Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Weight of the World is Love

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

A Poem of Thankfulness for These Times by Peter Fortunato

                                                                         [Gratitude ]                                                                                                                       

I Thank (11.24.16)

I thank I am also angry this morning, though
thankfully, not prone to violent acts,
which, I thank, sometimes have to do with
thanklessness—including the fact of people
who never have enough to feel thankful for.
History has a lot to say about this, an examination
of its skulls and bones providing ample evidence
that those who always profit making war
as persons are wanting, and we might surmise
feel less than adequate within themselves.

I am thankful I have not to dodge their bombs and bullets.
I thank I have been blessed and thank the grace
inherent to my incarnation, this rose of meat
that flowers on my frame, these startling flames
of intelligence shooting through my nerves,
my brain a beatitude, though not, I thank
an evolutionary end—instead a platform
I thank, from which to launch the introspection
that I need today: wanting some things, needing few,
right now, I find it necessary to thank my Source.

See what’s in your heart, I’ve heard it said, see
with the eyes of the heart, because the heart
has its reasons, the logic to me making plain
both bliss and pain are spectacles through which
to search for what it is that sees: I thank it is unknowable
in the sense of, Hey, look, I’ve got a bluebird here—
whoops, lost it, please come back, oh, please!
What is it we were looking for? Everybody says
it’s happiness, and too everyone wishes
to do without more suffering.

I thank I will proceed with this thought: others
like me function basically, whatever vehicle they employ,
whether launching for the stars or safe harbor for tonight.
I thank I like myself like this: unequivocal,
but also curious, irreverent, unashamed to let it all hang out.
So I’m thankful for the anger that with tears arose
when moments ago I read from a woman how fearful
she is that some monster might steal from its lair
and with impunity impress on her its will—
I thank I am a man who would press back.

Peter Fortunato 

Reprinted from his Facebook page

To read more work by Peter or view his art work 
visit here.   You can also visit his website at :

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Next Meditation and Writing Group Meets on Novembr 5, 2016

[Photo of Meditation and Poetry Group in the Shelburne Falls, MA Shambhala Meditation Center]

We will be meeting again on the first Saturday of the month, November 5, 2016. I'd like to focus this session on themes of impermanence whether seasonal, personal, or momentary. There is a rich body of work from around the world to draw inspiration from.
Among the most famous is Issa's written upon the death of his infant daughter-- 

The world of dew
is the world of dew
And yet, and yet...

To read an interesting article on him visit this essay in Psychology Today

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Ten Thousand Things by David Budville (1940-2016)

The ten thousand changes follow each other
away–so why shouldn’t living be hard?
And everyone dies. It’s always been true,
I know, but thinking of it still leaves me
grief-torn. How can I reach my feelings?
a little thick wine, and I’m soon pleased
enough. A thousand years may be beyond me,
but I can turn this morning into forever.
Yet T’ao Ch’ien knows also that by noon forever will be gone.

Reprinted from David Budbill's essay and here

Monday, October 24, 2016

Gesar of Ling Excerpt from You Tube

Tibet’s great national literary treasure, the epic of Gesar, is the equivalent of the Iliad or the Odyssey in the West. It arose out of a comparable oral tradition, beginning in the eleventh century, and is now considered the longest single work in the world literary canon. King Gesar’s exploits are full of magic and high adventure, and are also models of Buddhist teaching: Gesar came to be widely regarded as an embodiment of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara or of Padmasambhava, the figure who brought Buddhism to Tibet. His bravery and heroism demonstrate how the best human qualities, such as loyalty, compassion, and virtue, ultimately triumph over evil, deception, and self-interest. This long-awaited translation of the first three volumes of the vast work is a landmark in the transmission of Tibetan Buddhist culture to the West.--Reprinted from Shambhala Publications

To read Translator Robin Kornman on Gesar of Ling, visit a previous post here on Poetrymind 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Thin Line

For David Hernandez
A grandfather whose kindness I can never repay

The fires are lit to stave
Off first hoarfrost
The harvest in
With its scent of rot mingled
Amid sweetness
Overhead winged
Cry out in joyful unison
On their way home

Below crickets trill
Las Abuelas begin the story
Stitching us to the tapestry
Weaving our fate
Into the fragile web
Gossamer threads between
Being and non-being
Betwixt between
The thin line of here
And over there
Outside time
The fires are lit
For love and
Heart’s desire
Before extinquished
In final glory
And all is well

October 19, 2016
Tsegyalgar East

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

POETRYMIND Poets to Read in Easthampton, October 13, 2016 from 6:00-8:00 PM

Poetrymind poets will read work in Easthampton in the gallery exhibiting Sheryl Jaffe's show, BASHO'S POND

WHERE: Easthampton Arts Walk

Mill 180 Park, Easthampton 413-527-0311

180 Pleasant Street, Easthampton, MA 01022

WHEN: October 13, 2016 6:00-8:00 PM

Poetrymind Readers meet once a month in Shelburne Falls 
for a meditation and writing group

Joe Arak has been writing poems on the back of envelopes, cereal boxes and in notebooks with unnumbered pages for many years. He currently runs a marketing business based in Amherst, meditates at Shambhala Center in Northampton, and looks for poetry wherever his mind takes him.

Terry Carter - I am a visual/performance artist, and made up my first poem around six. My mother wrote it down as I dictated. As a young adult I did extensive traveling throughout the U.S creating images & prose in my sketch book as I traveled and experienced the world. During that period I attended a couple semesters at Naropa Institute in Boulder Colorado. It was at Naropa I got first hand exposure , often sitting in on the readings of such great Beat Poets as Diane DiPrima, William Burroughs , and Allen Ginsberg . In resuming my love of prose I've attended classes & workshops taught by regional poets including Verandah Porche, and Jacqueline Gens. In my later work I often attempt addressing political merged with personal , and contemporary social issues.

Jacqueline Gens is the co-founder of the New England College MFA program in poetry, the first poetry only MFA program in the US, which she co-directed for a decade. For many years she worked for the late poet Allen Ginsberg and at the Naropa University. Now retired she conducts meditation and writing workshops and is an avid blogger at Poetrymind in addition to overseeing the Khandroling Paper Cooperative, a unique artist collaborative emphasizing contemplative arts affiliated with the Dzogchen Community located in Western Massachusetts..

Kichung Lizee
is a Korean-born American artist and Buddhist practitioner who uniquely blends Eastern calligraphy and Western thematic materials. She has taught and exhibited internationally and curated many exhibits bringing together Eastern calligraphers and Western artists. She was honored with a special award in 2008 at the Seoul International Calligraphy Biennale, Korea, and has been a featured artist at the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, CA, the Jordan Schnitzler Museum of Art, Eugene, OR, and the Turchin Center for Visual Arts, Boone, NC. She makes her home in Western Mass.

Other readers include Barbara Paparazzo and Jim Bauerlein.

Join us for a frog's view of Basho's Pond and sound of Haiku and other poems for a lively evening. 

Mill 180 Park is an indoor hydroponic park, one of Easthampton's newest venues with hydroponic plants, exhibit space, a restaurant bar, and open green areas for kids and adults.

SOME of Sheryl's imagery in the Gallery Photos by Kathleen Mulligan and Naomi Zeitz

Monday, September 19, 2016

Small Vajra Song on September 19, 2016 Thinking about my Community of Friends and Family

We are the flame that melts conceptual mind
We are the flame that protects the indestructible mandala 
We are the flame that dances in the fire
We are the flame that kindles endless compassion
one candle at a time


Photo Courtesy of Rosemary Rawcliff 
and Frame of Mind Films

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Glimpses of Mahamudra: An Online Course on the Tantric Teachings of Chogyam Trungpa

Chogyam Trungpa's introduction to classical Shamatha/Vipaassana or Mindfulness/Awareness practice, presented here in this online course is the gold standard for creating a base for more advanced experiences in Mahamudra/Dzogchen. I highly recommend it especially for beginners.  Judy Lief, in particular, is excellent. This is her trailer to the upcoming course beginning November 1, 2016. Years ago in my youth, one had to travel great distances, live in rustic conditions, and spend a great deal of money difficult to fund when not working in order to receive these teachings. Today it is a click away thanks to the internet. 

There's a huge marketplace out there and a great deal of confusion emerging around the numerous secularized mindfulness training programs. Trungpa's first major publication Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism remains one of the first and foremost introductions to the Buddhadharma in the West and after over forty years is as relevant now as then. 

An uncommon poet, brilliant visionary and Tibetan master of meditation, Trungpa Rinpoche founded an accredited American college Naropa University, before his untimely death at the age of 47. His Teaching on "First Thought, Best Thought" is the cornerstone for my personal poetics.  

Monday, August 29, 2016

What's Next

Coming Up Our Next Meditation and Poetry Group Meets on Saturday, October 1 at the Shelburne Falls Shambhala Center from 11:00AM - 2:00 PM

This morning I am thinking of poet Philip Whalen. If there is indeed a poetry realm on the other side, I would want to meet his mind again. Reading this review by Andrew Schelling of David Schneider's biography of Whalen, Crowded  By Beauty, I am reminded just how ephemeral the coming and goings of such beings are.

Somewhere in my archive of photos, there is a photo I took of Philip some thirty years ago in my then office at Naropa Institute that I  shared with a marvelous co-worker, Jane Faigao. Jane and I briefly together ran the Naropa Summer Institute - a dazzling display of creative synergy informed by the many poets, dancers, musicians and artists who convened there each year. Philip was a mainstay along with other so called "Beat" luminaries, Diane DiPrima, Gary Snyder, Joanne Kyger, and of course Allen Ginsberg and company, among so many others. 

Philip Whalen was the real deal and someone whose brief moments of interaction I had with him during a month-long sojourn I shared living in a house  with him and Ginsberg still resonates decades later.  A true master, he stopped my mind on numerous occasions. Somewhere the memory of that picture I took of him on the funky Naugahyde couch opposite my desk reminds me of the time when two phones rang simultaneously and I froze in his gaze as he softly said, "Breathe."

Visit TRICYCLE'S review of Crowded by Beauty, here

We'll breathe together, then share our gibberish on October 1. 

Impossible gibberish no one
Can understand, let alone believe;
Still, I try, I insist, I can
Say it and persuade you
That the knowledge is there that the
Is yours.  --Philip Whalen


A motion of sensors
To what is unsay able
All ears to penetrate
The vagaries
Such auguries of mystery
For which there is no name
Sounds sprung
A reaching out
A coming home
Never too late
This discovery

Jacqueline Gens


Motion of sensors
To what is unsay able
All ears penetrate
Auguries of mystery
For which there is no name
Seed Sounds tremble
Reaching out
Coming home
Never too late
This discovery

Jacqueline Gens
9.29.16 revised 7/7/2017

Saturday, August 06, 2016

A New Poem by Louise Landes Levi

in the aura of the other,
slow the rivers dwell,
where your illumination brings my
head to swell in vision , in the
of the others

wet winds & water pure 
all the pain I did I
endure, 4 You
4 you 4 you, 

in the aura of the other,
where all things good & evil
grow, in the aura of the other
where the river Lythe
does moan & flow,

in the aura of the other,
where I meet you
fresh again, in the aura
of the other, bed no lo no lo.

in the aura of the other mask
the death the taste of rain

in th aura of the other, bright
the friend whose sun doth
shine on my desire, in
the aura of fire, in
the aura of

Visit a Review of CRAZY LOUISE at Big Bridge

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Next Meditation and Writing Group Meeting on Saturday, August 6, 2016 in Shelburne Fall, MA

 [June writing group participants at the Shambhala 
Center meditating, photo by Jacqueline Gens]

This month we will be meeting on the first Saturday, August 6, 2016 at our usual Shambhala Center in Shelburne Falls for our meditation and writing group at 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM. Later on August 13,  I will facilitate a day-long workshop in Guilford, VT description listed here--Ordinary Mind, Sacred World.

The emphasis I encourage is a non-conceptual approach to the writing process based on my many years training at the Naropa Jack Kerouac  School of Disembodied Poetics and my working for the late poet Allen Ginsberg. Over the years as my own poetry craft has evolved, I've developed a number of tried and true methods that allow both beginner and seasoned writers to enter fully into what I call Poetrymind. Drawing on decades of resources I share with participants, we explore the various entres into the creative process that encourage a fresh perspective for our writing. 

For our July meeting, we gathered at our usual green market for lunch while we read our poems. It always amazes me that a particular theme emerges among all the different poems brought to the table. Listening to poems, I distinctly recollected Louis Zukovsky's slogan quoted by Ginsberg in his Mind Writing Slogans--"Only Emotion Objectified Endures." This slogan is a spin off on Pound's "only emotion endures."

Naturally, there are all sorts of discussion about what this means. In Barbara's 4/13 American Sentence below, one senses the pure objective declaration of externals that nonetheless show a deeply personal experience of lonliness. While, on the other hand, Donna's poem indicates a deeply personal catalog of internal observations. In any case, some interesting  considerations to regard as both caught us in their equally "vivifying" contents. 

Here is Donna D'fini's  poem she brought to us...(written in 1968!)


Looking on a thawing river in bright afternoon sun


The cat did not know how to lick tears, not gazed,
meowpurring (her sigh) into my face.

The Spring day pretended to be real, when really
the only reality is abstract, uncontained by time or place.

All the ideas of the day ebbed and flowed through my
mind's sieve, searching for gold particles of meaning.

People forget, people remember and it is all the same, as history
will tell you.....and why os the reality of alone so demeaning.

So hard to accept, that all public and secret western rituals conspire
to hide        the empty space.

Sometimes I can fill it with flowers or stars, both face in cycles
and the little cracks of emptiness show through my face.

It's not blue but colorless,
not black but colorless, 
not transparent but colorless
Hell is no color.

Whatever Sartre said - who lives in classrooms, stages
and dusty shelves  - no longer in deBeauvoir's memory...
now only memories of a dead lover. 

And then two more works from Barbara Paparazzo

April snow flurries, the fire gone out, by myself eating tangerines

Bushel basket empty
                        but with presence
just sitting there in the grass.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Ordinary Mind/Sacred World, Meditation and Writing Workshop in Guilford, VT Rescheduled for October 2016 TBA

[Onions by Renoir]

Ordinary Mind/ Sacred World will explore through meditation, writing exercises and literary examples how tuning into the ordinary details of life can transport us into the luminous dimension of sacred world. Suitable for both beginning and advanced writers of any genre or spiritual tradition. 

DATE: Saturday, August 13, 2019 (canceled) NEW DATE FORTHCOMING
TIME: 11:00-5:00 PM, Lunch, snacks, and drinks provided
LOCATION: Guilford, VT (directions sent to registered participants)
COST: $90 for the day or by donation for those who need it. 
CONTACT: Jacqueline Gens, or 413-522-1125
LIMITED: Pre-registration/payment required limited to first 7 people

WHAT TO BRING: Cushion for meditation (ground or chair), writing materials, some of your own writing or work by others you greatly admire to share (with 9 copies) and special dietary needs.  

Jacqueline Gens has worked with poets and writers for over thirty years from the famous Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics to the New England College MFA program in poetry she co-founded with Vermont poet laureate, Chard deNiord. During the many years she worked for the late poet Allen Ginsberg, she began to study closely his Dharma Poetics Primer for writers--a great treasury of insights and notations into the sacred world of wisdom literature. A poet and papermaker, she currently conducts a monthly meditation and poetry writing group at the Shelburne Falls, MA Shambhala Center and oversees open studios and workshops in papermaking and contemplative arts at Khandroling Paper Cooperative.

Visit Pablo Neruda's famous Ode to an Onion in both English and Spanish

Friday, May 27, 2016

What's New in Contemporary Tibetan Poetry

[16th Karmapa reading at Latse] 

About twelve years ago I undertook an exhaustive study of Tibetan poetry in English as a subject for my MFA thesis.  Over the years, the Internet has became a main vehicle for dissemination of contemporary Tibetan literary works. You Tube, in particular, continues to provide a creative avenue of expression for Tibetan song writers from within Tibet as well as in exile. As experience has shown there is no more powerful vehicle of change than song. Read my essay here, "What One Tibetan is Doing for his People" on the power of song for social change and how this is impacting Tibetan culture.  

Here are a few recent online resources of interest I have compiled:

Big Bridge Press (online) Anthology of Tibetan Poets

An inspired reading by Tibetan poet Drugmo of Dhondup Gyal's famous Waterfall of Youth which I wrote about  back in April 2005 here on Poetrymind. 

A work in progress with more to follow....

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Next Meditation and Writing Workshop is Saturday, June 4, 2016

We continue to meet every first Saturday of the month at the Shelburne Falls Shambhala Center. Please bring your poems or work you find inspiring by others to share (9 copies).

Here's a poem I recently came across online I had never read before:

The Zen of Housekeeping
By Al Zolynas

I look over my own shoulder
down my arms
to where they disappear under water
into hands inside pink rubber gloves
moiling among dinner dishes.

To continue reading go to this blog A MInd of Being Here which is dedicated to poems with a 'mindfulness' emphasis.

You will also find on this link lots of other other related poems including, Happiness and Gone by one of my favorite poets, Malena Morling, with whom I worked a few years while co-directing the New England College MFA Program in Poetry until my retirement in 2012 (now defunct).

I love the way the most ordinary object or mundane event can transport us to a deep experience of sacred world or mystery.

Here is a wonderful Emily Dickinson poem #875, "I Stepped from Plank to Plank"

So now it is nearing June that time of Nearing Summer Solstice. I offer you my poem from a few years past:
Nearing Summer Solstice

At Tires for Less on Route 9
I wait to exchange snow studs
for all season tires past the April deadline--
A young skinhead,
with a spider web on his naked
elbow strips the lugs
which hit the floor as he moves on haunches,
feral menace with a drill bit.
I pace the pavement,
looking down at the Connecticut River.
At the edge of blacktop next to a field of low
lying wildflowers and scrub brush,
broken glass and butts indicate I'm not the first.
Two monarchs catch my attention, then flecks
of orange move among purple cones,
a different butterfly, with fur edges.
This day is long with light and I have time
to wonder how they know to convene
by the hundreds in this dump
oblivious to trucks and cars speeding past,
their movements counterpoint
to my own noisy impatience, calmed a moment,
until spider boy calls me over.

Reprinted from Connotation, November 2009

Saturday, May 14, 2016

A Few Poems from our Meditation and Poetry Writing Group Meeting on May 7, 2016

Sleeping Geese

Canada geese are asleep on the river
under a warm October sun,
heads tucked under their wings,
neatly folded bodies bobbing gently
as they rest from a hard migration.
They left the blue north days ago
and soon will labor southward,
but today they are idling here.

The current urges them toward the falls,
yet each bird stays in place,
neither drifting downstream nor straining up.
Beneath the ruffling surface of the water,
shad and catfish swim
the green murk of the upper river.
Perhaps the moony globes of their eyes
see the pale yellow underside
of sunlight glinting on wavelets 

and black webbed feet
waving slowly back and forth,
the flock of geese sleepwalking together
to keep from slipping away.

by Sarah Doyle

V Day

Full Scorpio Moon
peaks at dawn

Ride in on that wave
mustn't PASSOVER

Even unleavened bread
kneads yeast


by Terry Carter

Chilly Spring Morning at Massacre Overlook, Canyon de Chelly

Interest ran high on the ledge
tourists peer hesitantly down into the deep canyon.
            buzzards circle
Little ones write signs in red sand,
Mother’s hawk juniper bead necklaces
Young man by river weaves
                        dream catcher from reeds
Sun at ten casts long shadow from Spider women rock.

Hieroglyphs visable on red rock at impossible height,
club footed Kachina,snake, helicoil,
petroglyphs with power lines,spider webs
De Chelly, Chaco, Orabi, Gila Bend 

News there
           letter unopened, unnoticed,ignored, denied
           sold in a gift shop
Sun rises
White horse stands midstream flanked by two burros 
drinking fresh dark water. 
Everything waiting.
Those who know are patient,
patient like massive red cliffs

Two German tourists squinting into the sun 
argue logistics of the slaughter at Massacre Rock,
muse on Kit Carson, admire their new cowboy boots and hats

A boy with dog, drifts off,
sits by grandfather,catching shade under a pinon tree,
not far from the careful gaze of mother’s third eye.

Jim Bauerlein

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Into the Wood, a Poem Inspired by the Brattleboro Retreat Cemetery

Recently the Brattleboro Reformer reported on the restoration of the Brattleboro Retreat Cemetery. For years while living on Forest Street, I walked on the back trails behind the Retreat and was often moved by the fallen tombstones wondering who these people were, mostly women.

The article about the restoration and dedication is here.

Here is a poem I wrote some years ago selected by Ilya Kaminsky to be published in Poetry International.

Into the Wood

Twilight, I walk toward the wooded retreat graveyard

where mostly women from the Vermont Asylum for the Insane

are buried, final resting place for wanton girls, syphilis cases,

melancholics, or other ailments—

their unclaimed bodies interred over a century ago

now sunken holes beneath my feet.

Perhaps, they worked in the dairy or gardens, exercised, had craft

activities in sun-lit rooms, ate well, or if dangerous, were assigned to locked

dungeons out of view. That solitary citadel of humane architecture just around the bend

its pointy spire heralds token hope for a once wealthy clientele.

The Retreat graveyard's now littered with broken headstones

felled by generations of pranksters, carved names obliterated by moss

but so many died young I notice.

Did they just waste away? Give up? Abandoned?

The year I worked in the Retreat kitchen for minimum wage,

I saw the locked cells while taking the underground passage

to deliver food to wards for elderly patients, food I ground myself

bound for nagahyde recliner trays set up at mealtime

under droopy necks nested into shoulders

roused by cheery nurses on my arrival.

Sometimes, when I pushed my cart alone piled high

with steaming dishes, sweat down my back,

swift images like ciphers of light dart as I roll past

rows and rows of white doors set in lovely stone--

specters animated by my presence, or an imagination

activated down in the basement, my numerical mantra of counted steps

steady against pipe gurgles and the hollowed strangeness of abandoned spaces

like the broken culvert next to my childhood house counting out rocks

I tossed into the torrential brook below where I prayed to make the pain

go away, a string of pearls threaded to bind the fissure between

the present moment and distant future yawning so unattainable--

all of seventeen, how even ordinary life can snap a girl in two

for reasons barely recalled,

Jacqueline Gens
Published in Poetry International, Issue 15/16, 2010,

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Another Losar Poem for Year of the Water Tiger

[Original art by Ingmar Pema Dechen]

The following poem was commissioned for Year of the Water Tiger:

Behold the Water Tiger
Worldly navigator
Among all things adventurous
At home in the unknown
Buoyed by the ease of water
Even the heaviest notions
Lightly flow by twists and turns
Where no one else dares to go
You are the harbinger of mystery
A playful glint of luminosity
Amid roiling turbulence
Flash of certainty in the deep swell
Of aquifer forever brave
Our sleek innovator
All accomplishing to the end

Jacqueline Gens

Original art by Ingmar Pema Dechen coming soon!

Please contact me ( if you would like to commission an original Birth poem with art

To read more Losar poems visit the Mansion of Elements project page here

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

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 morning coffee in Boulder
Yelling caw caw back to the crows above

Snow plows scrape  ground
Harsh words uttered grate tender
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