Thursday, June 30, 2011

Aggregate


To stay separate
even in the middle
of community
is to stay hard edged.

Hard edges make
for hard communities.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Is It Possible?


Is it possible to be happy in all moments?
Why would you want such a thing?

Is it possible to be serene in every instance?
What is the advantage in something like that?

Is it possible to live unperturbed in the world?
Why would you cut yourself off from so much?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Seven Times Seventy


Do we have to forgive
our neighbor seven times
before we can turn our back?

No, Jesus said. You must forgive
your neighbor seven times seventy --
which is to say every time.

Is this for the sake of the neighbor?
No. This is for your sake.
Forgiveness frees you of your hurt.

Monday, June 27, 2011

More Than a Year Ago


Do I know more
than I did a year ago?

It feels as though I should.
It feels as though I do.

But I can't be sure how much
I've left behind since then.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

What Lives, Dies


What lives, dies.
Two ends of the same branch.
One is a root. One is a limb.

Beyond living and dying
lies treeless ground.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Reflections


Sky reflects water.
Water reflects sky.
Which is real, and
which is the reflection?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Three Seats of Power


First is the seat of strength.
Second is the seat of advantage.
Third is the seat of passion.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Weighing Flaws


My flaws weigh on me
until I set them down
or convince myself
they're not really flaws.

When I set them down,
the trick is to walk away
and not look back.

When I convince myself
they're not really flaws,
the trick is to close my eyes
and not look forward.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pain Says Stop


Pain says stop.
When it is sudden,
it screams stop.

Stop twisting.
Stop bending.
Stop moving.

Stop looking.
Stop listening.
Stop remembering.

Sometimes,
to be stopped by pain
is a good thing.

Sometimes,
even pain isn't enough
to make me stop.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Eat. Walk. Sleep. Work.


What is the difference
between eating and being eating?
Between walking and being walking?
Between sleeping and being sleeping?
Between working and being working?

Eat. Walk. Sleep. Work.
Are these what I do?
Or what I become in doing?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

This Time Next Year


This time next year
will seem more important
than the times we're in now,
but that's only because
we will have forgotten
this Now in favor of that Now.

There can be only one now,
and it always seems new.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Slow


Green vines creep
over fences, up walls, over roofs.
Their work is so slow
that we hardly notice the changes.

A stream runs down
the long slope of a mountain.
We'll never live to see the mountain
worn down to a plain.

Lines grow across the continent
of my face every morning.
The older I become,
the easier they are to ignore.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Easier to Forgive


Do you know how to survive
your own worst deeds?

Do you know how to forgive
your own sordid past?

Do you know how to let go
of your most profane acts?

Forgiving others becomes easier
when you forgive yourself.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How Tribes Are Born


Sharing
a harsh climate.

Fighting
a common enemy.

Speaking
the same tongue.

Agreeing
on what is sacred.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sleep or Rest


Sleep on my back and wake up stiff.
Sleep on my side and toss and turn.
Sleep on my stomach and ache all day.

Rest on my back and discover stars.
Rest on my side and contemplate my spouse.
Rest on my stomach and remember the womb.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Who I Think I Am


Who I am
and who I think I am
will always be at odds
until who I think I am
stops thinking.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Letting Go


Letting go of anger before it becomes anger.
Letting go of hurts before they become hurts.
Letting go of worry before it becomes worry.

Where along my spiritual path do these happen?

Friday, June 10, 2011

How Good a Musician?


One note from a bow
drawn across a string
can sing a pure, bright tone
or a scratchy chaos
that sets teeth on edge.

Which one we hear depends
on the skill of the musician --
or her intent if she's good enough.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Shelter


Shelter is a curious thing.
Something we want.
Something we want to escape.

When it is something we want,
what is it but another wish
for a happy and pain-free life?

When it is something to escape,
what is it but another need
we bring down on our heads?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hardly


A town of factions
is hardly a town.

A city of tribes
is hardly a city.

A nation of armies
is hardly a nation.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Pain in You


Some pain never goes away.
It becomes part of who you are.

Whether it becomes who you are
is up to you.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

To Split in Two


To split in two what cannot be split.
How to do this?

To know in whole what cannot be known.
How is this done?

To see into that which cannot be seen.
How is this possible?

The answer is in what is,
not in what is possible.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Friday, June 3, 2011

Danger Immunity


No one is immune from danger.
Natural disasters cross everyone's path.
Sickness is the mirror side of health.
Fear begets violence. Violence begets fear.

Like a virus, every danger is temporary.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Three Chances


A chance to grow
comes at a cost.

A chance to learn
expands ignorance.

A chance to love
offers the greatest reward.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Reason and Faith


Reason and faith quarrel like siblings.
Yet, faith without reason is deaf,
and reason without faith is blind.