The man left his daily time of meditation
(to watch the news on TV)
only to encounter consternation.
Where can my new found Peace be?
Yes, the Temporary Occupant entered,
the man watched his new friend Peace flee.
Only then did Peace he again see,
“My Peace hasn’t fled;
my Peace is still here with me.
From that eternal Peace,
not even the Temporary Occupant
can blind me from knowing in my heart,
‘Once I was blind, but now I see.’”
Advised to search for a hermitage in my heart,
the idea wasn’t completely
a foreign entity to me
but still, it came as a bit of a start.
Thomas Merton lived in a hermitage,
so, mostly, the idea for me
was of a place where one would go and just be.
But in my heart? That might leave me in an orphanage,
occupied by just one lonely one;
and that one would be only, lonely me,
but Peace was there and greeted me
as sure as the rising and setting of the sun.
And I could be with Peace anytime
along the arc of that sun.
*idea from a meditation by Henri Nouwen
“Bloom where you are planted,”
she often would say to me,
but blooming where you are planted
seemed so wussy to me.
I wanted to be out on the front lines —
there with all the action.
For confrontation, I would pine
and for justice, hopefully, get satisfaction,
but over the years I have learned
that I was making myself a victim
by perpetuating, with confrontation in my heart burned,
a violent system.
Chavez said, “I’m a violent man learning not to be.”
“In all your getting, be sure to get wisdom,” —
And so, that saying also came to me —
mysticism, contemplation, meditation, unitive
being with God (not win/lose, us or them, not violent
confrontation) lead to peaceful action.
In hindsight, her words return to me
“Bloom where you are planted,” so on the way
to the next demonstration, I’ll plant a tree
and help the earth breathe free.
*with appreciation for the meditations of
Richard Rohr, Matthew Fox and Henri Nouwen
I listened to the sounds coming from outside,
the cardinal’s call, the tap of a woodpecker.
I hoped the bird’s tap was not on the house
where previous birds have left their moniker.
The bird’s a domicile wrecker.
So I climbed out of bed and made my way
down the hall and to the front door.
The cedar siding was completely intact
and the bird lie dead on the entryway floor.
The neighbor’s cat did one dead bird score.
And so back to bed, I made my way
from the front door and up the stairs
one last look out the window I glanced
“Oh, no!” Pecking on the cedar siding was a pecker pair.
So I shouted, “Here, kitty, kitty!”
It’s survival of the fittest out there.”
Suffering follows the man like an
old Chocolate Lab coming up slowly,
nudging the man’s hand telling the
man that he’s still here.
Suffering comes at the man point
blank like a car charging sixty-five
miles an hour on a side street posted
twenty-five miles per hour.
The man with what peripheral vision
he has left looks to his left and then
to his right and, yes, suffering is
coming at him from those directions, too.
The man thinks to himself, Yes, that
really is the way it is. The man stops,
turns and watches the gray muzzled
dog limp up to him and kiss his hand.
We Sit in the Sun
Posted on September 27, 2011
We sit in the sun on the
soaking up the warmth,
out of the wind on a cool,
My Chocolate Lab nudges my
forearm and nudges again.
I look away from the poem and
I look at him beckoning me.
He’s old. He might not be here
a long time and someday
I will wish that he were here to
nudge my forearm.
I rub behind his ears;
I ball up a fist and
rub his snout
which itches with late
He goes to lie in the sun.
I look over at my wife and
return to Jim Harrison.
I suppose there are despicable,
fat, old, white females
like we are seeing
despicable, fat, old, white males,
but for the life of me,
an old but not fat, white male
and hopefully not despicable,
I have not seen
many despicable, fat, old, white females
in the number of
despicable, fat, old, white males.
We are all humans – male and female
and are all prone to err,
but for the life of me
I had not seen her
until I saw the two, despicable, fat, old, whites
brandishing guns – him and her
living their suburban, lifestyle dream,
which white privilege did confer.
And when I saw the hate and fear
of those despicable, fat, old, white people,
I, a hopefully not despicable, not fat, old, white male
had to hang my head in repentance and prayer.
The sweet Chocolate Lab
has compassion in her eyes.
Trump has only lies.
We sit on the deck
inhaling fragrant pine sap’s
He thought, perhaps, it is not too late
to expurgate the corrupted state
but upon further thought,
he thought such should be left to fate
and he would sit and blissfully meditate
and then he thought
because of what he did meditate,
he should do what he ought
and not just leave things to fate,
but join a non-violent protest, he thought
and then he thought
than never, he thought.