for the ocean

for the ocean

i stand at your wrist 

nestled on the hip of a lively port as it sleeps
your skin dances in the moonlight
from the toll of sweat and life
in heated inland air

like a blanket your cool breath protects me

three quarters, a waning moon i think
grateful the light reveals the dance of your skin
i am gifted the pleasure of a few moments of your company

again, in the privacy of night
i will come play for you
perhaps tomorrow or the day after
i could play here every night until tatters are all that is left
wind whipped threads where clothes once hung

Manjushri's altar in my palm
his lion; my fist
the moon on your dancing skin
the song of your breath resonates like a great temple bell


this is why the moon illuminates the dance:

as i reflect this self 

that falling star, if i may be the only one who saw it
may all beings find what they seek

waves and peaks, 

hills and valleys come and go

don't close your eyes but don't ignore the sound

beneath black, blue and silver

what life yet plays

Mother Pacific
if all I ever saw was your wrist,
i would still feel your magnitude
and know your great compassion

wisdom of a child

unconditioned, pure and whole

a child in the fifth year sees the world not with the false hope of expectations
but in the best circumstances with fearless faith 
that needs will be met; that every being encountered is a friend
or ought be...

and each morning as eyes open with the sun
a new adventure begins as a new story unfolds
boundless wonders await, such a marvelous prospect

gently, with small open hands
holding space for, like some sacred ceremony
blown adrift by even the laziest stir of wind
as if each phenomena were most delicate butterfly

but beautiful and compelling, fleeting even
yet world encompassing; all nature in accord
all attention, all presence at-one-with

clearly evident in a child's eyes; all in nature in oneness 
if only you take time to look

joyful compassionate anarchy
no separation and no clinging, free and responsive
the next breath leads immediately to laughter or to tears

but always quickly back again

as though this free heart carefully teeters; a ballet performed on a fir crown

fear and doubt and confusion arise
in the time it takes to name each of the ten-thousand things
the time, perhaps ten more times apple blossoms fall
but of what, some new threat? some antithetical heretical idea?

was there ever any real safety?

known but supplanted, it has all been here all along
all the thoughts arose at once in the First-Mind

history alone forgot
so why worry?

a child's blessing 

wasn't it just faith all along that all will be okay?

enough is enough

in the ultimate all is real
nature plays out as ever it has
with or without Mind's parsing and sorting by name
with or without Mind's parsing and sorting by form
with or without Mind's parsing and sorting by cause
with or without Mind's parsing and sorting by condition

in any of Mind's languages

grasping hands, 

clenched fists only squeeze themselves

dried and pinched of vitality, pain sets in
nerves agitated and no room between fingers can exist

for sand to fall through

no room for water to wash

no room for joy

until release

conditions forgotten, bright and empty
the mind does not exert itself

the antidote is wisdom
the releasing hand:
vitality pours in

bright and empty, functioning naturally

doubt and fear disappear in a flash

thirty-three flushes of dewey spring buds fill this belly

a name for everything 

and convictions: for and against


who is wise,

or could ever say so,

when a child's waking eyes

glistening with curiosity, boundless wonders await

a most marvelous prospect, indeed

the ultimate defeat is surrender  
relinquish self to friendship
relinquish to compassion
relinquish to selflessness


all attention, all presence at one with;
all nature in accord, all in nature at-one-ness

morning sunlight

clearly evident in a child's eyes

turning season

turning season

changing one thing into another
closing a season of fervor and life swirling
the green is tired

a flash of light
amber hues peek through

a flash of light
quilt of yellow draping root

a drop of water
the smell of earthen hues

dust bellows up in the wind
and into this news wraps feelings
these questions of what changes will come

travelers take leave
thoughts bellowing up in the wind
and in reviews wrap feelings
questions of what was,
what will, or what should be
past, present, future

smoke dancing in a hand
red dust in scratchy, squinting eyes
if there was no form to grasp
was what lost ever had?

bitter valley of winter
frost covered touches where once warmth sprang
slowed to a halt, a wanderer sat quietly in a cave
knowing the bottom is a fine place to start
even the coldest hell is home to Buddhas

and no realm is ever home for long

a still puddle lies in reflection
what change has already wrought
into this life or the next
chapters turn and turn
existence churn; a burning dance
yet no motion is discerned in reflecting water

shh... still is reflection
mind, body, heart
truth reveals itself



mother ocean meets these crumbling shores
she wears land down one pebble each day
the fire of our rocky passion builds anew
bursting forth, hurling tear shaped fire
straight from the belly of desire
destroying all as payment due for progress

a mountain climbs into the wind
running slowly upward for uncountable kalpas
guaranteed to crumble to nothing
when context is struck by cosmic bodies
or worn down by change
ebb and flow of seasons
tension and release of water
every weakness is exposed
coming and going faster than stones can keep up

in nature we see things opposing one another
the first imaginings seem too easy
gain and loss or right and wrong
ever a construct but never an outcome
is it all just a game playing out only in mind
but real or imagined; what is at risk?
surely for and against is a great mistake

object is object because of the subject
subject is subject because of the object
know that the two are originally one emptiness
but hold nothing
for holding is one against one
and existence containing all phenomena
how could difference be named?

all that is here will always be here
as ever it has been for not one
not ten-thousand, not millions, 
but for all kalpas
seen by every eye and all five ways of seeing
ever changing faces, changing names
still the same, still empty of self-existence
there can be no comparing in the realm where delusion is cut off

but grown in number and freedom
fed until knees buckle under fattened bellies and purses
in kingdoms centered by glass castles
people stand divided

one color against another
words are mere ideas
humility begs atonement
and observant silence
no views in hand
only hand in hand

and forgiveness

one viewing the other through a lens of ignorance
the other's contrarian behavior,
like a child, some say
what games play out,
what beings will suffer more
than ones whose minds stop and hold
where physical eyes discern
shadow or light
with or without
fine or coarse
black or white

yet all is.
no thought breathed into the air
can change what simply is
so why make enemy of what appears different,
when without other there is no you
anger does not nurture friendship
and the closer one holds other

on a departure

Silhouette of Adventure.jpg

what is there to see
in a moment when emptiness
does as it does with sentimental hearts?
a flower bloomed once,
its sweet fragrance yet perfumes the whole wind
nowhere it does not reach

plucked and wilted,
blown down and trampled, 
is it too late?
her sweetness is already everywhere
so in case you did not believe,
you are welcome to taste it in these tears.

neither for sadness nor joy
but for wealth in touch and experience
this time these feet walk on contented, remembering soles