Friday, September 30, 2011


as a person who puzzles over the form and necessity of relationship - all relationships - each and every day, coming across these words that fell from walt whitman's head, heart and hands so long ago
is so joyous and exciting
i can hardly wait to share them with you!!!

unfolded out of the folds of the woman man comes unfolded, and is
always to come unfolded,
unfolded only out of the superbest woman of the earth is to come the
superbest man of the earth,
unfolded out of the friendliest woman is to come the friendliest man,
unfolded only out of the perfect body of a woman can a man be
form'd of perfect body,
unfolded only out of the inimitable poems of woman can come the
poems of man, (only thence have my poems come;)
unfolded out of the strong and arrogant woman i love, only thence
can appear the strong and arrogant man i love,
unfolded by brawny embraces from the well-muscled woman
love, only thence come the brawny embraces of the man,
unfolded out of the folds of the woman's brain come all the folds
of the man's brain, duly obedient,
unfolded out of the justice of the woman all justice is unfolded,
unfolded out of the sympathy of the woman is all sympathy;
a man is a great thing upon the earth and through eternity, but
every of the greatness of man is unfolded out of woman;
first the man is shaped in the woman, he can then be shaped in himself.

"unfolded out of the folds" by walt whitman

Thursday, September 29, 2011


i cycled along a country road. everything was strangely and beautifully quiet. a large monarch butterfly, flew next to me for a while. the road passed by shadowed and damp woods and fields dotted with white cows.

suddenly, there was colour.

it began with this.

with the immediacy
of its appearance
how could it not
bring me so sharply into the moment
that i blinked
with the suddenness of it
and had to turn back
to see it again
to be sure
of it

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

pass the time

i found myself in a place with people who were entirely disengaged from the immediacy of their experiencing as each was lost in conversation on a cell-phone. their facial expressions, waving arms, and empty presence were disarming to me. because other than avoiding physical contact, they couldn't know
that anyone else existed around them.

this is now commonplace.

and i stood back
and wondered ....

where would you go
to find
honesty . truth . compassion . care. kindness . fairness . empathy .


deep inside
a building
a camera
the watched
the time
on their cell phones

it's all

the time

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

crow in the rain

you know me
by my blackened feathers
and dark eyes

rain flows in a thin cold film
from my head
to my throat
falling to my feet
in pale grey drops

you know me by my call -
raw and brusque
not sweet and kind
and yet the words i sing
i sing like a kiss
(you know the kind)
the soul-opening
world unfolding kiss
that sells all else before it
as cheaply
as any night market trinket
danced into desire
by a hawker man
ever was -
bent on you
but only for an instant ...

my words hover
and hold
entire moments
great spaces
in which lives begin and end
and begin again

you know, this rain ...
this rain serves me well
as it soaks my scars
with its electric
blue linament
and slides
so moistly off the rock
to which i have attached
the small clinging hope i have
for an evening
spent in solitude
and peopled by wishes
so bold
and unlikely
as to frighten off any takers
hearing my call
my kiss
my song

photo from google images shared by tess kincaid at magpie tales

Monday, September 26, 2011

an idealist

i'm an idealist.
i know that that is probably as obvious as anything this universe has or ever will concoct. but i figured i'd better get it out of the way.
let's move on!

i'm an idealist. and i wish for people and things and experiences to be as beautiful and good and real and truthful and transformative as they possibly can be.
because wishes are about what is outside the realm of the immediately possible.
they are about what could happen in some ideal state.
perhaps even what could happen in a necessary state.

for example, i wish to be removed from the necessity to pass judgement.
really i do!
i'd like to know ... i'd love to know ... what it's like to experience a situation and remain as objective as possible for as long as possible.

will that happen - i really don't know.
i'd sure like to know.

what i do know is that people suffer in the space that is described by the distance
between the actual and the wished for.
i also know that at times i'm one of those people.
but let's move on.

another wish that i have is to be able to express how i see this world and then also and maybe even more especially, the worlds that are embedded in this world. it's why i write this blog. i get intimations, little glimpses, that are so clearly describing one very small part of what i wish to see in its entirety that i share it with the same glee and delight that a boy would experience upon finding a coin
while digging on the beach in search of a chest of doubloons.

it's strange to put it that way i guess but i do see worlds overlapping, enfolded, unfurling like fractals, all connected of course but available depending on the circumstances of the person, place, history, need, purpose; oh yes, it's a convoluted and detailed picture i have in my head. and believe me when i say here that i am only just beginning to unpack it, so only time will tell where this ends up, or if it even has an endpoint.

i'm hoping also - let's call it a wish while i'm firing so many all over the place - that i can eventually know why i wish to see the world this way
and why i need to share it.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

thankyou for sending me an angel

one night
the sky was calm
and the world
had a feeling of benevolence about it

it was raining
so i put on a jacket
and my walking shoes
and i went out
bought a bottle of wine
and brought it back to my room

the building was quiet

each room
had a person in it

they too were listening

to the quiet

the very quiet
of someone
walking about

why were they there
what did they want

soft knocks at my door

the glasses on the shelf

i opened the door

one enduring moment
entered the room
enveloping us both

i was listening to thankyou for sending me an angel by talking heads when i wrote this

Saturday, September 24, 2011

the colours of us

we grow out of

the slightest
rising light

the smallest
dancing flame

emerging as one soft thread

first wetted on a tongue

then pinched between hip and mouth

then rolled into the confusion of a knot

the thread that we are
the colours of us
at once describing
and then also
in our incompleteness

Friday, September 23, 2011


i came across
the beginning
of a story being told
in the gentlest
crimson whispers

Thursday, September 22, 2011

when colour goes home

when colour goes home into the eyes,
and lights that shine are shut again
with dancing girls and sweet birds’ cries
behind the gateways of the brain;
and that no-place which gave them birth, shall close
the rainbow and the rose

still may time hold some golden space
where i’ll unpack that scented store
of song and flower and sky and face,
and count, and touch, and turn them o’er,
musing upon them; as a mother, who
has watched her children all the rich day through
sits, quiet-handed, in the fading light,
when children sleep, ere night.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

creases and folds

you could see
the depth
of the man
in the creases
around his eyes and mouth

he was a sensitive
and kind man

a caring man

you knew that

he was a man who you could say left too soon
but really, he left as soon as he was ready

when he finally flew away
his wife inherited the creases
that defined his presence
and layered them above and beside her own
for safekeeping

his children
placed the creases
into words
and life

unfolding folds
carefully pressing the creases
to a sharper edge

because so much
- so much -
of what he left
was worthy and magic
and entirely of himself
and nothing else
and so deserving
of perfecting
and transporting beyond itself

i could wish -
and i live my wishes
as if they were already real

i could wish that he was still here
but his work was at a point
that required him to leave

i could wish
that people who reach a place
of such value
could be given more time
but i know that value
is driven by perspectives
that aren't entirely connected
to the larger piece of this place
and that is how
it's set up

and so i hold my memories
examine them periodically
confront them in my self
and test their veracity
let them go
hold them tight
hug them
when i see them fading

i am listening to omar faruk tekbilek as i write this.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


the wall had a face in it

and i saw that
the wall
was you

so i offered you my hand
work-worn and calloused

"take my hand" i said
and let it lead you
where it may

let's break apart
the wall of you
let's know the stories of the unlikeliness of me
let's know the stories of the unlikeliness of us

but those stories were too detailed
too tender
too loud
too exotic
too plain
too unlikely
too kind
too demanding
too old
too new
too hard to imagine

and so i became another possibility
and held much of
the entirety of myself
in check
in place
in side
in sight
and poured the clay of my self
into the brick-shaped frame
and over

and built a wall
with my face in it

the wall of me

i'm listening to steve shehan and nabil othmani as i write this

Monday, September 19, 2011

a stair of stars

the evenings have become so sudden. in the space of a few minutes, the sky can flare and erupt into the most glorious colours and then fold in on itself. subsumed into the deepest velvet.

above charcoal hedges
and dead leaf of land
it cuts out a deep
gleaming furrow
of clear glass looking
through our funneled day
up a stair of stars.

italicized words excerpted from "dusk" stephen spender

Sunday, September 18, 2011

call me

call me

the name you call yourself

give me
the words you use
to tell your story
and i will become
the space between your thoughts
the sight your eyes can't see
the paint that's smeared across the face
of your soul

i will be
the otherness of what
you cannot bear
in yourself

the darkness you call night
i will call dawn
the light you call sky
will be the tablecloth
on which i will taste
the fruits
of the labours
you undertook but could not eat

call me
when the silence is too much to bear

and you will know me
as the subtle
and grace
of the music
that is you

Saturday, September 17, 2011

it's best left alone

the words
were right there
but i turned
and looked the other way

i had to

Friday, September 16, 2011

a world of rain

kawase hasui a small boat in the spring rain


there's a world
where it rains all the time ...

all day
and all night

autumn and spring

no one sighs
when they wake up
and see that it's raining outside
because that is what happens
in the world of rain -

it rains
all the time

some of the rain
is soft when it falls
(like small bubbles)
and some of it is so fine
that it's like
walking through gossamer

of the rain
(especially in cities)
falls fast and straight
in thick quicksilver threads
that gather to form alleyways
through which one can walk
and remain dry

the alleyways form
through the rain's sensitivity
to the passage
of people

walking through them is much like walking
through a shimmering tunnel
as the rain actually bends overhead
and appears to cascade
to either side of you as you walk
from one doorway
to another

there is no sun
as the rain itself provides
a soft grey light
that actually grows
with the intensity
of the rainfall

in this world of rain
no one cries
because there is no sadness

people speak in warm whispers
that hover above the hushed sigh of the rain
which as you might have imagined
has a degree of sentience
that allows it to become part
of the conversations

the words that pass
between people and the rain
are gilded in pale shimmering hues
that gather into deliquescent rainbow pools
each of which hum, purr or murmur

the rain falls
each and every day -
its constancy
in the beauty and the joy
of the world it falls upon

kawase hasui benten island at tomonotsu

Thursday, September 15, 2011

evening closes

being entirely protective
and then also

the sun holds the day closely to itself

not wanting
to let it go
quite so quickly

music by jon hassell - sundown dance

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

sorry, i don't have the time

this day is thick
and tastes like old water
it moves so slowly
almost like it's thinking its way through itself
almost as if
it knows itself so well
that it's consciously trying
to avoid cliches

but nothing new is happening

we're all waiting

see it's more than a day
it's a stage . . .
a piece of human history
change is in the air
everyone has some sense of that
don't we ...

the numbers and stories are much the same
so it's something else.

perhaps it's about a way of seeing
and then it'll become
a way of being
and then a way
of knowing ourselves -
and everything else.

being my age
i wish so hard to see
the goodness that i know
is coming
and i don't want to miss it
just because my body

runs out of time

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

it's gonna rain

i lift my head

thin cold feathers of air
crease my bare feet

the poinsettia's
dusty red leaves
shudder in the small breeze

move across the walls

Monday, September 12, 2011

into reflection

on this day, after one so filled with memories and associations
particularly for my american friends,
i'd like to share with you the music of robert fripp.

this piece of music is entitled "refraction" and was part of a soundscapes performance
at the world financial center on december 1, 2000.

robert was musician-in-residence at that time.

an astonishing feature of the soundscapes
is that 'of being true to the moment in which they are performed,
to act in accordance with time, place and person.' (rf).

robert has also observed that soundscaping
"has the aim of finding ways in which intelligence and music,
definition and discovery,
courtesy and reciprocation
may enter into the act of music for both musician and audience".

(please note that it is the artist's wish for this particular piece to be shared,
free of commerce, with those who want to listen and reflect.)

(click on this link to access the music)

if the music intrigues you, then this note which accompanies its posting at ars divina
might help you place it or locate it somewhere in your understanding.
then again it might leave you even more baffled.

robert's music can be purchased at dgm.

love, peace, and - above all - hope to my american friends.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

up above the world so high

some evenings draw
some evenings sing
some evenings dance

to a close

this evening
told the story
of earth's beginning
of a time when there were no people
animals only knew
about themselves and plants
and how closely they were connected

and why

and the skies were soft with wonder
and love
and the care
that left
the possibility
of people entirely
to the vagaries
of nature
and the necessities of the universe

and when

people arrived
and made the changes they required
without really
asking anyone
it didn't matter that much
because the evenings still drew
the evenings still sang
and some evenings still danced

to a close

Saturday, September 10, 2011


there was such a stillness about this place

i painted the scene over and over in my mind
holding the moment
like a small brush
until the painting
was done
and i too
was still

Friday, September 9, 2011

her crystal heart

our planet flows

in the short term
the very small space
that our perception provides us
she shudders
pulls apart
draws together

she dances

while in the long term humming of her own crystal
body clock
our planet
vibrates as softly and as smoothly
as clay
under a potter's fingers

so slowly turning

so carefully becoming
so carefully leaving behind

Thursday, September 8, 2011


my access points for the natural world
as a whole
or in microscopic detail
so much like the skin
i live inside

my body
my medium for being here

is so conditional
i can feel
in its tiny decays
the muted clarion call
to live
a life
comprised of moments
each describing
however obliquely
the one great moment
of being
that has no referents in space or time
and which i represent
through my being
as fully
or as thoroughly
as i allow myself

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

the first day

on the premise that a good beginning informs a good ending
i approach the first day of school with care.
not caution.

and so arriving quickly at the end of an afternoon
we look at each other and wonder at where a day could have flown.
what wings carried us here?

skies of astonishment and wonder arrive unbidden and carry us on their soft backs.

i wonder what we'll see, where we're going, who we'll meet, why we'll go there.
this is what it's like.
in a classroom.
on the first day.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

school ahead

today i begin my twenty-first year of teaching!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

you're beautiful!

no matter
how we choose
to perceive ourselves -
we are all very much like this

Sunday, September 4, 2011

sun ship

drifted like a burning boat
through the clouds
of everyday

Saturday, September 3, 2011

i tell these things in confidence

this hour i tell things in confidence;
i might not tell everybody, but I will tell you.

i believe in you, my soul—the other i am must not abase itself to you;
and you must not be abased to the other.

and i know that the hand of God is the promise of my own,
and i know that the spirit of God is the brother of my own;

i pass death with the dying, and birth with the new-wash’d babe,
and am not contain’d between my hat and boots;

and i know i am solid and sound;
to me the converging objects of the universe perpetually flow;
all are written to me, and i must get what the writing means.

i know i am deathless;
i know this orbit of mine cannot be swept by the carpenter’s compass;

i know i am august;
i do not trouble my spirit to vindicate itself or be understood;
i see that the elementary laws never apologize;

i exist as i am—that is enough;

one world is aware, and by far the largest to me, and that is myself;
and whether I come to my own to-day, or in ten thousand or ten million years,
i can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness i can wait.

i laugh at what you call dissolution;
and i know the amplitude of time.

all words walt whitman leaves of grass

Friday, September 2, 2011

cabbage white

in mid to late august the gardens become temporary shelters for little white butterflies called cabbage whites. they flutter in pairs and dance on invisible thermals in spiralling helices
that bring them close together and then suddenly far apart.

sometimes they settle and enjoy the pale violet softness of the russian sage.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

homeward bound

they fly by each night. i wonder if they know each other.

i wonder what the sunset feels to them.
i wonder if they feel glad to be home.