Monday, April 30, 2012

mid spring (iii)

i stood
and lived
this painting
that moved
and grew
and changed colour

Sunday, April 29, 2012

every night is different

this is
an evening that arrives slowly
in the closing
of the cherry blossoms
so pink then pale white
in the moonlight

this is an evening
that flutters in featherfuls
through the deep navy blue
cloud sky

this is an evening
of candles
each flickering of which
wishes into and beside itself

this is an evening
of painted shadows
and vanilla fingers
spreading across
this little reaching out world
that begs
and hopes in fervent whispered prayers
for you
to see
the goodness and the joy
in the very wondrous unfolding
that is your living selfness

Saturday, April 28, 2012


blooms and leaves and twigs and branches and air 
all speaking at the same time
all using the same language
all understanding

Friday, April 27, 2012

mid spring (ii)

i very love
the stark and softening
of a surprise mid-spring snow

Thursday, April 26, 2012

mid spring (i)

the little baby leaves are starting to appear now which makes for lots of tiny flutterings and orange and pale red and even yellow leaflets turning green. there's a joyfullness about it all that is echoed in the songs of the birds, the little rushing arounds of the chipmunks, the purposeful nest building, the nibblings of the rabbits, and the happy calls of the kids playing on the street and in the park . . . .

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

how does this happen?

each day
at some point
in time
i face
a sense
of how this world i live in
when my senses
their own opinions
and i left my
and simple understandings

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

it does not seem

"... it does not seem that nature, as some divines would have us think, was built to stage man's miracle plays, or created as an illustration of his various religions. nature takes no account of man and his curious arts, his weird worships, but remains dark and unresponsive, beetling upon him as he creeps, ant-like, from his momentary past to his doubtful future, painfully carrying his tiny load of knowledge. but indifference is not hampering, as interference is; therefore those that feel within them the stir of a growing soul prefer the dour laws of earth to the drag of the herd of mankind, and fly from the house of man to the forest, where the emotionless silence always seems to be gathering, as waves mount and swell, to the disclosure of a mystery."

mary webb
excerpted from "the house in dormer forest"
(the entire book can be downloaded as a pdf at this site)

Monday, April 23, 2012

she says


then fill
this sky

with the selflessness
my own

and i will become
the tree
of your imagining

Sunday, April 22, 2012

the real beauty


did the rose

ever open its heart

and give to this world

all its


it felt the encouragement of light

against its



we all remain



Saturday, April 21, 2012

the waterfall

for all they said,
i could not see the waterfall
until i came and saw the water falling,
its lace legs and its womanly arms sheeting down,

while something howled like thunder,
over the rocks,
all day and all night –

like ribbons made of snow,
or god’s white hair.
at any distance
it fell without a break or seam, and slowly, a simple

preponderance –
a fall of flowers – and truly it seemed
surprised by the unexpected kindness of the air and
light-hearted to be

flying at last.
gravity is a fact everybody
knows about.
it is always underfoot,

like a summons,
gravel-backed and mossy,
in every beetled basin –
and imagination –

that striver,
that third eye –
can do a lot but
hardly everything. the white, scrolled

wings of the tumbling water
i never could have
imagined. and maybe there will be,
after all,

some slack and perfectly balanced
blind and rough peace, finally,
in the deep and green and utterly motionless pools after all that

“the waterfall” – for may wenson

mary oliver

Friday, April 20, 2012

look up!

after school, a chai tea latte softens the edges of almost everything, making a cheery countenance
much more likely!

looking above the rim of my mug of frothy transporting substance
this ceiling brings a smile to my mouth . . . .

smiles have a life of their own
bringing light into a space

i've noticed that
people who i don't know
are much more inclined to talk
and to share their stories
if i am smiling . . . .

Thursday, April 19, 2012

this world

this world spins, decays, and winds itself into itself
to begin again . . .

and again . . .

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

research and development

i recently entered the woods with a friend who understands and supports my need to be among the trees and the rushing water. she also understands my total (albeit incomprehensible to the thinking world's ) lack of interest in the names of things and recognizes that naming love, beauty and the very little things that grow or scamper or flutter above my head reduces them in some way because those aren't the names they have for themselves . . . for sure they're not . . . they don't even have names!!!!

so there i was, deep in the woods, on a day away from golden fish world headquarters, in the middle of some research and development work, repeating the mantra that "field work is at the core of personal work . . . ."

touching trees brings you closer to their hearts . . i have proof from personal experience...
i have heard their stories . . .

this tree told me that life's good until you get hit by lightning and start to rot . . .
then you become something else's idea of life!
not the tree's idea which had more to do with vastness and leaves and bird nests and squirrels.

this is me experiencing something of a download from a former tree . . .
which (until the lightning strike)
was a very happy tree with a superb and droll sense of humour . . .

and i found myself quivering, my eyes closing to take it all in,
a feeling washed through me that this ... surely this ... would be the insight that has eluded me for decades . . .

when suddenly . . .

the remains of this tree-that-was, fell sideways with a soft splintering sound . . . .
with me somewhat attached to it . . .

mercifully and miraculously ,
no wine was spilled in the process!!!

to protect what remains of the dignity of the golden fish organization, the rest of the sequence of photographs in which this strange man clutching a bottle of terribly sweet wine tumbles indecorously to the laughing earth,
have been consigned to the golden fish vault and will not be revealed until the golden fish world leader has successfully flown away!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

the holy otherness

sitting inside the hourglass
of the time
given this body
i can sense the gentle sifting
of the tiny grains of those who came before me

i can feel the outstretched arms
of those who opened door after door
for me
until i saw
my self
and tore my way into this place

this place
where i am filled
so quickly to the brim
of my selfness
with flowers that sing
to my holy otherness
in its crimson cloak filled with
the tumbled togetherness of my ancestors
inside the me of this steven person

this is linked to tess kincaid's magpie tales page where other writer's responses
to the visual prompt above can be linked to

artwork Red Roofs, Marc Chagall, 1954

Monday, April 16, 2012

that far facade

the future
reaches back and pulls us into its arms
and its body
feels so different

it feels so good
that even when
its mouth
and speaks
in a different language
in a skewed syntax

i reach out
and grasp at its extended hand
and allow my self to be drawn
my becoming
other selfness

Sunday, April 15, 2012

the youthful taste of spring

the pillow's low, the quilt is warm, the body smooth and peaceful,
sun shines on the door of the room, the curtain not yet open.
still the youthful taste of spring remains in the air,
often it will come to you even in your sleep

Saturday, April 14, 2012

i love you

there is . . .
there must be)
some way
to wrap my mouth around
the words
that speak the unspeakable
to articulate
the details of a way of being
that contains
what i know is uncontainable
that describes
what i know is indescribable

and in the most
unimaginable and inexpressible complexity
envelopes and then releases
the understanding
and the experiencing
of my love for you

Friday, April 13, 2012

this ecstacy

if you could
the entirety
of who i am
and hold
in some way
the fullness of me
and come to know
the completeness
of my love
and my admiration
and my thankfulness
for all that i am
and all that is
then you would know
the wholeness
of all
of this place
i call "myself"
and you might come
to move outside
of that idea
and call the understanding
of your experiencing
"the universe"
or perhaps knowing better
than to name the nameless
being clever
you would know
that to name that without a name
pins it
against a wall)
you would stop
and see this game for what it is:
a wall
not of mine or even your creation

a place of comfort and security
easily defined
and easily learned
and easily moved onwards from
and so not close
to what
i know of you
and certainly not
what i know of myself

Thursday, April 12, 2012

with each wish

i let myself fall
into the stilled life force
of this fallen tree
in its tiny reaching
for the cold
of this
spring river

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

shadow and the spring river

on this sun-filled spring day
i felt entirely inside
this shadow as it wove
and whispered its way
through last year's leaves

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

the act of escaping from a hostile environment

tonight, as darkness envelopes the sky and then pours in through the windows, i've felt a deep wish to hear joni mitchell singing "hejira". i know that i have already posted about this song sometime ago so forgive me if i clean that old post up a bit and repost it here. joni mitchell, like her compatriot neil young, has left behind a legacy of powerful, life affecting music. joni’s iconic role as a post sixties intelligent female artist in a business that has traditionally marginalized intelligent women or subsumed them into so much floss, was what first drew me to her. i loved her intelligence, her creativity as a singer, and as an artist, and i loved that she created music that was more than the sum of its parts.

like most people, my first experience of her music came through her big breakthrough hit “big yellow taxi” which included the memorable line ...” they paved paradise and put up a parking lot...” and the equally memorable line “don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone?” it wasn’t until several years later that i happened across an album that i still listen to regularly entitled "hejira"


i first heard hejira while living in a residence room in otonabee college at trent university in 1976. the album as a whole has highs and lows which are reflective of her lyrical depiction of the dance of self in a world torn between predictability and chaos. one of the more melancholy songs, the title track "hejira" stands out for me as the highlight among many highlights in the lifelibrary of words and music she has crafted in her more than fourty year career. the songs on hejira were largely written by joni on a road trip from maine back to los angeles, california. this likely explains the many references to highways, small towns and snow. joni said of the album: "the whole 'hejira' album was really inspired. ... i wrote the album while travelling cross-country by myself and there is this restless feeling throughout it. ... the sweet loneliness of solitary travel. ...." the laying bare of joni’s inner self is never more complete than when she sings in “hejira”, “there’s comfort in melancholy when there’s no need to explain”. later when she sings, “you know it never has been easy, whether you do or you do not resign, whether you travel the breadth of extremities, or stick to some straighter line” she drives home the essence of the painful inner torment that plagues all creatively driven individuals - the need to strive for some form of balance between acceptance both within and without themselves - the two being mutually incompatible, sometimes even destructive. joni has often drawn stunningly talented musicians into her circle, and this track is no exception featuring the brilliant and now sadly flown away bassist jaco pastorius (who first found fame with jazz group “weather report”), wrapping the most beautiful and memorable arcing bass lines like velvet ribbon around the gift of her words.

here then are the beautiful words to

i'm traveling in some vehicle
i'm sitting in some cafe
a defector from the petty wars
that shell shock love away
there's comfort in melancholy
when theres no need to explain
it's just as natural as the weather
in this moody sky today
in our possessive coupling
so much could not be expressed
so now i'm returning to myself
these things that you and i suppressed
i see something of myself in everyone
just at this moment of the world
as snow gathers like bolts of lace
waltzing on a ballroom girl

you know it never has been easy
whether you do or you do not resign
whether you travel the breadth of extremities
or stick to some straighter line
now heres a man and a woman sitting on a rock
they're either going to thaw out or freeze
strains of benny goodman
coming through the snow and the pinewood trees
i'm porous with travel fever
but you know Im so glad to be on my own
still somehow the slightest touch of a stranger
can set up trembling in my bones
i know - no one's going to show me everything
we all come and go unknown
each so deep and superficial
between the forceps and the stone

well i looked at the granite markers
those tribute to finality - to eternity
and then i looked at myself here
chicken scratching for my immortality
in the church they light the candles
and the wax rolls down like tears
there's the hope and the hopelessness
i've witnessed thirty years
we're only particles of change i know, i know
orbiting around the sun
but how can I have that point of view
when Im always bound and tied to someone
white flags of winter chimneys
waving truce against the moon
in the mirrors of a modern bank
from the window of a hotel room

i'm traveling in some vehicle
i'm sitting in some cafe
a defector from the petty wars
until love sucks me back that way."

i worked in downtown toronto one summer a very long time ago and
the male figure skater in this video used to unknowingly cross paths with me as
we each went out to buy french bread and pate for lunch.
he's an incredibly talented man. toller cranston.

Monday, April 9, 2012

i am simply

the incomparable beauty
of this entanglement
set against
the extraordinary beauty
of a river
that has flowed
since the last ice age
i can't say no
to the possibility of anything

Sunday, April 8, 2012

they push

these trees
and these clouds
and these eyes
with the brief insight
that holds still
just long enough
to remind me
that these edges
these precipices
of insight and understanding -
well they push
so like
stepping stones
across rivers
so like the small worn down path
that weaves
through the fields of waving grass
so like the worn handholds
in the cliff-face

they push
by their simple existence

Saturday, April 7, 2012

so much

the sand in the hourglass
grows finer as it runs out
on its descent
and yet
it is still sand

Friday, April 6, 2012

in this i locate my self

in this


this place
i call home

and which i fill
with all that i know and have known

and then

what i imagine
in my most fervent wishing
and hoping
and sometimes with the blessing
of a dream

i open the containment of this place
as subtly as air or water or flame
open the terms of this material world
into otherness
and thisness


and i am thankful to wake
each morning
if only to know that the possibility of grace
and the almost unbearably beautiful and perfect presence
of love
can arrive
in the most unlikely guises
and under the most extraordinary
terms -

some as simple
and some as complex
as life itself


the world is nothing but the birth of the beloved
without desire to see herself we ourselves would not exist

each instant sings a song about living god knows why
absurd and meaningless awareness of insanity and wisdom

claiming knowledge is wrong and gain through worship impossible
our world and our faith are the dregs of unknowing

wherever the beloved has walked and shown us
the dust of her footprints are all we can hold

we have named the beloved and know we are loved
the back of heaven is bent to greet us

from "the joy of the drop" 37 poems by ghalib


music by robert fripp from "love cannot bear"
which is available here

Thursday, April 5, 2012

well, yes and this also . . . .

i know myself well
and then also
i am astonished
at the person who arrives
so unexpectedly
and looks back at me
from the mirror

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

the place of advantage

i stood in this place and saw this
and wondered at my fortune
my incredible fortune
to have the privilege of standing
and seeing this vastness
and experiencing inside myself
an echo of the same vastness

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

the little freeze

is it too
late and too unfinished
to be the fractured ice
story of a season
passed in name
and yet entirely present

Monday, April 2, 2012

my body is

the small laced frenzy of molecules align themselves as colour and form,
the unique characteristics of which define the resultant object's role
in the visible universe

my body is no more than this and no less

Sunday, April 1, 2012

finding my place

it's unimaginable
that i should find my place
again and again
and somehow
only begin to know that place
so well
and so thoroughly
after leaving it
and seeing it
in relief against the background
of all the possibilities
that were pushed aside
in my haste to arrive
and my reluctance to leave