The wintry gust: it blows the evening sun down into the ocean.
The crow has flown away: swaying in the evening sun, a leafless tree.
That inconspicuous willow tree–of late it has become green.
Clawing the void lies the corpse of a crab: mountains of cloud.
A sleeping cow? A boulder? It could be either. Grass sprouts out.
I pull out a stalk of grass, the root’s whiteness and depth– I bear with the sight.
Dandelions, dandelions on the sandy shore– spring opens it’s eyes.
In the sky walk serenely– the moon alone.
As there is water in the rice paddy, the blue sky is deeply ploughed.
Butterfly’s wings, most beautiful in the world; ants pull them.
In the fog for a friend to come out of the fog I keep waiting.
Stone’s plumpness turns into snow.
"It's my snow" I think And the weight on my hat lightens.
My eyes, which had seen all, came back, Back to the white chrysanthemums.
Even though afar, A feeling of coolness comes From those mountain pines.
How I envy maple leafage Which turns beautiful and then falls!
Leaves of ivy Every one astir-- The autumn wind
You butterflies all Are youthfulness incarnate Like teens in their prime!
Although I say, "Come here! Come here!" the fireflies keep flying away!
on a barren branch a raven has perched-- Autumn dusk
Old pond -- frogs jumped in -- sound of water
Quietness: seeping into the rocks, the cicada's voice
summer grasses where stalwart soldiers once dreamed dreams
Will you turn towards me? I am lonely too, This autumn evening
“Resist much, obey little.” ― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
“What is that you express in your eyes? It seems to me more than all the print I have read in my life.” ― Walt Whitman
“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.” ― Walt Whitman
“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself; I am large -- I contain multitudes.”
“Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you.”
“We were together. I forget the rest.”
“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you. You must travel it by yourself. It is not far. It is within reach. Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know. Perhaps it is everywhere - on water and land.” ― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
“Whatever satisfies the soul is truth.”
“Be curious, not judgmental.
“I have learned that to be with those I like is enough”
“I sound my barbaric yawp over the rooftops of the world.”
“Happiness, not in another place but this place...not for another hour, but this hour.”
“Do anything, but let it produce joy.” ― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
“I am as bad as the worst, but, thank God, I am as good as the best. ”
“Failing to fetch me at first, keep encouraged. Missing me one place, search another. I stop somewhere waiting for you.”
“I like the scientific spirit—the holding off, the being sure but not too sure, the willingness to surrender ideas when the evidence is against them: this is ultimately fine—it always keeps the way beyond open—always gives life, thought, affection, the whole man, a chance to try over again after a mistake—after a wrong guess.”
“I exist as I am, that is enough, If no other in the world be aware I sit content, And if each and all be aware I sit content. One world is aware, and by the far the largest to me, and that is myself, And whether I come to my own today or in ten thousand or ten million years, I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness, I can wait.”
“And your very flesh shall be a great poem.”
That you are here—that life exists, and identity; That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.” ― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
“I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person.” ― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself
“The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity.”
“Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you/ That you may be my poem/ I whisper with my lips close to your ear/ I have loved many women and men, but I love none better than you.”
Allen Ginsburg American 1926-1997
“Everything is holy! everybody's holy! everywhere is holy! everyday is in eternity! Everyman's an angel!” ― Allen Ginsberg, Howl and Other Poems
“What peaches and what penumbras! Whole families shopping at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes!--and you, Garcia Lorca, what were you doing down by the watermelons?” ― Allen Ginsberg, Howl and Other Poems
“what sphinx of cement and aluminium bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination” ― Allen Ginsberg, Howl and Other Poems
“Who dreamt and made incarnate gaps in Time & Space through images juxtaposed, and trapped the archangel of the soul between 2 visual images and joined the elemental verbs and set the noun and dash of consciousness together jumping with sensation of Pater Omnipotens Aeterna Deus to recreate the syntax and measure of poor human prose and stand before you speechless and intelligent and shaking with shame” ― Allen Ginsberg, Howl and Other Poems
“Holy the supernatural extra brilliant intelligent kindness of the soul!” ― Allen Ginsberg, Howl and Other Poems
“No rest without love, No sleep without dreams of love - be mad or chill obsessed with angels or machines the final wish is love.” ― Allen Ginsberg, Howl and Other Poems
“You too must seek the sun...” ― Allen Ginsberg, Howl and Other Poems
“Follow your inner moonlight, don’t hide the madness.” ― Allen Ginsberg, Howl and Other Poems
“The beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” ― William Carlos Williams, Howl and Other Poems
“I had a moment of clarity, saw the feeling in the heart of things, walked out to the garden crying.” ― Allen Ginsberg, Howl and Other Poems
“who journeyed to Denver, who died in Denver, who came back to Denver & waited in vain, who watched over Denver & brooded and loned in Denver and finally went away to find out the Time, & now Denver is lonesome for her heroes,” ― Allen Ginsberg, Howl and Other Poems
“Everyone in this life is defeated but a man, if he be a man, is not defeated.” ― William Carlos Williams, Howl and Other Poems
“with the absolute heart of the poem of life butchered out of their own bodies good to eat a thousand years.” ― Allen Ginsberg, Howl and Other Poems
“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving, hysterical, naked...
who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the scholars of war...
who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey leaving a trail of ambiguous picture postcards of Atlantic City Hall...
who wandered around and around at midnight in the railroad yard wondering where to go, and went, leaving no broken hearts...” ― Allen Ginsberg, Howl and Other Poems
We should make all spiritual talk Simple today:
God is trying to sell you something, But you don’t want to buy.
That is what your suffering is:
Your fantastic haggling, Your manic screaming over the price!
My Brilliant Image
One day the sun admitted,
I am just a shadow. I wish I could show you The Infinite Incandescence (Tej)
That has cast my brilliant image!
I wish I could show you, When you are lonely or in darkness,
The astonishing Light
Of your own being!
Beautiful Empty Pages
What kind of work Can I do in this world?
Who would be kind enough To hire an old holy Bum,
One with a great reputation For loving the charms Of the lawless And the wild artists and the lewd?
Maybe I could become a poet.
Maybe the Beloved Will make my love so Pure
That he will come to sit upon All my beautiful empty pages. And when you come to look at them,
He might kick you With His Beautiful Divine Foot.
I Took It as a Sign
Someone sent a band to my house, And it started playing At five in the morning.
I took this as a sign God wanted me to sing!
Then the moon joined in And a few of the tenor-voiced stars,
And the earth offered it’s lovely belly As a drum.
Before I knew it, I realized All human beings could be happy
If they just had a few music lessons From a Sweet Old Maestro Like Hafiz.
THE CORE OF MASCULINITY
The core of masculinity does not derive from being male, nor friendliness from those who console.
Your old grandmother says, “Maybe you shouldn’t go to school. You look a little pale.”
Run when you hear that. A father’s stern slaps are better.
Your bodily soul wants comforting. The severe father wants spiritual clarity.
He scolds but eventually leads you into the open.
Pray for a tough instructor to hear and act and stay within you.
JUDGE A MOTH BY THE BEAUTY OF ITS CANDLE
You are the king’s son. Why do you close yourself up? Become a lover.
Don’t aspire to become a general or a minister of state.
One is a boredom for you, the other a disgrace.
You’ve been a picture on a bathroom wall long enough. No one recognizes you here, do they?
God’s lion disguised as a human being! I saw that and put down the book I was studying, Hariri’s Maqamat.
There is no early and late for us. The only way to measure a lover is by the grandeur of the beloved.
Judge a moth by the beauty of it’s candle.
THE MOUSE AND THE CAMEL
A mouse caught hold of a camel’s lead rope in his two forelegs and walked off with it, imitating the camel drivers. The camel went along, letting the mouse feel heroic. “Enjoy yourself,” he thought. “I have something to teach you, presently.” They came to the edge of a great river. The mouse was dumbfounded. “Step forward into the river. You are my leader. Don’t stop here.” “I’m afraid of being drowned.” The camel walked into the water. “It’s only just above the knee.” “Your knee! Your knee is a hundred times over my head!” “Well maybe you shouldn’t be leading a camel. Stay with those like yourself. A mouse has nothing really to say to a camel.”
“Would you help me get across?”
“Get on my hump. I am made to take hundreds like you across.”
You are not a prophet, but go humbly on the way of the prophets,
and you can arrive where they are. Don’t try to steer the boat. Don’t open a shop by yourself. Listen. Keep silent. You are not God’s mouthpiece. Try to be an ear, and if you do speak, ask for explanations.
The source of your arrogance and anger is your lust and the rootedness of that is in your habits.
Someone who makes a habit of eating clay gets mad when you try to keep him from it. Being a leader can also be a poisonous habit, so that when someone questions your authority, you think, “He’s trying to take over.” You may respond courteously but inside you rage.
Always check your inner state with the lord of your heart. Copper doesn’t know it’s copper until it’s changed to gold.
Your loving doesn’t know it’s majesty, until it knows it’s helplessness.
These gifts from the Friend, a robe of skin and veins, a teacher within, wear them and become a school, with a greater sheikh nearby.
A JUST-FINISHING CANDLE
A candle is made to become entirely flame. In that annihilating moment it has no shadow.
It is nothing but a tongue of light describing a refuge.
Look at this just-finishing candle stub as someone who is finally safe from virtue and vice,
the pride and the shame we claim from those.
I’ve said before that every craftsman searches for what’s not there to practice his craft.
A builder looks for the rotten hole where the roof caved in. A water carrier picks the empty pot. A carpenter stops at the house with no door.
Workers rush toward some hint of emptiness, which they then start to fill. Their hope, though, is for emptiness, so don’t think you must avoid it. It contains what you need! Dear soul, if you were not friends with the vast nothing inside, why would you always be casting your net into it, and waiting so patiently?
This invisible ocean has given you such abundance, but still you call it “death,” that which provides you sustenance and work.
God has allowed some magical reversal to occur, so that you see the scorpion pit as an object of desire, and all the beautiful expanse around it as dangerous and swarming with snakes.
This is how strange your fear of death and emptiness is, and how perverse the attachment to what you want.
Now that you’ve heard me on your misapprehensions dear friend, listen to Attar’s story on the same subject.
He strung the pearls of this about King Mahmud, how among the spoils of his Indian campaign there was a Hindu boy,
whom he adopted as a son. He educated and provided royally for the boy and later made him vice-regent, seated on a gold throne beside himself.
One day he found the young man weeping. “Why are you crying? You’re the companion of an emperor! The entire nation is ranged out before you like stars that you can command!”
The young man replied, “I am remembering my mother and my father, and how they scared me as a child with threats of you!
‘Uh-oh, he’s headed for King Mahmud’s court! Nothing could be more hellish!’ Where are they now when they should see me sitting here?”
The incident is about your fear of changing. You are the Hindu boy. Mahmud, which means, Praise to the End, is the spirit’s poverty or emptiness.
The mother and father are your attachment to beliefs and bloodties and desires and comforting habits.
Don’t listen to them! They seem to protect, but they imprison.
They are your worst enemies. They make you afraid of living in emptiness.
Some day you’ll weep tears of delight in that court, remembering your mistaken parents!
Know that your body nurtures the spirit, helps it grow, and then gives it wrong advice.
The body becomes , eventually, like a vest of chainmail in peaceful years, too hot in summer and too cold in winter.
But the body’s desires, in another way, are like an unpredictable associate, whom you must be patient with. And that companion is helpful, because patience expands your capacity to love and find peace.
The patience of a rose close to a thorn keeps it fragrant. It’s patience that gives milk to the male camel still nursing in it’s third year, and patience is what the prophets show to us.
The beauty of careful sewing on a shirt is the patience it contains.
Friendship and loyalty have patience as the strength of their connections.
Feeling lonely and ignoble indicates that you haven’t been patient.
Be with those who mix with God as honey blends with milk, and say,
“Anything that comes and goes, rises and sets, is not what I love.”
Live in the one who created the prophets, else you’ll be like a caravan fire left to flare itself out alone beside the road.