Tuesday, May 03, 2016

More Haiku Offering by Jacqueline Gens

While looking through old notebooks and teaching materials I came across some Haiku and American sentences jotted down that I did in 2012.

On Leaving my Dentist's Office on High Street, Brattleboro, VT

Taunted by impermanence three strangers stand
By the side of the road contemplating the sadness of animals
Cat run over

American Sentence Version

Taunted by impermanence three strangers huddle around cat road kill


Furry animals shiver together while Buddha comforts us

American Sentences

Friends fight then make up we're so silly needing too be loved so much

My Mother's sad face returns to me in the soft snow I didn't notice

BREATHE the monk Philip said to me when two phones rang at the same moment


The old poet sat with me on the cement stoop
Early mooring coffee in Boulder
Yelling caw caw back to the crows above

Snow plows scrape  ground
Harsh words uttered grate tender
Clear phantom enemies

The red haired young man
Hates me like so many others
Forgive me, son


Monday, May 02, 2016

Spring is here and that means Garlands of Lilacs, Forsythia, and Daffodils

The Lilac Thief

This year I looked for lilacs
off the beaten track
in places no longer tended –

A different kind of boundary,
long rows where once houses stood,
lots now empty.

I love the deeper purple of old bushes,
their crushed bloomets falling into my hand
taken from gnarled bark bearing heavy plumage.

I am the local lilac thief,
that one who stops to follow
the scent of unseen blossoms.

Jacqueline Gens (many years ago)

Here is a fine essay by poet/dakini Annie Finch on Spring's arrival from the Poetry Foundation site.

Updates from Poetrymind for May 2016

  • May 5 Lecture/workshop in Pittsfield MA  on the Poetics of Uncertainty 
  • May 7 Next Meditation and Writing Group at the Shelburne Falls Shambhala Center
  • May 15 at Khandroling Paper Cooperative we will have a workshop with Dara Juels 
The Morris Dancers are out in full force these days. Here's a classic May Day dance/song at dawn:

Then there is our own Packers Corner friends who have celebrated May Day for over forty years with poet Verandah Porche in a photo taken by Poetrymind writing group participant Terry Carter.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Forbidden Scribbles from a Vipassana Retreat

Forbidden Scribbles**
on a Vipassana Retreat

Lying in Buddha posture
Outside I hear geese
Like me flying home


First Buds of Spring
Bird rustles in the underbrush
Can you ask a poet not to sing?


Old lady nods off
Drooping head signals torpor
Lion awakes without fail


Are clouds sky--sky clouds?
Where are you mind?
I looked everywhere and can’t find you 


Cars rush, Ocean of Dharma***
Squeaky door, cat’s meow
What’s real?

**Generally one is discouraged from writing or reading on a traditional Vipassana retreat. These mosty composed in my head outdoors during retreat, then jotted down on scraps of paper
***Part of my Bodhisattva name

Friday, April 29, 2016

Bull’s Eye: An Arrow Piercing the Heart of Mara by Jampa Pawo

[Calligraphy by Chogyam Trungpa and Kanjuro Shibata Sensei reprinted from the Shambhala Times]

A poem by Jampa Pawo, dedicated to his dharma friend Grace

Bull’s Eye: An Arrow Piercing the Heart of Mara

Listen, brave warrior of Shambhala.
In your battle against the delusions,
Raise the longbow of unborn shunyata
In your left hand of primordial wisdom
And draw the arrow of bodhichitta
With your right hand of vajra-compassion.
Rest your mind in concentration and thusness
On the union of bliss and emptiness
Aim for the heart of great dharmakaya
And release from form into formlessness
The arrow of bodhisattva actions.

To continue, go here.

To Read about Jampa Pawo's Prison case, visit here.

Daniel Lucas aka Jampa Pawo was executed by lethal injection on April 27, 2016 in the State of Georgia. While in prison he began to practice meditation. The full article is here.

These articles are reprinted from the Shambhala Times, 

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Recap of our April 2 Meditation and Poetry Workshop

After our morning meditation at the Shelburne Falls Shambhala Center, we took turns reading poet Anne Waldman's list of writing prompts from the Naropa Institute-rich and deep like her poems. Increasingly,  I am inspired by Anne's erudition, compassionate actions, and dedication to the power of poetry that can penetrate the darkness of these times.

Here are a few 17 syllable Haiku by Barbara Paparazzo, a friend from our New England College MFA days and frequent participant in our writing group. GInsberg called these "American Sentences" as they are long line instead of the three line stanza found in traditional Haiku 


The soft rain like velvet on my face – when did you last touch me like that?


Even if the world is going mad, the tiny white snowdrops so sweet!


Planting seeds all day in starter trays– mustard greens, kale – your little babies.


Windy, sudden rain, dark skies, then sun – mind like the March weather today.


Rain, sun, the dead grass grows –

God, I wish these old bones could turn green again.

 A wonderful reading by Barbara on archive.org: