Archived entries for Poetry

is there a buddhist in the house?!?

“Would you like to have spiritual care?”

The question scared me. The nurse had been casually going through various pre-op necessities, taking my blood pressure and checking my pulse and asking if I were allergic to latex. My impending translaminar foraminectomy was classified as elective surgery. “Spiritual care” sounded like “last rites” to me. Had I missed something in the surgeon’s office?

I discovered that the Methodist Hospital of Houston simply and charitably provides any spiritual presence for any patient who wants it. After quickly confessing that I was a Buddhist and then blithely announcing that, nah, I didn’t need any help, a tangle of unthought thoughts hit my head like sticky spiritual cobwebs.

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play it again, Rainer

I was burning. A slow, surreptitious fire. A diffuse thread of lightning tracing down my body. Not the shock of one hard blow but, like dark ink, a slow and spreading stain of pain.

And, I kept telling myself it’s just a little pain. It’s just a physical discomfort. (Do you, like me, think first of the heart when you hear the word “pain”?) And, then, after months of handling it and a then few more of needing help to handle it and then a good attitude and then a bad one and then drugs I didn’t want to take and then a surgery I actually did want, I have to admit that what I really felt, more than anything, was fear.

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flow me a sign

“Black holes are where God divided by zero.” What better way for the universe to announce that I have pondered the cosmic ramifications of quantum physics enough than to flash a bumper sticker like that across my path? The universe may well be ultimately unknowable, but it sure does have a sense of humor sometimes.

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are you experienced?

Twenty-two years later, I open up The Dancing Wu Li Masters and find an E.E. Cummings quotation?!? Synchronicity just so is, I tell you. “Knowledge is a polite word / for dead but not buried imagination.” Ouch, as I sit here neck-deep in supposedly knowledgeable books. But, thank you, Universe. I needed that.

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no string attached

“I think it’s like a prayer.”

My then seven-year-old had answered her own question more exquisitely than I ever could have. I had managed to keep my didactic mouth shut and allow her to answer it for herself. Two quiet miracles in one quiet moment while a mother was at home with her child.

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couldn’t have said it better myself, part 3

+++++Jeffrey McDaniel is a poetry god, and just another soul like you and me. He has written the best poem about God I have yet to come across all these many years. Oh! And I should have been encouraging you to read these (and all) poems out loud! All together now…

The Foxhole Manifesto

“There are no atheists in foxholes.”
++++++++++- old Christian proverb

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couldn’t have said it better myself, part 2

When I first read this poem by old soul and big heart Steve Marsh, while I intellectually understood it as a poem about love of the “between true lovers” variety, I kept intuiting a love letter to and with the Universe as well. I wonder what you will think…

Belated Valentine:
A Work in Progress

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couldn’t have said it better myself, part 1

Speaking of wings…

My family and I are extremely blessed and lucky to be flying off, as Tigger would say, “on a big explore” for a good while, and so for this and the next two posts I simply wanted to share with you three of the best poems I have ever come across thanks to the wild and spirited art that is Poetry Slam. The words, and the artists, explore lots of Big Things. Happy Vernal Equinox to all! xoAe

“The dawn of weird”

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i sing a song of saint e. e.

How did this man enter my life? How did his poetry spill into my life so completely? He’s been in my bed so many times… and I can’t even remember where I first met him?!?

I can remember when poetry itself decided to explode into my life. Fourteen years ago and newly in Austin, Texas, I had ended up on a Chamber of Commerce committee for the arts in charge of a member happy hour. I scrounged up a list of artists from somewhere and invited them, too. I figured it might be easier to raise money for the arts if more people actually met artists. The sociable was only marginally sociable when two longhaired young men in combat boots suddenly stormed in, shook my hand off of my arm, jumped up on two chairs and began performing. Loudly, and lyrically. Inexplicably, and perfectly. Just six minutes of lapidary words and ardent emotion, and the entire room was transfixed.

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a field guide to getting along

‘Tis amazing how much anger starts leaching out when one is on one’s way to a ‘Buddhism and Anger’ Seminar. Snitty about how everyone was loading the dishwasher. Snotty about how I was always the one who had to get everyone moving in the morning. Before I could embarrass myself any more, I sheepishly turned to my beloved and began, “Do you think that maybe, because of where I am going this weekend, I’m a little bit…?” Before I could finish, he burst into laughter and hugged me. So did my girls. And then they hurried me off to the airport.

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