Retired,Live in the woods, .54 miles off the road, love to work outside and feed the deer and birds in the winter time. I volunteer with meditation groups in four prisons near my home with the Milwaukee Zen Ctr Program that goes to 12 prisons. Also very active in Poetry community, Woodland Pattern in Milwaukee, Naropa SWP in Boulder, CO and other readings. There are four Buddha surrounding my home, I also take care of their well being and all living beings....
It was one of those warm, early summer days… Thanks God for the fans in the Chapel where the Dharma Brothers meet and sit, and chant, and walk meditatively and talk…
But this was not a "normal" one One brother sat with the Chaplain, sad looking, almost in tears
Just heard the night before, "Mom is gone" only 52 years "I knew she was sick, but I figured (and wouldn't we all) She would be ok"
"I can't be there", hold my sisters hand, my other siblings don't seem to care or know what do"
The Sangha arrives, the men are always happy to be together, to sit… But then I mention our brothers sadness and loss, and another speaks up, "my mom had a serious stroke two days ago, she's in Mississippi, it is harder not knowing, than accepting her death…" tears, some anger, "I want to hold her hand, do something, I can't"
Needless to say, we had a healing sit that afternoon…
What's going on here? I am not critical of the fact, inmates do not go home for the death of even their parents… At least not in these medium prisons…there were unskillful actions that they participated in To get in this place….they know that all too well...
But how does one handle death? Have you thought of yours? I sure have, at least after this afternoon with my Dharma Brothers…
We are reminded at times like these, "death is not the end" "Prison is not the end" "Unskillful acts that hurt others, are not the end!"
We are reminded, it’s the path stupid!
It’s the way, sister, brother, whoever…
These confluence of events, mom dying and mom near death That woke us all up, we are all Buddha's, awakened ones, Not with answers, or words that take away the pain, the anger, the loss, or fill the void…but a reminder, this is real, this happens to all of us, To all creatures,
Can we avoid it, no, but we can journey through these dead filled moments, as life…
We can't fool folks, where one line says she is with God or Jesus, Then say, he is asleep, at rest in the Lord, And then say "on the last day…." he and she will…..
This is all very confusing, my loved one is gone, dam….
Bull shit, sorry
The vet said to me when Mickey was put asleep, when I asked is he gone? "Mickey is already in his next life" Dam, why didn't someone say that to me when Dad died, or as I help Mom's hand and Karen sang to her as she started her next life? Where was the vet, or the priest?
Hey, Dharma Brothers, I write this because I mourn with you as do all who read this,
Don't fret, don't worry, sit brother, be silent and listen, and know, in this moment, You are blessed, you are free, the bars, the bells, the guards are only temporary,
As are the bars, and the hindrances for all of us…are we always skillful in all we do?
Pine needles, frozen by rain in mid winter Crackle as the cold wind blows through the trees around us The now is like old flat bread Breaks into pieces as it swallows your feet and snow shoes In fact, it is possible to slide on the snow shoes and fall, but the fall Is not hard, as one breaks through to the soft , old snow below
Violence is frozen in time in Palestine People dying in their own homes and streets Violence is frozen, the sounds of rockets, bombs and bullets All around us, even here in the woods One can feel the air as the bullets go by to their target in Gaza
How does one un-freeze violence? How does one melt hatred? How does one wake up a hold generation mi-led by lies and stories of Greed and power between Israel (n o spiritual relationship to the Israel of The Torah) and the United States Government (no relation to what is in the constitution Or the declaration of independence)
A change in leadership?, A commitment to peace?, Conversations around a new way not just changing old ways and structures that have not brought peace
The pine needles are melting now, the tree is feeling its freedom again The snow is soft again, the snow shoes, again, sink into the snow as you create a new path in the forest and wet lands… How do we find peace where there is none? The wounded The dead The scared ones The children The elders Yes, Israel exists, most of its people abhor the violence, frozen in time Thousands demonstrate for peace, no one listens, sound familiar America?
Oh, I threw some salt on the ice this morning I heard the frozen ice begin to crackle and fall apart Salt on the wounds? No that is not it But the salt of peace, love and justice Stepping in between those who fight out of hate, greed and power on both sides Those around the world who want to CUT OFF the conversation because their side is right the others do not exist…
Gaza exists West Bank exists Palestine is a state STOP THE KILLING FIELDS OF ISRAEL STOP SUPPORTING THE KILLING FIELDS OF ISRAEL USA GOVERNMENT The violence frozen in time and history will melt, is melting Not with guns or rockets made in or paid for by the USA Not with breaking through the sacred land of others or trying to fence in your neighbors But act and think and live in peace.
As I write this on a frozen morning in the woods The US has blocked the UN again for peace Why do we block efforts for peace even when they look impossible We are afraid of the frozen violence and risk of a melt down of violence, we love our power
I suppose I should stop this journey now It is too painful Today let us chant and pray for peace in Gaza and the world That the frozen presence of violence as the answer will melt.
http://behindthelinespoetry.blogspot.com/ Please check out Behind the Lines Poetry Blog by Philip Metres a wonderful site. It is on my blog, just double click the name in the column on the left of my blog.