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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






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






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




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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