You have to stop and wonder,
the child said, why people can take joy in killing, why people can scheme each other, why people can cheat if they can.
Birds, the child added, only
try and scheme people for food, why they cheat for the sake of cheating, kill for pleasure, yet we say we are the higher species.
Perhaps, the child concludes,
it is we who are standing on our heads, looking up the species ladder, and we are actually on the bottom.
Children, Death, ecology, Humanist, men, mind, Nature, parents, Philosophy, Poem, Uncategorized
We could, if you want,
sit in the park on our folding chairs or better a folded blanket and stare out over the pond, its silver surface shirred by a midday breeze.
We could picnic, sandwiches
of brie and apples, or for us hummous with tahini and a bottle of chardonnay, carefully poured into plastic glasses imagining themseles crystal.
The dragonflies would ignore us,
busy doing what we cannot see, though we might draw the eye of a great egret, for they like nothing more than to stare at the strangeness around them.
The Great Egret stands
on the shore of the pond and stares at the tall grasses seeing what we cannot.
We are impatient, walk
away quickly, anxious to get on with our day although we have no plans.
We do not see him lunge
plucking breakfast from the swaying reed, he sees us blind to nature.
We, so far out at sea,
see only the waves passing, the rise and fall, the rhythm, and cannot imagine it could be otherwise,
You, on the shore
cannot perceive the waves we do, torn by the reef that leaves you only imagining what you think the waves might be.
We cannot imagine
the silence, the isolation you must feel in your waveless world with only memory of voices to shape the shards of sounds you hear.
The true artist,
when asked to draw a perfect tree will lead you to the garden and have you sit under the great maple. The true master asked to speak of Dharma will silently face the wall in zazen.
A reflection on case 118 of the Shobogenzo, Dogen’s True Dharma Eye Koans
Buddhism, Buddhist, Japan, Koan, meditation, mind, Nature, Philosophy, Poem, Uncategorized, Zen
At first it was just odd
to think of snow as merely a concept, a memory softer, more pleasant than its reality.
You can grow accustomed
to concepts, they are generally somewhat neat and tidy, easily filed and brought forth on demand.
The concept of snow has
its great advantages, snowmen of perfect shape, never melting and no one must shovel a concept.
But there are moments, a tree
decorated for Christmas, you want to reach out and feel the chill suddenly warm your heart.
I would like nothing more than to have a long conversation with the birds, that there is much they could tell me, much they know that I should understand but I am the interloper here, and they have lost trust in my kind. I watch them closely, trying to discern what I can of their thoughts, but in a flash of wing, they erase my efforts, their unique version of giving me the bird, so to speak. I speak to them, offer apologies, atone for my presence, for the others who have taken their space, and they listen, but in the end, turn away again, having, they say, heard this too many times before.
Dusk reflects dawn much as
dawn reflects dusk, and it is our fear of night and deep need for direction that sets them apart.
Imagine a photograph of the sun
hovering just over the horizon, compass-less we do not know what preceded, what will follow.
We prefer day and dawn, for
it is then we feel in control, our thoughts leashed, our fears locked away from sight and touch.
Dusk promises only night,
the darkness where our fears find corners in which to hide, only to spring out unwanted.
So we turn away from the sky,
unsinged by its flaming beauty, hide ourselves from and in fear as nature laughs at our foolishness.
She says she has always wanted
to swim like a dolphin, and she laughs when others tell her that she can, in the Florida Keys and in Hawaii.
She tells them that anyone, at least
anyone with money can swim with the dolphins, but she wants to swim like a dolphin as well.
She wants to see the sky appear
through the veil of water as she breaches for a breath, the surface a boundary easily stretched.
She wants to hear the songs
of whales, the conversations of her peers, and the deep silence nature occasionally affords in the world aquatic.
She sits on the shore, the waves
lapping at her feet, the sun emblazoning the water, sees a fin appear in the shallows and dreams.
fingers extended wings unfurled arms outstretched head poised skyward, then head poised skyward
lifting up into a sun filled sky
dreaming of impossible flight.