Sunday, March 31, 2013

my lagan love

on my ride home last night, this song returned to my head after twenty five years. it's a very beautiful old irish song . . . my favourite irish song actually . . . it's called "my lagan love" . . .  i first heard it when van morrison sang it with the chieftains on a disc released in 1988 called irish heartbeat. . . .

this is sinead o'connor's live rendering in dublin . . .  

i think the words are beautiful . . . 

where lagan stream sings lullaby
there blows a lily fair
the twilight gleam is in her eyes
the night is on her hair
and like a love-sick lennan-shee
she has my heart in thrall
nor life i owe nor liberty
for Love is lord of all.

her father sails a running-barge
'twixt leamh-beag and the druim;
and on the lonely river-marge
she cleared his hearth for him.
when she was only fairy-high
her gentle mother died;
but true-love keeps her memory
green on the lagan side.

and often when the beedle's horn
hath lulled the eve to sleep
i steal unto her shieling lorn
and thru the dooring peep.
there on the cricket's singing stone,
she makes the bogwood fire,
and sings in sad sweet undertone
the songs of her heart's desire

her welcome, like her love for me,
is from her heart within:
her warm kiss is felicity
that knows no taint of sin.
and, when i stir my foot to go,
'tis leaving Love and light
to feel the wind of longing blow
from out the dark of night.

where lagan stream sings lullaby
there blows a lily fair
the twilight gleam is in her eye
the night is on her hair
and like a love-sick lennan-shee
she has my heart in thrall
nor life i owe nor liberty
for Love is lord of all.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

winter dock

wood and snow

what lives have they lived before this moment?

whose bodies have they passed through?

Friday, March 29, 2013


on my way home
crossing the bridge

the river
and the sky
open up
to each other

Thursday, March 28, 2013

spring line

an entire
of ice and water
spindrift and light
courses thin and dark
through my eyes

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

spring sky . . .

this sky says "oh!"

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

kiss my fingers

in the back of the sky
hands cross the sky table in a dexterous gentle ballet

and pull closer

the warmth
not each
their own

Monday, March 25, 2013

shadow (i)

this shadow world is so entire 

it contains all that i have protected from the light

and living now in this house which is so filled with a lingering sentient sense of veryness

the shadows have emerged 

not threatening and dark (as i have grown up expecting) but warm and kind and understanding and lending form and texture - even colour - to this life

Sunday, March 24, 2013

like a river

i would love to live like a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding.

john o'donohue

Saturday, March 23, 2013

goin' to brownsville

i was thirteen years old in 1970, on a plane flying from toronto to manchester, england. this piece of music was on one of the channels on the in-flight music player. it was the first blues song i had ever heard . . . i had no idea who it was and i played it over and over and over . . . i have never forgotten it . . . in retrospect, it messed me up for life!

Friday, March 22, 2013

this sound, this feel, this world . . .

i like to live in the sound of water, in the feel of the mountain air, a sharp reminder hits me: this wolrd is still alive; 

 it stretches out there shivering toward its own creation, and i’m part of it. even my breathing enters into this elaborate give-and-take, this bowing to sun and moon, day and night, winter, summer, storm, still - this tranquil chaos that seems to be going somewhere. this wilderness with a great peacefulness in it. this motionless turmoil, this everything dance. 

 william stafford

Thursday, March 21, 2013

dune - snow cornice

i came out with my bike onto my porch one morning in february to discover this overhanging cornice of snow on my roof. i had been listening to the music of the incredible mali band tinariwen just moments before.

their musical expression of the experience of living in the desert as toureg nomads filling me alongside my cup of coffee.

so, looking up into the sky and seeing the tree somehow growing out of the snowy cornice, a circle was drawn with their music growing out of the equally unlikely barrenness of the desert.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

the little door

"that was a narrow escape!' said alice, a good deal frightened at the sudden change, but very glad to find herself still in existence; 'and now for the garden!' and she ran with all speed back to the little door: but, alas! the little door was shut again . . ."

lewis carroll

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

helpless ambitions

i used to watch myself forming
 helpless ambitions

then leaving them

flailing about

desperate for life


i live now in the fullness of knowing that hope is the truest ambition

Monday, March 18, 2013

the present moment

welcome the present moment as if you had invited it. why?  because it is all we ever have.

pema chödrön

Sunday, March 17, 2013

red nose in space!


this is what happens in the real world . . . kids create something very special with good people, some of whom are teachers. they all have fun and learn something and . . . and they raise money for a good cause!!!

look at this!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

it hasn't reached us yet

far off
where we can't see,
the moon must be rising.
it hasn't reached us yet,
slipping through the leaves
to light up your shoulder.
but i know
a wind comes up with the moon.
the trees are whispering.
your bare arms will be cold.

(excerpted from "hymn to life")     nazim hikmet

Friday, March 15, 2013

snow flowers

polished and polished 
clean, in the holy mirror  
snow flowers bloom 


Thursday, March 14, 2013

margaret's birthday

today is my aunt margaret's birthday. 
i call her margaret. she much prefers that.

margaret is my only aunt . . . but in "only" getting her, i lucked out because she was, and still very much is what i know as "the cool aunt" . . . you know, the person who dropped the important books ...
siddhartha, steppenwolf, a book of dali prints,  and much much more
at exactly the right time
to wake me up to the worlds beyond and inside this world . . .

she was the person who took me to europe in the middle of my teen years and made sure that i saw berlin - east and west, amsterdam, koln, and many places i had read about or heard about and which suddenly became entirely real and colourful.
as i look back on that journey (and i do that often) i still cannot imagine how she managed that.

but she did.

margaret opened a space in my understanding of this world that my own parents couldn't - through no fault of their own - (because i wouldn't let them) that allowed me to grow beyond my own limitations.

to be clear, i am very grateful for her existence beyond what she has provided me!

the world is a richer place for her incredible food, her passion for english history, her kindness, and her astonishing gardens.

yesterday we had coffee and little cakes from a local pastry shop.
she told me she was feeling her age.

well. not if her appearance, her lifestyle, and her wide ranging and
fascinating conversation are any indication!

happy birthday margaret!!!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

late winter solitude


how still it is here in the woods. the trees
    stand motionless, as if they do not dare
    to stir, lest it should break the spell. the air
hangs quiet as spaces in a marble frieze.
even this little brook, that runs at ease,
    whispering and gurgling in its knotted bed,
    seems but to deepen with its curling thread
of sound the shadowy sun-pierced silences.

archibald lampman

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


the railway station

the darkness brings no quiet here, the light
no waking: ever on my blinded brain
the flare of lights, the rush, and cry, and strain, 
the engines' scream, the hiss and thunder smite: 
i see the hurrying crowds, the clasp, the flight, 
faces that touch, eyes that are dim with pain: 
i see the hoarse wheels turn, and the great train
move labouring out into the bourneless night. 
so many souls within its dim recesses, 
so many bright, so many mournful eyes: 
mine eyes that watch grow fixed with dreams and guesses; 
what threads of life, what hidden histories, 
what sweet or passionate dreams and dark distresses, 
what unknown thoughts, what various agonies! 

archibald lampman

Monday, March 11, 2013

float in the wind

...we bow, we take our cups of wine, 
we give our attention to beautiful poems. 
when the mind is exalted, the body is lightened 
and feels as if it could float in the wind. 

wei yingwu

Sunday, March 10, 2013

holding the moment

this morning: stepping off the final step of the front porch and finding my foot hovering in mid-air
as i look down and see the sun's soft colours searing under the thin silver-blue skin of the fractured ice

Saturday, March 9, 2013

a sea of crystals

wynken, blynken, and nod one night 
sailed off in a wooden shoe
sailed on a river of crystal light  . . .

eugene field

Friday, March 8, 2013

the memory of magic

one year - my last at university as it turned out, - i lived across the river from this factory. 
i was often hungry and this factory churned out granola bars.
the smell was so good i never tired of it.
it was almost magical in the way it filled me without eating.

today i cross this same river to get to east city to visit my friends.
the smell is the same, but i'm not hungry any more.

"these memories of who I was and where I lived are important to me. they make up a large part of who i’m going to be when my journey winds down. i need the memory of magic if i am ever going to conjure magic again. i need to know and remember, and i want to tell you.” 

robert r. mccammon        boy's life

Thursday, March 7, 2013

run with the stars

“dwell on the beauty of life. 
watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” 

marcus aurelius      meditations

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


“those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. there is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature - the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”

rachel carson     silent spring

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

these eyes

early morning on my way to school.

the little boy inside me
sees so much differently than i do.

Monday, March 4, 2013

no longer . . .

“no longer forward nor behind
i look in hope or fear;
but, grateful, take the good I find,
the best of now and here.” 

john greenleaf whittier

Sunday, March 3, 2013

walk the path

“no one saves us but ourselves. 
no one can and no one may. 
we ourselves must walk the path.” 

gautama buddha         sayings of buddha

Saturday, March 2, 2013


"life is whatever we make it. 
the traveller is the journey. 
what we see is not what we see but who we are."

fernando pessoa, the book of disquiet

marshmallow tracery

a beautful snowy morning.
i walked to school.
stopping every so often to look straight up into the sky.

Friday, March 1, 2013

[month of] march

[month of] march

the north-cast wind has come from norroway,
roaring he came above the white waves' tips!
the foam of the loud sea was on his lips,
and all his hair was salt with falling spray.
over the keen light of northern day
he cast his snow cloud's terrible eclipse;
beyond our banks he suddenly struck the ships,
and left them labouring on his landward way.

the certain course that to my strength belongs
drives him with gathering purpose and control
until across vendean flats he sees
ocean, the eldest of his enemies.
then wheels he for him, glorying in goal
and gives him challenge, bellowing battle songs.

hilaire belloc