Saturday, December 29, 2012

"Where are we going?" [gnomic verse]

I sleep   in the beauty of his garden
wrapped warm   in the blanket of his care
he carries me   like some belov
รจd burden
where are we going? with him   anywhere


After a line by Gulnaz Sheikh

"The burrito" [gnomic verses]

The burrito   that's never seen
is a burrito   not to be eaten
the burrito   that might've been
is a burrito   that's not repeatin'

yet other burritos might follow
if you can but nab one   swallow
chili verde won't appear green
on a burrito   that's never seen


for Jonathan Matis (Morris)

Natural Phenomena

A clap of thunder   a flash of lightening
at the tail end of December
although nothing of rain's discerned
yet two further rumbles of thunder
suddenly threaten the L.A. morning
and now it comes   the pitter-patter
growing into a fleeting deluge
a short symphony of winter rain

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

"Love's chitchat" (a petit Christmas morning rubaiyat)

Like a blank slate rests all the world    though I see it not so
while I've got scant liking for cold    yet I'm longing for snow
might this winter differ   from other winters before it?
if the heart's slate's fleetingly blank    is there nothing to know?

once again   the fragrance of love    is picked up by the soul

if anon   the heart enjoys inklings    has mind yet a role?
does love's chitchat burble like water?   or fizz like champagne?
pain & pleasure dart here & yon    like a deer in the knoll

where the canvas beckons the brush   is there something to do?
where the silence flirts with the flute   is the melody new?
golden harp strings sound in the deep   might the bhajan unfold?
where pure beauty glints in the eye   are there stories a'brew?

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Memorial Tweet

My father Sam Israel expired | & this is my summary tweet ||
for freedom he dreamed & aspired | may freedom prove wondrously sweet ||

 [October 29, 2012]

Benjamin Samuel Israel
Nov. 9, 1925 - Oct. 17, 2012

"December rain" [shi]

December rain descends like olden days
soon orphaned in this world is every man
time passes dream-like in a clockwork haze

till altered proves the hue of every plan
what was our aim? is love within our span

or out of reach?  truth's veiled from our gaze
we but achieve what trivial thing we can
December rain descends like olden days

December rain in depth of night arrives
back in Los Angeles sits one lone chap
who fits the shoe?  who tinkers in our lives?
who manifests  like water from the tap?
within the heart remains enigma's gap!

what art without real striving ever thrives?
yet falling into mercy's ample lap
December rain in depth of night arrives

December rain!  come pluck the harp & sing
or with the reed   chart Rumi's tale once more
the soul (Kabir said)   hurtling on its swing

describes an arc from birth to death   what shore
would smile beyond Samsara's inkly lore?
how might one rightly view the simplest thing?

let mercy flood the room    ceiling to floor!
December rain!  come pluck the harp & sing

Sunday, December 23, 2012

"Furious dancing” [boomerang poem]

Hard times require furious dancing
deep thoughts inspire gossamer words

high stakes invite hazardous chancing
broad trees invoke boisterous birds

long roads suggest ludicrous strife
dim rooms support amorous glancing

tombstones disguise infinite life
hard times require furious dancing


This poem’s first & final line are borrowed from an eponymous volume of poetry by Alice Walker – though I wasn’t aware of this specific origin (instead supposing the line to be anonymous) when reading the line (with illustration) late at night in a friend’s Facebook status update, and feeling it to merit a riff comprised of parallel sentences, I dashed off the above amusement.  (As an afterthought I googled the line, and can accordingly cite the said reference.)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"Gifts remain"   [villanelle]

Ring the gongs   & sound the grave shehnais
Raviji  has exited this realm
let a mist of tears  becloud your eyes

wide he was   & deep  & bright  & wise
surf-rider    on music's mystic whelm
ring the gongs   & sound the grave shehnais

every plucked sound resonates   then dies
oceanic silence    gnanis helm
though a mist of tears becloud the eyes

what's the world?   sheer fact?  or thick surmise?
truth eludes    till mind achieves deep calm
ring the gongs   & sound the grave shehnais

market day!   one sells  another buys!
all's recorded    on a secret film
even mists of tears that cloud the eyes

gifts remain   when givers break life's ties
thanks resounds   & love's indeed pure balm
ring the gongs  & sound the grave shehnais
let a mist of tears  becloud your eyes


In memorium Pandit Ravi Shankar

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


A gate beside a bamboo grove
  where palmtrees stand aloft
within the heart is hidden love

  silent its voice?   or soft?

Monday, December 3, 2012

For the Papal Twitterati

This just in
the Pope intends to tweet
it's no sin
to papally compete

if Jesus had to tweet
his Sermon on the Mount
would he admit defeat?
not in Matthew's account

Evangelists as bloggers
can keep the tweets in order
Lake Galilee's stray joggers
turn on the vid recorder!

As reported on today:
quote: Is it possible to keep biblical teachings and papal encyclicals to 140 characters?
Pope Benedict XVI hopes so. The holy one will begin tweeting Dec. 12 in six different languages from his @pontifax account in a Q&A format.
The pope will tweet "as often as he wants," according to a Vatican official, and "pontifax" was chosen as his handle because it means "pope" and also "bridge-builder" in Latin. The Vatican hopes its elevated social-media push will help spread the Catholic faith, especially among young people.
Alas, those curious about papal breakfast habits and sport-team preferences will be disappointed: The account will focus exclusively on spiritual matters. unquote


Yes everything is in-sourced
all comes from the unseen!

whatever is has been sourced
through sorcery most keen!

whatever seems emerges
by whimsy   call it whim-sourced

both revelries & dirges?
yes everything is in-sourced