Today I Will Make Bread.

I won’t worry about my grown children,
or think about why I ache when I think of them.

Today I bake. 
Inhale the frothy smell of yeast rising like magic.
Throw the dough on to the board, flour filling the air with clouds.
Wipe my hands on my apron then
put my shoulder into it,
Kneading. Kneading. Kneading. 

My mother would kiss the dough and tell me as she formed it into buns, “Like babies’ bums”.
When I close my eyes I’m in her kitchen.

The smell of baking filling the house.

And then the timer chimes and I wait like a child,
impatient for the bread to cool:
My own mother now,
my own child.

The Moon

I find writing excruciatingly difficult but it feels so good when I stop. And just having someone take the time to read something I’ve written thoughtfully is huge for me.

The idea of making enough money to live on from my writing is like comparing me, stumbling along with my bundle buggy to the grocery store, to an astronaut in a rocket shooting for the moon.

HOWEVER, I don’t think there is an astronaut who doesn’t see the same moon as I see when I am happy to sit by my window and stare at it.

This is the Last Day of April is Poetry Month!

I sat “virtually” with the sangha last night. It’s becoming a regular Wednesday night   thing with the Oak tree in the Garden.

A “sangha” is a gathering of Zen practitioners.

I am finding myself slipping in to some very dark places, and not the actual ones that  I should, like the one under the stairs that could use some cleaning and reorganizing. Instead I am slipping into a place where I get lost in thoughts that propagate really paralyzing inertia and despair.

It is good to commit to practicing with others. I doesn’t matter the context. The important thing is to just sit practicing Zazen.  Which is the context of ‘NO CONTEXT’, (forget about getting your intellect around that!)

I’ve done a lot of sitting lately, lounging actually.

But sitting Zazen we gradually gain (or regain, again and again) the ability to see thoughts arise and dissipate.  We learn how to return to this breath and this moment.

And you can also clean out the space under the stairs this way, although, dust bunnies, spiders…that homemade mask is going to come in handy.

Here is one last poem for the month, rewritten.

Sadness Haiku

Awakening
the jeweled dew glistens
in the morning light.dew-on-grass-janet-rockburn

 

 

April is a Poem a Day Month!

Smack Between the Eyes
Where do we put the poems
as hard as stones and as fragile as robin's eggs?
Do we nestle them in skulls
laid in tidy rows 
or do we push them
with bulldozers into mass graves?
And all the poems written,
shitting 
like dust mites under the furniture,
gnawing 
like rats in the middle ages,
dealing 
like brokers on Bay Street,
growing 
like multiple embryos
in Reality Television wombs
--what do we do with them?

While waiting in a bus shack
I had my nose twisted by this Haiku:

asleep on the ground 
motherless, a baby fawn,
no, I mean a poem.

This one I retrieved and rewrote, finally understanding the answer.

This is not new except in its present form. I am afraid if you compare writing poems to making bread I’d say mine is never actually past the “I’ve got the ingredients!” stage.

Grandchild

I feel so old
my skin hangs on dried bones,
the blush
on my younger face
I remember like a poem
And I have survived
and found a peace that I call home
though sometimes now, it feels like a prison.

I saw the moon in the sky this morning.
and it changed the tide.
like you it seemed to appear without warning
and like you, it changed my mind.
because Love is a catalist
not a cure.
It comes unexpectantly.
It makes us dare
the whirlwind.

So for you
I crack open and release
my fluttering heart
and
toss it in the sea,
and play in the breaking waves of your laughter,
and rest in eddies
of your sleeping breath.