Poems & Music

This is not fancy I know-
But listen carefully:
something is there.

My friends have their houses,
and that’s okay-
but this is an eternal house.
Never needs painting,
roof never leaks….

Why did Neem Karoli Baba
lie there naked on a blanket
smiling like a walrus,
while Ram Dass took his photo?

What were his clothes and belongings?
What was his roof and awning?
What was his porch and railing?
If it wasn’t This, what was it?

That’s what this poem is like: unadorned figures of speech,
not costumed by poetic diction,
plain speech and metaphor
wrapped only in a light skin,
no ego world to cloud the natural shining effulgence.

I myself have flopped out in a poem like this
bare-bottomed, with a long-toothed grin,
nothing of myself but listener and scribe-
no erudition or wit,
mind at the service of the great creator.

As Sixth Zen Patriarch Hui-Neng said:
The bottom of a pail is broken through.
Personal contents have gone out.

The trouble with our age is
it is all signposts and no destination.
-Louis Kronenberger

Flashy ones, at that.
Neon, argon, flourescent.
Giant video screens in Times Square.

Times Square. Hah!

That’s perfect.

What about Eternity’s Circle?
Where is that located?

Times Square,
the center
of the world’s busiest city,
businesses dedicated
primarily to reproduction.

the rugged signpost,
often featured in cartoons,
in an isolated desert of the west
riddled with arrows,
to distant destinations
in all different

One being Las Vegas,
a city
comprised entirely
of garish signs.

Let’s go there.
it’s not
far from here.
But how shall we travel?
I drove through Nevada once,
the roads were straight,
straight, straight.

Deserted mines at the side of the road,
where the search for
had been abandoned.

My car turned off
into the languid, fragrant,
still and vital desert.
Drove to the top of a dune
overlooking the sage,
the prickly-pear,
the Joshua Tree.

The headlights reflected
a thousand fearful
but curious and hopeful eyes.

The glow of Las Vegas
pulsed distantly against
the horizontal sky.

This destination paid off the jackpot prize.
I’m still parked there-
who could leave that vast unknown
having once arrived?

Sometimes I feel
I’m living in that
Eternal Loneliness of Zen, that Shabumi

like time-traveler Basho,
speaking to people
who are not present in the physical plane,
but who are present in this Eternal Now-
our true habitat.

Like you, dear reader,
wherever or whenever You
it is this same Now.

Remember, I love you.
I’m talking to you, Baby.
Who else?