Gorilla eyes

The following is a one-page handwritten stream-of-consciousness writing without commas, periods or any other renegade punctuation.  I am typing it into this post in short fragments, like a poem, to make it easier for passersby to read.  Heaven knows where stream-of-consciousness writing comes from!

Posting it here, well, just because.


Restlessness oh the world

can not be fitted into stories and categories and definitions

oh no except if the stories shine open-ended and

do not point definitively

because it’s all so all so much and

I cannot make heads nor tails nor sense of

lapping waves changing skies and songbird chatter

let alone restlessness in the gut like an invisible piano player

hitting note after note on his duality instrument with

cigar smoke permeating the bar and wine running in the gutters as a

homeless man sobs and a wealthy duchess sips

and how much can a mere mind make sense of this and

yet the thoughts continue to line everything up like ducks in a row

in a carnival game and the man hoists his shooting iron from Turkey

and grins confidently at the laughing woman

on his arm and aims and

bang bang bang

down go those ducks and the carnival guy asks

what he wants and he points to a six foot gorilla and

he carries it to the laughing woman and the shooter goes out toward the

merry go round all bravado never suspecting

in ten months he’ll be dead by sniper’s bullet in Afghanistan and

the woman will weep but only for two nights

before donning her blue dress and sitting in Charley’s bar

trying to forget

those gorilla eyes


Perfect, imperfect

The curve of the moon

The curve of the moon

I want to meet you in the blood & guts of where you are right now.

Broken, unlatched, unhinged,

clay cracked forgotten pot at the dusk of your life.

With all your heroin needles and cigarette butts and too-much-coffee.

I really haven’t had the courage to meet you there before.

Before I wanted you to realize how the moon shimmers just a millisecond away.

How you might reach your hand in the sky and caress her curves.

How insights flood the body with tears of joy, how

the greatest ugliness transforms in the sunlight of awareness.

I still sang the refrain of later, later, later,

just six steps away from now,

begging you to come closer to yourself,

please, change how you think, how you see

this bright beautiful broken world.

How might it look if we allow the fistfuls of chocolate chips, searing judgment, endless running away, extra fat?

The sodden way we don’t listen to ourselves, don’t heed the inner broadcasts of should, should, should.

Not simply allow it, but hold it close, cradling it?

What if we crooned, “Yes, you, you’re here, my child and you

don’t have to change, don’t have to quit, don’t have to turn yourself

inside out into a new incarnation.”

The new incarnation will come without our pottery wheel mudding something

brand spanking new.

To trust you that deeply, to witness what you’re creating with

tools of bone and blood and dancing electrons.

I accept you, warts and pimples and wild hair,

gambling on too much chocolate cake or not enough trust.

I want to accept you.

To accept even my non-acceptance.

To embrace the cracked pot of myself, all seven billion perfect imperfect cells,

Mambo Number 5



Just wrote this in my journal, even though the thoughts had nothing to say.  The pen, apparently, did.


Another day, another crescent of moon.

Rain poured a half hour ago, soaking travelers.

Now sun reveals itself on showered trees.

Yesterday afternoon–trimming green beans, listening to salsa music–it all illuminated very present.

It’s as if the body tunes as lyre or piano or flute, hearing it all, playing it all.  No longer did eyes simply see. The entire body saw.  The body heard, it smelled, it sheered green beans in half, it hummed.

A living pulsating field.  I couldn’t draw myself away from the immediacy of it.  The fullness.  Thoughts danced as partners, not ousted in some imaginary desire of stillness.

Yes, we’re tuning forks of perception, aren’t we?  More to seeing than the eyes.  More to hearing than those two floppy ears.  More to touching than these fingers, precious though they are.

Yet if you told someone–the body saw/heard/tasted–that doesn’t describe it.  The listener might assume, rightly so, that a body does this.

Here’s what really happened.  I shall try again.  The field of awareness presented itself as alive.

But, no again.  The field was not separate from the bean-trimmer, from the salsa music, from the urge to dance.

It glowed simply as immediacy.

As if the heart and tummy–and, OK, the hurting knee–included it all in a sweeping panorama of constant appearing.

Now, now, now! sang the vortex.

It shined so inclusive and full because all of awareness had joined in, deepened, widened.  Not simply the organs of perception.  All…

Of course by saying this I’ve made it into something special and spiritual and magical when it really was simple and ordinary and everyday.

Woman cutting beans with sharp knife.

Mambo Number 5.

(You can’t run and you can’t hide.  You and me gonna touch the sky.)

Blue sky



If I could speak to that young girl in the farmhouse, the twenty-two-year-old wearing soft blue pants and matching vest as she drove through snowstorms to her job at the local hospital, the one with the panting pink-tongued black lab who wandered to the Finnish neighbors and possibly ate poison and died, the one who cried on Friday afternoons after work because so-and-so didn’t understand her, love her, treat her properly—what would this fifty-seven-year-old woman say?

What words of comfort and hope might echo across thirty-five years?  How would the sage speak to innocence, knowing all that she must traverse to reach today?

Here is what might be shared on a frigid night when the toilet froze solid, after she scribbled notes wondering “What the heck am I supposed to do with my life?  What am I supposed to DO?”

My dear, my sweetheart, my little self with wood bark in your hair:  I wish I could tell you not to despair, not to weep, not to feel your restless heart so deeply.  To simply relax into the pattern of your days, to let Life guide you whether to turn left or right, whether to stay in the Upper Peninsula or motor down to Texas to make your fortune.

But since despair is part of your path, here is what I will whisper to you.  Honor your frustration, your not-knowing, your suffering words poured out in journal.  These will serve you well.  They will lead you, bit by bit, to where your heart aims like a straight arrow into the marrow of your being.  Let that terrible restlessness—that desire to go who knows where?—and the only answer you can think of is “out for breakfast”—guide you more deeply into your inner world, your deep self.

You may not believe this, but Life is not against you.  It’s leading you, guiding you, showing you the next movement of the dance.  Your sense of separation carries a trail you shall walk until you find the fullness which always existed, never once absent through the despair, the challenges, the dying dog, the frozen toilet.

When the pain arises, it reveals a womb.  Birth sometimes takes a lifetime.  Suffering shall show you what no longer serves, what bracken beliefs and mossy thoughts must wither as winter descends.  As you suffer, my love, I might only advise a little blue sky, as blue as your pant suit that you will remember across a gulf of turning years.  Allow the vista to enlarge, if you can, to envelop the story you tell with your life.  If you can possibly view this unfolding as a story, perhaps a dream, then you might encounter an inner observer who simply witnesses.  This observer shall be your inner guru, your grace, the one who holds your hand through frigid afternoons and daisy mornings.

Trust this inner companion.  Trust that it doesn’t need a story.  Trust perhaps that what’s at the core of you shines.  She lives as the shining.  Some day you shall see that shining, clearer than that weeping willow, stronger than the shimmering shapes of form that rise like mist.  Some fine day you will know that what can’t be seen or touched or tasted or smelled feels more solid than your wood stove.  Lean into that invisible solidity, for it’s true, even if you cannot feel it in the midst of your trials and tribulations, your ragged pain.

The path you travel shall reveal all of this—if you want it.  And you shall want it more than your very own self, your hundreds of penned stories.  Trust your wanting.  Don’t let anyone convince you that it’s shallow, untrue or silly.  Don’t credit the thoughts that slam you into small categories, tough facades, barricaded protections.

If you want to know the truth, you shall. Or you shall want it until the wanting reveals itself as empty, and then it will arise as a gift, a grace.

I love you, little one, and forgive every time you forsook me in your fear.  In fact, there is nothing to forgive.  Every movement, pro and con, for and against, simply danced us together into what can never be separated, and never was unbound for a single second of eternity.


I am thinking about hunger this morning.

David Hinton, an American poet and Chinese translator, wrote a book called “Hunger Mountain:  A Field Guide to Mind and Landscape”.  I read the book both voraciously and laboriously (it was quite scholarly in sections).

He talked about the ancient Chinese poets and how they sought to inhabit the constant-flow-of-things.  He also spoke of the hunger which drives the world and the ways we seek to fulfill it.

Hunger is no stranger to any of us.  Even if our plates lie heaped in fruits, vegetables, tasty morsels of meat, whipped cream desserts, we often experience hunger for creativity, love, peace, happiness.  We maneuver through our days attempting to satisfy an inner ghost who wants, wants, wants.

More, more, more, the mind whispers.

Much of this life I experienced waking up with a deep inner hunger.  It manifested as restlessness, not-knowing-what-to-do, a deep pang in the heart buried beneath everyday ritual and manifestation.

In younger days I often drove to town to eat breakfast.  It seemed the only temporary appeasement to that fierce hunger for something which could not be satisfied by eggs and toast.  Usually it found wings when scribbling in a notebook, sipping coffee, attempting to express the inexpressible.

In recent years, intensely observing human mind and nature, it appears that so many of our actions fuel from hunger.  The mind wanders restless, seeking to create the next new experience, the next new love, the next appearance.

It’s our gift.  The energy moves us forward into the dreams we create for ourselves.

Yet, this hunger is also our burden, especially when it beats fierce and strong like a roaring lion in our chest.  It demands appeasement.  It wanders through unconscious fields and devours the sheep within us.

Is there a hierarchy of hunger, I wonder?  Is there a way that hunger matures within us?  Can we make a place for it, a valley of allowing?

Is hunger mostly unconscious in our youth, beneath our understanding and guidance?  Can it be met as a friend, perhaps even lover, coaxed into the sunlight?  Does it turn from crawling to walking like a babe?

Can our raw hunger be transformed into a hunger for *what is*?  Can it dance between dreaming and presence without turning it into a demon?  Can the lion of it prowl on our inner prairies, majestic, unafraid, turning us again and again and again toward what matters so dearly?

I want to ask your experiences with hunger, but it seems like many of us protect this inner rawness so fiercely.  It’s rarely mentioned, even to ourselves.  Our vulnerability quivers here in this place where hunger can not be met by anything of this world.  We cover it up with words, paragraphs, explanations, rationalizations.

I sit here on Hunger Mountain this morning and feel it.  The lion roars.

The day beckons forward.

Already enough


What I’ve sought in coffee, email, approval, dreams and luscious lemon bars lived inside me all along!

What a fine joke.  The kind you giggle about until tears roll down your face and your mother frowns because you and Dad disturbed the table with your hilarity.

Here I’ve been trying to find happiness and push away that oh-so-awful pain…when, all along, like a bright shiny penny lying on the sidewalk of your heart–I was already always what I wanted.

It’s here, it’s here, it’s right here!

Peeking out behind sorrow.  Playing hide-n-seek with the inner empty hole.

Except those metaphors miss the mark, the way an arrow aimed at the moon falls back to the earth, gravity-bound.

My love embraced like a warm white blanket, never distant, never peeking, never gone.

My love enfolded all compulsion, all thoughts, all feelings, every single mosquito buzzing through the long night of forgetting as you slapped and squashed and bled.

Oh shall we laugh together until the sun sets and darkness surrounds once again, and even then our laughter will gleam like fireflies.

In five minutes, nay, five seconds a thought may arise insisting I’m less than, you’re less than, I need this, you should do this, the world’s not shining like a star, you silly girl, you dreaming fool, you misguided flop of a being!

Before, for long years, lifetimes even, these thoughts were believed, attached, somehow connected to a sense of self.  Heck, in five words I may believe anything as if it’s the Holy Writ, lost in a dream of the little me who needs to be fixed, repaired, reassembled into acceptability.

Yet, hallelujah! beneath everything imaginable–the next passionate wanting–lies complete total encompassing magnificent allowing loving embracing end-of-seeking, no need to seek, never a need to seek, because it’s all HERE.  In you, in me, as you, as me, as us.  And yet the need to seek is perfect, simply perfect, because otherwise, how would we know THIS so intimately, the skin of it the skin of ourselves, no separation?

To truly SEE this, to live it, right now, this now–I fall to my knees and sing holy, holy, holy to the broken glass of our window, to the warped lawn mower blades, to the next person who disagrees offering only their unique perspective, their take, their arrow pointing toward the moon.

Beneath the planted crop of our beliefs and thoughts and emotions lies an endless green field and blue sky of ourselves!  Completely peaceful.  Free.  Unbounded.  The only bind?  The next believed thought which makes me forget what’s already our birthright, our heritage, our song, our dance, our enough-ness.




Every day we create.

We seek newness, rawness, edge.

We’re seekers beyond the ordinary.

We create from juicy ripe red desires.

We create words, books, coffee dates,

trips to buy organic produce, paintings

splashed with orange vibrancy.

We seek to create beyond What Appears.

We’re not satisfied with sitting on the couch.

We seek, we create, we’re mini-gods like Zeus-Michael

and Aprodite-Jennifer and Artemis hunting her

next fix, her next dance, her next amazing

Caesar salad for dinner.

Oh how we create!

We were born to create.

We reach for TV Kingdom and create stories

to burrow before bedtime.

We turn on the computer

and create in Facebook, in WordPress, the

words dribbling from our fingers,

painting word pictures,

pirouetting like the best ballet dancer,

oh look at us humans!

Born to create, born to create, and how we


Look at yourself, Sister.

Look at yourself, Brother.

You’ve created an entire life, you mini-god,

you angel, you devil, you dabbler.

You keep creating something extra,

some fizz,

some pump,

some glory,

some trip to the South Seas,

that hot soothing cup of coffee,

ever the next creation and the next and

the next.

Until one day, one fine moment which isn’t

past or future

you clearly see creation for what it is–

and isn’t.

You’re the last creator then, or the first.

If you try to stop creating,

you’re doomed.

If you try to resist your desire,

it balloons and you’ll heroin-fix yourself big time.

You see creation for what it is:

big, glorious, magnificent,

small, unnecessary, completely beside the point.

Creation was here before you wrote

this poem.

Anything you add is delightful and

truly not needed.

It was never needed.

What exists before your poem,

before you reached to read this poem,

before you poured your coffee,

before your creative mind conjured

verbs to escape this already-perfect moment?