Archive for November, 2014

STILL YOU KEEP BREAKING THE SHELL

It’s the old rule that drunks have to argue

and get into fights.

The lover is just as bad.  He falls into a hole.  

But down in that hole he finds something shining,

worth more than any amount of money or power.  

 

Last night the moon came dropping its clothes in the street.  

I took it as a sign to start singing,

falling up into the bowl of sky.  

The bowl breaks.  Everywhere is falling everywhere.

Nothing else to do.

 

Here’s the new rule:  break the wineglass,

and fall into the glassblower’s breath.  

 

This that is tormented and very tired,

tortured with restraints like a madman,

this heart.

                  Still you keep breaking the shell

to get the taste of its kernel!

 

Rumi

(translated by Coleman Barks, et alia)

AS I WANDER AROUND THIS WRECK OF A TIME

Just on the border of your waking mind,

There lies another time

Where darkness and light are one.

And as you tread the halls of sanity

You feel so glad to be unable to go beyond.

 

I have a message from another time.

 

 

Well I came a long way to be here today

And I left you so long on this avenue.

And here I stand in the strangest land

Not knowing what to say or do

As I gaze around at these strangers in town.

I guess the only stranger is me,

And I wonder, yes I wonder, is this

The way life’s meant to be.

 

Although it’s only a day since I was taken away

And left standing here looking in wonder.

The ground at my feet maybe it’s just the old street

But everything that I know lies under.

And when I see what they’ve done to this place that was home,

Shame is all that I feel.

And I wonder, yes I wonder, is this

The way life’s meant to be.

 

Too late, too late to cry, the people say.

Too late for you, too late for me

You’ve come so far, now you know everything

My friend

Just look and see the wonders of our world.  

 

As I wander around this wreck of a town

Where people never speak aloud

With its ivory towers and its plastic flowers

I wish I was back in 1981

Just to see your face, instead of this place

Now I know what you mean to me.

And I wonder, yes I wonder, is this

The way life’s meant to be.

 

 

A penny in your pocket, suitcase in your hand,

They won’t get you very far,

Now you’re a 21st century man.

 

Fly across the city, rise above the land.

You can do most anything,

Now you’re a 21st century man.  

 

Though you ride on the wheels of tomorrow,

You still wander the fields of your sorrow.  

 

One day you’re a hero, next day you’re a clown,

There’s nothing that is in between.

Now you’re a 21st century man.

 

You should be so happy, you should be so glad,

So why are you so lonely, you 21st century man.

 

You stepped out of a dream

Believing everything was gone.  

Return with what you’ve learnt they’ll kiss the ground you walk upon.  

 

Things ain’t how you thought they were.

Nothing have you planned.

So pick up your penny and your suitcase,

You’re not a 21st century man.

 

Though you ride on the wheels of tomorrow,

You still wander the fields of your sorrow,

21st century man.

 

 

PrologueThe Way Life’s Meant To Be, & 21st Century Man

From the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) album, Time (1981)

Lyrics (and music) by Jeff Lynne

WHAT WOULD MARTIN LUTHER KING SAY?

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice.  In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds.  Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.  We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence.  Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.  The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny.  They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.  We cannot walk alone.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

August 28, 1963

Once again, a community of Americans has automatically determined guilt and innocence based solely on race–specifically the color of Darren Wilson’s and Michael Brown’s skin.

And once again, a community of Americans has engaged in senseless rioting, looting, and violence based on this same automatic determination of guilt and innocence.

If Darren Wilson were black, and Michael Brown were white, would this senseless rioting, looting, and violence be occurring?

If you truly believe in Dr. King’s dream, you will make it a reality.

Martin+Luther+King,+Jr.+01

THIS INSTRUMENT OF DUST

O FRIEND!  this body is His lyre;

He tightens its strings, and draws from it the melody of Brahma.  

If the strings snap and the keys slacken, then to dust must this instrument of dust return:  

Kabir says:  “None but Brahma can evoke its melodies.”

Kabir

(translated by Rabindranath Tagore)

A CLEARER VIEW OF DONNA REED

Donna_Reed1

FROM THE 2013 BOOK OF QUESTIONS #26

Another question from Gregory Stock’s book is this:

Have you ever disliked someone for being luckier or more successful than you?

Of course I have.  Who hasn’t?

WEAVING THE GARLAND OF DAY AND NIGHT

The woman who is parted from her lover spins at the spinning wheel.  

The city of the body arises in its beauty; and within it the palace of the mind has been built.  

The wheel of love revolves in the sky, and the seat is made of the jewels of knowledge:  

What subtle threads the woman weaves, and makes them fine with love and reverence!  

Kabir says:  “I am weaving the garland of day and night.  When my Lover comes and touches me with His feet, I shall offer Him my tears.”

Kabir

(translated by Rabindranath Tagore)

FROM THE 2013 BOOK OF QUESTIONS #25

Another question from Gregory Stock’s book is this:

Would you rather have success and everything material you want, but few friends; or little success or material well-being, but lots of friends?

Bearing in mind that success doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with wealth–and that the more friends one has, the more impersonal his friendships are–I would definitely rather have success and everything material I wanted, but few friends.

FROM A MAN AT THE END TO A WOMAN BEYOND

Polly W.

Oh you, you’re so hard to get to.  

Oh you, you don’t wanna play.  

You were no better before.  

I sent a dream to you last night

From the end of the world.  

 

Oh you, you keep me hangin’ ’round and ’round

And ’round.  

Oh you, look at the trouble I’ve found.  

You were no better before

I sent a letter before

I sent a dream to you last night

From the end of the world.  

 

I saw you last night but you couldn’t answer.  

You were a lonely little sidewalk dancer.  

When I woke up I could not stand it  

You were gone but I got to hand it to you.  

 

Oh please if this is a game I wish someone would win  

Oh please just let it fly to be upon the wind  

You were no better before, I sent a letter before

I sent a dream to you baby last night

From the end of the world

Polly W.

The dark rose of thy mouth

Draw nigher, draw nigher!  

Thy breath is the wind of the south,

A wind of fire!  

The wind and the rose and darkness

O Rose of my Desire!  

 

Deep silence of the night

Hush’t like a breathless lyre,

Save the sea’s thunderous might,

Dim, menacing, dire;

Silence and wind and sea,

They are thee,

O Rose of my Desire!  

 

As a wind eddying flame

Leaping higher and higher

Thy soul, Thy secret name

Leaps thro’ Death’s blazing pyre!  

Kiss me, Imperishable Fire,

Dark Rose,

O Rose of my Desire!

Polly W.

GIVE ME ENOUGH WINE OR LEAVE ME ALONE

Who is luckiest in this whole orchestra?  The reed.  

Its mouth touches your lips to learn music.  

All reeds, sugarcane especially, think only

of this chance.  They sway in the canebrakes,

free in the many ways they dance.

 

Without you the instruments would die.  

One sits close beside you.  Another takes a long kiss.  

The tambourine begs, “Touch my skin so I can be myself.”  

Let me feel you enter each limb bone by bone,

that what died last night can be whole today.

 

Why live some soberer way and feel you ebbing out?  

I won’t do it.  

Either give me enough wine or leave me alone,

now that I know how it is

to be with you in a constant conversation.

 

Rumi

(translated by Coleman Barks, et alia)


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