The River

I sit in silence by the shore of the river.
All my years of formal education pale
in comparison to the wisdom shared
by the simple lessons offered here.

The river flows downstream, never
against herself, there is no struggle.
Though there be large boulders and
clumps of weeds, she moves around
them with ease and leaves them be.

The riverbank supports the river,
her edges contain the waters that
rush by, sometimes a trickle, other
times raging rapids, but she remains
steadfast, ever composed and calm.

The river is alive.  Her life force is
vibrant and energetic.  The prana that
she emits is felt by all who approach,
they are immediately refreshed and
renewed by her golden aura.

All animals that need to drink from
her waters are treated equally, none
are turned away.  They are served
with unvarying harmony and humility.

She provides homes and haven to the
myriad fish, frogs, turtles, snakes that
rely on her for their sustenance.  And too
the land animals and birds look to her for
the life-giving fluid and foods that they
fish from her bountiful waters.

A current of power flows along with
her waters.  It builds within itself
and bathes all who draw near with
invigorating showers of illumination.
If she ebbs or flows
it makes no difference.
She is here to give.

It is Abhra’s birthday today and he shared a beautiful poem by Rabindranath Tagore with us and asks what gift would we like to share:

At Sherry Blue Sky’s suggestion, I’m also linking this to Poets United for their prompt on teaching or teachers:

Haibun Monday 2


My mind drifts in and out and flows around and about, switching directions on a whim, back to childhood, in between and then up to the present again. This play moves my emotions with it as if on a roller coaster ride. The sting of a hurt feeling from decades ago can be recreated through a memory that becomes dislodged by the smell of the apple pie that is cooking in my kitchen today. The contented joy I felt while mothering my newborns is a love-filled, treasured memory. Instantly I feel at calm ease when I reflect upon that time. But even this memory takes me from present time; it too a phantom.

Memories are powerful imprints within us. They can evoke times of joy, love, closeness, warmth, smiles or fear, panic, sorrow, regret and shame. To dwell on painful memories can hold us tight to the past and rob us of our life in the present. And interspersed with all those memories are the daydreams of my imaginings…both are fleeting wisps, gone with tomorrow.

echoes of the past
ghostly mirages at play
today let me live

Today is Haibun Monday at dVerse Poets. Bjorn and Hamish invite us to pick one of two quotes from Khalil Gibran that they have provided and write a haibun. The details are here:

Peeping Tom

One night as I silently watched you through
the window that was open to the night air,
you gave no sign that you knew I was there.

Your pretty innocence excited me even
though you were only reading a book.
It became a compulsion to watch you

or one of your sisters. However, I had to
be extra careful around your older brother
and not alert him to what was going on.

Once there were a couple of your girlfriends
along with all of you four sisters in your
bedroom and I made the mistake of showing

my face at the window. The screaming that
erupted made me tear out of there like my
life depended on it. I had never run so fast before.

I laid low for a few days but soon showed up again.
It became a compulsion to watch you.
I also had another compulsion and I acted it out

one fateful night when I donned a bra and panties
and crept up on that window to that room where
you liked to read. What I didn’t know, and you

were so cool about it, was that you had heard
my step falls on the crisp, autumn leaves
and had gone and told your brother and his

friend out in the living room that someone was
outside the window. I was caught that night,
embarrassed, threatened with great bodily harm

if I showed up there again. Maybe that night was
a turning point for me, I needed help for my
compulsion to watch you.

Kelly invites us to write from the view of the opposite sex over at dVerse Poets:

Concrete Gray

Photo: Google Images Public Domain

Concrete gray becomes their hair
Sidewalk cracks too much to bear

Melding, blending with their position
No glance their way gives recognition

A man downtrodden, sad, consumed
Has no shelter within this tomb

Others care, some don’t have time
To tend a hand covered in grime

Human beings reduced to this
A land of plenty became an abyss

Once okay and doing fine
One tripping slip they crossed the line

Whole families now are on the streets
Life’s shifting changes kicked their teeth

Now invisible, we don’t care
Concrete gray became their hair

I’m linking this to the 100TPC Event at Into the Bardo/Beguine Again with Jamie Dedes.  Come join us!:

A Life Can Raise Up

You don’t know me,
but we’re connected you see
and not because I live
close by or down the street.
We’re bound together,
because we’re both
human beings.

I share the same needs
and desire to live safely,
have food, and clothing
and my family in shelter.
I want medicine when I’m sick
and the best possible care for my
children and loved ones,
because we’re both
human beings.

I live in Sierra Leone, Niger
and Syria, Zimbabwe,
Ethiopia and Haiti,
Rwanda, Uganda, Mali
Congo and Somalia
and many other
places far and wide.
And even though there are
oceans between us,
makes no difference,
because we’re both
human beings.

Put judgments aside, (look
straight into my eyes), don’t
intellectualize and rationalize
all the differences you surmise
and reasons you construe
that I’ve failed somehow
so you can lay blame for
these conditions in which I live.
But you know better than that,
because you’re a
human being.

If I put out my hand
and gave you my name,
would our acquaintance
seem more real and
personal that way?
Could you then understand
that we’re so much alike?
That my heart feels the agony
of my treacherous life and to
watch my children suffer
gives me unimaginable pain,
I feel just like you,
I’m a fellow
human being.

But if you should think that
I’m just too far away and
you really feel stuck that
I’m down on my luck, then
look around your town for
a needy citizen nearby.
Reach out your hand
and give him respect,
spend time and listen, fill
an empty gap, we all have
these stories of how life has hurt
but with caring attention
a life can raise up,
because we’re
all human beings.

Today Bjorn is hosting Open Link Night at dVerse Poets and inviting us to add a poem of our choice:

This was previously linked at  Jamie Dede’s Into the Bardo/Beguine Again site for the event of 100TPC 2015 (100 Thousand Poets for Change) last weekend where the topic was poverty and hunger.

Presentation for dVerse Poets: Japanese Death Poems

Today I’m presenting Japanese Death Poems at dVerse Poets for Meeting the Bar, please join us:

Matsuo Basho

Matsuo Basho


Basho's death poem

Wikipedia:  Matsuo Bashō, 1644-1694, was the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan. During his lifetime, Bashō was recognized for his works in the collaborative haikai no renga form; today, after centuries of commentary, he is recognized as the greatest master of haiku.


Clouds silhouetted
against setting sun’s waning
winter’s sleep is near
Singing temple bell
encircles the valley’s pond
resting place awaits
No need for despair
this shell has aged and withered
morning breaks again
celebrate my renewal
freedom is mine, farewell all!
Howling, sickly wolf
moonless path ends abruptly
heart heavy, cries die
I had a nice drive
the journey was full and wide
the outing complete
Cherry blossoms drift
on the breeze scattering far
and near, I gather
memories to take with me,
hands grasp only emptiness
Wide awake I’ve been
for what seems like just a blink
slumber beckons now
Long, drawn-out journey
sharp mind in a withered shell
window framed my world
slowly now, life is ebbing
my path worn down by my dreams
Coming and going
are inconsequential and
meaningless yet we
celebrate the one and mourn
the other, pure balderdash!
Mountain’s pinnacle
will soon be summitted, the
loon’s call through the mist
guides me to the unseen peak,
only a few more paces


It was that hazy time of day when it’s just beginning to darken but there’s still plenty of light to see where you’re going. And I was heading out. The interstate was just about the only way out now that wasn’t standing under water.

The last heavy rain had flooded the town for one last time for me. Most everyone had already gone anyway. Our small town had been steadily declining for years. The young folk had moved elsewhere to find jobs and start families. There were just a few of us “oldtimers” left and now there was one less.

PHOTO PROMPT © The Reclining Gentleman

Photo Credit:  The Reclining Gentleman

Join us at Flash Fictioneer Friday with Rochelle Wisoff-Fields and write a story in 100 words:

Day Cries Gray

Tied in knots, fear grips unyielding,
Hazed future shut down my singing.
Profusion of tears leaves me peeved,
The day cries gray, my heart does grieve.

Stunned anxiety maintains me fixed,
Movement forward seems now transfixed.
Instead of light, my world’s bereaved,
The day cries gray, my heart does grieve.

All is pale, neutral, muted, dark,
My vision heavy, listless, stark.
Where is salvation? I am cleaved!
The day cries gray, my heart does grieve.


I tried another kyrielle today for Open Link Night at dVerse Poets hosted by Abhra.  Join us!

Mira Jaya Ji

20150729_164754_resized (1)

Photo by Gayle Walters Rose:  Mira Jaya Rose-Hutner

Who would have thought
with one child’s birth
such transformation
within my heart.
No hesitation
on my part
to uproot my life
and join your side.
Witnessing your
change and growth
has brought great
expansion of my own.
A guru in an infant’s
form has shone
the light where
it had dimmed.

You’ve bowed to me
and touched my feet.
With common ground
we’ve made a link.

I pay attention
to what you teach,
no matter if
you’re only three.  

Now delight
is often near,
your joyous smile
brings sweet cheer.

These last few years
I won’t forget,
your entrance here
made my top-ten list.

Toni, aka Kanzen Sakura, asks us to offer something up along the lines of change over at dVerse Poets:

Storm and Frog

Roused from sleep by the house rattling with thunder, my body aches with pain, more sore than restored. A tempest rages outside with squalling, storm bands flooding and high winds whipping at the trees; stormy weather sometimes has this affect on my body. I want to go back to sleep but a green tree frog who has wedged himself in my window jamb is delighted for the soggy morning and calls out to the surrounding community with a loud but low-pitched, repetitive croak. His song is answered with a chorus and now it seems a glee club is resounding throughout my room.

fully awakened
nature’s voice has my attention
window frames my day

Green Tree Frog; Photo

The first Haibun Monday is being presented at dVerse Poets:

Japanese Death Poems

In the death poem (jisei), the essential idea was that at one’s final moment of life, one’s reflection on death (one’s own usually but also death in general) could be especially lucid and meaningful and therefore also constituted an important observation about life. The poem was considered a gift to one’s loved ones, students, and friends. The tradition began with zen monks, but was also popular with poets, whose poems were often just as solemn as those of monks, or entirely flippant and humorous. The poems are often full of symbols of death, such as the full moon, the western sky, the song of the cuckoo, and images of the season in which the writer died.

The following are a collection of my own Japanese Death Poems (no I’m not nearing death…just playing):


This world has gone dark
With one foot in the next
I see light, peace…your face.


Dark clouds obscure the moon,
beating of my heart slows,
the open window beckons.


Stark, cold branches
silhouetted against the moon
point in all directions;
choosing my next path, I depart.


Torrential river’s rush,
now a dwindling,
drying rivulet.


Love, we still have love!
It remains constant
unlike this temporal body.


Whippoorwill’s call
at evening’s nigh…life
lifts gently from my
form before dawn.


Why, death is nothing!
It’s like walking from
one room to another.


More there than here,
a sudden burst of energy
hurls you into the beyond,
much like birth.


The hiker
moves swiftly
over rocky terrain,
boulders, mountains,
but one slip and the very
ground he depended
on meets him head-on
and he’s gone.


I looked around
and noticed people
aging and dying.
The belief was so
strongly embedded
that I followed suit.


Summer’s heat rising
from the pavement…
has no effect on my chilling form.


The lifeless state mirrors the deathless,
all is one continuous thread
weaving throughout lifetimes of infinity.


When passing a stranger in the street or watching those parade by you at the mall, with your deepest faith in all things good, project to them with heartfelt kindness and deliberation:  I wish you well.  I wish you peace.  I wish your soul’s most deep quietude and knowing.  May you be blessed.  May you feel love.  May you feel the compassion of the universe serving you in the utmost capacity.  May you feel happiness and joy.  May you remain at peace in the face of life’s challenges.

These blessings will go forth and touch all who receive them, and as an added bonus, these blessings will foster these very things within you.

This is a powerful meditative practice that simply asks that you wish goodwill toward others.  Watch as it brings wellbeing into your own life.

Temple Bell

Mountain temple bell
Gong echoes down the valley
Snow leopard’s ears twitch

Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard

2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,800 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

“The Snowman”


Again, I am posting this story of “The Snowman.” May all have a blessed and happy Christmas surrounded in love…

Originally posted on Bodhirose's Blog:

     In 1978,  English author, Raymond Briggs, published the story “The Snowman”.  It is a wordless book using only illustrations to tell the story.  The pictures are in full color and are in a hazy softness that hints of the falling snow that brings about the story that unfolds.  A movie was made of the book in 1982 and has a different ending than the book but is also wordless except for one song that is sung, “Walking in the Air”.  The movie is 26 minutes long.

     The movie (and the book) came to my attention in 1982 when I was approached by our family hairdresser who asked if our two daughters, then 9 and 7, would like to assist her husband in the review of a new children’s movie.  Her husband, Jay Boyer, was the movie critic for the Orlando Sentinel at the time.  He would interview…

View original 335 more words

The Caller

The gray, damp and cold
sky echoes my mood.
Listless and brooding,
I feel the lack of warmth
and interest even within my breath.
I emerge when engaged
with others but when left
to myself, I sink into the age-
old feelings, expected this
time of year, but not welcomed.

She’s as old as me,
this caller that creeps
inside and makes herself
at home on these dark,
shortened days.
Images of despair and
malady enfold and grip,
totally enveloping.

It is said that every seven
years our bodies are
restored and refreshed
with cells anew, but
mine seem to clutch
determinedly, to stay affixed,
and remain the same.

Submitting this for Poets United:  Poetry Pantry # 229:

Dead Woman Talking

I may be dead but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have any feelings or thoughts.

Why, it is our very thoughts that infuse life into us…even while we’re “dead.”

Doesn’t make sense? Well, give it some time and it will. Death can turn your world upside down…from your vantage point anyway.  I feel quite “right side up.”

I no longer have a body per se, just a hint of an outline of where my flesh and bones once resided.

I can wish myself anywhere at any time. There’s no need for use of the “feet” or public transportation.  A simple thought of where I want to be and I am transported in a blink.

And you believe that I’m no longer with you because I have passed from the physical world and you have remained, but that is not so…not so at all. I am probably more present now than I was when I was there with you.  I see you and I feel love but it is the kind of love that is selfless and without grasping.

I can now immediately sense your essence, perfection and fundamental goodness.  Words are unnecessary and are in fact a hindrance, a burden, a border that created separation.  Any type of conflict that we once may have had has now dissolved.

Me being “dead” and you being “alive” is such a fallacy.  It is a fairytale that has been passed down through the ages as if we were children and have been spoon fed fanciful stories to amuse us and keep us quiet and obedient.  There is but a wisp between your world and mine and we come and go freely between each, learning, always learning…even through our pain we are expanding and growing.

I feel more free here.  You are still encased in the cumbersome body and consciousness that holds you fast to the world made “real” by your beliefs. Now, though, my thoughts have less resistance.  Opposition isn’t given the strength here that it possesses there.  It’s evident in the wars that your world has created by a group consciousness that brings them into play.

There is no war or hatred here.

Oh no, don’t feel sorry for me…


Grace is our hostess at dVerse and introduces us to writing from the perspective of the dead as put forth by the writer Marvin Bell:


Vigilant she toils, sweet attention planting
Violets, her favorite, delicate, fragrant flower
Valued for their deep, purple-blue petals
Visioning their success along with the
Vinca, viburnum, valerian and variegated ivy
Vining way up the sturdy oak
Victory will be had…with patience

Vandana Sharma introduces the Pleiades Form for us at dVerse Poets:

Uh, oh…I goofed.  The form is to use six syllables not six words.  I’ll try to redo it tomorrow…too late now!

Breathing In

breathing in

Breathing In by Brooke Shaden:


Each new inhalation
brings life anew
as if coming forth
from the womb.
Floating in wisdom,
the breath carries
me in peace and
holds me in
gentle repose.  
Freedom is the
all encompassing
space that
surrounds me.
The endless
vibration of
my soul
all of time.
And I rest here.
In quiet stillness.
Merged in joy.
With all that exists.

Grace is our hostess at dVerse today and invites us to use the art of Brooke Shaden to inspire our writing.  Gratitude to Brooke Shaden for the use of her amazing and inspiring art work.:


its tentacles
of ice
us to dance.

A dullness
this plague,
a migraine that
thuds and

along, our
feet leaden,
our thinking
caustic and
by the erosion
of our being,
opaque rime lingers

ever so slowly,
a provocative
drama is being
played out.
The elected
actors merely
puppets of a
higher power.
(A higher
power…not a
power looking
out for our best

An avalanche
of platitudes
has taken
our warmth,
our quickness,
our life force,
our Source.

Karin Gustafson invites us to dig deep into metaphors over a dVerse Poets:

Teetering on the Edge (of sleep)

Tossing and turning,
turning and tossing.
I refuse to look
at the clock with its
bright dial, plain
as day in the night.
But the hour is late
and it hounds me,
bothering and heaping
upon me all sorts
of layers of woe.
My mind worries
and thinks, makes
up stories that trip
me up and makes
my mind worry…
and mulls over
nothing pleasant.
I feel like a motorized,
hopped-up, agitated
version of a woman
who should be asleep.
It makes no sense.
I have a subtle but
palpable, physical
humming to my body.
Adrenaline seeps
in quick bursts,
with every heart
beat, into my
No sleep, no sleep,
no sleep, no sleep,
no sleep, no sleep.
Peeking out from
under my sleep mask,
I make out the outline
of the dresser and
the batik of some
obscure Thai goddess
that hangs on the wall.
A shot of moonbeam
illuminates the room.
It’s not dark at all.
Even the night is
awake and restless.
I will not get up.
I breathe deep,
in…and out…
calming breaths
will tame that
monkey mind.
Soon I feel it
giving up and
letting go.
I recognize that
sense I feel right
before I drift off.
At last it’s here,
and before I know
it, a dream is taking form.

Bill Webb is our host for Meeting the Bar over at dVerse Poets with a nod to Rilke:

Perched on the Curb (of Portobello Road)

Portobello Road/London by Claudia Schoenfeld










I want to shop at Portobello Market
and peruse and meander and hit
the hot spots. I want to squeeze
through the crowds and feel the
sights and smell the flavors.
I want to explore the arcades
of antiques and have coffee
and pastry at a local café. I adore
the Kasbah Bazaar with
its flair for Moroccan goods
and that ceramics shop and all
the unique, fine linens offered,
beautifully rendered in the
most pleasing designs of
delicate embroidery and pintucks
in the softest of cottons and
highest thread counts.
And I want to eat lunch at the
Notting Hill Café but which
way is it? I’ll ask for
directions from this petite,
dark-haired woman with the
quick, spirited, bright eyes and
the friendly, humming grin
(smiling even as she sketches)
perched on the curb of Portobello Road.

Mary is our hostess at dVerse Poets and invites us to use Claudia Schoenfeld’s wonderful sketches as inspiration:

Blinding Jewels

Precious jewels of every color
encircle her neck like a priest’s collar.
She makes use of them to blind and impress,
manipulate the world, make a dollar.
Stars in her eyes, thinks herself an empress
while cajoling, using words to profess.
Bold, yet empty soul, clearly insincere,
flatters, misleads, feigns, deceives with finesse.
Men fawn, become fools…she, acting cavalier
takes what she can get, leaves behind a jeer.
How damned the woman scorned becomes a shrew
and uses her sharpened tongue as a spear.
Askew, she sees her life a trumping coup
but behind those untruths she must construe
her heart cannot be whole and live this lie.
So let go this façade and start anew.

Bjorn is our host today and instructs us on the Ruba’i and Rubayiat for Meeting the Bar at dVerse Poets:

The Wild

White foam rides the churning
river and a Red-Shouldered Hawk
cries out as he drifts overhead;
a meadow vole takes cover.

In an ancient, towering pine,
lies an enormous aerie, home
to a Bald Eagle couple and their
two fledglings who take turns
flapping wildly, strengthening
their wings before take-off.

A feeding herd of White-Tailed
deer wander calm through the
open forest, several fawns
leap and kick in play and sometimes
bleat for their mothers when they
wander too far.

The armor-plated armadillo can be seen
snuffling through low brush and dirt
searching for grubs, worms and beetles.
Berries, nuts and seeds are the choice
of food for the Florida Scrub Jay seen
flitting through the low, spindly oaks,
and hiding in the scrub when feeling shy.
Their lives lived in extended-family colonies
helps assure them survival even while
their habitat is being threatened.

A dirt colored and plain patterned
garter snakes through the underbrush
before coming to rest in a sunny patch
on the forest’s floor…taking time to
absorb some warmth before moving on;
a gopher tortoise stirs from his day’s nap.

All the animals hear when the humans
approach and they watch with
curiosity and then fear as monstrous
machines can be heard revving their
engines preparing once again for
their encroaching.

Victoria C. Slotto is our hostess at The Bardo Group for Writer’s Fourth Wednesday and invites us to contemplate wilderness:


Mira, almost two years old...gardening time with her wonderful other Grandma.

Mira, almost two years old…gardening time with her wonderful other Grandma.

Here’s a recent photo of Mira taken while she was doing some important gardening with her other Grandma.  She’s wearing the very appropriate t-shirt that her Auntie bought her that says, Lettuce Turnip the Beet!  Mira will be two years old on September 3.


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