Sunday, December 6, 2015

Holiday Meditation Challenge

Alex Grey, Nature of Mind 
Join me for a 20-Day Meditation Challenge, 
December 6th thru December 25th, 2015
Especially designed for beginners and reluctant meditators.
Complete details at: 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Morning Walks #5

by A.M.
From the collection entitled Ken' Islan'

morning streets littered
with tiny pulverized frogs,
August flies swarming

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Stealthcat 2.0

Stealthcat 2.0 by Poor Boy Motosports,
Kent Island, Maryland

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


by Kat Comer

I bathe
in a pool of silence.
Diving deep, I enter its stream.
Desire carries me home
to the ocean.
I melt and dissolve
into pure sensation.
I am 
poet of everything,
artist of the deep.

Friday, August 14, 2015


Martyr by Ashleigh Hartsock, 2015, acrylic on canvas Strange Fruit Hanging

Monday, August 10, 2015

Examination at the Womb-Door

by Ted Hughes
From his collection entitled Crow

Who owns these scrawny little feet?        Death.
Who owns this bristly scorched-looking face?        Death.
Who owns these still-working lungs?        Death.
Who owns this utility coat of muscles?        Death.
Who owns these unspeakable guts?        Death.
Who owns these questionable brains?        Death.
All this messy blood?        Death.
These minimum-efficiency eyes?        Death.
This wicked little tongue?        Death.
This occasional wakefulness?        Death.

Given, stolen, or held pending trial?

Who owns the whole rainy, stony earth?        Death.
Who owns all of space?        Death.

Who is stronger than hope?        Death.
Who is stronger than will?        Death.
Stronger than love?        Death.
Stronger than life?        Death.

But who is stronger than death?      
                                                         Me, evidently.
Pass, Crow.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The New York Botanical Garden

by Karen Rigby
From her collection entitled Chinoiserie

The audio tour explains harvesting
palm hearts. Outside, hoarfrost burns the lawn.
I'm inside the snow-globed conservatory peering into
a replica hut: hammock slung
from a beam, mortar and pestle
stationed on the floor. Placards label
everything like a crime. Tell me
something new about the manicole acreage.
A human organ salvaged from the wreck,
my own heart tinned.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Problem of Describing Trees

by Robert Hass
From his collection entitled Time and Materials, Poems 1997-2005

The aspen glitters in the wind
And that delights us.

The leaf flutters, turning,
Because that motion in the heat of August
Protects its cells from drying out. Likewise the leaf
Of the cottonwood.

The gene pool threw up a wobbly stem
And the tree danced. No.
The tree capitalized.
No. There are limits to saying,
In language, what the tree did.

It is good sometimes for poetry to disenchant us.

Dance with me, dancer. Oh, I will.

Mountains, sky,
The aspen doing something in the wind.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Evaporation 3

by Forrest Gander
From his collection entitled Core Samples from the World

How cold it looks on the yellow linoleum, she said.

Like watching a thumb war, he mumbled.

Spent the whole damn morning with the damn dishwasher man, she alerted him.

Standing in line watching the nape of the man in front of me, he remembered.

Perseid meteors from the radiant in the predawn, she read.

Is it really called Sutra of Angular Severity, he wondered.

Crossed out and then stetted, she noted.

High-speed dust fluorescing as it collides with solar wind, he read.

Now it's flu season, she wondered, should we give the boy an eye-wash?

They call it painting your throat, he explained, dipping the gauze in iodine.

In their component fatigue, the days ... she mumbled.

And then you were talking in a French patois and wanting to go out, he said.

To be defiled is to be recognizable to yourself, she thought.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Thursday, July 9, 2015


by Abigail Gramig
From her collection entitled Dusting the Piano

I am in Mexico City on a school trip,
I have saved up money for this all year.
This morning I was in a church.
There were beggars around, small children
with smaller children on their backs -- 
they try to sell me gum.
I have never seen children without shoes before.
They touch my blue jeans,
pull on my shirt with their small brown hands.
My teacher, Mrs. Atkins, says
we shouldn't give the children money,
that they'll never learn anything that way.
When she isn't looking I give them the money
I saved all year.

In the afternoon we see a museum,
more churches.
Mrs. Atkins is in a shopping mood.
She asks a blind man sitting in the street
"Donde esta el GAP?"
with her Pike county drawl.
Tomorrow afternoon we will lay by the pool in our hotel
and I will go home with sunburn.
My skin, peeling in large sections, off my shoulders and back
is not what makes me uncomfortable on the flight,
it is the small brown hands on my clothes,

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Accidentally on Purpose

by Robert Frost
From his collection entitled In the Clearing

The Universe is but the Thing of things,
The things but balls all going round in rings.
Some of them mighty huge, some mighty tiny,
All of them radiant and mighty shiny.

They mean to tell us all was rolling blind
Till accidentally it hit on mind
In an albino monkey in a jungle
And even then it had to grope and bungle,

Till Darwin came to earth upon a year
To show the evolution how to steer.
They mean to tell us, though, the Omnibus
Had no real purpose till it got to us.

Never believe it. At the very worst
It must have had the purpose from the first
To produce purpose as the fitter bred:
We were just purpose coming to a head.

Whose purpose was it? His or Hers or Its?
Let's leave that to the scientific wits.
Grant me intention, purpose, and design - 
That's near enough for me to the Divine.

And yet for all this help of head and brain
How happily instinctive we remain,
Our best guide upward further to the light,
Passionate preference such as love at sight.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Prioress's Tale

Sir Edward Burne-Jones, The Prioress's Tale, 1865-1898, gouache on paper on linen support
Courtesy of  the Delaware Art Museum 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Johnny Nolan has a patch on his ass

by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
From his collection entitled A Coney Island of the Mind

Johnny Nolan has a patch on his ass

Kids chase him
                         thru screendoor summers

Thru the back streets
                                  of all my memories

Somewhere a man laments
                                           upon a violin

A doorstep baby cries
                                   and cries again
                                                         down steps

Which helps the afternoon arise again
to a moment of remembered hysteria

Johnny Nolan has a patch on his ass

Kids chase him

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Thursday, June 25, 2015

From the Manifesto of the Selfish

by Stephen Dunn
From his collection entitled Landscape at the End of the Century

Because altruists are the least sexy
     people on earth, unable
to say "I want" without embarrassment, 

we need to take from them everything
     they give,
then ask for more,

this is how to excite them, and because
     it's exciting
to see them the least bit excited

once again we'll be doing something
     for ourselves,
who have no problem taking pleasure,

always desirous and so pleased to be
     pleased, we who above all
can be trusted to keep the balance.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Sunday, June 21, 2015

My Father Holds the Door for Yoko Ono

by Christopher Chambers
Courtesy of the Poetry Foundation

In New York City for a conference
on weed control, leaving the hotel
in a cluster of horticulturalists,
he alone stops, midwestern, crewcut,
narrow blue tie, cufflinks, wingtips,
holds the door for the Asian woman
in a miniskirt and thigh high
white leather boots. She nods
slightly, a sad and beautiful gesture.
Neither smile, as if performing
a timeless ritual, as if anticipating
the loss of a son or a lover.

Years later, Christmas, inexplicably
he dons my mother's auburn wig,
my brother's wire-rimmed glasses,
and strikes a pose of clowning
with my second hand acoustic guitar.
He is transformed, a working class hero
and a door whispers shut,
like cherry blossoms falling.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I bled the morning you saw her

by Kat Comer

I bled the morning you saw her,
a fallen angel
two dogs circling her legs.
In her lap a book
open like her face.
I lay in bed forgotten
as your gaze dropped
two stories to the yard below,
my stomach wrenched
my heart a naked howl.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Elegy to A Goldfish

Elegy to a Goldfish, Ashleigh Hartsock, 2015, acrylic on canvas
Inspired by Matthew Dickman's poem in the collection Mayakovsky's Revolver

Friday, June 12, 2015

Tenth Birthday

by Marjorie Knapp

She woke before the sun. She heard the still
Small sounds which whisper when the night is gone.
Though all the curtains of her room were drawn, 
She saw the gray light creep across the sill.
This was her day. How would it help fulfill
Her destiny? She looked out at the dawn
Stepping across the velvet of the lawn, 
She saw the purple of a distant hill.

In cloak and slippers, she glided through the halls
Softly - she would disturb none still asleep -
Then looked through maple branches to the sky;
Her small heart beating against its delicate walls, 
The marvel of ten years too much to keep.
"What is this lovely world, and who am I?"

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


by Peter Mitchell
Originally published on Fragments of a Scroll from the Future

I have been learning A lot from trees
Being still for hundreds of years
Drinking light and water
flowing divine love
singing a poem without words

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Beads of Spring Rain

by Helen C. Acton
From The Haiku Anthology

Beads of spring rain
     slipping slowly
down the wind chimes.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Dance

by Kat Comer

We made a bonfire
early in the summer
that night before you left
when I didn't know if you'd return
or even send a postcard
to inform me
if destiny would lead you back
to our rocking
or turn you in a new direction.

We lit the room with our weavings
a tapestry of color and shadow
and your big hands
like a gentle bears'
threaded endlessly
along my skin
turning me to gold.

That such rocking could form us anew
turn us inside out
spin us into and beyond one another.
Surely it was the gods who were dancing
early in the summer
that night before you left.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


by Kay Ryan
From her collection entitled Elephant Rocks

Words especially
are subject to
the chemistry
of death: it is
an acid bath
which dissolves
or doubles
their strength.
which pleased
drift down
as sediment;
iron trees
grow from filament.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


by Billy Collins
From his collection entitled, The Art of Drowning

The sun finally goes down like the end
of the Russian novel, and the blinding darkness
over the continent makes me realize

how tired I am of reading and writing, 
tired of watching all the dull, horse-drawn sentences
as they plough through fields of paper,

tired of being dragged on a leash of words
by an author I can never look up and see,
tired of examining the exposed spines of books,

I want to be far from the shores of language,
a boat without passengers, lost at sea,
no correspondence, no thesaurus,

not even a name painted across the bow.
Nothing but silence, the kind that falls
whenever I walk outside with a notebook
and a passing cloud darkens my page.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Friday, May 1, 2015

Listen to the Mustn'ts

by Shel Silverstein
From his collection Where the Sidewalk Ends

Listen to the MUSTN'TS, child, 
Listen to the DON'TS
Listen to the SHOULDN'TS
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me - 
Anything can happen, child, 
ANYTHING can be.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Sunday, April 26, 2015

After the Storm

by Kat Comer

After the storm
cool rivers run untamed
through quiet hills
still half concealed in shadow.

Crushed grasses lie
like matted silk
in tufts along the swollen banks

where hidden fishes ring
shimmering to view
in metallic arabesques.

After the storm
valley lakes
mirror clouds
passing swiftly overhead.

The trees are moist
and soaked with light.
The air is sweet and flushed
from rain.

And the sun is washed new
against the sky.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Friday, April 17, 2015


by Basho

Clouds come from time to time - 
     and bring to men a chance to rest
          from looking at the moon.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Saturday, April 11, 2015


by Peter Mitchell
Originally published on fragments of a scroll from the future

flowing living water
flowing divine love
in every liminal space
I am the flow
I am that

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Garden of Love

by William Blake
From Song of Innocence and of Experience

I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen:
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of this Chapel were shut,
And Thou shalt not. write over the door;
So I turn'd to the Garden of Love,
That so many sweet flowers bore.

And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tomb-stones where flowers should be:
And Priests in black gowns, were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars, my joys & desires.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Man from a Dream

by Kat Comer

Gypsy man
you kneel outside my door
waiting ...

The bronze luster
of your skin
glows warm

as daylight sinks its eye
into furrows
creased along the earth.

The thunder of your body
held contained
beneath your skin

is tensed--
in silence.

A brooding power gathers
and is patient.

Ivory teeth flash
upon my face
in recognition.

Your half moon smile --
a beam,

and my blood roars
to drum beats
breaking the distance

as your swell bursts
like the sun inside me
and shatters a fountain

of tiny sparks
against the walls
that now contain you.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


by Paige Ackerson-Kiely
From her collection entitled In No One's Land

Mild lamb, I would
gather so closely to me.
I raise my hand,
ask to be chosen.
Life was interesting
when I believed everything
I heard. Now
there is wool in my ear canal.
I give myself away.
Take this hay, take this
big heap of wet hay
in your pitchfork.
Move it somewhere else.
There is plenty of room
in the field. I smoke
behind the fencepost.
I know clearly that I will
remove my pants
when it is requested
I remove my pants.
They will call all of us in
on cold nights,
though no one calls
to me specifically.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Sunday, March 15, 2015

How Does One ...?

by Bob Feeley

On an ash grey wooden bench beneath the black plum tree
he sat in the graceful garden and studied with tired eyes
the green, intensely green, climbing ivy on the red brick wall.
“How does one say ‘Good-by’?”
In the autumn breeze the shade of the plum tree flickered
and ruffled the tidy lawn: two maroon leaves flickered, fluttered –
darkly transparent in the sun – and settled on the white flagstone

The glowing afternoon sun scaled the garden wall, soaked his
body with its warmth, and drew the warm wool smell from his suit.
He pulled at the knee of his trousers: there were three creased
wrinkles just above the knee where he had crossed his legs.
The high sheen from the tip of his shoe shimmered in nervous
He raised a well-manicured hand to straighten his tie and ran
his hand along the side of his head and down his neck and sat
with bent head.

His shadow started.
The clacking of her beads and rustling of her habit brought
him to his feet.
The afternoon sun sloped behind the steeple and he fumbled
with his hat while they seated themselves on the ash grey wooden
bench beneath the black plum tree to do what had to be done.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Scarecrow

by Charles Simic
From his collection entitled The Book of Gods and Devils

God's refuted but the devil's not.

This year's tomatoes are something to see.
Bite into them, Martha, 
As you would into a ripe apple.
After each bite add a little salt.

If the juices run down your chin
Onto your bare breasts,
Bend over the kitchen sink.

From there you can see your husband
Come to a dead stop in the empty field
Before one of his bleakest thoughts
Spreading its arms like a scarecrow.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Red Scarf

by Elliot

Red silk scarf
     - drying in the wind
Saturated with the fragrance of
     grass, clover, honeysuckle,
     rain-scented breezes,
     and musky perfume
A thousand raging crimson nights
     - twisting, wrapping
     in the sudden gusts
Moonlit masquerades - wine and roses - 
lakeshore promenades
     - contorting, writhing
     in the rising gale
Past, Present and Future
All memories and emotions as One
     - wrenching and grasping
     Until the tempest rises

With a sudden surge
     the scarlet threads soar
     of the line

To be blown
     onto some mud-trodden street
     used as an oil-blotting rag,
     to smear the filthy grime off
     a cracked bedroom window,
     to block the flow of blodd
     from a puss-infested 
     knife wound
     to flap in the wind,
     - wrapped around a cold, metal pole - 
     a banner for the future generation

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Public library

by Dannie Abse
From Collected Poems 1948-1976

Who, in the public library, one evening after rain,
amongst the polished tables and linoleum, 
stands bored under blank light to glance at these pages?
Whose absent mood, like neon glowing in the night, 
is conversant with wet pavements, nothing to do?

Neutral, the clock-watching girl stamps out the date, 
a forced celebration, a posthumous birthday,
her head buttered by the drizzling library lamps;
yet the accident of words, too, can light the semi-dark
should the reader lead them home, generously journey,
later to return, perhaps leaving a bus ticket as a

Who wrote in margins hieroglyphic notations,
that obscenity, deleted this imperfect line?
Read by whose hostile eyes, in what bed-sitting
in which rainy, dejected railway stations?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The illusion of time

by Peter Mitchell
Originally published on fragments of a scroll from the future

when i step aside
from the eternal now
into the illusion of time
everything becomes
suffering and death

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Love's Philosophy

by Percy Bysshe Shelley

The fountains mingle with the river
     And the rivers with the ocean;
The winds of heaven mix for ever
     With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
     All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle.
     Why not I with thine? --

See the mountains kiss high heaven
     And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
     If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth
     And the moonbeams kiss the sea:
What is all this sweet work worth
     If thou kiss not me?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Soul of a Rose

"My Sweet Rose" aka "The Soul of a Rose" by John William Waterhouse, 1908

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Seascape (Waking Dream)

by Kat Comer

     Resting in my palm is a piece of broken shell. My thumb caresses its porcelain underside as my fingers explore its serrated edges. I lose myself in the pattern of shifting storm clouds on its surface. The sky moves in my hand, mirror image of the shifting sky above me.

     Bits of shell are burrowed in the sand, their scalloped surface broken again and again by the violent rush of the sea. But now the water is calm like the intaken and expelled breath of a meditation. The waves' approach and retreat follow their own rhythm, alternately inviting and sonorous.

"Spirit & Life" by Tom Fleming
     I stand at the edge of two worlds, amphibian, belonging exclusively to neither, penetrating both. I watch as the sun disappears into the horizon and sinks in slow motion to the bottom of the sea, its flames extinguished and its heat cooled until once again it will rise, burning from the water. The sun's heat glows inside my belly, responding to the dying warmth outside me. I am pregnant with light, and each step into the vast, rolling sea pulls me deeper into mystery. My skin melts in the slow rise and fall of waves that carry me further and further into an aquatic world where fishes lift skyward in curls that arc above my head. And like a sea otter, I dive again and again as each approaching wave brings me closer to a world of silence so thick it is deafening. I lose my identity as my body spirals downward and becomes one with a school of baby fish that moves in a dense hypnotic spin of interlocking threads. I rest in the slow monotony of movement for I, too, have gills and can sustain this primeval dance. I am Thetis, sea nymph, taking the shape of that which I desire. Leaving the ring, I shoot upward into air, my tongue steeped in brine.

     And just as the sun gives its flames to the sea, the moon pours its milk upon its surface. Moving ribbons of light stretch across an infinite plain where sea and sky are one unbroken whole and fishes swim upside down in the heavens.

     I dive again into an explosion of color, am awash in sealight, immersed in a dense population of fish, a curtain of moving shapes that parts to let me through. I feel as though I've swallowed the sun, am transformed into a disc of light. My body undulates and glides. An abrupt twist of my fins and I am propelled in a new direction. I glide through a kaleidoscopic seascape of tiger, leopard and sun fish.

     My world is topsy-turvy. Fishes swim in sky and water, and stars line the ocean floor. One particularly radiant star pulls me into its center. I am woven in a nexus of cobalt blue, spinning in a mandala of light and color, a whirling dervish, startling in my intensity. Spinning and alive. Gradually, the velocity of my spins lessens. I must surface and drink the semen rich fluid of the moon, allow its cleansing milk to wash my skin before I swim to shore and rise from the water with dawn.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


by Tracy K. Smith
From her collection entitled Duende

Winter is a boa constrictor
Contemplating a goat. Nothing moves,
Save for the river, making its way
Steadily into ice. A state of consternation.

My limbs settle into stony disuse
In this city full of streetlamps
And unimaginable sweets.
I would rather your misuse, your beard

Smelling of some other woman's
Idle afternoons. Lately, the heart of me
Has grown to resemble a cactus
Whose one flower blooms one night only

Under the whitest, 
The most disdainful of moons.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Phantom Crane

"Phantom Crane" by William Holbrook Beard, 1891, Oil on Canvas

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Next Morning

by Peter Mitchell
Originally published on fragments of a scroll from the future

waxing moon
mimi Flew away
Leaving surreal Emptyness
This morning the sun came up
Bird singing

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Real Estate

by Richard Brautigan
From his collection entitled June 30th, June 30th

I have emotions
that are like newspapers that
     read themselves.

I go for days at a time
trapped in the want ads.

I feel as if I am an ad
for the sale of a haunted house:

     18 rooms
     I'm yours
     ghosts and all.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Arrangement in Grey and Black

James Abbott McNeill Whistler, "Arrangement in Grey and Black -
Portrait of the Artist's Mother 1871"

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

St. James Church

Disrupting  the  quaint
contour  of   trees,   St.
James  steeple  spires
majestically     to    the
heavens.  Grand when
viewed  at a  distance,
close           inspection
evokes  a  shudder  of

dismay.  Erected in 1847 as a House of
God, 140 years later St. James Catholic
Church is a House for  the  Birds.  Rot-
eaten    boards    nailed    secure    over
windows  where the sun used to stream
through  stained  glass --  now pillaged.
The once white steeple -- now  infested
with rust and  the  incessant  cooing  of

pigeons.  At   its  steps 
lie     the   d e c a y e d
skeleton  of  one of  its
l a i t y   whose   pitiful
tuft  of  feathers mixed
in   well   with  the  dirt,
smashed   shells   and 
droppings of the entire
congregation  --  of the
church   itself,   now  a
carcass in  the process
of   de com p o si t i on.
A c r o s s    the   street
children   play   in   the
courtyard  of  a modern
day  school  building --
innocent,        laughing, 
alive,  oblivious  to the
death  smoldering  just
beyond the school gate.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Six Years

By Gary Snyder
From his collection entitled The Back Country


          the pine tree is perfect

Walking in the snowhills the trail goes just right
Eat snow off pine needles
          the city's not so big, the
               hills surround it.
Hiezan wrapped in his own cloud -- 
Back there no big houses, only a little farm shack
          crows cawing back and forth
          over the valley of grass-bamboo
               and small pine.

If I had a peaceful heart it would look like this.
          the train down in the city

          was once a snowy hill

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


Aurora (Goddess of the Dawn), Artist Unknown, Mid-19th Century Oil on Wood
Part of The National Gallery of Art Collection

Sunday, January 11, 2015

i have a million needs

by Peter Mitchell
Originally published on fragments of a scroll from the future

I have a million needs
Swirling in my brain
They are annihilated
By the highest love

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Looking Into a Face

by Robert Bly
From his collection entitled The Light Around the Body

Conversation brings us so close! Opening
The surfs of the body,
Bringing fish up near the sun,
And stiffening the backbones of the sea!

I have wandered in a face, for hours,
Passing through dark fires.
I have risen to a body
Not yet born,
Existing like a light around the body,
Through which the body moves like a sliding moon.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Blessing the Melon

Blessing the Melon (The Indians Bring the Harvest to Christian Mary for her Blessing)
by Marsden Hartley, 1918, Philadelphia Museum of Art

Friday, January 2, 2015

Moon Images

by Kat Comer

The primitive sun fumes
its storms of gasses coalesce
as jets of fire lick the sky.

While Artemis the hunter
cool and remote

keeper of virgins
and sifter of shadows
on the surface of darkness.

Luminous, her eyelid poised
above us shines
closed, yet beckoning

Orbiting Earth
her bone white shield -- 

now becomes a scimitar
shearing drifts of clouds
scattered across the night.