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Posts Tagged ‘Lessons’

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 poem to recover from: “Blood Moon”

January 22, 2019 Leave a comment

I don’t know about you, but this Full Moon in Leo (Aquarius Sun) hit me pretty hard. A super moon/eclipse as icing on the cake. Even the heavens are acting up at this point in our active history making era. And while there are many aspects of this history we make to bring out cries, it’s also good to laugh; the joke is always on us!

Blood Moon

Coyote cries:
“Who is eating the moon?”
It was so full and bright,
Beautiful to light my way
Through the night.
Now look at that bite
Growing large; stealing my sight.

Crow cries:
“What bloody trouble!”
Dark congealing puddle
Blots the sky with gore
After the struggle twixt
Those three; what was it for?
Earth in the middle of the muddle.

Fox cries:
“Look up, stop the whine!”
When you peer twixt oak and pine,
See that shine, a smiling break
As a curving line splitting to grin.
The din of the dark turns to a laugh;
No crime, just a joke among the three.

Bear cries:
“Go back to sleep; it’s cold and deep!”
Winter Sun, Leo Moon,
Earth shadow reaps, and
For a moment everyone weeps. But
Then from sad to glad, shadow fades
Blood Moon cries her promise “I keep!”

 

 

 

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

Friday’s Poem: Casting No Shadow

October 19, 2018 4 comments

[Warning: this poem contains a four-letter word that may offend some people. It is a word for material found in the bottom of a bird cage and rhymes with grit. If this word offends you please read no farther!]

I am fresh from the Christine Kloser event, known simply as “Breakthrough,” for Transformational Authors. I have known Christine and her event for several years; this one was her sixth; it was the first one I attended. And I can honestly say this was the best of all personal growth conferences, retreats and other such meetings I have ever attended! I did come away transformed in several ways. I will write more about this in a later post.

For now I want to offer this poem, dedicating it to Christine and all of the friends and fellow poets I spent three quality days with this week:

Casting No Shadow

Standing in the Center under high Sun,
Casting no shadow
I wonder:
Where has all that shit, my shit gone?

Earth, Mother, accepts it all
Composting it, the shit, into food:
Rooting soil
For the wonder and beauty of the lotus.

Facing East, bowing to the rising Sun,
Shadow stretching West
I wonder:
How far does that trail of shit extend?

Great Bear of the West doesn’t care;
His shadow absorbs all darkness
Sending life
Deep into the root and stem of the lotus.

Facing West, bowing to the setting Sun,
Shadow disappearing into the night
I wonder:
While the Mother sleeps, who stirs the shit?

The Great White Way of the night sky
Carves a graceful turn to churn
Rotting waste
Feeding the growth and awakening the lotus.

Facing North, bowing to the Great White Way,
Soft Moon shadows glowing in the night
I wonder:
How can shit survive this peace and beauty?

Cosmic Energy, creative power
Pumps the life-blood, pure potential
Filling mud
With juice to enliven the lotus bud.

Facing South, bowing to the warming Sun,
Shrunken shadow withering to the North
I wonder:
How can so much shit generate all this beauty?

Earth and Fire, Mother and Sun
Join in Holy Union, merging love and light;
Ascending we
Witness the opening, Jewel in the Lotus!

(Om mani padme hum!)

 

 

 

©2018 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

Can We Afford Peace? (A Musing on 9/11)

September 11, 2018 Leave a comment

Today I’m going to let this poem speak for itself.

Can We Afford Peace?
(A Musing on 9/11)

Remember the day the towers came down,
A glancing blow on the Potomac,
A plowed field in Pennsylvania.
Remember – Another “day of infamy.”

We memorialize this day each year
To burn the images, the losses, the audacity
A little deeper in the Soul of America.
We stir and restir the anger, the hate,

The fear of the other, brown people, Islam.
But do we remember to forgive?
Our sovereignty was attacked on 9/11;
Innocent trust in invincibility lost.

There is no sovereignty without forgiveness.
It is a hollow fate carved out by hate.
But we remember and stir to keep
The embers of revenge alive.

There is too much profit in war, revenge;
Too much profit for the powers:
We can’t afford peace. Forgiveness?
It may lead to peace – and loss!

 

 

 

©2018 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

Friday’s Poem: Basho’s Frog

October 13, 2017 Leave a comment

I read an article recently describing the difference between Buddhist and Taoist meditation. The premise is that Buddhist meditation seeks to quiet the mind while Taoist meditation seeks to merge with the Tao, to find peace and tranquility, for example, in nature. Maybe I’m not a purist, or maybe I’m just missing the fine points the article attempts to make, but I find my meditations can go both ways, from quiet thoughts of nature into utter stillness, silence, empty mind; and then back again. Perhaps I am mixing two forms of meditation, but if so they both serve me.

As I thought about this, wrote about it in my pages, the world famous Japanese haiku by Matsuo Basho popped into my mind. So I took the liberty of riffing off his amazing vision:

Basho’s Frog

The pond clears as a cool mist
Settles on the surface
Undisturbed by breeze or current.

The mind holds a vision of quiet peace
Settling into stillness
Undisturbed by random thought.

The frog croaks, singing his love
Settlilng over his mates
Undisturbed by his call for response.

He leaps, “kerplunk”, rippling the surface,
Raising the mist
Disturbing the stillness, if not the peace.

Gratitude rises as a cool mist
And settles over the surface
As ripples fade into the undisturbed peace.

 

 

 

©2017 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

The poem for today: Edge

July 26, 2017 Leave a comment

Our first call this morning was from Mindy. First reaction: oh-oh, what’s wrong? She usually doesn’t call early unless she is in distress. First thing she said was “Charlie is OK.” Our son-in-law was driving to work this morning, going in early about 2:00 AM. As he crossed the Severn River bridge going west he had to rapidly respond to an oncoming, fast moving vehicle going the wrong way, toward him; he managed to swerve away to avoid a head-on! And he had the presence of mind to call 911 and alert authorities.

Just down the way, near Mindy and Charlie’s home the wrong-way car hit another head-on; both drivers were killed. A third car was also hit causing injuries. The police still do not know exactly what happened, how the east-bound car in the west-bound lanes caused this!

We are all so grateful we still have Charlie in our lives! And it is a reminder of just how precious our lives are! This inspired today’s poem:

Edge

Humans are fragile things,
Little more than the gossamer
Of a moth’s wings.

When we dance at the edge of flame
We flirt with oblivion, feeling real,
Believing it’s not a game!

The heat heightens awareness, we feel alive
Remembering each moment is precious.
Flitting too close we die.

An errant draft can set us adrift.
Away from the light we forget,
Wondering why, wandering from the gift.

Then the flame flares, calling like Buddha’s bell,
Reminding who we are and why;
We fly true and well,

And dance again on the ledge,
Conscious of our delicate beauty,
Floating in ecstasy, balanced on the edge.

 

 

 

©2017 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

PS: Mindy called as I was writing this. Thankfully it was a request for a quick ride to medical appointments. While driving to and from I did remember…!