moose mask undone

               one breath can begin Anything.
it doesn’t mean anything.   it’s a moose.

that’s not me.   there are stacks of things not me.
someday, maybe, I’ll be each one of them.   we
take turns.

this time, me.

although rumor is, I’m on my way toward
becoming something else.

might be asked, who’s spreading that rumor.
          confess, maybe me.

a moose has four legs to tell the truth.
I only have two.

yes.   I am somewhat unreliable.   unpredictable.
I buy books I cannot read.   too tired, when
they arrive.   no focus.   not that a moose
would care.
          more unquenched good ideas.

I’m able to forget almost anything you say to me.
did you know a gathering of sea otters is
called a raft.   no moose knows that.
that’s why they do.   so they won’t.

won’t drift away.   apart, like me.
I should’a.   see?

no water.   I ain’t that smart.
abundance is a word that applies to them.
not to me.

more words won’t make better.   but not the point.
wrong font, seems to me.   so why.   because She said.
          because, I do.
          here, these words on my tongue.
maybe a moose is smarter than me.
better landscape anyway.
               I think a poem can carry one breath.

               what does this breath begin.
image:   © Delphine Margau,   Delphine Margau Art Photography, France
this image is part of her chapter/series, Under The Woods of Childhood.
kind permission granted for use of this © image.   with our thanks.

yes.   you are seeing double.   same moose as recently.   why?
here’s why.   cause the moose said, I have something different to say.
will you.   will you let me speak.
   I am symbol for you.


Lucky Mud

          God made mud.  God got lonesome.
          So God said to some of the mud, “Sit up!”
          “See all I’ve made,” said God, “the hills, the sea,
          the sky, the stars.”
          And I was some of the mud that got to sit up and
          look around.  Lucky me, lucky mud.
          I, mud, sat up and saw what a nice job God had
          done.  Nice going, God.
          Nobody but you could have done it, God!
          I certainly couldn’t have.  I feel very unimportant
          compared to You.  The only way I can feel the least
          bit important is to think of all the mud that didn’t
          even get to sit up and look around.
          I got so much, and most mud got so little.
          Thank you for the honor!

          Now mud lies down again and goes to sleep.
          What memories for mud to have!

          What interesting other kinds of sitting-up mud
          I met!  I loved everything I saw!

               Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle

Attraction begins at the feet.
Do we dare?  I’m unsure how to say this – polite.  Could I be more clever than I am?  More or less by my own words?  So forgive, as you see fit.  Not only the sky is overcast right now.  Me included.  Forcasted, fog.

Pardon the lengthy quote.  But seems it translates better stated whole, top to bottom-ish.  Sometimes I read and think I have a real-life glimpse.  
Sometimes I forget.  Sometimes a lot.  And god or not-god, this stance is about our response to living.  So Christian or Buddhist or whatsoever don’t matter here.  Allow yourself to receive and see how this fits on you.

We will, we do, make some immediate measure of judgement.  But so much as you can, save that for five minutes after reading is done.  Do these garments linger on your skin?  Can we really – really – know till we welcome the visit whole heartedly?  No drama.  Listening is a gift we give ourselves.
Isn’t it odd?  I feel my most genuine self when engaged with other people.  Yet what source am I?

What’s the right time for what feelings we allow to roost within?  Not uncommonly I’ve used the word “hate” to colorize, emphasize many of the situations and events in my life.  Make me look bigger.  Bigger than what’s perceived as threat, even discomfort as well.  Two lessons learned.  Who feels that texture, that taste on the lips, that sense of less-than-wellbeing?  Yea, obvious.  And more of personal lost grace, is that extreme attitude really what I mean?  Do I hate the can of cat food I spill on the floor, the slow motion customer in the checkout line in front of me, the person who cut in line ahead of me?  Do I hate the overcast grey sky above?  Do I really hate the weather?  It’s an emotional dishonesty.  And habit takes no measure of appropriateness or desirability.  Buyer beware!

Be honest about what you say.

And the mirror stance here?  Gratitude.  In its active form, generosity.

Decades past I worked on a project that put me ground-zero in Portland’s skid-row district.  Spare me some change, a common refrain we were asked.  My partner and I did some initial agonizing about the “right” course of action.  Would a handout just buy them another cheap bottle of wine?  Were we suckers to give in to their request?  Then it dawned on us!  What if their request story was not true?  What precisely was our sin if we give them money?  Simple.  Our sin was being generous!  If they lied, that’s on them, not us.  We became at ease to respond however felt appropriate in the moment.  Just say what you want, leave the “story” in a bag.  Someone asks for your help (big or small). What do you do?

I want to choose gratitude.  I want to choose generosity.

Suppose I got reasons to fret or worry or adopt ingratitude.  Blood gone astray, seriously.  It has been (and present tense) a challenge to attitude.  No matter.  Every day, another choice.  If any prayer is worth my time, then pray, may I choose gratitude.  No vacation.  No days off.
choose.  where does choice happen?  describe that who and where and when.

Feeling like kind of a long story here.  Maybe sometimes repetition serves receiving?  I can also feel my own resistance to allowing simple notions to have their moment of truth.  Oh no, that doesn’t apply to – me.  That’s something I can’t really do.  Iceberg tips.  Till I take something full onto my skin, I can’t see if I even really really understand.  Call it an unashamed trial.

And there’s an issue about being naive and being gullible.  Give it up!  Life is bigger than doubts.
Gratitude.   Generosity.   What is the left hand here?   Appreciation.   choice.

          What interesting other kinds of sitting-up mud
          I met!  I loved everything I saw!

here, swallow this

the elephant in the room.

what you swallow becomes what you think.
what you swallow becomes what you feel.

Monday, that’s the when I said I’d begin,
begin taking my new medicine.  three pills.

more than enough.

ten in the evening to be precise.  here,
set the alarm.  distractions are easy for me.

the brain is a survival machine.  but,
define the kaleidoscopic notions of survival.
in one way, that means maybe no pills
instead.  resistance is futile, they say.

imagination is painting paths that include
no harvest of medicines.  how do I get out
of these ropes?  consequences?  yes.

I’m not much for dramatic decisions.
but thoughts are busy butterflies.

the hour approaches.  years past when
they first said cancer I was not afraid.
still not.  but here, creative thoughts.

unkind.  ungenerous.  unconnected.

my blood is becoming confused and sour.
the remedy is toxic too.

do, don’t do.  I think I already know.
but I’m a cat in water with no traction

when my mother’s late life dementia
became severe.  cruel in a manner of
thoughtlessness, better just letting go,
came the thought.

but really, would this be the last sunrise,
the last sunset?  not easy then to say.
not then.  not now.

reasons to go.  better reasons to stay.
let the universe call me home when
it wants.  I have a different job.

when it comes to writing poems I have
only one real rule.  don’t lie.

tell me, where do you see Paradise?

I may fall away from good seeing, but
that is me being blind.  the universe is
eyes open.  no fear.  no lies.  don’t lie.
      love loves difficult things  01

      the answer to joy is life
      the answer to sadness is being
      the answer to promise is spirit
      the answer to pain is love
good boy.  nice elephant.

01 This poem is a rephrasing of All This Joy written by John Denver.

    If life is a question, then the answer is…