seeking beauty

as long as i love beauty i am young,
am young or old as i love more or less

words excerpted from john davies' "seeking beauty"


autumn leaves

like torn pieces
of origami paper

from the sky



thin fading dancers
small tattered edges
caught in the wind
their silvered bodies
smaller arabesques

their songs
now sung
in grey whispers

in the autumn wind

in the autumn wind,
hark! voices raised with the sails,
these boats approaching
cross from a skybound shore:
the geese are here.

words by an anonymous poet who entered a poetry competition held by
her majesty the empress during the kanpyo era

the fitful tracing

a season's fallen bounty still ripe with colour

beauty is momentary in the mind
the fitful tracing of a portal

words excerpted from "peter quince at the clavier" by wallace stevens

madrigal sky

it appears, with considered judgement, bears the light beneath the rifted clouds
the indivisible shared out in endless abundance

words excerpted from "bearing the light" by denise levertov

when colour goes home

when colour goes home into the eyes,
and lights that shine are shut again
with dancing girls and sweet birds’ cries
behind the gateways of the brain;
and that no-place which gave them birth, shall close
the rainbow and the rose

still may time hold some golden space
where i’ll unpack that scented store
of song and flower and sky and face,
and count, and touch, and turn them o’er,
musing upon them; as a mother, who
has watched her children all the rich day through
sits, quiet-handed, in the fading light,
when children sleep, ere night.

the fading light

when the evening darkens
down the soft night
worn fingers point
to the fading light

she left her voice behind

the sun
still new to the day
rose soft
and orange
over the river

a sudden flurry of movement
like the hurried flapping of a small bird's wings
caught at my shirt sleeve
causing it to pull
ever so gently

in the eddies and whorls of her passing by
a soft whispering voice
soft as the brushing of petals

the little house

there is a house that is no more a house

as for the woods’ excitement over you
that sends light rustle rushes to their leaves
charge that to upstart inexperience.
where were they all not twenty years ago?

then for the house that is no more a house
but only a belilaced cellar hole.

your destination and your destiny’s
a brook that was the water of the house
cold as a spring as yet so near its source
here are your waters and your watering place.
drink and be whole again beyond confusion.

excerpted from "directive" by robert frost

arriving at letting go

arriving at simplicity is a very complex process

(i saw in the mist a little village of a few tiled roofs and joyfully admired it.)

there's a stream, and there's bamboo,
there's mulberry and hemp.
mist-hid, clouded hamlet,
a mild, tranquil place.
just a few tilled acres.
just a few tiled roofs.
how many lives would i
have to live, to get
that simple


when my heart came to rule
in the world of love,
it was freed
from both belief
and from disbelief

on this journey,
i found the problem
to be myself

when I went beyond myself,
the pathway finally opened

mahsati ganjavi (12th century)

heaven over water

hexagram 5 hsu - waiting

heaven over water

now is the time to wait and have faith in the natural order of things.
take stock of yourself and your situation,
and work on any insecurities that cause internal imbalance.



it wraps like a ribbon
around your licked finger
when you point it at the sky

as night settles

caressed by waves
like soft hands
on rough skin
the old dock
returns to the sea

awakening the swan

"the swan" milton resnick

the sleeping swan . . . mirra lokhvitskaya

my earthly life is a ringing,
an indistinct rustle of rushes
it lulls the sleeping swan
my disquieted soul.

far off one catches a glimpse of hurrying ships
greedily plying.
peacefully in the midst of the bay,
where sadness breathes like the weight of the world.

but the sound, born of trembling
blends with the rustling of the rushes
and shakes the awakening swan
my immortal soul.

it surges into a world of freedom
where the waves echo the sighing storms
and where the ever changing waters
reflect eternal azure.

from birth to death people sleep.

one day, you begin to wake up. you become aware of several "i's", each with its own demands and expectations.

john bennett describes this awakening . . .

"you have to ask yourself: "what do i really want? who is it in me that want?" each of your centers wants different things. every 'i' in you wants something for itself. there are some things that you really need; for example, you need not only food and clothing and the direct requirements of your bodily life, but you also need certain kinds of impressions. if you do not get those impressions, your spiritual life remains hungry. it can even be starved.

but you have to realize that life can never give you all that you want. it cannot even give you all that you need. if you are hungry for one kind of impression which you cannot get, you have to be clever and try to find what other impressions will give you the food you need. it is true that you need food of impressions. life sometimes will not give us the impressions we need. It is not only that life can deny us impressions and experiences that we want. it often will not give us impressions that are really necessary as food for us. we must study ourselves. we have to learn what kinds of impressions are necessary for work. It is always possible to get what we need if we know how to look for it."

extract from talk j.g. bennett

and now

i'm sure i am like you
in having moments of such blinding clarity
that i wonder how i've made my way through life -
with my eyes closed?

sometimes my eyes open wide and then i see what i wish i could see all the time.

i think that for the most part
it's like what rabindranath tagore says -

"what you are you do not see,
what you see is your shadow."

"arise the other" tissue collage karen stefano

"dectesuque" tissue collage karen stefano

setting sail

fu hsuan who lived between a.d. 217 and a.d. 278 was born into poverty.
he became wealthy through his writing.
the world also became wealthy through his writing, but in a different way.


a gentle wind

a gentle wind fans the calm night; a bright moon shines on the high tower. a voice whispers, but no one answers when i call; a shadow stirs, but no one comes when I beckon. the kitchen-man brings in a dish of bean-leaves; wine is there, but i do not fill my cup. contentment with poverty is fortune's best gift; riches and honour are the handmaids of disaster. though gold and gems by the world are sought and prized, to me they seem no more than weeds or chaff.

there are watershed moments in our lives that feel like we're setting sail - the journey unfolds like a carpet rolling out across a floor . . . like a prayer flag unravelling in the wind . . .

emily dickinson knew this moment . . . .

setting sail.

exultation is the going
of an inland soul to sea, --
past the houses, past the headlands,
into deep eternity!
bred as we, among the mountains,
can the sailor understand
the divine intoxication
of the first league out from land?

anne packard knows this moment . . .


a ribbon of water

a ribbon of water
through the fingers
of this deep green world

the sky of my life

the brush of my body
the colours of my mind

i create the creation of myself

and keep leaving it

show them the road

where women steal to rendezvous by night
through darkness that a needle might divide,
show them the road with lightning-flashes bright
as golden streaks upon the touchstone's side--
but rain and thunder not, lest they be terrified.

text excerpted from kalidasa's cloud messenger


the surface of this world
is like a painting

a painting
ripe with symbols

that point like signposts
to the deeper places

the richer places

the places that you
have felt
with your intuition

the places
that have nothing to do
with this place

no words
no ideas


my eyes

my heart opens

then my self

then i am
no more

their little faces

their little faces

their little faces
gathered together
in wonderment

grace (ii)



fading away
and returning

in the same moment

the tulip

long ago

very long ago

a persian boy
named ferhad
fell in love

ferhad fell in love
with a girl named shirin

she did not feel
in her heart

what he held in his heart

and so
he went out into the desert
to die

in the fullness of night

he cried tears
on the sand


that became tulips

like his beloved shirin

the most beautiful
of wildflowers

the song

one cold night
frost and wind
worked their way
inside a tiny hairline fracture
and separated these two
of rock


the pine needles
gathered in and around
and the moss
threaded its way
across the space
frond by frond
until once more
the two were connected
as intimately
as one

and the
humming of the earth
and the whispering of the sky

the singing of the birds
and the chattering of the little animals
was the music
that sang the song
of their love

a moment's clarity


and below

the conjoined terms
of our being

we are
a fractal essence
of the wholeness
we intuitively
in that moment
of clarity
as our reflected face
the convoluted surface
of a river

vapour threads

look up
and see
one hundred wishes
vapour threads
across the sky


in a quiet space

by the side
of a well-beaten path

returning to the earth


the basic goodness of a place

to remember
the basic goodness
of this place

walk down a path
of copper brown pine needles
on a warm day

in the shadows
of their mothers and fathers

red dancer

in the wet wind
the cold
sparse scraping branches
hold the essence
of this fragile promise
this tiny
red dancer

the warning sky

with the sudden gusts

entirely contained
in the experience
of seeing

the soft still south
of his winter remembering

the softest paints

i could live
in this softly painted place

knowing it as
a wonder

a small magic

to see
the world from

a slight return

you can feel
soft press
of spring's lips
when morning snow
a sun-warmed rock
and the lichens shiver
in the great yawning space
that has opened
like a universe
to reveal
as much of the connection
of all things
as of the distance
between our knowing
of its allness
and our experiencing
of its intimacy


the following text is a gift from aleks in holland.
it belongs here.
i read it and knew it immediately despite never having seen it before.
it's the story
of this image.

the mythical rain ancestor of the western arrernte people known as kantjia, of kaporilya near hermannsburg mission, is described in this western arrernte song recorded and translated by t.g.h. strehlow:


among the rippling waters he sits without a move,
it is kantjia himself who is sitting without a move.
moveless like a boulder he is sitting;
his hair bedewed with rain he is sitting.
on the fissured rock-plates he is sitting;
on rock-plates welling with water he is sitting.
bedrizzled with rain he sits without a move;
among the rippling waters he sits without a move.
bedrizzled with rain, a reddish glow overspreads him;
among the rippling waters a reddish glow overspreads him.
the sky is clouded with water-moss;
the sky sends down scattered showers.
over the rock-plates the flow is echoing
over the rock-plates green with moss.
moss-covered one,
spread forth your waters!’
come, moss-covered one,
pour forth your waters!’
‘come, foam-crests,
come, spread over the waters!’
‘come, drifting twigs,come, spread over the waters!’........


silvered-ochre ripples

the river's prose




in the floating world