Sunday, November 26, 2006

a glimpse of the underglimmer

Sunday, November 12, 2006

used books

sunday afternoon. sitting on this wooden reclining swivel chair in a dusty room. i'm surrounded by words held together by two covers. the band of writers, alive here and elsewhere, offer day trips to far off places; islands, trenches, cottages, clouds and the far creases of intricate minds. i sit here and keep their voices in line. i stack book upon book so that every cover is seen and each voice is offered a fair chance. monologues are extracted by curious hands, and then quieted again when a neighbouring book catches the opposite hand. customers are victims to grotesque secrets that are hidden within these 10" by 20" shelves. the passerbys naively brush over the risk takers, historians, poets, comedians, madmen, exaggerators, pessimists, liars, fakes, mothers, queens, saints, servants, hermits, bachelors, lovers, overeaters, heros and frauds. everyone one of them has been leveled to a small portable size. their only wish is to be heard. but they will never be themselves. their voices have been sacrificed to their new owners. the tug of war of ideas, opinions, experiences and imaginations starts once a person picks up one of these books i am so diligently babysitting. i sit here in this swivel chair hoping that each story will find a home with a warm-hearted owner. as hard as i try to keep these books safe, i can’t protect them forever. after a monetary exchange, these bound pages and the mysterious characters they hold will have to stand their own on the dirty streets of this wild city. but for another sunday afternoon they are warm and busy, whispering tales to each other, while i sit here in my swivel chair.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The man of God is drunk without wine.
The man of God is full without bread.
The man of God is distraught and astounded.
The man of God neither eats nor sleeps.
The man of God is a king unde his robe.
The man of God is a treasure in the ruins.
The man of God isn't made of fire and water.
The man of God is an ocean without limits.
The man of God makes pearls rain without clouds.
The man of God possesses a hundred moons and heavens.
The man of God possesses a hundred dancing suns.
The man of God is made wise by Supreme Truth.
The man of God isn't instructed by books.
The man of God is beyond faith or godlessness.
For the man of God just and unjust are alike.
The man of God has ridden out of nonbeing.
The man of God is served with dignity.
The man of God is hidden, O Shams-od-din!
Friend, go look for the man of God and find him!


Wednesday, November 08, 2006


This morning
two mocking birds
in the green field
were spinning and tossing

the white ribbons
of their songs
into the air.
I had nothing

better to do
than listen.
I mean this

In Greece,
a long time ago,
an old couple
opened their door

to two strangers
who were,
it soon appeared,
not men at all,

but gods.
It is my favorite story--
how the old couple
had almost nothing to give

but their willingness
to be attentive--
but for this alone
the gods loved them

and blessed them--
when they rose
out of their mortal bodies,
like a million particles of water

from a fountain,
the light
swept into all the corners
of the cottage,

and the old couple,
shaken with understanding,
bowed down--
but still they asked for nothing

but the difficult life
which they had already.
And the gods smiled, as they vanished,
clapping their great wings.

Wherever it was
I was supposed to be
this morning--
whatever it was I said

I would be doing--
I was standing
at the edge of the field--
I was hurrying

through my own soul,
opening its doors--
I was leaning out;
I was listening.

-Mary Oliver-

Sunday, November 05, 2006

how can i- or anyone else- ever cease being astounded
that He whom nothing can contain is contained in the heart?


Saturday, November 04, 2006

a horizon opens and closes
and sheds light
on the land before it

a torrential rainfall
soaks the crops
ready for growth

beaming rays glisten
and dry
the fields

Thursday, November 02, 2006

what can you change in eternity?
what can you control in the perfect?
how can you hold onto the wind?
that's passing right through you

your trumpet
pours out
thick molasses
for byron stripling

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

we distract the moth
with our temporary
light bulbs

art by Van Tuyl