another reason for light

Principles of Structural Chemistry
a leaf is the way a tree grows a glove.

they lay on the grass, side by side.

telling one from another is more desire
              than composition.
we are all gatherings of light,
look see, bubbles, that’s what we are.

bubbles with shells all the way around.

the concept beauty is inside the eyes.
we look around to find it, like we do

old thoughts.       old buildings.
much the same.       some of them gone.

you don’t expect when things change.
they change like choice, bigger than me.

lanterns.       flames follow wind.       light
follows that.

an explanation would be, being blind.
instead.       gratitude.

a thousand thousand lights.

another day.       and you.

another moon.


matters much


the Dalai Lama told me so.

do I think it matters, but not for me.

no question marks.   not empirical.

a process of relationship.   like

the moon, the earth, like sky, like

my hand.   like a white butterfly.

shall I worry for the trail thirty

minutes behind me now.   will

I return.   would it be the same.

the better wish, will it remember

me.   as I now remember, there.
I used to be as big as the universe.

and will be, again.   no fare,


it’s all gone inside.   that’s the part

the Dali Lama said to me.

in a dream, didn’t I say.   just like

right now.   loving you.
there, that’s the part I always want

to keep.
in his honor

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet


drawing fish

I never could draw a fish.   or a bowl of fruit.

no face came from the finger of my pencil.

I made shapes.   sometimes color.

I said, that’s what I meant to do.   made friends with
abstract painters and writers.   they understood.

it’s a matter of choice.   I said that too.

everything I draw.   everything I write.
it’s all dreaming on the outside instead of in.

a matter of conscious choice.   I said that, didn’t I?

accidentally on purpose.   stubborn too.

that’s the phrase.   my nest, where I sleep.

a matter of faith.   when you ask, call it prayer,

then accept what answer swims back to you.

all colors mixed don’t make black, they make
     brown.   just like dirt.

we can be shy saying, but that’s home.

a fire.   food to eat.   catch a fish.
call it art.   poems too.


bigger than a shoebox is

What invigorates life invigorates death.     Walt Whitman said.


“Gratitudes”, a first meditation, a light-opera (yet to be scored),
something whispered to closest friends.   when you discovered
holding a pen in your hand, when you learned to read and write.

aria, nothing much can be a hole big as the moon.

it was only a little pain.   OK, no, bigger than that.   and what if
it wouldn’t go away?   she worried this to herself.   she laid down
in the bed they gave to her.   indolent, as was described to her.

you’ll live.   for now, they said.   she wasn’t upset.   but she wasn’t
herself the same as she was before.   like you grow hair on your
head.   she took their medicine.   like making war inside herself.

she wondered if it was the state she’d driven to, these many miles
past turning back.   this was for keeps.   was it the change in all
the weather, Winter bigger than before?   was it her attitude?

aria, I meant it to be this way.

it was a conclusion she didn’t believe herself.   surely it wasn’t
something she wanted for herself.   broken things seldom get
invited in the front door.   and consider, the rest of her life.

but considered, it was as much wildfire on a windy day, running
out of control.   smoke billows.  lovely to see, if not inhale.
define middle.   halfway done.   a new meaning for that word.

enormity is on either side of that mark.   her beating heart, got
down from the fence.   legs dangling over a precipice, kind of
melodically.   she considered counting days.   then thought, no.

recitative, all of it, it’s all so brief.

secular prayers were given her.   twice daily.   hours passed.

scribbled notes on paper.   by hook or by crook.   navigate.

deter.   alleviate.   confuse.   that much at least, realized.

a chorus, assembled over time.

she wanted to say all the right loving things.   she pondered
the universe before she was around.   wondered, what might
be different after she was out of sight.   would any notice?

did it matter to her?   did it matter at any scale, bigger than
and smaller than.

the priest had said to her, go look at the face of a man,
a man who is dead.   answer, can you see the difference?

yes, she said.   we were all listening.

the person who was there, is not there now.   meaning,
they were not the body after all.

this parting bequest.

the priest said to her, tell me, how do you lift your hand?

she said, I don’t know.   I just do.
yes he said, as you do being born and.   there is
       a bigger life you cannot remove.

what to do, she asked.
       make more stars.   do that.

       they won’t care like you wanna think.   but they will
      shine brightly.
       bright eyes to see.   another horizon being crossed.
       someone said, Light is the face of god.


a deal with Chaos

          my god, there are stars inside.
these hands, they foster doubt.   don’t stand too close.

pointing the path where we meet.   coincident.

reconciliation needs must pause until.   contemplate.

no, not lonely being apart.   lies.   like this.

where have all the flowers gone,

          they sang.   a strangers voice.   a crowded bus.

          each ticket buys a memory.   recursively.

here, on a mountaintop, this much closer to you.

          a myth I tell myself.

not unhappy, standing alone.   more lies.   like this.

trade for half a candy bar.   sweet teeth.

camel-hair smells like dog when wet.

sometimes a blanket, call this shadow home.

no doubt about what’s left behind,

          one birdhouse and

          something else.

but I forget.    that’s the deal.


how a butterfly feels



              feels like dying, being alive.
    this poem, what did it look like when
    it was a first birth.   not a question.

              stepping stones.   after all.
    here there is a room.   there is a desk.
    four walls and a roof.   oh yea, a floor for my feet.

              wonder.   is a pinnacle.

    it’s the second floor above.   desktop, two arms reach.
    garden where there isn’t roof.   letters under fingertips.

    a fence, a gate.   sometimes snow.   listening.
              all I mean.
              it is more than me.
    a road, feet on stone.   quietly.

    random noises.   make far and near.   I’m not the center.
              even when it feels that way.
    these raining words, more kind than me.   more better.
    more stronger.      more loving.

    more astonished.

    mostly so.   that they find my fingers eagerly.
    it is a blessing.    after all.


closing your eyes

water like blood.

at night there are rocks we can’t see.   we may run right up to them
     and embrace.          (mariners take heed)

here, even in the middle of night, the middle of nothing,
it continues to lap the shore.   we listen.   we feel.   wondering.
     rhythm is our bones.

gratitude in a spoon

to feel a breath includes some pain.   gratitude.
to feel these legs includes some pain.   gratitude.

these fingers, they’re not like before.   gratitude.

these thoughts, they recall being shy.   gratitude.

memories, so many with no smile.   too few of you.   gratitude.
snow on the ground, a beauty I keep apart.   gratitude.

to feel apart from you, too common, found.   gratitude.

of intentions, a shallow pool.   gratitude.

of strength to lend a hand, remote.   gratitude.

of desire, a bowl facing down.   gratitude.

of possible.   looking with both eyes.   unfound.


tell me now, what gratitude is.
my teacher said faith includes doubt like this.

doubt, not a foreigner.   faith, an open door.
wasn’t my first guess, but gotta say,

seems right looking now.
     then sleep.   water will be like eyes.


writing meditation

                            does ordinary count?
how’s that look?   no crossed legs.
       go ahead.
       scratch that itch.   no rules.

       listen.   yea, do that.
under the carpet.   right where I stand.   no Tibet.

hidden in plain sight?   no.   in front of my face.
       hidden, same as is the sky.

eyes closed.   that’s how I hide myself.
mouth open.   waiting for words to arrive.   taller than me.
thoughts circle.   eating their tails.   pleading thoughts.
but here’s one choice.

       let go.

       same like falling is.   same like flying is.

better grace.   knowing how to find my self.
better.   finding me inside my stance.
nothing to do.  nothing, already arrived.

empty space has a face.

       yours, I recognize.

pointless.   elliptical.   listening.
appreciation grants harvesting.
       prescribed, she says to me.

am I audible?

that’s my prayer.
no matter.    but yes.

I remember now.    loving.    you.

2022.12.24 r 1

something other than clouds

here’s a shadow I am standing inside.   measured in shades of real.   yes.

which of us is the larger?   not me.   I am not the outline you think I am.

do we matter much?   well, not me.   I count only for what you don’t see.

mother, she left around this drawing of calendars.

pencil in hand.   ink only when I’m more sure.

they are clouds laying on the ground.   these white feet messengers.

read before they dissipate.   or be a fish that got off the hook.

     there see, it’s the other way around.
first and last.   I’m wondering what those mean.
     even if the meaning is simply – one.

     last might think itself first again.

although not meaning, standing alone.

toes, you see how they bend like they do.
     the better to grip.

     the better to come close to you.

although really, I’m more shy than that.   teeth being
one measure of hungry honesty.
remember, clouds are empty inside.   tectonic.
not meaning, fault.

meaning, possible.


some of the breaks

I wonder what this means.   a watercolor seems to know.
here, the first of the batch.   grandeur.   then
a matter of scale.   no.   more than scale.

     apply us to the stack.   history.

one person, standing alone.   side by side.
imagine.   see how big
someone else made their thought.

this much here.   see.   taller than me.

but we can also see.   we belong.
like the Sun coming out between the clouds.