Archive

Archive for the ‘Lessons for the Modern Man’ Category

Friday’s poem, third in the trilogy this week: “Next”

July 24, 2020 Leave a comment

I’m sitting here, all in white with my mantra and mala beads, fresh from the first day of “retreat” with Deva Premal & Miten and Manose. I’m feeling very mellow, connected, in a deep state of peace. And, yes, almost like this is “Next.” Rosemary and I are in retreat within the Gayatri Sangha for seven days, every day at 1:00 pm EDT. The energy that Miten is invoking for us each of these days is that of “Compassion, Forgiveness and Gratitude.” These are deep blessings for all of us to bring peace and joy into our lives! May it be so for you. May this be the next step for humanity!

Next 

When I stop long enough to dream, to
Consider what comes next—there hovers
At the edge of my perception a
Disturbance in the air, a blur, a rush—

It’s like the invisible whir of Hummingbird
Wings; little tornadoes just beyond—
A flicker at the corner of eyesight,
A glint of movement too fine to be.

I wonder what higher consciousness looks like.
Is it a monk sitting silently on a cushion in a corner?
Is it even a human form available to five senses?
Perhaps it is that disturbance at the edge, beyond.

I cannot linger here for long in a conscious state,
Exploring this edge of what remains real.
I drift into a different dream and shift in shock
To wonder: Is this fluttering vibration a next me?

 

 

 

©2020 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

A Monday poem: “Raw”

July 20, 2020 2 comments

Happy New Moon! It “fell into the Sun” at 1:33 pm EDT. I am ready for new, something fresh, a new beginning!

I began to think about this poem as I was grieving the loss of a dear friend a few weeks ago. My feelings were raw and I wanted to express them. But they had to simmer, to cook for a bit before I could write this down. And then other titles kept coming up. My thoughts turned into a trilogy; I’ll be publishing them this week, today, Wednesday and Friday. The first is:

Raw

Dough—cookie, bread, Mom’s baking;
Snitch, pinch, tasting, testing;
So delicious—raw. Then add the
Heat, alchemy in the oven. Baked.

Meat—beef, pork, lamb, I’m roasting, grilling;
Blood dripping—raw. Then fire, wood smoking,
Fat sizzling. Aromas arouse olfactory senses:
Gustatory delights cooked, offered.

Feelings—grief, anger, fear—these are raw.
Old age, sickness and death never ending;
Samsara cooks us, yet leaves us undone,
Half-baked, simmering, salty, sour, bitter.

Power—force, control, seizing freedoms,
Unleashing aggression, anger, instilling fear;
Raw emotions open hostility in the Human
Heart—half-baked understanding selves.

Wisdom—presence, open mind dawning,
Leading to a deepening understanding,
Transmuting the raw to a fully baked
Human to rise from the fire into Light.

 

 

 

©2020 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

A midi-week poem to celebrate the book launch: “Heavy Lift”

July 8, 2020 4 comments

Yesterday (July 7, 2020) I was feeling really wiped out; very low energy, tired, weighed down. Maybe it was the weekend full moon and eclipse; maybe it’s the heat and heavy weather, heavy energy; maybe it’s the ongoing pandemic and the disaster that seems unabated here in the US; maybe it is the collapse of everything we thought to be true and dear as we struggle under the weight of not knowing…

I feel better today. And it feels good to have launched the collaborative book I’m a part of (see yesterday’s post). Maybe that’s one weight lifted from my shoulders. And to celebrate this I did return to my poetry journal to ask some questions about this weighty time:

Heavy Lift

Does the Sun feel the Moon’s weight
As He lifts Her above the horizon
To better see Himself in Her mirror?

Is it a heavy lift?

Does God feel Man’s weight
As She lifts Him out of darkness
To better reflect Her image?

Is it a heavy lift?

Evolution is hard work for the gods
Raising Consciousness up a rung
To better realize creation’s Light.

It is a heavy lift!

Ascension is a steep and lonely climb;
It is an inside job for the strong of heart;
Energy runs high in this rarified Love.

It is a heavy lift!

 

 

 

©2020 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

A Poem for another day inside: Leaving and Grieving

April 16, 2020 1 comment

The last poem I published here was a reprise on a poem about grief that I wrote in 2016. At the end of March 2020 we were all grieving in various ways for all the losses we are experiencing. And we still are…

In Chinese Medicine grief is about the lungs, about breath. It is about air, the Chinese element of Metal. And the flip side of grief is inspiration – that inhale half of the breath; the flip side of expiration. So, as I wrote last time, we move to transform grief into praise; praise for all the healthcare workers and all who support them, from First Responders to the janitorial staffs. And as we grieve for all the losses we praise the work of all employed in the critical efforts to keep us all going, from farmers and grocers to drivers and builders.

Grief to Praise. Loss to a New Way. Death to Life. Exhale to Inhale.

Leaving and Grieving

The air is heavy with a metallic tang;
Lungs heave, souls leave,
Those who remain grieve.

Do you hear the sound of death
Echoing across the globe, the
Noise of passing and saving?

Are you quiet and safe, remaining
Inside, moving deeper in your
Journey to another way?

Breathe in that safety, surety that
This change is good, passing.
There is a new way on the other side.

Many are leaving, the rest are grieving.
The light seems dimming, shadows
Creep across the world.

Yet dawn is coming as the world turns.
Light will reveal the path
Outward, inward, leading home.

 

 

 

©2020 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

 

A Friday poem during this time of pausing in the mystery: The Good Things

March 20, 2020 Leave a comment

As I was writing my “morning pages” this morning I reflected on our situation with this COVID 19 pandemic affecting the entire human population. I’m looking at it as a “pause” – a time we need to stop and reflect on our choices, our values, our behavior. And we now have the time to do this! From this musing I thought about all the good things that are happening and can happen in the middle of this pause.

What do you think “the good things” are?

The Good Things

A message from Omen Crow:
You are in the dark; this is a shadow-time;
The mystery is yet to be revealed. But
There is no need for fear; fear is a choice!

Human activity is reduced and already
Pollution is clearing. Is there any doubt about
The connection? Humans will live differently
On and with the Planet.
And this is a good thing!

Humans will question more: about your lives,
What life is, why you are here. You will question
Your values; you will do more inner work.
And this is a good thing!

Humans will get more rest, eat better, breathe
Cleaner air, drink more water; you will feel better.
And this is a good thing!

Families will bond. Communities will form on
Technology platforms. Shared values will bond
And blend you in new villages where you will
Support one another through love.
And this is a good thing!

Ultimately you will form a Global Herd. Herd
Immunity will develop to create your protection.
And this is a good thing!

Humans are “all in this together.” Many of you
Are echoing this refrain. It will bring you to the
Place of Oneness.
And this is a good thing!

 

 

 

©2020, Richard W. Bredeson, all rights reserved.

A Presidents Day Poem: Currency for the Debt

February 17, 2020 Leave a comment

On Presidents’ Day my thoughts often turn to Washington and Lincoln and their birthday month. When I was a kid we celebrated both days, the 12th for Lincoln and the 22nd for Washington. Now, I guess for the sake of commerce and profit we can only take one day to observe both, or even all of the Presidents that have served us.

And yes, debt is on my mind as we careen toward a trillion dollar deficit! But there is so much more we owe than dollars! One of my most esteemed teachers, Martín Prechtel, often spoke of the Mayan philosophy that we are all born into debt and can never really get out of debt. This is my theme for the day.

Currency for the Debt

We are born into debt; we die in debt.
We stand on the bones of the ancestors
Gazing outward and we wonder:
What is the currency to pay this debt?

Our freedom is bought by the lives of those who defend us.
Our land is bought with the blood of those who have gone before.
Our blessings are bought with the hard labor of slaves.
What is the currency for our security?

The metal we have is leached from our ancestors’ bones.
The blood we have was shed by the soldiers and slaves we lost.
The freedom we have was saved by those who sacrificed all.
And security: Do we pay this debt with our freedom?

Democracy is demanding our attention to this debt.
Presidents have paid dearly to pave this costly way.
And yet, we wonder: would we throw it all over
For the surety of one more breath, one more bite?

 

 

 

©2020, Richard W. Bredeson, all rights reserved.

A Friday Poem for the US, with Love: “Get Out the Vote”

February 14, 2020 Leave a comment

Happy Valentine’s Day! Love is in the air. And you may wonder where the love is when you read my poem today.

One of my heroes is Robert Bly. I’ve had the privilege of studying “at his feet” – yes, literally. And I read and reread his poems often. One of my favorite refrains he has written is “It’s already too late!” This is from his second collection of ghazals: “My Sentence was a Thousand Years of Joy” and the poem titled “Listening to Shahram Nazeri.” So, the other day as I was listening to the news, a commentator said something like: “how far is too far?” And my immediate thought was “it’s already too far!” So, with apologies to Robert I am echoing his refrain in the following:

Get Out the Vote

Russia, if you are listening; Lock her up:
Call and response, chant the chant,
Lies and deceit, cover up: it’s already too far.

Get out the vote, trolls take note, purge the rolls,
Establish the doubt, break the booth;
Lies and deceit: it’s already too far!

Electoral College completes the lie; three million votes,
worthless; Michigan’s few thousand swing the tide.
We begin the slide; it’s already too far!

State is in shambles, FBI firings, DOJ meddlings, DOD
next? Fourth Estate attacked day and night;
Can’t hide the slide: it’s already too far!

Babies in cages, walls blowing down, Native lands sullied,
Rivers muddied, bridges collapsed, brown water sickens:
American carnage, yes: it’s already too far.

Laws don’t matter, impeachment’s ignored,
Power unbounded in the name of us all!
Where is the check? Or, is it already too far?

 

 

 

©2020, Richard W. Bredeson, all rights reserved.

A Sunday Poem: Don’t Let Their Throes Throw You

January 5, 2020 2 comments

It seems needed now…

Don’t Let Their Throes Throw You

Violence feels on the rise; state
Sponsored terror, murder is
At the door, our door!

Will it never end? Will the killing
Stop? The promised “new age”
Seems a distant dream.

Yet there are signs and wonders
We watch for, as planets turn
And Pluto returns with renewal.

Perhaps the step-up in violence is
One of these signs: the final throes
Of a dying age, expiring time—

For the ones losing power, losing
Their grip on the old ways. They
Hold tighter for a moment. But

Their days are numbered; their time
Is running. They have no vision.
Don’t let their throes throw you.

Throw off the burden of violence, hold
The vision of that New Age, and take on
The lighter load of love.

 

 

 

©2020, Richard W. Bredeson, all rights reserved.

A Friday Poem for the New Year: “Locked by the Clock”

January 3, 2020 Leave a comment

Over the holidays I’ve been reading a lot of Rumi, especially “The Soul of Rumi, A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems” translated by Coleman Barks. Many of these poems are ghazals, poems comprised of couplets. In his later published poems, Robert Bly took up this form. I have refrained from writing in this form as the rules are complex. But I don’t necessarily have to follow all the rules to write couplets. And I don’t have to call this poem a ghazal!

At this time of the year I often think about time. Yesterday as I was writing, the title of this poem came to mind. As I began to write it couplets came through. And as the poem developed our trip to the ocean to celebrate our December 15th special day came to mind. So, here is an attempt at a ghazal-like poem to celebrate the New Year and to put the passage of time in proper perspective!

Locked by the Clock

Teaching Qigong I often say:
“Locked knees block Qi.” Energy,

It flows from the earth, through the feet
Into the core of our being. Feel it,

The force of that flow surges
Like the tide lifting the heart. Listen:

The roaring surf, the salt spray
Glistening in the hanging mist, suspended:

The shimmering light of winter’s
Sun. Such times at the shore!

It is easy to float, drifting within the
Tide, not locked by the clock. Free:

No thought, merging with the
Ocean, emerging as One.

 

 

 

©2020, Richard W. Bredeson, all rights reserved.

A new poem for Friday: Dinosaurs

November 1, 2019 Leave a comment

Long time, no write! It’s time to change this! I recently attended Christine Kloser’s “Breakthrough” event for Transformational Authors. The three days of emersion in what it means to write, to be an author, to be transformed and transforming has motivated me to get back to it!

And I have been writing; I just haven’t been publishing anything here. I’ve been “waiting” rather than taking action. But I wrote this yesterday and decided to take action with it.

Last Christmas I found and read a book, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World by Steve Brusatte. It is a wonderful read; I also bought it for my son to share with our grandson, Tristan. My geologist son has  my copy now. Since that book I think a lot about dinosaurs; now when I watch the birds I think they are the evolutionary gift of the dinosaurs. And I wonder, were the dinosaur songs as beautiful as our bird songs today?

The end of the dinosaurs is marked as the “fifth great extinction” that the earth has hosted. And most scientists agree we are now in the sixth as we witness the loss of so much of our biodiversity. Of course the time-scale of these musings is immense, millions of years. It is hard to imagine what humans, if there are any around, will be like in a million years from now! But I do muse about these things. Hence the following:

Dinosaurs

There is a lesson to be learned
From the lives and times of dinosaurs.
Some of them grew large, very
Large; they ate and ate, a lot!

Life was good for a time. Earth was
Warm, abundant with greens and meat.
There was plenty for all. Greed
Was only manifest in voracious appetites.

How long could Earth sustain this
Greed, the appetites of the monsters?
We cannot know how this could have
Ended. The Heavens intervened.

The screams were likely deafening as
An asteroid sized meteor ripped the air
With fury; a million bombs exploding, killing.
Killing almost all: the Great Extinction.

This was the fifth such catastrophe,
Ending, nearly wiping out life. But
Earth has a way with these things; a
Long, long way to renew herself.

It is not over, friends. It is never
Over. Earth has her way of healing,
Rebuilding from even the meanest blows.
Life goes on—with us or without us.

 

 

 

©2019, Richard W. Bredeson, all rights reserved.

PS: I am about to be a “published poet”! On November 10, a collaborative book compiled by Linda Roebuck will be released: Circular Leadership – Together We Rise.  Check it out on the website: CircularLeadership.global.