February Moon

Drink the full moon.
Hold her as a breath,
then set her back
gently in the sky.

Gaze awhile
and you will see
the blaze of your
own tenderness,
the bruise of your caress.

She loved that.
It awakened her.

With your whole body,
teach Gods
how to kiss.

Photo: I took this on Feb 26 as She was flinging off her veils.



We don't have enough words
to say "love,"
so we use our hands.

We don't have enough hands
to do love,
so we use our tears.
We don't have enough tears
to feel love,
so we use our silences.

Not enough amazement
to contain love, so we surrender.
Now the murmur of soft morning rain
has ended.
The shattered sun trembles at the tip
of every fern.
Stones grow soft, moss green.

With less than a song, a musical
question merely, the rosefinch heals us all.
Fragrances of death return
as shades of indigo.
If you understand this, you're thinking
too hard.
Just let the sexual fury in a seed
become the glowing hyacinth.

Clever people seek partners in the market.
All they find are faces in a crowded mirror.
I dance to a throbbing drum
and meet the crazy lover in my chest.
When I open my eyes,
the world is a kiss.

What They Talk About

Did you ever wonder what dogs talk about when they
sit so quietly on the couch together all morning,
waiting for their walk?

"Non violence is the way to true anarchy." ~Finn

"Anarchy is the way to true non violence." ~Emerson

"Let us eat from our own bowls." ~Finn

"Let us eat from each other's bowls." ~Emerson

"Will humans be different after the revolution?" ~Finn

"Nah." ~Emerson


The world seems full of problems. But there is only one problem, and it isn't the world. It is our own mind. Please don't mistake your mind for the world? Mind pollutes the whole creation when it turns bitter, judgmental, polarized with blame against an other. What is the cure? Spend a few moments each day being astonished.

Just Hum

Om is too stuffy.
Let's just hum like bees
drawn by the fragrance
of a wild dilapidated rose.
Of course this is no
ordinary rose.
These petals
are countless galaxies.
You swarm through
light-years of your wild
dilapidated heart.
The scent that drives
you crazy is the breath
of your Creator.
Forget your own name
in That.
The honey is already made.

Photo by Kristy Thompson

Rest Step

Don’t take a walk,
give one.
Barefoot or shod,
pause ever so briefly
as your sole
presses its soft
center on the earth.
Hikers call this
the rest-step.
It is like a prayer
at the heart of all going.
It is a way to remember
that even on the
steepest trail,
we don't really ascend.
The planet listens
to the wandering harmony
of your mind,
breath, and body
as you pathlessly meander
in trillium silence,
not arriving, just caressing
the loam.


Photo: I took this in the frosty Carbon River rain forest, Mt. Rainier


When I visit
the cemetery
at the close of day
(or is it evening now?)

at the end of Winter
(or is it the beginning

of Spring?)
I am very sure,
nearly certain in fact,
that Unknowing
is the space
of compassion,
that Bewilderment
the source
of creation,
and that God loves
to wonder,
which is why
this tulip
from the snow,

this breath turns
toward silence,

and on the gravestone,
in the first letter
of her name,
this drop of dew
(or is it a tear?)

contains the sky,
the night, and all
the stars unseen.

Photo from englishrussia.com



You've been crushed,
and poured.
You'll never return
to the grape.
Now your only hope
is to fall
from a great height
and never reach
the bottom
of the grail.

No Need

No need for me to say, "Dive in."
You have already drowned
in the ocean of grief,
the ocean of loving kindness.
You won't get stuck in the net
of "right" and "wrong,"
"pain" and "pleasure" again.
You're the water now.
But you can still breathe.
You can be a wave
of what is ever whole.
We all share
loss unspeakable.
It feels like a void in the heart.
Yet no matter who abandons us,
our voids are all the same:
a door we enter to be changed
by what never changes.
Can you flee from this moment?
It will be Now when you arrive.
Travel ten thousand miles?
You'll be here when you get there,
resting as a witness immovable.
Better to honor the flowering
of your pain, this nameless blossom
whose fragrance has no edges.
Desolation herself gets burnt away
by this honor. Perhaps you have
suspected the truth all along:
creation springs from bewilderment.
Everything dissolves
into sparkling awareness.
Don't worry, you can still pray.
All the gods rejoice when you call
their name, the beginning of prayer
in every tongue, just one word:


Lady Winter,
mistress of obliteration,
has buried my Buddha
in beautiful snow.



God said,
'Let there be light'
and there was light,
which means that
God must have been
the darkness...
Just abandon yourself
to what you are
and you will grow
very bright.

Day In The Life


First we all produced our own CD, using a digital garage band to pretend we had a group. Then we self-published our own bestseller, imitating someone else's imitation of someone else's fake versions of Rumi and Hafez. Now we've reached the final stage: we're all self-appointed spiritual teachers.

This body is a hot mess on the kitchen floor, fingernails engraving hieroglyphs of grief in the linoleum. But almost instantly we can prop our higher chakras in front of the computer to give a guided zoom meditation, our lower ones garbed in the same pajama bottoms we've been wearing all week.

Hypnotized into what they think is "meditation" by our carefully cultivated life-coach voice, everyone feels great. For about 20 minutes. Then we shut down our PC and descend into the garage to scream at the teen-aged daughter, still asleep in her car. Obviously she wasn't social distancing last night. Reminder to self: at the next boomer-zoom, talk about "trauma." People love it. The new "holier than thou" is "more traumatized than thou."

It's four o'clock. Time to do a bottle of Cabernet. Just another day in the life of a new age spiritual teacher, whose avatar, the version everyone knows on line, is a disembodied stream of electrons in an underground fiber optic cable, a slick emoji with a digital smile, and digital tears. I'll take your workshop if you take mine. 😂

Fuck Up

Make a delicious mistake. Fuck up once in a while.
After all, I invented peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
when I was 4 years old, stealing and smashing
two jars from mommy's grocery bag, sticking my hands
in the mess, then in my mouth, wiping the glisten
of chunky brown and crimson from my cheeks
with soft white Wonder Bread. Yes I did.

When I was 7 I invented the frisbee
while throwing a plateful of broccoli
my babysitter forced me to eat out the window.
I did. And I invented S'mores at the age of 12
when a pimply camp counselor wouldn’t let me have
three desserts: so I crushed them into one.
Don’t you love people who crush things into one?
And burn the marsh mallow?

Even in the uterus my great aunt Molly, who lived
in a previous century, made me wear red rubber
rain boots, scrawling L and R on them, like left
and right would matter in the 8-shaped breath
of my infinite womb-swimming, which made me
so angry my subatomic bones would rattle the stars.
Yes, I was a mad and powerful embryo.

What did you invent by smearing, by smashing,
by your glorious lack of impulse control
in the sacred mayhem of childhood?
Go ahead, tell me everything. Or tell
an exquisite lie so outrageous it might be true:

"I invented the way light shatters in the prism
of a dewdrop by powers of ten, creating
the first rainbow." Or, "I was a wanderer,
hitchhiking before I could walk." Or maybe,

"My past sins cancelled all my works of mercy;
negative and positive collided in my heart,
adding up to nothing, no karma at all, which is why,
at birth, my fetus crowned through Zero."

Makes perfect sense to me, Friend. Now listen:
Whoever God is, She embraces this mess.
Squirting our mouths with milky streams of Life,
Life in abundance, She overbrims our grail with
Second Chances, permitting the Impeccable Blunder.

From the uncertain locus of an electron
to mutations in a molecule of cytosine,
right up the crazy chain of non-causality
to how black chaos engenders stars
in the belly button of a supernova,
all of us are mistakes of necessity, even Jesus,
hairline fractures in the magnanimous vacuum,
filled in with molten gold, kintsugi of the human. 

So if you never got sentenced to time-out chair
in kindergarten, or sent to the principle's office
for pulling someone’s pony tail in grade school;
if you never cut class to explore the wilderness
in your soul, or skipped church to attend
the carnival in your body; if you never got
tear-gassed by cops on the street in college;

never got fired, never spent a single night in jail;
and never found your body in a hot mess
on the kitchen floor, your fingernails engraving
hieroglyphs of grief in the linoleum - dear one,
you may not actually have been alive.

What Swirls

Nothing could be more ordinary, nothing could be more miraculous, than this breath. Please remember, a breath is never taken, but given. Be grateful. At this very moment, what swirls the galaxy and sings the stars is breathing you. Every cell in your flesh knows this, and softly smiles.

The breath who comes to dwell in your body is the very form of the Beloved, and the very Goddess who plays by God’s elbow at the dawn of creation. (Proverbs 8).

Each rise and fall of inhalation, exhalation, polishes the golden cup of your heart, whose sparkling emptiness receives the image of God's face from every creature.

Somewhere in the forest, a fern unfolds; that too is your breathing. A trillium gazes at all your shades of green. In the empty robin's nest, your broken shell contains the whole blue sky.

Just for an instant, you return to the ordinary miracle of your body, and the kingdom of fear vanishes forever.

When we honor our own breath as the divine Guest, this perishing moment becomes a little Sabbath that lets eternity in. Friend, such Sabbath moments are not an escape: they heal the world.


There's an unquenchable spring

of lethal awakening
inside you.

These waters are clear.

I've been pointing there, friend.

That's a difficult task.

Now you must do the easeful work

of turning, following the sound,

the subtle, wild and joyful murmur

from deeper in your body

than your soul.

Take the motionless green journey
of a spiraling seed

into the death of its flower.

We can only feel sorry for those

who wander up above themselves

and search the sky for another world

when the light they seek is

already gushing from their bones.

If you become so silent inside

that even your name disappears,

you will hear the music of this river.

Ah, that bitter word again, "inside."

There's nothing to be inside of, friend.

This is a little secret that can’t be hidden.

You are made of the very distances

you yearn and travel through

to find yourself.

Galaxies cluster and dissolve
in each atom of your flesh.

What bubbles up and pours

is your stillness.

Now drink, and become fierce.


Mira, Francis, the Baal Shem Tov
were anarchists for love.
King David danced naked before the Ark,
an anarchist for love.
With only a broken jug, a brick for a pillow,
Rabia refused the princes' hand:
an anarchist for love.
Whitman, cummings, Teilhard de Chardin,
all ambulance drivers and poets
who bound up warriors' wounds,
anarchists for love.
Jesus too: he burst the old wine skin of law
with the new wine of I AM.
Ferment your marrow, distil your blood.
Burst what contains you, drink who you are.
Burst the wine skin of Marx and Trump,
the wine skin of Mohammed and Jesus -
they won't mind.
Burst the wine skin of all government,
the wine skin of belief and non-belief.
Don't bottle your sparkling heart:
you're the hard stuff, exploding with joy.
You cause timid people to dance.
Don't waste time scrawling
your laws in the sky.
Don't look for Kali's form in shattered glass.
Get beyond drunk or sober,
beyond violence and non-violence,
beyond ideas, to a place called Peace.
Live in the garden where
the lion-headed serpent sings
to the violin zebra, the winged elk flies
through the ripeness of the pomegranate,
and the Bridegroom marries the Bride
with a kiss that signifies the mingling
of all juices.
This garden is everywhere,
your taste buds make it real.
This kingdom needs no king.
It's laws are inscribed in the palm
of the hand that hold a soup pot.
Ideology dissolves into a tear.
The revolution is to breathe.
The radical act is to be present.
Nourish the earth with your secret joy.
Be an anarchist for love.

(Published in Tiferet Journal, and my book, Savor Eternity)

I Thought You Were The Other

I thought You were the Other, standing in your ocher robe before my kneeling bones; but by the grace of this breath, I see you are the flame of my incarnation, rising from my belly, swelling heart and lungs, undulating through my throat to touch the bindhu between my eyebrows, to glow beyond form in the space above my crown. Who breathed this breath? Is it yours or mine? The spiritual teacher is the teacher of the body.

All mantras vibrate in these molecules, each proton threaded to its native star. All my ancestors, their pain, their trauma, their ecstasy, their healing songs, ascend like sap through the stem of my spine, brewed into this wordless fire. All their stories are distilled in the nectar of silence, amrit not to be named, but savored as presence, as sensation in my physiology.

The past ferments into bewildered forgiveness, relished this moment, not stored in the cask of memory. What heals is the taste, not the telling - the flavor of the wound. Each bruise and blow, each secret tear from the wellspring of my loins, each bursting germ of erotic delight, sweet angel's touch of infancy, made flesh this moment in the unendurable softness of my heart. Piquant with hints of oak and caramel, birth and death, yet they are all one vintage, one inebriation, one somatic edgeless breath, a single sensuous soul with no circumference.

O my ancestors, O gurus and gods, if you dwell anywhere else but in my body, I am done with making offerings to you. For breathing now, I see: the portal to all other worlds is my own flesh. You are the glittering galaxies scattered across the boundless night of my amazement; and yet, in this very same instant of awakening, you're infinitesimal love-sparks are dancing in my blood. I have done with counting the parts of myself. Now I am the whole.

Just 'O'!

"I don't believe in God, but I miss Him." (British philosopher Julian Barnes)

Be the river of longing that flows from the secret fountain of O to the ocean of namelessness. No need to say, O Jesus: Just O! is enough. Prayer happens first, then God. Give up beads and words: the Lord is not an echo. Be the troubled water where that river becomes this sea. Why stand on the shore, measuring such vastness in a cup? Throw your cup into the waves, then dive in with your whole body. If you take a boat, remember to quit rowing when the wind hits your sail. Don't be a candle at noon. You might say, "I'm sorry," but never, "I forgive you." Such a breath adds nothing to the whirlwind that cleansed us before we were born. As for, "Thank you," that too is illusion. Anyone who gives you even the smallest sip of water is God, and God is already drunk with gratitude.