Blog Archives

When and Why

Many thanks to SmileCalm who introduced me to this poem by Rabindranath Tagore.  It resonated strongly after my woodland discovery.  I hope you enjoy it too.

WHEN I bring you coloured toys, my child, I understand why there is such a play of colours on clouds, on water, and why flowers are painted in tints–when I give coloured toys to you, my child.

When I sing to make you dance, I truly know why there is music in leaves, and why waves send their chorus of voices to the heart of the listening earth–when I sing to make you dance.

When I bring sweet things to your greedy hands, I know why there is honey in the cup of the flower, and why fruits are secretly filled with sweet juice–when I bring sweet things to your greedy hands.

When I kiss your face to make you smile, my darling, I surely understand what pleasure streams from the sky in morning light, and what delight the summer breeze brings to my body–when I kiss you to make you smile.

Linux Update with Poetry Accompaniment

I’m now communicating to you without the help of MicroSoft or Windows; yay!  It will take me a while to get used to Linux but, thankfully, it’s not me who’s in charge of the switch-over.  My better half is doing most of the hard work.  I just had to make sure all my important stuff was backed up in a portable format.  Easier said than done but I think I did okay (fingers crossed).

Here is a poem I just found that I like very much.  It works best if you read it out loud:

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
    It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
    It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
    And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
    And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
    There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
    Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
    World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
Source: Gerard Manley Hopkins: Poems and Prose (Penguin Classics, 1985) via http://www.poetryfoundation.org

Still Retreating

Blogging is still on the back burner for me for a while but I wanted to share this poem with you.  It was written by a senior Buddhist monk of the Thai Forest Tradition called Ajahn Kalyano whom I met at a retreat centre last weekend.  I’ve been on quite a few retreats at this centre – Sunyata – before but this time was a bit different.  While Ajahn Kalyano is in residence, Sunyata is being run as a monastery.  This means, amongst other things, that residents try to abide by eight precepts, the spirit of which is summed up in Ajahn Kalyano’s poem below.  I think it is a beautiful way to show that the precepts are not about denial or self-punishment but about love and dharma.

Sunyata

Every man is our brother.

Every woman is our sister.

Everything we have is a gift.

All the food we eat is shared.

The front door is always open.

***

We have enough spirit, we’ve no need of a drink.

We don’t look for beautiful things we make everything beautiful.

With love.

We don’t make or listen to music we make all sounds into music

With love.

We don’t watch movies we make our life into a movie.

With love.

And when every man is our brother

And every woman is our sister

Sexual desire does not arise.

And truly awake we can find truth in peace and peace in truth.