Saturday, February 18, 2017
A yellow flower
(Light and spirit)
Sings by itself
A golden spirit
(Light and emptiness)
Sings without a word
Let no one touch this gentle sun
In whose dark eye
Someone is awake.
(No light, no gold, no name, no color
And no thought:
O, wide awake!)
A golden heaven
Sings by itself
A song to nobody.
Physics says: go to sleep. Of course
you’re tired. Every atom in you
has been dancing the shimmy in silver shoes
nonstop from mitosis to now.
Quit tapping your feet. They’ll dance
inside themselves without you. Go to sleep.
Geology says: it will be all right. Slow inch
by inch America is giving itself
to the ocean. Go to sleep. Let darkness
lap at your sides. Give darkness an inch.
You aren’t alone. All of the continents used to be
one body. You aren’t alone. Go to sleep.
Astronomy says: the sun will rise tomorrow,
Zoology says: on rainbow-fish and lithe gazelle,
Psychology says: but first it has to be night, so
Biology says: the body-clocks are stopped all over town
History says: here are the blankets, layer on layer, down and down.
Friday, February 17, 2017
All things in this creation exist within you, and all things in you exist in creation; there is no border between you and the closest things, and there is no distance between you and the farthest things, and all things, from the lowest to the loftiest, from the smallest to the greatest, are within you as equal things.
In one atom are found all the elements of the earth; in one motion of the mind are found the motions of all the laws of existence; in one drop of water are found the secrets of all the endless oceans; in one aspect of you are found all the aspects of existence.
In the inmost of the smallest of all spacesruns a mute and constant play of color, inaccessible to eyes.
It is the light shut in that once in the moment of creationwas born inward and abode there, going on, once it had broken
up into the smallest of spectra in keeping with prismatic law at
frequencies that by the sighted would be called colorsif they encountered eyes able to see.It moved in periods unimaginably small for time and spacebut still with time and space enough for the least of the small.In fact it found it had ample room and time.It moved in cycles of nanoseconds and microspacesfrom white light and the colors of the spectrum and back to white light.A kind of breathing for light.The photons breathed and pulsated with one another,alternating signs and levels.So the light kept going in spectral balancefrom dense light to split and back to dense light and split,in spectral cycles infinitely repeated.It was like a play of fans,in keeping with the same law that holds for rainbows,but with spread and folded fans alternating with one anotherin keeping with the law of light inscribed in them.It was the light when it dances enclosedwhen it is not traveling abroad and seen.It belongs to the nature of light that it can be shut in and
still not die out in its movement,that it preserves itself thus in the darkness as thought, intent
and aptitude, that it remembers its changesand performs its dance, its interplay.With this art the light keeps together the innumerable
swarms of matter and sings with light's spectral wings the
endless song in honor of the fullness of the world.–Harry Martinson
Moment by moment you await understanding, spiritual perception, peace and good to arrive from nonexistence. Nonexistence, then, is God's factory from which He continually produces goods.
He has caused what is nonexistent to appear magnificently existent, while the truly existent He has caused to appear as nonexistent.
He has hidden the Sea, yet made the foam visible;
He has concealed the Wind, but displayed the dust.
The dust whirls in the air higher than a minaret: does it rise by itself? You see the dust borne high, but the Wind you don't see, although you can surmise it.
You see the white-capped waves tumbling in every direction, but without the Sea the foam has no way to move.
You see the foam by sense perception and the Sea by induction: just as speech is manifest and thought is hidden.
To each of us you reveal yourself differently:to the ship as coastline, to the shore as a ship.
–Rainer Maria Rilke
Trans. by Anita Barrows
Thursday, February 16, 2017
What keeps us alive, what allows us to endure?
I think it is the hope of loving,
or being loved.
I heard a fable once about the sun going on a journey
to find its source, and how the moon wept
without her lover's
We weep when light does not reach our hearts, We wither
like fields if someone close
does not rain their
Ever since we discovered that Earth is round and turns like a mad spinning top, we have understood that reality is not what it seems: every time we glimpse a new aspect of it, it is a deeply emotional experience. Another veil has fallen.
But the leap made by Einstein is unparalleled: spacetime is a field; the world is made only of fields and particles; space and time are not something else, something different from the rest of nature: they are just a field among the others.
Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity
No solid object is solid. It is made up of rapidly flashing packets of energy. Billions and trillions of packets of energy. They flash in and flash out of that space where the ‘object’ is. They do not just stay there. So, why does a human body or a car look like a solid continuous object when we now know that it is actually a rapidly flashing field of energy?
Think of a TV image. When you watch a movie, you see a person walk across the screen smoothly, yet in reality it is just a film reel with 24 slightly different frames a second so your eyes do not detect the gap between the frames. Even each of those frames is a composition of billions of light photons flashing at the speed of light. That is what your world is – a rapid flash that causes an illusion of being ‘solid’ and ‘continuous’.
Once you understand what your world is really, truly, you start to understand it’s true behavior and nature. You then change your view of it.
–David Cameron Gikandi
It has come to this: I'm sitting under a tree
beside a river
on a sunny morning.
It's an insignificant event
and won't go down in history.
It's not battles and pacts,
where motives are scrutinized,
or noteworthy tyrannicides.
And yet I'm sitting by this river, that's a fact.
And since I'm here
I must have come from somewhere,
and before that
I must have turned up in many other places,
exactly like the conquerors of nations
before setting sail.
Even a passing moment has its fertile past,
its Friday before Saturday,
its May before June.
Its horizons are no less real
than those that a marshal's field glasses might scan.
This tree is a poplar that's been rooted here for years.
The river is the Raba; it didn't spring up yesterday.
The path leading through the bushes
wasn't beaten last week.
The wind had to blow the clouds here
before it could blow them away.
And though nothing much is going on nearby,
the world is no poorer in details for that.
It's just as grounded, just as definite
as when migrating races held it captive.
Conspiracies aren't the only things shrouded in silence.
Retinues of reasons don't trail coronations alone.
Anniversaries of revolutions may roll around,
but so do oval pebbles encircling the bay.
The tapestry of circumstance is intricate and dense.
Ants stitching in the grass.
The grass sewn into the ground.
The pattern of a wave being needled by a twig.
So it happens that I am and look.
Above me a white butterfly is fluttering through the air
on wings that are its alone,
and a shadow skims through my hands
that is none other than itself, no one else's but its own.
When I see such things, I'm no longer sure
that what's important
is more important than what's not.
S. Baranczak and C. Cavanagh translation
to call woodthrush or apple.
A hummingbird, fewer.
A wristwatch: 1024.
An alphabet's molecules,
tasting of honey, iron and salt,
cannot be counted–
as some strings, untouched,
sound when a near one is speaking.
As it was when love slipped inside us.
It looked out to face in every direction.
Then it was inside the tree, the rock, the cloud.
Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion -- put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn't go.
Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front, second half
The day I am killed
my killer will find
tickets in my pockets:
One to peace,
one to fields and the rain,
to humanity's conscience.I beg you--please don't waste them.
I beg you, you who kill me: Go.
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
I had to walk through the solar system
before I found the first thread of my red dress.
Already, I sense myself.
Somewhere in space hangs my heart,
sparks fly from it, shaking the air,
to other reckless hearts.
–Edith Södergran (1892-1923)
Stina Katchadourian translation
Wait for her with an azure cup.
Wait for her in the evening at the spring, among perfumed roses.
Wait for her with the patience of a horse trained for mountains.
Wait for her with the distinctive aesthetic knowledge of a prince.
Wait for her with the seven pillows of cloud.
Wait for her with strands of womanly incense wafting.
Wait for her with the manly scent of sandalwood on horseback.
Wait for her and do not rush.
If she arrives late, wait for her.
If she arrives early, wait for her.
Do not frighten the birds in her braided hair.
Wait for her so that she may sit in a garden at the peak of its flowering.
Wait for her so that she may breathe this air so strange to her heart.
Wait for her to lift her garment from her leg cloud by cloud.
And wait for her.
Take her to the balcony to watch the moon drowning in milk.
Wait for her and offer her water before wine.
Do not glance at the twin partridges sleeping on her chest.
Wait and gently touch her hand as she sets a cup on marble.
As if you are carrying the dew from her wait.
Speak to her as a flute would to a frightened violin string,
As if you knew what tomorrow would bring.
Wait, and polish the night for her ring by ring.
Wait for her until night speaks to you thus:
There is no one alive other than the two of you.
So take her gently to the death you so desire,
–Mahmoud DarwishLesson From The Kamasutra
Translated by Carolyn Forché
I want a soul mate who can sit me down,
shut me up, tell me ten things I don’t already know, and make me laugh.
I don’t care what you look like, just turn me on.
And if you can do that, I will follow you on bloody stumps through the snow.
I will nibble your mukluks with my own teeth.
I will do your windows.
I will care about your feelings.
Just have something in there.
(you have been visited by the love owl.
A special person will come into your life soon.)
true lovers in each happening of their hearts
live longer than all which and every who;
despite what fear denies,what hope asserts,
what falsest both disprove by proving true
(all doubts,all certainties,as villains strive
and heroes through the mere mind’s poor pretend
—grim comics of duration:only love
immortally occurs beyond the mind)
such a forever is love’s any now
and her each here is such an everywhere,
even more true would truest lovers grow
if out of midnight dropped more suns than are
(yes;and if time should ask into his was
all shall,their eyes would never miss a yes)
–E. E. Cummings
She kept a diary, in which she wrote impulsive thoughts.
Seeing the moon in the sky, her own heart surcharged,
she went and wrote:
‘If I were the moon, I know where I would fall down.’
–D. H. Lawrence
Sunday, February 12, 2017
Go deeper than love, for the soul has greater depths,
love is like the grass, but the heart is deep wild rock
molten, yet dense and permanent.
Go down to your deep old heart, and lose sight of yourself.
And lose sight of me, the me whom you turbulently loved.
Let us lose sight of ourselves, and break the mirrors.
For the fierce curve of our lives is moving again to the depths
out of sight, in the deep living heart.
But say, in the dark wild metal of your heartis there a gem, which came into being between us?is there a sapphire of mutual trust, a blue spark?Is there a ruby of fused being, mine and yours, an inward glint?If there is not, O then leave me, go away.For I cannot be bullied back into the appearances of love,any more than August can be bullied to look like March.Love out of season, especially at the end of the seasonis merely ridiculous.If you insist on it, I insist on departure.Have you no deep old heart of wild womanhoodself-forgetful, and gemmed with experience,and swinging in a strange union of powerwith the heart of the man you are supposed to have loved?If you have not, go away.If you can only sit with a mirror in your hand, an ageing womanposing on and on as a lover,in love with a self that now is shallow and withered,your own self–that has passed like a last summer’s flower–then go away–I do not want a woman whom age cannot wither.She is a made-up lie, a dyed immortelleof infinite staleness.
–D. H. Lawrence
to his wife