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Showing posts from January, 2013

i remember lying ill in bed on my fifth birthday. i was lying in my parents' big double bed in our bungalow in Thornhill and the party celebrations were going-on without me. It was a large double bed that took-up most of the room. i think a fire had been lit in the grate. It was very cold. February was always very cold...icicles from gutters etcetera. The bedroom door had been left open and i could see the light from the dining-room opposite. There was a lot of noise and the party was going-on without me. On reflection, there would only have been my parents, my older brother, Christopher and Uncle Dennis. Uncle Dennis brought me a small black-and-white panda. And i was somewhat comforted to have it nestled beside me in bed. i cannot remember any other gifts. i remember a cake had been made, and doubtless other things, but i was very hot and poorly and consumed neither food nor drink. It was impossible to eat or even sit-up. i cannot remember anyone fussing over me. The party was going-on without me. It is the only birthday party of mine i have any recollection of. And it is 60 years since then. It is a little after midnight and my 66th year is dawning. Maybe i will stay awake the whole 24 hours of my 65th birthday - (february 1st). In case there is a party, i would not want to miss it and have it go-on without me. But i will endeavour to attend to this present, wonderful moment and not miss a bite of what may be on offer...without expectation.

Before zazen this evening, i lit candles near my Buddha - something i do not ordinarily do - occasionally i light incense. While sitting, it did come to mind, as to why i actually lit the candles. i really do not think i need to "set an atmosphere" for my zazen practice. More and more - influenced by the writings of Toni Packer - it is enough just to sit quietly. No bowing. No special posture. No timing of sitting periods...But afterwards i was moved to make a little film...

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5 POEMS - monday morning - 5am

1.self-massage body like dough needs kneading. 2. nervous more than 40 years of baking - this morning for an artist. 3. economical have denied myself warmth thru recent cold days 
loaves and i share the fire. 4. the gift - for Mick i was drinking Porter  "Irish" you say i'll be making a Spelt loaf  with honey NOT Soda Bread with buttermilk. 5. sun will silently digest the crumbs of this morning's reveries.

28/january/2013 *

TED ENSLIN'S WORDS on my mind over the last 48 hours of this last week-end of January, on the cusp of entering my 66'th year. It would seem to be an affront to cool skin, to allow anything more than a weak, winter sun to "heat-up" this house in this "space" that i am in = "I tend to congratulate a life, that lived, is harder than it need be."

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Flowering winter jasmine in a courtyard in Abbotsbury ---Just a few small yellow flowers remind me of my parent's garden in Thornhill many years ago --- What has become of them in the falling rain on a warm winter's night like this, as i awake and immediately think of them? and am warmed by the falling rain on a night like this...on a night like this...

LAURA SPEAKS

LAURA was my mother's school-friend in Alexandria, in the 1930's, but now living in Athens, if she is still alive. It is almost two years since i last heard her voice on the phone.We shared a few, long conversations following my telling her that Mum had died. She was deeply touched by my missives with that news and wanted to be in touch and keep some connection as she had always kept in touch over the decades by letter and telephone. 

LAURA's home was literally across the street from where my mother's family - the TAWA's - lived in Rue Canope. She would wave to them from her balcony - wave to Berthe (my mother) & Lydie (my mother's elder sister, who followed her to England after WW2 and became a second mother to us Hemensley children). Lydie and Berthe were the last of seven children. LAURA said she would stand and wave, and gaze at the five beautiful Tawa girls. LAURA said ,that her mother had told her to make friends with them, so she did

LAURA said, that e…

Reworking a 40 year-old Poem - after Gary Snyder

Two little boys
in shorts
on the jetty
down at Haslar Creek
One throws-out a line
hoping for a fish
The other  relieves himself -
a line of piss
arcing into the water.

*
Alverstoke 1970/ Weymouth 2010

*

untitled poem

IN THE DARK AT TOP OF STAIRS S'THING CATCHES MY EYE I STOOP AND ATTEMPT TO COLLECT A SHARD OF MOONLIGHT - A GLINT OF ILLUMINATION STIRS. * 24 . X . 2010 - Golden GOJI Hermitage *

HERBS, HANDS and HEALING

SOME SELL CUPS OF TEA
PRESCRIBED FOR HEALTH.

SOME DRINK IMMORTAL BUDS
OR EYEBROWS OF LONGEVITY.

SOME GO FOR SMOKED BANCHA TWIGS
OR FOR KUKICHA
CHILLED WITH
APPLE JUICE
IN SUMMER HEAT.

SOME 
LIKE ELDER BROTHER
APPRECIATE  EARL GREY
WITH ITS TINGE OF BERGAMOT
OR FOR A CEREMONY 
WITH WHISKED GREEN TEA.

NOT ME.

I'VE NO STATUS OR STANDING
BUT AM COUNTING
ON APPROVAL
FROM MICHAEL LONGLEY
"A FASTIDIOUS BREWER 
& TEA CONNOISSEUR"
FOR MY MARIMEKKO "POT"
FROM FINLAND
NOT JAPAN
AS YOU MIGHT THINK.

I'M  SITTING HERE
DRINKING-IN THE EVENING PEACE.
THREE LONG SIPS
THEN TURN
AND ADMIRE THIS CUP
NO CHANCE OF ZEN
UNTIL IT IS EMPTY.

*

Golden GOJI Hermitage
September 2010/January 2013

*

THE MARY OLIVER POEM - (24 November 2008)

The little Mouse
face-to-face
with the Grizzly
on the cover of
Mary Oliver's book
reminds me of
the little one
seen on my walk
t'other day
stretched-out
on Radipole's
outer perimeter path
a red bead of blood
like a regurgitated
small redcurrant
seemingly caught
in its mouth.
Mary would've stopped and
taken it home
for a ceremonial burial
in her garden
under an apple
or damson tree.
She would have taken 
the time
even if she were
being stalked by
a Grizzly
to stoop and
carry it home.
i did not.
That is what separates
great poets from
the also-rans.

*



SOME GIRLS

1) she was not unlike a spanish girl sprawled there on a boardwalk in the sun in her hipsters bare midriff deep belly-button set in a sallow skin & on a hot july afternoon sparks come alive in me walking on Weymouth's sands &  after 35 years i wish i could remember her name. 2) awake all night not touching you an owl perched near the open window a bowl of chestnuts to keep the spiders away wondering how to get into your arms or was it just a bad dream? * (JULY 2005/AUGUST 2010/JANUARY 2013) * 

TEN BOWLS after KAKUAN

i) Every day eating from empty bowl.
ii) Eat from bowl, become empty.
iii) Bowl of sustenance, eat evidence.
iv) Eat bowl before it eats you.
v) Bowl too good for fancy miso.
vi) Empty bowl, best bowl.
vii) Drop bowl, drop self.
viii) Empty bowl, a delusion.
ix) Regarding bowl, mind empties.
x) Bowl empty, mind empty.

* Golden GOJI Hermitage January 2011 * 40 copies printed 27/4/2011 *

TEN TENETS & A KOAN FOR THE COOK

1. Cook your own life.
2. Cook today, not tomorrow.
3. Cook as if your life depends on it.
4. Cook mature, chunky miso instantly.
5. Cook without relying on ingredients.
6. Cook should also prepare loving words.
7. Cook bows for deeper flavour.
8. Cook everywhere, not just in kitchen.
9. Cook and cook until morning star appears.
10. Cook almost empty, eat-up now.

* K. What is the sound of one hand chopping? * Golden GOJI Hermitage 25 . ii . 2011 *



...the justlit guttering candleflame almost strobelike at the beginning of zazen this evening...Soon candle and i settledown together...slow and steady...the mind flickers...flickerings of my mother's eyelashes...against mine...against my cheeks...Was i the child?......Il me semble (it seems to me) that life is filled with such flickerings of memory...eye to eye...mother to child...gossamer flickerings on cheeks thru childhood...then and now...It seems to me...it seems to me (Il me semble...il me semble) that we sit a lifetime with these flickerings...these flickerings......

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GOLDEN GOJI HERMITAGE - 3 JANUARY 2013 *    *    *  

Just sucking thru straw at carton of chocolate soya milk...Snapping between sips at oblivious passersby on this beautiful moistgrey afternoon...Sitting on a bench on Weymouth's esplanade, it's cloudygrey and a light mizzle starts to infuse the air and the girl on her bike is longgone...it's two o'clock...

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