Three mid-winter haiku.
winter in my hut
drafts shivering the rainbows
I sit with my tea
thoughts and thinker? wrong
thoughts-thinker-thinking: all one!
pop goes the poseur
zafu guru says
two thoughts cannot co-exist
I dive in the gap
Painting by Rengetsu – Uji River Teapot Scroll
Source – The Rengetsu Circle
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
– Mary Oliver
after decades of wondering what I’d be
when I grew up,
what I’d do when I found my ‘real’ work,
what I’d contribute to life that might be of worth,
I tossed the questions to the stars
and gave up
is this typical I wonder?
a symptom of seniorhood?
or does it eventually occur to everyone
that while life is unbearably precious
and untameably wild
it isn’t yours or mine nor ever was
so with hair gone silver and eyes a-twinkle,
I whisper to the beloved poet:
this wild and precious life was never mine to map;
it always had its own agenda, dancing itself
across infinite webs of thought and feeling,
back to its own vibrant womb
and the role it gave itself as miriam
was that of sweeper of the space,
one who clears the mind-droppings, ensuring
no concealment of that fierce Grace
shining, shining through the world’s sorrow and joy
(and the sweeper’s too)
And what will Life do I wonder, with its one wild and precious You?
Image: Kano Motonobu – Zen Patriarch Xiangyen Zhixian Sweeping with a Broom (detail)
Muromachi period 1336-1868. Ink and color on paper.
p e a c e
palpable as the presence of a Presence
yet utterly ineffable
a benediction without diction
beyond the grope of thought
a blessedness without symbol
not experienced as other but
– inescapably so –
immaculate all-adoring silence
Image: Miriam Louisa Simons – detail, Stained Glass Morning
Missa Gaia Series, 1987-88. Painting on silk, stitching.
Private Collection, Auckland New Zealand
blessed are those who know nothing for certain,
whose curiosity keeps them beyond the claws of conclusion,
who seek as an impulse of wonderment rather than for gain,
who question everything the pundits proclaim as truth;
whose questions deliver them, willingly or not,
to the fiery face of the Unnameable, and
who find the courage to keep a “yes” alive in spite of terror;
who come back speechless and trembling with gratitude
blessed are those for whom the encounter enlivens a capacity
and a willingness to hold both hands out to the world
(one to hold grief, the other, gratefulness)
for their heart knows the two as one;
who, without choice, stand naked in knowingness;
whose fulfilment is refreshed with every breath;
who are quietly content (which is not to say inert or passive)
in spite of all that life appears to heave at them
blessed are those who know these contented ones,
who count them among their friends and neighbours,
who seek them out for their simple wisdom, knowing
they have nothing to spin or sell – nothing to bestow
other than their crazy head-shaking heart-healing joy:
innocent – ingenious – immanent
Image: Bill Viola – Firewoman, 2005. Detail from video/sound installation.
The suitors came a-courting –
some to convert; others
They built their bowers
and cast their glittering nets
it was a bet against nothing
and nothing always
See, I was taken at birth by
a groom I could never meet;
wed for life to Its presence
our consummation flowering
in my disappearance –
afresh in every instant.
My groom is the keeper of nothingness:
the nothing that can’t be named
or owned, yet
It is my constant consort.
And so, tonight
I drink my wine and dance
How could I be happier?
Image: iPhone photography by Karen Divine
Karen’s work is featured at my website the awakened eye
a moment arrives
without a need of the past
the full moon rises
a thought bubbles up
a preference is posited
the moon doesn’t mind
the bubble bursts, pop!
awareness has no center
mooning melts the night
Image: Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando), Wind Blown Grass Across the Moon
Collection, Brooklyn Museum, New York
IT is not understood
until IT is forgotten.
When IT is forgotten
IT can express ITself.
When IT expresses ITself
you won’t recognise IT.
If you think you recognise IT
you are mistaken.
Realising you are mistaken
revealing IT to ITself
“IT” in this context = reality, big R.
This post might read like a madwoman’s rant, but those who have free-fallen into Unknowing will simply smile at the play of paradox.
Such is IT’s way.
Image sourced from Facebook, where credit was not given. Please advise if it’s yours and an appropriate link will be added.