Bodhidharma

Bodhidharma

Friday, November 22, 2019

Ten Things - Journal - 22 Nov 2019

- When was the last time I saw a fish jump or a lightening strike? I don't know. 

- Time has become something of a blur. One day blurs into the next day, and really, I can see time for what it is and what it isn't. Time doesn't really exist. There is only now.

 - There are days when I wonder if I have lost myself; what became of the me I used to know? Other times I know that was was never a me to lose, that the universe is all one thing.

Existence is just one thing. The universe is me. I am the universe. We all are.

- Today would have been the 71st birthday of my late stepbrother, Bill. A decent man. I liked him. 

- The house is silent. I am silent.

- Everything is equal in the void.

- To the south, the sound of a train. The track is only a bit over a mile away. The air horn, the steel wheels. Motion.

- In the garage is the rubble created by the mental illness of our middle child, now 35. I'll be months clearing it. If he ever stops adding to it. 

- Looking up, a blue sky. A perfect day. Lovely and cool.


James
22 Nov 2019





'Restraint and patience. Wisdom and diligence.'


Restraint and patience. Wisdom and diligence. Above all, kindness and generosity. May I seek out ways to practice these every day, and remember be thankful that I can. 

James

Thursday, November 21, 2019

'Night. A waxing half-moon over the Sacramento Valley.'

Night. A waxing half-moon over the Sacramento Valley. 2 AM, nearly moonset. Somewhere close by, a great-horned owl announces its territory. Perhaps this fine bird is declaring its life, its joy, as in, “I’m here. I’m alive.” At my desk by the open window, I wait a moment, and the owl calls again. “I’m here, too, my friend.” I say it aloud in the dark room, but the words fall to the floor and lay there like frightened puppies.

James
10 Aug 2019
21 Nov 2019
oktu

'There are children in cages and it makes you want to scream'


There are children in cages and it makes you want to scream until you vomit. Children, kept like mad dogs at the pound. Dirty. Unloved. Even their names don’t matter. Their lives don’t matter.

This is what America is now.

Incredible weapons are built and sold for profit to countries that use them on civilians, and that means money for America. Profit from blood. And nothing will change it. Nothing can slow down the profit or the death.

This is what America is now.

You are sick to your stomach because race hate is now on the national menu and a plateful is cheap. The people belly up and chow down. It’s easy, they are told, go ahead and hate.

Rape the women, rape the children, rape the planet, because there’s money to be made, and every cent goes to the people who already have more than they could us

This is what America is now.

This what America has become.


James
09 Aug 2019
21 Nov 2019
oktu

'Words growing like fresh whiskers'


Words growing like fresh whiskers, no shave lasts forever. If I write long enough this beard might someday reach the floor. 

James
21 Nov 2019

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Journal - 10 Things

- Seeing a loved one struggle with something internal, something that is not a part of you in any way, but touches you anyway, everyday. 

- Working at trying to keep life on a one-day-at-a-time level, and sometimes you can make it and sometimes you fail. 

- When politics feels like taking a beating, and the politics are everywhere, you're surrounded. 

- Knowing that keeping hope in your life is totally up to you, only you. 

- Seeing that your current level of hope is pretty damn low. 

- Remembering, out of the blue, the sadness of your mother's eyes, years after her death, how the sadness was always there, a disappointment that was visible to anyone who took the time to look. 

- Spending a lifetime reading and writing poems, and not epic poems, but rather small poems about rather small moments. 

- Be pleased that you spent your life doing this, and that you would you do it again, pretty much the same way. 

- Waking up at 3:30 AM and going outside to listen for the owl that seems to live in the park across the street. 

- Being rewarded with a few soft 'hoots.' 

James
20 Nov 2019

'My poetry is not a poem'


My poetry is not a poem
And my poem is not poetry.
The universe is always expanding
And my pencil is large enough
To capture it all.

James
20 Nov 2019



'The President carefully took aim and fired'

The President carefully took aim and fired, and the bullet struck the immigrant in the heart. It was a large wound, and from it flowed hopes and dreams. Friend, when you’re shot in the heart and you’ve lost your hopes and dreams, does it matter on which side of a border you stand? 

America, if you ever had a soul, it’s gone.

James
07 Aug 2019
20 Nov 2019 
oktu

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

'It’s pretty easy to understand; life opens up'

It’s pretty easy to understand; life opens up like a brand new box of your favorite cereal on a lovely morning when your favorite uncle dies. Or something.

James
19 Nov 2019
oktu

'Moonlight in my window, forgive me'


Moonlight in my window, forgive me
For my mistakes as I forgive myself.
The light through the pane is pale,
Yet glorious and as fine as new snow.
Tonight the moon is in its final quarter,
And perhaps I am in my final quarter
As well. Moonlight and forgiveness.

James
19 Nov 2019
oktu



'I keep listening'

I keep listening
Carefully
But I fail to hear
The sound of the world
Turning.

James
19 Nov 2019
oktu

'Standing outside of my church late at night, I can hear an owl'

Standing outside of my church late at night, I can hear an owl up in a Ponderosa Pine. If you smell the bark of a Ponderosa Pine, it is a little like butterscotch. It's a tree that one usually finds higher up in the foothills and mountains. 

"Why are you down here in the valley?"
I ask the old tree that. 

"Just keeping an owl happy,"
She tells me. 

The owl, who I never actually saw, hoots twice more and then becomes quiet. A cold night in January, lit only by stars. 


James
oktu 

'These writings are like a dog’s dirty footprint'

These writings are like a dog’s dirty footprint in the middle of the kitchen floor, or like a traffic signal that has gone dark; someone is always right there to complain. If you can get beyond complaint and praise, there is a river. Did you know that? It is always summer there under the shade trees, and the trout are biting.

James
06 Aug 2019
19 Nov 2019
oktu

Monday, November 18, 2019

'This is how the sunshine tastes.'

This is how the sunshine tastes. Like gold, like power. And this is how it tastes to be a man in sunlight. Even now, in the darkness, the flavor is on my lips, on my tongue. 

James
18 Nov 2019
oktu

'The bats fly at sundown'

The bats fly at sundown, all day long they have slept under the I-80 Yolo Causeway. They fly the bottom land near the Sacramento River at night, eating mosquitoes. Quite nice of them, don't you think? The river flows to San Francisco Bay, and then out into the Pacific. Water connects us all. The bats return under the causeway by sunrise. May they rest with full stomachs and with our thanks. The earth spins as always.

James
05 Aug 2019
18 Nov 2019 
oktu

'I built this life, but no matter.'

I built this life, but no matter. You built yours, too; we all do. And we live together on this spinning earth under a star billions of years old, perhaps older than god. And the other stars? They are so old that by the time their light reaches us they don't even exist anymore. and when I pray, and when I meditate there is only my soul and my breath. I leave the ages for someone else to define.  

James 
18 Nov 2019

Ten Things - Journal - 22 Nov 2019