Theory Sutra.” The English and Latin word suture has the same root as Sanscrit sutra or Pali sutta. They both have to do with sewing. The sutras, the most sacred texts of Buddhism, were named for the fact that they were originally sewn. The flat blades of palm leaves were strung together by two lines of thread that tied together the stiff, narrow pages like accordian blinds. The books were copied by hand over and over again in that climate of decay. Thus leaf became book, and knowledge was held together and transmitted in a thread, a line, a lineage.

The term sutra, as in the Platform Sutra, the Heart Sutra, or the Lotus Sutra, generally means a teaching by the Buddha himself or one close to him, as distinguished from the scholarly and philosophical texts that piled up afterward. The word is said to have arisen from the actual sewing or binding of these old palm-leaf books, but it must have had some more metaphorical sense, as though the sutras’ words and meanings run throughout all things and bind them together, as though the threads are paths you can follow and veins through which life flows. When you take the precepts or are ordained in the Soto school of Zen Buddhism, you are given a piece of paper on which is written the lineage to which your name has just been added. Written and drawn, since the names are inscribed on a long red thread that loops back and forth so that so much lineage can fit on a single large sheet.

It’s a kind of family tree that traces the teachings from student to teacher and to the teacher’s teacher and so on, following the Japanese Soto Zen masters back to Dogen, who brought Soto Zen from China in the thirteenth century and tracing the Chinese ancestry back to the First Chinese Ancestor, Bodhidharma in the fifth century, and then through the Indian teachers back to the Buddha himself (though some older parts of it must be mythological).

It’s called the blood lineage, as though you had been sutured to a new family whose ties are as strong and red as blood, been sewn into a new set of associations, or given a transfusion. Or become the newest page of a book that continues being written, or sewn. It’s a way of saying that Buddhism is nothing more and nothing less than a conversation that has gone on from generation to generation, not by palm leaves but face to face, a thread of ideas and efforts unbroken over 2500 years. It makes the recipient of the blood lineage only the latest stitch as the flashing needle keeps working its way through the fabric of this existence.

– Rebecca Solnit, The Faraway Nearby

We should stop expecting people to be anything other than very flawed. Whomever we got to know would be radically imperfect in a host of deeply serious ways. There can only ever be ‘good enough’ relationships with others.
– The School of Life

What is the Desert?

It’s forgetfulness
of trivia
and noise:

the city
or ego

Remembrance
of essences:

silence
stillness
and G_d.

It’s the stormy story of the sea
recollected in tranquility

death and birth and death
and transformation—

a gift granted only
to the patient
who surrender.

– Yahai Lababidi

You know what drives me crazy? It’s all these people talking about how great technology is, and how it saves all this time. But, what good is saved time, if nobody uses it? If it just turns into more busy work. You never hear somebody say, “With the time I’ve saved by using my word processor, I’m gonna go to a Zen monastery and hang out”. I mean, you never hear that.
– Richard Linklater, Before Sunrise, Jesse

This Page Ripped Out and Rolled into a Ball
by Brendan Constantine

A rose by any other name could be Miguel or Tiffany Could be
David or Vashti Why not Aya which means beautiful flower but
also verse and miracle and a bird that flies away quickly You see
where this is going That is you could look at a rose and call it
You See Where This Is Going or I Knew This Would Happen or even
Why Wasn’t I Told I’m told of a man who does portraits for money
on the beach He paints them with one arm the other he left behind
in a war and so he tucks a rose into his cuff always yellow and people
stare at it pinned to his shoulder while he works Call the rose
Panos because I think that’s his name or call it A Chair By The Sea
Point from the window to the garden and say Look a bed
of Painter’s Hands And this is a good place to remember the rose
already has many names because language is old and can’t agree
with itself In Albania you say Trëndafil In Somalia say Kacay
In American poetry it’s the flower you must never name And now
you see where this is going out the window across water
to a rose shaped island that can’t exist but you’re counting on
to be there unmapped unmentioned till now The green place
you imagine hiding when the world finds out you’re not
who you’ve said

The sky tonight, so without aliens. The woods, very lacking
in witches. But the people, as usual, replete

with people.

– Chen Chen

My God, We are Alive
by Mark Nepo

For all the questions I’ve pressed the

wise with, for all the places I thought I

had to see, for all the birds I’ve envied

as they glide out of view, for all I keep

trying to hold up, though I’ve met those

I love over things I have dropped—the

moment I feel most tender is stepping

in the dark over slippers and books to

kiss you while you sleep. Once there,

I can’t go on, or in, or out. I’m stalled

like a tear losing itself in the ocean

THE MISTAKEN THOUGHT
THAT AN ORIGINAL THOUGHT
MUST HAVE BEEN GLEANED
FROM A BOOK
(a true tale)

“Where did you read that?”

“I didn’t read it. I made it up.

But that doesn’t mean
I don’t think
It’s true.”

– Jack Foley

Everything in our background has prepared us to know and resist a prison when the gates begin to close around us. But what if there are no cries of anguish to be heard? Who is prepared to take arms against a sea of amusements? To whom do we complain, and when, and in what tone of voice, when serious discourse dissolves into giggles? What is the antidote to a culture’s being drained by laughter?
– Neil Postman

For the most part wisdom comes in chips rather than blocks. You have to be willing to gather them constantly, and from sources you never imagined to be probable. No one chip gives you the answer for everything. No one chip stays in the same place throughout your entire life. The secret is to keep adding voices, adding ideas, and moving things around as you put together your life. If you’re lucky, putting together your life is a process that will last through every single day you’re alive.
– Ann Patchett

I love August, but I always lose something in it.
– Alex Dimitrov

pine and cedar
wind through the forest
smell of sound
– Basho

I use the words you taught me. If they don’t mean anything any more, teach me others. Or let me be silent.
– Samuel Beckett

Again and again, I have been witness to poetry’s immense power to reconnect us to the world, to allow us to heal, to love, to grieve, to remind us of the full spectrum of human emotion.
– @adalimon

I really hate telling people no, but in order to protect myself and give myself the tiniest time to make my own art, and make my own life, I have to say no, but it also feels terrible to say no, and I know how no feels, and I’d like to have a better relationship with the word no.
– @adalimon

Of course, a culture as manically and massively materialistic as ours creates materialistic behavior in its people, especially in those people who’ve been subjected to nothing but the destruction of imagination that this culture calls education, the destruction of autonomy it calls work, and the destruction of activity it calls entertainment.
– James Hillman

what is a poem? a poem is nothing. by persistence the poem can be made something; but then it is something, not a poem. why is it nothing? because it cannot be looked at, heard, touched or read (what can be read is prose)…it is a vacuum… since it is a vacuum it cannot be reproduced in an audience. a vacuum is unalterably and untransferably a vacuum—the only thing that can happen to it is destruction. if it were possible to reproduce it in an audience the result would be the destruction of the audience.
– laura riding, anarchism is not enough

If response-ability is challenged today and accountability feels like an algorithm of the systems we protest, we will need to make new moves and head in new directions – lest we reinscribe our own troubles. We cannot simply out-think our many crises; we cannot fling data and philanthropy at climate chaos and police brutality. We cannot simply design new futures if our seeing has not been humbled and brought low in the sociomaterial matrix of new decolonial inquiries.

As Fred Moten states, “what it is that is supposed to be repaired is irreparable. It can’t be repaired. The only thing we can do is tear this shit down completely and build something new.” Or, rather, inhabit the cracks of this already-more-than-human-falling-down-to-earth. We need new eyes to see with, new tentacles to walk with, new orifices to taste and desire with. We need shapeshift – and every shapeshift worth its salt is a creature of tastefully furnished impediments.

– Bayo Akomolafe

…..But deep within we know. No matter how much dissociation and trauma we may carry, we still know. We know in our bones when life has grown stale and the skin around us begins to itch and crack. We know when our restless desire to break free, to open, to come out, to wake up no longer can be denied. Initiation is not a concept. It lives at our core. And no matter how orphaned we may feel from any sense of true connection with the source, the call to remember ourselves into the wholeness we were born from and for is innate in us, and stubbornly insistent…
– Petra Lentz Snow

Oh never doubt it for one minute
I have dreamed a poem for you
a thousand times and a thousand times
have tested my skill and failed.
– George Garrett

Each twilight like a blueprint in which something is always missing.
– Larry Levis

That moment of light is already this one–
Sweet, fickle, oblivious, & gone:
– Larry Levis

Unlike most things I write, that are rewritten at greater length than they are written, this one [poem] emerged in very nearly the same way it now remains. This final stanza arrived one morning while I was lying in bed. Later, as I was picking up fallen branches out in the back yard, more lines insisted on coming. I made up the first three stanzas while sitting on a pile of brush, then had to go indoors to fix them in writing. I can hold about twenty unwritten lines in my head before the damned thing spills. They stay there because their rimes, meter, and stanza help hold them together. That’s one good thing about writing old-fangled stanzaic poetry–for your first draft, you don’t need paper.
– X. J. Kennedy

People who are unconscious always create unconsciousness, and in this way they influence others; they can get them into an unconscious condition so that they will behave exactly according to their intention. That is the real essence of witchcraft.
– CG Jung

Is there a timeline in which the division between conservative and liberal ever ever resolves? Assuming no, WTF happens?!?
– Lisa Lucas

The light is too painful for someone who wants to remain in darkness.
– Eckhart Tolle

Writing or making anything—a poem, a bird feeder, a chocolate cake—has self-respect in it. You’re working. You’re trying. You’re not lying down on the ground, having given up.
– Sharon Olds

A close friend of mine, twelve years before I knew him, wrote out and revised, and revised again, and then still again, and again, and once more, and still one other time more, a novel. He paid the fee listed in Literary Market Place and sent it to William Meredith agency, and then he waited. And waited. Because he was the real thing, a writer, he began his second novel. William Meredith agency finally rejected that first novel–but a young man, a paid reader for that agency, contacted my friend and said ‘I admire this novel, and if I can get into a position to publish it, I will.’ My friend thought he was probably crazy. Nine years went by. Nine years. And the second novel was finished, and a third was nearly done. One day, my friend, who was working as a messenger in NY City, got a call, out of the blue, from that same young man–who had in fact reached a level of decision-making power in the business. ‘What has happened to that novel?’ he asked. My friend answered, ‘It’s sitting in my workroom, on a shelf.’ And the young man said, ‘Good. Because I want it.’ And so he bought my friend’s novel. He also bought the novel my friend had written while seeking some audience for that first one, and he bought the one in progress, too. My friend had simply gone on writing, while working the messenger job, through steady unrelenting discouragements, and all sorts of false evidence from the world about what he had to give it. He kept on anyway, fulfilling his part of the contract, to write like all hell, and let things play out as they would. His name was Raymond Andrews. He’s been gone now, since the mid-eighties, but his books, six of them, remain.
– Richard Bausch

There is a wren sitting in the branches
of my spirit and it chooses not to sing.
It is listening to learn its song.
– Jack Gilbert

Your eyes make all the difference in the world.
– Eric Earley

The restlessness in the human heart will never be finally stilled by any person, project, or place. The longing is eternal. This is what constantly qualifies and enlarges our circles of belonging. There is a constant and vital tension between longing and belonging. Without the shelter of belonging, our longings would lack direction, focus, and context; they would be aimless and haunted, constantly tugging the heart in a myriad of opposing directions . . . Belonging without longing would be empty and dead, a cold frame around emptiness . . . There is something within you that no one or nothing else in the world is able to meet or satisfy. When you recognize that such unease is natural, it will free you from getting on the treadmill of chasing ever more temporary and partial satisfactions. This eternal longing will always insist on some door remaining open somewhere in all the shelters where you belong . . . it will intensify your journey but also liberates you from the need to go on many seductive but futile quests.”
– John O’Donohue

Awareness is your refuge.
Stay with it, because it is
a refuge that is indestructible.

It’s not something that changes.
You can trust in it.
It’s not something you create.
It’s not a creation.

It’s very practical,
very simple,
but easily overlooked
or not noticed.

When you’re mindful,
you are beginning to notice,
It’s like this.

– Ajahn Sumedho

The truth is that the piece of art
which seems so profoundly right
in its finished state may earlier
have been only inches
or seconds away from total collapse.
– David Bayles

The poem in the head is always perfect. Resistance starts when you try to convert it into language.
– Stanley Kunitz

Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are the artist’s true friend.
– Anne Lamott

And so we live in a living world,
which we can never fully understand,
nor refrain from loving.

Enough with parables of knowledge.
Superstition wears the cloak of reason.
Let’s talk about fuzzy ownership.
How entropy surrenders when symbiosis thrives.

O, the resilience of grass and spirit!
O, the leap of our hearts when you called
and 20 ringnecked doves came straight to you!

What is this wilderness of such drama?
What is this sailing away to find home?

“Everyone has multiple personalities,” you whisper.
“And water still finds its way in the dark.”

– George Gorman

Queer people are taught to not think about our future… Imagining your Queer future is a form of prayer.
– Leo Herrera

In a Word, a World

I know the adjective can be a nuisance, and the adverb clumsy. I am a touch sick of the poetic inflation around prepositions. I would prefer the conjunctions were less visibly functional. Articles can clutter. The verb works the hardest. It should be the best paid. And I know fifteenth letter O is the best of all: O my black frying pan. O my fallen arches. O my degenerating fibroids. O what’s the point. O little man at the foot of my bed, please don’t steal my pillow.

– C.D. Wright

In his new book, philosopher William MacAskill urges today’s humans to protect future humans — an idea he calls “longtermism.”

Our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and our culture too often teach the history of this nation by omission.
– Stef Rubino

Our poems are what the gods couldn’t make without going through us.
– Dean Young

this is the city we’ve come to
all the lights are red all the poets are dead
and there are no norths
– American Sonnet 4, Wanda Coleman

All poetry is about hope.
A scarecrow walks into a bar.
An abandoned space station falls to earth.
When probing the monster’s brain,
you’re probably probing your own.
– Dean Young

It’s a waste of time to tell trailblazers, dreamers, creatives that they’re going the wrong way.

We know.

That’s the point. We don’t want to go where the current path leads.

– Dr. Thema

Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren’t any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life’s challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person.
– Richard Buckminster Fuller

Ecstasy is willingness
I dare you to find a river any other way
I dare you to breathe
Some cries never reach us
Even though they’re our own

The best endings are abrupt

– Dean Young

I like bioregionalism, but some of you are hyper-idealistic eco-fascists and it shows.
– Vince F Horn

Antonym of curiosity is arrogance. Antonym of interdependence is control.
– John Paul Lederach

But the radiance is not ended,
And the joy, whate’er the cost,
Which those fleeting days attended
Never can be wholly lost.
– Leslie Pinckney Hill

Not consciousness and self-understanding,
but a passionate inner presence makes us
what and who we are.
– Thomas Moore

We’re always so close to living.
– Max Ritvo

But whereas we, who were marked, believed we represented the will of Nature to something new, to the individualism of the future, the others sought to perpetuate the status quo. Humanity – which they loved – was for them something complete that must be maintained or protected. For us, humanity was a distant goal toward which all men were moving, whose image no one knew, whose laws were nowhere written down.
– Hermann Hesse

The story of student debt is inseparable from the country’s swing to the right that produced tax cuts that meant public education got a lot more expensive, paid for by students rather than by people already established. The people with means gave themselves a break and dumped a burden on the young, in other words. A lot of individual stories exist within the context of this collective story. Which is important to remember because it could be reversed and because it undoes the story that it’s individual failing that produced the debt crisis (or that the young should just buck up like grandpa did when the UC system was free).

And yeah, there could be footnotes about how private universities jacked up their prices and scam for-profit colleges bilked the naive and how metastasizing bureaucracy also made education a lot more expensive. But this transfer from the public to the private via the tax cuts and the gutting of funding for colleges is a key story.

– Rebecca Solnit

You are
scientific proof
that there are still
new ways to smile.
– Omar Holmon

The fatwa made me wobble a lot. Then, it made me take a very deep breath, and rededicate myself to the art, to think, Well, to hell with that. That book took me more than five years to write … To spend five years of your life being as serious as you can be, and then to be accused of being frivolous and self-seeking, opportunistic: He did it on purpose. Of course I did it on purpose! How do you spend five years of your life doing something accidentally?
– Salman Rushdie

Currency
by Fred L. Joiner

a pocket can sometimes be
a kind of prison,

I have never lived in
a cash economy where the bill

fold unfolds to find someone
creased in the middle,

but perhaps credit moves
the same, the way it scores

the pocket and the body
boxed and bureaued

the edge of a card
cuts anything akin to skin

a Dollar, a Euro, a World
Bank, a debt to erase, a wait

a race, a weight.

Awakening is not changing who you are, but discarding who you are not.
– Deepak Chopra

The miracle of the psyche’s ways is that even if you are halfhearted, irreverent, didn’t mean to, didn’t really hope to, don’t want to, feel unworthy to, aren’t ready for it, you will accidentally stumble upon treasure anyway. Then it is your soul’s work to not overlook what has been brought up, to recognize treasure as treasure no matter how unusual
its form.
– Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Wisdom is knowing when to have rest, when to have activity, and how much of each to have.
– Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Examinations, Measurements, & Trust

What if you worked
for a company that didn’t measure
anything for quality assurance
because the thing most important
to every person toiling away
was adding healing to the world
by connecting in real, life-giving ways–
to others, to each other, to themselves–
a thing that is impossible to quantify
because when you try to turn
what matters most into metrics
that connection you are trying
to measure is no longer real
and can no longer heal.

– Heidi Barr

Don’t become a mere recorder of facts, but try to penetrate the mystery of their origin.
– Ivan Pavlov

Alas, I myself have started to feel the onset of something, a sadness perhaps, the dawn of a new season, an existence even. But enough of this. Tell me about yourself and what it is like where you are. Do the leaves ever stop falling? Are the shadows ever anything but long? And the mountains? Can one see them?
– Mark Strand

To hear never-heard sounds,
To see never-seen colors and shapes,
To try to understand the imperceptible
Power pervading the world;
To fly and find pure ethereal substances
That are not of matter
But of that invisible soul pervading reality.
To hear another soul and to whisper to another soul;
To be a lantern in the darkness
Or an umbrella in a stormy day;
To feel much more than know.
To be the eyes of an eagle, slope of a mountain;
To be a wave understanding the influence of the moon;
To be a tree and read the memory of the leaves;
To be an insignificant pedestrian on the streets
Of crazy cities watching, watching, and watching.
To be a smile on the face of a woman
And shine in her memory
As a moment saved without planning.
– Dejan Stojanovic

After great pain, a formal feeling comes.
– Emily Dickinson

Let’s suppose that everyone in the world wakes up today and tries to write a poem. It is impossible to know what will happen next, but certainly we may be assured that the world will not be made worse.
– Dean Young

Imagine saying that we must take scripture literally, then grumbling when people’s debts are literally being forgiven.
– @Brcremer

We thought we were being mature
when we were only being safe.
– Julian Barnes

When we want to know what the gods are thinking, we examine the investment of spirit in the artifacts of symbols, in complexes, in patterns, in dreams. Each of these venues is a place for the spirit to manifest.
– James Hollis

I am…responsible, finally responsible, for each choice in the poem as if it were an act in the street.
– Jorie Graham

There is no description, no image in any book that is capable of replacing the sight of real trees, and all the life to be found around them, in a real forest. Something emanates from those trees which speaks to the soul, something no book, no museum is capable of giving.
– Maria Montessori

The world would be happier
if men had the same capacity
to be silent
that they have to speak.
– Baruch Spinoza

You cannot make blossoms by tearing off petals.
– Ikkyu

Jungian psychology deals with wounds by, paradoxically, amplifying rather than reducing our problems. It declares that dreams and symptoms exist for a purpose. They are there to lead us back to the path we have lost, to meaning, to truth, and to the art of living.
– Bud Harris

Chögyam Trungpa ~ CONFUSION AS PART OF THE PATH
The bodhisattva vow acknowledges confusion and chaos – aggression, passion, frustration, frivolousness – as part of the path. The path is like a busy broad highway, complete with roadblocks, accidents, construction work, and police. It is quite terrifying. Nevertheless it is majestic, it is the great path. From today onward I am willing to live with all my chaos and confusion as well as with that of all other sentient beings.

I call it the “narcissism of progress.” It’s when you grow and evolve, and then project the assumption of growth onto others, as though they are you and see the world through your eyes. It’s not a malevolent tendency. It’s simply a misplaced (and often hopeful) assumption of transformation. You reach a place where you couldn’t act in such and such a way, and then assume that someone else is there, too. And sometimes, they are. And sometimes… they aren’t. As much as we long to see everyone grow and evolve, it’s important to remember that some people won’t do a stitch of work in that regard. They are comfortable (or uncomfortable) right where they are, or they will grow when they are ready, or they simply have a different idea of growth. It’s important to understand this, so that you live in relational reality, so that you don’t put your eggs in the wrong basket, and so that you experience the liberating benefits of meeting people right where they are. It takes a lot of energy to make assumptions about other people’s consciousness. Save it for your own journey. You will surely need it to get where you long to go.
– Jeff Brown

You know how it is when you’re reading a book and falling asleep, you’re reading, reading… and all of a sudden you notice your eyes are closed? I’m like that all the time.
– Steven Wright

Imagine what it does to our culture’s perception of Christ’s gospel when Christians are among the loudest of those disapproving of people being released from their debts.

Lord, have mercy.

– @Brcremer

Do not be too quick to condemn the man who no longer believes in God: for it is perhaps your own coldness and avarice and mediocrity and materialism and selfishness that have chilled his faith.
– Thomas Merton

I don’t know what it’s like inside you and you don’t know what it’s like inside me. A great book allows me to leap over that wall…
– David Foster Wallace

Could we stop having history all the time? I’m trying to get some work done.
– @RebeccaSolnit

Perfection is out of the question for people like us,
So why plug away at the same old self when the landscape

Has opened its arms and given us marvelous shrines
To flock towards?
– Mark Strand

I have enough memories
to drink coffee all by myself
in a cafe so empty yet so crowded
with the ghosts of those who have left
but always stayed.
– Mahmoud Darwish

On Anti-Intellectualism
by Bayo Akomolafe

There is a subtle but pervasive anti-intellectualism that barely registers above the din of countercultural discourse and the newfound affinity for everything indigenous and other-than-western. It is still noticeable though. This anti-intellectualism is a rejection of (or wariness about) the ‘head’ and its dominance over the ‘heart’. We probably don’t talk about it enough, but we are now all about feelings and senses and intuition and other forms of knowing. We call this the ‘heart’.

There’s good reason for this preference: with Western metaphysics still largely entrenched in the Enlightenment legacies of privileging rationality over and above other modes of knowing, and with more and more connections being made between Enlightenment intellectualism and the troubling crises we find ourselves in today, many are gesturing towards spirituality and reconnecting with the land by looking with suspicion upon anything that sounds or looks like intellectual rigor. When it becomes too challenging, an idea is often labelled as a matter of the ‘head’. The ‘heart’ – closely associated with culture, indigenous worlds, the sacred, enchantment, the feminine, ‘spirit’, ‘energy’ and generally the kinds of work we feel called to do today – is, on the other hand, where the energy lies.

The academic world, caught up in its economies of self regard and usual oblivious navel-gazing, has produced knowledges and languages that alienate and turn people off. Hence the sacred is usually dissociated from the intellect. When philosophy checks in, people check out. Too many words.

But an unhelpful binary persists in demarcating the head and the heart, as if the intellect is something separate from affect. Or as if the only way to understand intellectual work is through the practices and products of the Western academia. There are other non-western philosophies and histories and legacies and disciplines of rigor that are no less intellectual and no less sacred. These are largely rendered invisible by the ‘prominence’ of western philosophies.

Perhaps what is most important to note is that thought is not anti-spiritual or antithetical to the shifts we are noticing today. Non-western people do not have the luxury of abandoning ‘good thinking’. We need to think powerfully; we need to think ethically; we need to think with an eye for our children and ancestors. We need to think well and carefully about how we think these matters. The work of decolonization – of noticing other positionalities that trouble modern claims to singularity and stability – will need not just our bodies, indigenous technologies, songs and games. It will need ideas and powerful concepts, some of which will challenge us.

Yes we can notice how Enlightenment epistemologies and philosophies cut out the body and the nonhuman, while centralizing the thinking human subject. The head. However, to retreat to the ‘heart’ and dismiss the ‘head’ is to reinforce the same Enlightenment architecture that feels so problematic today.

It is to patronize the ‘indigenous’ while supposing you are offering the highest respect. The shifts being made today are not dualizing. They are transversal, cross-cutting, intersecting gestures that show how the heart has always been entangled with the head. And vice versa. Perhaps the gut is where they both meet.

Without prejudice to the different and specific needs that emerge in different contexts, I sincerely hope that our convenient practices of distinguishing the heart from the head would be fraught with more trouble than is currently being appreciated. And that we would come to know the scandalous affair that has always existed between thought and feeling.

I can’t help it. I have to say it again. I am so happy the poetry scene has left the nineties forever! Onward!
– Sheryl Luna

The notion of an avant-garde is a bit off. The function of the advance guard in military terms is exactly that of the rear guard, to protect the main body, which translates as the status quo.
– Donald Barthelme

I have an idea that the only thing which makes it possible to regard this world we live in without disgust is the beauty which now and then men create out of the chaos. The pictures they paint, the music they compose, the books they write, and the lives they lead. Of all these the richest in beauty is the beautiful life. That is the perfect work of art.
– W. Somerset Maugham

The only way to exist happily is to love your work.
– Bernard Berenson

If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother.
– Moses

Never the master or guru,
heaven forbid a sage,
just a prairie recluse writing verse
…swinging a sword.
– Shinzen

The general population doesn’t know what’s happening, and it doesn’t even know that it doesn’t know.
– Noam Chomsky

The goal of translation or poetry is to upset the language of power.
– Don Mee Choi

There is nothing wrong with hardships and obstacles, but everything wrong with not trying.
– Werner Herzog

The meaning of the Sabbath is to celebrate time rather than space. Six days a week we live under the tyranny of things, of space; on the Sabbath, we try to become attuned to holiness in time. It is a day on which we are called upon to share in what is eternal in time; to turn from the results of creation to the mystery of creation; from the world of creation to the creation of the world.
– Abraham Joshua Heschel

In the slow world of dream,
We breathe in unison.
The outside dies within,
And she knows all I am.
– Theodore Roethke

The woods lost in the woods whenever she walked with him.
– Greg Sellers

A series of bead-beings joined together by a string of memory,
– Álvaro de Campos

So instead of giving in to despair I chose active melancholy, in so far as I was capable of activity, in other words I chose the kind of melancholy that hopes, that strives and that seeks, in preference to the melancholy that despairs numbly and in distress.
– Vincent van Gogh

What you wait for, you’ll always wait for.
– Ruba’iyat, A Little Larger Than the Entire Universe: Selected Poems by Fernando Pessoa

What I see in you lives where I dream,
Far away from here. If you exist,
I only know it
Because I just dreamed it.
– Fernando Pessoa

I would like to tell you about the tactile universe.
What we are sure of is minimal: the mystery

of the unseen inside of things–the gliding,
flexing, bone-breaking grooves of peripatetic

movement or a longing for stronger feelings.

– Erika Meitner

[…] The impulse behind nature poetry, he says, is ‘a sort of readiness, a species of longing which is without the desire to possess’…
– Gary Geddes

Sometimes I wish I could write a book about everyone I meet. A library of my life, more solid than the memories in my head.
– Mariah Rigg

Now it seems to me the heart
must enlarge to hold the losses
we have ahead of us. I hold to
a certain sadness the way others
search for joy,
– Marvin Bell

I speak to you whether I am silent
Or talk aloud.
– Cynthia Macdonald

In the garden, the enemy is everything: the aphids, the weather, time…You pour yourself into it, care so much, & see up close so much birth & growth & beauty & danger & triumph—& then everything dies anyway, right? But u just keep doing it. What a great metaphor!
– Anne Lamott

Trying to build happiness on a foundation of ego is like trying to build a tower on quicksand.
– Pamela Gayle White

Write to me, he said, write me of you.
Write to me until you become entangled
In the threads of language and fall mortally wounded.
– Alejandra Pizarnik

Both CG Jung and JRR Tolkien were convinced that mankind is in a crucial dilemma, and that transformation must come from the inner man.
– Pia Skogemann

for just a moment
the hawk
and I
– James Welsh

Images of myth, when drawn from the depths, stir and touch us because they intimate, even activate, mysterious depths we embody as well.
– James Hollis

What we are facing everywhere right now is fascism and theocracy versus common sense and common decency. Choose your side wisely.
– @LeahJCallen

It’s not that voting alone will save us. No single act will.

It’s that voting regularly represents a mindset— a worldview—where community engagement and caring about the processes of power are centered in the heart.

That attitude is everything.

That view can change the world.

– Ethan Nichtern

In the forests, the trees stand up and vote.
– Akhmatova

Texts are not finished objects.
– Edward W. Said

I used to think that in order to be a writer I had to write every day…. And now that’s not the case. I don’t feel like I need to write every day.
– @adalimon

Every one knows that there are forms of cruelty which can injure a man’s life without injuring his body. They are such as deprive him of a certain form of food necessary to the life of the soul.
– Simone Weil

Jubilee is God’s idea.

But some won’t like it.

– Brian Zahnd

Conditioned things fall apart. Accomplish [the Way] with diligence.
– Buddha

What’s travel anymore? Travel takes distance. Across it you change. A man at his destination isn’t the same that first set sail. Instead I’ve a barcode & sit like so much luggage in a storehouse of strangers waiting to be shipped. Not only am I unchanged, I’m more perniciously me.
– @SteveDPhD

There is no sense talking about “being true to yourself” until you are sure what voice you are being true to. It takes hard work to differentiate the voices of the unconscious.
– Marion Woodman

August winding down
pretending not to see
the red maple leaf
– Jason Gould

a net stretched
across the afternoon sky, this is beauty and in this I will trade until all music ends, and the air
grows crisp as airless grace.
– Kwame Dawes

So that’s another thing poetry allows me. It allows me to deal with being an artist of many backgrounds and to hold great complexity in my very being.
– Jericho Brown

We have only one minute
and I love you.
– Dunya Mikhail

we were together,—All else has long been forgotten by me
– Whitman

a butterfly
flying in the cold
in pursuit of its soul
– Kyoshi

with closed eyes
basking in the warmth
of a love long past
– Sojo

The best way to get back at someone is to improve yourself and your life so much that getting back at them will feel like a waste of time and energy.
– Mark Manson

bell hooks wrote, “I could and would have it all: my ideas, books, writing and love. The only world that affirmed that this was indeed possible was the world of books.”

autumn dusk—
streaking soft orange sky
tiger-spots of pink
– @Meraki_k

Sweden is building a road that recharges electric vehicles while they drive over it.

We have so many solutions. Implement them

– @MikeHudema

Far more people than you will ever realize are on the verge of breaking, asking tough questions of themselves, fearful of the future. Walk gently and listen.
– Tennessee Williams

late rains
a rare lilac
blooms twice
– George Hawkins

The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.
– John Muir

I try to write from an honest place, that’s all. I don’t lie in life, and I try to tell the truth in my writing, the real truth, especially the truth I’m not aware of.
– Sandra Cisneros

You cannot bring an ecological revolution to humanity with the very foundations that are systematically destroying it.
It would be a gross error of judgement to suppose so.
What we must now instigate are new ground up foundations for a new green society with mandatory degrowth.
– Robert Redmayne Hosking

The spirit is this movement of becoming something other
– Hegel

I’m a moron when I finish a novel. It’s all in there and there’s nothing left in here.
– Martin Amis

It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.
– Paulo Coelho

The desire to change is fundamentally a form of aggression toward yourself. The other problem is that our hang-ups contain our wealth. Our neurosis and our wisdom are made out of the same material. If you throw out your neurosis, you also throw out your wisdom.
– Pema Chodron

traveling
to a strange land
just to watch the sunset
– Ogawa

Poetry defies the law of supply and demand.
– Dean Young

Jung defines individuation as “the process by which a person becomes a psychological ‘in-dividual,’ that is, a separate, indivisible unity or ‘whole.’
– Scott Hill

Many people resist the spiritual journey & so they judge, criticize, mischaracterize, debate, deny & get up in their head about what they think it’s about or what they or others go through or talk about. But the mind cannot fully comprehend what it’s all about. Carry on, mystics.
– @IAmMyBestToday

Some relationships can introduce you to the highest highs & lowest lows. If you didn’t see this coming, may you now see the lessons you needed to learn and the light & dark that are possible in humanity. And may the boundaries & discernment you now know you need, guide your way.
– @IAmMyBestToday

There’s something bad in the beer—in the whiskey—in the internet addiction – oh, and the water, and the poisonous AIR, and the fake chemical food—fake jobs—fake money—fake economy—fake “prosperity”—fake “beauty”—fake “soulfulness”—fake happy-face- I’m-better’n you,” but most of all, there’s something rotten in the hearts of humanity – Who said anything about WAR. I did —
– E.M.

Those who enjoy their own emotionally bad health and who habitually fill their own minds with the rank poisons of suspicion, jealousy, and hatred, as a rule take umbrage at those who refuse to do likewise, and they find a perverted relief in trying to denigrate them.
– Johannes Brahms

Everybody does have a book in them,
but in most cases that’s where it should stay.
– Christopher Hitchens

So long as the unconscious is in a dormant condition, it seems as if there were absolutely nothing in this hidden region. Hence we are continually surprised when something unknown suddenly appears “from nowhere.”
– CG Jung

One must simply listen, in order to learn what the inner totality—the Self—wants one to do here and now in a particular situation.
– CG Jung

The anger of those who don’t like student loan forgiveness will never match the happiness of those who benefit directly from it or know someone who will.

And that’s how you know that helping people who need help is good policy and good politics.

– Ethan Nichtern

The primary task of any good spiritual teaching is not to answer your questions, but to question your answers.
– Adyashanti

When practicing Dharma, it is important that you tone down your ego. If being a practitioner causes you to become more egotistic, then you have only succeeded in adding one more poison, the poison of ego, on top of what you already have. Dharma practice is not an object to sell. It is not an object to show. It is done to help one’s own nature. Listening to the teaching is done to guide one’s attitude. The meditation on the teaching is done to affect one’s mind, to tone down or to eliminate the poison of one’s own mind. Dharma practice is completely for oneself, not to tell others what to do. Anyone can practice Dharma because Dharma shows what to acquire and what to abandon. By toning down one’s ego, one practices anonymously and will achieve one’s goal.
– 4th Dodrubchen Rinpoche

fireflies
one by one
turning into stars
– Seisensui

Confound you handsome young fellows!
you think of having it all your own way
in the world. You don’t understand women.
They don’t admire you half so much
as you admire yourselves.
– George Eliot

I wanted to live in Paris and write nothing but fiction and be perfectly free.
– Mavis Gallant

chrysanthemum,
you are even more beautiful
than your name!
– @Meraki_k

Moon thread, threads of the planets, earth thread.
Your thread.
Everyone else’s.

– Dana Levin

I didn’t know then that I was happy.
I know it now, because I no longer am.
– Fernando Pessoa

Achieving genuine happiness may require bringing about a transformation in your outlook, your way of thinking, and this is not a simple matter.
– His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

I hate the first inexact, inadequate expression of things. The whole joy of writing comes from the opportunity to go over it and make it good, one way or another.
– James Salter

When you are fully conscious, drama does not come into your life anymore.
– Eckhart Tolle

The difference between a story and an essay is that the storyteller just wants to entertain the reader, while the essayist has been to graduate school.
– @brevitymag

Relaxation involves the ‘rest and digest’ parasympathetic wing of the nervous system, the natural counterbalance to the ‘fight or flight’ sympathetic wing. It’s almost impossible to be very upset about something if you feel deeply relaxed.
– Dr. Rick Hanson

Writing about something is how you discover what you don’t know about it.

Write → find gaps in your thinking → clarify.
Write → find gaps in your thinking → clarify.
Write → find gaps in your thinking → clarify.

– @farnamstreet

Integrate:

Breathwork
Quality Sleep
Proper hydration
Exercise/sweating
Holistic Boundaries
Discernment/Intuition
Nourishing nutrition
Nature
Meditation/Prayer
Catharsis
Mindset training
Adaptability
Inner Harmony
Love & Laughter
Emotional/Mental/Physical/Spiritual connections

– @IAmMyBestToday

What the Eastern mystics are concerned with is a direct experience of reality which transcends not only intellectual thinking but also sensory perception.
– Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics

The ecological collapse of our planet isn’t a spectator sport.
Nothing is sacred.
Not one flower, petal, leaf, tree, mountain, glacier, forest or ocean.
We have the ability to comprehend the truth, but we choose not too.
Our failings are costing us everything.
– Robert Redmayne Hosking

The world we know is disappearing, perhaps forever, because of climate change, and … one thing writers can do is to bear witness to the disappearing world, and disappearing ways of life, in language.
– Meng Jin

We are the generation without ties and without depth. Our depth is an abyss.
– Wolfgang Borchert

What we must do immediately:
1) End the use of fossil fuels
2) Build massive amounts of solar & wind
3) Electrify everything
4) Conserve
5) Find solutions for the last hard stuff (planes, cement)
6) Stop cutting down trees.
– @MikeHudema

The great Borges thought it best to look up on our broken inner state as one of life’s great opportunities–to prove ourselves deserving of the blood pulsing through our veins…
– Bianca Stone

‘Everything that happens,’ he wrote, ‘including humiliations, misfortunes, embarrassments, all is given like clay [so that we may] make from all the miserable circumstances of our lives’ something worthy of the gift of consciousness.
– Vivian Gornick

A stanza upon waking from a dream of Autumn:
I dreamt that Autumn fell from the sky, a big, glass paperweight filled with gold aspen leaves and fireplaces, the throaty horned voices of geese, a warning of frost. All the people wore boots and fell from the clouds into restaurants, demanding bowls of hot soup, devouring buttered bread. The windows steamed with grace, a kind of Autumn gone missing these last two years…a fall laced mostly with the ordinary death of plants, an autumn offering us the chance to yearn in safety, to touch each other in the shared air of a café, boots mingling like horses under tables, breath and laughter wreathing us with just how much we’ve needed each other.
– Lori Howe

Religious, spiritual, or cosmic sensitivity is the next logical extension of the movement branching out from the individual to groups, the family, and society. There is a dimension even greater than society—the universe or cosmos. In the current trends this is not a matter of belief. Rather, it is the bodily experience of sensing oneself in a vast cosmic context. It is an experience of breathing more deeply, of having a sense of vastness.
– Eugene Gendlin, developer of Focusing

A DEDICATION
We stood by the library. It was an August night.
Priests and sisters of hundreds of unsaid creeds
passed us going there separate pondered roads.
We watched them cross under the corner light.

Freights on the edge of town were carrying away
flatcars of steel to be made into secret guns;
we knew, being human, that they were enemy guns,
and we were somehow vowed to poverty.

No one stopped or looked long or held out a hand.
They were following orders received from hour to hour,
so many signals, all strange, from a foreign power:
But tomorrow, you whispered, peace may flow over the land.

At that corner in a flash of lightning we two stood;
that glimpse we had will stare through the dark forever:
on the poorest roads we would be walkers and beggars,
toward some deathless meeting involving a crust of bread.
– William Stafford

Lonely people tend to be lonely
because they decline to bear the psychic
costs of being around other humans.
They are allergic to people.
People affect them too strongly.
– David Foster Wallace

In the glare of your mind, be modest.
And beholden to what is tactile, and thrilling.
– Mary Oliver

Look closely. The beautifull may be small.
– Immanuel Kant

The shadow past is shaped by everything that never happened. Invisible, it melts the present like rain through karst. A biography of longing. It steers us like magnetism, a spirit torque. This is how one becomes undone by a smell, a word, a place, the photo of a mountain of shoes. By love that closes its mouth before calling a name.
– Anne Michaels

In theory momentos serve to bring back the moment. In fact they serve only to make clear how inadequately I appreciated the moment when it was here. How inadequately I appreciated the moment when it was here is something else I could never afford to see.
– Joan Didion

We haven’t a clue as to what counts
In the secret landscape behind the landscape we look at here.
We just don’t know what matters,
– Charles Wright

Most of the trouble you have with writing anything is temporary–if you can manage to think only in terms of this one day’s work, while holding back anything other than the determination to stay there the appointed amount of time and struggle with it. As I’ve said too many times to count, and even so it always bears repeating–since we all have such problems remembering–most everything ever written by anyone including the great silently admonishing masters, was written a little at a time, over a long time, in a whole lot of confusion and doubt. It’s just the territory. Keep reminding yourself that this is all quite normal and all good. If you’re spending the time, confused or no, happy or no, it is going very well indeed, even when it feels like failure.
– Richard Bausch

Cabo San Lucas
by Robert Mitchum (after fishing with H. Bogart)

Rising early to beat the heat
a little dry from last night’s booze.
We’re soon out miles from land where
the big fish roam under the sun
and stars, undisturbed by time’s
wave-measured march.

Slicing bonito for bait, the blood is
red against all the blue. Blue above
and below. The hook, hungering for
meat, shines blue in my hand as
I drop its feathered plume into the wake.

We drink beer and wait for the line to sing,
rattling off the reel like a runaway train,
tightening under the drag, burning the leather stop.
The marlin leaps, its bill skewering the sky,
carves and dances in the blue, then twists and dives.

The rod quivers in the belt. Leather biting my back
I reel and pull, the marlin leaps again,
I heave forward and rare back as fire
sweat and salt gather on my skin
A moment’s slack, a shake, the fish is free.

Why aren’t all losses as lovely as this?
Quien sabe?”

—how wonderful to be who I am,
made out of earth and water,
my own thoughts, my own fingerprints—
all that glorious, temporary stuff.
– Mary Oliver

I lack the peace of simple things.
I am never wholly in place.
I find no peace or grace.
We sell the world to buy fire,
our way lighted by burning men.
– Wendell Berry

Practice of Work
From Annie Lou Staveley’s ‘Themes I’

In our teaching, as in all others, much has been made of the absolute necessity to practice what is taught rather than read ‘about’ it, talk ‘about’ it, think ‘about’ it. The word “about” has a connotation of going in circles. “Round about and round about and round about I go.” In England merry-go-rounds are called roundabouts.

Jesus says: “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken [them] unto a wise [human] which built [their] house upon a rock:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish [human], which built [their] house upon the sand:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the wind blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” (Matthew 7:24-27)

And I have often quoted the Buddha, who says: “I do not say to you, believe this for so it is told you, but do this and little by little, as one climbing a mountain, for yourselves ye shall see and know and understand, needing no guidance from another; no, not from a brother, nor a Brahmin nor another.” The Kingdom of Heaven is within you. Look inward and see it and be glad.

And our work says again and again in many ways that one must apply the teachings to oneself. It is I myself that must change—my own being, what I am.

And still this remains the hardest lesson to learn. Again and again and again people come to groups, make certain (even quite great) sacrifices and efforts, and yet fail to see that one thing. That the work is about me—that it is me myself that must be remembered, observed, [transformed, made whole]. Not [human]kind, not my neighbor, or my wife, or my friend. Myself. No amount of reading or thinking or talking will do the job. No one can do it for me. I must give up running away from this task into thinking, talking, reading.

In our work, our teaching, the first step is to observe what is in the house of myself. Let us take one thing to observe today. In America we usually laugh and smile too much. It is one of our meaningless mechanical habits. It may be ingratiating, depreciating, charming, defensive, protective, whatever. In any case it has become mechanical for us and probably irritating.

Try to observe smiling and laughing in yourself today. Do not try to stop it altogether but just once or twice see if you can make a serious, friendly contact with someone else without smiling or laughing. The work says: “Remember yourself; observe what “it” [the mechanical part] does.” Can you do this? Not theorizing, not interpreting, not analyzing or labeling or justifying. This would be work—this is what your work is. Can you make a simple, honest effort to do it?”

You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honor trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then – to learn.
– T.H. White

Now ordinary people are born forwards in Time, if you understand what I mean, and nearly everything in the world goes forward too. This makes it quite easy for the ordinary people to live, just as it would be easy to join those five dots into a W if you were allowed to look at them forwards, instead of backwards and inside out. But I unfortunately was born at the wrong end of Time, and I have to live backwards from in front, while surrounded by a lot of people living forwards from behind. Some people call it having second sight.
– Merlin
— T. H. White

The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.
– Arthur Conan Doyle

The hardest thing about being a book midwife is having access to these amazing, ground-breaking, life-changing ideas and materials
And not being able to share them
For MONTHS at a time
While I wait
Impatiently
For the book to be fully birthed so you can see it in all its glory
Fresh from the author’s heart
Straight from the author’s “pen”
– Fen Druadìn

Let yourself be gutted. Let it open you. Start here.
– Cheryl Strayed

One of the many wonderful things about a home is that it can be as lively as you please without ever becoming
public.
– e. e. cummings

To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.
– Wendell Berry, To Know the Dark

Vanitas

And if you died today, what would be left?
A car maybe, some silverware and plates,
a house if you were lucky in this life,

wood shelves with scores of books lined up in rows,
some furniture and paintings, many clothes:
enough to dress up for the funeral?

Medieval artists painted what remained
when someone passed: they called it ‘Vanitas,’
we call them now still lives or ‘nature morte,’

relics of what had been, symbols of rank –
always somewhere a skull hidden beneath
a fold of drapery or a bird’s wing –

we’ve seen them without knowing. What would yours –
the painting of your life – encapsulate?
Not swords or suits of armor certainly,

perhaps some scrolls? And always butterflies
reminding viewers life’s ephemeral
and everything we’ve cherished flies away.

– Bill Lantry

Buy that plant you pass on your way home. The one that will die without sun and water, the one that needs you to open the curtains to let the light in. Make it the reason you get out of bed.
– L.E. Bowman

Eco-classism is real and some people need to check themselves. One time my ex tried to shame me for using the AC and told me I could open a window. I remember getting so mad because I grew up my entire life with no working AC and relied on a small fan to survive.
– Isaias Hernandez

Indigenous Knowledges are not a back up plan anymore, they ARE the plan.
– Dr. Cutcha Risling Baldy

Does it matter why we find things beautiful? Or is beholding beauty enough?

While people created art and built cities and argued about golden ratios, the natural world continued existing. In Western colonial cultures, a renewed appreciation for the beauty of the natural world grew steadily throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries—I imagine this as wealthy white society looking out at rugged or serene landscapes and saying things like hmm and aah and yonder.

But why does there seem to be a universal appeal when it comes to certain types of landscape, and how do you know that sunsets are beautiful?

For some, natural beauty means the absence of perfection or repetition, but for others it is the widespread, symmetrical repetition that is so pleasing, so meaningful, so memorable—both havoc and order are spread richly throughout the natural world.

Over ten years ago a psychology professor working in Tokyo, Shigeru Watanabe, found that Java sparrows could distinguish between harmonious and discordant music, preferring the more tuneful tunes, and perhaps that is all human appreciation is too.

Do we always prefer the harmonious to the discordant, whatever that distinction might look like to us?

It is not my place to say that the music you’re listening to sounds terrible. On that note, harmony is very much its own kind of beautiful, and it looks and feels like different things to all of us. For me, harmony is found in the way tree branches will sometimes grow curving around to hold each other, the way rain disappears into the surface of the sea, the sitting and sighing in front of landscapes that are too large to comprehend, and when we have enough energy left to dance at the end of the day.

We must not forget, though, while oohing and aahing about the natural world, that none of it has evolved for us. That it is, in many ways, a marvelous coincidence that we would find any of it beautiful at all: flowers are not here purely for us to behold, trees do not grow because of us (more like in spite of at this point), and as far as I know, there are no measurable benefits to gazing at clouds. We, too, have evolved, have learned and been conditioned to appreciate many natural sceneries and forms, although I’m not sure that the same could be said the other way around—if you asked a tree, would it find you beautiful? If we could understand the discussions of sea creatures, would they have anything to say about the beauty of humans?

With all of this in your mind, choose a day to wake before the dawn.

I think you should know what it feels like to walk through wet grass and early spiderwebs while half the world is falling back to sleep.

Or to walk the streets while they are missing the heavy noise of people, to notice how the tarmac smells before the light touches it, to watch as the day begins to be colored in with the details.

If you’re not watchful, the wonderful is made mundane. But on a good day the mundane can be made miraculous.

– Ella Frances Sanders

Outside the binary lecture green language
– Paul Pfleuger. Jr., Taiwan

If a man makes a modest attempt at controlling his anima, he will be right away in a situation where he is tested to the blood; all the devils of the world will try to get into his anima in order to bring him bak into the fold of mother nature… The same with a woman: every devil circulating within 100 miles will do his best to get at her animus.
– Carl Gustav Jung, Visions

To liberate yourself without any empathy for others would mean your heart has not opened fully. It would be like trying to open your fist while some fingers remain tight in your palm.
– Gil Fronsdal

I have prayed for years for one good humiliation a day, and then, I must watch my reaction to it. I have no other way of spotting both my denied shadow self and my idealized persona.
– Richard Rohr

I wheeled with the stars,
my heart broke free on the open sky~
– Pablo Neruda

We spend our lives degrading the planet doing jobs we don’t like so we can earn cash to pay for stuff that should have been ours to start with. And if we’re lucky enough to have any money left over, we use it to degrade the planet some more.

Not much of a system, is it?

– @ClimateDad77

The cross solved our problem by first revealing our real problem, our universal pattern of scapegoating and sacrificing others. The cross exposes forever the scene of our crime.
– Richard Rohr

scrolling the sky
to get to the cloud
with silver lining
– @Meraki_k

The real secret? That we really do not know who or what we are, for all the surface preoccupations, pretensions, and the inward and outward posturing we construct and hide behind to keep ourselves and everybody else in the dark.
– Jon Kabat-Zinn

Somehow they always find me, seem even
to be waiting, determined to keep me
from myself, from the thing that calls to me
as it must have once called to them—
this temptation to step off the edge
and fall…
– Dorianne Laux

Some people could be given an entire field of roses and only see the thorns in it.
Others could be given a single weed and only see the wildflower in it.
Perception is a key component to gratitude.
And gratitude a key component to joy.
– Amy Weatherly

The art of progress is to preserve order amid change and to preserve change amid order.
– Alfred North Whitehead

Inquisitive curiosity into the lives of others extends our lives. This is not sharing; it is artful listening. The other person is a fount of lifeblood, which transfuses vitality into your soul if you can provoke the other with your listening.
– James Hillman

To be healed, we need to be seen through the eyes of compassion.
– Haemin Sunim

defined by others
perhaps it is time to draw
pictures in the clouds
– James Welsh

The Feminine cannot be understood with the mind, so it is not an intellectual concept but a creative matrix. Thus to know the Feminine, one must surrender and let go of the need to apply logic; the Feminine must be related to and felt with the senses.
– Mary Katherine McCrystal

Artistic creation, in philosophy and science as well as literature and the visual arts, is inner vision incarnate. It is evidence of the human acculturating process. Artistic creations perform for society much the same function that dreams perform for the individual.
– E Edinger

To go along with a tender heart, we need to have a habit of positive thinking. This does not mean being naively or superficially ‘positive’. Genuine positive thinking means making the best of whatever happens in our lives.
– Dzigar Kongtrul

It is often said that if the government borrows we, as a generation, will leave debt for our grandchildren to repay. This, however, is wrong. The belief is based on a number of falsehoods, which are compounded to create a myth that both facts and history contradict.
– Richard Murphy

Looking back, the best outcomes came from pure actions, without motive.
– @naval

If you want to earn respect, just take on responsibility.
– @naval

The difference between good and bad karma is the difference between life-stories that decrease and increase suffering.
– David Loy

Poetry filled my entire world and I did not lack anything except the poems that were far away from me and were not reconciling with me. My greatest aspiration was to reach my uncomposed poems.
– Parvin Etesami

Perhaps you can write better if you leave the mistakes.
– Jorge Luis Borges

Books work from the inside out. They are a private conversation happening somewhere in the soul.
– Nan Shepherd, The Living Mountain

Why linger, why turn back, why shrink, my Heart?
– Percy Bysshe Shelley

love builds
thoughts that
look like flowers
– @BashoSociety

All of us can sing the same song, and there will still be four billion different renditions.
– Anne Lamott

oh, to live unremarkably

if I have children,
I hope they live quiet lives.
no fires for them.
no sickness.
no breaking news stories.
I hope they die of old age,
far from the pages of history books.
– Trista Mateer

On a number of instances, Jung also expressed himself very critically concerning some of his followers, such as in the following statement: “There have been so many pupils of mine who have fabricated every sort of rubbish from what they took over from me.
– Sonu Shamdasani

The refugee is not only a fugitive, but a reminder that our states, when acting upon and against each other in war, constrain some part of all our futures.
– @PaisleyRekdal

Q: How much ego do you need? A: Just enough so that you don’t step in front of a bus.
– Shunryu Suzuki

Don’t waste your time with explanations, people only hear what they want to hear.
– Paulo Coelho

Realize that silence comes from your heart and not the absence of talk.
– Thich Nhat Hanh

What one does, one is. Not what one says nor thinks one is, but what one does.
– Irene – Claremont de Castillejo

The most efficient way to perceive the intrinsic nature of the world is to be more receptive than active, determined as much as possible by the intrinsic organization of that which is perceived and as little as possible by the nature of the perceiver.
– Abraham Maslow

not a poet, or a scholar, but a secret, way more pretentious third thing
– @tildacullen

of this world
or the one to come –
white plum blossoms
– d.a. bennett

andre breton once said: “all my life, my heart has yearned for a thing i cannot name.” how true! but fernando pessoa may have given the only possible answer: “let us sculpt in hopeless silence all our dreams of speaking.”
– Hune Margulies

Gazing intently into the empty sky, vision ceases;
Likewise, when mind gazes into mind itself,
The train of discursive and conceptual thought ends
And supreme enlightenment is gained.
Like the morning mist that dissolves into thin air,
Going nowhere but ceasing to be,
Waves of conceptualization, all the mind’s creation, dissolve,
When you behold your mind’s true nature.”
– Tilopa

Reality is the leading cause of stress
among those in touch with it.
– Lily Tomlin

Mythology is not a series of old explanations for natural events; it is rather the richness and wisdom of humanity played out in a wondrous symbolical storytelling.
– Craig Chalquist

Poor communication is inherited from parents or family members. They never talked about feelings, they yelled. They held onto secrets because they didn’t want to make things awkward. Break that toxic chain.
– G. L. Lambert

It was a lovely goal or rather orientation when it was far away throughout my childhood and teens and college years, but when it came time to do it—well, the mountain is beautiful in the distance and steep when you’re on it. Becoming a writer formalizes something essential about becoming a human: the task of figuring out what stories to tell and how to tell them and who you are in relation to them, which you choose or which choose you, and what the people around you desire and how much to listen to them and how much to listen to other things, deeper in and farther away. But also, you have to write.
– Rebecca Solnit

It is a great error to be superior to others. Those who, being of high estate, or exceeding talent, or famous lineage, feel themselves superior to others, even though they do not say so in words, offend somewhat in their hearts. They must take care to forget these things. It is such pride as this that makes a man appear a fool, makes him abused by others, and invites disaster.
A man who is truly versed in any art will of his own accord be clearly aware of his own deficiency; and therefore, his ambition being never satisfied, he ends by never being proud.
– Yoshida Kenkō

Healing does not require that you master the unreasonable side of your reason. Nor does healing require inner perfection of any order. A common trait shared by people who have healed is that they cease being unreasonable in ways that no longer matter in the greater scheme of life. Against the scale of life or death, how important is winning an argument? How important is holding a grudge? How important is anything other than how well we love others, how deeply we regard the value of the gift of life, and what we do with our life that makes this world a better place?
– Caroline Myss

I’m interested in biomechanics but more interested in liberation. If you can liberate the burden on the nervous system by lifting off the biomechanical burden there is resurgence of the body’s own self-healing self-correcting mechanisms that allow for increased healing.
– Jocelyn Olivier

It doesn’t matter what you eat; if you eat too much (volume) of food, you’ll be tired. It’s called blood flow diversion. Eat to 85% full and you’ll avoid this source of fatigue.
– @hubermanlab

I like, as a director and a spectator, simple, direct, frank films. Nothing disgusts me more than snobbism, mannerism, technical gratuity… and most of all, intellectualism.
– John Ford

As we get older, we lose our enthusiasm and joy.
We become dry and unhappy. Why?
Because we lose our faith and innocence.
Somewhere inside each of us, a child’s joy,
innocence and faith lie dormant. Rediscover them.
– Amma

Much that is learned is bound to be bad habits.
– W. S. Merwin

When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know your name is safe in their mouth.
– Dr. Wayne Dyer

Do you feel the world?
How it lies around you,
like an ancient beast,
mystical and real.
No one knows that you
are the one who’s come to
open up the sky.
Just by being real.
You simply wander out of forgetting
into the place of remembering.
There you crouch beside the shanks of the beast
awakening it with the olden songs.
So that when it stirs
like a beast with spirit,
you’ll shake off your chains.
You will feel the world
moving in the deep
conspiracy of
the empathic stars.
Just by being real
– George Gorman

Right or wrong, joy or sorow, these are the mind only. These are not yours. You are everywhere, forever free.
– Ashtavakra Gita

Your laughter frees me and lends me wings.
– Miguel Hernández

I see you are in a dilemma, and one of a peculiar and difficult nature. Two paths lie before you; you conscientiously wish to choose the right one, even though it be the most steep, straight, and rugged; but you do not know which is the right one; you cannot decide whether to go out into the cold and friendless world….. I can well imagine, that it is next to impossible for you to decide for yourself in this matter, so I will decide it for you.

At least, I will tell you what is my earnest conviction on the subject; I will show you candidly how the question strikes me. The right path is that which necessitates the greatest sacrifice of self-interest — which implies the greatest good to others; and this path, steadily followed, will lead, I believe, in time, to prosperity and to happiness; though it may seem, at the outset, to tend quite in a contrary direction.
– Charlotte Bronte

I have no heart for any other joy,
The drenched September day turns to depart,
And I have said good-bye to what I love;
With my own will I vanquished my own heart.
On the long wind I hear the winter coming,
The window panes are cold and blind with rain;
With my own will I turned the summer from me
And summer will not come to me again.
– Sara Teasdale

There’s a fallacy that your first thoughts are your best thoughts. A lot of times intuition is just subconscious pattern recognition. And the patterns that you’re recognizing from the past may not be relevant to the problem you’re solving right now.
– Adam Grant

You do learn some things just by doing them over and over and by getting old doing them.
– Ursula K. Le Guin

This is the last day of August
and like almost all of them
of extraordinary beauty.
Each day is fine enough
and hot enough for sitting out;
but also full of wandering clouds.
– Virginia Woolf

To express hope by some star, the eagerness of a soul by a sunset radiance. Certainly there is nothing in that of stereoscopic realism, but is it not something that actually exists?
– Vincent van Gogh

I am writing because they told me to never start a sentence with because. But I wasn’t trying to make a sentence––I was trying to break free. Because freedom, I am told, is nothing but the distance between the hunter and it’s prey.
– Ocean Voung, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

startled awake from
an afternoon nap
alone
– Hekigodo

When you’re young everything is easy, everything is smooth, everything you write is great. Every young writer feels that way … The older writer is the one who has all the great trouble.
– Erskine Caldwell

An actor is built privately and publicly, and long before being cast. An actor is built by a ravenous curiosity, a roving and fertile mind, a generosity of citizenship. That’s the foundation. The turrets & the paint go up when the acting starts.
– Mike Nichols

[O]ne of the themes in Goethe’s Faust. [is that] the great sin is the tampering with nature, because the moment we tamper and rob the unconscious of its treasure in order to build up the ego, we are stealing something from God.
– Liz Greene

My identities don’t cancel or cross each other out: They enrich each other. Having a foot in multiple worlds can only be to the writer’s advantage.
– Namwali Serpell

Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be
astonished.
– Mary Oliver

Often, the best cure is a great poetry reading—a particularly hype youth poetry slam is ideal, or a living room with friends where we’re reading each other our newest poems.
– Franny Choi

“The point of Life is Life, to participate in the melody. “

– Alan Watts used to compare life to music. The point of music is music, he would say. People enjoy listening to music for the rhythm, the stream of melody. No one is listening to music to hear it end. If they were then, as Watts pointed out, their favorite songs would be the ones that ended abruptly with one single uproar of noise. Life is the same way.

I can not emphasize enough how essential it is that we beat back the spreading fire of fascism right now and form a temporary alliance with everyone who is opposed to it.
– Bree Newsome Bass

We live on a finite planet. We cannot have eternal growth.
– Extinction Rebellion

dark chocolate—
he watches her change
from cranky to smiles
– @Meraki_k

There is but one answer to the intricate riddle of life; to improve ourselves, and contribute to the happiness of others.
– Mary Shelley

If you can think of the times in your life
that you’ve treated people
with extraordinary decency and love,
and pure uninterested concern,
just because they were valuable as human beings.
The ability to do that with ourselves.
To treat ourselves the way that we would treat
a really good, precious friend.
And I think it’s probably possible to achieve that.
I think part of the job we’re here for
is to learn how to do it.
– David Foster Wallace

Oh, my friend! Choose a
corner of seclusion
to enjoy the intensity of the
Beloved’s Love.
Leave all grief and choose
tranquility.
Do not be scattered like
the whirlwind.
Centre your heart on the
Beloved
…. and choose peace.
– Sarmad

On September’s eve, I wondered why
there was joy and light inside
the dim-lit kitchen at night;

all day I’d proclaimed, tomorrow
is September, the secret lies there,
in that sibilance. At night, I almost forgot,

the end of August was near —-
something like an hour and some minutes outside that frame, who would not celebrate,

even in the subconscious, the nearing
end of summer —- my house awaits me, nearer that light, the season of a homing,

the hope of the orange trumpets on the
backyard vine, just beyond my Pride
of Barbados, flowering bush


of fire

– Marian Haddad

ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF WORK
In the middle of work
we start longing fiercely for wild greenery,
for the Wilderness itself, penetrated only
by the thin civilization of the telephone wires.

The moon of leisure circles the planet Work
with its mass and weight. – That’s how they want it.
When we are on the way home the ground pricks up its ears.
The underground listens to us via the grass-blades.

Even in this working day there is a private calm.
As in a smoky inland area where a canal flows:
THE BOAT appears unexpectedly in the traffic
or glides out behind the factory, a white vagabond.

One Sunday I walk past an unpainted new building
standing before a grey wet surface.
It is half finished. The wood has the same light color
as the skin on someone bathing.

Outside the lamps the September night is totally dark.
When the eyes adjust, there is faint light
over the ground where large snails glide out
and the mushrooms are as numerous as the stars.
– Tomas Tranströmer, The Great Enigma

The Face in the Rain
by Elsa Gidlow

O form! O face!
Elfin face in the crowd!
Form, face, white throat,
Pale throat wound with a scarf
Poppy red,
Blood-like, red,
Pale throat wound with a poppy scarf
Gleaming out of the crowd.

Background of grey,
A rain-wet street;
Shuffling; shambling
Beating feet,
Past the corner where four ways meet.

O face, O throat!
Crimson and white
Splashed on grey:
I have thought of nothing else all day.

Misted streets,
A scarf-wound throat,
Fay-like face
That seemed to float
Through the crowd
Like a wisp of song:
I have thought of them all day long.

I think that in the process of writing, all kinds of unexpected things happen that shift the poet away from his plan and that these accidents are really what we mean when we talk about poetry.
– John Ashbery

I think Proust is quite right saying
that only neurotic people write.
– Lucia Berlin

The real marriage of true minds
is for any two people to possess
a sense of humour or irony pitched
in exactly the same key,
so that their joint glances at any subject
cross like interarching search-lights.

– Edith Wharton analyzing her friendship
with Henry James in A Backward Glance

A genius’s homeland exceeds the bounds of his native soil; such a person belongs to the entire world.
– Vazha Pshavela

Do not jump into your automobile next June and rush out to the canyon country hoping to see some of that which I have attempted to evoke in these pages. In the first place you can’t see anything from a car; you’ve got to get out of the goddamned contraption and walk, better yet crawl, on hands and knees, over the sandstone and through the thornbush and cactus. When traces of blood begin to mark your trail you’ll see something, maybe. Probably not. In the second place most of what I write about in this book is already gone or going under fast. This is not a travel guide but an elegy. A memorial. You’re holding a tombstone in your hands. A bloody rock. Don’t drop it on your foot — throw it at something big and glassy. What do you have to lose?
– Edward Abbey

One term in Tibetan for sentient beings translates as “travelers.” Because we can, from one day to the next, improve. We have eternal resilience until we find ways to walk towards our destiny. We may stall, but we will always continue on our journey until we reach enlightenment. On the path, the dream lives on to find higher and higher states, happier and happier states, until we are enlightened.
– Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

Twitter has a fifth dimension created by poets. It’s pretty cool. That’s all.
– Margo Stebbing

Writing songs is my first thing, the first way I started being an artist. My first love … Songwriting still feels like the kundalini and the Gordian knot.
– Suzan-Lori Parks

A story is a way to say something that can’t be said any other way, and it takes every word in the story to say what the meaning is. You tell a story because a statement would be inadequate.
– Flannery O’Connor

You are everything that the rest of the universe is not.
– Ogawa

what is the heart?
wind in the forest
in a forgotten painting
– Ikkyu

What we do not expect to find, we just will not see: much elegant research demonstrates that we are essentially blind to what we do not think is there.
– Iain McGilchrist

The ear is an editor and the body is an amplifier.
– Yusef Komunayakaa

Lack is in your head, and so is abundance. I wake up knowing that good is coming, and it does. Nothing in nature, nothing in the good books tells us anything but this: It’s out there, and we’ve gotta go get it.
– Ruth Gordon

Is there such a thing as being “light under the collar” and if so – what’s it mean?
– Tom Prasada-Rao

We do not think ourselves into new ways of living, we live ourselves into new ways of thinking.
– Richard Rohr

I discovered during our work together on Dostoevsky that he was not a brooding, obsessed man, but a very playful, free spirit.
– Richard Pevear

It is your duty in life to save your dream.
– Amedeo Modigliani

May what they did no longer be the center of who you are.

There’s much more to you than that.

– Dr. Thema

A core idea with Zen influenced arts is that deep mastery and learning requires that we keep all our senses open. Over time one’s knowledge becomes intuitive, instinctual.. The goal with arts training is not to receive praise or do better than others, but to grow spiritually, develop as a human being and learn to live each moment peacefully, mindfully and deeply connected to the present.
– Christopher Chase

Fill your heart with the creative power to accept the past, decorate the present and transform the future.
– Osho

There are days I want
people to like me
more than I want to
change the world.
– Blythe Baird

The highest blessing is to be free from the obsession or paranoia of duality.
– Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

The purpose of craft is not so much to make beautiful things as it is to become beautiful inside while you are making those things.
– Susan Gordon Lydon

If the masculine mind tries to live without its “other half,”– the feminine soul– then the masculine becomes unbalanced, sick, and finally monstrous.
– Robert A. Johnson

And since that is not how it has been for a long time, you want, this time, to make it last, this glistening one moment, this cool air, this new living, so that you can preserve a feeling of it, inasmuch as when it comes again it may just be too late. You may just be too old. And in truth, of course, this may be the last time that you will ever feel this way again.
– Richard Ford

We comfort ourselves by reliving memories of protection. Something closed must retain our memories, while leaving them their original value as images. Memories of the outside world will never have the same tonality as those of home and, by recalling these memories, we add to our store of dreams; we are never real historians, but always near poets, and our emotion is perhaps nothing but an expression of a poetry that was lost.
– Gaston Bachelard

And to tell the truth I don’t want to let go of the wrists of idleness, I don’t want to sell my life for money, I don’t even want to come in out of the rain.
– Mary Oliver

Can’t say how often I’ve heard a progressive person make a simple proclamation of a compassionate political view only to then say “I mean, I know there’s another side to this.”

This—turning progressives into apologists for our values—is the most damaging part of bothsiderism.

– Ethan Nichtern

Outside the leaves on the trees constricted slightly; they were the deep done green of the beginning of autumn. It was a Sunday in September. There would only be four. The clouds were high and the swallows would be here for another month or so.
– Ali Smith

When, as in pure lyric, a poet ‘sings’ rather than ‘speaks,’ he is rarely, if ever, translatable.
– Lydia Davis

Orpheus’ journey to the kingdom of Hades is seen as an initiation rite in his individuation process. Whoever wants to penetrate the kingdom of the depths will have to symbolically die and be reborn to a new epoch.
– Maria Zelia de Alvarenga

It truly must take nothing but grief to turn our people into a choir. I know the way a song can turn up in a mouth when the wind blows another city’s burning into our own.
– Hanif Abdurraqib

There is nothing on the face of the planet that cannot be cured or improved by affection.
– Lillian Gish

I’m never going to get used to sweltering smoke season.
– @book_montana

Part of what I want when I encounter any kind of art is just the sense that someone thought about it a lot.
– Elisa Gabbert

You don’t have to believe in God
but please collapse in wonder
as regularly as you can
try and let your knowledge
be side swiped by awe
and let beauty be so persuasive
you find yourself willing
to lay your opinions at her feet
Darling, you don’t have to believe in God
but please pray
for your own sake
great prayers of thanks
for the mountains, the great rivers
the roundness of the moon
just because they’re here at all
and that you get to know them
and let prayer bubble up in you
as a natural thing
like song in a bird.
You don’t have to have
a spiritual path
but do run
the most sensitive
part of your soul
over the soft curves
of this world
with as much tenderness
as you can find in yourself
and let her edgeless ways
inspire you to discover more
just find a way
that makes you want to yield
yourself
that you may be more open
to letting beauty fully
into your arms
and feel some sacred flame
inside of you that yearns toward
learning how to build a bigger
fire of love in your heart.
You don’t have to believe in God
but get quiet enough to remember
we really don’t know a damn thing
about any of it
and if you can, feel a reverence to be part
of This Great Something
whatever you want to call it
that is so much bigger
and so far beyond
the rooftops of all
our knowing.
– Chelan Harkin

Of all the hardships a person had to face, none was more punishing than the simple act of waiting. …
– Khaled Hosseini

It’s a gift to joyfully recognize and accept our own smallness and ordinariness. Then you are free with nothing to live up to, nothing to prove, and nothing to protect.
– Richard Rohr

Not many people have ever died of love. But multitudes have perished, and are perishing every hour – and in the oddest places! – for the lack of it.
– James Baldwin

beach temple
I listen to the mantras
in a conch
– Gautam Nadkarni

What it lies in our power to do, it lies in our power not to do.
– Aristotle

One of the most difficult parts of climate action is that you cannot negotiate with science – we either act in alignment to the science, or we don’t.
– @EarthlyEdu

A writer always begins by being too complicated—he’s playing at several games at once.
– Jorge Luis Borges

We cannot solve challenges that affect all of humanity if we talk about them in only one language.
– Margrete Dyvik Cardona

Many people like to think that they’ll find balance after they find success. But in reality, achieving balance is success.
– Brian Koslow

Instinct is the nose of the mind.
– Madame De Girardin

The future is extreme weather punctuated with periods of normality rather than the other way around. This will stress food, energy and engineering systems and therefore the foundations of society itself. Where bend becomes break, nobody knows. Fight now, for everything.
– @xr_cambridge

To reach peace, teach peace.
– Pope John Paul II

The bankers were useless. […] If the world cooked and civilization fell apart, it wouldn’t be their fault, even though they were funding the disaster every step of the way.
– Kim Stanley Robinson, The Ministry For The Future

The most important thing in human life for one’s sanity is to be able to be playful or to be able to do things which are sublimely useless.
– Alan Watts

Just do right. Right may not be expedient, it may not be profitable, but it will satisfy your soul. It brings you the kind of protection that bodyguards can’t give you.
– Maya Angelou

I love unions. I love them in the same way I love libraries and redwood groves. They are like churches: sacred. They are what make this country great.
– Anne Lamott

I long for the day when
all that is dark in me
becomes light
– Mutsuo

The world is filled with teachers. Every little creature can teach us something. We only have to be good students.
– Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

a walk in the rain
to rid this body
of summer
– @elancharang

My People
by Langston Hughes

Dream-singers,
Story-tellers,
Dancers,
Loud laughers in the hands of Fate—
My People.
Dish-washers,
Elevator-boys,
Ladies’ maids,
Crap-shooters,
Cooks,
Waiters,
Jazzers,
Nurses of babies,
Loaders of ships,
Porters,
Hairdressers,
Comedians in vaudeville
And band-men in circuses—
Dream-singers all,
Story-tellers all.
Dancers—
God! What dancers!
Singers—
God! What singers!
Singers and dancers,
Dancers and laughers.
Laughers?
Yes, laughers….laughers…..laughers—
Loud-mouthed laughers in the hands of Fate.

This is so often the way with life. You spend so much time waiting for something – a person, a feeling, a piece of information – that you can’t quite absorb it when it is in front of you. The hole is so used to being a hole it doesn’t know how to close itself.
– Matt Haig

Today was very full, but the problem isn’t today. It’s tomorrow. I’d be able to recover from today if it weren’t for tomorrow. There should be extra days, buffer days, between the real days.
– Sarah Manguso

Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.
– Jacob Needleman

This is the mark of great ideas: they unify people and they also act to unify the disparate parts of the human being; they speak of a social order that is possible on the basis of an ordering within the individual self.
– Jacob Needleman

Because you were foolish enough to
love one place,
now you are homeless, an orphan
in a succession of shelters.
– Louise Glück

WHAT I HAVE LEARNED SO FAR

Meditation is old and honorable, so why should I
not sit, every morning of my life, on the hillside,
looking into the shining world? Because, properly
attended to, delight, as well as havoc, is suggestion.
Can one be passionate about the just, the
ideal, the sublime, and the holy, and yet commit
to no labor in its cause? I don’t think so.

All summations have a beginning, all effect has a
story, all kindness begins with the sown seed.
Thought buds toward radiance. The gospel of
light is the crossroads of – indolence, or action.

Be ignited, or be gone.

– Mary Oliver

How long does it take to know anyone? Five minutes, and done. Nothing can move you off a first impression. That person in your life’s passenger seat? Always a hitchhiker, to be dropped off just down the road.
– Richard Powers

The soul, in its longing to grow, will push us toward crisis points, bringing about a situation that will force us to leave behind the old toys and the worn-out ways of operating. Our soul brings us these crises to remind us that we don’t have to remain stuck in the land of the hunters and the hunted. We are called to draw ourselves up to our full height and confidence, even when terrified at the prospect of the unknown.
– Alberto Villoldo

As I lay there, listening to the soft slap of the sea, and thinking these sad and strange thoughts, more and more and more stars had gathered, obliterating the separateness of the Milky Way and filling up the whole sky. And far far away in that ocean of gold, stars were silently shooting and falling and finding their fates, among these billions and billions of merging golden lights. And curtain after curtain of gauze was quietly removed, and I saw stars behind stars behind stars, as in the magical Odeons of my youth. And I saw into the vast soft interior of the universe which was slowly and gently turning itself inside out. I went to sleep, and in my sleep I seemed to hear a sound of singing.
– Iris Murdoch

Space for Change to Take Place

Hospitality means primarily the creation of a free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place. It is not to bring men and women over to our side, but to offer freedom not disturbed by dividing lines. It is not to lead our neighbor into a corner where there are no alternatives left, but to open a wide spectrum of options for choice and commitment.

– Henri Nouwen, Reaching Out

Before birth the embryo repeats physiologically the history of the species; after birth, according to Gurdjieff, we repeat the history of the planet; two centres are split off, objective conscience sinks, deserts appear, emotional deserts.
– A.R. Orage

It is to be remembered that all art is magical in origin – music sculpture writing painting – and by magical I mean intended to produce very definite results.
– William S. Burroughs

One of the strangest but also most intriguing and redemptive things that humans get up to, in almost any culture one cares to study, is occasionally to gather in large groups, bathe in the rhythmic sounds of drums and flutes, organs and guitars, chants and cries, and move their arms and legs about in complicated and frenzied ways, losing themselves in the bewilderment of a dance. Dancing has a claim to be considered among the most essential and salutary activities we ever partake in. Not for nothing did Nietzsche, a painfully inhibited figure in day to day life, declare ‘I would believe only in a God who could dance’ (a comment that stands beside his equally apodictic pronouncement: ‘Without music, life would be a mistake.’)

But dancing is at the same time an activity that many of us, arguably those of us who might most need to do it, are powerfully inclined to resist and deep down to fear. We stand on the side of the dance floor appalled at the possibility of being called to join in, we attempt to make our excuses the moment the music begins, we take pains that no one will ever, ever see our hips unite with a beat.

The point here is definitely not to learn to dance like an expert, it is to remember that dancing badly is something we might actually want to do and, equally importantly, something that we already well know how to do to – at least to the level of appalling proficiency we need to possess in order to derive key benefits.

In almost all cultures and at all points of history (except oddly enough perhaps our own), dancing has been widely and publicly understood as a form of bodily exercise with something very important to contribute to our mental state. Dancing has had nothing to do with dancing well, being young or revealing one’s stylishness. Summed up sharply we might put it like this: dancing has been valued for allowing us to transcend our individuality and for inducing us to merge into a larger, more welcoming and more redemptive whole.

– The School of Life

Almost all forms of negative emotions are infantile
– Kathryn Hulme

Sea Longing
A thousand miles beyond this sun-steeped wall
Somewhere the waves creep cool along the sand,
The ebbing tide forsakes the listless land
With the old murmur, long and musical;
The windy waves mount up and curve and fall,
And round the rocks the foam blows up like snow,–
Tho’ I am inland far, I hear and know,
For I was born the sea’s eternal thrall.
I would that I were there and over me
The cold insistence of the tide would roll,
Quenching this burning thing men call the soul,–
Then with the ebbing I should drift and be
Less than the smallest shell along the shoal,
Less than the seagulls calling to the sea.
– Sara Teasdale

Refractory by vocation, rampant in their prayers, the mystics play with heaven, trembling the while.
– Emil M. Cioran

People used to think that the earth was flat. That was true, and still is today, of, say, Paris to Asnières. But that does not alter the fact that science demonstrates that the earth as a whole is round, something nobody nowadays disputes.

For all that, people still persist in thinking that life is flat and runs from birth to death. But life, too, is probably round, and much greater in scope and possibilities than the hemisphere we now know.

– Vincent van Gogh

To come unhinged.
You could.
Open the door.
As wide as you wanted.
You could fling the door to heavens.
And let it all in.
You could.
Relax your jaw.
Let the words spill out.
You would not.
Have to stay steady.
To a beat of another’s making.
You could find yourself.
Everywhere you turned.
And dance with abandon.
Right to the edge.
– Jo Anna Dane

Sometimes an abyss opens between Tuesday and Wednesday but twenty-six years could pass in a moment. Time is not a straight line, it’s more of a labyrinth, and if you press close to the wall at the right place you can hear the hurrying steps and the voices, you can hear yourself walking past on the other side.
– Tomas Tranströmer

Love Should Grow Up Like a Wild Iris in the Fields

Love should grow up like a wild iris in the fields,
unexpected, after a terrible storm, opening a purple
mouth to the rain, with not a thought to the future,
ignorant of the grass and the graveyard of leaves
around, forgetting its own beginning.
Love should grow like a wild iris
but does not.

Love more often is to be found in kitchens at the dinner hour,
tired out and hungry, lingers over tables in houses where
the walls record movements, while the cook is probably angry,
and the ingredients of the meal are budgeted, while
a child cries feed me now and her mother not quite
hysterical says over and over, wait just a bit, just a bit,
love should grow up in the fields like a wild iris
but never does
really startle anyone, was to be expected, was to be
predicted, is almost absurd, goes on from day to day, not quite
blindly, gets taken to the cleaners every fall, sings old
songs over and over, and falls on the same piece of rug that
never gets tacked down, gives up, wants to hide, is not
brave, knows too much, is not like an
iris growing wild but more like
staring into space
in the street
not quite sure
which door it was, annoyed about the sidewalk being
slippery, trying all the doors, thinking
if love wished the world to be well, it would be well.

Love should
grow up like a wild iris, but doesn’t, it comes from
the midst of everything else, sees like the iris
of an eye, when the light is right,
feels in blindness and when there is nothing else is
tender, blinks, and opens
face up to the skies.

– Susan Griffin, Like the Iris of an Eye

ai art
adjusting the color
of my query
– @radiosongstill

You don’t have to buy a domain for every startup idea you know.
– Andrew Gazdecki

True poetry is antibiographical. The poet’s homeland is his poem and changes from one poem to the next. The distances are the old, eternal ones: infinite like the cosmos, in which each poem attempts to assert itself as a — minuscule — star.
– Paul Celan, Microliths

If you don’t live it, it won’t come out your horn
– Charlie Parker

spinning gold
from dross
autumnal equinox
– @everettpoetry

We would do well… to think of the creative process as a living thing implanted in the human psyche.
– CG Jung

People often display a strong preference for simple answers and a compulsion to have everything settled (rather than w/holding judgment until more information is available); we seem to have an aversion toward unknowns & ambiguity
– Marcel Kuijsten

Before I die in my poems I want to include the beautiful everything. I want tug boats in there, and pelicans, diesel trains, and discos. I want a zebra. O hell I want the entire Bronx zoo. Edward Hopper. A blue Pinto. Snow and maracas. I want every single bodega.
– Sean Thomas Dougherty

September deepens
with a slight adjustment
to the thermostat
– James Welsh

Logos turns God into the superego writ large, whereas mythos would return God to mystery and night. We need to loosen the chains that bind us to our religious descriptions, and by the same act, allow the world of ultimate meanings to speak to us again.
– David Tacey

When Lear cries, “Is there any cause in nature that makes these hard hearts? “, we could reply, on one level, yes – a defect in the right prefrontal cortex.
– Iain McGilchrist

on our day off
we head to the old pier
and watch the sunset—
it falls between our faces
like a third eye
– @TankaDaily

the gaping hole
that releases sound
from her guitar
recreated in my heart
whenever she plays
– @TankaDaily

the blue sky
seems bigger from the plane
our chances
of sticking together
seemed bigger on the ground
– @TankaDaily

The difficulty I’ve had with poetry as diagnosis is that diagnosis is not enough. When crisis is so acute, it seems useless to point out the crisis ..wish I had more poems that offered some movement beyond diagnosis, some vision from “yes, but” to “yes, but…and..
– Solmaz Sharif

What was good from 1830 to 1890 was a protest. It was diagnosis, it was acid, it was invocation of otherness.
– Ezra Pound

Chaos is merely order waiting to be deciphered.
– ‌José Saramago

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

– Tennyson

And courage never to submit or yield:
And what is else not to be overcome.
– Milton

[Poetry is] a way of happening, a mouth.
– Auden

The name of God is juxtaposition of all words in the language. Each word is but a detached fragment of that name.
– Edmond Jabes

Without respect for the freedom of choice peace is not possible.
– Don Miguel Ruiz Jr.

Cloud watching—
adjusting to the drift
of something new
– @wingsoverwaters

In our most private and most subjective lives, we are not only the passive witnesses of our age, and its sufferers, but also its makers. We make our own epoch.
– CG Jung

work transfer—
adjusting to the rhythms
of a new town
– @alwrites

People often ask me what books I had at home, and I find the question strange. As if you couldn’t write unless you grew up in a home with a library … our upbringing is up to each of us.
– Herta Müller

misty moon
time to adjust the clock
and wardrobe
– Marilyn Ward

I know most people try hard to do good and find out too late they should have tried softer.
– Andrea Gibson

each inhale must also
leave the mouth. funny,
how, if left to our own devices,
we would create so much
carbon dioxide we would die.
– Ollie Schminkey

There is no such thing as an empty space or an empty time. There is always something to see, something to hear. In fact, try as we may to make a silence, we cannot.
– John Cage

In fact no one recognizes the happiest moment of their lives as they are living it. It may well be that, in a moment of joy, one might sincerely believe that they are living that golden instant “now,” even having lived such a moment before, but whatever they say, in one part of their hearts they still believe in the certainty of a happier moment to come. Because how could anyone, and particularly anyone who is still young, carry on with the belief that everything could only get worse: If a person is happy enough to think he has reached the happiest moment of his life, he will be hopeful enough to believe his future will be just as beautiful, more so. »
– Orhan Pamuk

Reveille

Come forth, you workers!
Let the fires go cold—
Let the iron spill out, out of the troughs—
Let the iron run wild
Like a red bramble on the floors—
Leave the mill and the foundry and the mine
And the shrapnel lying on the wharves—
Leave the desk and the shuttle and the loom—
Come,
With your ashen lives,
Your lives like dust in your hands.

I call upon you, workers.
It is not yet light
But I beat upon your doors.
You say you await the Dawn
But I say you are the Dawn.
Come, in your irresistible unspent force
And make new light upon the mountains.

You have turned deaf ears to others—
Me you shall hear.
Out of the mouths of turbines,
Out of the turgid throats of engines,
Over the whisling steam,
You shall hear me shrilly piping.
Your mills I shall enter like the wind,
And blow upon your hearts,
Kindling the slow fire.

They think they have tamed you, workers—
Beaten you to a tool
To scoop up a hot honor
Till it be cool—
But out of the passion of the red frontiers
A great flower trembles and burns and glows
And each of its petals is a people.

Come forth, you workers—
Clinging to your stable
And your wisp of warm straw—
Let the fires grow cold,
Let the iron spill out of the troughs,
Let the iron run wild
Like a red bramble on the floors . . .

As our forefathers stood on the prairies
So let us stand in a ring,
Let us tear up their prisons like grass
And beat them to barricades—
Let us meet the fire of their guns
With a greater fire,
Till the birds shall fly to the mountains
For one safe bough.
– Lola Ridge

adjusting to rain
the slow purpling
of clouds
– Wendy Gent

Body, they blame you for all things and they
seek in the body what does not live in the body.
– Ilya Kaminsky

[Jung’s] concept of enantiodromia, literally ‘running in the opposite direction’ means that over time everything tends to redirect and return to itself.
– Alain Negre

Finely adjusting
My perspective
To the breeze
– @frghtndmn

A poem may hold the unwieldy pieces of the earth together with a whole heart; a poem may cut that heart to lace.
– Sandra Lim

I keep having a recurring dream where I take poetry to marginalized communities and teach literacy to empower people of all ages.
– Ruben Quesada

Jung says in a letter that we have become too lopsidedly intellectual and rational and have forgotten that there are factors that cannot be influenced by a one-track intellect. We then see emotionality flaring up as a compensation.
– Marie-Louise von Franz

Four things come not back — the spoken word, the sped arrow, the past life, and the neglected opportunity.
– Arabian Proverb

We need some pines to assuage the darkness
when it blankets the mind…
the whole night sky set at a particular
time, without numbers or hours, will cause
a little sound of thanks…
to close round the moment and the thought
of whatever good we did.
– Marvin Bell

Restoration is the divine creative process of connecting each and every disconnect, one by one, healing the flow of God in our hearts, our lives, and our relationships.
– Bob Holmes

Seek approval from the one person you desperately want it from, and you’re guaranteed not to get it.
– David Sedaris

Deep in the riddle the poet lives, where absence is present and presence grows absent.
– Dan Beachy-Quick

If I were a prescriptive person, I couldn’t be a translator. There’s at least as much self-denial in translating as there is indulgence.
– Michael Hofmann

Thought is so cunning, so clever, that it distorts everything for its own convenience.
– Jiddu Krishnamurti

One rarely knows where to begin the search for meaning, though by necessity, we can only start where we are.
– Anne Lamott

I therefore consider it wise to acknowledge the idea of God consciously, for if we do not, something else is made God; usually something very inappropriate and stupid such as only an enlightened intellect could hatch forth.
– CG Jung

It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.
– J.R.R. Tolkien

the autumn moon
we saw last year
rises again
– Hitomaro

The body lays claim to equal recognition; like the psyche, it also exerts a fascination. If we are still caught by the old idea of an antithesis between mind & matter, the present state of affairs means an unbearable contradiction; it may even divide us against ourselves.
– CG Jung

Afterwards

Mostly you look back and say, “Well, OK. Things might have been different, sure, and it’s not too bad, but look – things happen like that, and you did what you could.”
You go back and pick up the pieces. There’s tomorrow. There’s that long bend in the river on the way home. Fluffy bursts of milkweed are floating through shafts of sunlight or disappearing where trees reach out from their deep dark roots.

Maybe people have to go in and out of shadows till they learn that floating, that immensity waiting to receive whatever arrives with trust. Maybe somebody has to explore what happens when one of us wanders over near the edge and falls for awhile. Maybe it was your turn.”
– William Stafford

All living souls welcome whatever they are ready to cope with; all else they ignore, or pronounce to be monstrous and wrong, or deny to be possible.
– George Santayana

You can’t get mad at weather because weather’s not about you. Apply that lesson to most other aspects of life.
– Douglas Coupland

Every now and then, we experience certain works of art so deeply that the memory of them returns again and again to persuade us the energy is not lost but has been transferred to us and stored in the depths of our nature.
– William Anderson

a heart that
hates this world
lovingly thinks of a thistle
– Shiki

Then the flowers became very wild…
– Grace Paley, September

The progressive fantasy is about having a perfect parent-figure–in the form of the State–take care of and remove all discomfort from their experience. No wonder so many progressives are disillusioned with Government–they’re starting with a crap illusion!
– @VinceFHorn

be invisible:
may the sound of falling rain
turn you inside out
– Jason Gould

a sandpiper
quietly watching
the tide return
– James Welsh

nearly autumn . . .
above us, the orange
of monarchs
– @ruralitalics

“My tongue is strong because I hold it so much.” Just me, quoting the truest line I’ve ever written into a story.
– Kathy Fish

autumn’s crisp return
cider and bonfire
memories refreshed
– @Charliepoetry

When I came out during youth, my mother worried it would be a lonely and difficult life. But in every major city I’ve met queers, communists, and poets — taking care of each other. Feels beautiful to be home everywhere and nowhere.
– Christopher Soto

Reviewing one’s life from the vantage point of the second half requires understanding and forgiveness of the inevitable crime of unconsciousness. But not to become conscious in the second half (of life) is to commit an unforgivable crime.
– James Hollis

Stories heal because they express the compensatory processes in the collective unconscious that balance the one sidedness of human consciousness.
– Pia Skogemann

August heatwave
– staying inside
with my snow globe
– Roberta Beach Jacobson

Thank god for the poets honestly.
– Kamran Javadizadeh

What needs to be slain or sacrificed in psychic terms are literalized attitudes toward both the masculine and the feminine if a full emotional and imaginal life would be found.
– Michael Meade, The Water of Life

After the storm
a return to birdsong—
a deeper green
– @wingsoverwaters

When you get your ‘Who am I?’ question right, all of your ‘What should I do?’ questions tend to take care of themselves.
– Richard Rohr

For what is a poem
but a hazardous attempt
at self-understanding:
it is the deepest part of autobiography.
– Robert Penn Warren

When you write hard, when you close that door, emerging back into the world is like cold splash of water.
– Ira Sukrungruang

MY SONG

I go among trees and sit still.
All my stirring becomes quiet
around me like circles on water.
My tasks lie in their places
where I left them, asleep like cattle.

Then what is afraid of me comes
and lives a while in my sight.
What it fears in me leaves me,
and the fear of me leaves it.
It sings, and I hear its song.

Then what I am afraid of comes.
I live for a while in its sight.
What I fear in it leaves it,
and the fear of it leaves me.
It sings, and I hear its song.

After days of labor,
mute in my consternations,
I hear my song at last,
and I sing it. As we sing
the day turns, the trees move.

– Wendell Berry

I feel her presence in the common day,
In that slow dark that widens every eye,
She moves as water moves, and comes to me,
Stayed by what was, an pulled by what would be.
– Theodore Roethke

If I could not stand criticism I would have been dead long ago, since I have had nothing but criticism for 60 years.
– C.G. Jung

Think of a rock polisher, one of those drums, goes round and round, rolls twenty-four/seven, full of water and rocks and gravel. Grinding it all up. Round and round. Polishing those ugly rocks into gemstones. That’s the earth. Why it goes around. We’re the rocks. And what happens to us – the drama and pain and joy and war and sickness and victory and abuse – why, that’s just the water and sand to erode us. Grind us down. To polish us up, nice and bright.
– Chuck Palahniuk

The “conquest of nature” is our biggest illusion for we have not gained control of our own nature.
– C.G. Jung

Perfectionism “makes for a thin life, lived for what it isn’t rather than what it is”
– Josh Cohen

I’m tired of you, chaos
of the living world—
I can only extend myself
for so long to a living thing.
– Louise Glück

What we need now are new stories to share with each other, new tales to live into the world, which is to say, stories to make real by living our own versions of them.
– Bill Plotkin

Every poem, given the right reflective surface, is half made of paper and half made of life.
– Alice Oswald

We are something and we are not everything. Such being as we have conceals from us the knowledge of first principles, which arise from nothingness, and the smallness of our being hides infinity from our sight.
– Blaise Pascal

There’s a word unspoken,
A knot untied.
Whatever is broken
The earth may hide.
– Elinor Wylie

Wild Horses Drink from the River of History
by Lois Roma-Deeley

Hours before dark, I follow the stony path
from the parking lot to the river bank.
Along the shore I look for crushed branches and trampled grass,
the clearing where wild horses are said to appear.
Then, I hide behind a mesquite tree, hold my breath.
I want to know their secrets.

Finally the mares and foals emerge from the woods
and stand, ankle deep, among the dense reeds.
At once the entire herd bows their heads,
laps the cool water, takes the river into themselves.

If I were brave, if I’d forget
to move past the brokenness of my own family,
I’d approach these unclaimed, unnamed creatures.
I’d stroke their brown manes,
feed them sugar apples and snow peas.
We’d share one fearless story.

Now the Mustangs dig their feet under the tall grass.
I step forward, snap a few pictures,
as if the camera could capture
when my unsettled heart and theirs became one.
Overhead, the whir of helicopter blades
cuts through a questioning sky.

Suddenly there’s a thousand echoes,
galloping hooves ringing over badlands.
I turn and look back to the river
which flows on, relentlessly, carrying with it
every story of who or what has come and gone.

And the sun sets, dropping behind the mountain,
leaving a blue ridge, a dimming thread of gold.
I get into my car, head up switchbacks
that lead me to the open highway and down towards the city
where lights shimmer like the past of distant stars.

One of the major psychological diseases today is the urge to make everything public; to keep anything hidden or secret is felt to be almost a crime.
– Helen M. Luke

My physiotherapist stabs a needle in my 3rd eye while I lie on his table like a dead moth. Six needles through my hands to pin down my wings. I slip out of my body into a meadow where my #shadow bursts into starlings. Bursts into birds who don’t fly in a land of pain.
– @LotusTongue

full moon—
i recall what it’s like
to feel complete
– @Meraki_k

Humanities degrees are important because they create the kind of people I want to hang out with.
– @gavinmuellerphd

Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques, but it all comes down to this – just let it all be.
– Ajahn Chah

In burnout cultures, people are judged by the sacrifices they make. Hobbies, vacations, and even family time are viewed as distractions to penalize.

In healthy cultures, people are judged by the commitments they keep. Interests outside work are seen as passions to celebrate.

– Adam Grant

It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.
– Alfred Eisenstaedt

The Tao Te Ching says: “When the student is ready the teacher will appear. When the student is truly ready… The teacher will Disappear.” I would add, “And when the student is really ready, the teacher Appears everywhere.”

It is evil to assume that you are not connected to and responsible for the well-being of others. This I now know fully. We are all in this together, and the gravest sin is to ignore this or lose sight of this.
– Marlon Brando

DUST BOWL BUDDA FOOT PRINT

Top soil eroding
Farmers loading trucks, driving
West with hope in hearts.
Greeted by not allowed signs
New derogatory term next
to one hundreds of years old

A Labor Day Shout out to the Rural Working Class of the 1930s.

– Jerry Pendergast

We are all ignorant about different things.
– Will Rogers

We are too embroiled in this scene of happening…
– John Ashbery

oh holy be
the maiden name
on the tongue of
a liberated woman
– @_dariussimpson

For every complex problem,
there is a solution that is
clear
simple
and wrong.
– H.L. Mencken

A Reason Launch Audio in a New Window
BY BARBARA GUEST
That is why I am here
not among the ibises. Why
the permanent city parasol
covers even me.

It was the rains
in the occult season. It was the snows
on the lower slopes. It was water
and cold in my mouth.

A lack of shoes
on what appeared to be cobbles
which were still antique

Well wild wild whatever
in wild more silent blue


the vase grips the stems
petals fall the chrysanthemum darkens

Sometimes this mustard feeling
clutches me also. My sleep is reckoned
in straws

Yet I wake up
and am followed into the street.

It is the advantage of the typewriter that, due to its rigidity and space precisions, it can, for a poet, indicate exactly the breath, the pauses, the suspensions even of syllables. the juxtapositions of even parts of phrases…for the first time, the poet has the stave and the bar a musician has had…
– Charles Olson, Projective Verse, 1950

Purveyors of snakeoil spiritual correctness are discernible by the unnatural, pretentious cleanliness of mental hygiene they prescribe for others.
– Andrew Hagel

Imagine your listening presence is enough, exactly what is needed. Often a receptive silence heals more, than all the well-meaning words.
– Frank Ostaseski

Reborn
BY KIERSTIN BRIDGER
Trout dream
like infants must—
stuff of milk and flies
breasts and hooks
their history is not
written but oral
inky and fluid
spawned in bone and meat.

This morning I heard a poet call
her river a splitting headache
perfect I thought
in my world sometimes it’s a dark wound
sometimes the seeping eye of a deer.

My river is only part of the cursive
necessary to transform
my name into lightning—
the I  flowing into E
mesa scaling into the R
swimming over to S
but these strokes take miles

and I kayak only at night.
The lead-cold waterway turns
into a king’s ransom thru moonlight.
Dark water is a dreamer’s canvas
reinvention through moon-mirrored
tributary. Eyes shut I float in
umbilical waterway—
travel in a black-gold script.

Toki-no-Ge (Satori Poem)

Year after year
I dug in the earth
looking for the blue of heaven
only to feel
the pile of dirt
choking me
until once in the dead of night
I tripped on a broken brick
and kicked it into the air
and saw that without a thought
I had smashed the bones
of the empty sky

– Muso Soseki –

English version by W. S. Merwin

Wrote you this
I hope you got it safe
It’s been so long
I don’t know what to say
I’ve traveled ’round
Through deserts on my horse
But jokes aside
I want to come back home
You know that night
I said I had to go
You said you’d meet me
On the sunny road
It’s time, meet me on the sunny road
It’s time, meet me on the sunny road
I never married
Never had those kids
I loved too many
Now heaven’s closed its gates.
I know I’m bad
To jump on you like this
Some things don’t change
My middle name’s still ‘Risk’
I know that night
So long long time ago
Will you still meet me
On the sunny road
It’s time, meet me on the sunny road
It’s time, meet me on the sunny road
Well, this is it
I’m running out of space
Here is my address
And number just in case.
This time as one
We’ll find which way to go
Now come and meet me
On the sunny road
– Emiliana Torrini

God is not a man in the sky with a pair of dice trying to decide if you’ll get cancer or a good parking spot today.

And who MIGHT throw some good stuff your way if you pray enough or do the right stuff.

Just say no to vending machine theology.

– Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg

So the confused mind comes to unlearn its troubling thought through inquiry. It comes not only to see that the thought isn’t true, but also to understand the specific effects of believing it, the price in anger or sorrow or resentment that it pays when it believes the thought, and the freedom that would be available without it, and it sees also that the thought’s opposites could be at least as true. Eventually it realizes that reality is all mind and that the world changes as perception changes. To meet the Master with a fearless, open mind is to lose the entire world as you understood it to be. It is to unlearn a cruel world, a world of ravagement, a world where the heart’s desire is never attained.

– Byron Katie, A Thousand Names for Joy

Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void but out of chaos.
– Mary Shelly

It’s so simple to be wise.
Just think of something stupid to say
and then don’t say it.
– Sam Levenson

Barry Lopez, shortly before he died, said we must not to be curtailed by a boundary, we must not be stopped by fear. The call many of us have heard has been to stand at the edge, so the boundless horizon becomes visible. Later Lopez was to say: “The effort of the imagination is to turn the boundary into a horizon, because there is no end for you.”
“The boundary says: Here and no further!
The horizon says: Welcome!”

So, Horizon, welcome…

I think it is all a matter of love: the more you love a memory, the stronger and stranger it is.
– Vladimir Nabokov

To contemplate:

If your Christianity is not essentially mythic, and if your gospel is reducible to information about what Jesus can do for you, the height of your religion’s enchantment is not Paradise.

It’s celebrity.

“Mythic” here refers to the Bible as a true narrative that the Christian participates in by means of ritual. The opposite of this is “materialist.”

– Fr Andrew Stephen Damick

With time and many upheavals, it’s the quiet ‘boring’ days with nothing planned that start to feel like the truly exciting ones.
– The School of Life

Our life is half natural and half technological. Half-and-half is good.
– Nam June Paik

In the land of bleating sheep and braying jackasses, one brave and honest man is bound to create a scandal.
– Edward Abbey

How often are we only metaphors
for what we want to be.
– Richard Jackson

Despite what happens to the leaves, autumn comes to keep memory of her from fading.
– Greg Sellers

I hope that today you are able to say something bold, like, “I love you”. Or “I was wrong”, or “please forgive me” or, “You have something green in your teeth I need to say all of the above.
– Nina Storey

Untitled [Do you still remember: falling stars]
by Rainer Maria Rilke

Do you still remember: falling stars,
how they leapt slantwise through the sky
like horses over suddenly held-out hurdles
of our wishes—did we have so many?—
for stars, innumerable, leapt everywhere;
almost every gaze upward became
wedded to the swift hazard of their play,
and our heart felt like a single thing
beneath that vast disintegration of their brilliance—
and was whole, as if it would survive them!

The secret hope on picking up a book: that it will tell us what we already feel but haven’t had time to think.
– The School of Life

How do we keep on living after the deaths of our close friends? But somehow we get by. Our substance must consist partly of indifference, of gray, unfeeling metal, since we manage, even fairly well, after our friends, our close, our closest friends have gone. We laugh, we go to good restaurants, we read the new books that they will never know. The first moment of grief, when we’ve just learned that someone close has died, is terrible. It’s not even grief, it’s pain and protest in pure form; the word grief already contains an element of resignation, of making peace with what has taken place. But in that first moment there are no words, no acceptance, no resignation. It’s as if a hole had been torn in existence. The earthquake reveals an abyss. A moment of tears and rage, and Logos can do nothing here. Logos steps aside discreetly. Then the rift gradually closes, and the drawn-out process of mourning begins, we slowly start crossing the footpath over the ravine, and with time the scar takes on the color of healthy skin.
– Adam Zagajewski, translated by Clare Cavanagh

I felt a tremendous distance between myself and everything real.
– Hunter S. Thompson

History, like all sciences, needs theoretical foundations in order to exist.
– Pierre Vilar

Each day is a new beginning, I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right, to take the long view, to give of my best in all that the day brings, and to put my trust in God.
– Queen Elizabeth II

She was six weeks older than Marilyn Monroe, three years older than Anne Frank, nine years older than Elvis Presley—all figures of the unreachable past. She was older than nylon, Scotch tape, and The Hobbit…
– @helenlewis

Can’t believe they are going to make a MAN queen. This woke nonsense has gone too far.
– Nat Guest

Just to be clear: I don’t mean to be picking on the queen exclusively. I celebrate the death of EVERY leader, former and current, of EVERY colonial power on this planet, out of respect for the countless millions who have died, and continue to die, unremarked, at their hands.
– Chris La Tray

In times when nothing stood
But worsened or grew strange
There was one constant good
She did not change
– Philip Larkin

I’m anti monarchy and extreme wealth but I also don’t like change, really love grandmas, and want everyone to be safe and happy, so I’ve had a surprised weep and am making a cup of tea.
– @porridgebrain

afternoon storm—
I add lemongrass
to the tea
– @alwrites

The world was younger than today.
– Janice Ian

end of the world following the lamplight into the wilderness
– Pippa Phillips

I don’t know who needs to hear this but consciousness is not the body.
– @VinceFHorn

Is anyone anywhere happy? No, not unless they are living in a dream or in an artifice that they or someone else has made.
– @unabridgedplath

When we accept slight amazement, we prepare ourselves to imagine great amazement and, in the world of the imagination, it becomes normal for an elephant, which is an enormous animal, to come out of a snail shell.
– Bachelard

A single poem, alone
can turn tides
scatter galaxies
and burst forth with rivers
from paradise.
– Sanober Khan

It is a very simple matter for people who form the dominant group in a society to develop what they call a philosophy of pacifism that makes few, if any, demands upon their ethical obligations to minority groups with which they may be having contacts. Such a philosophy becomes a mere quietus to be put into the hands of the minority to keep them peaceful and controllable.
– Howard Thurman

Strange that one should feel major and minor as opposites. They both present the same face, now more joyous, now more serious; a mere touch of the brush suffices to turn one into the other.
– Ferrucio Busoni, hanging loose

i have never
had a passion for presence
till i met these souls
from a wasteland of disturbed choices
driven by patterns i refused to see
to lost in giggles with my puppies
they have brought me back
over and over again

they have woken me
from a shock induced stupor
where again the sun rises
and i have not yet
closed my eyes

they have dragged me
from the siren song
of catastrophe
with longing
from pure eyes

they have been
the reason
when nothing
made sense
anymore

yes as i wrestled
with reality
as i knew it
being ripped
from me

as days turned to months
that felt like weeks
that became years
of knowing with every breath
this was not a dream

there is nothing i love
or have ever loved more
than being a mom
to these dogs

unlike humans
dogs related without agenda
devoid of judgement
free of manipulation

every interaction
like soothing salve
to a nervous system
frayed by repeated shock
from blindsiding
betrayals

the’ve taught me
presence
and shown me love
filling my world
with undeniable delight
making laughter
the main sound my body makes
penetrating deathly apathy
with wet nose nuzzles
and paws on my heart

i have fallen in love
over and again
without a word
or a promise
of possibility

in so many ways
i am pretty sure
the best advice
i have ever lived
is go love a dog

– Emily Rosen

Ask nature questions, and you will get answers.
– Jean Craighead George

What a long evolutionary time it has taken for us humans to be upright and walking on firm ground. Its sleek body on a rock, when a seal looks you in the eye, will you remember you, too, came out of water?
– Gunilla Norris

The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief.
– William Shakespeare

There are no kings inside the Gates of Eden.
– Bob Dylan

The work of the mature person is to carry grief in one hand and gratitude in the other and to be stretched large by them. How much sorrow can I hold? That’s how much gratitude I can give. If I carry only grief, I’ll bend toward cynicism and despair.
– Francis Weller

Sometimes I grow weary of the days with all their fits and starts.
I want to climb some old grey mountain, slowly, taking
the rest of my life to do it, resting often, sleeping
under the pines or, above them, on the unclothed rocks.
I want to see how many stars are still in the sky
that we have smothered for years now, forgiving it all,
and peaceful, knowing the last thing there is to know.
All that urgency! Not what the earth is about!
How silent the trees, their poetry being of themselves only.
I want to take slow steps, and think appropriate thoughts.
In ten thousand years, maybe, a piece of the mountain will fall.
– Mary Oliver, The Poet Dreams of the Mountain

THE COMING OF FALL
by Sherod Santos

Like a wedge of cranes,
the morning rain spread
beneath the bellied
clouds, drifting into
a failing stand of aspen
trees, awakening you
lying beside me. And I
was reminded then how
far it had come, and from
what cold region,
to unsettle again the late
blossoms and grass-
blades–to unsettle you
again this way:
so that now you lie
silent in this split
season, staring through
the window, and instead
of the weather adding
ourselves to the growing
dissolution of mud-flats
and detritus . . . Today,
for no reason I can say,
a light rain has fallen
like an immeasurable.
distance between us,
and now no word, no
gesture of affection
can forstall the arrival
of the cold, or the wind
that will carry it
steaming off some Atlantic
shore, where, already,
the beaches are fast
going black with leaves.

My faith teaches me that God is near. Not away off, up above the sky, on a great white throne—an aged white man with blonde angels standing in mid-air to obey his command. Not that.
– Howard Thurman

Say surrender. Say alabaster. Switchblade.
   Honeysuckle. Goldenrod. Say autumn.
Say autumn despite the green
   in your eyes. Beauty despite
daylight. Say you’d kill for it.
– @oceanvbot

In Buddhist circles we say: “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to practice.”
– Ethan Lichtern

in the eyes of a dog
that knows it’s dying
rough spring winds blow
– Nakatsuka Mayumi

the day is short
as is the life
of a dragonfly
– Issa

In a parallel universe, we built structures of collective care in the face of a virus and then leveraged them to limit climate disaster.

In this universe, we still could.

– Dr. Elizabeth Sawin

the fireflies come first
then cicadas then crickets
line of succession
– Jason Gould

If the whole universe can be found in our own body and mind, this is where we need to make our inquires. We all have the answers within ourselves, we just have not got in touch with them yet. The potential of finding the truth within requires faith in ourselves.
– Ayya Khema

will I grow
old like you?
autumn butterfly
– Issa

White people need to learn how to pronounce other people’s names. (Deans at graduation: looking at you)

Yet—something I love about accents and languages is how our names chime differently in them.

The world is so much less universal than we think.

– Dr. Han VanderHart

Ballad
(after the spanish)

forgive me if i laugh
you are so sure of love
you are so young
and i too old to learn of love.

the rain exploding
in the air is love
the grass excreting her
green wax is love
and stones remembering
past steps is love,
but you. you are too young
for love
and i too old.

once. what does it matter
when or who, i knew
of love.
i fixed my body
under his and went
to sleep in love
all trace of me
was wiped away

forgive me if i smile
young heiress of a naked dream
you are so young
and i too old to learn of love.
– Sonia Sanchez

one night i hope to gather our wrinkled palms around a bottle of whiskey older than us and trade stories of what we’ve survived.
– @_dariussimpson

No science, nor any art can give us what darkness gives. It is true, in our young days when all was new, light brought us great happiness and joy. Let us, therefore, remember it with gratitude, as a benefactor we no longer need. Do after all let us dispense with gratitude, for it belongs to the calculating, bourgeois virtues. Let us forget light, and gratitude, and the qualms of self-important idealism, let us go bravely to meet the coming night. She promises us great power over reality.
– Lev Shestov

our bodies cannot be separated from the word
without separating the lips
without splitting open the jaw
without looking at each other’s tongues
– Yuliya Tsimafeyeva

I always resented all the years, the hours, the
minutes I gave them as a working stiff, it
actually hurt my head, my insides, it made me
dizzy and a bit crazy — I couldn’t understand the murdering of my years yet my fellow workers gave no signs of agony, many of them even seemed satisfied, and seeing them that way drove me almost as crazy as the dull and senseless work.
– Charles Bukowski

I often think that the night is more alive and more richly coloured than the day.
– Vincent Van Gogh

The good thing about life is to be doing things. I have seen that stillness spoils water.
– Mohamed Choukri

If You Want a True Friend
by Mark Nepo

Just open your hands and say, “I don’t know.”

Say it softly and wait, so your other can see

that you mean it. Give them a chance to

drop what they think is secret. Let them

come up with a cup of what matters from

the spring they show no one. Let them sigh

and admit that they don’t know either. Then

you can begin with nothing in the way. Go

on. Admit to the throb you carry in your

heart. And let the journey begin.

Poetry survives because it haunts and it haunts because it is simultaneously utterly clear and deeply mysterious, because it cannot be entirely accounted for, it cannot be exhausted.
– Louise Glück

cherry blossoms…
poem lands gently
in my hands
– @kerryjwriter

People who are terrified of suffering don’t allow themselves to experience reality. They suffer neurotically, but they don’t live the real conflict. And they’re afraid to die so they’re stuck. This is the problem in addictions.
– Marion Woodman

Tremendous to watch Colonialism realize it is not beloved in real time.
– @hmvanderhart

On the War in the Ukraine:

Even though it’s not in our news cycle much, It’s still pretty unreal what David has done to Goliath.

May this be a harbinger of a whole era ahead, and here in the States as well.

– @ethannichtern

Those who do not know themselves cannot perceive others realistically either. They live in a bubble of delusion and never gain control over their own lives, seeing themselves as victims of external enemies.
– Carol Shumate

I can’t decide

whether the university
is a refuge for the bookish lonely
or a T-shirt store

run by a soda company.

– @chenchenwrites, The School of More School

You have to be run by ideas not hierarchy. The best ideas have to win, otherwise good people don’t stay.
– Steve Jobs

A statement found on Feynman’s blackboard at the time of his death read, “What I cannot create, I cannot understand” which emphasizes the role that experimental replication plays in scientific methods. No one has yet been able to create a psyche.
– Carol Shumate

With my mother’s death all settled happiness, all that was tranquil and reliable, disappeared from my life. There was to be much fun, many pleasures, many stabs of Joy; but no more of the old security. It was sea and islands now; the great continent had sunk like Atlantis.
– C. S. Lewis

Land really is the best art.
– Andy Warhol

The only way to change human behavior is to woo, instead of preach. To make love, instead of threatening disaster. To point out how glorious something could be, and in some way to live it.
– Alan Watts

One way of measuring ego-strength and maturity of personality is to assess a person’s capacity to tolerate ambivalence. This capacity is closely related to the ability to feel empathy. It is all about tolerating otherness.
– Heidi M. Kolb

The old computer
rich with photos of old friends
in case I forget
– @foodshaper

Slow moving river—
a fish leaps
through the evening sun
– @wingsoverwaters

My life.
Is a passing September
no one will recall.
— Mary Ruefle

It’s very difficult to sustain a relationship bond with someone with a fragmented consciousness. Many people have tried and failed, despite their best efforts. This is because one needs a center to consistently relate from. One needs a structure to open from. If there isn’t a relatively integrated core, one’s capacity for connection will often be in flux. They may relate from one part brilliantly, while being dissociated in another. Or they may be jumping excitedly onto various paths in an effort to find their center, making it near impossible to ground into connection. This is why spiritual teachings that elevate ‘life without a center’ are so deeply dangerous. It’s already difficult enough for humans to solidify. We don’t need to be led farther away from our selfhood. We need practices that support our re-integration so that we can live, and love, from a rooted center. The more fully integrated our core, the more profoundly our hearts can soar.
– Jeff Brown

“no intelligent idea can gain general acceptance unless some stupidity is mixed in with it” – fernando pessoa. is that why god needed religion? worth considering..
– Hune Margulies

O Nobly Born, remember who you really are.
You are the pure open sky of your own true nature.
Return to it. Trust it. It is home.
– Buddha

Be a loner. That gives you time to wonder, to search for the truth. Have holy curiosity. Make your life worth living.
– Albert Einstein

And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and I thought, This
is the world I want to live in. The shared world.
– Naomi Shihab Nye

Unhealthy relationships of the past were rooted in how much you could endure, how much you would forgive, and how much you could overlook being dishonored.

May your new season bless you, honor you, and enrich you.

May your new season be life giving. That is love.

– Dr. Thema

awaiting
the cooler days of fall
i curl into
a book
as thick as the moon
– Tiffany Shaw-Diaz, The Bamboo Hut

Jakarta, January by Sarah Kay

After Hanif Abdurraqib & Frank O’Hara

It is the last class of the day & I am teaching a classroom of sixth graders about poetry & across town a man has walked into a Starbucks & blown himself up while some other men throw grenades in the street & shoot into the crowd of civilians & I am 27 years old which means I am the only person in this room who was alive when this happened in New York City & I was in eighth grade & sitting in my classroom for the first class of the day & I made a joke about how mad everyone was going to be at the pilot who messed up & later added, how stupid do you have to be for it to happen twice? & the sixth graders are practicing listing sensory details & somebody calls out blue skies as a sight they love & nobody in this classroom knows what has happened yet & they do not know that the school is in lockdown which is a word we did not have when I was in sixth grade & the whole class is laughing because a boy has called out dog poop as a smell he does not like & what is a boy if not a glowing thing learning what he can get away with & I was once a girl in a classroom on the lucky side of town who did not know what had happened yet & electrical fire is a smell I did not know I did not like until my neighborhood smelled that way for weeks & blue skies is a sight I have never trusted again & poetry is what I reached for in the days when the ash would not stop falling & there is a sixth grade girl in this classroom whose father is in that Starbucks & she does not know what has happened yet & what is a girl if not a pulsing thing learning what the world will take from her & what if I am still a girl sitting in my classroom on the lucky side of town making a careless joke looking at the teacher for some kind of answer & what if I am also the teacher without any answers looking back at myself & what is an adult if not a terrified thing desperate to protect something you cannot save? & how lucky do you have to be for it to miss you twice? & tomorrow a sixth grade girl will come to class while her father has the shrapnel pulled from his body & maybe she will reach for poetry & the sky outside the classroom is so terribly blue & the students are quiet & looking at me & waiting for a grown-up or a poem or an answer or a bell to ring & the bell rings & they float up from their seats like tiny ghosts & are gone

Delta Flight 659
by Denise Duhamel

—to Sean Penn

I’m writing this on a plane, Sean Penn,
with my black Pilot Razor ballpoint pen.
Ever since 9/11, I’m a nervous flyer. I leave my Pentium
Processor in Florida so TSA can’t x-ray my stanzas, penetrate
my persona. Maybe this should be in iambic pentameter,
rather than this mock sestina, each line ending in a Penn

variant. I convinced myself the ticket to Baghdad was too expensive.
I contemplated going as a human shield. I read, in open-
mouthed shock, that your trip there was a $56,000 expenditure.
Is that true? I watched you on Larry King Live—his suspenders
and tie, your open collar. You saw the war’s impending
mess. My husband gambled on my penumbra

of doubt. So you station yourself at a food silo in Iraq. What happens
to me if you get blown up? He begged me to stay home, be his Penelope.
I sit alone in coach, but last night I sat with four poets, depending
on one another as readers, in a Pittsburgh café. I tried to be your pen
pal in 1987, not because of your pensive
bad boy looks, but because of a poem you’d penned

that appeared in an issue of Frank. I still see the poet in you, Sean Penn.
You probably think fans like me are your penance
for your popularity, your star bulging into a pentagon
filled with witchy wanna-bes and penniless
poets who waddle toward your icy peninsula
of glamour like so many menacing penguins.

But honest, I come in peace, Sean Penn,
writing on my plane ride home. I want no part of your penthouse
or the snowy slopes of your Aspen.
I won’t stalk you like the swirling grime cloud over Pig Pen.
I have no script or stupendous
novel I want you to option. I even like your wife, Robin Wright Penn.

I only want to keep myself busy on this flight, to tell you of four penny-
loafered poets in Pennsylvania
who, last night, chomping on primavera penne
pasta, pondered poetry, celebrity, Iraq, the penitentiary
of free speech. And how I reminded everyone that Sean Penn
once wrote a poem. I peer out the window, caress my lucky pendant:

Look, Sean Penn, the clouds are drawn with charcoal pencils.
The sky is opening like a child’s first stab at penmanship.
The sun begins to ripen orange, then deepen.

Praise the great windows where immigrants from the kitchen
could squint and almost see their world, hear the chant of nations:
– Martín Espada

Alabanza: In Praise of Local 100
by Martín Espada

for the 43 members of Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Local 100, working at the Windows on the World restaurant, who lost their lives in the attack on the World Trade Center

Alabanza. Praise the cook with a shaven head
and a tattoo on his shoulder that said Oye,
a blue-eyed Puerto Rican with people from Fajardo,
the harbor of pirates centuries ago.
Praise the lighthouse in Fajardo, candle
glimmering white to worship the dark saint of the sea.
Alabanza. Praise the cook’s yellow Pirates cap
worn in the name of Roberto Clemente, his plane
that flamed into the ocean loaded with cans for Nicaragua,
for all the mouths chewing the ash of earthquakes.
Alabanza. Praise the kitchen radio, dial clicked
even before the dial on the oven, so that music and Spanish
rose before bread. Praise the bread. Alabanza.

Praise Manhattan from a hundred and seven flights up,
like Atlantis glimpsed through the windows of an ancient aquarium.
Praise the great windows where immigrants from the kitchen
could squint and almost see their world, hear the chant of nations:
Ecuador, México, República Dominicana,
Haiti, Yemen, Ghana, Bangladesh.
Alabanza. Praise the kitchen in the morning,
where the gas burned blue on every stove
and exhaust fans fired their diminutive propellers,
hands cracked eggs with quick thumbs
or sliced open cartons to build an altar of cans.
Alabanza. Praise the busboy’s music, the chime-chime
of his dishes and silverware in the tub.

Alabanza. Praise the dish-dog, the dishwasher
who worked that morning because another dishwasher
could not stop coughing, or because he needed overtime
to pile the sacks of rice and beans for a family
floating away on some Caribbean island plagued by frogs.
Alabanza. Praise the waitress who heard the radio in the kitchen
and sang to herself about a man gone. Alabanza.

After the thunder wilder than thunder,
after the shudder deep in the glass of the great windows,
after the radio stopped singing like a tree full of terrified frogs,
after night burst the dam of day and flooded the kitchen,
for a time the stoves glowed in darkness like the lighthouse in Fajardo,
like a cook’s soul. Soul I say, even if the dead cannot tell us
about the bristles of God’s beard because God has no face,
soul I say, to name the smoke-beings flung in constellations
across the night sky of this city and cities to come.
Alabanza I say, even if God has no face.

Alabanza. When the war began, from Manhattan and Kabul
two constellations of smoke rose and drifted to each other,
mingling in icy air, and one said with an Afghan tongue:
Teach me to dance. We have no music here.
And the other said with a Spanish tongue:
I will teach you. Music is all we have.

Space is the Whom our loves are needed by, Time is our choice of How to love and Why.
– W.H. Auden

The Last Good Days by Lynn Ungar

What will you do with the last good days?
Before the seas rise and the skies close in,
before the terrible bill
for all our thoughtless wanting
finally comes due?

What will you do
with the last fresh morning,
filled with the watermelon scent
of cut grass and the insistent
bird calling sweet sweet
across the shining day?

Crops are dying, economies failing,
men crazy with the lust for power and fame
are shooting up movie theaters and
engineering the profits of banks.

It is entirely possible
it only gets worse from here.
How can you leave your heart
open to such a vast, pervasive sadness?
How can you close your eyes
to the riot of joy and beauty
that remains?

The solutions, if there are any
to be had, are complex, detailed,
demanding. The answers
are immediate and small.

Wake up. Give thanks. Sing.

It is surprising that people do not believe that there is imagination in science. It is a very interesting kind of imagination, unlike that of the artist. The great difficulty is in trying to imagine something that you have never seen, that is consistent in every detail with what has already been seen, and that is different from what has been thought of; furthermore, it must be definite and not a vague proposition. That is indeed difficult.
– Richard P. Feynman, The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist

Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.
– Winston Churchill

I kept thinking, each human baby, born complete with its skin, is a phenomenon beyond comprehension, more amazing than The Milky Way. Each created anything—cricket, weed, sequoia, dinosaur—is beyond explanation, but here we are, by the millions, acting as if miracles were events that happened in Olden Times.
– Elroy Bode

Translators help us recover some of what we’ve lost or otherwise could never have at all.
– M. Shahid Alam

We keep doing these things–loving, acting, caring, breeding, nurturing–because for all the pain and disappointment they bring, we really can’t fathom or contain the pleasure and the fucking joy they always ultimately bring. It is too much, in the best sense. Keep doing these things. It’s all we have.
– Maureen Stapleton

The most important scientific revolutions all include, as their only common feature, the dethronement of human arrogance from one pedestal after another of previous convictions about our centrality in the cosmos.
– Stephen Jay Gould

My definition of a devil is a god who has not been recognized. That is to say, it is a power in you to which you have not given expression, and you push it back. And then, like all repressed energy, it builds up and becomes completely dangerous to the position you’re trying to hold.
– Joseph Campbell

new comers lately sprung up in our galaxy how
describe them do they indeed know what or who
they are do not seem to yet no other beings
in the universe make more extravagant claims
for their importance and identity
– Robert Hayden

Always try to keep a patch of sky above your life.
– Marcel Proust

No philosophers so thoroughly comprehend us as dogs and horses.
– Herman Melville

And kindness, unused, slips away like the native tongue you no longer practice. The body cannot recognize it; the heart rejects it. Kindness and oxygen–those, I think, are the essential things.
– Marlon Brando

Having the willingness to heal one’s relationship with one’s parents is a pretty reliable mark of having the vulnerability and humility of being a safe spiritual guide or teacher.
– Tadaaki Hozumi

I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up and was not happy.
– Ernest Hemingway

Looking at the moon just now
Reminds me of a dream I had last night.
I stood at the window, looking at the sky,
And suddenly the moon began to fall.
It came straight at me, getting nearer
And nearer until it crashed
Like a bowl beside the house.
Then it burst into flame, then fizzled
Like a hot coal dropped in water.
It turned black, and the grass was singed.
And that was the way the moon went out.
But there was more to it than that.
When I looked up, I saw an opening in the dark.
It was the hole from which the moon
Had rolled down out of the sky.
– Mark Strand

i am accused of tending to the past
as if i made it,
as if i sculpted it
with my own hands. i did not.
this past was waiting for me
when i came,
a monstrous unnamed baby,
and i with my mother’s itch
took it to breast
and named it
History.
– Lucille Clifton

Non-cento from the Bureau of the Library of Alexandria
BY LUCAS JORGENSEN
Brigit Pegeen Kelly said it burned. Hera Lindsay Bird said it burned in alphabetical order. There’s nothing left about it to say. To say, “there’s nothing left about it to say” is awfully similar to what Alberto Ríos said about the Sonoran Desert and itsfires—mainly, actually, that there was only onething left to say. Then, he said it. The way it took a thousand years and one Jack Gilbert to say we’ve forgotten the beauty in Icarian flight. And he’s right. But I’d also say, even more beautiful is the moment before Icarus flies. When he sees both outcomes reflected on the ocean in front of him and still decides there’s nothing left to lose. And sure, were Elizabeth Bishop there, with her keen clairvoyant eye, she would say the trail of wax he lost behind his wings looked exactly like disaster bobbing on the waves. Perhaps we should reframe. Mary Ruefle says The Odyssey was probably sung by sirens because none of us can turn away from the tragedy of our own lives. And the logical conclusion of this history arrives when Ocean Vuong borrows Telemachus’s clothing, finds his father with a bullet in his back, washed in by a foaming red tide. His teacher, Sharon Olds, does a similar trick—when she makes her father say “I love you” from the afterlife. We get to do this—dilute the River Styxes of the real world under the peat bogs of the mind. Like, I could tell you it didn’t matter that the Library burned—that it’s all bubblegum and cherry pie to say it stopped us from developing steam engines or penicillin in a pre-American century. But after I said that, I could take it back, like Ada Limón when American Pharaoh unstrung the gray from her sky. I have to remind myself at times of Terrance Hayes’s advice, that what it is isn’t always what it looks like. The Library burned, yes. But no one ever talks about the scribe who put it out.

What intelligences are quieted in the name of the real?
– Claire Schwartz

In the initial stages of Zen training, the master will discourage thinking…You may think about things so much that you get into the state where you are eating the menu instead of the dinner, you are valuing the money more than the wealth, and you are confusing the map with the territory. What the master wants to do is get you into the landscape, to get you into relationship with what is as distinct from ideas about what is.
– How to Think about Thinking by Alan Watts

POETRY
Its door opens near. It’s a shrine
by the road, it’s a flower in the parking lot
of The Pentagon, it says, “Look around,
listen. Feel the air.” It interrupts
international telephone lines with a tune.
When traffic lines jam, it gets out
and dances on the bridge. If great people
get distracted by fame they forget
this essential kind of breathing
and they die inside their gold shell.
When caravans cross deserts
it is the secret treasure hidden under the jewels.

Sometimes commanders take us over, and they
try to impose their whole universe,
how to succeed by daily calculation:
I can’t eat that bread.
– William Stafford

Nothing Personal
by James Baldwin

I have slept on rooftops and in basements and subways, have been cold and hungry all my life; have felt that no fire would ever ward me, and no arms would ever hold me. I have been, as the song says, ‘buked and scorned and I know that I always will be. But, my God, in that darkness, which was the lot of my ancestors and my own state, what a mighty fire burned? In that darkness … a living soul moved and refused to die …

It is a mighty heritage, it is the human heritage, and it is all there is to trust. … this is why one must say Yes to life and embrace it where it is found — and it is found in terrible places: nevertheless, there it is; and if the [parent] can say Yes, Lord, the child can learn that most difficult of words, Amen.

For nothing is fixed, forever and forever and forever, it is not fixed; the earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock. Generations do not cease to be born, and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have.

The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other, and children cling to us. The moment we cease to hold each other, the moment we break faith with one another, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.

Poems do not endure as objects but as presences. When you read anything worth remembering, you liberate a human voice; you release into the world again a companion spirit.

I read poems to hear that voice. And I write to speak to those I have heard.

— Louise Glück

Meditation on Rain
by Alessandra Lynch

In a blue collusion of dusk
and rain, the sky’s darkly shaking
like horsetails flicking

off bloodflies. As you’d try
switching off half-truths that fed
on your skin, their little bites
distracting you
from harder pain.

Nothing a hoof could gallop from. Nothing to ride here
but air
coolly passing from stable to woods—
each leaf a perforated heart—

to the front porch of the blue house. As you ascend,
the steps darken behind you, night
has its own quiet stepping—it is not
an abyss, not amorphous
as once you felt—.

How wavery the rain at the threshhold—

The Change Has Come
by Paul Laurence Dunbar

The change has come, and Helen sleeps—
Not sleeps; but wakes to greater deeps
Of wisdom, glory, truth, and light,
Than ever blessed her seeking sight,
In this low, long, lethargic night,
Worn out with strife
Which men call life.

The change has come, and who would say
“I would it were not come to-day?”
What were the respite till to-morrow?
Postponement of a certain sorrow,
From which each passing day would borrow!
Let grief be dumb,
The change has come.

The springs, the summers, and the autumns slowly pass;
And when old Winter puts his blank face to the glass,
I shall close all my shutters, pull the curtains tight,
And build me stately palaces by candlelight.
– Les Fleurs Du Mal, Charles Baudelaire

Last Privacy
by Scott Hightower

Ancient kites, found in deserts
of the Middle East, are constructions

aimed at driving and trapping
game animals. They consist

of long dry stone walls
converging on a neck

which opens into a confined space
used as the killing floor.

The last night, unknowingly
I lovingly effervesced the long catalog

of my admirations for you into
your ear. Hammer strike

anvil. The last morning,
I studied you sitting

quietly studying the water
in the toilet bowl. I brushed

your hair. Gave you a kiss.
Told you, “I love you.” Minutes later,

we walked outside our door the final time,
rode the elevator down together. Crossed

the lobby and vestibule, out the front door
onto the wide sidewalk of our building.

All the while, unaware of the drive.
Your last moments under a bluebird sky.

Your last moment standing
at the end of the fatal kite.

Don’t overcome your fear of writing your truth in spite of potential fallout. Keep that fear, because you need it.
– Sarah Einstein

If I ventured in the slipstream
Between the viaducts of your dream
Where immobile steel rims crack
And the ditch in the back roads stop…
– Van Morrison

When the world appears to be most insane, we can’t go inside and hide and let the jackals eat up the orchards. We have to respond as humans, which is to say with kindness and wit and caring.
– Tennessee Williams

& there is, for one moment, relief because I am
& am enough. So forget theories of sorrow
& hellfire & brimstone at the final circle of the earth: if I must believe in anything, I choose this: my lover
whispering, in my next life, I want to be the bird
that rests on your branches—
knowing the whole while
in my next life, I want to be
is already a complete sentence.

– Natalie Wee

A Litany for Survival
by Audre Lorde

For those of us who live at the shoreline
standing upon the constant edges of decision
crucial and alone
for those of us who cannot indulge
the passing dreams of choice
who love in doorways coming and going
in the hours between dawns
looking inward and outward
at once before and after
seeking a now that can breed
futures
like bread in our children’s mouths
so their dreams will not reflect
the death of ours;

For those of us
who were imprinted with fear
like a faint line in the center of our foreheads
learning to be afraid with our mother’s milk
for by this weapon
this illusion of some safety to be found
the heavy-footed hoped to silence us
For all of us
this instant and this triumph
We were never meant to survive.

And when the sun rises we are afraid
it might not remain
when the sun sets we are afraid
it might not rise in the morning
when our stomachs are full we are afraid
of indigestion
when our stomachs are empty we are afraid
we may never eat again
when we are loved we are afraid
love will vanish
when we are alone we are afraid
love will never return
and when we speak we are afraid
our words will not be heard
nor welcomed
but when we are silent
we are still afraid

So it is better to speak
remembering
we were never meant to survive.

Man shouldn’t be able to see his own face – there’s nothing more sinister. Nature gave him the gift of not being able to see it, and of not being able to stare into his own eyes. Only in the water of rivers and ponds could he look at his face. And the very posture he had to assume was symbolic. He had to bend over, stoop down, to commit the ignominy of beholding himself. The inventor of the mirror poisoned the human heart.
– Fernando Pessoa

We live in one global environment with a huge number of ecological, economic, social, and political pressures tearing at its only dimly perceived, basically uninterpreted and uncomprehended fabric. Anyone with even a vague consciousness of this whole is alarmed at how such remorselessly selfish and narrow interests – patriotism, chauvinism, ethnic, religious, and racial hatreds – can in fact lead to mass destructiveness. The world simply cannot afford this many more times.
– Edward W. Said

The viewer…should enter my work through their own eyes, and their own lives.
– Wolfgang Tillmans

I wish that life should not be cheap, but sacred. I wish the days to be as centuries, loaded, fragrant.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The root of faults is nothing other than your ego-clinging, the attitude of deluded fixation, so cut the ties of ego-clinging! Cast away the fixation on enemy and friend! Forsake worldly concerns! Abandon materialistic pursuits! Engage in nothing but the Dharma from the core of your heart! Just as a seedling doesn’t grow on a stone, there will be no enhancement without removing the fault of ego-clinging. You should therefore abandon the root of all evils, ego-clinging.
– Guru Padmasambhava

Living in truth means refusing to be lied to and manipulated. Knowing that you are part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.
– Margaret Klein Salamon

I miss you, but
I don’t wish
you were here.
– Sabrina Benaim

CAHIERS DU CINÉMA
CÉLESTE

I see them all in heaven,
discussing cinéma,
Bazin, Truffaut, Langlois,
Godard.
may they argue
the virtues
of Hitchcock and Hawks,
Kurosawa and Dreyer,
Chaplin and Keaton.
may they make films
now
simply by dreaming them,
may they make jump cuts
by the blink of an eye.
years ago, in Paris,
Adelle and I walked through
the set of
*The Cabinet of Dr Caligari.*
though the Cinémathèque
was closed that day
we were allowed
to enter because
I had published
articles about film.
we felt like we were wearing
the ruby slippers.
now, September 13, 2022,
they are all dead,
those saints of cinema,
and Adelle has been gone
for six years
but the magic
remains in memory.
we walked
amid the ghosts
of so many
and were seen
from infinite
points of view.
au revoir, Jean-Luc,
bon voyage.
you have become
the camera
of a dream.
– Jack Foley, On Jean-Luc Godard

Divest this cloak of institution
Have done this game of retribution!

I sing the big sky songs
And put on my long, tall sky hat
With thunder lights and beauty steeps
I slide the toll-free road.

I am away! A way of dance
Motions smooth and pliant
So slight the ring, the chance….

Be tight. Be tight
Slip through the seed loops
Exit right!

Aquamarine
Emerald blue
Color’s the clue

I crouch to leap
Fold to spring

– Bobbie Gorman

I never seemed to like the spring for what it was; I always loved it for what it might have been. In the head. In the heart of hearts. It is in my ability, I think, to love something fully only if I am naturally, compulsively, irrationally drawn to it.
– Anne Sexton

Michel Foucault noted, “People know what they do; frequently they know why they do what they do; but what they don’t know is what what they do does.” You do what you can. What you’ve done may do more than you can imagine for generations to come. You plant a seed and a tree grows from it; will there be fruit, shade, habitat for birds, more seeds, a forest, wood to build a cradle or a house? You don’t know. A tree can live much longer than you. So will an idea, and sometimes the changes that result from accepting that new idea about what is true, or right, just might remake the world. You do what you can do; you do your best; what what you do does is not up to you.
– Rebecca Solnit

Fatherland
by Liana Sakelliou
translated by Aliki Barnstone

Marathon is an ancient city,
almost Elysian, I say,
as we climb the hill
that holds the dead,
saffron bulbs everywhere.
Here is the tomb, white as bone,
the sea cobalt blue,
the day naked.

Marathos means root, I say,
as we pick the green root
that bears Marathon’s name
for our food—fennel’s fragrant spell.
How quickly things are forgotten,
losing shape,
losing their names,
turning into something else.

There are words in your mouth
instead of screams:
Yes, you passed through the checkpoint.
No, you did not have a passport.
No, you were not an adult.
You were unfit to travel.
You stuttered as you spoke.
You stumbled as you walked.

You misheard instructions.
You consigned the secret to your brothers—
they kept you alive, after all!
You borrowed their boat.
The Coast Guard ordered you around
like a metronome.

Now the light is switched on,
punishing as snow.
For me it’s a wingspan.
For you it collapses into your spring
like a heavy construction.

Somewhere in the chanting of divine names—Govinda, Krishna, Ganesh, dozens of voices in a cross between music and roar—I looked around the auditorium and saw Jesus and didn’t know what to think.
– John Backman

You must write every single day of your life. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes ….
– Ray Bradbury

reviving mint tea
at the end of day
i begin another day
– @Meraki_k

the moon in east
the sun in the west
yellow wildflowers
– Ogawa

All too easily does self-criticism poison one’s naïveté, that priceless possession, or rather gift, which no creative man can be without.
– CG Jung

wisdom tooth—
unpinning my wishes
i wished upon stars
– @Meraki_k

autumn wind
to which hell
am I going?
– Issa

The general function of dreams is to try to restore our psychological balance by producing dream material that re-establishes, in a subtle way, the total psychic equilibrium.
– CG Jung

lovely
even the sparrow
has found a home
– Misato

It’s very perverse of me to be a novelist because I really don’t like making things up.
– Hilary Mantel

the last thing we need
is another bad haiku
and yet here we are
– Jason Gould

It is always about the personal life, it seems to me. We go through whatever we go through, and when we are suffering we mostly carry it, and some, excluding myself, are better at carrying it than others; and we see others, who are also carrying whatever they are carrying, as being somehow better adjusted to life, happier, even luckier. Fiction if it is serious, always takes us inside; we see the turmoil there, and we are privy to the secrets. And mostly our impulse is to sympathize, or at least identify, and we want to understand, we feel the right to know what it all means–not as philosophy or opinion, but in terms of the arc of the life being revealed. This is all quite obvious, of course, but it is surprising how often we forget it, striving to make some universal expression. The personal IS universal. There is a common, brave human heart.
– Richard Bausch

Without her, no direction of his own. What’s left, wind swept across an emptiness.
– Greg Sellers

Let me leave this place
unhaunted, love. How sad the inward-

traveling heart. How sad the heart when it has won.

– David Wojahn

…we had begun to live in the light again.
– Douglas Woolf

This desire for our own far off country [is] the secret which hurts so much that you take your revenge on it by calling it names like Nostalgia and Romanticism and Adolescence; the secret also which pierces with such sweetness that when, in very intimate conversation, the mention of it becomes imminent, we grow awkward and affect to laugh at ourselves; the secret we cannot hide and cannot tell, though we desire to do both. We cannot tell it because it is a desire for something that has never actually appeared in our experience. We cannot hide it because our experience is constantly suggesting it, and we betray ourselves like lovers at the mention of a name. Our commonest expedient is to call it beauty and behave as if that had settled the matter. Wordsworth’s expedient was to identify it with certain moments in his own past. But all this is a cheat. If Wordsworth had gone back to those moments in the past, he would not have found the thing itself, but only the reminder of it; what he remembered would turn out to be itself a remembering.
– C.S. Lewis

Nothing kidnaps our capacity for presence more cruelly than longing. And yet longing is also the most powerful creative force we know. Out of our longing for meaning came all of art: out of our longing for truth all science; out of our longing for love the very fact of life. We may give this undertone of being different names–Susan Cain calls it ‘the bittersweet’ and Portuguese has the lovely word saudade; the vague, constant longing for something or someone beyond the horizon of reality–but we recognize it in our marrow, in the strata of the soul beyond the reach of words.
– Maria Popova

that I would have to live, and go on
living: what a sorrow it was; and still
what sorrow burns
but does not destroy my heart.
– Jane Kenyon

No one lives without myth. Anyone who thinks so is very unconscious. The only question is what mythologies, what fragments, what admonitions, what retreats or flights, what tropic desires have sovereignty in our lives and make our choices for us.
– James Hollis

Not everyone can walk. That capacity may be denied to us at birth, or we can lose mobility over time. But walking is, in the end, a metaphor for being, a place and time — a place-time — gifted to us. All of us could use to find that gift.
– Francis Sanzaro

The Bookshop has a thousand books,
All colors, hues, and tinges,
And every cover is a door
That turns on magic hinges.
– Nancy Byrd Turner

Start an inner revolution? That’s easy! Say “thank you” a hundred times more often than you say “no”.
– Gunilla Norris

We want to fully inhabit the earth while we are here and not lose our lives to endless rehearsals and illusions.
– Jim Harrison, Sitting Around

The nine-to-five is one of the greatest atrocities sprung upon mankind. You give your life away to a function that doesn’t interest you.
– Charles Bukowski

The truth is
It is not enough to know the truth.
It is not enough to accept the truth,
to embrace the truth, to be saved by the truth.
It is not even enough to cling to the truth
when no one else will.
The truth rails at being trapped
in the blood flooded chambers
of the human heart.
She detests being chained within
the hard, bony walls of thick human skulls.
The truth is a restless being.
Broken bodies, shattered souls,
and the willful ignorance
that break and shatter them
make her scream
and boil the fuel from her spleen
until she liquefies like natural gas
looking for just one match
to explode and burn all the lies down.
She will not be denied.
Banish her from your thoughts
and she will microwave your mind
until the molecules you use as excuses
vibrate with nuclear radiation
and all that’s left of your self-respect
is a billowing mushroom cloud.
It’s not that the truth doesn’t want to be used.
She does. She wants your heart
to burn like a furnace. She wants you
to shovel her like coal
into the engines driving your axles.
She doesn’t care if you object
to the industrial metaphors, if you cringe
at being compared to common appliances.
She doesn’t care because the truth is
your blood runs full of plastic,
mother’s milk is now carcinogenic,
and when you spend more time
with machines than trees, the stars,
or your own warm lover,
it’s hard to distinguish between machines
and those who serve them.
So the truth demands more.
She demands more than recognition,
more than acceptance,
more than the smugness that comes
with telling everyone what the truth is.
She demands more. She demands the truth.
And the truth is,
the truth is action.
– Will Falk

What I want to suggest isn’t that these singer-poets were especially religious, but that their religion—along with nationality and social class—was baked into their identity, making for a mindset that was rather different from our own.
– Richard Zenith, On Portuguese and Galician troubadours

Every time we choose the good action or response, the decent, the valuable, it builds, incrementally, to renewal, resurrection, the place of newness, freedom, justice.
– Anne Lamott

Imperfect, limited, and vulnerable as I am, the sun still shines upon me, things do work out, food appears, rain falls, wonderful conversations take place, and the grass grows without any help from me.
– Dharmavidya David Brazier

Art should never try to be popular.
– Edward Albee

Just presume that the answer
to every question is compassion.
– Father Greg Boyle

I talk about hope being a muscle. It’s not wishful thinking, and it’s not idealism. It’s not even a belief that everything will turn out OK. It’s an imaginative leap, which is what I’ve seen in people like John Lewis and Jane Goodall. These are people who said: “I refuse to accept that the world has to be this way. I am going to throw my life and my pragmatism and my intelligence at this insistence that it could be different and put that into practice.” That’s a muscular hope. So, to your question, I don’t always feel robustly hopeful. Depression is something I’ve struggled with. I’ve found the world an unbearable place for months at a time in the last two years. But at the same time I don’t feel like there’s a place in my work for my despair.
– Krista Tippett

Do not require a description of the countries toward which you sail. The description does not describe them to you, and tomorrow you arrive there, and know them by inhabiting them.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Not to cherish both the angel and the animal, both the spirit and the flesh, is to renounce the whole interest and greatness of being human, and it is really tragic that those in whom the two natures are equally strong should be made to feel in conflict with themselves. For the saint-sinner and the mystic-sensualist is always the most interesting type of human being because he is the most complete.
– Alan Watts

When the Hebrews wandered the wilderness, they lived on manna, which translates to “what is this?” they were sustained by their questions.
– Bentley Stewart

Everything belonged to him. It made me hold my breath in expectation of hearing the wilderness burst into prodigious peal of laughter that would shake the fixed stars in their places.
– Joseph Conrad

The moon does not fight. It attacks no one. It does not worry. It does not try to crush others. It keeps to its course, but by its very nature, it gently influences. What other body could pull an entire ocean from shore to shore? The moon is faithful to its nature and its power is never diminished.
– Deng Ming-Dao

We do not become healers. We came as healers. We are. Some of us are still catching up to what we are. We do not become storytellers. We came as carriers of the stories we and our ancestors actually lived. We are. Some of us are still catching up to what we are. We do not become artists. We came as artists. We are. Some of us are still catching up to what we are. We do not become writers, dancers, musicians, helpers, peacemakers. We came as such. We are. Some of us are still catching up to what we are. We do not learn to love in this sense. We came as Love. We are Love. Some of us are still catching up to who we truly are.
– Clarissa Pinkola Estes

…Maybe the only enemy is that we don’t like the way reality is now and therefore wish it would go away fast. But what we find as practitioners is that nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know. If we run a hundred miles an hour to the other end of the continent in order to get away from the obstacle, we find the very same problem waiting for us when we arrive. It just keeps returning with new names, forms, manifestations until we learn whatever it has to teach us about where we are separating ourselves from reality, how we are pulling back instead of opening up, closing down instead of allowing ourselves to experience fully whatever we encounter, without hesitating or retreating into ourselves.
– Pema Chodron

What he feared the most was that all this hiding had made it impossible for him to ever be found again.
– John Corey Whaley

Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind. They are in a completely different world from the one we live in. When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world. Even when a situation seems so personal, even if others insult you directly, it has nothing to do with you. What they say, what they do, and the opinions they give are according to the agreements that they have in their own minds.
– Don Miguel Ruiz

It was a lone tree burning on the desert. A heraldic tree that the passing storm had left afire. The solitary pilgrim drawn up before it had traveled far to be here and he knelt in the hot sand and held his numbed hands out while all about in that circle attended companies of lesser auxiliaries routed forth into the inordinate day, small owls that crouched silently and stood from foot to foot and tarantulas and solpugas and vinegarroons and the vicious mygale spiders and beaded lizards with mouths black as a chowdog’s, deadly to man, and the little desert basilisks that jet blood from their eyes and the small sandvipers like seemly gods, silent and the same, in Jeda, in Babylon. A constellation of ignited eyes that edged the ring of light all bound in a precarious truce before this torch whose brightness had set back the stars in their sockets.
– Cormac McCarthy

MY FIRST FACE
by Sarah Wetzel

For fifty-five years, Borges slowly went blind,
losing first grey and green, the small fonts, the leaf’s
network of veins, then the difference between cerulean
and sapphire, between Chianti and claret. In the end,
it was every edition of Shakespeare, love looks not with eyes,
winged Cupid’s painted blind. Five years later, everything
black, Borges said, I’d always imagined that paradise
would resemble a library. No one asked, What, abandoned
to your labyrinth of darkness, do you imagine now?

A man I married told me one morning,
I don’t think I love you. We’d been married twelve years
though it took him another two years
to walk out the door. To be honest, I never loved him,
not even as I said yes. Yet I know, I’d still be with him
if he hadn’t left.

Borges knew from a young age he would, like his father
and his father’s father before him, become sightless. It’s why
he read every book, he said, before he was fifty.
Why he refused to learn Braille and how
he could tell just by listening how many books
a bookstore held. It’s how, even blind, he could draw
his own face––a scrawl without a mouth or eyes, a ball
of black string tossed on a white sheet of paper. The truth
is not always what’s written down––
I loved that man and, if only a little, I love him still.

Hell is a state where everyone is perpetually concerned about his own dignity and advancement and where everyone has a grievance.
– C.S. Lewis

The occurrence of thought is sickness; not continuing thoughts is medicine.
– Anthology on the Cultivation of Realization. Author, Unknown. Ming Dynasty (China) 1368-1644

Today the cloud is the central metaphor of the internet: a global system of great power and energy that nevertheless retains the aura of something noumenal and numnious, something almost impossible to grasp. […]

The first criticism of this cloud is that it is a very bad metaphor. The cloud is not weightless; it is not amorphous, or even invisible, if you know where to look for it. The cloud is not some magical faraway place, made of water vapor and radio waves, where everything just works. It is a physical infrastructure consisting of phone lines, fibre optics, satellites, cables on the ocean floor, and vast warehouses filled with computers, which consume huge amounts of water and energy and reside within national and legal jurisdictions. The cloud is a new kind of industry, and a hungry one. The cloud doesn’t just have a shadow; it has a footprint. Absorbed into the cloud are many of the previously weighty edifices of the civic sphere: the places where we shop, bank, socialize, borrow books, and vote. Thus obscured, they are rendered less visible and less amenable to critique, investigation, preservation and regulation.
– James Bridle

To learn which questions are unanswerable, and not to answer them: this skill is most needful in times of stress and darkness.
– Ursula K. Le Guin

The signals say: A good answer is worth reinventing from scratch, again and again. They say: The air is a mix we must keep making. They say: There’s as much belowground as above. They tell her: Do not hope or despair or predict or be caught surprised. Never capitulate, but divide, multiply, transform, conjoin, do, and endure as you have all the long day of life. There are seeds that need fire. Seeds that need freezing. Seeds that need to be swallowed, etched in digestive acid, expelled as waste. Seeds that must be smashed open before they’ll germinate. A thing can travel everywhere, just by holding still.
– Richard Powers

Sadness is the matrix from which wit and irony spring; sadness is uncomfortable and creative, which is why consumer society cannot tolerate it.
– Germaine Greer

But what is memory if not the language of feeling, a dictionary of faces and days and smells which repeat themselves like the verbs and adjectives in a speech, sneaking in behind the thing itself, into the pure present, making us sad or teaching us vicariously.
– Julio Cortazar

If the boundaries of the self are defined by what we feel, then those who cannot feel even for themselves shrink within their own boundaries, while those who feel for others are enlarged, and those who feel compassion for all beings must be boundless. They are not separate, not alone, not lonely, not vulnerable in the same way as those of us who are stranded in the islands of ourselves, but they are vulnerable in others ways. Still, that sense of the dangers of feeling for others is so compelling that many withdraw, and develop elaborate stories to justify withdrawal, and then forget that they have shrunk.
– Rebecca Solnit

Some empathy must be learned and then imagined, by perceiving the suffering of others and translating it into one’s own experience of suffering and thereby suffering a little with then. Empathy can be a story you tell yourself about what it must be like to be that other person; but its lack can also arrive from narrative, about why the sufferer deserved it, or why that person or those people have nothing to do with you. Whole societies can be taught to deaden feeling, to dissociate from their marginal and minority members, just as people can and do erase the humanity of those close to them.

Empathy makes you imagine the sensation of the torture, of the hunger, of the loss. You make that person into yourself, you inscribe their suffering on your own body or heart or mind, and then you respond to their suffering as though it were your own. Identification, we say, to mean that I extend solidarity to you, and who and what you identify with builds your own identity. Physical pain defines the physical boundaries of the self but these identifications define a larger self, a map of affections and alliances, and the limits of this psychic self are nothing more or less than the limits of love. Which is to say love enlarges; it annexes affectionately; at its utmost it dissolves all boundaries.
– Rebecca Solnit

I like walking because it is slow, and I suspect that the mind, like the feet, works at about three miles an hour. If this is so, then modern life is moving faster than the speed of thought or thoughtfulness.
– Rebecca Solnit

Part of our task is to discover how all our ancestors inform our lives–and the same holds true for all forms of life, for we have been shaped not only by human ancestors but also by the environments in which they lived.
– Joan Halifax

For the mind that is silent, noise is as direct a spoke into the hub of silence as are birdsong, wind, and waves. It requires nothing more than to meet noise with stillness and not commentary.
– Martin Laird

There are as many pillows of illusion as flakes in a snow-storm. We wake from one dream into another dream.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

When night comes, something speaks from that soft, fragrant wilderness. It says, the heart is not a door. But it opens. We feel in the dark for the hinge.”
– Carole Glasser Langille

One guy, he had nothing to do with the movies, but I’ve taken a lot of direction from him. That’s Bucky Fuller. Bucky, he’s most famous for the geodesic dome, but he made a great observation about these oceangoing tankers. And he noticed that the engineers were particularly challenged by how to turn this thing, you know? They got this big rudder, it took too much energy to turn the rudder to turn the ship. So they came up with a brilliant idea. Let’s put a little rudder on the big rudder. The little rudder will turn the big rudder, the big rudder will turn the ship. The little rudder is called a trim tab.

Bucky made the analogy that a trim tab is an example of how the individual is connected to society and how we affect society. And I like to think of myself as a trim tab. All of us are trim tabs. We might seem like we’re not up to the task, but we are, man. We’re alive! We can make a difference! We can turn this ship in the way we wanna go, man! Towards love, creating a healthy planet for all of us.

– Jeff Bridges

If you play a game where scrap pieces of glass are at stake, you will play skillfully. If your expensive belt buckle is at stake, you’ll start to get clumsy. If it’s your money that’s at stake, you’ll fumble. It’s not that you’ve lost your skill. It’s because you are so flustered by things happening outside that you’ve lost your calmness inside. Lose your stillness and you will fail in everything you do.
– Liezi

Have compassion for everyone you meet,
even if they don’t want it.
What appears bad manners, an ill temper
or cynicism is always a sign of things no ears
have heard, no eyes have seen.
You do not know what wars are going on
down there where the spirit meets the bone.
– Miller Williams

We listen too much to the telephone and we listen too little to nature. The wind is one of my sounds. A lonely sound, perhaps, but soothing. Everybody should have his personal sounds to listen for — sounds that will make him exhilarated and alive, or quiet and calm. . . . As a matter of fact, one of the greatest sounds of them all — and to me it is a sound — is utter, complete silence.
– Andre Kostelanetz

There is a very ancient tablet of commandments on which is engraved: “today exists to repair yesterday and to prepare tomorrow.” He who does this is a man: in preparing tomorrow, you can repair yesterday. You must know this. Do not expect to receive; do it as a service, as an obligation: to repair your past.
– Gurdjieff

There is no religion and no philosophy that can give us a comprehensive answer to the whole of our problems.
– Erich Neumann

it is not easy to depart
this cool green garden
for a dusty old road
– Basho

As Book X of the Corpus Hermeticum makes clear: knowledge is incorporeal; the organ which it uses is the mind itself. The meaning of a book, then, is not the book, it seems, but the strange alchemy it triggers in your mind.
– Gary Lachman

We should communicate the climate crisis in a way that makes people excited to want to solve it and be a part of human evolution.

Yes, solving climate change isn’t just making history. It’s our civilization evolving to be better.

– Edgar McGregor

Poetry provides a very deep, immediate service, like a church service. It is proof of contact with God, proof that contact with God is possible… Read Emily Dickinson. Through all her quarrels, she affirms this.
– Li-Young Lee

The dynamics of the heart follow laws so different from those of the mind that the seeker needs to begin by accepting the mind’s limitations, and realize that on the spiritual journey rational thought is a hindrance rather than a help.
– Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

Don’t make someone else the hero of your survival story. After all you’ve been through, you deserve the credit. No therapist, conference or book took those steps for you. You did. Nothing can touch the depths of how hard you’ve worked to overcome. You should be so proud.
– Nate Postlethwait

RAIN LIGHT
All day the stars watch from long ago
my mother said I am going now
when you are alone you will be all right
whether or not you know you will know
look at the old house in the dawn rain
all the flowers are forms of water
the sun reminds them through a white cloud
touches the patchwork spread on the hill
the washed colors of the afterlife
that lived there long before you were born
see how they wake without a question
even though the whole world is burning
– W.S. Merwin

Grinding the Lens
by Linda Gregg
I am pulling myself together.
Don’t want to go on a trip.
I have painted the living room white
and taken out most of my things.
The room has never been so empty.
Just now a banging thunder
and suddenly falling rain.
I leave the typewriter and run
outside in my nightgown and take
the cotton blanket off the line.
It is summer and I am in the middle
of my life. Alone and happy.

I was desperate to write a novel, but I didn’t have a story. Whenever I tried to write fiction it was all about my own inner bullshit.
– Gary Indiana

Poets friends the enemy.
– Frank Stanford

I’m a failure as a writer. I’m out of fashion: old: shan’t do any better: have no headpiece: the spring is everywhere: my book… a damp firework.
– Virginia Woolf

W.E.B. Du Bois, at age 70, talked about how thankful he was that he got to do work, at a variety of places, that he found meaningful and interesting, to earn a living. Reading that made me happy.
– tamara k. nopper

even where the puppy
sleeps…
red fallen leaves
– Issa Kobayashi

my life, ah my alien life,
is like an echo of nostalgia
bringen blue screens to bury clouds rinsen wite stones stretched among the sea
– Sonia Sanchez

Nothing beats kindness… It sits quietly beyond all things.
– Charlie Mackesy

We all are born whole but somehow the culture demands that we live out only part of our nature and refuse other parts of our inheritance.
– Robert A. Johnson

For many of us, the body is more repressed and denied than even the mind or the heart. It makes both presence and healing quite difficult, because the body, not just our mind, holds our memories.
– Richard Rohr

The medicine you carry is not just for others.

It’s for your healing too.

Receive it.

– Dr. Thema

Despite our rationalistic illusions, Nature rules us from deep within, without our awareness.
– Gary Bobroff

The bourgeoisie loves
so-called ‘positive’ types
and novels with happy endings
since they lull one into thinking
that it is fine
to simultaneously acquire capital
and maintain one’s innocence,
to be a beast and still be happy.
– Anton Chekhov

If you know yourself on the heart level, beyond conceptual knowledge, people’s opinions about you cannot determine your happiness anymore. You are deeply rooted in your being where there is unshakable harmony with life.
– Guthema Roba

America is a mess of contradictions. It was the first modern democracy, and it is arguably the most broken developed democracy today. It is the most idealistic nation, which established much of the international system, and it routinely breaks international law. It is a friendly nation known for mass shootings, an innovative nation that cannot seem to reinvent itself.

It is common on the left to bemoan America’s flaws, but we should be less concerned with what America is than what it might become; and we should be less concerned with what it might become than what we might make of it. For like most things in life, America is only as good as our best efforts to make it better.

It is this willingness to artfully mould its clay into something more beautiful that is the essence of true patriotism. We might not like the lump of wet dirt that has been thrust into our laps by the accidents of our birth, but our commitment to humanity can be measured by our willingness to craft it into something more meaningful.

America is simply the idea of a nation, and it is constantly being transformed from one generation to the next. And while many would wish to shrink it down to a white ethnic core, it continues to grow in diversity. We are enriched by our increasing racial and ethnic diversity, but we are are also enriched by the countless ways of being pioneered by each generation.

The progress of our nation can be measured by the fact that each generation has a wider range of ideas and sentiments available for expression than the last. The possibilities have been cumulative insofar as each generation has access to a bigger storehouse of music and films, literature and theory. But they have also imprinted themselves on the culture, which bears the markings of past generations.

There are simply more sources to draw from in defining our Americanness, and if we want to transform our nation into something better, we should raid the storehouse in search of the best model to suit the moment. It is also from this storehouse of freedoms that we must sift in the effort to meet real human needs for dignity and security, moral equality and opportunity.

We may be more unequal, and we may be more divided; we may be more anxious and worried, angry and resentful, than previous generations. But we have more to draw from in making it better, more history, more models, more poetry, more examples. And it is only in aspiring to be better that we can transform our national identity.

As President Obama reminded us, we are engaged in an argument across the generations about who we are as a people and the meaning we attach to our shared national endeavor. And it is from this ongoing dialogue that we draw our ideals and criticisms of the nation.

Americanness is not a static idea but a contested identity. We can make it bigger and richer and more inclusive. We can include more of who we really are in it. We can include more of what we must confront in it.

It can account for how we destroyed the planet and how we will save, how we enslaved a portion of our population and how we will redeem ourselves by overcoming our racist past and owning up to our unconscious racial biases—but only if we engage in the struggle to build a more perfect union.

And that takes hard work, and it takes courage. But it also takes solidarity and camaraderie. America is faced with a fascist challenge more threatening to our freedom than Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union, for it comes from within. Yet, it can be beaten by offering something better in its place, a more inspiring vision of who we are and what we might become, and if we are lucky an integration of the highest progressive ideals and the most grounded conservative common sense.

That may not mean meeting in the middle of our current political spectrum. After all, that spectrum is deeply skewed to the right due to the disproportionate voting power of small rural states, the flood of cash in elections, decades of neoliberal indoctrination, an inability to honor the lives of future generations, and the audacity of an increasingly fascist Supreme Court. But it does mean framing our aspirations in terms that can inspire the masses.

And it means setting to work in winning some elections.

– Theo Horesh, Global Future of Democracy

Sometimes I find myself thinking, rather wistfully, about Lao Tzu’s famous dictum: ‘Govern a great nation as you would cook a small fish.’
All around me I see something very different, let us say—a number of angry dwarfs trying to grill a whale.
– William Carlos Williams

Men and women alike as writers may wander lonely as a cloud, or simply scratch their tired ironical behinds, quite unmindful that the neofascists hope to make us only workers in a theme park for the convenience of the global economy.
– Jim Harrison

From the earliest times, magic and music have stood under the rule of the Archetypal Feminine, which in myth and fairy tale is also the mistress of transformation, intoxication, and enchanting sound.
– Erich Neumann

W.E.B. Du Bois said, “Never work after midnight.”

When you go,
if you go,
And I should want to die,
there’s nothing I’d be saved by
more than the time
you fell asleep in my arms
in a trust so gentle
I let the darkening room
drink up the evening, till
rest, or the new rain
lightly roused you awake.
I asked if you heard the rain in your dream
and half dreaming still you only said, I love you.
– Edwin Morgan

There are great discussions going on whether or not to view Buddhism as a religion.

For me, Buddhism exists outside the European frame of whether things are EITHER scientific or spiritual.

– Ethan Nichtern

you don’t have to buy into the cliquishness of the lit world to be successful or make friends with the right editors. just be respectful to everyone. root for all. write your things. keep writing them. be a loner or ghost but be a kind ghost, always. haunt the world with love.
– Matthew Burnside

People get emotionally attached to their working hypothesis as though it were an eternal truth, and then naturally this becomes a prison which hampers the development of consciousness, as much as it once before helped it along.
– Marie Louise von Franz

I had an irresistible desire to make a last effort to awaken your memory.
– Stefan Zweig

Poetry is an incessant amorous search under the sign of love for a remembered time at the pitch-dark fringes of evening when we gathered together to bless and believe.
– Susan Howe

My method of study was to drift from rock to rock and grove to grove. I’d sit for hours watching the birds or squirrels, or looking into the faces of flowers. When I discovered a new plant, I sat beside it for a minute or a day, to make its acquaintance and try to hear what it had to tell me.
– John Muir

So we live, we write, we love, as pilgrims, knowing and trusting that we will be “redeemed from fire by fire.”

At the conclusion of Little Gidding, Eliot echoes Julian again:

And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

Beyond the fires of suffering, regeneration, and illumination comes oneness: the unity experienced only by the beatified, who, having come to their end, are at their beginning, and “know the place for the first time.”

They are the ones who are awake, having been drawn by Love and drawn breath from Love’s air.

– Tessa Carman

Sometimes the very walls of our churches separate us from God and each other. In our various naves and sanctuaries we are safely separated from those outside, from other denominations, other religions, separated from the poor, the ugly, the dying.…
The house of God is not a safe place. It is a cross where time and eternity meet, and where we are – or should be – challenged to live more vulnerably, more interdependently.
– Madeleine L’Engle

THE HEART OF MEDITATION

People sometimes ask me, do you meditate?
The answer is no, I don’t.

Or, well, yes, I do, depending on how you define meditation. I have no formal meditation practice. No schedule. No technique. No incense. No guru photos on my side table. I never tell myself, “I am meditating now”.

And yet, throughout the day, I find myself deep in meditation. Absorbed in the Immediacy. What is this meditation, then? Pure fascination with this moment,
exactly as it is.

Allowing everything to be.

Drenching one’s present experience in curiosity.

Not adding anything.
Not taking anything away.
No goal. No seeking. No agenda.
No special state to attain.
No special experience to have.

Pure wonder.
The extraordinary ordinariness of what is.
Life being lived.

Ultimately it’s not something I’m doing.
Ultimately it’s who I truly am.
This wide open, child-like, innocent awareness, gently absorbing every sound, sight, smell, sensation, feeling, tenderly pulling in a ‘world’, yes, embracing a world as a mother embraces her young child.

I am the mother of my world, then.
I am the space that holds the ordinariness.
I am the silence at the heart of things.
I am the Capacity for joy and great sorrow.
I need never seek a more ‘alive’, a more ‘profound’ or ‘spiritual’ experience, for this ordinary moment is so profoundly holy. So beautiful. Awash with grace.

Complete. Always complete.

The cracked glass of a bus shelter.
The look on a stranger’s face, both concealing and betraying aeons of pain and longing.
The chill on my cheek as I walk to meet a good friend.

I used to meditate.
Meditation got into my very bones.
Now I am meditation.
The vastness that holds an entire world.

– Jeff Foster

Again, Always

Your palm crushes
a clove of garlic.
I watch feverishly.
God, the dark garden
of your hair.
You are my favorite
marble
jaw, freckled
smile – good
heart, quick mind :
Fig me into desire. Endlessly.
You are what time is for.

– @olicketysplit

We must all try to empathize before we criticize. Ask someone what’s wrong before telling them they are wrong.
– Simon Sinek

Surely the greatest tragedy for men in regard to the feminine principle is that their fear alienates them from their own anima, the principle of relatedness, feeling and connection to the life force. This alienation from self obliges alienation from other men as well.
– James Hollis

In the cold wind, if you can lean against others, none of you will blow away. You keep each other from falling or help each other get back up. Someone holds out a hand, or even scared old you may hold out a hand, and a person in need reaches for it and hangs on.
– Anne Lamott

Just as we tend to assume that the world is as we see it, we naively suppose that people are as we imagine them to be.
– CG Jung

Water is the transitional medium between the realms of the divine and the human; and in psychological terms, from the unconscious into consciousness. As Neumann adds, “The primal ocean … is the source not only of creation but of wisdom too.”
– Erel Shalit

Peace in your exhaustion
peace in your collapse
peace in your rising

Peace in your second wind
peace in your plodding on
peace in your soaring

Peace in your wrapping up
peace in your giving up
peace in your resting

Peace & rest
peace & rest

– Jessica Kantrowitz

The miracle of the ordinary is as close as the cedar tree in our backyard . . . if only we can learn to let go, even for a moment, of our obsession with doing, with making things happen, controlling, explaining, manipulating, thinking.
– C. W. Huntington Jr.

A sign that appears
day after day
is not a sign
– Rae Armantrout

Humanity’s “progress of knowledge” and the “evolution of consciousness” have too often been characterized as if our task were simply to ascend a very tall cognitive ladder with graded hierarchical steps that represent successive developmental stages in which we solve increasingly challenging mental riddles, like advanced problems in a graduate exam in biochemistry or logic. But to understand life and the cosmos better, perhaps we are required to transform not only our minds but our hearts. For the whole being, body and soul, mind and spirit, is implicated. Perhaps we must go not only high and far but down and deep. Our world view and cosmology, which defines the context for everything else, is profoundly affected by the degree to which all out faculties–intellectual, imaginative, aesthetic, moral, emotional, somatic, spiritual, relational–enter the process of knowing. How we approach “the other,” and how we approach each other, will shape everything, including out own evolving self and the cosmos in which we participate.
– Richard Tarnas

The peculiar predicament of the present-day self surely came to pass as a consequence of the disappointment of the high expectations of the self as it entered the age of science and technology. Dazzled by the overwhelming credentials of science, the beauty and elegance of the scientific method, the triumph of modern medicine over physical ailments, and the technological transformation of the very world itself, the self finds itself in the end disappointed by the failure of science and technique in those very sectors of life which had been its main source of ordinary satisfaction in past ages.
– Walker Percy

When you know that every problem is only a false problem, you are dangerously close to salvation.
– Emil M. Cioran

One is born either to go with or to go against.
– Jean Rhys

We must find presence in absence, history in forgetfulness, love in war. We must find life in death.
– Shahé Mankerian and Vahe Berberian

Do you remember when your
love turned attic-trapped bird
and started slamming its own
feathers out against the windows,\
wild-eyed and desperate?
– Rachel Wiley

It’s not necesssary to imagine a huge, ideal image of human life, where all sentient beings live in peace and harmony. Actually we should do small things, just small things in order to move toward a life of peace and harmony. This is really the practice of giving. It is a simple practice.
– Katagiri Roshi

o grey sky, please find within you a deeper pigment.
even your blue now is only smoke. the grass turned
green when i wasn’t looking, but the trees remain bare
and the sky remains grey and even the lake is this sad
sickly green. o world, won’t you change for me

just this once? won’t you paint for me a scene worth living in?
won’t you reach your earthly fingers into me and pull out this
sorrow, replace it with anything else? if only you’d stop reflecting
me i could stop seeing myself everywhere i turn.

– BEE LB

The sun
Glints on us! But the shadows
Of not-love come.
– Robert Bly

drinking tea
unaware of the
winds of autumn
– Basho

The simple lack of her is more to me than others’ presence.
– Edward Thomas

[P]eople often tend to experience not what they expect or want, but what they appear to require or need on their particular thresholds of psychological and spiritual development.
– William A. Richards, Sacred Knowledge

When we try 2 see a damaged person as 1 of God’s regular old customers, instead of a lost cause, it takes the pressure off everybody. We can then loosen our death grip on the person, which usually results in progress 4 every1, also known in certain circles as grace.
– Anne Lamott

LONG AFTERNOONS

Those were the long afternoons when poetry left me.
The river flowed patiently, nudging lazy boats to sea.
Long afternoons, the coast of ivory.
Shadows lounged in the streets, haughty manikins in shopfronts
stared at me with bold and hostile eyes.

Professors left their schools with vacant faces,
as if the Iliad had finally done them in.
Evening papers brought disturbing news,
but nothing happened, no one hurried.
There was no one in the windows, you weren’t there;
even nuns seemed ashamed of their lives.

Those were the long afternoons when poetry vanished
and I was left with the city’s opaque demon,
like a poor traveler stranded outside the Gare du Nord
with his bulging suitcase wrapped in twine
and September’s black rain falling.

Oh, tell me how to cure myself of irony, the gaze
that sees but doesn’t penetrate; tell me how to cure myself
of silence.

– Adam Zagajewski

Crossing
The water is one thing, and one thing for miles.
The water is one thing, making this bridge
Built over the water another. Walk it
Early, walk it back when the day goes dim, everyone
Rising just to find a way toward rest again.
We work, start on one side of the day
Like a planet’s only sun, our eyes straight
Until the flame sinks. The flame sinks. Thank God
I’m different. I’ve figured and counted. I’m not crossing
To cross back. I’m set
On something vast. It reaches
Long as the sea. I’m more than a conqueror, bigger
Than bravery. I don’t march. I’m the one who leaps.
– Jericho Brown

Practice is a priority, and we must make it one in our lives. Whenever we become busy, the first thing we usually let go of is study and practice. We can make many excuses: “Oh, I have to attend a meeting,” or “I have to do some work,” for example. Work itself does not prevent us from doing what we need to do. It does not, for instance, prevent us from eating or sleeping, so there is no point in fooling ourselves. It would be best to acknowledge that we have not yet understood the significance of study and practice and that it is not our top priority.
– Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

Whatever we pay attention to becomes famous to us.
– Naomi Shihab Nye

Many humans are deluded,
craving, seeking.
But the wise wake up,
fix their attention to the sublime,
and let their bodies
change with the seasons.
– Bodhidharma

A forgotten truth is that you can live through actual events of history & completely miss the underlying reality of what’s going. What history misses, myth clearly expresses. The myth in the hands of a genius give us a clear picture of the inner import of life itself.
– Tom Harpur

Many humans are deluded,
craving, seeking.
But the wise wake up,
fix their attention to the sublime,
and let their bodies
change with the seasons.
– Bodhidharma

Fathers, do not let your sons forget

Do not let your sons forget
where their essence was just formed,
when their bodies were most vulnerable,
they were protected by the womb of a woman.

If they ever call all women weak,
remind them of the strength of their mother
who pulled her whole body apart
to give theirs a home.

– Nikita Gill, Your Soul is a River

It’s hard to see great things fall, whether they be trees or people or towns, whether they fall from age or fire or wind or illness or violence.

May all beings take solace in the existence of those great things (remembering that all of us have within us some form of ‘greatness’), and use their legacy as inspiration to be part of peace blooming across the land.

– Heidi Barr

I’m ready for new experiences that I don’t need to heal from.
– Ehime Ora

Because of my health, my energy has always had to be harvested, preserved, and directed at work.
– Hilary Mantel

If you mean to undertake something vast, they say, you’ve every reason to expect that there’ll be something vast in the offing. But that doesn’t mean you’ll gain the prize, or that your dreams will come true. It just means that there’ll be a wake of sorts fanning out from your work, a web of consequence that you generate but don’t intend. It’s just a kind of psychic physics: “equal and opposite reaction”, and all that. It’s best to calculate for that, too if you’re able.
– Stephen Jenkinson

Instead of trying to turn your nightmare into a good dream maybe it’s time to wake up and dream a new dream.

You’re worthy of a new beginning.

– Dr. Thema

The poem is nothing but information. It is the Constitution of the inner country.
– Leonard Cohen

Let me say this before rain becomes a utility that they can plan and distribute for money. By ‘they’ I mean the people… who think that what has no price has no value, that what cannot be sold is not real..
– Thomas Merton

The true villain of the story is capitalism. We’re constantly seeing this refrain of ‘at least you’re getting paid,’ or ‘filling your pockets,’ or getting that double overtime, that holiday pay, those extra night shifts . . . ‘making that good money.’
– Kate Beaton

The mind is messy. It’s messy because it’s responding to its environment, which is also messy.

Practice doesn’t change that.

Practice changes how you navigate the mess.

Practice (eventually) helps you make less mess in the world, but the mind will always be a messy space.

– Ethan Nichtern

The problem with knowing people too well is that their words stop meaning anything and their silences start meaning everything.
– Elan Mastai

Nothing Ventured
Nothing exists as a block
and cannot be parceled up.
So if nothing’s ventured
it’s not just talk;
it’s the big wager.
Don’t you wonder
how people think
the banks of space
and time don’t matter?
How they’ll drain
the big tanks down to
slime and salamanders
and want thanks?
– Kay Ryan

Do not save what is left after spending–
spend what is left after saving.
– Warren Buffett

Each escape
involved some art,
some hokum, and
at least a brief
incomprehensible
exchange between
the man and metal
– Kay Ryan

When I run after what I think I want, my days are a furnace of stress and anxiety; if I sit in my own place of patience, what I need flows to me, and without pain. From this I understand that what I want also wants me, is looking for me and attracting me. There is a great secret here for anyone who can grasp it.
– Rumi

Blame it or praise it,
there is no denying
the wild horse in us.
– Virginia Woolf

My early physical misfortune has turned out to be the greatest blessing that could have come to me. Without it I should have missed all the grim struggle upward and the reward that waited at the end of it all.
– Annette Kellermann

Oh, right, I keep forgetting,
for lots and lots of people in the world,
the notion of ‘falling in love’
has (of all things) sexual connotations.
No, that’s not what I think is happening.
For me, what falling in love means is different.
It’s a matter of suddenly, globally, ‘knowing’
that another person represents
your only access to some vitally
transmissible truth
or radiantly heightened mode of perception,
and that if you lose the thread of this intimacy,
both your soul and your whole world
might subsist forever in some desert-like
state of ontological impoverishment.
– Eve Sedgewick, A Dialogue on Love

Where there is sorrow, there is holy ground.
– Oscar Wilde

The right ones expand you – expand your heart, mind, breath, dreams, and spirit.

If you find yourself shrinking, don’t ignore it.

– Dr. Thema

Listen to the hummingbird
whose wings you cannot see,
listen to the hummingbird —
don’t listen to me.

Listen to the mind of God,
which doesn’t need to be,
listen to the mind of God —
don’t listen to me.

– Leonard Cohen

When I say the feminine, I don’t mean gender. I mean the feminine principle that is living or suppressed in both men & women. The feminine principle attempts to relate. Instead of breaking things off into parts, it says, Where are we alike? How can we connect?
– Marion Woodman

How much more neoliberalism must we have before we accept that markets don’t solve social problems?
– Dr. Genevieve Guenther

deepening dusk
having no regrets
for roads not taken
– @Meraki_k

unsure of way
winter wind
blowing in all directions
– @Meraki_k

Our hearts cannot apprehend that they are imaginatively thinking hearts because we have so long been told that the mind thinks and the heart feels and that imagination leads us astray from both.
– James Hillman

Note to Wang Wei
how could you be so happy, now some thousand years
disheveled, puffs of dust?
It leaves me uneasy at last,
your poems tease me to the verge of tears
and your fate. It makes me think.
It makes me long for mountains & blue waters.
Makes me wonder how much to allow.
(I’m reconfirming, God of bolts & bangs,
of fugues and & bucks, whose rocket burns and & sings.)
I wish we could meet for a drink
in a ‘freedom from ten thousand matters.’
Be dust myself pretty soon; not now.
– John Berryman

But longing is momentum in disguise: It’s active, not passive; touched with the creative, the tender, and the divine. We long for something, or someone. We reach for it, move toward it. The word longing derives from the Old English langian, meaning ‘to grow long,’ and the German langen—to reach, to extend. The word yearning is linguistically associated with hunger and thirst, but also desire. In Hebrew, it comes from the same root as the word for passion.

The place you suffer, in other words, is the same place you care profoundly—care enough to act.

– Susan Cain

Two thousand years ago, Aristotle wondered why the great poets, philosophers, artists, and politicians often have melancholic personalities. His question was based on the ancient belief that the human body contains four humors, or liquid substances, each corresponding to a different temperament: melancholic (sad), sanguine (happy), choleric (aggressive), and phlegmatic (calm). […] But Aristotle’s question never went away; it can’t. There’s some mysterious property in melancholy, something essential. Plato had it, and so did Rumi, so did Charles Darwin, Abraham Lincoln, Maya Angelou, Nina Simone … Leonard Cohen.

But what, exactly, did they have?

I’ve spent years researching this question, following a centuries-old trail laid by artists, writers, contemplatives, and wisdom traditions from all over the world. […] And I’ve concluded that bittersweetness is not, as we tend to think, just a momentary feeling or event. It’s also a quiet force, a way of being, a storied tradition–as dramatically overlooked as it is brimming with human potential. It’s an authentic and elevating response to the problem of being alive in a deeply flawed yet stubbornly beautiful world.

– Susan Cain

Never meet a lover
On an autumn night
That slithers like a silver fox
In a new moon’s light

Under trees where apples
Cling stubbornly to boughs

[…] But if you chance to meet him,
Ignore the moon-washed fruit,
Lest you be bound forever,
Leaf and branch and root.

– Marion Doyle

There’s an easy emptiness, and a hard emptiness.
[…]
The second one’s colorless, and far away,
as love is, or a resurrection.

– Charles Wright

Remembered landscapes are left in me
The way a bee leaves its sting,
hopelessly, passion-placed
Untranslatable language.

– Charles Wright

I include folklore to convey a sense of wonder. I mean, to me this world is incredibly wondrous, and it’s mysterious, and it’s very striking to me that we seem to be oblivious to that. And also I hope that by using folklore that, in a sense, it makes the world ‘bigger.’ Wider. I love that quote in Hamlet. ‘There are more things in heaven and earth …’ I love the idea that the world is so much more mysterious that we ever realize.
– Ron Rash

September tries to keep her from fading. Late afternoon sun seeps through the trees. Everywhere there’s light holds the color of her hair.
– Greg Sellers

Such living silences are more and more endangered…Even in conversation, here in North America, we who so eagerly unpack our most private concerns before strangers dread the imaginative space that silence might open between two people, or within a group.
– Adrienne Rich

The summer sun
was mighty fun,
but Autumn waits
beyond the gate,
and I’m not one
to meet it late!
– Fa Hsing Jeff Miles

How can I ask you to do good,
When we’ve barely withstood
Our greatest threats yet:

The depths of death, despair and disparity,
Atrocities across cities, towns & countries,
Lives lost, climactic costs.
Exhausted, angered, we are endangered,
Not because of our numbers,
But because of our numbness.

We’re strangers
To one another’s perils and pain,
Unaware that the welfare of the public
And the planet share a name–

–Equality
Doesn’t mean being the exact same,
But enacting a vast aim:

The good of the world to its highest capability.
The wise believe that our people without power
Leaves our planet without possibility.

Therefore, though poverty is a poor existence,
Complicity is a poorer excuse.
We must go the distance,

Though this battle is hard and huge,
Though this fight we did not choose,
For preserving the earth isn’t a battle too large
To win, but a blessing too large to lose.

This is the most pressing truth:
That Our people have only one planet to call home
And our planet has only one people to call its own.

We can either divide and be conquered by the few,
Or we can decide to conquer the future,
And say that today a new dawn we wrote,

Say that as long as we have humanity,
We will forever have hope.

Together, we won’t just be the generation
That tries but the generation that triumphs;
Let us see a legacy
Where tomorrow is not driven
By the human condition,
But by our human conviction.

And while hope alone can’t save us now,
With it we can brave the now,
Because our hardest change hinges
On our darkest challenges.

Thus may our crisis be our cry, our crossroad,
The oldest ode we owe each other.
We chime it, for the climate,
For our communities.

We shall respect and protect
Every part of this planet,
Hand it to every heart on this earth,
Until no one’s worth is rendered
By the race, gender, class, or identity
They were born. This morn let it be sworn
That we are one one human kin,
Grounded not just by the griefs
We bear, but by the good we begin.

To anyone out there:
I only ask that you care before it’s too late,
That you live aware and awake,
That you lead with love in hours of hate.

I challenge you to heed this call,
I dare you to shape our fate.
Above all, I dare you to do good
So that the world might be great.

– Amanda Gorman, An Ode We Owe

The depth to which we heal is the degree to which we are honest. There is no other way around it.
– Jack Adam Weber

Wait for an autumn day, for a slightly
weary sun, for dusty air,
a pale day’s weather.

Wait for the maple’s rough, brown leaves,
etched like an old man’s hands,
for chestnuts and acorns,

for an evening when you sit in the garden
with a notebook and the bonfire’s smoke contains
the heady taste of ungettable wisdom.

Wait for afternoons shorter than an athlete’s breath,
for a truce among the clouds,
for the silence of trees,

for the moment when you reach absolute peace
and accept the thought that what you’ve lost
is gone for good.
– Adam Zagajewski

OPEN HEART

Yes, I do have a personal practice. My practice is called “living human life” and I try to be regular in my practice. Sometimes I forget my practice and start doing bizarre and strange things like meditating or holding my breath or something. But the practice that I am really committed to is living ordinary human life…

I don’t think that there is any need for any practice beyond just being here on this planet meeting what life brings you with an open heart.

– Arjuna Nich Ardagh

Thank God for the fall. Summer nearly does me in every year. It’s too hot, and the light is unforgiving, and the days go on way too long.
– Anne Lamott

The ego keeps its integrity only if it does not identify with one of the opposites, and if it understands how to hold the balance between them.
– CG Jung

A Little While

A little while when I am gone
My life will live in music after me,
As spun foam lifted and borne on
After the wave is lost in the full sea.

A while these nights and days will burn
In song with the bright frailty of foam,
Living in light before they turn
Back to the nothingness that is their home.

– Sara Teasdale

There’s more than kindness that’s involved in love.
Love also has to confront…
Love isn’t patient with injustice.
Love isn’t patient with cruelty.
Love isn’t patient with poverty.
– Rev Jacqui Lewis

It happens sometimes that I must say to an older patient: “Your picture of God or your idea of immortality is atrophied, consequently your psychic metabolism is out of gear.
– CG Jung

Reclaiming my name after losing it so many times as a child means I’ve come into my own.
– Ina Cariño

along a moonlit river
our thoughts moving
with the water
– Etsujin

We’re all addictive thinkers. The challenge with obsessive thinking clinically is that it’s very, very much fear driven, so in a way, it’s a question about how to work with the fears that are underneath the thinking. And that takes a tremendous amount of self-compassion.
– Tara Bracht

To strive for perfection is to kill love because perfection does not recognize humanity.
– Marion Woodman

We would like the second half of life to be clutter free. Guess again. Fate, the movement of the deep forces of nature, the autonomous powers of our history, and our own choices will take us to swamplands from time to time, and [nothing] will spare us from such descents.
– James Hollis

If you live in a world of loops (loops of causation and of physical flows) don’t put your trust in linear thinkers.

Spoiler: you do live in a world of loops.

– Dr. Elizabeth Sawin

pretty wildflower,
what name you go by
curiously i wonder!
– @Meraki_k

If the imagery of the society doesn’t bring your unconscious into play in its conscious world, you have a kind of dead situation. You become lost in a wasteland.
– Joseph Campbell

Doing tasks fully and thoroughly can help ground us while also providing a sense of accomplishment and, by extension, an enhanced sense of agency.
– Christopher Ives

Soul, to me, means “embodied essence,” when we experience ourselves and others in our full humanity – part animal, part divine. Healing comes through embodiment of the soul.
– Marion Woodman

Get a ‘good’ job. Fuck the planet.
Buy your own car. Fuck the planet.
Jet off on holiday. Fuck the planet.
Then buy loads of stuff. Fuck the planet some more.

Everything we strive for in this fossil fueled system fucks the planet.

If we want to survive, WE have to change.

– @ClimateDad77

Put complete sentences in your poems you cowards
– @vanopticon

I’ve been called a stylist until I really could tear my hair out. And I simply don’t believe in style. The style is you.
– Katherine Anne Porter

Your own mind is a sacred enclosure into which nothing harmful can enter except by your permission.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

autumn rain
when did things get
so dark?
– Jason Gould

To me, art is that most profound form of expression because it integrates the body, experience, intellect, and the senses.
– Melissa Febos

the daily promise
to improve tomorrow
goes unfulfilled
– James Welsh

if we must both be right.
we will lose each other.
–– exile
– Nayyirah Waheed

soft rustle
of autumn leaves—
a quiet sorry
whispered
but never heard
– @moscowdandelion

Autumn

Shorter and shorter now the twilight clips
The days, as though the sunset gates they crowd,
And Summer from her golden collar slips
And strays through stubble-fields, and moans aloud,

Save when by fits the warmer air deceives,
And, stealing hopeful to some sheltered bower,
She lies on pillows of the yellow leaves,
And tries the old tunes over for an hour.

The wind, whose tender whisper in the May
Set all the young blooms listening through th’ grove,
Sits rustling in the faded boughs to-day
And makes his cold and unsuccessful love.

The rose has taken off her tire of red—
The mullein-stalk its yellow stars have lost,
And the proud meadow-pink hangs down her head
Against earth’s chilly bosom, witched with frost.

The robin, that was busy all the June,
Before the sun had kissed the topmost bough,
Catching our hearts up in his golden tune,
Has given place to the brown cricket now.

The very cock crows lonesomely at morn—
Each flag and fern the shrinking stream divides—
Uneasy cattle low, and lambs forlorn
Creep to their strawy sheds with nettled sides.

Shut up the door: who loves me must not look
Upon the withered world, but haste to bring
His lighted candle, and his story-book,
And live with me the poetry of Spring.

– Alice Cary

Turning Back
by Joan Naviyuk Kane

I wished to be closer to my mother
to think of displacement in a different way.

To part the bright green new growth
of a plant she has asked me to gather.

We never imagined so many years apart.
I have no way to make amends.

Set adrift, I wanted to stay near the shore
of something familiar but instead I trace

the shape of tuqaayuk, sea lovage, wild
celery, with something other than my tongue.

I wish for my family to be its own refuge,
for the sorrow to become something islandic.

Someplace we can travel back to together
if we have to, if we make it through these days.

In the name of daybreak and the eyelids of morning and the wayfaring moon and the night when it departs, I swear I will not dishonor my soul with hatred, but offer myself humbly as a guardian of nature, a healer of misery, a messenger of wonder and an architect of peace.
– Diane Ackerman

The vast majority of us are worried about climate change: and we should be. We’re conducting an unprecedented experiment with the only home we have. But it’s what we do with that fear that matters. Don’t let it paralyze you — use it to fuel your action.
– Prof. Katharine Hayhoe

I cannot close the door of this enchanted place
by Marcella Durand

I cannot close the door of this enchanted place, because I have it in my heart.
– Philippe Jaccottet

I broke the word at the same place
it was smashed by a rock or
a pine cone, a mushroom grew out of it
a woman told me: mushrooms are invasive

so I wrote a bee-sized poem
and I read it to a bee who seemed
uncaring—it chose pollen over
my words, as city planners choose money

and trouble, and construction men
in their yellow vests and hardhats,
millions of them about the park
they love to dig in the park

as I love to cry in front of them
and look mournfully with my large
black velvet sad eyes at the fences
they have set up between them and me

the bulldozer backs up almost
to my hands held out, and further
it breaks upon the forest, its body
as yellow as being betrayed—

the forest after everything
has been cut down, a few
trees, a few squirrels, some
paper on the ground to remember it by

Is it really still cringe to belong to an ingroup? We are so fucked.

If you can’t surrender your egocentrism to a larger group identity what the hell are you even doing?

If you can’t release your tribal identity and become a human being, what the hell are you doing?

If you can’t let go of being a human, and identify with the planet and all it’s inhabitants…

– @VinceFHorn

Without an understanding of myth or religion, without an understanding of the relationship between destruction and creation, death and rebirth, the individual suffers the mysteries of life as meaningless mayhem alone.
– Marion Woodman

There are so many kinds of time. The time by which we measure our lives. Months and years. Or the big time, the time that raises mountains and makes stars. Or all the things that happen between one heartbeat and the next. Its hard to live in all those kinds of times. Easy to forget that you live in all of them.
– Robert Charles Wilson

Next time you have to make a decision, be sure to breathe in and out first.
– Thich Nhat Hahn

Make sustained contact with something undomestic, sacred, and tremendously powerful. Something for the good. Something filled with bone. Fall in love with it. This first covenant supplies energy, rapture, joy. Less heaven, less hell, more luminous reality.
– Martin Shaw, The Age of Bear and Raven

If time is a circle, as the Indigenous world view presumes,the knowledge we need is already within the circle.
– Robin Wall Kimmerer, Ancient Green

On the Deaths of Friends
by Billy Collins

Either they just die
or they get sick and die of the sickness
or they get sick, recover, then die of something else,
or they get sick, appear to recover,
then die of the same thing,
the sickness coming back
to take another bite out of you
in the forest of your final hours.

And there are other ways,
which will not be considered here.
In the evening, I closed my eyes
by the water’s edge and I pretended
this is what it will look like
or will not look like,
this is where my friends keep going,
a “place” only in quotation marks,

where instead of oxygen, there is silence
unbroken by the bark of a fox in winter
or the whine of an unattended kettle.
With eyes still closed,
I ran in the dark toward that silence,
like a man running along a train platform,
and when I opened my eyes to see
who was running in the other direction

with outspread arms,
there was the lake again with its ripples,
a breeze coming off the water,

and a low train whistle,
and there was I trembling
under the trees, passing clouds,
and everything else that was pouring
over the mighty floodgates of the senses.

There is no scripture in which contradiction
does not exist. It is the contradiction which
makes the music of the message.
– Hazrat Inayat Khan

There are loves that cannot
move from one place to another.
They must die in their place and time
like a ruined piece of furniture
destroyed along with the house that shelters it.
– Yehuda Amichai

summer breeze,
even that snail is
swifter than you!
– @Meraki_k

“What the herd hates the most is the one who thinks differently. It is not so much the opinion itself, as the audacity of wanting to think for themselves. Something they do not know how to do.”
– Schopenhauer

René Char taught me, first, to read particulars: that the meticulously observed detail, drawn from nature, could provide the key to the deepest reaches of the imaginary.
– Gustaf Sobin

A poem is not the same thing
as a baby. But neither are easy
to make, despite what you think.
Both are made from love
or last minute.
– Ebony Stewart

Nass River

Tent tethered among jackpine and bluebells.
Lacewings rise from rock
incubators. Wild geese flying north.
And I can’t remember who I am supposed
to be.

I want to learn how to purr. Abandon
myself, have mistresses in maidenhair
fern, own no tomorrow nor yesterday:
a blank shimmering space forward and
back. I want to think with my belly.
I want to name all the stars animals
flowers birds rocks in order to forget
them, start over again. I want to
wear the seasons, harlequin, become
ancient and etched by weather. I
want to snow pulse, ruminating
ungulating, pebble at the bottom of the
abyss, candle burning darkness rather
than flame. I want to peer at things,
shameless, observe the unfastening,
that stripping of shape by dusk.

I want to sit in the meadow a rotten
stump pungent with slimemold, home
for pupae and grubs, concentric rings
collapsing into the passacaglia of
time. I want to crawl inside someone
and hibernate one entire night with
no clocks to wake me, thighs fragrant
loam. I want to melt. I want to swim
naked with an otter. I want to turn
insideout, exchange nuclei with the
Sun. Toward the mythic kingdom of
summer I want to make blind motion,
using my ribs as a raft, following
the spiders as they set sail on their
tasseled shining silk. Sometimes
even a single feather’s enough
to fly.

And I can’t remember who I am supposed to be.

– Robert Maclean

We’d like to introduce ourselves
We are a new generation of spiritual inquirers

We no longer require second-hand answers
Our spirituality goes beyond cosmic guilt and punishment
And ‘us and them’ thinking

We no longer cling to holy books
For all books are holy

We don’t kill over truth
For truth is all around

We are willing to fearlessly face present experience
Without conclusions and without prejudice
Naked as the day we were born
Open to what comes

We are no longer waiting for life
Or some divine revelation in the future
For we see life in everything
Including the waiting for life
And God in all that we once rejected

We no longer dream of escape
Or some perfect “Heaven”
For we have relaxed into uncertainty
And doubt is an old friend
And not-knowing is dearly beloved
And imperfection is deeply holy to us

The body is included
“Mind” is not the enemy
Feelings are sacred
Sexuality is celebrated
We love the mess!

And we finally understand
That wisdom and compassion
Absolute and relative
Duality and nonduality
Transcendence and immanence
Personal and impersonal
Human and divine
Were never divided at all.

We are a new generation of spiritual inquirers
And if you have read this far
On some level
I think
you already
understand.

– Jeff Foster

I felt that afternoon such complete trust when she said to me suddenly, without being questioned, ‘I’ve never loved anybody or anything as I do you.’

We most of us hesitate to make so complete a statement – we remember and we foresee and we doubt. She had no doubt. The moment only mattered. Eternity is said to not be an extension of time but an absence of time, and sometimes it seemed to me that her abandonment touched that strange mathematical point of endlessness, a point with no width, occupying no space.
– Graham Greene

One only writes in order to erase again …
– Charles Wright

Gregory the Great spoke about compunctio, the holy pain, the grief somebody feels when face with that which is most beautiful… . The bittersweet experience steams from human homelessness in an imperfect world, human consciousness of, and at the same time, a desire for, perfection. This inner spiritual void becomes painfully real when faced with beauty. There, between the lost and the desired, the holy tears are formed.
– Owe Wikström

the need gotta be
so deep words can’t
answer simple questions
all night long notes
stumble off the tongue
& color the air indigo
so deep fragments of gut
& flesh cling to the song
you gotta get into it
so deep salt crystallizes on eyelashes
the need gotta be
so deep you can vomit up ghosts
& not feel broken
till you are no more
than a half ounce of gold
in painful brightness
– Yusef Komunyakaa

My affinity for serious movies and thought-provoking novels is all an attempt to recreate the beauty of my life’s most honest moments. I recognize that, in order to function in society, we cannot all walk around with our hearts constantly overflowing, so I visit these moments in my mind, re-experience them through art, and appreciate the occurrence of new, utterly vulnerable moments when they come.
– Susan Cain

I believe, that if we understood ourselves better, we would damage ourselves less.
– James Baldwin

[D]espair is the only cure for illusion. Without despair we cannot transfer our allegiance to reality-it is a kind of mourning period for our fantasies. Some people do not survive this despair, but no major change within a person can occur without it.
– Philip Slater

after a frost
some wildflowers
still in bloom
– Basho

but the river is not / about being heard, but about being / in motion
– José Angel Araguz

Always looking for what’s lacking is tiresome isn’t it?
– Vince Fakhoury Horn

I myself have known more than one person who owed his entire usefulness and reason for existence to a neurosis, which … forced him to a mode of living that developed his valuable potentialities.
– CG Jung

How I feel autumn’s ache.
– Virginia Woolf

joy
in being alone
autumn evening
– Ogawa

Pure pragmatism can’t imagine a bold future. Pure idealism can’t get anything done. It is the delicate blend of both that drives innovation.
– Simon Sinek

all programmes minimised
the blue sky of my screen-saver
prompts me to look
out there
– Satya Robyn

Mary Ruefle:

You grow old.
You love everybody.
You forgive everyone.
You think: we are all leaves
dragged along by the wind.
Then comes a splendid spotted
yellow one—ah, distinction!
And in that moment
you are dragged under.

It is the absence of facts that frightens people: the gap you open, into which they pour their fears, fantasies, desires.

You’re only young once, they say, but doesn’t it go on for a long time? More years than you can bear.

– Hilary Mantel

You write from what you know but you write into what you don’t know.
– Grace Paley

Jung points out that “the sick man has not to learn how to get rid of his neurosis but how to bear it. For the illness is not a superfluous and senseless burden, it is himself; he himself is that ‘other’ which we were always trying to shut out.”
– Sheldon B. Kopp

Respect for all sentient beings is not some groundless, idealistic sentiment. The need for such respect is based on clear intelligence, which is based on reviewing our lives objectively & taking note of 2 basic things:
what has always helped us
& what has always harmed us.
– Dzigar Kongtrul

Examine your own mental attitudes. Become your own therapist.
– Lama Yeshe

Uncertainty & mystery are energies of life. Don’t let them scare you unduly for they keep boredom at bay & spark creativity.
– R. Fitzhenry

Inside the brightest nook
of themselves, they are
everything they did
right, everything that
made sense at the time
still bringing
residual joy…
– Kamilah Aisha Moon

summer’s end
a book returned
by a friend
– Daniela Misso

Erich Neumann speaks of the “moral courage not to want to be either worse or better than [one] actually is.” This, he says, is a major part of the therapeutic aim of depth psychology.
– Andrew Bard Schmookler

That kind of silence,
without the crickets,
the old monk said.
– The Old Monk

last night Ursula K. Le Guin visited
my dreams and I said to her
“ Queernesss is a long thread of hurt”
and she answered “Now what will
you mend with that thread?’ and it
rocked me so hard I woke up crying
– @sagescrittore

I’ve known many people who have spent years exercising daily, getting massages, doing yoga, faithfully following one food or vitamin regimen after another, pursuing spiritual teachers and different styles of meditation, all in the name of taking care of themselves.

Then something bad happens to them and all those years don’t seem to have added up to the inner strength and kindness for themselves that they need to relate with what’s happening. And they don’t add up to being able to help other people or the environment.

When taking care of ourselves is all about me, it never gets at the unshakable tenderness and confidence that we’ll need when everything falls apart.
– Pema Chodron

We value ‘stuff’ more than nature, ‘experiences’ more than meaning.

Consumerism relentlessly floods our lives & minds with soulless clutter, detaching us from reality as our life support systems are murdered in plain sight.

Degrowth offers another way & it might just save us.

– @ClimateDad77

setting loose the stars
watching with delight
as they drift away…
– @LazyBookworm

Paradox is the essence of living. Perhaps the greatest paradox in man’s psyche is our longing for union, for peace, for solutions, though experience has taught us that it is our conflicts and our failures which are in fact our points of growth.
– Irene Claremont de Castillejo

While less than half a million people lived in areas experiencing unhealthy air at least one day per year a decade ago, that number has ballooned to over eight million in recent years – a 27-fold increase.
– David Wallace-Wells

For every thousand people alive on earth, 973 are regularly inhaling toxins. Only 27 are not. Which means, almost certainly, you are too.
– David Wallace-Wells