Big cloud tumbling high, the amazing flying sky
how the gulls are pillaging the town.” Donovan
These are some snapshots of clouds, mostly taken from the deck in our backyard. I could never write anything as beautiful as one of these.
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!
What we were, we remain for the people we have hurt.
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 then, kindly read these words
and if you 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
and the scales that cover them 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
and I can taste my name being called.
Because I’m 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.
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 measures of the 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 a Gulf, silver and curling
and 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.
“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. 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.
While your hands go on feeling in the dark for me
I am gone where smoke goes.
I came here to cry
came to bathe in this gulf of spilled tears
and to swallow the salt I am swimming in.
Now everything tastes like blood.
All my friends are sparrows.
The moon is white as wonder bread and 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.