“the laughter rolling like a hoop out of His mouth and into mine…” Anne Sexton
There is laughter shuddering in the blood.
There is joy shattering bone, freeing lightening from its marrow!
When the sky is painted with desire
All swans with broken wings come healed from the river.
Streets fill with women wearing earrings that are hoops of fire.
The happiness prepared for us, finds us falling under the weight
Urgent with wind whipped fig trees, urgent with a million wings of sparrows
All the spangled streets are ready for those who believe
And for those who believe they are too old
I want to let everyone know about the new book by my friend, Rafael Stoneman. It is a collection of poems written without artifice or doubt by a man with a guileless heart. Rafael’s hand is always extended in friendship. Take it! Advaita Heart is available here:
One of my favorites of this collection is:
You are a criminal because you broke
into my heart. You cornered me and
murdered the ‘my’.
You are a thief because you stole
my mind. You confronted me and
sabotaged my soul.
You are a liar because you promised I
would be enlightened. You made the
‘I’ dissolve and left only yourself.
You are a cheat because you stacked
the deck and preyed on my need to
gamble. You forced me to surrender
when I had no other choice.
You are a harlot because your lips
swore that I was your only love.
You made me fall mad for you and
find out I am not the only One!
Man on Fire by Sue Reed
What we were, we remain for people we have hurt.
We never change, never grow old, never die.
In my 20’s and 30’s, I was always in an ecstasy or a rage.
Nothing in between but the silence of a monk
self immolated, flames where my lips were meant to be.
Tongue either raw or a burnt offering.
If you knew me thirty years ago and still wish that I were dead
forgive me first.
That is what I’m asking for.
for Carol and for Stefan Pyne
“…if you feel like a room without a roof…if you feel that happiness is the Truth…”
Happiness comes over me
silver schools of Gulf trout moving in waves under the skin!
Every mullet in the Gulf has a name.
Both their eyes have names.
The scales that cover their eyes each has a name
written in a kind of fire known only to the Most High.
But you tell me joy is evidence of a wound.
The Mother is always lifting up her children
to wipe the blood from their eyes.
You say we are moving down this road alone, alone
but every body is one candle lit inside another.
We make the necessary efforts to shine and one day we all
catch fire together.
Sitting at my ease now, becoming more and more
like the air around me
I swim into another body made of inhaled breath.
The hand of the first body is stroking the long white hair of the other.
I can taste my name being called
and because I am saying this, I know it’s nearly time for me
but for now I am a rooster strutting on the roof ridge of a church
my feathers all red and gold!
Elaborate coxcomb thrown back fluttering in a furnace of wind
I go cockadoodledoing while the preacher tries to preach.
Hey you crying on your knees!
Hey you, bent over with your back broken under weight of fear and guilt
come outside and whirl with me!
Everything you believe about yourself is vomit.
Your sermons are mouthfuls of rancid meat!
Why not come whirling with your arms full of fire?
Take this gallon can of gasoline and pour it over both our heads!
My fingers are match sticks already struck with fire.
bee in flight, taken on the road to the White Salmon River
Now that I am growing old, the circle darkens
under the eye.
Fingers broken in a long forgotten fall cry out.
What mattered once has been broken
into small and smaller measurements of space
we all are falling through.
Now the one I love calls me by a name that is no longer mine.
Her voice is like the Gulf, silver and curling.
The name she calls me is a wave within it, flecked with tar.
Coming closer, I am being lifted
and the one I love is bending down to look me
full in the face.
Every body will die in harness
while I am standing at this open window
not claiming your existence as my own, not wanting to believe
in what I am.
It has always been my existence not yours that is
Suddenly the moon is in the poplar tree with its companion the first star.
Photo of bee taken on the road to the White Salmon River.
Bleecker Street photo by Rob Sacks
“He who depends upon his eyes for sight, his ears for hearing and his mouth for speech, he is still dead.” Hazrat Inayat Khan
You who are the eye of my eyes
what I hear has first been heard by you.
You speak in tongues for the living and the dead while I am only a ghost
come back to tell the living
they can never die.
I came here to know the Fire as a wife knows her husband.
Now our legs are tangled in each others’ like the root ball of a flame tree
and all my leaves are burning.
Your hands go on feeling in the dark for me, while I am gone
where smoke goes.
I came here to cry.
I came to bathe in this gulf of spilled tears
and to swallow the salt we all are swimming in.
Now everything tastes like blood.
All my friends are sparrows and the moon is white as wonder bread.
Our wings are beating against its light.
I tell you there is a kind of dancing here
just not the kind the rich will pay good money for.