Poems can inspires us to open our minds and hearts and explore new perspectives and possibilities.
Footnote: Pretty much every bit of prose or poetry that I’ve written in the last ~25 years has in some form been inspired by the love and joy and fulfillment my partner and muse has provided for and created in me
(Translated to German by Martin Dehn and to English by Chris Dolezalek)
che mi lascia
il colore del cielo
Presa in un giro
Nach so viel
Legen die Sterne
Ihren Schleier ab
Nach dem anderen
Die mir die Farbe
Des Himmels hinterlaesst
Ich erkenne mich
Gefangen in einem
After so much
the stars release their
that leaves with me
the color of the sky
Caught in an
Tra un fiore colto e l´altro
Zwischen einer gepflückten
Blume und einer geschenkten
Das unaussprechliche Nichts
Between a picked flower and
one that was given
the indescribable void
|Lo spiraglio dell´alba|
respira con la tua bocca
in fondo alle vie vuote.
Luce grigia I tuoi occhi,
dolci gocce dell´alba
sommergono le case.
La cittá abbrividisce,
odorano le pietre –
sei la vita, il risveglio.
nella luce dell´alba,
cigolio della brezza,
tepore, respiro –
é finita la notte.
Sei la luce e il mattino.
|Der Lichtstrahl des Sonnenaufganges|
Atmet mit Deinem Mund
Am Ende leerer Wege.
Graues Licht, Deine Augen
Süße Tropfen des Sonnenaufganges
Überschwemmen die Häuser
Die Stadt erschauert
Die Steine duften
Du bist das Leben, das Wiedererwachen
Im Lichte des Sonnenaufganges
Das Knistern der Brise
Milde Wärme, Atem –
Die Nacht ist zuende.
Du bist das Licht und der Morgen.
|The beam of light from sunrise|
breathes through your lips
at the end of empty paths.
Gray light of your eyes
Sweet dewdrops of dawn
engulf the houses.
The city appears
The stones smell
You are life, the reawakening
in the light of dawn,
the whispering breeze,
mild warmth, breath –
The night has reached an end.
You are the light and the morning.
|Ecco mormorar l’onde|
Ecco mormorar l’onde,
E tremolar le fronde
A l’aura mattutina, e gli arboscelli,
E sovra i verdi rami i vaghi augelli
E rider l’Oriente;
Ecco gia l’alba appare,
E si specchia nel mare,
E rasserena il cielo,
E le campagne imperla il dolce gelo,
E gli alti monti indora:
O bella e vaga Aurora,
L’aura e tua messaggera, e tu de l’aura
Ch’ogni arso cor ristaura.
|Now the waves murmur |
Now the waves murmur
And the boughs and the shrubs tremble in the morning breeze,
And on the green branches the pleasant birds
And the east smiles;
Now dawn already appears
And mirrors herself in the sea,
And makes the sky serene,
And the gentle frost impearls the fields
And gilds the high mountains:
O beautiful and gracious Aurora,
The breeze is your messenger, and you the breeze’s
Which revives each burnt-out heart.
Ripenso il tuo sorriso [da OSSI DI SEPPIA, 1925]
Ripenso il tuo sorriso, ed è per me un’acqua limpida
scorta per avventura tra le petraie d’un greto,
esiguo specchio in cui guardi un’ellera I suoi corimbi,
e su tutto l’abbraccio d’un bianco cielo quieto,
Codesto è il mio ricordo; non saprei dire, o lontano,
se dal tuo volto s’esprime libera un’anima ingenua,
o vero tu sei dei raminghi che il male del mondo estenua
e recano il loro soffrire con sé come un talismano.
Ma questo posso dirti, che la tua pensata effigie
sommerge I crucci estrosi in un’ondata di calma,
e chi il tuo aspetto s’insinua nella mia memoria grigia
schietto come la cima d’una giovinetta palma…
Ich denke über Dein Lächeln nach und es ist für mich ein klares Wasser
Durch Zufall entdeckt zwischen den Steinen eines Kiesgrundes
geringfügiger Spiegel in dem man ein Efeu sieht, seine Dolden,
Und in der ganzen Umarmung eines weißen ruhigen Himmels
Dies ist meine Erinnerung; ich könnte nicht sagen, oh Entfernter,
Ob Dein Antlitz Ausdruck einer freien harmlosen Seele ist,
Oder bist Du etwa ein Umherirrender, den das Schlechte der Welt entkräftet
Und der sein Leiden wie einen Talisman mit sich trägt
Aber dies kann ich Dir sagen, daß die Vorstellung Deines Bildes
Den aufkommenden Zorn mit einer Welle der Ruhe überschwemmt
Und daß Deine Erscheinung in meine graue Erinnerung eindringt
Offenherzig wie eine junge Palme…
I recall your smile, and it is for me a lucid water
Discovered by chance between the pebbles,
a meager mirror in which to watch a reflection of the ivy,
and with it all I embrace a quiet white sky.
Such is my memory; I would not know how to describe,
or distant from your face as it expresses the free, innocent spirit,
Or are you a wanderer who challenges the evil of the world
and who carriers his suffering with himself like a talisman.
But this I can say to you,that the memory of your image
engulfs the animosity in a big, calm wave,
and which your image brings to my vivid memory
Openhearted like the tip of a young palm…
(translation to German by Beate Hoerr, to English by Chris Dolezalek)
Qu¡tame el pan, si quieres,
quítame el aire, pero
no me quites tu risa.
No me quites la rosa,
la lanza que desgranas,
el agua que de pronto
estalla en tu alegría,
la repentina ola
De planta que te nace.
Mi lucha es dura y vuelvo
Con los ojos cansados
A veces de haber visto
la tierra que no cambia,
pero al entrar tu risa
Sube al cielo buscándome
y abre para mí todos
Las puertas de la vida.
Amor mío, en la hora
más oscura desgrana
tu risa, y si de pronto
ves que mi sangre mancha
Las piedras de la calle,
ríe, porque tu risa
será para mis manos como una espada fresca.
Ríete de la noche,
del día, de la luna (…)
Niégame el pan, el aire,
la luz, la primavera,
Pero tu risa nunca
porque me moriría.
Take away my bread if you will,
take the air that I breath,
but leave me your laughter.
Deprive me not of the rose,
the stream which exudes,
this water that quickly
shoots forth your happiness,
the sudden wave
in which you were born to this earth.
My struggle is tough and often
I return home with weary eyes
for I have seen the world
which does not change,
yet no sooner do I enter,
than your laughter rises to heaven
seeks me out and opens for me
all the doors of life.
My love, yet in the
let your laughter spring forth and see
suddenly my blood as a puddle
on the stones in the road,
laugh then, for your laughter
will lie in my hands as a shining sword.
Laugh about the night,
about the day, the moon (…)
take away my bread if you will,
the air, the light, the springtime,
but never your laughter
for otherwise I would die.
Nimm mir das Brot weg, wenn du
es willst, nimm mir die Luft weg
aber laß mir dein Lachen.
Laß mir die Rosenblüte
den Strahl, den Du versprühst
dieses Wasser, das plötzlich
aufschießt in deiner Freude
die jähe Woge aus Grün,
in der du zur Welt kommst.
Mein Kampf ist hart und manchmal
komme ich heim mit müden Augen
weil ich die Welt gesehen habe,
die sich nicht ändert
doch kaum trete ich ein,
steigt dein Lachen zum Himmel
sucht nach mir und öffnet mir
alle Türen des Lebens.
Meine Liebe, auch in der
dunkelsten Stunde laß dein
Lachen aufsprühn, und siehst du
plötzlich mein Blut als Pfütze
auf den Steinen der Straße
So lache, denn dein Lachen
wird meinen Händen wie ein frisch glänzendes Schwert sein.
Lache über die Nacht,
über den Tag, den Mond (…)
nimm mir das Brot, die Luft,
das Licht, den Frühling
aber niemals dein Lachen
denn sonst würde ich sterben.
Below is the text of some of the poems embedded in images above.
Dawn of Meditation
Black or White, Night or Day,
Good or Evil, So they say
Look deeper, by the way
You’ll discover, shades of gray
So much wiser you shall be
Than the others who can not see
Eyes now opened, more you’ll find
Nonetheless, you’re still quite blind
Life may seem a little duller
Until you learn that there’s color
Take that step so luminescent
Still you’ll be an adolescent
Close your lids to open your eyes
There’s more to see beneath these skies
See without looking, Eat without
Taste without eating, Welcome the greeting
Hear without listening, Snow gently glistening
Smell without breathing, Live without wreathing
Feel without touching, Loosen your clutching
Know without asking, In sun be basking
Learn well each sense, Get past its fence
Shut out four, use but one
Stop all five, you’ve begun
Far you’ve traveled, Much unraveled
Time has passed, Great your winning
Now at last, You’re beginning
Funeral for a Friend
You come to bid a friend farewell
Heavy-soled shoes echo on cold stones in a crowded yet empty hallway
Muffled voices whisper between heads hung low
A eulogy drifts by
Thoughts meander off into the distance
Familiar faces from the past distraught with anguish
A sphere void of color
Focus drawn to flowers adorning the vessel housing an empty shell
Tears roll down your face
Salt entering the corners of your mouth
Hunger churns the stomach though it lacks not sustenance
Swallowing slowly, repeatedly keeping down a bitter taste
Arms quiver, legs twitch
A burden lifts recognizing a suffering has ceased
Sorrow swells up inside
Grasping it is your own loss you grieve
Faint smell of roses virtually unnoticed
Cold damp air fills lungs
Inhaling through clenched teeth that chill as it flows past
Briefly, the moment held within your chest
A sigh ebbs out slowly, quietly through your nose
Questions of past interactions flash by
Feelings of having been robbed brought on by memories of happy times
A baby’s cry triggers the subconscious realization that life goes onTurning to leave behind your friend,
You discover his spirit, not gone, but alive within you
The Beauty of Yearning, Hunger, Darkness, …
Yearning and longing are what gives birth to true desire.
Hunger brings much greater vivacity than being satiated.
Darkness before the first hint of dawn brings anticipation.
Silence causes the ears to listen more astutely.
Lack of a scent causes the hound to seek more earnestly.
Free floating divers’ hands feel a greater temptation to touch.
Distance awakens a longing to move.
Not knowing is fertile ground for a curiosity and learning.
Bland food creates a craving for spices.
Wishes and wants give birth to hope.
Aspiration is what leads to growth.
Abstinence generates a craving for passion.
Anticipation makes us giddy.
Fear pumps up adrenaline.
Near death experiences make us feel very much alive.
Mystery makes us eager for discovery.
Dreary gray tones produce a wish for color.
The aching back welcomes a massage more than a relaxed one.
The illusive prey brings out true hunter instinct.
Staying at home rouses the desire to travel.
Being abroad can see one pining for home.
Closeness can generate a need for space.
Space can bring people together.
Monotony can become the mother of restlessness.
Constant change increases the appeal of stability.
Routine spawns invention.
Treasure not only light, but darkness
for it too holds rewards for those open to receive.
River of Life
Sometimes things just precipitate and we can choose to go with the flow or fight it.
The river of life is one of many currents, merging and branching side streams, churning eddies, tranquil wide portions, white-water sections …
What seems like a gentle brook can quickly become a raging stream though an unexpected deluge.
Sometimes we simply get ripped along and paddling is useless and other times when the water is stiller we can choose to go with the flow, try to swim upstream, or simply redirect our course slightly to take one branch or another.
From time to time, we imagine having an inkling of what lies downstream; other times we know not what to expect on the other side of torrent falls ahead.
Often when we feel we’re being helplessly swept along, we suddenly come upon a stiller section where the river widens.
Almost as though in a lake, we find it hard to detect the current and are no longer clear of our direction.
We may choose to languish and rest for a spell before feeling the need to pick a destination.
Once in a while, we decide to dive under in an attempt to escape from the rest of the world, but our desire to live and breath eventually brings us back to the surface.
Now and then the current brings other things into our lives and sometimes it carries them away; some of those things we may latch onto to be carried with them wherever they go, afraid we might sink or drown if we let go.
Occasionally we find the strength to consciously let loose and paddle under our own strength again.
Other times the rushing water is too strong and what seemed like a life preserver is ripped from us; shocked at first we are amazed to discover we can still swim on our own…
Now and then, we choose to seek refuge on shore and let life’s river flow past us while our life comes to a halt.
At times, unexpected tributaries provide us with a source of fresh water.
Even our river’s ultimate destination, a sea of collected souls and consciousnesses, has its surging breakers, ebbs, tides, gentle waves, and raging surf.
The Buddhists say we should seek the floating lotus blossom in the sea of flames;
I believe we need not seek far for that blossom lies within us.
Echoing across barren white plains
Fallen flakes consume each whispering breath
Once impervious gray coat,
Fending off the clear night’s chill in vain
White puffs exhaled dissipate then vanish
Tranquility briefly penetrated by a distant howl
Mournful wail touching an empty, yearning soul
Depleted stomach hungers for sustenance
No longer running with the pack
Steel gaze of forsaken eyes seeks movement on horizon
Head tilts back toward a far off amber moon
Eyes close shutting out another empty night
Lamenting howl escapes slowly,
Forlorn cry from deep within
Head lowers in resignation,
Only ears alert hoping for some response
We are the water
I came up with the “We are the water” metaphor for the magical group of Whisperers I met in the CTI Fulfillment Coaching Course of 8/21/18 in Washington D.C. one of the exercises we danced with was to come up with metaphors.
We are the water…
- Whose depth can not be seen from the surface
- That fills your well that had gone dry
- That falls from the heaven to wash the mud from your leaves
- That flows to fill the low lying areas
- That seeps into the ground to nourish your roots that feed your growth and allow you to bloom
- That will always return to being a calm sea after any storm
- That flows down from the mountain and flows to the sea through countless turns and bends, being joined by kindred streams that together become ever more powerful
- That turns the wheel to brine the brain to make the bread that nourishes your soul
- That comes down the falls to generate the white noise that allows you to sleep in peace
- That fills the hot-tub that allows you to relax
- That supplies the shower that cleanses you
- That quenches your every thirst
- The sound of whose crashing waves touch your soul as you stand barefoot in the sand listening and watching
- That gives you buoyancy so that you may not drown
- That forms the ice that allows you to walk on water
- That fills your cup until it runneth over
- That brings the joy to your children with every splash in the pool and puddle to jump in
- That, when heated, extracts the spices of life that are the foundation of the masala chai that allows to taste the spice of life
- That carries the ship that brings you to new exotic places
- That powers the damn that generates your electricity
- That puts out the fire that could’ve burned down the place you call home
We are your water whose depth cannot be seen from the surface
We are the fire
- That pushes the darkness away
- That awakens your burning desires
- That keeps away the beasts
- That burns away your masks and fears so you may be authentic
- That brings light to the shadows
- Whose spark that ignites your flames
- Whose flames warms your soul
- Whose flames radiate life from the sun towards earth
- Whose embers continue to glow in your hearts
We are your fire
We are the earth
- That is your mother
- That provides the foundation to stand upon as you become grounded
- That is the sands in the hour glass turned upside down to give you more time
- That holds your roots such that you might be stable as you sway in the wind
- We hold the nutrients and water that nourish your roots
We are your earth
We are the air
- That you breath
- That is the wind of change
- That blows away the dust and fog
- That feeds the fire in your soul
- That is vital for you to live
- That carries the whispers to your ears
- That lifts your wings so you can fly
- That fills your sails to carry you forth
- That fills your lungs with invigorating sea air that also carries the sound of the breaking waves that together soften your soul as you feel the shifting yet grounding sand beneath your feet
- That brings you nuances through subtle scents that awaken memories and fantasies
That relieves your tension as you exhale
We are your air