Monday, May 31, 2010

Five Peaces


A cool stream
running over hot feet.

A bird singing
at just the right moment.

The horizon
at the far edge of the ocean.

A land flowing
with milk and honey.

The smell of rain
on parched ground.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Just Wait


Dark minutes can turn
into hours, into days,
even into months,
but at some point,
they always turn
back into light.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

What Is Enough?


I can work day and night
and accomplish nothing.

I can sit and listen in silence
and live a lifetime in an hour.

Two sides of the same coin.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Empty Houses


An empty house is never really empty
if it once sheltered a family.

An empty bowl is never really empty
if it once fed the hungry.

An empty hand is never really empty
if it once helped a stranger.

An empty mind is never really empty
if it once held beauty.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Many Strands


With a paintbrush,
I can paint a landscape.

With a scrub brush,
I can polish a floor smooth.

With a broom,
I can sweep a house clean.

So much can be accomplished
by many strands working together.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Death of a Friend Not Yet Dead


When you cut yourself off from the rest of us
because it is time for you to die and you want
to die in private instead of among us who are
not, it feels unfair of you to secret yourself
away from us. But it is not unfair. You should
be allowed to choose who you want with you
for the roughest part of the ride. Bless you both.

Monday, May 24, 2010

I Am Born Again


I am born again when I realize
I am not who I thought I was.

I am born again when I discover
that everything is connected.

I am born again when I let go
of trying to control my future.

I am born again when I stop
looking for security in my past.

I am born again when I watch
the unfolding Tao before me.

I am born again when I listen
to the voice of wisdom inside me.

I am born again when I recognize
I have no need to be saved.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Another Tribe


Old Christmas lights hang
from trees in the backyard.

Lightning bugs prick
bright holes in the night air.

We are six or seven sitting
around an outdoor table.

Empty plates. Full bellies.
Long talking in the dark.

This is how tribes are born.

Friday, May 21, 2010

No Questions to Ask


If I am a pianist,
where does the music go
when I have no piano to play?

If I am a gardener,
where do the flowers bloom
when I have no garden to plant?

If I am a teacher,
where do the lessons land
when I have no students to teach?

If I am a mountaineer,
where do the footprints lead
when I have no mountain to climb?

If I am a seeker,
where does the truth hide
when I have no questions to ask?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Season After Season, Year After Year


In the spring, cottonwoods spread
their seed in a snow of white cotton lint.

In the summer, rivers shrink and move
slower in the dry heat of a cloudless day.

In the fall, cattails break apart into seeds
and fly away on the wind like tiny birds.

In the winter, ice forms on shallow ponds
and tempts children to test its surface.

Season after season, year after year,
what was forgotten seems new once again.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Help a Beggar


Help a beggar,
and you become a beggar.

Help a child,
and you become a child.

Help an invalid,
and you become an invalid.

It is through helping
that you discover
your own humanity.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sitting Under an Apple Tree


I sit and wait
for an apple
to fall into my lap.

One always does.
It is part of the physics
of sitting under an apple tree.

The secret is
finding one
heavy with fruit.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Open


Open your eyes and see the next mountain peak.
Open your ears and hear the next bird singing.
Open your hands and hold the next moment.
Open your mind and recognize the next question.
Open your heart and experience the next pain.
Open your life and discern the next step.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Person I Want to Be With


I want to be with someone who makes me feel good.
I want to be with someone who accepts me as I am.
I want to be with someone who doesn't judge me.
I want to be with someone who supports me.
I want to be with someone who encourages me.
I want to be with someone who wants to be with me.
But first, I have to become the person I want to be with.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Critics


Make peace
with your inner critic,
and you will discover
how much your outer critics
reveal about themselves
when they're pointing out
your faults.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Below the Surface


Grass will grow through
cracks in a sidewalk,
yet never raise a blade
in a bald patch of ground.
It just depends on what is
going on below the surface.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Daily Tasks


A morning sun drives away the chill of night.
Gray clouds carry rain across the landscape.
Starry, moonless skies guide wayfarers home.
What tasks do you do everyday without knowing it?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Three Sizes of Kindness


Kindness comes in three sizes.

The first size is big enough
to help a stranger in distress.

The second size is big enough
to bring those closest to us even closer.

The third size is big enough
to relieve us of the pain of our own failings.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Irritating Pigs


Casting pearls before swine
just irritates the pigs.

What use is wisdom
to an empty pork's belly?

Monday, May 10, 2010

How Much Do You Have?


If you look at how much you already have,
you will always have more than you need.

If you see only what you do not have,
you will never have enough
no matter how rich you become.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Shifting Springs


A spring is part of a natural cycle of rain, percolation, collection, and release. A spring will continue to flow as long as the rains continue to feed it.

As weather patterns migrate across a warping landscape of geologic change, rain patterns shift, though. Old springs wither. New springs rise on younger mountains.

We do not live long enough to watch this happen, and yet we believe it does. We base our beliefs on the facts we unearth in our own investigations. Facts are the things we believe to be true.

Such is the power of faith.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Somehow We Learn


Somehow we learn
to see beyond ourselves.

Somehow we discover
a world beyond our skin.

Somehow we learn
to listen for birds in the trees.

Somehow we recognize
the journey we've been on
since we were born.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Planting a Willow


Plant a willow near your house, and it will send its roots deep and crack the foundation.

What gives shade and graceful waving also erodes the stability of your own abode.

One tribe is willing to raze a forest to save one hut, while another tribe is willing to risk a warm, dry place for a living, thriving poem.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Justice Is Not About Fairness


Justice is not about fairness.
Justice is about balance.
Balance offers a wider field of view.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Two Ends of the Same Stick


Good and evil are two ends of the same stick.
One brings the other into being.
This is another way separateness is born.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Why Is There So Much


Why is there so much pain in the world?
Because there is so much fear in the world.

Why is there so much fear in the world?
Because there is so much blindness in the world.

Why is there so much blindness in the world?
Because there is so little awareness of the Divine.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Natural Disasters


Hurricanes form over the ocean,
and wind smashes the coasts with hammers of rain.

Lightning sparks a conflagration,
and mountainsides burn away in tongues of fire.

The earth quakes along deep lines,
and cities collapse like water off a shaking dog.

And yet our greatest suffering often arrives
in the thoughtless acts of those we love.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

What Flavor Is the Past?


What flavor is the past?
What scent is the unknown?
What color is humanity?
What size is emptiness?
What texture is this moment?
What noise is divine?