What Is Bounty Without A Beggar?

by  Jelaluddin Rumi for my recovery friends who are facing down their own fears   What is bounty without a beggar? Generosity without a guest? Be beggar and guest; for beauty is seeking a mirror, water is crying for a thirsty man. Hopelessness and need are tasteful bezel for that ruby. Your poverty is a Burak;* don't be a coffin riding on other men's shoulders. Thank God you hadn't the means or you may have been a Pharaoh. The prayer of Moses was, "Lord, I am in need of Thee!" The Way of Moses is all hopelessness and need and it is the only way to God. From when you were an infant, when has hopelessness ever failed you? Joseph's path leads into the pit; don't flee across the chessboard of this world, for it is His game and we are checkmate! checkmate! Hunger makes stale bread more delicious than halvah. Your spiritual discomfort is spiritual indigestion; seek hunger and passion and need! A mouse is a nibbler. God gave him mind in proportio


by Anne Sexton It is in the small things we see it. The child's first step, as awesome as an earthquake. The first time you rode a bike, wallowing up the sidewalk. The first spanking when your heart went on a journey all alone. When they called you crybaby or poor or fatty or crazy and made you into an alien, you drank their acid and concealed it. Later, if you faced the death of bombs and bullets you did not do it with a banner, you did it with only a hat to cover your heart. You did not fondle the weakness inside you though it was there. Your courage was a small coal that you kept swallowing. If your buddy saved you and died himself in so doing, then his courage was not courage, it was love; love as simple as shaving soap. Later, if you have endured a great despair, then you did it alone, getting a transfusion from the fire, picking the scabs off your heart, then wringing it out like a sock. Next, my kinsman, you powdered your sorrow, you gave it a back rub and then you covere


by Czeslaw Milosz Forget the suffering You caused others. Forget the suffering Others caused you. The waters run and run, Springs sparkle and are done, You walk the earth you are forgetting. Sometimes you hear a distant refrain. What does it mean, you ask, who is singing? A childlike sun grows warm. A grandson and a great-grandson are born. You are led by the hand once again. The names of the rivers remain with you. How endless those rivers seem! Your fields lie fallow, The city towers are not as they were. You stand at the threshold mute. translation by Robert Hass

Wandering Around an Albuquerque Airport Terminal

by Naomi Shihab Nye   After learning my flight was detained 4 hours, I heard the announcement: If anyone in the vicinity of gate 4-A understands any Arabic, Please come to the gate immediately. Well -- one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own gate. I went there. An older woman in full traditional Palestinian dress, Just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly. Help, said the flight service person. Talk to her. What is her Problem? we told her the flight was going to be four hours late and she Did this. I put my arm around her and spoke to her haltingly. Shu dow-a, shu- biduck habibti, stani stani schway, min fadlick, Sho bit se-wee? The minute she heard any words she knew -- however poorly used - She stopped crying. She thought our flight had been cancelled entirely. She needed to be in El Paso for some major medical treatment the Following day. I said no, no, we're fine, you'll get there, just late, Who is picking you up? Let's call

New Year’s Dawn, 1947

by Robinson Jeffers Two morning stars, Venus and Jupiter, Walk in the pale and liquid light Above the color of these dawns; and as the tide of light Rises higher the great planet vanishes While the nearer still shines. The yellow wave of light In the east and south reddens, the opaque ocean Becomes pale purple: Oh the delicate Earnestness of dawn, the fervor and the pallor. —Stubbornly I think again: The state is a blackmailer, Honest or not, with whom we make (within reason) Our accommodations. There is no valid authority In church or state, custom, scripture nor creed, But only in one’s own conscience and the beauty of things. Doggedly I think again: One’s own conscience is a trick oracle, Worked by parents and nurse-maids, the pressure of people, And the delusions of dead prophets: trust it not. Wash it clean to receive the transhuman beauty: then trust it.

Allen for all to see (and see all)!

Allen, Phil (standing) and Wm Burroughs Peter and Allen in Paris Peter and Allen, well, au natural With You +1'd this publicly. Undo Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and friends Oh, Allen did love getting naked. I wish I could discipher what is written on his modesty thing-a-ding. Handsome man! At the Triest, on Grant in North Beach. Listening. I guess that he could really listen too. America's poet? I'd vote yeah. Getting naked all around the world!

Father Death Blues

(Don't Grow Old, Part V) by Allen Ginsberg Hey Father Death, I'm flying home Hey poor man, you're all alone Hey old daddy, I know where I'm going Father Death, Don't cry any more Mama's there, underneath the floor Brother Death, please mind the store Old Aunty Death Don't hide your bones Old Uncle Death I hear your groans O Sister Death how sweet your moans O Children Deaths go breathe your breaths Sobbing breasts'll ease your Deaths Pain is gone, tears take the rest Genius Death your art is done Lover Death your body's gone Father Death I'm coming home Guru Death your words are true Teacher Death I do thank you For inspiring me to sing this Blues Buddha Death, I wake with you Dharma Death, your mind is new Sangha Death, we'll work it through Suffering is what was born Ignorance made me forlorn Tearful truths I cannot scorn Father Breath once more farewell Birth you gave was no thing ill My heart is stil