on turning seventy three

 

alone in my hut

[no one here to invent me]

eyeballing emptiness

 

Rainbow Lorikeet hovering by Trevor Andersen

 

Seventy three missions

around the sun and not

one thing of worldly value

to show for it.

 

No savvy safety-nets:

investment portfolios, insurance policies,

plans A, B and C.  I walk the way

of not-knowing and wonderment.

 

Lofty notions of enlightenment, bliss,

exalted understanding have no buyer here;

I’ll take this uninvited, serene,

free and priceless fulfilment.

 

See, today I heard the air sing

as it danced through the rainbow wings

of a Lorikeet suspended

in space.

 

Today I watched cumulonimbus

massing in the west, those

sculpted edges alive with flaming gold

as the sun went down.

 

Tonight, as dusk fell

bringing cool relief to the sweating forest

I giddily inhaled a draught

laden with night-scented Jessamine.

 

And it is enough. Whatever may lie ahead

for this beloved bag of bones

the simple sensuous joy of being Presence

 

is enough.

 


Rainbow Lorikeet hovering. Photograph by Trevor Andersen.


on the road

 

Brunswick Heads - Soldier Crabs

xlvii

unblinking eyeballs

on the march at low tide

sky-gazers!

[the river mouth at Brunswick Heads, NSW]

 

Sulphur Crested Cockatoos

xlviii

a smokers’ dawn chorus

shatters azure silence

cockies aloft

[near Armidale, NSW]

 

Wellington Caves

xlix

eyeless emptiness

gazes at its ancient artistry:

on the road

to now-here

[Wellington Caves, near Dubbo, NSW]

 


Image credits:
Soldier Crabs by yours truly.
Sulphur Crested Cockatoos from ABC News.
Wellington Caves from juliusbergh.com – see more stunning images of the caves on this blog.


if

nothing

comes

next

 

Utagawa Kuniyoshi: Hotei

 

best keep an eye out for it!

 


Image: Painting of Hotei by Utagawa Kuniyoshi.

Hotei is one of Japan’s seven lucky gods. Officially he’s the God of Contentment and Happiness; in the West he’s known as the Laughing Buddha.

He carries a large cloth bag over his back, one that never empties, for he uses it to feed the poor and needy. It includes an inexhaustible cache of treasures, including food and drink. Indeed, the Japanese spelling of “Hotei” literally means “cloth bag.” He also holds a Chinese fan called an oogi  (said to be a “wish giving” fan — in the distant past, this type of fan was used by the aristocracy to indicate to vassals that their requests would be granted). Hotei is most likely based on the itinerant 10th-century Chinese Buddhist monk and hermit Budaishi (d. 917), who is said to be an incarnation of Miroku Bodhisattva (Maitreya in Sanskrit).

More information here.


 

sunyata in shoes

Three September haiku. It’s been quite a month: planets going backwards, the occurrence of the spring equinox (in Australia), and multiple eclipses of the moon… Moon business always seems to open a little gate here and the three-liners tumble through, fully formed. Wondrous!

 

Painting by Duy Huynh http://www.duyhuynh.com/artwork/selected-archives/

 

XXXVIII

sunyata in shoes

befriended by light and flight

she moves as the wind

 

XXXIX

faith and trust and grace

you only find their presence

when you disappear

 

XL

on this year’s soulstice

something in me swelled and surged

the tide has turned

 


Painting  by Duy Huynh


Śūnyatā – see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Śūnyatā


plus ça change…

WordPress wizards in training

The ingenious wizards at WordPress have shifted things around again. They no longer offer a sampling of blogs using the themes they offer – a pity, imho, as it’s always interesting to see the way a variety of bloggers turn a particular theme into a personal platform for their writing.

The changes mean this little blog is no longer featured as a “great blog using the Manifest Theme.” Overnight the stats shrank like unmentionables doused in a shower of icy water.

There’s a sense of relief that the folk who turn up here nowadays are more likely to be interested in the content of this blog rather than its theme and design. Yet this is mingled with gratitude that the exposure generated by the WP link may have delivered a few web-wanderers – who might otherwise have scooted on by – to these pages.

When all is said and done, all that remains is emptiness. And emptiness is not about to be silenced. So if you are a stalwart subscriber to this blog, fear not. She-who-transcribes-the-downloads isn’t about to clock off because she’s been sidelined by WP. She thrives on anonymity, and it’s a constant source of amazement to her that Life makes sure her offerings land exactly where they are able to be received.

Nothing, nothing is required of her but to offer what’s given.

And she wryly observes that the Changeless remains – well – unchanged.

plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

 


Image source.


raking rocks on the emptiness allotment

 

what I’ve noticed
since the free-fall into foolishness
is that
only a phantom called ‘me’
with its program of personal purpose
and its visions of attainment
– whether altruistic or mundane –
could demand of Life
(when the shit hits the fan)

but why?

why me?

?

Echoes from Emptiness: Ingo Leth: the spirit of zen, 2011, acrylic paint on linen

a space-filled nobody
(the absence of a ‘me’body)
makes no demands;
it doesn’t mind what happens

it has no agenda beyond
the health and well-being of the organism
(all organisms actually)
and no fantasies of an improved future

it just streams on regardless
from now to now to now
often wearing a quiet smile
and surreptitiously
inviting
more playmates to rake rocks
on the emptiness allotment

(the home base, dears,
of radical activism)


Painting by Ingo Leth


letter to a reformed seeker

Echoes from Emptiness - Cartoon by Michael Leunig

 

Dear (newly wide-awake) reformed seeker –

If you haven’t yet been called delusional, flakey, misguided, weird, out-of-touch, in denial, crazy, mistaken, blasphemous, arrogant, heretical, evil, a nutter…

If you haven’t been judged, shunned, ostracised, scorned, ignored, rejected, excluded, gossiped about, sent to Coventry…

No worries – there’s still plenty of time.

Seven billion stories (and counting) are poised to project their characters onto the empty pregnant space that you know yourself to be.

Hang in there – if you can find a ‘there’ anywhere. (Chuckles)

When the barbs come thick and fast you’ll be astonished to find that they fly right through your shimmering spaciousness. It’s quite a trip actually!

Best

etc


Cartoon by Michael Leunig