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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Inspiration, Photographs, Quotes, Writing

Reminder

baldeaglestatepark

“When we feel cut adrift, it is often because our unacknowledged wishes are crying for our attention and we are turning a deaf ear. At such times we need to take pen to the page and listen to the voices within us that want further expression in our lives. We must make our unconscious conscious. We must allow these voices to help us grid our growth or we will grow helter-skelter and not in directions that give us the soul satisfaction that we crave.”

~Julia Cameron, from The Sound of Paper

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Life, Poetry from The Well

Everything’s a Gift

Between the racks move muttering moms

and pleading kids.

Crouching low the helpers pull out shirts and hangers

stuffed in the wrong rack, wrong department,

forgotten in the face of a better price

or wave of guilt.

On her tip toes a helper wrangles and lifts down

a milkwhite mannequin man, one hand under his

crotch and the other squeezing his smooth ankle.

A stoic fleshy man needs those pants in that size, please.

Across the store two teens have slipped into a fitting room

trying each other on for size.

A boy sits on the edge of a table, his arm draped across

a stack of cashmere sweaters, crying patiently.

His mother is lost in the Levi’s, comforting someone on the phone.

The new girl carefully steers her feet down the aisles,

blisters growing bigger by the hour.

It’s the first day of the Christmas soundtrack.

Everything, everything’s a gift.

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