When a poem is about to be, keep your hands ready. It might have words, but sometimes instead it has sounds, flashes of light and color, pressure like an April gale, a lift of wing. I always thought it strange that such fragile things as bird eggs are laid high in tree boughs. There’s that … Continue reading Careful, as with eggs
I know, that’s backwards. It’s usually “effortless effort,” the Zen approach to living. But I think it may be more realistic and compassionate to say that putting in a focused effort upfront pays off in the practice of most things. One of my friends asked me when I’m going to add “watercolorist” to my profile … Continue reading Effortful effortlessness
pi day song - Observing sometimes means counting. How many times over, or how many iterations, repetitions in a pattern—these details are necessary to an act of keen artistic understanding. Time spent observing, letting the eye circle its shrine while interiorly circumambulating the heart’s concerns, isn’t counted. In fact, it puts time back into your … Continue reading Beautiful numbers
Saffron mood — Surprise flowers are a good strategy in love. A friend just reminded me of some translations I wrote a while back of Tamil love poetry. Maybe I’ll translate more this spring.
I try to explain, as at dinner today with my kids. I said, "I don't like to hear arguing or complaining, so I don't do either of those things. I like to hear poetry, so I make poetry." I suggested then that they speak in poetry if they really expected me to listen. That resulted … Continue reading Undermined silence