Thread
threes

thursday 15 march 02007 8:27am
after

i rain a thousand thousand kisses on your everything. i wish that i could kiss you until your skin was gone and your bones shined clean and then i would kiss you again until your bones melted and just the light of you was left, shining, shining, shining.

friday 20 october 02006 12:23am
and so it begins again

the blossoms fell, one
and then the next
and then the last

oh the last one fell
revealing
the fat new bud behind it.

friday 17 march 02006 4:30pm
lotus conference center triptych

1.

oh god, the tree!
oh god, the tree!
oh, god! the tree!
the light! the golden sunset.
god.

2.

long rolling mountains, the blue ridge.
long rolling river, the james.
a whisper: my beloved, james.
between the long rolling blue gray greenmountains
the long rolling blue gray clouds
and the river james:

golden sunset. golden sun.

the tree, the light.
god.

3.

the surface of her
cracks, melts, molts
falls away.
the surface i did not know was there
falls away
and the shining core of me
like the golden sunset

just
there.

saturday 4 march 02006 11:47am
on the other side of the gladiola

i cannot understand.

i can remove the limits that i have placed
on my willingness to comprehend

and expand.


eric's gladiola

petal tongue
blossom mouth
i recognize the gesture

the state: translucent
trans lucent
to let the light come through

to commit to the path of the blossom.

saturday 25 february 02006 5:00pm
hua zang si

after we left the hospital, we both felt shaken. after a couple of blocks, james said that he wasn’t sure he was ready to drive yet. i suggested that we pull over and walk a bit. just then we drove past this old church in the mission that's been turned into a buddhist temple. big soaring church painted deep red and black, and inside the glass main doors is a big buddha that fills the whole double-doored entryway. there were people entering and exiting the doors, and i said “there! let's go there!”

when we got to the door no one was going in and out any more. we walked in and there was a buddhist nun just inside in shaved head and robes. she gave us to another woman in lavender everyday clothing. i asked if we could look at the buddha for a moment, and she said "oh, yes," and smiled, and made it clear that we should follow her downstairs. we looked at each other and shrugged and followed her. we were a little confused, but it seemed like the thing to do. she led us into a huge chapel. the entire altar was filled with an enormous buddha, perhaps 15 feet tall, seated, eyes closed, golden. shining shining shining.

there was a cushion in front of the buddha, and i began to kneel there. the woman said no, and smiled, and pointed to some other cushions farther back. we asked if we could stay a moment, and the woman said yes, and stepped back a bit. we sat and meditated. we both felt not only back to normal, but deeply peaceful, with astonishing speed. it was strange and beautiful. we returned to the woman and thanked her, and she smiled and made it clear we should now follow her upstairs.

in the main chapel is a 21 foot tall buddha! the community was preparing for an event; there were women sewing and children running about, boxes of offerings. we stayed a moment and then (slightly nervously now!) thanked the woman again. this time she led us back to the front door, offered us some pamphlets, and told us to come again.

hua zang si

the universe is such a mystery. and yet it makes no effort to hide itself.

friday 17 february 02006 1:36pm
i didn't know she was a poppy until her husk fell away

upon waking one day i find
that her husk has broken
and fallen away

her poppy petals lovely
lurid
against the hairy husks of her kin.

for days she hangs her head;
i am weary, sad, feeling kinship
and guilt.

yesterday her first petal faded
and fell
which seemed to confirm my sadness.

minutes ago
i began to write this poem,
weeping.

as the words began to mark the page
a hunk of faded petals fell.

inside
a bundle of yellow stalks with golden tips
her own sun, shining.

friday 3 february 02006 4:19pm
the EG conference, squatting near yo-yo ma

his cello,
my body,
ten feet between us.

his bow moves,
my body
sings.

sunday 15 january 02006 12:35pm
steven david hoblit lives forever

today is the birthday
of one i love
who chose to leave his body.

my cheeks are crusty
with salt, my eyes
are shining. he is here.

he is gone.

beyond the clouds
the sun
is always shining.

thursday 12 january 02006 5:28pm
white petals, pink veins

before the blossoms die
the petals
become transparent

wednesday 4 january 02006 8:11am
the kitchen is cold today

fuzz in my toast
butter on my gloves

the amaryllis and i
are open

monday 2 january 02006 10:39am
white pot, brown earth, water

on the kitchen table
the amaryllis
sends from the heartbulb
a brilliant green stalk.

now, in the new year

rain falls
my heart is clean
blossoms
rise

toward the light.

tuesday 13 december 02005 11:35am
california pacific medical center, room 201
amba bhavani jaya jagadambe

ava
came early
at just the ripe moment.

at one point
in the first hour of her breath
ava was screaming.

i had not been invited to touch her yet
so i went to her
and sang.

she turned her face toward my voice.
she turned her face toward my voice
and open-blinked her eyes

which were still just testing the light.
i sang
she turned her face toward my voice

and listened
and was quiet.

thursday 1 december 02005 9:28am
at my desk, looking toward the redwood, the mountain, the sky

the first heavy rains of winter
wash my windows
and even the air
so clean
so clean
so clean.

-

lately i find peace in the buddhist heart sutra:
gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha

my favorite translation:
gone, gone, gone beyond, completely exposed, awake, so be it.

-

to read

to listen (track 10)

(track 11)

also, it is the heart of this entire book; presented in the first pages and returned to again and again.

sunday 2 january 02005 8:02am
as wild horses the wind (for india)

in the first days
it was as if, having been freed from her body
there was now a little more of her
in everything else
and everything
tasted like her.

the air, especially. the wind.

my home is ringed by mountains, this place
i call my home is ringed
by mountains
and sea.

in the first days
i would look out at the mountains and see her
in the wind in the long low clouds
above the mountains
along the sea

light, like brushwork, the energy of her
rushing along the horizon
her mane

the wind

and everything

tasted like her. as the days go by now it's more that she
tastes like everything, rather
than that vivid flash when she first got out, now
i feel her, so lightly

lighter now, but
everywhere
everywhere
everywhere

always.

* the title is this piece is from Joy Harjo's "The Dawn Appears With Butterflies"

saturday 27 november 02004 8:21am
the 99 beautiful names of god

allah
yahweh
jesus
lord
father
heavenly faather
holy father
creator
mother
gaia
goddess

the universe
cosmic consciousness
the divine
the beloved

mother earth
father sky
the great spirit

the whole of things

lord

hanuman
shiva
ganesha
parvati
durga
lakshmi

pan
bacchus
zeus
diana
mercury
aphrodite
demeter
artemis
cupid

saraswati
kali
brahma
brahman
vishnu
krishna

the grim reaper
yama
the angel of death
the angel of mercy

the holy spirit
the trickster
coyote

the force
prana
chi
vital energy
reiki
grace
light

angel
seraphim
guide
spirit
ghost
faery
kind

astarte
inanna
set
isis
osiris

zoroaster

odin

the unknown
all that is
all that is good
all that i hold dear
the ground i walk on
the infinite
the ocean of being

the stars
fate
the plan
his plan
him
what’s in store
in the cards
what is written
the prophets say
it has been foretold
our people
the nature of things
nature
the forces of nature

the voices
my heart
the truth
the true
the ancestors
those who came before
now
the moment
the cosmic dance
the illusion
the story
the world
existence
life

friday 26 november 02004 7:47am
the ninety-nine beautiful names of god

second-hand black cast iron pot
fancy grease-stained stainless steel kettle
wooden spoon
fiddle
flute

pale rose silk pajamas
lace-trimmed sheer white silk dressing gown
unwieldy organic unbleached cotton kimono
socks

scratchy bar of oatmeal soap
almond lavender liquid soap
sesame oil
almond oil
lavender oil
jasmine oil
sweet orange oil

sage
flame
shell
stone
bone
leaf
blossom
bud
bulb
dried up old husk of something unrecognizable
bit of bright green moss
flame-shaped hunk of moss
spanish moss

staghorn fern
mother’s fern
philodendron
orchid
amarylis
narcissus
ivy
maidenhair fern

spider
hairball
dried up old cherry tomato that rolled under the sideboard

basil
potato
celery
tart green granny smith apple
fat thumbprint cherry tomato
double-fisted turnip
wilting beet greens
fresh crisp spinach that jason picked on tuesday
pumpkin

ice
oven
door

window
window
window
window

sky framed by window
redwood framed by window
mountain framed by window

dawn in the bedroom
sunrise in the windows of the houses on the hill
sunset in the kittycorner kitchen windows
sunset over the mountain from the bay studio window

the full moon setting behind the tower on the mountain
james waking me to see it
james on the back porch photographing it in the middle of the night
james

his bathrobe
his white shirt
long black hairs in the bathtub in the bed in my clothes

once
on a train to sacramento while he was on a plane to hawaii
each of on our way to a wedding
i found a piece of his hair
on my favorite black bloomers
and i tied it around my wrist
and wore it there
all weekend

it scuffed the tiny hairs of my wrist and whispered
james
james
james
james

leopold the fat tabby maine coon yowler lover belly-hanging snuggler
oceana the tiny kernel in the bright halo of fluff, sharpest softest

and me

green jadeite mug from grandma
round olivewood tea scoop from sara
great-grandma’s shearling hat
grandma’s doilies
james’ grandmother’s quilt
great-grandma’s china
the antique haircatcher that sat on mom’s dresser when i was small
mom’s big twig basket that a carload of deadheads drove for me from new work to california ten years ago when i couldn’t fit it in the moving box
and they delivered it
light-colored basket i found on the street

card catalog from the old main library
medicine cabinet i found on the street
sideboard that came with the house

fork
knife
mirror
blanket
pillow
bed

and sleeping softly
james
james

thursday 25 november 02004 10:03am
the 99 beautiful names of god

he who is lost, and seeks to cause pain to match his own
he who is lost, and drowning
he who is lost and screaming
he who is lost.

the baby who was wanted, and did not stay
the baby who was asked to go
the baby who came, and stayed.

he who loves me
mother
he who loves mother
sister
brother
daddy

he who is lost.
we who are lost.

we who are lost, and seeking
we who are lost and found
we who are found
we who are home, home, home: forever home.

she who struggled, and could not stay.
her mother, who wears her white hands.
her father, who weeps.
the young mother lion who found her.
all of us who lost her, and have her.
the man who she pushed away.
and who she pulled close.

me.

you.

my mother.
my grandmother.
my great grandmother, who called me by another name, and did not know me
my great grandmother who i remember only in her bed

the grandfather who let me ride in the prow of his boat and enjoy the sun.
the grandfather who i cannot recall having looked at me.

the men who move about, quietly, making things ok.

the redwood, oh the redwood, the redwood in the yard behind the house
datura
fern
flowering maple
grewia
fuschia
baby’s tears
hydrangea
hellebore
ivy
vinca
bamboo
olive

mount sutro
sutro tower
the sunset, the sunrise, the bleak hazy sky of thanksgiving morning

you, asleep, forever nestled between your shoulderblades.
you, awake, my twin star.
you, awake and near
you, awake and far
beloved
james.

in my grief, those who held me
who fed me
who sent the car to fetch me
who called to tell me she was gone
who found her
who sorted her things
who told the stories of her life
who told the stories of her death

she who told me exactly what i needed to hear
she who listened
she who told me what i did not want to hear,
my fury,
and the grace that follows
she who took me to the beach, and walked with me there.

he who said nothing, only laid his hands on me.
he who said nothing, and did not ask to touch me.

the sky, who took me to her.

her cold dead hand. her cold dead hand. her cold dead hand.
india.
the wind.
india.
the wind.

she who is gone, and who lives forever.

the rose i lifted from her grave
the song i sent with her into it
the day i met her
the day she died

the screaming
the water
the wind

time; the illusion
love, the illusion
the truth of forever
the truth of union
the truth of now
now
now
now

and always, darling, you
and me.

saturday 6 march 02004 11:56am
geary and divis, after standing guard

this morning, tired
in sunshine
after a night spent on the floor
in the doorway
between one i love
and the knives

tired, in sunshine
i turn
and i lift my face to the light
i lift my face to the light
i lift my face to the light.