31 December 2014

The song of non-expectation
Is indeed
A song of Peace. 

18 December 2014

The best prayer

There are many prayers,
But what is the best prayer?
My yesterday's forgetting,
My today's peace,
And my tomorrow's transformation. 

*

Peace is not the dream of tomorrow,
Peace is the reality of today. 

*

If you know a little about love,
Then you are ready to learn more. 
Therefore, always start with love. 

*

In my tiny joy
Is room for my titanic sorrow,
And more, much more. 

*

My life
Is the flower
Of my meditation. 

No meditation,
No flower,
No life. 

17 December 2014

Love's first blush is fanciful,
And time shows it for a fool. 
Love's morning is a lost thing,
All the while it learns to sing. 
Love's noon is a thing so bright,
If forgets the thing called night. 
Love's evening is cool,
And past all regret. 
Love's day is all this and more:
A child of hope and wonder,
Knocking at my door. 

15 December 2014

Who drinks the living sap
And translates the
Rhythm of the tree:

Cicada.

*

After the rains
The veins of cicadas 
Run with the sap of trees
Boiled over in the heat
And their 
crickle-clatter-chatter-patter
fills the air.

*

Within your breast I have heard
the metronome of My Lord so soothing;
Your smile is a beautiful song
I had too long forgotten!

*

Our suffering so often shows
The truth is no gift of mind.

*

O heart of love 

O heart of love
Teach me your song
O heart of love
My days are long
O heart of love 
Teach me your song. 

*

The flame of love
May be a tiny thing,
But it illlumines
the entire world.

01 December 2014

Every leaf is a canticle

Every leaf is a canticle

The fire gold heart of my Lord,
The breath of creation's cry,
Spills across the sky.

The urge within so often sigh,
Now whispers loud,
"He is nigh!"

*

First day of summer, sunset storm with lightning and thunder. 


30 November 2014

First comes the rain
Then comes the rainbow
After the rain 
To hang by a thread
Silk so gentle
A fine death bed. 

*

To be sure, I wrote this after playing shakuhachi to a spider and watching it recycle its web by eating it!

28 November 2014

27 November 2014

The breath 
   beyond the sky
Where my heart
   cry fly

*

In the forest of an unknown melody
I play
To an endless unsung song

*

Heaven has 
   many gates
But one
   is enough
To get in. 

*

O My Lord

I have no prayer
I have no prayer
I only breathe
This sacred air

Peace
  Peace
    Peace

*

Summer flies
Polishing their
Knives and forks
In the lazy heat. 

*

Evening's golden-glow
Makes a bow
And draws the stillness
of the day
Into night. 

*

The golden-bow
   of evening
Draws a
   peaceful
   note from
   day. 

18 November 2014

Peace

Peace is perfect
Perfect is peace
Peace is perfect
Perfect is peace


16 November 2014

Poems

When sun sets
The yearn of the day
Breathes a sigh of relief
And my heart takes up
The orange-gold-refrain
Of endless dream. 

***

To play the song of peace is a privilege. 

***

If beauty takes you for her lover,
beware,
You may find yourself a slave,
everywhere. 

***

As the ways of
   your goodness
   are beyond count,
So to the means
   of your worship
   are measureless,
And why
   human souls
   are endless. 

***

Waiting for the gentle rain
The gentle rain does not come. 

***

Inside the living reaching green
Of all garden things
I passed an age,
And a moment in reflection. 

***

The night is very dark
All the night long. 
Keep lighting candles 
So the dawn can find its song.

***

I walk into the forest of night
Alone,
Listening for the temple bell. 
Perhaps it will only ring
When it meets my damn thick skull. 

10 November 2014


The large moon
Will grow larger,
Or smaller.
But neither.

My flute is being serviced and will be back in a few days and I miss it a lot. Having it around to play is the difference between feeling sad or happy and being sad or happy, which is to say, music is for me a bridge between feeling and being and then, most importantly, releasing. However, I also have a shakuhachi now which I got a few weeks ago. It is radically different, if not difficult. My technique has improved a little due to my lips not being distracted by the flute. I like walking and playing it, although it didn't come with a head basket. And now reading about it, it looks like I actually have a hotchiku!

Crickets are rehearsing and cicadas are waking which all makes for fine summer sounds. The wasp returns to last year's nest and seals the door with the dream of another year inside. Somewhere a spider mourns.

Here are some poems from lately.

What do I know
about Peace?
Only, if I
know Peace,
I am.

My heart's song
Trembling of
butterfly wings
Free.

A poem for the morning birds,
What foolishness,
Just wake up your ears!

The beauty of the dawn
Is not for the dreamers,
But the wakers.

Who knows the sky?
Not the cloud.
Cling not to mind.

Time is a stranger
When I swim in ecstasy

Saturday evening
Despairing cry
Of a hungry cat







22 October 2014

Setting Sun

Peace is the name of my evening friend
Together we welcome day's end. 

09 October 2014

Tall trees

There is something in the company of tall trees undiscovered in the circle of men. I like to be with the tall trees, I thought the other day while playing flute in the forest. Anyway, because I plugged in my scanner, here is one of my favourite compositions, represented for your reading pleasure.

28 September 2014

Outside my window at dusk,
The light of day is drawn
Into the branches of the tree
To hold its buds
Warm in the dream of night.
Soon ten thousand leaves
Will write a love letter to Spring. 

22 September 2014

Farewell to Winter

The birds were 
   particularly spectacular
   this evening;
All in a frenzy:
"Spring, Spring, Spring!"
   they seem to sing. 

Now the ring of day
   has made night,
And all thought
   shall pass away. 

I am a child
   of yesterday's hope
And a dream 
   of tomorrow's peace. 

This much I can say. 

09 September 2014

Love is the thing
Love is the thing
This is what I sing
All the world a ring
Of the thing I sing
Called love

*

Here I am in paradise,
All the time lamenting
The lost wonders of heaven. 
Impossible, but true,
This is the mask of the soul. 

27 August 2014

Inside the heart
   of the universe
Is the heart
   of My Lord. 
Inside the heart
   of My Lord
Is the flower
   of all existence:
This is consciousness,
This is bliss!

*

In the face 
   of the vast sky
   you are,
Therefore I am
   never alone;
I am always 
   singing and dancing
   in your company:
You are my smiles,
You are my cries -
This is no secret today. 

24 August 2014

The sun has tickled the blossoms
from the branches stark. 
Spring is coming. Hark. 

20 August 2014

The hidden urge
   of spring
   warms me,
For today
That is enough.

*

How often
The fruit
of the 
wisdom-tree
Tastes
like silence. 

31 July 2014

Read the morning

I am the awakening flower,
The laughing conversation
Of wing and wind,
Swooping, whirling, turning,
The worship of the leaves,
Fruit of sun and breeze,
These are the symbols 
Of my thought. 

30 July 2014

Morning

What day of glory is this?
Answer me sky,
Answer me sun,
Singing birds,
Do not lie. 

17 July 2014

Tree sitting

To see the Gate of Infinity
Is to be the Gate of Infinity.  

What is the meaning of a smile?
What is love?

***

In praise of...

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). So good. Particularly I will recommend Dr Jack if you are in Canberra: http://www.aaom.com.au/

I had an interest in TCM for years but avoided treatment because the idea of the needles freaked me out. But, it really worked recently to rid me of a very serious flu and now I just find it so relaxing. I can see myself using it as a regular therapy like my chiropractor.

The Michael J Fox Show. For a fairly basic sitcom I liked this and I usually avoid such. I must have a big soft spot for the eponymous star from Back To The Future. Who doesn't?

Playing the flute - I have to remember how to make a video clip so I can put some music up here for you. On the weekend I went to play in my local park and ended up sitting in a tree. The lovely thing about that was the flock of tiny birds flitting from branch to branch of my temporary abode.  

Then I found a tunnel, sort of drain thing, and playing into it was acoustically marvellous, splendiferous and mellifluous even. I want to play you the recording of that!

10 July 2014

Little stories

My soul is 
a whistling bird -
It knows no 
troubles, no woes -
Only, listen:
a most surprising 
song that makes
a joyful sound
in the night. 

*

I love meditation, and how...! 
If you ask me about beauty, I will refer to consciousness.
Is it not a beautiful word itself?
The sharp, cool, pure, essence of breath. 
Consciousness. 
But how will I translste what truly is into this clumsy tongue?
One can not graft the superior onto the inferior and hope to improve them both. 
Likely neither will survive. 

*

The eyes flicker, but the flame flickers not. 
Still is mind, while the candle reaches for extinction. 
Come morning, this will all be a dream, but it will look like a day. 


04 July 2014

Fragments

These are the things I have written in the last couple of months:

We have to eat impossibility for breakfast if we want to do amazing things in life.
Sometimes we have to eat impossible things for lunch and dinner too.

*

Be glad, be glad, be glad
With the dawn
I will bring
The ring of morning
Slip it on your finger
Marry all mourning to joy
And merry, merry make
Of this ferry of life
Whatever you will take
From strife's parade.

*

No thing be now writ
to make sense of
all the mystery
gone before
and the unseen
mystery yet to come

*

Love makes me gaze
long and with wonder
upon the ordinary
and know it
to be a miracle.

*

The difference between
you and me -
I can guarantee I
am a fool,
whereas you perhaps
only have your
suspicions...

*

Salvation says,
"Satisfaction
and ego
are strangers."

*

How does
a mountain know
it is not a hill?

This is the question
that fills me with
wonder thrill.

*

I believe in a love that will transform the universe, but what is to be transformed when love is the core of existence itself? Whence is the universe wanting? How can it be? It is I, I, I that requires transforming. Not that I would be do arrogant as to assume a universe, but I do know I exist. A fact so oddly surprising after all this time existing.

In my first refuge
In my last refuge
I find home.

*

I am the place where the world and time meet.




05 June 2014

Song

How can I write a song,
When I have become a song?
My pen is a song
This paper is a song
All my reason is a song
Every thing approaching sense 
is a song -
You will have to trust me on this
And we will get along just fine.

*

My days of endless song did not last long; plainly there are worse afflictions to bear and it hath been a remarkably mild start to winter. 

27 April 2014

Autumn

I wanted to write a poem about the tree in my yard whose leaves have turned yellow, but I do not know the name of the tree which stymied me.

However, while watching the wind strip merry masses of the yellow leaves off, I made this, and I am quite fond of it.

24 April 2014

Prose and poems from June 2013

To spend a minute, an hour, a day, a night, a week, a month, a year, all the suns and moons of a life…these things have been spent…and I yearn to spend more, on a story just begun, a story without beginning, a story without end.

You can call it my story, but I will say this story belongs to love. It is a tale of beauty, told of duty and I will tell it again and again until I do not recognise myself.

As a child, just one glimpse of the sun filled my eyes and squeezed everything else out of me. Now I take suns and moons from my pockets and lay them on the table. You can choose one as your own for a time.

I am happy to lend it to you, for it is true all these gifts I have only borrowed from nature. And if I read the signs and wrought a scroll from symbols, it was only to challenge the disguise of seeming strife I borrowed the day I was born into this life.

This poetry gave me comfort and joy in all my darkest and brightest hours.

May it reward you too.

*

To read the words
of the thunder
in the clear sky,
To taste the rain
in the sun’s delight,
This is the pull
and the yearn
of the ever-turning
earth:
By meek signs
is revealed might,
This is the dream
of dignity I offer
to night.

*

I called the bird of midnight love,
Saying, “Rest upon my shoulder
And in your rest, I’ll build a nest
Afore I get one day older.”

*

I took the midnight for
my company true
And the song of the day
I laughingly slew.

*

The midnight takes for company
Who takes the day long
As a well forgotten song
To the flame of tomorrow’s gong.

23 April 2014

Snail

Remember I said I was going to the Suitcase Rummage? It went really well. I sold about $60 worth of -maybe 20- postcards. Of course it cost half that for a stall and I spent $20 on food and have no idea what the materials were all worth, but it gave me joy. I discovered a certain talent/evil genius for sales too, so I would do it again with much more organisation. It was kind of fun to have a reason to just sit and observe the parade of people attending. At work people even bought some of the leftovers the next week and I promised to post an original to somebody which is below. I'm sure I have told the story of how snails all wake up and go for walks at the same time when the weather is right. I had this card for ages and then the great pilgrimage of snails occurred so it was definitely the perfect one to post at that point in time.


Here kitty

A fantastic browser extension: Stop Tony Meow

It makes web pages look like this:


I only know about this technology because the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet discovered the wisdom within to charge a ludicrous amount for an FOI request related to said extension.

PS Best cartoon ever!



03 April 2014

A simple thing

The winds of midnight
Stir the songs of my heart. 

Like the butterfly
Breaking chrysalis,
Or a bird taking
Flight for the first time.

It is always like this
When you come, My Lord. 

29 March 2014

Possibly a poem


 I may not
conisder myself 
good at making decisions
of a personal nature,

but

in my heart in the heart of my bliss is only bliss - like
the in of life and the out of life are dancing in exquisite harmony,
gently laughing at the idea of confining beauty -
and the message
 "Don't worry about it" 
 means 
there is nothing to worry about
and what even is the it
to be worried about anyway.

All this,
 the experience 
of a soul moment 
of the small hours 
of seconds 
only,
  is none the less
 an informative reality,
for a little thing 
of such a big size.

This is my problem?


14 March 2014

Suitcase Rummage

Before I forget and before tommorrow - you can find me here selling my postcards.

06 March 2014

My captain

My captain sails alone
Of companions he has none
To call his own
And no place called home.

My captain sails alone
Only the journey for rest
He visits every nest
But finds no place to stay.

My captain sails alone
And weary now I hear him.


*


This was written a year or even two ago, at a guess.

For a change of scenery, today after work I went to Mt Ainslie to play some flute with the sunset.

A sharp abundance of mosquitoes proved a pernicious and persistent audience while I tried find my place in music.

Their bites are better than bull ants I must say.

So many things seem to have bitten me lately that any discomfort has become remarkably short-lived.

Perchance the horse of time

Ever and ever
My days mount upon each other
And gallop to their swift conclusion. 

05 March 2014

Unity

There is no
   single blade
   of grass
That does
   not long
   for its kind
To company
   keep.


04 March 2014

Seasons

When I arrived home today there was a butterfly resting on my back door.

It stayed quite a while. I am taking this as an omen of good things to come; a portent of profit, if you will.

I wrote this poem -before Christmas I think- while walking in Haig Park:

At the setting of the sun
My path was laid with butterflies
Orange wings in orange skies


Now, alas, summer days are ending, and the long goodbye to good day.

The calendar in fact says summer is already over, and true, this very morning I saw some leaves beginning to blush at the approach of autumn proper.

26 February 2014

Cricket flute

I have been playing lots of flute with nature lately, to be true to my poem.

In the past week I have played at Mt Ainslie, Pialligo Redwood Forrest, Lake Burley Griffin, and, of course, Haig Park. Focusing on trying to find the rhythm in nature is the best way to discover new melodies and I am better at playing softly for it.

The Pialligo Redwood Forest is a bit of an oddity. Only 3,000 of the original 122,000 trees planted in 1918 survived. You won't find older Redwoods in Australia, but, at 96 years old, they look tiny compared to the remaining giants of California. And they definitely feel out of their element in the Australian Summer. 'Play flute with many robins somewhat an elegy for missing fog,' is the note I wrote myself when there. For in their native clime, they rely, for much of their water requirements, on the quotidian visit of the North Pacific fog, silently invading the silence of their depths.

In the interest of science, I have transcribed this voice memo I recorded while leaving:

"The whole field is full of Orthoptera, I don't know if they are grasshoppers or what they are. They are probably like six centimetres long for the youngest ones, and the adults when they fly look about 12 or 13 cm and they have a very elongated mid-section, I suppose, I don't know, where the wings are attached and they look like little flying pterodactyls of something. Not little, they look like pterodactyls. But they are all yellow browny, sun burnt like the grass, so they are impossible to see, until they jump, and avoid your footstep. Some are a little slow, kind of groggy in the sun, they are hanging in the green grass, in clumps, having fun."

There you go. The BBC can certainly relax knowing a successor to David Attenborough is available when the time comes.

I am surprised I don't meet more people playing when I am playing flute. Surely there are still plagues of vermin that need charming over cliffs these days? Not that I have tried, but I'm willing to learn.

And that's the main thing.

Wandering in the park at sunset, playing with crickets, sometimes they stop, sometimes they start; I suppose they listen, but I have no idea what they say when I am gone.

I like it when they sing all the night through, but it's sad, as they must be the lonely ones; perfecting their song and waiting for the ear that hears in it a gong.

Here is the poem that came to see me at pink orange sunrise when I was playing in the park this morning.



18 February 2014

West Bank Festival - in review


I love this park

Where I have
Drawn poetry
Written trees
Met God at sunset
at least twice
As well as
several other
type of people
all the day long through

Thanks Woody
Wood wood
wood wood
of the pine trees

Wherein these conifers
Harvest mine ear
the sound of
Crickets, cicadas
Birds, beessss
Earth star
Butterflies
Strobilus, strobili
And the thousand
million plus
ten thousand
other variations
of nature's perfection
spontaneously
arising

Over a
thousand million
billion trillion
gagazillion years
or so…
fairly extemporaneously
you might say then

I hoist the flags
And fly the trumpets
Of this some
kind of other-
worldly thought.

Beyond the
world of thought

Only the sound
of a flute remains

And I am
a new song
in the forrest
today.

Thank you

*

The tale of this poem of Valentine's Day 2014.

On opening night, the West Bank Festival (Feb 14-16, see map below) had a Bad! Slam! No! Biscuit! event on. This is Canberra's poetry slam; I'm not sure about the name, there are biscuits, sometimes, if you bring them I suppose. I was inspired to sit on my balcony and hear a music festival. I composed this poem and drew a frontspiece for my folio with the intention of performing it straight away. The slams are ususally held in the pub but I don't like it so much there. I was really excited to be able to perform in my element.

Normally you turn up, put your name in a hat and you get a go. I arrived just in time to learn it was a special team tournament for the Festival and I couldn't join in. However, I managed to talk my way onto the stage and be the warm up act. When I finished, people clapped and I bowed. Then the MC made me introduce myself which I had neglected to do. The resident barrista gave me 4 out of 5 which I was very happy with.

Also, a beautiful young lady offered me her chair, which obviously is about the best thing a poet can hope for in life, if not a bigger chair. She was in the tournament next and her team totally won. I was convinved of this from the outset to be sure. I heard eight different poems and they made me cry and laugh and smile and it was wonderful.

A grasshopper sat right in front of the stage during the show and the MC made a special announcement imploring the audience to take care lest they step upon it.

There were no reported injuries.



In summary, there should be more tents erected under trees in suburban parks for festivals where all variety of Orthoptera can be made to feel safe and welcome.

Chalkist - unknown

My musical highlights were:

Woo Hoo Revue of Melbourne
Perch Creek Family Jug Band of Perch Creek

Weather:

Wet, very wet, at most, if not nearly all times

03 February 2014

Thrilling Canberra

See how easy it is to make a garden out of a palette with succulents. I saw this is in The Garden at Dickson. I have often looked at their collection of aeoniums getting too big for their pots and wondered what would become of them.


Somebody is decorating Canberra in their own way. There is a big love heart in the middle of the intersection where Northbourne meets Ipima.

Here is the footpath on Ijong St.


And the intersection of Ijong and Limestone.


Is it art? Who knows, but it is hard to disagree with the sentiments.

Tonight's sunset

30 January 2014

Cards

Here is a whole bunch of cards I have made for friends and colleagues. You can tell who they were for. Obviously each has a different feeling and the process and techniques involved are different. Hopefully there is some evolution in my design skills taking place.



This is a card in the sense it is a piece of matboard with a tree - because Sharon means forest.



The Zen approach. Wrote this with a pen, scanned and enlarged before sticking to matboard. It was my first time using my 6mm Pilot Calligraphy Pen which is big. It is fun learning to write with a new pen by practicing the alphabet. It makes you reflect on how you will write every letter. I found myself wondering if there is a special signwriting brush for calligraphy.


This is a decorated envelope for my old friend and pen pal Nick who I really must write to again.

24 January 2014

Pines of my Haig Park

Pines of my Haig Park - tress I have tried to get to know well





I don't think I showed you this?
It is large, A2.
It doesn't look quite like this because I buffed up the phone photo.


Envelopes at play



13 January 2014

North by Northwest

Boy, Cary Grant,


meets girl, Eva Marie Saint.


This being 1959, they are on a train.


And hands,


lots


of hands.


Through the adroit use of shaving cream, and sunglasses, or just general Cary Grant-ness, boy manages, in the main, to avoid the notice of the police and ordinary citizens all over.

Meanwhile, on his journey, he undertakes challenges such as shaving with a miniature razor.





And escaping from a cropdusting plane!









"Yes I was wearing this shirt during the events depicted above."


"You know, I have a sneaking suspiscion we may be in a Japanese themed room, look at that cherry blossom branch on the wall."


"Yes, I'm certain somebody attained satori making the ikebana next to the statues of monks over here."


"Are you sure you like it? I can have room service send up another room?"


What a lovely dress.


Anyhow, whatever happened to the fade in fade out technique, if I may call it that?




I watched this movie to observe the famed kinetic photography of the credits and was enchanted by the use of shadow and silouhettes.

Cary Grant obviously has a very good tan for an Englishman. He was married five times. Minus the death count, he was clearly competing with Henry VIII.

This scene is from the public entrance to the UN General Assembly in New York. Construction finished in 1952.


It reminds me of the Guggenheim Museum, next to Central Park. From this angle anyway. Opened in 1959.