sorry to Mary and everyone,

I’m having a little computer, well, blog dukkha.  It only wants to space and begin lines where IT wants them to be, regardless of the poet’s creation.  When I figure out the solution to the problem, I will re-post Mary’s lovely poem “Socks”.

In the meantime, if there are any poets out there who don’t give a gosh-golly-darn where the lines start or how many spaces are (or aren’t) between each line, then, please! send me your poem and I’ll be happy to post.  (I have NO idea where that word gosh-golly-darn came from — perhaps the recesses of my brain or a previous lifetime.  Maybe I made it up, or heard someone say it a million years ago. It’s kind of funny I think).

In the meantime, I’m happy to share with you a painting I recently bought.  The artist is named Cristina and she and many other artists go 3 or 4 or 5 days a week to a great open studio called Creativity Explored.  All the artists are adults with developmental disabilities.  I love going there, and I particularly love Cristina’s work!  For me, Cristina’s work is definitely poetry!   Her paintings “speak” to me.  I now have 8 of them.  I try, but can’t resist.  This one is hanging on a door (you can see the doorknob on the left) in my house.

I hope you enjoy!

♥   Gayle


back, so soon…

Hi everyone,

it’s a beautiful, extremely blue-skied,sunny, ice cold windy day here in san francisco.  san francisco tends to be a “dark” city, with so much fog, clouds, and rain.  It’s different this year.  We had our first sunny summer that I can remember since moving here 44 years ago.  I loved every sunny second of it.  I was thinking I might have to buy a special light box to fight off SAD, seasonal affective disorder, which I think I have.  But this year, nature has been my treatment.  Of course, the well being of “me” is not necessarily the rest of nature’s good fortune.  The plants and animals need water.  I am aware of this, but choose not to wax polemical against global warming at the moment.  We all know humans have made and continue to make big-time mistakes.  As a species, I think our learning curve is just slightly behind my own.  Up against the slow learning curve of our whole species, I do not feel quite as slow as I sometimes do surrounded by the smart people I know personally, or read in books and magazines.  All in all, it’s a little frustrating.  And of course, there are the slow learners who are in positions of power, and that problem, combined with greed makes for decisions that impact regular people (like you and me) and our mother earth in particularly bad ways…

Well, look at that.  I’m “waxing”, without having intended to.  We are all so inter-connected, so it’s hard not to care alot, even if I’m sometimes trying to take a break from the enormity of what’s going on… my heart still knows.

It is the knowing, and the not knowing, and the darkness that this poem is about..  It’s not exactly happy, but there is some “resolve” at the end, and that, I’m pretty sure, is a good thing.  Also, I think it is in the darkness (the parts hidden from our selves) that we can uncover and learn the most important things.  It often doesn’t seem this way to me.  But I think it’s counter-intuitive.  And also, I admit to a fear of the dark.  So, it’s not easy to stay there and learn what the lesson is.  I usually spend most of my “dark” time feeling sorry for myself and strategizing distractions.

I wrote this poem at our Poetry Kalyana Mitta group a couple of days ago.  The “prompt” I gave the group (as we sat in my living room)  was to first do a “free write” about the room, or something in the room, along with whatever emotional resonance was going on in that moment for each of us, and then to write a poem from that.  My living room is very multi-colored and full of interesting possible objects to spur a thought or a feeling.  I love how when given a prompt, each person comes up with such a wildly individual take on it.  You can tell from the poems that got created that there was an initial seed from which they all came, and yet the variety of poems are amazing, and so wonderful!  I’d like to invite the other poets from the group to share their poems too.

This Room

I live in this room which speaks in light, shadows, contours and colors.

Red, for instance.  Ochre.

I  know so little,

Then, what I know changes

or the object of knowing changes, shifts, reveals something new…

light slanting in different directions,

highlighting,      obscuring

what I think I know, what I knew, what I…..

Below, old patterns re-cycle, repeat —

fractals — who I am    who I am      who I am   who I am    who I am

It looks like we’re going down

Ochre stains the walls.

Blood red saturates

the chair,  the rug,  the Mexican tin heart

No way out but through

Going down means going into

the human heart

of darkness.

I’ll pay attention this time.

♥   Gayle

it’s been awhile….

well, yes,  it’s been a little while…  I guess everyone’s been pretty busy in the new year.  In addition to a small group where we write poems together, I’m also taking this class (I’ve mentioned it before) at the Bernal Heights Library.  It’s called OWLS, which stands for older writers’ laboratory.  It’s a great joy there, and it helps to have a teacher giving prompts and other poets to be inspired by, and share with.  (I really am a bit of a stickler for correct grammatical construction, and so, hate to leave that dangling participle at the end of the last sentence.  But what can you do?  It sounds so overly proper – in this day and age- to write it “properly”).

That said, I’m thinking of being less “proper” in the way this blog was originally conceived. There’s been some wonderful poems by a number of people posted, and a little bit of feedback.  But somehow, it’s still not the lively dharma road that was originally envisioned. I’m not sure what needs to change here.  I was thinking maybe more recipes, and more pictures. perhaps a dharma-based advice column.  Are you worried?  Smiling?  Any ideas I’ve overlooked?  Would love to hear from you.  🙂

Here’s my poem for today.  I hope if you are a strict vegetarian you will feel compassion instead of self-righteous indignation.  In all our imperfections, we can only hope for… compassion.  🙂  (ps, this darn blog site took away my lovely spacing and font… guess it’s time to go back to the Apple store for lesson #56!)  Haha!  I need to re-learn technical things over and over if I don’t use them every day, and I need to keep learning compassion for technical things — like blog sites and computers — when they don’t work the way I want them to… (eek, another dangling participle).  Ah…. well.  🙂

Somewhere Between….

I want to be a vegan

for good health


as an act of kindness

to all animals

But I love bacon

and moreover

I love people who

love bacon, spareribs, and the like

people who live lustily

and don’t  question themselves  left and right.

I don’t want to be the problem dinner guest


wear the complexion of pale virtuousness

Somewhere between  jewish   buddhist and tao-ist

somewhere between

the realms of

heaven and hell

I dwell

vegan and lover of bacon

♥   Gayle