From A Friend Who Died

There's a poem that flows before speaking,
and a knowing before you can think.
There's a body inside this body of flesh
which is nectar too sweet to drink.
There's a breath too soft to be taken,
yet it sings in each petal and leaf,
and it threads your heart to my distant star,
and it cannot be broken by grief.

The Passenger

In meditation
my mind wanders,
but I don't.
In meditation
the moth keeps dancing
around the flame.
The moth is the Lord.
I am the flame.
In meditation
the sea is wild
and the boat is small.
It is a dangerous crossing.
The ferryman paddles
My back to the waves,
I sit in the bow
calling to the boatman,
"Follow me!
I will lead you to the other shore
where my Mother is waiting.
She will pay you well."
In meditation
when you touch
that other shore,
the ferryman awakens.
There is no ocean, no boat,
no passenger.
Only the Mother
singing the waves,
wearing the dark
blue veil
of the boatman's breath.
Painting: Monet, Cliffwalk at Pourville

On the Death of a Very Old Friend


There's a poem that flows before speaking,
and a knowing before you can think.
There's a body inside this body of flesh
which is nectar too sweet to drink.
There's a breath too soft to be taken,
yet it sings in each petal and leaf,
and it threads your heart to my distant star,
and it cannot be broken by grief.

Photo: Kristy Thompson


By my meditation seat
I place the camellia
that fell from a bush
by my front door.
To the Goddess
of Beauty I offer
its empyrean of petals,
choir upon choir,
the clustered symmetry
of a thousand galaxies.
No need to ascend
to a higher world.
Just look, my friend,
a little more deeply
and you’ll see Sri Chakra
bursting from the frailest twig,
Lakshmi gazing back
from every raindrop.

Photo: this actually is the camellia 
that fell from a bush by my front door.


I removed your face and set it on
the bedside table like my
grandmother's diamond wedding ring.
I fondled your nipples with my breath,
purple tipped mushrooms trembling 
out of sod, amethyst deceivers,
laccaría amethystína, whose roots 
mingle with mycelium a hundred 
pungent underground miles.
No wind can uproot your breasts.
I cradled them in my palms,
gently slid them into poached egg dishes
because the only alters we have left
are in the kitchen.
Carefully unzipped your spine,
the little ping of each vertebra,
the sound of bees over a Spring stream.
What I found inside your body?
Another body.
And another in that, mistaken
for the soul.
You used my missing rib to
lever the stone from its cavern of cruor.
My heart,
freed from the word "until."
Your grandfather's golden
pocket watch, my face
with its big and little hands
spread to a quarter of three.
Unwound, ticking stopped.
You did that to me.
You closed the lid engraved
with forgotten names, and snapped
it over my timeless pineal gland.
Set it on the table by the jewel.
Then raveled the luminous rope
from my thighs, winding it into
your coil of naked space,
my vagus tethered to countless stars
reeled out of me with all their
ecstatic hooks
as a fisherwoman nets a silvery 
glistening mist of sardines
from the indecipherable oceanic dream.
You emptied my night.
No longer haunted by the amphibian
sparkle of previous lives,
I awoke in holy blackness,
arms outstretched for generations
past and to come.
You held all the light now,
all the embryos.
You could weave demons.
But you had no fingers, and no face.
Nor had I.
We've evaporated into 
each other's geometry
of solitude.
We've become a single eye
after the dream is over,
resting awake inside,
just before opening,
just before creation.

Mushroom photo by Steve Axford

Birthing A New Book


Press Release (Houston, Texas, January 16, 2022): Saint Julian Press is proud to announce a new book of poetry by author Fred LaMotte, which will be published on April 15, 2022.
"Sweep up the dust of a thousand ruined civilizations in this breath. Gather the ashes of your ancestors in this breath. Whisk the DNA from all the microbes that ever swarmed the gut or swam the blood of rodent, honeybee, or leprous medieval peasant in this breath. Reap the protein from each virus, harvest molecules of leopard scat and wolverine, the very color code of parrots in this breath. Garner the rune of an alien chromosome, fossilized in meteorite, or learn the secret gene-Om of a black hole humming at the core of a distant sun, from this breath. Distill the tears of your enemies, the wild scent of your first love from this breath, the healing elixir in rain-forest herbs, dew from the eyes of your unborn children, the bittersweet atoms that Jesus breathed. Now hold and cherish this breath, sweeping up the stories, the grievances, the blame and forgiveness. Transmute it all into sparkling awareness." 
~Fred LaMotte, From the Book's Introduction

Please find more information here: LINK.

Most Beautiful Form of Kali


The most beautiful form of Kali
is what you are resisting.
The most beautiful face of Kali
is whomever you are judging.
Until now your words were shadows
of what you meant to say,
titles of hand-me-down angels
learned from the gossip
of the unfriended.
Now you will invent your own language
to describe this terrible realm
of embodied goddesses.
First, abandon belief.
Then relinquish the believer.
A convulsion of longing
keens the silence of your infinite loss.
It is the sign of perfect grieving,
a ululation of darkness,
your new name for light.
Your mouth is the womb of Torah.
Vedas emanate from your eyes,
pure seeing not yet
written in black tears.
You speak a Logos of entangled galaxies.
They flow from your lips on
serpent-green vines,
your groin a cauldron of melted rubies,
topaz wine distilled
from the juice of unsolved koans.
Abba Philoman of Sinai
pronounced this apophthegmata
to a seeker from Rome
who, upon hearing it, fled back
to the city and worshiped Caesar:
"Surely the Word of the Lord
was your own Breath."


To Heal A Loved One

Relax, do not try. 
Please don't go out of your body. 
Please don't ask a mediator to intercede. 
That only dilutes your own divine
gift of healing power.
Breathe in love's golden light,
flowing down into your chest,
and there very gently
visualize your loved one. 
Just a faint impression is enough, 
without concentration. 
Hold her in your heart space 
and as you breathe out, 
bathe her in that
luminous energy
of love.
Pour it into every cell of her, 
down to the molecules,
over the dancing
strands of DNA. 
Dissolve her 
in that radiance.
There is a gentle 
yet immense 
healing power
in the Effortless...
Now stay there,
and rest in your heart.



'Scrying' is the ancient art of seeing destiny in a reflection: a mirrored image in a bowl of water, or a still lake. I scry the world. The world is an image reflected in a bowl of pure awareness. Let me gaze a little more deeply before reacting. Blaming others for my predicament is the politics of resentment. Seeing clearly how I cause my world is the work of the soul. And the final purpose is compassion.
"Yatha drishti, tatha srishti: As I am, so my world appears." ~Vedas

In The Beginning


Spiritual egos make a distinction between "beginner's techniques" and "advanced techniques." Their intellect wants something difficult to do, a sense of accomplishment. That is why so many new age teachers speak of their spiritual "work." Do they ever speak of their spiritual "play"?
Ease is the cure for dis-ease. The deepest, most healing spiritual practice, we ease into. In fact, we do not practice. We let go of practice. Only the absolute innocence of the beginner, starting over again each moment, can experience the end of the journey, the goal. For the goal is always already attained by Grace.

The goal is never an achievement done by "advanced" practice, but the dissolution of the do-er. It is known by un-knowing and done by un-doing. This can only happen to the effortless. The most powerful meditation is the simplest, the most natural.
When you really look at people who carry a bag of "advanced" techniques, you often see a weariness behind the stiff mask of their perpetual smile. Or they look tentative, because they are always taking the next step, and never completely here. Only the beginner dwells in eternal freshness, the greening power of the heart. The beginner is never advanced because she is present.
In the deepest and most natural meditation, you never have to leave your body. Every atom of your body is already woven out of swirling stars, and rooted in mycelia for a hundred subterranean miles in every direction. No wind can uproot the beginner. No wound can puncture the intergalactic stillness in the Beginner's core.
Transcending your body is not an advanced practice. It is a practice of disconnection. That is why, in the Anapanasati Sutra, the Buddha said, "Awareness of body in the body." He did not say just "Awareness of body." He did not say, "Look down on your body from above." Nor did he say, "Transcend the body. Ascend and go to heaven." He said to grok the body from within the body, for consciousness and matter are one energy, every cell and photon trembling with the sap of awareness.

When you meditate, be a beginner. Always feel the freshness of the first day of creation, "in the beginning," when God and his breath, the Goddess, create the universe again. Now is the beginning. Now is the end of time. How could now be advanced?

Kiss Your Demons


This is a good morning to kiss your demons.

Give them the kiss that Jesus gave Mary at the tomb.

Don't drive them away or they must return.

Why fear them? They are only your dark angels.

Lust is not a demon but a dark angel of moon sap.

Anger is not a demon but a dark angel of healing fire

flickering in your pons. Grief is a dark angel

bearing seven oceans of love in one jar.

The angel of Depression keeps vigil with Wisdom,

binding her Tartarean bones in nutritious mycelia.

Kiss one, and free the other.

Addiction is a dark angel bringing gifts

under a broken wing, using the other to help you fly,

for one of yours is broken too.

Bow to your dark angels, embody them.

Breathe them until they become sighs.

Possess them, or they possess you.

Exhale boldly and they vanish

in the blue sky of awakening, a swirl

of hummingbirds, a sound of tree frogs

discussing everything under the sun.

But beware of the Enlightened One with no dark angel,

who leads you into the shadow that hides from itself.

Kiss him too, then depart.

Let the names and teeth marks of your dark angels,

hieroglyphs scrawled in the veins of your liver,

neurons twisted into Sumerian runes, spells 

thrumming your medulla, rippling the gristle

in your omphalos, untangle their tongues 

and sing themselves back to silence.

Let the wickless flame of your lips consume

all your dark angels, and lick your spine clean

with the kiss of soul upon soul.

Now swim down the river of amazement 

that flows from the cavern of your hidden grief

over scars of stone.

This is the starless wine of ancient midnights

fermenting the sun of tomorrow.

This is the wine Christ saves for the end of the feast.

How do I know?

I am kissed.


Art by Laura Santi, from Buddha Weekly,
Heruka in union with Vajrayogini


Little Creatures

So your animal spirit guide

is a panther? A bison? A bear?

Mighty powers, my friend!

How often, on a Winter morning,

do they come to your window?

I prefer the wisdom of little creatures.

My totem is a hummingbird.

Her wings instruct me to discover

the highest vibration in stillness.

Her delicate bill invites me

to sip and get tipsy

on the amrit in my chest.

Once I believed in my thoughts.

I could not escape from the kingdom of fear.

Then this tiny turquoise thing of air

shattered the ampule of my wound fragrance.

Somewhere in these petals of fire

there is nectar for the one

who is not afraid of drowning.

She taught me to perish with every breath,

and live in eternity.

This Morning


This morning, a raindrop

contains the sky.

How many stars have perished

here, on the tip of a fern?

This morning, the pains in my body

become warm healing promises.

The sun does not have to rise this morning.

It has already risen in my chest.

An aching turns the earth, gently nudging

the seeds, "Wake up, little children!"

This is my work, the twinge of Winter

that comes from my bones.

Tulip and crocus bulbs drink me in sleep.

Hyacinths learn my fragrance in their trance.

I alarm them with a throb.

They stir, hunker, snooze.

A little more light seeps in

through the crack between seasons.

It is the yearning in my own skin

that reminds them, "This is only

a dream, but a world of

musk and color awaits you

just over the shell, one breath away."

Mist vanishes.

"If" dissolves in "Just So."

"That" becomes "She,"

shadowy wetness of languid valleys,

a mistress for daylight.

Jesus, the poet of death,

walks barefoot this morning,

singing to the unborn flowers

without ever asking for his name back.

What is the most ancient meditation?

Stones feeling their moss.

Artwork, Andrew Wyeth


Relax your sexuality completely, which means relaxing your hips, and you will transcend, become, celebrate, the cosmic dissolution of your boundaries. The whole universe is already your orgasm. You don't need to "have" it. You Are That. Tat Tvam Asi. Drink the blood of the rose. Rejuvenate the marrow bones of your lost dream. Be a nurse log lying in a ruined city, overgrown with blackberries. Let mushrooms speak their juice in the new language of your forgotten body. Give birth to darkness. Enter the new year of hopeless beauty. Thank everything you smell.

NASA photo: Rosette Nebula, Monoceros ('Unicorn') Constellation