i

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every morning i wake, i wake
surprised. that life appears
again with each
opening of these eyes.
that eyes arise
with opening of each day.
that when both close, all i’s
fall away.

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Lotus

nature-wallpapers-lotus-flower-wallpaper-nature-computer-wallpapers-desktop-beautiful-sea-background

Lotus

Gurgling sounds woke me — (perhaps I needed to pee?) —
the sink had filled with water abundant enough to spill
out onto the floor and flow
in a sacred stream under the bathroom door.
In this lucid dream
within a dream I rose
from your father’s bed and followed the trail
to you, my son, a lotus blooming
improbably from a golden yoke on the belly of my ocean —
and I knew, like queen Maya upon receiving
a visitation by the sublime white elephant
that soon you would appear.

And now here you are — yes, here you all are! —
little lotuses mired in my mud.
Tying your nooses around your necks each morning
strangling yourselves a little more each day:
obediently becoming (for me)
what I never wanted
you to be.

*First published in Bluepepper

Rapture

walking-in-rain-gray
I have had a new poem, Rapture, published in Deep Water Literary Journal.

This fabulous new journal seeks to "become a haven for those who write about 
and produce artworks interpreting Darkness, whatever that may mean to the 
creator of the work". 

Their first issue for the year is themed 'Loss' - it contains some 
fantastic artwork, fiction, and poems. You can read mine below, or at 
Deep Water here.

Rapture

Looking through clear eyes
of imminent death, time
is a ponderous fruit,
hanging heavy and swollen
with possibility
in her pendulous swinging basket.

Globular and over-ripe
she blooms with all the days
you will not see,
a still life of
fecundity squandered,
without witness, unconsumed.

God, to take just one more
bite, and this time really savour
the sweet juices running
down the face
and the fingers sticky
and tingling with
the messiness of it all –

would be a rapture.
But, no matter:
we must carry on without her,

disentwining from this world
despite the drive to cling and cling and
aching from the amputated
limb of our projections, we are roused
by wise compulsion to accept
life has been spent,
and we must move on, relentlessly

on, without choice leaving
all those little things unsaid,
and undone,
without choice shedding
the slithery skin that houses us,
but locks us in, and further
our very sense of selves
must fall in cascades of disguise,
unravelling us for – the chill surprise!
of running naked, out into the rain.

Pray

birds1

Birds of prey
fly their victims
live into the eye-blue sky

with intent

to drop them, split them, kill them
and then feed upon them.

I long
to be that prey;
desire
to be sundered –

(like the sacrificial lamb, the turtle and the russet crab).

I
want my heart
to crack and scatter
its gems on the hard grey stone.

I
want my guts
to burst and spread
their filth on the grassy slopes.

I
want my brain
to splinter and pierce
you with its obsidian shards.

For
I
pray
to be a feast
of truth you will devour.

Was T. S. Eliot a Buddhist? by Michele Seminara

My essay, ‘Was T. S. Eliot a Buddhist?’ has been re-published in the wonderful Blue Hour Magazine. Please take a look, and while you’re there consider submitting something yourself – the editors, Susie and Moriah, are the loveliest around.

The Blue Hour

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.

T. S. Eliot – Four Quartets

Several years ago I taught a Buddhist class on the profound subject of emptiness, and I used this quote to illustrate what I felt was our true goal in life  – to consciously return home.

Not home in the sense of an external place, but as an internal place of perfect inner peace and connectedness – a state which Buddhists enticingly call the union of bliss and emptiness.

Bliss refers to our most subtle and clear-seeing level of mind, an intoxicating place existing deep down beneath the turbulence of our conceptions.

Emptiness is a little trickier. Essentially it is the theory of how things don’t exist – that is, they are empty of existing independently, either from all other phenomena, or from the minds that…

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Child’s Mind

picture of children's faces in baloons

‘Blue’n Red’ by Michael D. Edens

Little child with eyes like darts
please hurl them at my hardened heart;
perhaps they'll lodge in fissures there
explode and blow me wild and bare.

Little child with face like corn
field spreading wide as eye can see -
allow me to drown my dark dolor
in your anesthetizing sea.

Little child with mind like nascent
cloud on volatile day,
teach me how to dissipate
and gently fade away.