Happiness, Human, Life, Peace, Poetry from The Well, Time

Happiness Forecasted

Diets, mantras, bedtimes,

doses, meditations —

happiness has been forecasted.

A million rules later

one unruly mind, one quarrelsome heart

refuse to be coaxed from orbit.

After all,

what can overpower their chemical dance?

Well, a sunny day, a groaning violin,

or a tender smile.A million rules laterand I’m still on trackto surrender to the twisting winds.Happiness Forecasted

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Books, Memory, Photographs, Quotes, Time

Memory

Arboretum

“The places we have known do not belong only to the world of space on which we map them for our own convenience. They were a only a thin slice, held between the contiguous impressions that composed our life at that time; the memory of a particular image is but regret for a particular moment; and houses, roads, avenues are as fugitive, alas, as the years.”

From Swann’s Way

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Anxiety, Photographs, Poetry from The Well, Time

Caffeine Heart

Richmond

My caffeine heart

is a tantrum-throwing

child in a grocery store. One minute she’s

white teeth and glittery eyes –

the next she’s

kicking her feet against my eardrums. I swear

I give her plenty of air

but on she wails about

Yesterday’s paper cuts,

Tomorrow’s steely clouds,

Today’s loose grip on time.

This girl likes her poison.

I keep it coming.

She keeps it flowing to thoughts

thirsty to live –

thoughts long

overdue to die.

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Photographs, Poetry from The Well

Where To Keep Your Dreams

snow2014

Does your tongue dare

try to share

watery scenes from your dreams?

Details emerge, blunted,

soggy, half-blind beneath this morning’s

heavy traffic – thoughts stretching, streaming

out from wherever they sleep.

Dreams pay a heavy price when

words catch up – latch on – smudge

the elusive dream language.

Don’t dreams just taste better

safe in the solitude

of your heart’s cradle,

sleeping undisturbed?

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Body, Life, Peace, Poetry from The Well, Poetry I like

Perfect Harmony

Without warning the familiar pull

to speak and smile in perfect harmony

lends me the grace to dip my tongue

into the silvery pool of conversational talk.

It ends the same. Two voices deliver

the harvest of their minds, thoughts unraveling,

into a heap. The conspicuous

absence of beginning and end. I wish

to bend and twist with other branches,

but out I stick, taut, serious, too much my own.

Peace comes when that pull to combine with

the others passes – I am again centered

between ground and sky, calm and contained

inside these four quiet walls.

 

This was inspired by the poem reproduced below from Cold Mountain Poems, the Zen Poems of Han Shan, Shih Te, and Wang Fan-Chih. The bitter taste of an unfulfilling interaction is familiar.

XX

I’m used to living in some hidden, shaded,

mountain place,

but once in a while I walk straight into the

Kuo-Ch’ing Temple,

and sometimes I pay a call on old Feng Kan,

or go to see that honorable sir, Shih Te, the

foundling.

But then I come home, alone, to my cold cliff.

No one’s talk makes perfect harmony with mine.

I search a stream that has no source.

The spring dried up, but the stream water’s still

flowing.

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Photographs, Poetry from The Well

Winter Mornings

wintry

Have you one person

knocking at your heart?

She has grown too big

for the space you cleared out

years ago.

You feel her nudge

on winter mornings;

across the mountains

her body rests

warm and safe in bed.

But her dreaming eyes

soak up secrets leaking

through her dreams –

she is being chased –

she is trapped at the very top –

she is lost – she is slipping –

Is that you chasing her?

You just wish her thoughts

spun soft,

light as the tapering snow.

Beneath the blanket

she grips hot sheets

with sweating hands.

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