Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Season’s Greetings from Poetrymind

The Coming of Light*

Even this late it happens: the coming of love, the coming of light.
You wake and the candles are lit as if by themselves,
stars gather, dreams pour into your pillows,
sending up warm bouquets of air.
Even this late the bones of the body shine
and tomorrow’s dust flares into breath.*

Dear Friends (known and unknown) and Family, 

Best Wishes for the Holiday and warm wishes for your good health and well-being.  Everyday, I am grateful for the many gestures of kindness and support you all give me.  I offer each one of you my deepest aspiration for your happiness in this time of the rising light and coming New Year

Much Love Jacqueline

Photo Credit: Dharamsala candle by  Rosemary Rawcliff

*Poem by Mark Strand Reprinted from the Academy of American Poets website

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Next Meditation and Poetry Writing Group January 2, 2016 at the Shambhala Center in Shelburne Falls, MA

[from Shambhala Publications website haiku by Santoka]

The topic for our next writing group will be Haibun/Haiku, a traditional Japanese format that is defined usually as a prose poem followed by a Haiku "A haibun is a terse, relatively short prose poem in the haikai style, usually including both lightly humorous and more serious elements. A haibun usually ends with a haiku” [Haiku Society of America]

WHEN: Beginning Saturday, January 2, 2016 (ongoing)
Meeting every first Saturday of the month

TIME: 11:00 AM-2:00 PM

71B Ashfield St
Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts 01370
United States

COST: By donation [Recommended $5-$20.00 per session]

11:00 AM Guided Sitting Meditation
11:30 AM Check-in/where we are with our writing
Noon - 1:00 PM: Brief Presentation by Jacqueline or guest
followed by writing prompt or exercise
Break for Lunch (McKuskers)
1:00-2:00 PM - Share our work
Some Online Resources

PDF Essay : More than Birds, Bees and Trees: A closer look at Haibun

Haiku Society of America for definitions of traditional forms.

List of American Haiku poets for some inspiration

Reginald Blyth’s 3 Volume Haiku Anthology check out on

Haiku according to Thich Nat Hahn’s “Interbeing"

Links to Allen Ginsberg Haiku

Robert Hass on You Tube reading from his translations of ISSAThere are many approaches to Haiku you are invited to explore on the internet.One need not follow the traditional schemes. I work with the version presented at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics following Chogyam Trungpa’s format and taught widely by Allen Ginsberg.

Recently the Ginsberg Project posted a transcript of one of Allen’s early classes at Naropa Institute (now University) when Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche visited his class. In this particular class, Trungpa introduces a three part logic to working with language. The Ginsberg Project is a treasure trove of Teachings direct from the horses mouth, as they say!

The notion of what’s called threefold logic - which applies to a general state of mind, how we experience our phenomenal world (and obviously poetry comes from an expression of one’s phenomenal world - in the written form - it could either be prose or poetry form). It’s not so much, from (the) Buddhist point of view, (is that) (if) you write good poetry, particularly, but how your thought-patterns become elegant, that you see (the) phenomenal world as a process, stages, as a review, from a state of mind - That, first, we have what’s known as the ground (which we perceive is the general sense or idea of how things work – like a bright, and heavy, sense of brightness, and then you begin to have some idea that it is sunshine, and then, because there is a sense of brightness, then you experience the sense of sunshine, and having experienced the second stage that way, then we have a conclusion, which is "(it) dispels (the) darkness”. So those (three stages) are what is known as the threefold logic, which actually does apply very much to thehaiku approach – that there is an idea, and then there is a complimentary remark with (the) idea, and then a final ending, (sometimes which is punctuated by humor, or sometimes punctuated by opinion, or (it) could be just an open ending). So that seems to be an interesting kind of training and it seems that's how one thinks when you look at the real world and then just write that down. And then by doing so, a person's approach begins to become very methodical and nothing is jumpy, and everything is somewhat organized in your mind, and therefore it creates a sort of chain-reaction, probably, to the reader of (the) poetry as well, those who read your work, their thought-patterns begin to have some sort of systematic situation rather than just things jumbled together. And , in turn, the theory is that having such (an) approach, you develop a…you’re helping the world to destroy chaos and you create order in the universe.

To read more go here.

Thanks to Peter Hale of the Ginsberg blog, you can now read the transcripts of Ginsberg’s course on Meditation and Poetics online--in this instance many classes on Haiku, Ginsberg’s unique style of erudition following his own interests combined with his genius literary mind created some great teaching.

Here is one transcript on a class in Haiku which relates to the meditation aspect. If you are interested you can find lots of teaching material.

For years I lost my Haiku journal but recently found it in storage. Here’s a couple of poems I wrote in Mexico.

The old man leans against doorway

First rays of sun

Eyes closed, mouth open--still breathing

My favorite:

Little girls chatter

Waiting for ice-cream

Armed Policia circle Plaza Chica

Three part logic

Line 1 -Ground/Observation

Line 2 -Path/Recognition further extension of original observation or what’s happening

Line 3 -Fruition surprise, twist

The possibilities are endless. My own experience is that Haiku in general is training in perception, unfiltered language which is characterized by a natural vividness. Recently I have been exploring combining the prose poem followed by a lyric.

Best Wishes--for the Holiday!!

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Meditation and Poetry Writing Group Recap for Saturday December 5

The following meetings will take place each first Saturday of the month at the Shambhala Center in Shelburne Falls, MA 

71B Ashfield St
Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts 01370

Jan 2
Feb 6
Mar 5
Apr 2
May 7

There is currently room for one or two more individuals. In order to facilitate a meaningful amount of time for each person, we are restricting each group to 6-7 individuals. Please contact Jacqueline at or 413-522-1125

Today December 5, 2015 five of us met for discussion and sharing our work. 

Here is Barbara Paparazzo's fine poem for the month : 


We hear Chapel Falls before we see it
a trail in the woods

then snow water
glacier green

red berries
daggar sharp clarity

mosquito larvae in pool
a dead mouse in 2 inches of water

thinking of the immortal Tufu
escaping the An Lu Shan rebellion

on foot with his family
by river and paths

eating berries
to stay alive

arriving starved, exhausted at the house
of his old friend

they share a few poems
the desperation of the times

how words 
come down to us

poems like red berries
to pick and eat

I love this poem for its artful simplicity that creates vivid imagery to arrive at the conclusion that words are sustenance in these desperate times. The reference of Tufu fleeing with his family is particularly poignant given current events. 

We discussed a variety of writers including Gary Snyder’s new book -  This Present Moment, Frank O’Hara’s "To the Harbormaster”, and John Keats’ Negative Capability.  Terry read song lyrics she wrote. Vince read a Haiku like poem from memory. Next month we will focus on Haibun and Haiku. Resources forthcoming.  


Here's a poem I wrote earlier this morning following a day sorting through old family photos. 


Planetary orbits sundry forces pulverize matter down to the minute particles as centrifugal forces gather all to naught sucked into matrix of unbecoming

Stardust breath

Tonight I sort through old family photos for whom there are no heirs. Me at one, two, three and so on, visits with grandma to the San Diego Zoo, Lake Tahoe, in Malibu. Photos make loving memories but generations heaped up gone now ……..gate gate paragate*…Time slip a moment 

All gone into flames into the unknown
As I enter no-name
Once again

December 5, 2015
Early morning

*gone, gone, gone beyond, classic mantra of prajnaparamita