29 April 2010

Happy Birthday Rod McKuen


I celebrate your eyes
because they looked at me
without restraint
and no shame.

I celebrate your breasts
in the darkest night
I could find them blind
and feeble.

I celebrate your tears
even if they cry for something
that I’ve done.

I celebrate you
playing shuffleboard
or tennis
or playing with my balls
while I sleep.

I celebrate
all the night sounds
that you make
but won’t admit to
your conversations with yourself
in sleep.

Most of all
I celebrate the god
that gave me you
and asked for nothing
in return.
He’ll get a better man
one with more compassion
because he let me
stumble onto you.

-from "Celebrations of the Heart," 1975

08 April 2010

What if you woke up tomorrow and your life had completely changed, would you keep to your routine? Would you have the temerity to keep your head and heart intact?

What if you woke up tomorrow and your life was just the same, would you have the courage to change yourself?

06 April 2010

Wilma Mankiller's Spirit Takes Flight

From the Facebook page of Joy Harjo: "Beloved Wilma Mankiller has left us for the next part of the journey. No words. Only a song for her safe journey. And a song so that we make it through our grief."

Wilma Pearl Mankiller
(November 18, 1945 - April 6, 2010) has died of pancreatic cancer. She was the first female Chief of the Cherokee Nation. She served as the Principal Chief for ten years from 1985 to 1995.

Official Site

Cherokee Phoenix

02 April 2010

Here is a short (approximately five hundred words) piece that I recently submitted to a writing contest.

In a time, not too long ago, a wolf became the intense but secret attraction of a beautiful young maiden. Everyday the maiden would wait while remaining completely still and quiet just hoping to catch a glimpse of the magnificent animal. Occasionally, she would steal a glance of the wolf and then her heart would become hot as the sun and beat hard in her chest like a drum. Eventually, her love for the wolf overcame her fear and she dared to speak to the wolf.

“I have watched you and I believe you are kind. Won’t you let me run with you a while and learn your ways?” she asked the wolf.

But the wolf was a Lone Wolf and he had no need for this woman and would not encourage her. Still, he was a kind beast and seeing the sincerity of her appeal he would not deny her request. And so, without a reply, the wolf pranced away, turning back only once to see if she was following his trail. And she immediately picked up the chase.

The wolf went about his wolf business, hunting, running, drinking and howling at the moon. And the woman would hunt when the wolf hunted, and she would rest when the wolf rested, when the wolf drank she too would drink from the same water’s edge. And when the moon was full she would join her own voice with the howls of the wolf as they sang stories and blessings upon the pearlescent lunar orb.

After the coming and going of many moons, through many seasons, the woman became like the wolf in every way, until her spirit and the wolf’s spirit were one.

Then one day, as they drank together from the same clear, cool pond the woman caught a glimpse of her reflection in the water. But she no longer recognized herself. In fact, she no longer saw the reflection of a beautiful young woman but that of She-Wolf.
She then became so confused that the She-Wolf nearly went mad in searching for her lost Self. And the wolf no longer recognized her and he began to distort his tracks so that she could no longer follow him. The wolf became the Lone Wolf once again.

Eventually, the woman regained much of her own unique spirit back from the wolf. She no longer ran and hunted with the wolf, though sometimes she would still howl at the full moon. She was once again a beautiful woman but she would never be the same as she was before she became one with the wolf. In the giving-away of her self to the wolf she could never again keep a part of herself separate from the wolf. For the wolf and the woman had shared an existence once and the spirit of love transformed them. Upon the realization of this spiritual love between her and the wolf, she gained an all-knowing power and joined the other Sky Cloud beings of beneficence and enlightenment for All.

01 April 2010

It is Maundy Thursday so I thought I'd post my favourite image of the Last Supper by Salvador Dali. I like the surrealistic nature of the interpretation more than the blond Jesus. To me, the imagery is meditative and full of Spirit.

I remember the first time I saw this painting on a school field trip to the Washington DC National Gallery. It moved me as a child then and I bought the postcard as a souvenir. To my mind's eye it was such a stark contrast to the more wildly popular daVinci Last Supper. Here the disciples are all interiorized in prayer as opposed to the other where they all seem to be despairing or clamouring for Jesus' attention when he tells them "One of you will betray me".