Window of the Afternoon Sunlight


Window of the Afternoon Sunlight

after a restful sleep
my thoughts became free
and weightless

I awoke to the light of an overcast day
filtering through closed blinds
a soft glow filled the room


Afternoon sunlight streams through the blinds creating an outside-inner light.

On Tuesday (Umbrellas in the Rain)


On Tuesday (Umbrellas in the Rain)


the rain comes softly down
the cobblestones are restless
dressed in gray flannel suits
(umbrellas in the rain)

a gray sky over the city
women sadly pass by; brown tweeds
flat-bottomed shoes; going off to meet
their trade on Tuesday (a village in the rain)

didn’t even know her name
the day she caught my eye
to her it was just a game
no lies, no promises

but that’s ok
I’m doin’ all right
there’s no need to apologize
I’m just trying to get myself right
I just need to dry the skies on Tuesday
(then she was gone) on Tuesday
when the world went wrong

Chinese sailors bend and fall
down walkways of a crowded street
smiling ladies laugh and speak in a sing-song harmony
with hibiscus flowers in their hair; it’s not fair
on Tuesday (umbrellas in the rain)

Jack Kerouac – Fear of Knowing

‘Even fear crossed his brain, imaginary fevers that something was going on behind his back, before his closed eyes: unmoved, he let these doubts and disturbances, like bubbles, vanish back to their origin in the emptiness of the mental sea.’

Jack Kerouac – Wake Up! A Life of the Buddha


Fear of Knowing


eyes closed
allowing fear
to displace calm

the sensation
of fright:




The swallowing sense of fear one sometimes gets navigating the ‘mental sea‘ dissipates.

The Carnival – Phantasmagoria



“Are you OK?” Wally is shaking Tin Horn
the driver is trying to ignore his rider’s jerking and kicking
in his sleep

“Aw he’s alright.
Just let him sleep it off” he sh-shrugs

Tin Horn shakes himself from the grips of the dream
“Where are we?” he looks around and tries to regain his composure
he growls to compensate for his show of weakness

Aren’t we there yet?”
he smacks the driver on the shoulder

“When will we be there?”
“Soon.” the cabbie flicks the whip ever so slightly for the lead horse
to step up the gait

all five men are rocking to the rhythm and sway of the wagon
as it ambles along a dirt road outside the halo of the city lights

in the distance—

there is a glow above the horizon
there must be a city just beyond the summit

as the wagon pulls over the crest of the hill
they come upon spotlights crisscrossing the night sky
and a Ferris wheel

a hubbub of excitement
sprawling across the landscape

it is a carnival

an illusion of lights and mirrors
gawking wildly in a swirling careening
idiotic phantasmagoria of mayhem
in the nocturnal countryside

the wagon stops inside the confines of a farmyard vivid with noise and excitement
strings of lights draped across creosote darkened electric poles
glow the night

the driver ties the horses and leaves; Tin Horn must fodder them
“See ya later!” Wally calls out running after Orly

Chew Lin stays behind
“What are you waiting for?” Tin Horn asks
“Just waiting for you.” Chewin’ shrugs
“I don’t know my way around.”
“I’ll be with you in a flash
I’ve just got to feed these beasts.”

the two walk the horses
to the livery

(To be continued…)

The Carnival – Tin Horn

Tin Horn


Tin Horn stands on a deserted city street
strewn with the rubble and chaos of war

empty storefronts yawn like the gaping mouths
eye sockets of bleached skulls lining limestone cliffs

in the distance
he hears
a clock strike the hour

a voice calls out
“Hello” softly

he reels in his step
he must be dreaming

stooping to pick up
a piece of paper that floats to the ground

he reads words
smeared and smudged
written in a terrifying scrawl

“And look at you boy
gone crazy in the night
barking at the moon

and look at you boy
you are lost”

he pauses

“You have thrown
every anchor
of Saving Grace

and you have cut the lines!
and my god!” he reads
“Oh my god,
you’re still lost!”

he tears up the paper and screams: “No!
No!” he stumbles around a corner running

a crowd of faceless people
their clothes tattered and bloody
emerge from the ruins of a cathedral pock-marked
by mortar shells

he hears the voice again
Hello” this time with a sense of urgency
“Hello!” yet, it is as soft as the flutter of a dove

the crowd raises their arms in unison
they point at a tower
with a huge clock hands frozen

Tin Horn!” they call his name!
“Tin Horn!” they speak in a soft babble murmuring

Tin Horn!
The time! Check The Time!”

out of nowhere
the voice he’s heard becomes a dove
and lands on one of the hands of the clock

time stands still…and so does Tin Horn

he turns pallid
an incomprehensible grief consumes him
and he sputters like a child:

“I have searched through books
and scoured the ink on printed page
and have I found an answer? no
I could not find one there

“And I have tried to catch the rainbow’s end
in hopes to find

a pot of gold but only found a bucket of illusion”

he trembles with an unspeakable sense of loss and sobs
groaning in his sleep

(To be continued…)

The Journey of the Sea Turtle


The Journey of the Sea Turtle


swimming through the Stream of Consciousness
it’s flippers brush back thoughts as it gently moves further
into the depths

“The sea turtle swims
through the Stream of Consciousness”

I find this guided imagery the best during the night when sleep is difficult—insomnia.

Two Inches Above the Ground


Two Inches Above the Ground 


“Enlightenment  is like everyday consciousness but two inches above the ground.”

D. T. Suzuki

I read an interesting guided meditation by one of my favorite writers, Paul Loughman, who also goes by the name desertcurmudgeon on the blog Two Voices In One Transmission (see link below). If ever there was a must-read blog—with topics ranging from the minuscule to the grandiose, the political to the spiritual (two most unrelated topics, in my opinion—unless you’re talking Right Wing Conservative Cristioinsanity—I’m definitely not referring to that here), this blog is it. It’s hard to describe the complexity of thought and at the same time utter common sense you will meet in his writings. So I offer the following—not so much as an example—but as a topic I found very important in my continuing quest to make sense of Zen. As brilliant and cosmos-shaking as his usual, it was originally posted on May 14, 2017:

Guess what?  You have never touched anything.  The human nervous system is akin to a power plant that provides electricity to a sprawling metropolis.  Neurons in the brain and [Central Nervous System] communicate via electrical impulses creating a wave of pulses that act upon the senses and form a literal electromagnetic field around the body’s exterior.  […]  Since the interactions between the electromagnetic field and objects of the physical world result in tactile sensations, the nature of which depend on the pressure exerted by the object’s own invisible electrical skin, we go through life unaware of this powerful but infinitesimal barrier.  Hence, we think that we are gripping a steering wheel, caressing our lover’s face, or petting our dog when, in fact, it is only our electromagnetism that is making contact. […]

An amazing insight. Molecules never touch! I knew that. But then again, I never gave it a second thought. That is, until Mr Loughman describes how this seemingly minor detail can change our viewpoint about who we are and how we fit into the scheme of Everything-Else. Paul continues: Continue reading

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