THE SPECIAL CALL

Some problems are mechanical
that can be solved
by some person with no training special,

who can succeed
either by careful observation
and manipulation,
perhaps sometimes
with aid come from some leaflet there,
if they can puzzle a bit and read,

sometimes by feeling out
the very obvious
of what this problem needs,
or stumbling upon some detail minuscule,
whether by some comprehensive and painstaking query logical
or by the intuition, luck
that by the fact of our flesh-nerve-blood nature
is within the reach of all of us,

and sometimes, too,
because the problems that we try to solve
are the ones that,
for some as yet quite undiscovered reason,
in their grand wisdom,
show themselves not just to anyone
but, for the fact
of our very being individual,
choose most quite deliberately
to call to us.

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OH, WOULD THAT MY LIFE WERE SO POETIC!

Oh, would that I could say
my life was so poetic!

Perhaps it is,
but then again,
maybe the word play
is not so much
insight and beauty on display
but adds to naught
but empty rhetoric.

The trick sometimes
is to let go of
the sly and crafty need
to have life’s form and substance
rhyme and reason
etch black-white lines
or vibrant colors
that somehow spell dramatic,

because for all the jazzy charge that gives,
inside of me, at times, it lives
all sadly too erratic.

Give me a life
quite even-keeled
or grounded,
with less storm,
less poetry, more prose. . .

or at least,
a part of it that is
much like a lightning post,
to draw mean fire
away from me
which stands a centering norm
that I ever know is there,

and to which,
without excessive hem and haw,
I can,
in case of want or need,
most amicably return.

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A SINKING INTO SELF

A sinking
a dropping down into
this
self. . .

the (for now) encased in body
arched or bent
and in some cases,
fiercely tensed
nerves and muscles,
which, as you sink,
can seem to start to melt,

perhaps to warm
perhaps to chill,
perhaps both,
if both then- and now-speak
speak you will. . .

A quest
into the fullness
and the emptiness
and the intermittent oozy
deep recess-
es
of beating heart,
of pulsing veins
of gut, of soul
of each tight wind
of this compact and electric brain
and perhaps now contracted,
but potentially relaxed, connective and expansive mind. . .

A soaking into
each bone’s marrow
and tough sinew,
each artery and capillary,
each cell, and substance,
and molecule,
which together, plus much more,
conspire
to render you. . .

The whole,
if you could let it,
would freely speak
and bridge the gaps
and honor, if not fill,
each hole,

And,
to notice all of this
from lofty peaks,
middle hill or plateau
to dark abyss
so deep the depths
you can neither anticipate
nor fully know,

and once you think that you are done,
and ready to do something else,
know that each each round’s true
process, path and product
delineates the intricate dimensions
why you are here,

and how, through
transformations sometimes seeming magical
and to some, perhaps invisible,

you keep on still. . .

to breathe and live
and take and give
and grow.

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2020 HAIKU

Morning warm with sun
smiles and beckons temptingly
gray noon rain falls down.

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THE VOICE IN YOUR HANDS`

Cat got you by the throat?

Well, if you can still squeeze
a little bit of breath and ease,
do your best,
though this dark hour
is putting millions to the test,
to hold onto your heart and soul,
your eyes, your head, your hands,
your pen-wielding bubble coloring fingers
you’ve still not lost your voice,
and you can vote.

And after that,
you can follow up
and be sure your choice
will in a careful and a timely way
be counted,
in spite of efforts
on the part of those
who view the likes and will of you
as obstacles to be surmounted.

But, throughout the land,
the die is cast,
and now comes the labor
of its fair reading
to ensure that as the People spoke,
history will tell,
and the tally of all those
can stand.

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A DAY IN THE LIFE OF THE EARLY 21ST CENTURY

My friends. . .
I write
because
I know
you all
absolutely needed
to hear from me.

Well,
likely not. . .
but,
as I ride this constant stream of thought
and blood,
just as I breathe and live,
I write. . .

and I have this funny tool,
this net, this web, they say we “surf,”
an ocean of information and discourse,
which to the likings of all sort of folk
been morphed
into all sort of shapes and size,
most notably,

by robber barons
pilfering
the fruit of brains of many,
to fill their pockets more than
way most others
up aplenty,

but then there is the greater we
the very vasty
peanut gallery,

who post our thoughts,
our sorrows, joys, births, deaths,
celebrated loves,
prized possessions,
sweetest pooches, and contrary
but very warm and fuzzy kitties,

that’s if we’re lucky
(or are we?),
things echo in that chamber cavernous –
rather than entering in fights with strangers,
which,
though I’d not have thought it possible,
it seems entirely within the purview
of the range of human psyches
to cultivate an appetite quite ravenous. . .

I’m not sure it’s any of that,
at least not in particular,
my fingers had in mind to write or say,
but to set down,
this date in history,
seen from my modest corner
perhaps of very little note,
but maybe not,
for, for all of us,
at least whilst in these mortal bodies,
the future yet remains
an as yet unfolded, yay,
even also un-laid-down
but often quite compelling mystery.

So, for now,
I’ll lay my little tapping typing fingers down,
and rest them
for an undetermined respite,

and let the secrets of the world to be
begin at least a little tiny bit
to get unfurled,
in some way
as yet beyond the reach of my small eyes
and mind,
although, perhaps
your greater cleverness
has already let you guess it.

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HOPE? LOVE? WHAT ARE YOU BRINGING?

Awake!

There you are.
It is the morn, whether shows the sun
or still the lone point morning star,
you know it’s time, you wish to stir. . .

But, yet,
for a little moment of your time,
don’t open yet your eyes.
Wait.
For a little.
Leave them closed
or in a relaxed and softened gaze,
so you can come to realize,
some sense of you
in now and here. . .

Feel every crevice of yourself
your mind,
your enduring soul,
your corpus physical,
and notice what is there. . .

What are you bringing to it all,
within the boundaries of yourself,
out across the ground,
into life’s flowing waters,
some so deep no one has had the guts
through to the bottom yet to sound,
and up into the endless sky
and the much nearer, local air?

Is that really what you want to bring?
Is it something that you made,
or something that some long dead
or at least departed other
planted there?
Or some other
who’s still with you,
and didn’t, doesn’t
know much, if any, better?

Does it adhere to the kindest, fairest,
spirit of the best writ law?. . .

Or does it
all good intent obliterate, or circumvent,
while sticking the most grudging way
merely to the finest cross or dot
belonging to perhaps some ill begot law’s letter?

These questions
may feel quite thorny,
hard, or even useless,
but if you give them life and time,
they’ll grow and clarify in such a way
you’ll see how much they actually matter.

Take sun,
and breathe,
take water,
and the most blessed and truest food
according to your need,
walk through it all
and find what it means
to bring and be
your best. . .

What feels right,
from the very bottom of your heart,
your deepest gut,
what looks most pleasing to your
inner mind’s eye sight?

Be that.
Bring that.

For what your world lacks
wants not but for the transportation
that can be provided on your shoulders,
traveling
in your same tracks,

Will it be love? And hope?
Attention to the wants and needs of other folk?
Or something more particular to you?

I cannot wait to see
what will come
once you see,
and then commit
and with the very best
of whatever is your very best,

and then march forth
though hills quite slippery and steep
and valleys near impassable at night,
so overgrown and and deep
lie in your path,
a sight I will delight to see,
in spite of all the fears and obstacles,
the sight of you
having seen the journey through
and all the blessings that will be born
when you still follow through with it.

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A LITTLE PLACE WITH A LOT GOING ON

A little place,
a pocket. . .
a purse. . .

an eye in socket,
a labyrinthian field
that peaks and dips,
and drinks and feeds
whatever ’tis
the system needs. . .

events and thoughts
and hurts and joys
silences and noise
that interweave. . .

some girls, some boys,
some animals
some rocks,
some sundry kinds
of metal, wooden, plastic, earthen
tools, knick-knacks and toys–
some serious, some whimsical–
for tons of types of work quite serious,
as well as pleasured tinkering,

Some areas parched through or scorched,
and others drenched, maybe flooded
glared too bright with heat and blinding light
or cold and dark enough to crave a torch. . .

when all at once,
it can be tough to craft
and make retort
or remedy,

or even just
to pause a bit
for respite,

in hopes
that afterwards,
a little easier it gets
again to see
just what’s within,
around, above, below, beside,
and deep inside of me,

and how to coordinate it all
to wash ashore
things I need more,
and carry out what I need less
upon the next round of tides in me.

Though that remains a mystery,
and known not is
if indeed I’ll muster up
force and finesse
to make it right,
or at least see clear
to rise to do
what’s asked of me,
in such a way I harness
all into the task
that constitutes
my very, very best.

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A TEMPLE CREAKING

A temple creaking
set in
near a low flow creek. . .

A luckier corner
of a summer-now-turned-autumn land

Across which hungry wild fires
some two long months
by now have burned,
which,
through odd and myriad ways began,
and which since,
have scorched their way
‘cross giant swaths,
and thus, have many nearish,
somewhat far-flung landscapes
spanned.

The experts guess,
in days ahead,
there’s a middling chance
of a tiny shred
of the slaking rain
we so very much are seeking,

a wash from sky
that could refresh
our tired air,
filled with smoke smut
for many-a-week’s-long spate,

though the rate
of smoke influx
goes down and up–
teasing us–
now off, now on–
retreat, return–
it is still interfering
with our normal, healthy breathing. . .

Besides that,
there lurks some new and strange
and deadly illness,
which, though it’s,
so far,
had quite its sway
still lingers yet–
yea, all around,
though we know not
exactly who or where
will be the ones
it next will get,

though simple things there are
we all can all do,
with care and thought,
ourselves and others to protect
to give our nearer and our larger world
a better bet. . .

A temple searching
for a holy thing or being
to fill it up,
to give it ample
and sufficient cause
for practice
well lined up with preaching,
spoke from the heart
and full of deeper meaning,

A temple where the emptiness
can let the bigger fullness in
when overfullness
is released,
and spirit movement
gently powers forward
to warm, enliven
and increase
throughout,
and well beyond,
the temple walls. . .

And the freedom
thereby loosed, uncaged,
shall spill and spread like ink
that with a multitude of stars is laced. . .

And its bright way
leaves a clear path
on which to venture back
and forth again,

which, with utmost beauty
and with grace,
as often as desired or required
for respite and regeneration
can be easily re-traced.

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MORNING WALK WITH BIRDS IN NOT TOO SMOKY AIR

The birds,
the trees, the freeway roar. . .
the morning walk
I take
too early. . .

Not too much smoke
in air
when I was rising,

but website checks
show,
as day goes on,
there will be more.

I love the branches
of the local oaks. . .
I love the steps
that I can take
to spring my life ahead
even if the sky and pollution ratings
turn to orange–
I think today, luckily not into red. . .

The sky sports
a vaguely pinkish, grayish haze
it’s gone on so long,
I know not
any longer to be amazed. . .

But I set my feet into motion
in the face of problems
large beyond me
like pollution,
to which I myself
cannot pull out
a complete solution
not even for myself. . .

So I just do what I can
and seize the pleasures
I can grab,
and smile,
and speak
and sometimes SING!
and laugh,

And hope that somehow
this day
and my whole life
will amount to something
more
than even
the most wiggly
cursive,
unexpected,
interesting graph.

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