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2010 - Some Poems ‏

April 30, 2010

Diamonds sparkle in the air

 

And are quenched under water

 

salt was money in the desert
but worthless by the sea
Value is noticed when it is missing
The pure shines out of darkness
but is invisible among the angels
Insights illuminate space
But are lost among themselves
We hold precious what is not ordinary
Until we know that the ordinary is precious
And water that hides diamonds
Sparkles like them.

 

 

 

The Self-School

 

Mind’s  children  open the door

 

Hey! Look! No  locks any more

 

They all race out to place their attention

 

On sensations existing in every direction

 

The building is quiet, fills up with light

 

Awareness shines, expanded and bright

 

The Me resigns  and has nothing to do

 

Except send out an invitation, for You

 

 

 

Burning Burning Burning

 

Burning, Burning, Burning,

 

Said the Buddha,

 

Shopping, having, running, talking

 

Moving, spending, storing, building,

 

Needing, fighting, grasping, thinking

 

We burn with  the planet

 

If we cooled down

 

We’d find ourselves back home

 

And deserve it

 

 

 

A New Bird

 

A new bird arrives

 

Calls a strange cry

 

In the stillness

 

Quiet cuts silence

 

Is that the way the world is made?

 

Is that the way the world is known?

 

Beyond Measure

 

Meditate and measure

 

Come from the same root

 

Meditation is measuring

 

What is immeasurable

 

Until the measurer

 

Loses the ruler

 

 

 

Contamination

 

Walk like a sick man

 

Said the Burmese monk

 

Teaching mindful walking.

 

But I walk like a sick man

 

Because I am sick:

 

Contaminated, polluted

 

By effluents and waste

 

In the ocean of Samsara

 

 

 

Radishes

 

Thoughts are not needed

 

When planting radishes

 

They talk to each other

 

That’s quite enough noise

 

For one day

 

 

 

A Soft Green Touch

 

A gentle touch on the shoulder

 

A reminder to come back here

 

A Zen master wielding a feather

 

To brush me into awareness?

 

It was a soft green spring leaf

 

The carob tree stroking its guest

 

 

 

From Womb to Womb

 

Dark windy night, resting warm in bed

 

But wasn’t I in the same place

 

Earlier, this dark morning, as if a moment ago?

 

What was, in between the two darknesses?

 

A crude day that vanished as soon as it appeared

 

Actions, events, light, movement, fast forward

 

The timeless, black light before birth

 

The timeless black light after death

 

What happened in between the two wombs?

 

A pulse of disturbing white noise:

 

-          life!

 

 

 

The Anicca Syndrome

 

A degenerative disease

 

Generally irreversible

 

And recovery unlikely.

 

It has some of these symptoms:

 

Falling apart at the seams

 

Feelings of complete unreliability

 

About the body and mind

 

Unpredictability of automatic behaviours

 

Dissolution of bodily forms

 

Disturbances of expectations

 

Prognosis: bliss.

 

(Anicca in the Buddhist Pali language, means the realization of impermanence)

 

 

 

Awakening Doesn’t Exist

 

Awakening doesn’t exist

 

But in the search for it

 

We stumble between knowing and being

 

And  accidentally fall into something

 

While accidentally falling out of

 

Everything else.

 

 

 

The Glittering Tree

 

The Shopping Center

 

Pilgrims at the glittering windows

 

The  Tree of Good For Me, Bad For Me

 

Has 1000 offerings

 

And the Tree of Life

 

Front gate to Garden of Eden

 

Is buried under the concrete.

 

 

 

Zurich Station

 

Downstairs

 

A dangerous place

 

All seem contented

 

Under the ground

 

In bitter solitude

 

I drink a coffee

 

Only the apfelstrudel

 

is genuinely sweet

 

 

 

Beyond the Maps

 

I put away the maps

 

And I gave up asking for directions

 

After endless migrations

 

I found myself back home.

 

I couldn’t find it before

 

Because I was looking out of it.

 

 

 

She Who Dwells Within

 

Shechina, the Jewish Goddess

 

Her name means ‘Presence’, or

 

‘She Who Dwells Within’

 

We are told that she emigrated

 

When the Temple was destroyed,

 

Or was she banished,

 

By threatened males?

 

She is only absent

 

When we are absent

 

Which is most of the time.

 

She is homeless

 

When we are not at home.

 

She is always left outside

 

When we shut ourselves inside

 

The gates of security.

 

She cannot return to Jerusalem

 

As long as we kill to possess it.

 

She is unimpressed

 

By all the busyness

 

In the name of God and Spirit.

 

But when we welcome the world

 

In an unconditional embrace

 

Suddenly she is there

 

And here and everywhere

 

Invited by authentic knowing

 

And when we surrender

 

To this perfect moment

 

That is born from the womb

 

Of our fertile  being

 

And fed by the mothers milk

 

Of appreciation and attention.

 

Then she unfolds herself

 

In front of our eyes

 

And we truly know

 

She never left

 

But was too close

 

For us to notice.

 

 

 

Al Barnett

 

Four feet treading

 

On tough Welsh hill grass

 

We have trod together

 

40 years on this tough world

 

Back ends of Camden

 

Stone corners of Jerusalem

 

Thorny outcrops in Galilee

 

Sharing laughs at absurdity

 

Sharing howls at stupidity

 

Sharing moments of simplicity

 

Sharing glances of complicity

 

Sharing glimpses at insanity

 

Dancing  with your childlike delight

 

Burning with your righteous anger

 

Exclaimed but unclaimed

 

In awe of your creative fire

 

In oils, stones, inks, glass, words,

 

And the amazing power of mind

 

Reaching out and hammering

 

On the gates of the unknown

 

And all reduced to ashes?

 

No, just spread more thinly

 

Not collected together in one being

 

But seeded in all of us

 

And in the Welsh hill grass

 

Which straightens up

 

After we have passed over.

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