Earth PleasuresISBN: 978-1-4343-1854-1
These poems and talks will speak to readers knowing joy from loving dogs and cats and comfort from the gracing of plants, trees and rain. 291 pages.
Not to Sleep but to Listen
Slate roof above boyhood bedroom
made rain day or night into such overhead singing
that when it started falling I'd head for bed
not to sleep but to listen.
Philosophic bent hadn't yet surfaced--
no musing on its meaning.
Poetic spirit hadn't yet surfaced--
no lyric to life for the lavishing.
Spiritual self hadn't yet surfaced--
no intimations of Presence and gracing.
Just a boy's heart yielding to the call of the rain
perhaps preparing his life's soil in the process
for later surfacings.
Philosophers Hanging Out
We're fortunate to have hanging out with us four Taoist philosophers.
What with their vow of silence there's little disturbance.
They just cordially blend in,
offering companionship, at times quite affectionate,
but mostly they are off amusing themselves,
keeping in friendly accord with the environs,
often drowsing in the sun.
Their sensuous gliding presence
teaches me more about living in the moment
than all the books in my library.
I'd invite you out to meet them
but they're pretty shy and would probably hide.
Too bad you'll never get to hear their vibratory Aum to the universe,
but then you may be one of the lucky ones
to have hanging out with you a Taoist philosopher of your own.
For More Than Decoration
Some keep plants for decoration, some for something deeper.
It's easy to scoff at "communing with plants"
when communion has lost all meaning.
But if heart's intuition, if soul's intimation, knows differently,
if the commingling of living presences is an experience beyond doubting,
then thank your lucky plants for their exquisite beauty,
homage to light,
testament to trust,
invitation to enter Presence.
Some surround themselves with plants for more than decoration.
I'd hate to have to boil it all down
to the one vegetable I'd grow if I could grow only one.
Corn, broccoli and potatoes stand tall in the sun of my affection,
but over all tower tomatoes.
It has to do, I think, with red,
prolific under the sun,
firm yet supple,
The love affair began long ago
with cherry tomatoes in my dramatic first garden.
We've had something, tomatoes and I,
going ever since.