Friday, August 31, 2012

Just twelve seconds.

Keeping Quiet

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.

This one time upon the earth,
let's not speak any language,
let's stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be a delicious moment,
without hurry, without locomotives,
all of us would be together
in a sudden uneasiness.

The fishermen in the cold sea
would do no harm to the whales
and the peasant gathering salt
would look at his torn hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars of gas, wars of fire,
victories without survivors,
would put on clean clothing
and would walk alongside their brothers
in the shade, without doing a thing.

What I want shouldn't be confused
with final inactivity:
life alone is what matters,
I want nothing to do with death.

If we weren't unanimous
about keeping our lives so much in motion,

if we could do nothing for once,
perhaps a great silence would
interrupt this sadness,
this never understanding ourselves
and threatening ourselves with death,
perhaps the earth is teaching us
when everything seems to be dead
and then everything is alive.

Now I will count to twelve
and you keep quiet and I'll go.

- Pablo Neruda

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Gary Snyder - What You Should Know To Be A Poet

all you can about animals as persons.
the names of trees and flowers and weeds.
names of stars, and the movements of the planets
                        and the moon.

your own six senses, with a watchful and elegant mind.

at least one kind of traditional magic:
divination, astrology, the book of changes, the tarot;

the illusory demons and illusory shining gods;

kiss the ass of the devil and eat shit;
fuck his horny barbed cock,
fuck the hag,
and all the celestial angels
                              and maidens perfum'd and golden–

& then love the human: wives     husbands     and friends.

children's games, comic books, bubble-gum,
the weirdness of television and advertising.

work, long dry hours of dull work swallowed and accepted
and livd with and finally lovd. exhaustion,
                              hunger, rest.

the wild freedom of the dance, extasy
silent solitary illumination, entasy

real danger.     gambles.     and the edge of death.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

And little Sir John and the nut-brown bowl proved the strongest man at last...

Today is a holiday for us pagans - the festival of first fruits, the beginning of the harvest. This year it falls on a full moon. I've only recently begun building my own small rituals, and I'm not very good at them, to be honest. It's hard, sometimes - I always feel the need to be sure of my way. I don't know what I really think in terms of theology. I know that many things have the ring of truth to them, and I find real wisdom in the wheel of the year and the turn of the seasons. I don't always know what to think about higher beings, life and death, and how the world works. But my harvest, for this year - the fruits of all the seeds planted over the past months, especially this spring and summer - is learning to sit with things. I don't have to agree or disagree. The idea doesn't have to be right or wrong. I simply have to be able to sit with it and breathe until my sensations of fear or dislike disappear and I can simply see the thing for what it is, not my feelings and theories about it.
I don't have my theology all hammered out. I don't have the universe reconciled. I don't have my goals accomplished, my life laid out, my gods known, my paths straight ahead.
 But tonight I lit candles, made cornbread, and shared an apple with the listening silence and my garden. And that, my friends, is the richness of this religion - simplicity, strength, and the time-honored echoes of the worn way. You can feel your way along such a path. All you need is a belief in this world and the rhythms of this universe. All else follows from that.

Look - look at where you are.
The scent of mint and honey rises up from all the earth;
its sweetness drifts on the many pathways of light,
whispering: my beloved...
Who could put eternity between us and this ground?
I am dark, but lovely, says an old, old song;
and all the flowers are in bloom.
How can you believe this world is only a trial of the soul?
Awakening does not mean going away.
We are made of sacred earth -
and here, amidst the saffron and the lilies -
this is our paradise.
See what this is. 

(c) AME 2012