Blogging from Asheville, NC circa Feb. 2003, when we were dorks.

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Even in absurdity, sacrament.
Even in hardship, holiness.
Even in doubt,
faith.
Even in chaos,
realization.
Even in paradox,
blessedness.

jay's books:

Digging the Immaterial Rainbow Over Crossroads One for the Nameless

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Sun 17 Aug 14

Missouri Goddamn

fire in their hands
it's all they have left
everything else is torn down
in the muggy night, Missouri goddamn.

they killed a boy
snuff out the unruly
and when they take to streets
tears and pain and anger, Missouri goddamn.

shots fired, West Florissant
gas out the underclass as they pray
radio chatter, the armor takes the city
drones, sirens, a bloody memorial, Missouri goddamn.

when is African blood less
then wholesome American white bread?
call this a melting pot, I call it a smelter,
you cannot break the back of the uprisen, Missouri goddamn.

drones, you surveil with tones like baritones
an unholy choir that sings to gunfire and broken children
no family to which I belong will abide to your pummeling of innocence
men and women and children down, urgent response needed, proceed to Missouri goddamn.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 23.46 Sun, 17 Aug '14

Wed 09 Jul 14

Thinks from a walkabout

A little meditation from my walk today at Hominy Creek Greenway:

"We travel vast distances to 'visit nature.' As beings of nature we seldom visit ourselves, which requires not even a quiver of movement. Yet should we embark to visit the self- the natural self- there lies before us a map of the entire Universe, right where you are, now. What we come through we contain. Even if we are utterly immersed in the inorganic, there is no power so great as Nature which keeps us in Its order. In our tenderest of oscillations or awkwardest of bumblings, we are an orderly outgrowth of a seemingly chaotic Universal garden. And, we are young yet- still tart wild fruit on a vine just beginning to be guided upward by the sun. That's us, as a species. As for you and me... well, all there is to do from here on out is laugh about that."

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 20.00 Wed, 09 Jul '14

Sat 28 Jun 14

Never Alone in the Night

This song/poem came to me this morning in and out of dreams, and I've reconstructed the words more from the feeling of it, but the rhythm of the song is as clear as can be. Perhaps, with the recent passing of two brave warriors this week, this song is an expression of release. Here goes:

If the road is a' calling your name my friend
If the road is a' calling your name
I give you all the luck I have
All I've ever earned.
The road will take some fortune my friend
Now it's yours to burn.

When the sea is a' singing your song my dear
When the sea is a' singing your song
I give to you the boat I row
Small and worthy is she.
Tempest waves toss great ships my dear
It's the pilot not the sea.

As the wind is a' lifting your wings my love
As the wind is a' lifting your wings
I give a message for you to keep
A secret 'tween you and I
Soar above this tired ol' world my love
Remember us to the sky.

And the stars are a' chanting you home my one
And the stars are a' chanting you home
I give to you what you gave to me
A day so free and bright
You're forever a constellation my one
We're never alone in the night
We're never alone in the night
We're never alone in the night
Always one in the light.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 17.53 Sat, 28 Jun '14

Fri 13 Jun 14

Do not blame the moon

Nothing is right in the world, nothing wrong in it either-
there’s your hunger, there’s that fire, there’s his brutality,
the savage dance of give and take goes on all night, some will kiss
some leave scorned but do not blame the moon for all the happens under
this is music, and your bowed head in the crooked shadows is the down tempo-
you do not always exhale, you are not always awake, your pain is the balances, baby.

Ain't no such thing as luck, ain't never been, life is that thing.
Black cat cross you, bend down to those golden eyes so vast, so Bast,
each blink a blessing with her soft homeless tussle of after-hours hair, her song
for that moment brings you into being, shadow to shadow, and you both lived, and
loved for that touch no matter your fates- should you be revered a venerated elder or die,
nameless blood on streets, do not blame the stars for constellations fixing your bisecting path.

You worn to the bone and everybody can see it, you plow endless-
yet in derangement on you go, in fields of the impossible you seed fever dreams
your harvest is strange but good, so you don’t stop and no we don’t want you to, yet-
fallow goes the acres of broken farmers, choiceless but to dream and the demand is high.
So do not blame the sun for your crop and thus your work, for you threw the first seed and ate
the first fruit, cry to the sky for purpose and it will answer “to grow;” let rain mingle with your dire tears.

Come here, under my arms.
Fall into your long-lost soul
like a song finds a receiver
on an old crackling radio.
Look up, and out, and well
past the sky- do not blame
the moon, the stars, the
sun for your creaking bones.
Just as wood in the hull
of a boat you made to sail
baby, do not blame them-
be lit, and navigate by them.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 23.59 Fri, 13 Jun '14

Thu 29 May 14

Midnight for Maya

The gifts any midnight can bring, should you dare to wait for it in the still minutes prior
are so small, smaller than words, eyes only see stars as pinpricks, fireflies as living meteors,
and the hours on the clock are only ink traversed by overtime hands, wrought in metal, far off.

These are peculiar gifts- alone with the tangle of your thoughts, in the gutter of lust, at the height of luck.
No night bears same witness to the day we wore before, though the paths worn across the floors of dreams may
weave akin to other stories, nothing bisects likewise ever- these are hooks whereupon significant hats are ever hung.

The darkness and lightness are themselves choices elected in mood, in song, in recollection or forget;
reflections are unforgiving, no day-glow softens the canyons of your yearnings won and lost.
Stark the contrasts we face- that’s why we gather, to laugh away the ridgelines of the soul.

And there are crucibles, train-tracks, ill-defined shadows that yearn so to shake us past the hours, into elsewhere.
The un-uttered thought, the skeleton’s knuckles tracing the closet door, all too seek the dark to emerge
as a night-blooming flower hides perfect imperfection under starlight and dew, an entirety seeks out.

Midnight is a time to reckon with your name, your song, your signature across the brief arc
of a sphere that bears us through the implausible cosmic- when the clock strikes,
you are both little and huge, a mite and a monster, and in-between that name.

Think of all the crooners intoning this time, not imagining you, but there you are-
hearing it, contained within a love story, or woe, but nonetheless unforgotten.
Midnight has come- what maps you through these thin hours? If anything, yourself.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 01.21 Thu, 29 May '14

Mon 14 Apr 14

Time, getting "a way" from me

Time is a warped, wicked, and wanton wastrel. I feel that I was only just in Palmer Lake, Colorado celebrating the life of my cousin Joslin Nagle, then only moments before that I was in Belize in 2013, and Asia 2012. Spring seems to have a strange momentum to it as far as getting out- of your physical locale anyway. Getting out of one's head, preconceived notions, well-worn maps need not be seasonally conditioned, however- these are journeys that are ticketed by the moment... all for which I'm grateful, even upon the most perilous of terrains. These travels remind me I have the unique and cosmically rare experience of existing, and that I have a duty to persist for all those dear to me that have not danced the calendar as far as I have. In persisting, do so with their highest dreams in my rucksack. It really is the least any of us can do to pay tribute to those we love, and to time- tricking us into not noticing it's made off with our watch.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 01.10 Mon, 14 Apr '14

Mon 03 Mar 14

Finding shards of humor from a broken (into) home

Finding shards of humor from a broken (into) home:

* I am shocked (SHOCKED!) that the thieves didn't trifle with by bitcoin-infused conditioner and nano-diamond toothpaste!
* Cats find that massive displaced piles of clothes & bed linens on floor are great for sleeping and are campaigning for their permanency. Denied, as they didn't even throw a single cat ninja star during the invasion.
* There's no section in Martha Stewart Living for "Unburgling Your Home: The New Spring Cleaning."
* It looks like I picked the wrong week to quit using Kafka-esque Facebook backgrounds!



1622830_10151990507698730_495995720_n.jpg 1964866_10151990507663730_1063806577_n.jpg

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 11.07 Mon, 03 Mar '14

Sun 02 Feb 14

11 years, and still puttering along

Some say the blog is dead. Perhaps the medium has been corralled to the few, the looney, those who don't ascribe to the constant updates, character limits, or convert their sites to glaring click-bait-y advert brothels. BOTM as an 11 year old, is still a precocious brat that will follow only the edicts of the spontaneous impulse to go out and play. You may see the kid here and there, but the kid will do his own thing in his own time. Says the 41 year old man.

Who knows what will transpire in the next year, and what kind of year end summing up will be going on... how many or few posts. Yet this has been a stalwart presence through thick, thin, and thinning out. As one of the original Asheville bloggers, I feel in several turns, the site has fulfilled its need. But there's no need to close up shop. I don't count how many or how few stop by. I just put up the occasional New Thing, and come what may of it. I hope it does something good. At the very least, this serves as a repository of what I truly wanted to make public; FB and Twitter be damned.

That's that. Tomorrow I fast for a week. I wonder how my brain will adapt to no food on the job- one where articulation is key. I've no idea. But I'll know next week, and perhaps find a way to say something about it that makes its way here. Regardless- thank you, who ever you are (the future???) for sticking with me and this home on the range.

Oh the places we've gone.

original (2).gif

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 00.34 Sun, 02 Feb '14

Mon 13 Jan 14

Feral

My eyes were given to me by Africa
Sharpened on the darkening violet horizon
Training my spine to align with a galaxy-lit night
Springing into the brush a savage, emerging a gilded royal.
My claws were given to me by Asia
Where the fecund scream of the jungle
Carried me to the canopy, then the mountaintop,
And the people took my exhalations as a herald; I was roaring “This life!”
My fur was given to me by Europe
That my every laying-place was warm enough
None but my kind have the senses to know our movements
Harder the task to find us in the rough, while we wrote ourselves in your epics.
My soul was given to me in America
Where my million-year story I called deeply upon
To survive your cold un-giving streets, dodging your anxious lives,
To find shelter in a place where other wanderers have gathered- together, we outsiders.
My name was given to me by you
Your every outstretched hand, your every kindness,
Affirmed my path as clearly as the gleaming backbone of stars-
I lived long enough to have been given a name; now you can call me loved,
Now you can call me wilderness.

(for Annabelle)

Support resources for Feral Cat programs

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 20.27 Mon, 13 Jan '14

Mon 16 Dec 13

Unanswerable (for now)

Here's this edge
the desk, the hour, the night,
we all have those limits from which we
dare not extend, yet the curiosity pulls us forward-
should I have shut up?
Folded the mind's map?
I seem to be a tunnel that collapses,
on occasion, upon itself, and I claw out to
breathe the rushing air of the great sustaining mystery-
When? Where do I plunge off the edge?
where upon my own two feet upon I do
land, and through wordless,
I dare stand- heart, ink, sleeve and all?

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 00.46 Mon, 16 Dec '13

Thu 05 Dec 13

Viva Madiba

As a child, when MTV and worldwide broadcasts were still exciting and new, I caught an advert for Paul Simon performing live in Zimbabwe as a giant unifying musical collaboration against Apartheid. Being the weird nerd kid I was, I knew of Apartheid, and of Mandela, and of Stephen Biko, and I felt a strong connection to these issues without knowing why. Would it be the little Apartheid I'd face later in my life? Was it a connection to a continent that I knew- in my blood- that I shared a deep biological connection with... a spiritual nameless cord my youth perceived and chased but knew not what after? I watched the concert in its golden lit distant light, sweat pouring from every upturned face, and clenched fists demanded freedom for Madiba, a single person that was the perhaps the first in history to change global dialogue and policy through the medium of communication through the masses. His unlikely path from Robin Island to President in the course of a few years proved to this young mind that global movements *by, for and of the disenfranchised* not only can happen, but with the growing ability to talk around the world that they will happen. Mandela, my first true childhood hero, remains a global pioneer and a name for the ages. In researching my ancestry I've discovered that I have a shard of African matrilineage. If one man can create an overwhelming transformative power that can offer hope to the Motherland, then each one of our voices can ring around the planet and petition for the highest ideals of freedom, justice, and peace. Madiba, in my inner world you help free me of my own oppression. My gratitude to you is as endless as your legacy is long upon this good Earth. AMANZA!

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 22.05 Thu, 05 Dec '13

Tue 22 Oct 13

I hope you find

Just heard that song again
the one you thought was pretentious
but we were all pretentious then, trying to
figure out who and what we were, these
oscillating quanta of love, distrust,
moored to the past, insistent little boats.

We're decades older now, and I never knew you then.
Do I know you now? Did I ever? A cipher from
the "out west" I took a Greyhound to find,
looking under the massive pillars of
cooled lava, billions years, what
did I expect to uncover?

"Wish I knew what you were looking for...
Might've known what you would find."*

There's this bridge, perfectly safe to cross
yet a single budge and we're a'teeter over the abyss.
Can't have that. Right?

It's not you, it's me, and if we're to believe
the atoms it's all just me; all else is a maybe and
ain't that just the way it goes?

"Under the Milky Way tonight..."*

I threw some words into the fire the other week
when in fact those words doubled as me in the
cathartic flame and crucible of the Alchemist,
beating away at the Secret in the dark.

Just as I am now.

Still don't know what I'm looking for.
But I hope you find.

*(c) 1988 Kilbey & Jansson "Under the Milky Way Tonight" by The Church


filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 01.53 Tue, 22 Oct '13

Fri 04 Oct 13

Working for it

If it weren't for bending over backwards
I couldn't see the stars resplendent over me.

If it weren't for working myself to the bone
I’d never know what binds me together.

If it weren't for wearing holes in the sole of my shoes
I wouldn't feel the heat of the road in walking with you.

If it weren't for always burning the midnight oil
I wouldn't be dreaming on the cliffs of time, fire rushing.

And if it weren't for the busy work of bees
I’d long ago stopped looking for the honey that sweetens the deal.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 11.57 Fri, 04 Oct '13

Tue 24 Sep 13

Quantities of When

If only I knew how to schedule forever
Everything goes as far as next year
If only we knew who wrote the other in
Wouldn’t we both like to hear?
You took a few days and made an infinity
I count the minutes until I can lose them again
Searching the pavement to see what time fell from your pocket
Tracing circles over squares, collecting quantities of when.
Even the finest cogs will wear and gears will someday hesitate.
Seconds will be lost- trite at first- yet lifetimes, when watching long enough
I’ll clutch a timepiece even when it’s long since lost the hour
It’s in that voided time where seconds tick again; appointment kept, we vanish in a puff.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 02.23 Tue, 24 Sep '13

Wed 18 Sep 13

Rhymes with a slight twang

A clock is made for ticking
Heart wrought for beating
Deep, my body makes for breathing
And it’s your love that’s only made for waiting.
There are a billion songs that cry for touch
I’ve tried not to sing yours too much
And yet how many nights have stars drifted by that I longed to clutch?
When it’s been your light that I crave such.
We know life’s too short to nervously kick the dirt
As history scrawls on by we pretend not to hurt
And there’s little more left than the fading fabric of your shirt
Midnight chimes by- I’m gladdened by those days we did exert-
-against the impossible
-toward the improbable
-for the sake of love
-at the risk of ever loving again.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 02.18 Wed, 18 Sep '13

Sun 08 Sep 13

Lifting your eyelids

The day begins with that split second of light
seen through eyelids yet unopened- awake long enough to the blur of
billion year protons passing through the most holy of veils, the membrane dividing
the inner experience of self from the outward appearance of body, of day time, of time.
Fumbling for glasses, light is unfocused yet light still,
no diminishing by my lack of meaning for it- being-ness also, and love,
take any focal point that holds the world together that may bend and twist in clarity-
no matter how mumbled the definition there is an intactness to these forms outlasting skew, smudge.
First steps, first thoughtless inhales, thousands time s repeated
but the Universe was reinvented while you were dreaming, you’d shed atoms,
taken on new ones that have for eternity been recombining, just as for years you juggle philosophies-
what more magic is there than waking up, and what more proof do you need that you are finally getting close?
The question will always be too big for words.
Yet the answer will always be yes.
Time to get up. See the light
through your eye’s skin.
Now, arise.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 22.44 Sun, 08 Sep '13

Mon 19 Aug 13

Two balloons in traffic

Wheeling to the hospital tower for today’s hopeful attendance to my mother
Under a sky not intent to please anyone
I saw two balloons caught up in the traffic
One black one white
Tossed about by the passing cars, bouncing off hoods, helpless to climate and architecture;
In the short time I saw this dance of escaped joys, neither burst,
And the road surged us all forth to turn lanes, crossroads, dead ends.
Yin and yang, id and ego, a tango of duality here enacted by decorations eloped from the party.
The world, so big and ruthless around these bumbling carefree creatures,
Reduce their polarities to the trivial as all manner of time and brutal machine bite at their thin skins.
In that hospital room, how I wish we could just float like that- careen into an ever-expanding lightness-
Not beholden to the tubes whose ties bind to beeps that measure the degrees of life we have left.
The atoms that are me and she are suspended in an ether that we don’t yet understand
And to an extent, we are bumbling along as nebulous energetic clouds held together by a Holy Who-Knows-What
With names and histories and diagnoses scribbled in the chart that holds us in one place.
Maybe as free as we get are those two balloons darting 'tween the traffic on a duty filled Sunday
Shouting for joy as yet another piercing blow is avoided, savoring the sweet space between threats.
“I can't see it,” she said, “but I know it's beautiful.”
Too tired to find the glasses.
As oxygen flows and the morphine is released, she knows-
And the blur of the window is enough.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 00.15 Mon, 19 Aug '13

Wed 07 Aug 13

Never Dance The Same Way Twice

Wondering tonight what birth must be like-
Is it a thing where suddenly light erupts,
And the great precipice of life suddenly lies before us,
Resplendent in all its nebulous impossible colors
And there’s no choice to fall screaming into the prismatic whirl
Of what will be- one day- a legacy carved in a stone?
Time seems little more than a breeze-bent twig,
And you, a leaf, budding, greening, expanding, going ruddy,
And with the incantations of retreating migrants spinning madly to the Earth.
On a molecular stage, all the cast come out to bow to the applause of enrapt gazers
The final act completed-
Reunion, you spill into yourself only to careen into light again after bearing the dark times.
We’ve danced together so many times, and I still clumsily step on your feet,
We giggle at our follies in this starlight,
When once an umbilical cord was our sole hope and understanding.
What thread shall we now weave, of what fiber?
Our lives depend on some deep nourishment that- like our placental origins- lurks nearby but amorphous.
O sages, O glories, thank you for the momentary animation of all this collision of inexplicable awe.
Though I and thou and all I love is mere dust, we’re caught in a whirlwind of singular happenstance,
And for however long this crazy weather bounces along,
So passionately I savor this spin in your improbable circles.
Birth all in this wild party over and over again
In such cunning ways that we’ll never
Dance the same way twice.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 00.58 Wed, 07 Aug '13

Fri 02 Aug 13

Wordy catch up

I'm rather behind on posting various endeavors I've endeav'd on. So to amend this, below you'll find a lil' something I wrote for our newsletter of why unfamiliarity is a good thing. Sunday-ish I'll post A/V from my service at Jubilee on 7/21, and on Mountain Moral Monday, I'm all soapbox-y about the sad state of our State.

Stay Tuned!
XO
jaybird

Nothing More "Via Positiva" Than An Unfamiliar Road

In our neck of the woods, we face a sign-post: "Unfamiliar Road." Seemingly our quarter's has baffled the inner-GPSs of even the most dyed in the hemp Jubilant- yet this is a good sign! Unfamiliar roads may conjure some anxiety; prospects of getting lost are generally not seen as Oh Yeah! moments. Unknown terrain gallivanting is a hardwired uh-oh going way back to our early mammalian days; straying far from the pack was dangerous. Eventually we became migratory. Our ancestors trod new paths across the Earth, facing hazards far sketchier than modern-day "what if?" metaphysical quandaries.

Looking past the sign-post we've got to ask, "why are we spooked by the unknown?" If we're staring down "Everyday Lane," we'd know what we'd see, anticipating bends in the road, recalling landmarks and scenery. We may even desensitize to moments of passing beauty because it has become routine, part of an ordinary tableau to which we've built up an "observation tolerance." The other choice at hand, the Unfamiliar Road, presents newness at least, and good chances for abundant mysteries. Taking paths hitherto unknown map neurons together in entirely new ways. Facing the mystery is the beginning of knowledge.

This thing called "knowledge" can be divvied up into fourths, such as: 1) Things You Know You Know; 2) Things You Don't Know You Know (i.e. what you've utterly forgotten but your subconscious still hangs on to); 3) Things You Know You Don't Know (i.e. how to build a hovercraft), and; 4) Things You Don't Know You Don't Know. We spend a lot of time in #1 because it's safe, mostly risk-free, and doesn't require much in the way of effort beyond the primitive mind's comfy zone. Knowledge of the #2 variety lurks in the shadows, but is informed by #1's experiences. The good stuff lies behind doors #3 and #4; that's the knowledge that awaits down the Unfamiliar Road.

There's no clue what's down this road- could be a bear, or a Boomtown. You won't know until you pass that sign-post and start walking, taking in the newness, nudging the brain from its ordinary naptime into attention and attunement to the environment you're propelling it into. Anxieties that holds us back from the road are old, and serve a purpose- to keep us safe. Yet that safety was never meant to be permanent. As that same migratory species, it's in our DNA to forge ahead- body, mind and soul. If it means taking a left instead of a right on the way home, or dipping your feet in the creek you pass everyday, there are an infinite number of ways to trek down the Unfamiliar Road, and love every Positiva minute of it.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 18.55 Fri, 02 Aug '13

Wed 10 Jul 13

we are vast

Nothing we do
Is ever small or immaterial.
No action is ever lost to the world.
Each breath, gesture and thought matters
In a lifetime as brief as an eye blink.
Everything you are reflects the
Incomprehensible immensity
Of everything you do.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 23.33 Wed, 10 Jul '13

Sun 17 Mar 13

The limbs of oak trees

One foot in the dark
Ankle just astride twilight
Knee is bent when sun is set
Thigh planted when golden is the sky.

Remember that movement is language
Each song, each utterance of yours a blazing work of calligraphy,
Even when the soul is hard- rock damn hard- it's made of vapors ungraspable as a river-
Such are the spins of the atom, the road broad and unwavering before you- doing anything can make you dizzy.

This plexus is solar, mid-afternoon, what fondness.
Chest heaves toward high noon, the heart a star,
Shoulders holding up the big blue to which
Arms reach to grab the cusp of morning.

You've said, countless times, that it's all so significant, that there's no feather that isn't really a wing,
You're Falling into oceans just by fascinating over raindrops, this has been your creed- stop here?
You sought symphonies in woe-begotten alleys- finding each fold of the map rapt by a music
Without a master- your awkward toes are good enough tapping along to this geography.

Elbows locked on bright aires, precede the day
Hands as clockwork affixed to the rising
Throat open to the chill of first breath
Lips fixed on pronouncing dreams.

Finally, comes the crescendo and there's fear and ecstasy in each instrument,
None outruns time, nor the notes, keys dictating the eventual orchestration bearing our name
And we will be among the greatest of all works, Silence, when at last the notes of our lives are distantly played
Truer music ne'er has been, the fates might matter less, when we dissipate galactic leaving the scurry of history to pulsing blood.

Eyes upward honed on those early hours
Where the brain, steeped yet in midnight, fishes for
Souls having been wrought in allegory, seeking something beyond the dream,
In that potentiating cusp where all that's yet to be meets the minutes of all that's been graced to have been.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 02.56 Sun, 17 Mar '13

Fri 15 Feb 13

Bolt from the blue



I'm still just in awe and wonder over the images and stories coming out of the Ural region about the meteorite strike. Imagine, under a generation ago, chances of having any images of this would be slim. Now that all of us can *be the media* it's an exciting- if sobering- era of being a world in instantaneous interconnection which is still a vulnerable marble pirouetting through a vast and impossible to predict Universe.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 16.00 Fri, 15 Feb '13

Sat 09 Feb 13

Covered in sky

Feathers and feathers

For about twenty minutes
Everyone around me is covered in sky
Yes you breathe in air but you are cloaked in a radiant realm
Your eyes are reflecting clouds high in the atmosphere
Made of ice- the largest of feathers now
A shroud you move through-
Never deny that you’ve
Ever seen an angel.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 20.31 Sat, 09 Feb '13

Sat 02 Feb 13

A decade online

Poking my head out- yes, it's safe. Phew.

Well, after a week of domain drama, we're back online, and just in time to celebrate 10 years of birdonthemoon.com, my longtime home in Binary Land which has been through many iterations. My posts are quite intermittent these days, and I'll go ahead and blame the microblogging vacuum of social media- but the blog of old and long form pedantry is not dead.

This was one of the original Asheville blogs, and at one point held it's own in the Blogerati. I'm proud of that, and while I bemoan periods of inactivity it's just part of the evolution of online presence, and where we find ourselves. Now, we hang our square pixel hats under the massive roofs of single domains, all clamoring to be heard- or not. If Facebook and Twitter were giant mega-malls, I'd be the crazy old man who feeds the goldfish in the fountain, mumbling whateverisms. Whoever likes it, likes it- and so it is. Back in the day, the blog was the front porch, and you came for the stories, or to flip through the family album, or to gawk at the neighbors. The "front porch" still has and needs a place in this ever changing city.

There's lots coming up, and lots of things I've forgotten to post- because, well, caught up in it all. So I'll dust some things off. I no longer feel that I have to be edgy and in the moment to have interesting content.

Besides, every story is a history, right? Except for those which haven't happened yet, that's what dreams are for.

Yours,
jaybird

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 22.20 Sat, 02 Feb '13

Fri 25 Jan 13

Whoa hey, ART

Below is a simple slideshow of my photography installation "Evidence of Dreamtime; Sojourns Through Far Flung Soul-Scapes," which has been on display all month in downtown Asheville. It's still going to be an online show until it lands its next wall space. Should you be so inclined, everything you see can be ordered from card size to 20x30, and anything can be customized up to 24x36. See this price guide and place an order here if ya like.



filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 23.13 Fri, 25 Jan '13

Sat 15 Dec 12

No explanation needed

*I mourn for the children, and I mourn too for a world that much more blighted in the ignorance of suffering, instead of committed to its transformation.
*I mourn for the parents, and I mourn too for a nation that incites hostility toward the ever threatening Other in order to build unity, instead of inciting insight.
*I mourn for the community, and I mourn too for building another memorial to tragedy, instead of creating a real work of collective triumph.
*The purpose of mourning is to get through it- we drop the black veil eventually, but we never forget why we wore it, and remember the names in everything we do. In mourning this, I must ask, what will we do to serve these names in our work to come? The answer will determine if we will be soon mourning again.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 10.26 Sat, 15 Dec '12

Sun 25 Nov 12

Shattered Into One

Along the stony beaches of the slow and broad Delaware River, with little effort, you will find fragments; smoothed glass of every color, bone long parted from its vessel, tide-worn bits of porcelain- glaze and intricate patterns still intact.

These broken things find a way to your pocket as curious keepsakes along the margins of the marsh and waves that lap the coast with a rhythm that is the world's oldest beat.

Nothing remains whole for long in the currents of such a river, any river.

Rivers are the true keepers of time, and assuredly prove that every iota of Creation submits to the passage- the journey- that the onward-ness of being here exacts in kind for our presence.

Along these banks, time is dense and far more tangible; you can hold it between your fingers, which themselves one day will be such driftwood, nameless matter.

To contemplate the origins of a shard of porcelain and the design in which it figured is less daunting then to consider yourself shattering slowly, with so many sunsets left to behold, so many beaches left to walk down in the glow of twilight.

As each second lapses, we break a little- how many minutes have passed this year when we were captive witnesses of collapse? In a lifetime, are the hours calculable that we gave to our own undoing?

Looking out from the river to the towns across, all is regenerated from what once was, the clouds, my visible breath choking back some old song; shards, bones, last exhales- all histories and futures.

Among the reeds and the flotsam tossed up from the Nor'easter, here is your solid ground- should nothing have ever been tested, broken and scattered, you would not know the experience of your feet on any firmament; life is a result of a beautiful struggle to unite our disparate parts, even as the currents come for them and reabsorb our syllables into the foam to which all recedes- and thus will emerge in some other improbable union.

As the sun and moon negotiate their positions and the chill wind enforces the season, the darkness has turned all underfoot from unique pieces of story to shapeless components of the path.

Your pocket jingles with your keepsakes; beach glass, porcelain, smoothed stones, knowing that like these you too will in time be dispersed in the deep.

Yet if you were the porcelain shard, you would know that you are a fragment yet whole unto yourself, on your way to rejoining an even larger whole; for now in the pocket of a stranger, along for the ride.

Aren't we all?

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 20.23 Sun, 25 Nov '12

Wed 21 Nov 12

The Purple Beetle's Dharma Talk


A comical story of how a purple beetle on its back in a northern Thai stupa taught me about everything being in its right place at the right time, the utter largesse of the Universe's invisible clockworks and the joy in discovering that we are more than just witnesses to this dance.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 12.39 Wed, 21 Nov '12

Fri 09 Nov 12

Silk

The dark; we begin by being pulled through, end by being pushed toward.
All between this goes a'shimmering whether you like it or not.
A single strand of silk begins in the dim inner workings of a
mere caterpillar that lives its transient life loving white mulberries.
A single thread, so fine, so slight, so implausible to hold between clumsy fingers
a cord of spun molecular stars, is this as delicate as a life?
How easily tangled this is, begotten from a being itself in transit,
the caterpillar cannot resist the burgeoning of the moth within, succumbing to a transformation
that one day will no longer busy itself in thread, nor even white mulberries.
Silk demands patience should it also be reworked from its natural state.
It is with great care that we clasp this single thread, lest we never know its beauty entwined.
In the interweaving and spindling that single thread is maintained
yet in braided a communion of thread-upon-thread, here becomes a brilliant strength.
Tell me now how the silk is as delicate as life. Or as resilient. Or as carefully wrought.
{Somewhere, in distant golden sunlight, the weaver contemplates well-worn prayer beads, themselves in orbit with thread.}
We were bound to a cord before birth, and as it was cut we were given light; another cord.
The beginning is a confusion, then it is with greater urgency that we join the fabric of being.
At times threadbare, we are beholden to the night yet still woven true; the pattern is just darker here...
The color of a day does not diminish the shine of our singular strand;
yet without that strand, the day's hue is that much diminished.
The weaver takes into consideration our fleeting wisps, completes our circuits on the loom,
these are the hands of guidance that will ensure our passage, to be all a'glimmering in the light.
To impossible fingers which have escaped time we entrust the sum of our being,
furthered into alignments of fiber and bone and homelands that will outshine constellations;
tracing the contours of engraved names,
we are a momentary sensation of recognition that all these letters have been our cloaks before,
and will be our shrouds again.
The weaver, roadside and not minding the dust kicked up by the legion of passing scooters,
carries on, her Betel nut stained teeth only make her smile greater in the distance.
She sings a song of ancestors as horns blare
and plastic odes imported from glittery shores seek to compete,
yet none can out-sing the gentle raspy consonants woven in the weaver's golden tongue.
Her eyes have seen kings deposed and tyrants elevated, only to find that, in the end,
there is always silk to be sorted, spun, dyed in the color of today, and given to you-
it's all in the rhythm she keeps, all in the skin's wrinkles that will soon be smoothed back into still waters
fertile for lotus blossoms.
Days end in darkness, and lights parade through the valleys of ancients and Manhattan alike;
we draw threads closer to us, that we may be warmed against the shadows, yet may we harken to
the weaver's song; though we begin in the dark, and end by being pushed through it,
all becomes eternal when we are wove deep with countless other souls who all spun out of the darkness
from the belly of a caterpillar, no less, and together, come to see the light of day-
to take our place at once in the tapestry from which the first stitch was even sewn,
guided by the intuition of the stars themselves... all a'shimmering.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 00.33 Fri, 09 Nov '12

Wed 12 Sep 12

Two reflections on Ramya

My dear friend and "Cosmic Mama" who moved on 12 Sept '11...

1) Ramya dear, it's been a day. I've been keeping watch around me, reflecting on how all of the threads that gather to form this particular stitch in time are ever influenced by your guidance, your laughter, and your perseverance to interject your presence in unlikely (but perfect!) gatherings of fate. This Ramya-ing, it's catching on, rippling long beyond the geography where the body dances, far beyond you. Yet that's the gig, to transcend "us," right? That's the biggest gift, the biggest gift. You are washing over the world, and we love it, and love you.

2) Felicia the cat is curled and goofy in my lap tonight. A year ago, she lived somewhere else, and a year ago today, at just the "right" moment, she hopped up into a bed, breaking a room out into laughter... but tears followed, then laughter again, and so it was, and is, moving through this dance of bereavement and simultaneous exultant gratitude for life. I am thankful for her slightly messy ways, her at times ungraceful jumps onto the lap; we are all careening through time, ambling for that place to "just be." And then some... to perhaps be warmed in the sunshine and call that exact moment "love." A year ago today, she ushered a dear one into eternity just by being herself. Right now, she again guides, just like Ramya, and into what permutation of eternity I cannot foresee, but I know all signs point to love. Deep peace, deep gratitude, deep joy! ♥

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 21.24 Wed, 12 Sep '12

Sun 26 Aug 12

Have your keys?

[note:first poem that's come forward in a coon's age, as they say around these parts]

I'll try my hand at this, he said, as the brim of his hat was steadied
and the colors of the sky, for that exact night, were articulated.
The life we live has to fit, you see, as the comfort of a good cap
but with the lack of assurance as a pair of dice in the pocket.
The night is a borderland for crossing otherwise chancy divides,
and it is the young and hearty that thrust into its perils only to be etched
by the briars that lie unseen along the forest paths to glory, the city streets to shadowed fortunes.
You who are emboldened by the freshness of days toil not against brutality of hours
and all that wisdom ultimately stacks awkwardly against the balance of time left,
it's an unheedable and unimaginable thing, but it's alright, I once surveyed broad midnight with an inviolable right
that the lotus of life would blossom unto me just by virtue of my being... does my name not punctuate it all?
The inverse, the realization of such, is the liberating elixir not yet ready to pass unweathered lips
and only by asserting your place, as a star constellate, to have its dimensions astounded by the
depth of your divine orbit, mysteriously ordained, will you grow into the bliss of not having to try.
Proclamations of truth give that momentary sense of having rocks clung upon in those storms of realization,
and even these are made of clung upon molecules, hoping for a chain of continuity against the brutes of infinitude.
Yell them out, careen through the night, brazenly declare yourself; you'll know this routine is a circle dance that
finds itself at the same corner of the room, the same verse, a repetitive whirlpool that you'll exultingly break from,
one sweet day.
For now, take the keys, check the mirror, and the angle of your hat; does it all check out?
Is that lightning in the distance, or just your unrestrained excitement at the potential of it all?
Who am I to stop you? If you fall, for all your assertion, who am I to catch you?
There is a checkpoint at the border of the night, where all- no matter the citizenship- all stand in the same line,
abide by the same hour, a momentary commonality bound by a circumstantial ticket.
We ride together a bloodline called love, eclipsing the momentary fancies of initiations completed,
let's check the time, adjust our hats, and even with the wobbly balance of wisdom we must bear upon our backs,
intuited paths are before us- may they forever intertwine, even as they diverge long into the night.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 02.10 Sun, 26 Aug '12

Wed 22 Aug 12

The most beautiful light of my life

The most beautiful light of my life

This was our first night at Mai Khao, the arrival to final chapter of the trip, and at last the chance to frolic with holy abandon in the sea. This exact moment of golden sunlight was/is/will be the most precious moment of experiencing light I'll ever have. If I were to lose my sight tomorrow, this will be my reference point of the wonder and glory or light, and of our star. I sobbed in happiness... my dinner was lost in front of me as I just absorbed myself in this blissful realization of my eternal relationship with a billion-years-old celestial body. A dog meandered about, Burmese immigrants wandered to the shoreline in appreciation of this daily Rite, and the satellite radio quietly added The Clash to the mix. If ever a Holy Moment rang so clearly in my life, this was it.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 22.38 Wed, 22 Aug '12

Sun 19 Aug 12

Status Report

Full doesn't begin to describe today... this week... this life. For all of its twists, loops, and sudden departures from the expected, life is best enjoyed in fullness even when the intensity is magnified to past the point of withstandable brilliance. To dullen the flow of this would be to negate the singular exclamation of existence. I accept the full, perchance foolishly, and bow to not just to empty the load but in reverence for the opportunity to carry it. What an honor to feel, to bend, to carry, and to unburden. May such fullness opportune a deeper grace yet unknown...

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 23.38 Sun, 19 Aug '12

Mon 13 Aug 12

Be on the lookout

Blog and entire website infrastructure is about to get a massive overhaul. Gotta keep up, y'know. I think this'll be pretty fancy-like.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 01.05 Mon, 13 Aug '12

Sat 21 Jul 12

New Episode! New Episode!



Free Radio Friendistan Episode 36, "Dragon got your tale?" (102:18) Tunes important to and lessons learned from the Trip Over and Inner Yonder, with a collaborative story written by cats. So,
I am an addict of meaning- the Asian voyage rendered my soul barnacled with amazing and transformative teachings handed down not from a guru but from diving into experience. If that's all it takes, why don't we all jump into the pool? By the way, any coincedences for you lately?

Full Tracklist Here!

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 23.34 Sat, 21 Jul '12

Sat 14 Jul 12

Podcast Returns!

Free Radio Friendistan Podcasts return this weekend! Watch for the first Episode 37 to go live Sunday night with the theme "Whassamatter? Dragon's got your tale?" Focus will be on tunes important to and lessons learned from the Trip Over and Inner Yonder, with a collaborative story written by cats. Not kidding, they've been hard at work on this thing. The fur on the keyboard as been especially ridiculous. Imagine what they do to the mouse. Stay tuned!

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 12.00 Sat, 14 Jul '12

Sun 08 Jul 12

Words from that old rapscallion sage...

‎"I was young once, and like the others victimized by the present moment- then I realized that Time is a process of refinement of wisdom, and not the enemy but the gentle friend. I took tea with Time, and while Time's meandering stories lost my attention in the moment, ultimately it was those narratives by which I set my watch and gladly surrendered myself to the world. What seemed to a young mind chastisement eventually evolved into a propulsion towards soulfulness that became a cascading joy in being with now in all its tribulations and ecstasies combined."

-Isadore Upinsky

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 02.53 Sun, 08 Jul '12

Mon 28 May 12

Dance of the Water Dragon

I'm home, and pics are going up... but that's just the most basic of evidence. Bigger things are moving, more exciting things are being created, and what I post below is an incomplete offering.

I can only explain processing the journey to date thusly: I'm at the point of understanding it just as if I took delivery of a massive carpet bought sight unseen on a windy midnight, and I've only begun to unroll the thing- all I have to see the detail is a single matchstick. I cannot fathom what this is I have yet to unravel...

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 21.45 Mon, 28 May '12

Wed 18 Apr 12

18 April 2012, 6:05, Charlotte NC

There is nothing more or less to say other than amazing journeys begin long before the first footsteps across the untrod path. To sojourn is no simple affair; one must identify something more profound then where. Why, more than how, what, more than when. I had oriented to these before Shambhala, long before now, ten minutes to take-off. Then, with the suddenness of a thunderclap, a longtime companion was taken in an act of such violence. Blood, in my home, shed from a noble soul who taught a radical kind of unconditional love through a face that caused a reflexive smile to dash across your with an innocent, goofy joy. A tongue forever stuck out at the world, a clown, a bafoon, a lover in all his mess and glory. This adventure is dedicated to that great spirit, a friend that shared a third of my life, no simple cat- this is for you, Avatar.

So I'm reeling from this extinguished flame, and meanwhile being propelled toward a more distant and long sought fire- a dancer in midair unsure of the next move from the heart or feet but knowing that such a move will and must come, and it will be fiery, and it will be in the name of love and knowledge.

Next stop: Kuala Lumpur, Malayia via Dubai, UAE

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 10.14 Wed, 18 Apr '12

Mon 16 Apr 12

Avatar 1998-2012


Avatar, Beloved Friend 1998-2012

Today, suddenly, tragically, Avatar was killed by a predatory animal that somehow got into our home. We still don't know the answers... I just know the love, the laughs, and the deep affinity we all have for Avatar. He will always, always, be the sweetest of souls to have crossed my path.

A short eulogy, in no way enough, but what I can muster for now:

"Passing by the window of a shelter in 1999, we saw this caged cat that caused us to do a double take. "That's not a cat," I said, "that's a Tibetan snow leopard!" Thus, Avatar came into our lives. Then he was called Prince, and Bodhi for a short while... but Avatar stuck. He was a stud at a cattery, and the owner had died, leaving the caged confused purebreds in limbo for some time. He came home. This resplendent creature with his operatic meow and eternally stuck-out-tongue became a rock of a friend in a life that had some unsteady years. He had quirks, surely, but Avatar's absolute love and joyfulness outweighed any possible pesterment. His greeting with outstretched yogic paws and emerald eyes would melt any rigidity, and that he touched the lives of so many uplifts me as I write this. Avatar will always remind me of a virtue that humans are rare to attain- unconditional regard. Tonight, the house has been smudged and I've sat puja with his body... while I'm still in shock at the violence of his passing, I'm in gratitude for what Avatar has given me and so many; from a cat whose tongue is forever thrust upon the world, comes a virtue that we are all called upon to practice. May such a being have fulfilled its noble purpose. Namaste, Avatar."

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 23.24 Mon, 16 Apr '12

Sun 15 Apr 12

Blaze

Performed 15 April 2012, Jubilee! Community, Asheville NC

Have you known the bitter taste of death?
Not of distant war cries, but right there, in your hand?
The frail, cold distant hold of memory parting from the dock where you
stand, faintly waving, hoping you have done right by that touch now parted but forever marked upon your own skin?
We mark such departures with candles, you know...
"I will not let you go until you bless me."

Have you been weighted by a night so stark and vacuous that stars will
not dare the clouds to part and reveal the truth of the limitless?
We know that, in spite of whatever wrenching sorrows, the stars will
long outlast the passing weather, and in throes of denial we long to away with the weight of now and arise the constellations within.

I remember as a child being fascinated by a disregarded tarnished
hand-me-down candle snuffer, sterling sliver, and that such craftsmanship had went into something devised to extinguish, not uplift, the light.
Handling this, was I to revere the extinguishing as much as the
illumination of hope, when true light was in scarce reserve?
Where is the instrument in the hand that creates shining, that from
some secret province of alchemy insists that light prevails?
You must not play with fire.
You must not play with fire.

Fire played with me- with us- have we not been immolated by time?
My innocence was torched in the brutal heat of youth, memories
made into coals too hot still by the morning to touch, the flame is passed to us, we are fascinated by it, and are initiated with a careless singeing- knowledge burns in the hand, yet it's so bright... somehow, the night's density is balanced by the strange inheritance of embers, we are forgiven of broken vows in a warm, huddled glow.

Take this, your ancestor's flickering name, and find in this heat a
luminous utterance that does more than a moment's worth of grace, but pushes a legion's worth of song in the name of what is right and good- we walk upon the spines of ghosts in all our travels, ought we be called to rise up singing for all their love?

Now that you also shall announce yourself in the language of flames, what will you do with the scorching power thus commended?

Your very consonants are as fiery plasma, transformative footfall
across the arc of the globe; what now will you do with these words, when once stifled, when once bereft of language at the deathbed of the Beloved?

It wasn't long ago that forest fires left blackened serpentine twisted
forms at the trailhead of your dreams, you smell the carbon,
you cup the ash that once contained all that was familiar, now at the moment of decision you let all blow to the wind, your charred heart, burned from love, the embers of your soul, combusted finally from all the folly, all the flammable truths ignited...
You must not play with fire.
You must not play with fire.

And on the in-breath, now rises the blaze, now comes the light, now
the road is lit with a thousand hopeful lanterns,
the soaring bird above you is the Phoenix, clutching in its talons
the parchment of your days, aflame, transcendent...
your history meteoric, arcing across the sky, as the ancients say:
"gone... gone, gone beyond, gone altogether beyond..."
Now tell me not to play with fire.

Tell the child who ponders darkness of that instrument from which
pours light, bearing the illumination of hope, no more distant than the air to lungs, than feet to ground, the child only must go forth, blazing trails through forbidden thickets.
Tell the mourners who march veiled in black past candles that they too
are counting time with improbable numbers, that the brilliance they bemoan is the very light that is shining insistently on them, if only they would look upward they would shine in incessant hope.
Come now, light this candle- illumine this emptiness with the blazing
of even one shaky, tentative matchstick- playing with fire is such temptation because brilliance is our birthright- blaze with fury for justice, that none shall be left cold- blaze toward that soul left on the midnight dock, that even death dare not feel alone, blaze trails across the arc of spirit, that your hand may never be left unheld
upon what you thought was a lonely, dark road.

"I will not let you go until you bless me."

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 22.05 Sun, 15 Apr '12

Wed 28 Mar 12

T minus 21

21 days from now, skidding to touchdown on a runway far away... so while right now I'm catching some monkey wrenches being tossed about, I'm also living in a time warp that has me already stretching my legs in relief on a tarmac, moving into the future, not held down by the past. Grateful. The time machine has already been invented: it's the mind y'all, and you can do anything with it.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 21.48 Wed, 28 Mar '12

Sun 18 Mar 12

12 Glass Birds, #4

Audio from the performance on 11 March, 2012:

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 00.01 Sun, 18 Mar '12

Tue 14 Feb 12

Rekindling

One of the greatest semantic lessons of the past decade has been to reframe the phrase "good luck" into "good skill." Luck is passive, skill is active. Thusly, there's some serious skill accrual going on in preparation for big leaps onto the tabula rasa of prismatic possibility.

This blog has had a bit of dormancy- expect that to get jolted out of its stasis in 2012 for some huge movement forward. I'm talking HUGE.

I love y'all, welcome to the 9th year of Bird on the Moon dot com.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 23.03 Tue, 14 Feb '12

Tue 14 Feb 12

New podcast!

Check out Free Radio Friendistan for Episode 32, "Intention and Direction."

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 20.16 Tue, 14 Feb '12

Wed 05 Oct 11

Poem for Ramya

This poem is dedicated to and written for Ramya, and was delivered at her memorial on 19 Sept. '11. I've kept it within a small circle, but feel now is the time for it to go free. So too, one day, shall we...

"OM Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha."

Life
is vast,
shimmering,
as the early morning
ocean, and we toe the foamy
margin, being both here and there,
taking fleeting steps between the worlds.
Humans do not tend towards easy transitions-
In our scurry, we grasp at shreds of time to forestall change
or yearn mournfully for an anticipated moment of sudden renewallittle
else is savored, or becomes amazing, and life in a Universe of eternal flux
is missed, as miles of passing time in well-worn pavement pass beneath our weary feet,
in the struggle of deadlines and lifelines - what delivers us to transition is the sudden realization of it,
(the crashing wave).
It is at the peak moments of our rare and ephemeral dance on Earth that the wisdom of transformation rains down love.
It's the communion of wizened eyes glancing the edges of life, handing out peace as its fearsome edge is dared.
There is great teaching in teetering upon that edge, peering down the chasm of mystery which begat
our names and comes to claim them- we call this death- yet it is little more than a consequence
of the cosmos embodied as you, Ramya, a singular wave upon an infinite ocean, you, passing
through us as a radiant meteoric messenger of something beyond language, saying
"It's all transition- it's all transformation- it's all flux- that's all there is."
The wisdom of transience need not be reserved for the province
of deep, abstract human talk. The wisdom of transience
comes in peach yogurt, an amazing, singular taste
that your tongue may have touched a thousand
times before, but this time, it's truly amazing.
The wisdom of transience comes in sudden
bursts of laughter and the play of cats
when we are expected to mourn.
It is in the whoosh of bright
colors, when all around
we walk lightly
on sorrowful
ashes.
In these
few moments
so much has already
changed among and around us.
In scales impossible to conceive,
the personal and the planetary move
in metamorphic rhythms, a clockwork drama
that will manifest in joy, in pain, in speechless awe
and in the deep great unknowing that we carry in our bundle
of expectations. There is a voice now distant yet distinct imploring
that we be unburdened by this bundle, spilling the contents and to move
unhindered down the spiraling criss-crossing paths of we temporal sojourners.
This voice is now clear in the sparrow's song, the canticles of wind through pine forests,
the chorus of autumnal crickets intoning the mantras of emerging stars, she is altogether beyond.
A body moves into time and out of it, and humans gather at appointed places on the hour to bear witness
to yet another waving of the eternal- yet we all wade in the same sea, playing in the shallows, fearful of the depths.
We are of the deep while we make our stand on the shoreline, and from there, the ocean beckons us again.
All of these words, these elegies, and this person, this man, held the hands of two dying women,
these mothers, this daughter, son, these waves crashing twenty three days apart, stunned
and breathless on the shore this man was bent over in questioning the movement of
time, and waves unabated by human grief continued, his own wave out there too.
Sand passing through fingers, names passing through the pages, this is how
we mark the tides of our lives. One of these countless names offered
another way, "Come," Ramya said, "let me show you something else,
something different from what you carry in your bundle of
expectations, something amazing." Now, we see the
joy of mangoes, steaming tea, the table of friends,
and know, that even as time transforms,
these are the means by which we
measure awe, wonder, and
the call of life. Every seed
sheds its husk, one day
returning to the soil
which yielded to
roots. We love,
this is how we
return. We
dive in,
and is
this
is
how
we live.

"OM Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha."

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 23.08 Wed, 05 Oct '11

Mon 22 Aug 11

Jules, a dear friend, forever


1958-2011

Jules, so many times I've wanted to talk to you over the past two days, forgetting for that split second that we can't talk in the same way anymore. I'm missing you terribly, I'm trying to keep my face toward the sun for you and for Dustin, and I'm calling upon all your unconditional support over the past 7 years as guidance through this. It's funny, because we seem so different outwardly, from different worlds, people have a lot of questions about how we became family. Love, I tell them, unconditional love... that's the easiest and most pure answer. You'll find it funny that a few folks have asked if we had a, um, "special" friendship! I laugh, of course it was special, but if folks knew the either of us they'd laugh too. Just because we co-parent and are so close doesn't have to mean something else! I think you'd probably say something like "oh, my stars!," and chuckle 'til we both fell out laughing. People these days, right?

I told you over the past two weeks that you're my rock- and always will be- as we've clung to each other through many storms we're still here for each other, still here for D. That's my comfort right now, my trust, that above all else we are still and always will be family. It's in that steadfastness that I'll move forward, even when the clouds obscure the sun and the sleet stings my eyes, there's no stopping the love that created our family. As D's Dad, as your friend forever, as someone who's learned so much from your heart, I will carry on by the confidence and love you placed in me, transformed me with. Yes, on the outside, we're not your average family; but in our hearts and souls there is no truer family than this... and I have you to thank. Keep in touch, I know you will. I love you!

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 12.42 Mon, 22 Aug '11

Sun 07 Aug 11

Untitled Poem: delivered 7 August 2011

The 13th of a 12 Poem Cycle, "12 Glass Birds," to be published as a picture book in December 2011. The audio track will be posted soon, and includes audience participation sounds (hands rubbing, to mimic wings flapping)which occurs at the beginning, middle, and end of the piece. Thank you all for your wonderful support!

***

The first flight a bird ever takes
begins with a dare- the edge, these fledgling wings
the secret prayer that instinct was right, that we will know the air
and move with the world without the threat of the rushing ground dashing time to nothing.

The breath you are privileged to take just now once began
with a single chance, a risk taken, and oh lord we hope there was love.
With the procession of days, tiny steps led to arduous moves, points spiraling out of maps,
and without fanfare your young, great achievements shifted to the ordinary, the expected, the waning of surprise.

The last song a bird sings will echo forever, take heed to the ultimate chords;
may these songs be heard and held as true even if they cannot transcend the mundane din.
What’s happening now is already past, yet no bird traces a path across the sky in vain, no useless orbits,
each awkward step forward a kind of glory, every wing-beat a testament, each guiding star a chanting of the infinite.

***

So, what dare will you make this day?
We spend years lingering on the other side of the glass, watching
the passing day and its bodies in motion dancing by without hearing the music-
we keep waiting for a stirring within to lift weary bones into the thick of it, to find it’s midnight again.

Will you chance it all for the sake of the good?
Each second a decision, will you compel this hour to overflow with the holy?
Waiting no more, you plunge forward into as much beauty as you can find, as much justice as you are able, and
though you promise that no storm will thwart your of love of grace, we all must fall and fetter upon the bluntly real Earth.

Why not venture to the edge, and trust the wind to hold us up?
If life can promise little else, it does promise an answer to every challenge, each goading of fate;
we are given no assurances- no sanctuary from harm, no balm for all pains, only the hope of hand-me-down mercy,
with the glimmering expanse of you before me, I test these wings, I fall and glide into wide arcs, timeless upon the thrilling wind.

***

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 19.13 Sun, 07 Aug '11

Sun 24 Jul 11

emergence/dissipatation

to emerge,
if only to fall back into the folds of you,
as if i were never cleaved and cast
into this night kept by cicada and thunderclap.

to cross the bridge,
even though we seek to span the very chasms we create
compelled by the eternal story of
returning, of knowing our distance is the same as our proximity.

to set foot on the far shore,
the facade of the foreign slips into the wind as a vagabond dream-
unmoored and loose in the wild currents
no words dare follow, just hold out your hand and catch the blessing rain.

to look back- tracing the original path,
the mist obscures the start-point, the clock chimes muted in the gathering winds,
our little place in the big world is one and the same
it's where we stand do the vista and shadows shift and merge in accord with expectations.

to continue along, i dissipate into the nameless abyss
not ever in fear- only trusting in the strident steps forward comes the truth of all journeys
we never start, and never cease, and there is relief in the knowing
that i never left the creator's firmament, just as you- an arc of light- shall transit forever, light upon light.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 22.36 Sun, 24 Jul '11

Mon 25 Apr 11

Imperfect

The sweet absence of perfection-
Working the Earth, hands are roughened,
The soil will not yield to what I want out of it,
We submit to the wills of the other, collapsed in green and days to come.
In the end, we overuse the word "perfect" as passable for now,
Not the zenith, not the diamond, not the lover.
The fecundity of dirt and its writhing ideas
Will surpass the order of my labor and
The standards I started out with.
This is good. Surprise me.
Overtake my expectation
Of the seed with the
Revelation of the
Hidden blossom.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 00.57 Mon, 25 Apr '11

Wed 13 Apr 11

Remembering...

While locking the office door behind me, feeling as hardened and crispy as a bacon concrete sandwich, I looked up and saw a lone blue heron silently crossing the sky over a half moon. Then, coming home, the clouds we strawberry red, and the lilac bushes were dancing in the street. It was then I remembered that the biggest things in life are often found in the smallest, the things which can be easiest to pass by when our minds are consumed with itself. Exaltation in the holy now through the messengers of creation...

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 20.39 Wed, 13 Apr '11

Sun 06 Mar 11

Testament in the Rain

* * *
There is something so affirming
Walking, whistling, in the rain
As the night lights spill over the street
Feeling the punctuation of each drop
A validation permeating the fabric
Of what little separates you
From the utterances of clouds.
* * *
As a boy it was my practice
To walk directionless in the rain
Songs in my head, unfettered to time,
Late getting home but deeper soaked
With the downstream of life, rivers of denim
Which carried me to some creekside, some heart valve,
Where the torrents taught in the language of the skies.
* * *
Now I amble from time to time, forsaking umbrellas
For the very purpose of getting wet, a reminder
That all I know is subject to both current and communion
That each passing minute is as meaningful as each cloud-birth’d drop-
Should I be troubled by the weather, or uplifted in the draft
That carries my little words to the edge of atmospheres
The province of improbable winds…?
* * *
We begin in a brine which churns outside of time
The oceanic experience of not-knowing this-or-that;
We are then as in concordance with the stars
As the seeds are to the falling apple, we are forever bound
To the perpetual happening.
Down through the gutter, down through the estuary we pick up so much.
I found you in the jetsam; we became in orbit of each other through the grace of rain.
* * *
I pulled nebulae over us as blankets
You heaved mountains upon the landscape in the sweat of love
Together we sang a song of improbable colors intertwining
We found ourselves mythic upon the Earth, yet cleaved apart
As the landmarks of memory gave way to landslides
And your touch became as legend as a thousand pages story-
I’ve re-read it, dog-eared, highlighted holy verses as rain pounds the roof.
* * *
Young eyes survey the horizon with surprise
While the skins dashed with boundary lines are ever cautious-
Where did innocence lose its way?
Whence did the woodland trails become roads mandated by obligation?
Somewhere, back there, there are steps to retrace
Which I’m sure will lead to a crossroads
Where the infinitude of love ripples without heed to the tremulous rules of days gone by.
* * *
Tonight, this body crossed the city
As the glow of greatest aspiration shimmered on the road.
Your name passed in rivulets as I dared a soft whistle hymn
And the rhythm of my feet is the same as that of the hopeful unjaded boy.
Some would call this folly; I call it revelation
To carelessly dare the cold, finding writ in symphony of puddle and concrete
A proclamation of goodness in the unsheltered, naked night.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 00.41 Sun, 06 Mar '11

Fri 11 Feb 11

On Egypt

I remember the day when the Berlin Wall fell. I was at home, probably "sick" from school, and had been watching with some vague interest the crumbling of the old East German regime. Then, of course, we had only the fuzzy images from the early days of cable news to herald the first hammer blows to a wall that stood as a symbol of repression and separation for thirty bloody years. The world was still somewhat new to me then, and the movements of people and their governing were seen through iconoclastic, naive eyes. Still, something stirred me deeply.

I remember crying, without the full understanding of why, as the wall fell and the people on either side greeted each other in a profound, ageless joy. There was something about the realization of a higher kind of unity, about the seemingly impossible bested with chisels and masses. Then we had Tienanmen, and the iconic single human stopping the tank on the street. Duvalier fell, and as President Clinton was sworn in on a January day in 1993, I stood amid a crowd of hopeful Haitians in DC chanting with power that the end of the Bush regime would bring the promise of a new era in their country, a place where I learned the pain and grace of deep compassion. Vaclav Havel, a poet-dissident, shook the Czech Republic with words- not weapons- and without a bullet retook Wenceslaus Square where twice in my time I later traversed.

These are some of the revolutions that have gone by, and the kind that relate to shifting the geo-political sands in the ever-turbulent winds of human ideologies. Science has undergone several quieter revolutions, and society as we know it is fundamentally different (for better or worse) than it was on that November day when I stayed home and watched the first of many walls to fall. Today, from a screen in my office, I watched the world change again, and faster than ever before.

This moment could be heralded in as many ways as there are Egyptians. My generation is informed by the uprisings of our day, which began with Perestroika and somehow softly faded into memory as an era of unprecedented comfort and false content wooed the potential of our generation to sleep. Here, through the fierce creativity that comes with the application of our best technologies, the world has been transformed in 18 days. Ingenuity is spreading with a pioneering determination across the planet, strengthening by the knowledge illuminated as thoughts and ideas circumnavigate a smaller globe.

This all comes from the power not at the "top," but right here, with us. As I cried today watching the overflowing euphoria from Tahrir Square, I realized that with the technology before me, and especially the will, I have as much power to change the world as do those brave revolutionaries. The power is already here, all that is needed to activate it is the desire of achieving something more than being bound to the comforts and trifles of our time.

If people power can topple what we once thought were strong dictators, people power can also restore ecologies, rebuild social systems, and renew hope- from small towns to whole empires. This proves that people have the power to change the impossible, if we only make the choice to do something. Today, the choice to transform was made by individual people united, not by a nation drawn with borders and fences and walls.

Today, what we're given is not a moment to remember, but a movement to remind that life on Earth begins and ends with we who are awake to realize it. We can realize that our current moments to be alive coincide with a uneasy balance between global life and death. We can respond to the crisis of our so-called modernity by making a conscious choice of what to uplift, what to reject, in order to reclaim the balance that our world was born from. Egypt, the Berlin Wall, all the uprising and revolts of history and present are symbols of doing something more than just celebrating human potential, it's about actualizing potential.

Where will you make your stand?

Sure, today we witnessed history. But the future demands our participation. Thank you, Egypt, for reminding the rest of the world that we made the world as it is, and we will change it as it will be.

Asalaam Aleikum, السلام عليكم.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 23.25 Fri, 11 Feb '11

Tue 01 Feb 11

Bird on the Moon . com: 8 years of cosmic something-or-other

So, time keeps on doing its thing and there does not appear to be much in the way of its linear (humbug!) progression. It's been a great eight years, albeit it's much quieter these days, but it's still home.

As with the first "real" post, I'll pause to thank the seven astronauts of Columbia for their service- my first post even unfortunately was to reflect on the disaster.

It's a continued honor to be witness to these times, and thanks to all my dear hangers-on for your support.

To the future (what's the future? When will it get here, anyway?,
jaybird

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 09.43 Tue, 01 Feb '11

Sun 30 Jan 11

Meditation: The Color of Wisdom

Given on 30 January 2011, Jubilee! Community

Meditation: The Color of Wisdom by djmoonbird

“We are an old people; we are a new people; we are the same people deeper than before.”

Imagine, for a moment, a bustling cityscape on the banks of a turquoise sea. This place is full of cross-cultural hubbub, travelers of every color and creed converge here, many gods of the regional pantheon compete for the citizens’ attention. The land upon which the city grows is envied by many factions, an object of economic and political desires. There is an expansive harbor, busy with the commerce of ships bearing far-off flags. To enter this city from the sea, there is a toll, yet rather unlike the turnpike shakedowns we’re accustomed to. Rather, the price is paid in whatever books you may have with you, scrolls actually, which are then taken to the city’s library, copied, and returned on your way out. This library became an epicenter of human knowledge, behind its walls all that was known and presumed was vigorously debated, among the shelves toiled the greatest minds of the era. The place is ancient Alexandria, Egypt, the time, 1600 years ago. Scholars and philosophers flocked to Alexandria to study and debate within a vast sandstone complex which housed about one million volumes- of which precious little survived its destruction by the rising voices of extremism and the banners of political conquest. In the last days of Alexandria’s golden age, among the last of the library’s great scholars, Hypatia found herself the target of many. Why? For being a female academic, for one, for being a scientist and rigorous defender of knowledge, for stubbornly standing by the virtues of inquiry over the increasing wailing of religious dogma. She was tortured to death by a man who was later canonized as a saint, and the library was completely obliterated out of fear. Today, the city of Alexandria is once more in upheaval as yet another generation cries out for justice.

“We are an old people; we are a new people; we are the same people deeper than before.”

We are comforted in knowing that the ancient world was at times smarter than current crowded sphere. The Dogon tribe in Mali has passed down in oral tradition for thousands of years that the bright star we call Sirius had a dim orbiting companion star, a fact that was only discovered after modern astronomers ran advanced mathematical calculations.

So here’s our modern world – we’ve advanced our understanding of the Universe far beyond the heretical telescopes of Galileo, beyond the first human footprint on the Moon, beyond the strange microverse of atoms. Yet we remain as stubbornly polarized as ever. While most of us agree on some basic facts - that the Earth is round (any flat Earthers out there?), gravity usually works (no offense to any skilled levitators among us), and the Sun emits light and heat (yes, this hasn’t been the best of winters to prove that one), it seems that we are very good at overlooking other facts, and to abuse our intellect to advance social agendas. That’s where wisdom comes in, to save us from ourselves.

“We are an old people; we are a new people; we are the same people deeper than before.”

I think it’s important to differentiate that wisdom is not knowledge- rather, wisdom is found in the experience of knowledge. Ok - knowing stuff is cool, but doing the stuff you know is even cooler. Of course, you have to want to know stuff, that helps. In wanting to know stuff, you have to know that you don’t know stuff. I know that I don’t know how to fix my hot water heater, and I call somebody who I know knows. It’s what I don’t know that I don’t know that’s interesting, it’s the savage curiosity of the unknown which propels me into the love of knowledge. Something altogether different converts the stuff you know into the wisdom you share. And often, you don’t know your own wisdom – you’re just doing what you know, after all.

“We are an old people; we are a new people; we are the same people deeper than before.”

Imagine consciousness as a creek, a timeless stream which transmits wisdom from person to person, culture to culture, epoch to epoch. We cannot definitively say where the headwaters of this creek begin; in fact, searching for the source of this river is the oldest known human preoccupation. It’s why we’re
gathered together today; to explore the maps of our lives, tracing the tributaries of the soul to the origin, and to the wider bodies of existence, to an ocean of all souls. Like the twigs I tossed into the river as a kid, pretending they were boats voyaging to an undiscovered country, what we learn passes through bends, eddies, and rapids in these metaphorical waters, becoming over time smoothed driftwood. We have scripture; smooth driftwood, which has traveled the thousand year river, coming to us, washing up on the shore, for us to find, ponder, and toss back in. “What is this? A new teaching with authority?” We can see each verse of ancient scripture individually, and marvel at the journey, or we can put them together, to build a temple from these well-traveled words, fitting each fragment of wisdom together until returning to the elements, with a gust of wind, a surging wave.

“If all the trees on earth become pens, and the sea replenished by seven more seas were to supply them with ink, the Words of Allah would not be exhausted in the writing.”

Breathe deeply. Doesn’t the very idea of wisdom thrill you, are you comforted to know that there’s always some wisdom to back you up? As much as I enjoy Chinese food, I can’t say that I’ve been too intellectually or spiritually surprised by most fortune cookies. However, it’s good to be reminded. “Better a hen today
than an egg tomorrow.” OK. “The first and last love is self love.” Alright. “Look, fortune is all around you!” Oh yeah! And that is the easy way. Wisdom can come in weird ways, in head turning moments: “Whoa! What was that?” Some examples: the Buddha’s shortest sermon; one day in his later years, a throng of disciples assembled and were awaiting another transmission of wisdom. Wordlessly, he held aloft a flower, laughed, and left the disciples with jaws agape. “Whoa! What was that?” How about the Greek philosopher Diogenes; his shtick? He’d carry a lamp in
the daytime, saying he was looking for an honest man. He lived in a tub in the middle of a marketplace, enjoyed a diet of onions, and took a lesson from a scurrying little mouse in adaption to change- which went to form the crux of Stoic philosophy. “Whoa! What was that?” Then we have Nasruddin, an 11th century
Groucho Marx of sorts. He was a Sufi teacher who taught by provoking thought in his students in most unconventional ways. One day Nasruddin sat fishing in a bucket of water. A visitor, wishing to be friendly, asked, "How many have you caught?" "You are the ninth" he said. “Whoa! What was that?” Today, we’d question the sanity of Buddha, Diogenes, Nasruddin, and Jesus. “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.” “Whoa! What was that?” These teachers turned expectation and custom on the ear, teaching that we can be so bold as “to see heaven in a wildflower,” to learn from the least of these, to question the answers, to accept the new and strange as something good. Thought needs provocation in order to bring people to insight, to sculpt wisdom out of the madness of the world. My personal effort at this is my bumper sticker which reads “Honk if you don’t exist.” Honking therefore is a dicey proposition. The mind explodes a little when confronted with the question: to toot, or not to toot.

But, let’s be gut-wrenchingly honest. While I revere wisdom and consider it a virtue, it’s not always a warm and fuzzy mystical thing to talk about, gaining wisdom is not always good times. Why? I think that for whatever reason, our society is more turned on by fear than wisdom. Sometimes, we’ll dress up fear as wisdom to manipulate minds into subservience to a fear-drenched false logic. How can a society endorse a moral wisdom that calls for the avoidance of understanding? Why do we fall for teachings that pompously decree that “there’s only one way?” Because fear is more readily available on the street than wisdom, fear sells, fear reactively rejects the willingness to challenge. Wisdom is the cure to fear; wisdom is stronger than xenophobia, homophobia, classism, gender phobia, racism, fascism, and the sum of society’s willful ignorance. If we choose to stand against fear, it’s not a protest – it’s a call to mindfulness, not arms. Each of us who chooses stand against fear is part of the cure.

Wisdom can be born from times when you’re toeing the
edge of an abyss, soaked in hopelessness. Yet suffering need not be in vain if it’s used transformationally, pivoting off to change course. Think of the prices you’ve paid for your wisdom… broken bones, broken promises, broken families. Work for me sometimes entails being present for a patient reviving from an overdose or suicide attempt. These are the most broken of a person’s days – my job is to get them to believe that it can also be the best day. How can that be? Because that day of reckoning can also be a day of reconciliation, a day of loss can be made a day of love by remembering the goodness that surrounds. Life is stronger and more resilient than we think, it won’t let us go that easily – so we let go, let God. I know this because it’s not just my job. Once, a long time ago, I had to wake up too.

It’s true – I couldn’t stand here in good faith and deny that I’ve ever been an idiot. Quite the contrary, I’ve been graced with an abundance of idiocy, but yet we’re all also graced with chances to transform the gloom of stupid mistakes into pillars of light which guide our souls to understanding. I’m grateful for having been an idiot, for not heeding the wisdom to know better, because the scattered debris of poor choices inspired me to
learn deeply and move forward. So, no regrets for blessings of learning. I believe that we all, ALL, are connected to wisdom, made of wisdom, and are as much a part of the wisdom of the Earth as the scrolls were a part of the Alexandria library. We must therefore take seriously our roles in protecting wisdom, ancient and modern, from abuse. We are at a crossroads where fear could overtake wisdom in this world; yet I have faith that the compelling power of deep knowledge is stronger than the desperate wail of ignorance. We can, and must, seize the day and choose to awaken into the miracle of simply being alive.

“These are the days…”

We can seize the day, but we can also allow the day to seize us, to shake us from complacency, to be reawakened as a student of the infinite in the ever-renewing school of life. We have much to learn, and fortunately for us, the Universe is always ready to teach. The song is “These are Days,” by 10,000 Maniacs. Band…

“These are days you’ll remember. Never before and never since, I promise, will the whole world be warm as this. And don’t you feel it? You’ll know it’s true that you are blessed and lucky. It’s true, that you, are touched by something that will grow and bloom in you.”
“You’ll know it’s true that you are blessed and lucky. You’ll know it’s true that you are touched by something that will grow and bloom in you.” We are all touched – all touching together – the wisdom of Earth, we are bound by the intelligence of atoms, and for a fleeting moment we are touched by a singular burst of time to become a conscious being in a Universe eager to know itself through our eyes. What if we lived each day knowing that just by living, now, we are an expression of a wisdom far deeper than any imaginable mind?

“These are days you’ll remember. When May is rushing over you with desire, to be a part of the miracles you’ll see in every hour. You’ll know it’s true that you are blessed and lucky. It’s true, that you, are touched by something that will grow and bloom in you.”

“God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you.” What if you accepted this not as some far-off awaited emissary of the holy, but what if this were you – being promised to yourself by God? What would happen if you accepted yourself so completely as to bless the wisdom that you’ve earned, even through darkness? Will you accept that you are wise not just because of the lessons you retain, but right down to every cell that pulses life through you, that you in fact serve a wise and holy function with a very specific role? What if…

“These are days! These are the days you might fill with laughter until you break. These days you might feel a shaft of light make its way across your face. And when you do - you’ll know how it was meant to be, see the signs, know their meanings – it’s true – you’ll know how it was meant to be - hear the signs and know they’re speaking to you, to you…”

Listen… there is a teacher, begging your ear to listen. That teacher might be a sunset, it might be a pine tree, it might be a diagnosis, it might be a terrible mistake. It might be what you already know. Be open to these strange teachers. Be not afraid, and protect the bastions of what you hold dear from anger and fear. Remember, you emerged from a world made of wisdom,
so don’t be shy about what you know deeply- it’s who you are.

“You’ll know it’s true that you are blessed and lucky. It’s true, that you, are touched by something that will grow and bloom in you.”

We are an old people; we are a new people; we are the same people, deeper than before. You are touched by something - grow and bloom – and remember that you are downstream on the river of life, opening to wider expanses every day – journey without end, deeper than before, in absolute communion with infinite wisdom. Oh yeah.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 14.03 Sun, 30 Jan '11

Sun 23 Jan 11

What are we really talking about?

[Article written for the Vision Newsletter, Jan. 21 '11]


Despite the wintry abundance of pale and gray skies in the Blue Ridge Mountains, we know that above the clouds there’s an arcing expanse of sweet blue. We know this because we witness the phenomena of color and agree, collectively, to call the sky blue. We’re authoritatively told at an early age, that roses are most definitely red, violets are confidently blue (despite being called violets), and that’s that. Oranges apparently are so orange that they’re just called oranges, a feat of nomenclature that evades other qualities ascribed to our beloved juicy citrus. Maybe “Floridian Tangy Pulpy Fruit Water” doesn’t have the marketing pizzazz of “orange juice,” though personally I’ve never enjoyed a tall cool glass of purple (grape?)- maybe I’m missing out on something.

Over millennia language evolved from grunts and hoots advising of danger/pleasure into complex flowing garlands of adjectives and verbs to describe perceptions of the worlds within and around us. From the winds we coerce to move through our voiceboxes, to the never-ending inkwells of human communication, we’ve given language a tremendous power in shaping the world around us. One of my favorite rapscallion philosophers, Alan Watts, once used words for color to expand on the idea that while making grand cultural agreements over the meaning of words, we don’t associate with them in the same exact way. Here’s the experiment: consider for a moment “green.” Using a color wheel, you can easily point to green. Yet upon asking what the very first thing that comes to mind when hearing the word green, a rainbow of various visual interpretations can be listed; ferns, limes, Kermit the Frog (whom apparently found the vertiginous lifestyle challenging), tennis balls, eco-friendliness, money, and the fuzz that disgraces leftovers in the fridge could be among the spectrum of variants.

Now, kicking the mental experiment up a notch, consider the words “God” or “love” or some other suchlike abstract. Do you think of an old man in a cloud who hoards lightning bolts just waiting for someone to invoke a striking down on Earth? Do you think of the living organism which is the thin skin of our blue/green planet, circling the wilds of space? Do you think of an aspect of self that guides you from transition to transition, with grace and patience? We speak of these things, and yet each of us has a unique personal interpretation of these powerful, colorful words- and while we build society on the virtues of “freedom” and “fairness,” do we know what the heck we’re really talking about?

Certainly, things would get complicated quickly if we each stuck to our own inner definitions of everything, blinding ourselves to the value in others’ personal experiences with the Grand Ideals or miniscule details. In order to function personally and socially, we give consent to a mass-definition, and go our merry way. But wouldn’t it be useful to occasionally question what we really mean when we say, “I love you,” or “God bless you,” or “isn’t the sky so intensely blue today?” With each word spoken, we have an opportunity to explore how our self helps create the world we live in, and the very beliefs we hold dear. Would your value of (and connection to) God be transformed by examining the immediate associations with what God means, really means, to you?

William Blake went so far as to see “a world in a grain of sand, heaven in a wildflower” and his Infinity was pocket-sized. The reality of our personal experience of big and little things alike can be seen as more than putting language through a heavy yoga session of bending meanings into new- if awkward- shapes; it is an innate aspect of our curious consciousness. Believe it or not, we’re living the Via Creativa with every utterance, each paintbrush stroke, each synaptic spark. The wind does indeed have many colors, and while being green ain’t easy for Kermit, it sure beats the alternative of not existing- or creating- at all.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 01.36 Sun, 23 Jan '11

Sun 02 Jan 11

9th year already?

Just a quick note here, presented awkwardly as a sentence fragment. As you can see BoTM still exists, and will continue to do so for as long as it takes. While my postings are sparse and almost exclusively poetry now, this place still means a lot to me. Thanks for the continued support, folks.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 23.21 Sun, 02 Jan '11

Tue 07 Dec 10

Ephemera related for having made it through 38 Earth Years

The Julian calendar date of your birth is 2441658.5.
The golden number for 1972 is 16.
The epact number for 1972 is 14.
The year 1972 was a leap year.

Your birthday falls into the Chinese year beginning 2/15/1972 and ending 2/2/1973.

You were born in the Chinese year of the Rat.

Your Native American Zodiac sign is Owl; your plant is Mistletoe.

You were born in the Egyptian month of Menchir, the second month of the season of Poret (Emergence - Fertile soil).

Your date of birth on the Hebrew calendar is 3 Tevet 5733.

The Mayan Calendar long count date of your birthday is 12.17.19.6.14 which is 12 baktun 17 katun 19 tun 6 uinal 14 kin

The Hijra (Islamic Calendar) date of your birth is Thursday, 1 Dhi'l-Qa'dih 1392 (1392-11-1).

You are 38 years old.
You are 456 months old.
You are 1,983 weeks old.
You are 13,879 days old.
You are 333,110 hours old.
You are 19,986,641 minutes old.
You are 1,199,198,511 seconds old.

Entropy in numbers, extropy in spirit. I'm ready for another year!

Thanks all!

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 14.46 Tue, 07 Dec '10

Sun 05 Dec 10

The Vigil

Performed 5 Dec. at Asheville's Jubilee Community.


You are waiting on the riverbank, standing still in the night
Tossing stones into an abyss of time-
All is silent save for the splash at the end of each arc;
Nothing stops the depths from absorbing the stones, nor you.
Stars reflect on the river waves, and you brave the cold with purpose-
Each stone is thrust into its unseen destiny,
You stand with hope that your answers shall be as quick,
Shuffling your feet, gazing ever ahead through the familiar, encompassing dark.
The world has long receded from twilight to this moment,
And all the constellations peek through the thickening hour,
To find you, waiting, keeping vigil;
Though alone, your stance is once taken by each living soul.
In one way or another,
Your eyes have scanned the horizon for a certain glimmer since you first opened them-
Having faith that one day, something will crest in the distance
And will come to encompass you, to be suddenly united with all that you’ve known.
Your entirety has been formed in expectation for the awaited moment,
Sometime, you pray, one light will emerge and its radiance will pronounce your name,
With wide arms you will embrace this realized dream
And you could dare the night and call yourself completed.
We live our lives out on this sphere hoping one day to feel whole, as if we
Are an unfinished circle, looking ever skyward for a brushstroke
To finish our souls without finishing our flesh and bone-
To reach a zenith without having to scale a peak.

We are ever implored to move forward in the promise that an ultimate fulfillment
Is just ahead, we race the wind to find the meaning of our lifelong waiting-
Is it this stranger’s hand? This holy book? Some ceremony?
Are we to be re-created, given titles and tokens on that golden day of the attainment wholeness?
So here we are, an abrupt iteration of life spinning a billion year story
One perfect sunset after another
One great lover after another
And still we wait, questioning if we are yet fully alive; your life, a vigil in itself.
You’ve been forever standing there, tossing rock into water, on a midnight as long as the sky
Perhaps, just now, you were about to turn your back,
To resume the watch tomorrow, but now comes that certain glimmer
For which the sum of your days have been written, the moment arrives!
Curiously, that certain glimmer is not distant, no gradual approach, it’s here now,
To your surprise you are overtaken in a light that hails not from an exalted Otherness,
Your trembling is not from the touch of a God, or some other skin;
The promise of your fulfillment has been kept, but never as you imagined.
The long-sought answer was found in that minute when you forgot who you’re supposed to be
And remembered who you are, an unbroken strand of gossamer time,
A singular name alight with being, shimmering in kinship with all other stars-
You emerge from within yourself, at last accepting the wholeness you’ve always been.
Night gives way, and you leave the riverbanks, tossing one last stone-
The vigil ends…
The waiting is over…
Now comes the journey.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 12.19 Sun, 05 Dec '10

Mon 08 Nov 10

tentatively frolicking, positively still

Sunday, we watched the kids, the parents, the grandparents
frolicking in the yellow ginkgo leaves
through a glass and she said "c'mon,
let's go play..." and I had to hesitate.
I have been standing still, standing firm, while all around
storms rage. Standing, as a tree in a gale
I may be moved by this wind but I
refuse to be uprooted even as branches
and the all of me is shaken loose, in a dark mournful cloud.
Am I waiting? Am I afraid? Am I not in
pain? I am these though I shall not
be broken by them- I am made to know the
security of deep Earth and to hold out for the light that
has yet to defy return. Shaken, in that
moment, contemplating play, I said
yes, as a man, and jumped into the yellow
frolic, and the joy of children melted any reason to hold
back, and leaves they did fly, gold tossed
to the sky, the dome of which has
overhung yesterday's gloom, and today's
exultant hope that all which is shod grows again, so go on...

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 23.41 Mon, 08 Nov '10

Sun 07 Nov 10

shards

I have always known you
I do not recall when we first met,
though I’m sure that somewhere in time
there is a marked page which will speak to the
intertwining of our spirits, writ by a bemused historian
who found the first awkward moments worthy of good laughs.
I can only speak my truth, and that is for as long as I can remember, I have always known you. I can still recall,
clear as it was yesterday, scooping you up from the
riverbed, frigid cold and so stubborn, and carting
you up the banks, through the November rain
heaving your rough and unwieldy form onto
the table, where for days I wrestled with
you, pulled the stones from you, the
sticks, the leaves, all that turns
muck into the finest clay,
you eventually became
pliant, I could form
you but only on
your terms,
and I am
a loyal friend
whose hands I
promised would only
work you as you told them to.
The day came, when I bathed you in
water and spun you on my wheel, and
you took the form of a bowl -at first, quite
coarse, but I persevered until you were ready to
get smooth. The day came when you were ready to
transform, and you gave forth a perfect bowl, a heavenly
chalice holding an emptiness so dear, a long unobtainable peace that can only be found in the open, unfilled spaces. I let you sit, and as days passed you took on a lighter hue, one that reminded me of those temple valleys from long ago,
where I scampered from teacher to teacher, a
hungry initiate, ready for wisdom. I learned
that wisdom comes not from people, but
from rivers, mountains, the smell of a
good tea, all sorts of unexpected
intersections- this is why the
villagers think of the
fellow and I monks
as mad. We put
ourselves in
the strangest
of places, and just
learn. That is our only
duty. Over several days, I
painted you, taking the greatest
of care to honor your contours, the
perfect void you encompass, uplifting your
grace with each stroke, before giving you, on another
day, to the fire, where you turned red hot as the sun, and you in the cooling became so strong, what was once supple was now rock. And I waited. I gave you time to adjust to the new
body you won in your contest with the kiln fire, and
one day, my abbot inspected you, listened to the
ringing you sang forth and declared you
perfect, harmonious, and ready for
the next step. The abbot never
told we younger monks
what the next step
was. We gathered,
and there were several
other monks with their begging
bowls, also looking perfect, as pitch as
new moon night, signing like doves. Then
came the hard part, where the abbot said that
for us to become true monks of the way, that we
must lift up our bowls above our heads, filling them
with the nectar of the cloud realm, then dash them to
the ground, in hundreds of jagged pieces. I knew I was not
supposed to succumb to attachment, but I felt the perfect form you gave, your smooth body as perfect as a cherry blossom, and I hesitated. My muscles locked, and the abbot impatiently approached, saying that all the other monks had
destroyed their bowls, as he instructed, but
in my thoughts of how much I came
to love you I couldn’t let you slip
into dissolution.
The abbot
reminded
me that
I must
do this
if I am ever
to become a full
fledged monk of the way.
He whispered, sternly, to trust
the way and it will be clear. Drawing
a breath, trying to understand the wisdom
in breaking you, perhaps the most perfect thing
I’d ever seen, my fingers at once withdraw from holding
you, fast as a mantis, and with a terrible final ring you were
scattering across the floor in a hundred shards. My thoughts were, “it would take a lifetime to put you back together,”
just as the abbot told we monks that “it will take you
a lifetime to put your bowl back together. But you
must- you must come to know each shard as if
it were a villager, learning where that person
fits, over time, and all of the other shards
have a place. It is now up to you, and
give your life to understanding
the way things are related,
and the way things are
whole, if there is
such a thing. With a
laugh, the abbot left us to
our piles. Now, I sit with you,
all your pieces in a cloth I carry around
with such care, I intend to learn wholeness
again. Each day, as I come across one shard that
fits with another, I see them as my village, my villagers, my family. I see the lover who left so painfully- I see my grandmother- I see my young relations, and how
hard it was when they grew from innocence
to become hardened by the realities of the
world beyond the village. I see myself-
I am the glue for each fragment,
even as they cut me and I
bleed a moment, I
continue to
gently
put back
together all
you have come to
mean to me- no longer
a perfect vessel that I had to
dash to the ground, but an intentional
collection of all that I lost in my fascination
with the wholeness, with the emptiness, that now
all of my wholeness, all of my emptiness, is being made up of you. That is why I can say that I have always known you,
as you are all I know, and we didn’t begin when
I dug the clay at the riverbank, we began
when the world began, and just as the
world grows we grow, having
complete knowledge of
each shard, and with
intention placing
together all
of you, all
of me,
and
you
are not
ever broken.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 21.07 Sun, 07 Nov '10

Wed 27 Oct 10

Silly love songs

Interrupted occasionally by the thrall of the rain
I have given this night to the glory of silly love songs
Casting off-key verses deep into the drunken stars
Which dance in orbits incomprehensible 'round my head.
Some birds flock far-flung to fallow fields of impossible desires
Yet I am proud to make my nest right here,
Where the verses of exalted wings extol a magic sky
Where once our flight paths cross'd
And in our joyous collision,
We sang of dumbstruck bliss
That this Universe contained you
Thus containing us
Giving breath to this last-minute serenade
And all the reason under heaven
To throw our cautions and soar unimpeded upward
And inward, finding at last a branch sturdy enough
To hold us, and that eternal story
Which intones through all the constellations
The oldest story of generations
That we are here, it is now, and the wind with which we plot our course
Is incessant in its transit, we merely unfold wings
And give trust to the night.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 23.42 Wed, 27 Oct '10

Sat 25 Sep 10

)silhouette(

the dim light from the other room
a twilight upon the house
and as we settle into ourselves
there are such landscapes wrought from your name.
i play in the hills- adventure alone the dunes
cooling in a desert night,
overhung by stars that became the light of our proclamations,
made in imperceptible whispers
as an innocent breeze would stir all but the stones in the forest.
through the silhouette that fades and lamps dim
i've mapped my route-
through the crags of your discontent
through the dry creekbeds once a channel for tears
through the earthquakes of your heart
through the rustling reeds rooted in the fecundity of thought,
i know now where i'm going.
you are my undiscovered country
the place yet uncharted
yet writ in code in each celebrated heartbeat.
you are a shelter, and I a wanderer.
we have common purpose, finding sanctuary in our touch
and only tomorrow's journey will reveal the next caress of soul's shoreline-
things we are not made to know, but as an actor in a never-written play, we find our place, context be damned.
we're here now, in this room,
hushed by crickets
brought closer by the encroaching cool,
ever more purpose to learn the contours of the self
light, shadows, silhouettes and all.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 03.37 Sat, 25 Sep '10

Wed 22 Sep 10

Pine

In
upturned
rapture I receive
eyes and skies ablaze
with the fusion of history and
future, this now sounds of purposeful winds.

With a quiet expectation I've waited for this,
the cool breath of a sky lover on my neck
as sun and moon play in clouds aflame
with the long light called autumn.

Equinox night is a'flood in a glow we all know yet
are humbled by, describing us as true aliens,
truly unexpected witnesses suddenly
basking in wonders made of stars.

As the galaxy insinuates itself into our routines,
the treeline becomes a margin between worlds,
sheltering birds and hushing our words as
tongues try to make shapes out of air.

Among these, rooted in the archeology of a thousand seasons,
the pine stands with branches balancing constellations,
surviving brutal frosts and fetid droughts without
opinion, unmoved by fear, just growing in accord
with the secret destiny writ in bark and sap,
the nameless knowledge of the cell and time.

Upon this upward exaltation we may safely
lay our hopes, and await instruction
from the soothsayer who knows
through the outstretched
arms of love the faith
which alights the
stars and the
goodness in
our gaze.

There is
little
sense in
much else
then this,
the hold
of roots
and the
faith of
trees in
this new
and holy
confluence
of paths
and time.
Looking down, I see our feet resting here, making home in the night, and holding fast.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 22.06 Wed, 22 Sep '10

Mon 06 Sep 10

Unexpected Music

As a river makes its way with the rock
negotiating contours according to the molecules
which have been waiting for a billion years to realize purpose,
so do I lay with you, in timeless reverie,
a requiem wrote in breath and pulse.
Of this I celebrate; the remembrance of warmth, the
touch uncommon between skins, the cellular heritage
of love destined yet dared, the dance of fate and chance,
your sleeping form is the realization of a thousand prophets.
Just as the stars declare light endlessly, I cannot uplift your name
any less.
O thou, whom I've held many nights now, these empty arms are as
joyous as they are expectant of your gravity upon them,
and it is in this emptiness that I commune with the heretics
who long declared the absence of presence is the actualization of
desire, a fire long conjured, but never lit 'til you said "yes."

This is my hymn to you, sung in the key of gratitude, played with
an orchestra harmonized with the sweetest of unexpected music.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 03.05 Mon, 06 Sep '10

Sun 22 Aug 10

Kindling

Bonfire in the backyard.
Moonrise.
Few words, crickets filling the spaces
syllables won't bridge.
Realizations
fade in and out as embers,
glitter as the stars
sometimes behind clouds
yet still there.
I do not know the time,
just that it passes-
what was missed, right there,
never to return?
There'll be more.
Yet this-
still night on rusted lawnchairs
sometimes perplexed as language inadequately
imposes itself where the heart wordlessly dances,
so accustomed to the routines of the unspoken.
Late in the summer,
the heat recedes degree by degree,
and the nights give way to a coolness,
a hushed serenity before the green gives way to ice.
These nights, the soul rests
before bigger storms come to upheave the knowns-
these leaves will soon be blown by northern wind
skittering across the road as frantic refugees.
So, I cast my truths to the coals,
bless the stars, and ask the moon for forgiving light.
We leave the last heat of the fire untended
to devolve into mere ash, just like everything else.
We are kindling,
just waiting to be gathered
and transformed by the heat of coming together
in recompense, in stillness, and in the faith of love eternal.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 23.43 Sun, 22 Aug '10

Sun 27 Jun 10

3 minutes

Just past midnight
A squalid summer night
Nothing moves now, except
The moon's a'rising as lovers
Collapse in sweat, so wordless.
That celestial light runneth over,
Covers bodies in a radiant haze that
Knows the paths of a million miles, older
Than any word, fuller than any in-breath.
Under the buzzing streetlights, those crude
Fires we stole from Prometheus, rested a moth
With golden antennae fashioned from a heretic's
Invisible geometry- it held fast to the cracked road,
Claiming its place here amid careless feet and hurried
Transits, wings still yet ready, immune to regret, disgrace.
We met for maybe three minutes, I lost time and myself somewhere
In between the moon, a streetlight, and a moth, and what remained was
A shadow-play of merged beings, silently dancing, merging into one pale glow.
So much love.
So much light.
So much heat.
So much exertion.
This, our eclipse.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 00.29 Sun, 27 Jun '10

Sun 13 Jun 10

East, West, and Center

It began with a road bounded by still black water
Reflecting the tangle of trees in a symmetry far too perfect
Reeling past an acre of char where chimney was the last thing standing
In the hopeless space of blackened time.
This, my eastward dream.
Five days departed from the familiar is fifty days’ worth of inspired breathing.
Yet while here, amid the stands of pine and the slick symphony of frogs
It’s to the west my heart has looked
To the west that my beats are bounding not in the hope of love, but the throes of realization.
Here, rapt in the whoosh of wing and the crash of wave
I’ve found you, in the chill of sea and the glory of hot sand.
I’ve found you, deep within me and holding my unsteady hand.
In the touching of souls we feel the steady pulse of the brine from which we emerged.
This is nothing new, it is as old as the rocks upon we build our flimsy shelter
And it is in that age, that timelessness, that I revel with you.
Our story is just sand, and its blowing boundless across the shore of identity.
Who you are, and who I am, these are arbitrary questions as speechlessness overtakes us
From the arc of stars that spell our real names across the sky.
From black water to black night, we emerge, to shine momentarily
To the enjoyment of some stranger on the beach.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 23.07 Sun, 13 Jun '10

Wed 02 Jun 10

Who knows?

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 00.48 Wed, 02 Jun '10

Mon 24 May 10

The Suddenness of Rain

We are fascinated with the night
because it does so easily what we cannot,
silences the thrall of our storm-whipped landscapes,
soothes the jagged peaks of the soul,
blankets the day-worn heart with the softness of cloud,
and tosses the inspiration of stars through tattered souls.

As I am lulled to sleep by the comfort of obscurity,
the suddenness of rain makes mad music on the leaves,
and a slight chill hitches the wind,
fully awake now, I must go deeper into these hours
where all intentions lay hidden
and dreams are woven from the hush of the wilderness.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 22.19 Mon, 24 May '10

Thu 13 May 10

Crude Oil Medicine Show

Hollywood makes billion dollar epic movies about saving our planet from all sorts of peril, and we consumers feed off the trough always gratified that the day is saved in the end, the golden American sun ever shining bright. These films seem to be dispossessed of the reality of how our society and our governments really operate, much like those who clamor about how things should be without burning a single calorie doing anything about it. Right now, amidst a great ecological disaster of gigantic proportions, there's no sudden explosion of genius going on, no heroism. Instead, we're giving up the creative reins to the same bamboozlers who got us into this mess. We're reduced to dropping thimbles on geysers and wondering what went wrong when the didn't work.

Where's Bruce Willis and his valiant crew to come barreling out of the blue with that make-do fix that saves civilization? Where's the ingenuity and resources that we entrust to our governments with our tax dollars to be at the ready when All Private Sector Hell Breaks Loose? Nowhere to be found, it seems we're scratching our national head trying to plug a leak that is destroying whole ecosystems. Just because the oil hasn't washed up on shore doesn't mean it's not wreaking havoc. The surface of the ocean is not the ocean. There's a whole lot more life below the surface than there is above. From birds, to whales, to plankton, these systems are being devastated.

Are largely untested dispersants that just cause the oil to break up below the surface and sink the best we can do? Surely, middle school kids would realize that this is just as long-run harmful as allowing the oil to invade the marshlands and estuaries. Short-term, the beaches are kept tidy and there will be less tear-jerking videos of (larger order) dead animals. White sandy beaches are good for tourism, but what about the rapidly expanding dead zones of ocean which impact local economies, let alone all that lives below the mystery of the waves. What isn't seen is the dramatic toll this is taking on microbial and smaller order life forms, which form the backbone of the oceanic ecosystem. Right now, there is a plume of toxins which is completely subsurface [ref.] exposing creatures to the poison of our disastrous energy policies. Why should whole ecosystems collapse because the American free market is sacrosanct and cannot be made be accountable to their various catastrophes?

I'm disheartened that this ecological cataclysm (there aren't words accurate enough to describe the lasting toll this will take) is already being displaced by the mundane triviality which feeds the zombie-like American media appetite. Right now, the main headline on a mainstream media site is about whether a para-celeb murder-sensationalist should get a lethal injection for snuffing out her prey. Sorry for the deceased, but whoopty-doo, an entire ecosystem upon which America has become crudely and carelessly dependent is about to blink out. Every inch of headline space should be used to galvanize our greatest minds and our highest ideals to get the fuck down there and cap the damn leak. Where's a Dutch boy in a pressure rated suit when you need one? Again, where's Bruce Goddamned Willis and a few hundred million clams?

Oh, that's right, I forgot: filming the next sequel.

Whatever you as an individual can do, please do it. If it means not buying BP gas, good plan. If it means faxing the living shit out of your congressperson, than work that bitch of a machine. If it means gathering up supplies for the scant workforce trying to contain the spill, call your boss and tell him where your priorities lie. If our government isn't producing the ingenuity needed to meet this challenge, it up to us, we who are of this Earth and dependent on it, to remind each other that we are but links in the chain of life.

Historically, this catastrophe is one of thousands. Contextually, our collective response may be a deciding measure in the exercise of our self-awareness, our humanity, and ultimately, our will to live in harmony with the Earth. She's taught us she will not be enslaved by our greed; it's either respect and revere her abundance, or be doomed by it.

filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 23.42 Thu, 13 May '10

Sat 27 Mar 10

Homebrewing is not a crime

It is, in fact, the law. Seriously though, homebrewing is a rough modern analog of our earliest experiments in chemistry. You take this plant matter, add water to it, wait, and K-POW, a magical elixir is created and has instant community value. I wonder why...? Anyhow, I just wanted to document for posterity the brews made so far and a glimpse at what's next:

  • 1st brew: Craggy Pinnacle Blueberry Amber "Blue Dwarf"
  • Pumpkin, Juniper, Wassail & Snow Porter "Dark Matter"
  • Lime and Tamarind Ale "Supernova"
  • Pomegranate Chocolate Maibock "Great Red Spot"
  • Raspberry, Rose, Jasmine, Chamomile, Rosehips, Orange, Honey (and other things) Saison Bier: "Eros Red" (a whopping 6.5%!)
    NEXT BREW: Green Tea and Honey IPA
    AFTER THAT: Sasparilla and Vanilla Stout

    The Asheville Zymurgy scene is awesome, and I'm glad that Theodore's Deaverbrews is a small but spritely part of it.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 23.52 Sat, 27 Mar '10

  • Mon 15 Mar 10

    Journal from a meditative retreat

    11-14 March, written at the Meher Spiritual Center in N. Myrtle Beach, SC... [raw and unedited!]

    To say “it begins” presupposes that nothing was there to begin with, which is silly. Something, some One (or more) is always there to help set up, to unlock the door and turn the lights on. This applies in the Cosmos as equally as it does within your soul and in the lakefront solitude of this gentle hermitage.

    The forthcoming non-beginning strings of words are recording events which begin on 11 March 2010, just north of the fluorescent decadence known colloquially as “Myrtle Beach.” I’ve not yet seen that place, but I tremble in fear of it, a bit. I have been told it’s a ghastly infection of the American condition on the shores of a great Mother Ocean who seems to tolerate lapping at the feet of distracted masses. At this moment, however, I’m in a very small yet completely harmonious cabin set within a vast “spiritual retreat center” which thrives in a very natural state. Rain keeps rhythm on the roof, and for the first time in some time, I’m left with nothing but time. This is a free and open space to think, heal, and contemplate the unwinding spool of string that is my body in transit through Everything. As I write this, a spider contemplates the window while I contemplate contemplation, and how it is I will go about reconciling the self this go ‘round. I slept some following this, I think.

    I left the cabin, friendlily called the “Tree Room,” and went for the beach as the rain held back. I remembered in the very deep of my gut the heave of the Ocean, my truest home. As I wandered I considered a troubling battleground; how intellect requires doubt to sustain itself, while feeling requires trust that it may be healthy. It seems there is no clear path through these brambles which mediates these two ecosystems of consciousness. The narrow footbridge which crosses the lake is ample for now in both its steadfastness and gentle wobble. I will come back to this.

    Regarding Myrtle Beach; I knew to expect overkill, but this was overkill on overkill. I passed a building which presumably was a theatre; it looked as if, amid the downpour, that the building had gone ahead and unabashedly smoked a motherlode of crack while it was waiting for its erstwhile audience. I sought out the safe haven of a restaurant among the brash, turgid hotels and condos, finally settling upon an Italian place, allowing Dean-O and Frankie to lull me into familiarity in this exciting, new alien landscape. Even the rain was unfamiliar, not a sweet mountain mist but the permeating breath of the Sea Goddess, who I one knew so very well. Walking back to the Tree Room from my first adventure, I found a toad who stood unfazed, a wide-eyed gatekeeper in this pregnant night. I could’ve passed him, unfazed myself, but rather I stood over him in awe, asking how I could be more like that still, aware and fully realized creature.

    Sleep that night was a mixed bag of nutty dreams, of salad bars and swamp foxes (which I’m told skulk about the area). I had intended to sleep much more deeply, in that I’m constantly running a sleep deficit and had hoped to recover relaxation in my body and make up for lost dreams; it was fitful but at the very last I gained a somnolent finale. Now, I’m met with blue skies and sun, a celestial bargain following the drenching onslaught. In a few minutes, I will stretch, do some yoga, and prepare for a day’s worth of good, long quiet walking. I’ll be interested to know what I write next…

    ***

    It seemed to take a while, this getting up of the oomph to go out, but once I did, the rewards were many. I think my hesitation comes from the prospect of having to interact with two-leggeds. They’re why I’m choosing the seclude here, wanting to be away from human interaction for a while. On the winding path to the beach, which crossed through matrices of vine and shadow, I came across a large turtle. She seemed to be on a wander from one pond to the other. I spent a few moments with her, amazed at the complexities of her shell as if somehow completely oblivious to the complexities of my own body. Yes, mine is a familiar skin, and perhaps the fascination has worn out. Obscuring our names, labels, and speciation, we are not different at all. We both occurred as such.

    {So did sleep- occur that is. I felt that I had a lot to write but longed for a thorough sleep that my body has been needing, and I succumbed to nearly 12 hours of it. Some might say that is a waste of contemplative time; au contraire, it is an element I’ve been lacking, therefore making it more difficult to access the subtler regions of thought I need to enter. But back to where I was…}

    The path to the beach was on either end bounded occasionally by dark waters, into which unseen things slipped as my footsteps sent ripples through the delicate environmental senses they possess yet we do not. Bubbles, swirls, these are all we are entitled to see of that world. How many other worlds co-exist that I don’t even notice, what effects do these have upon my sensory map that I overlook in my rambling? Countless. I cannot imagine the eyes fixed on me as I can barely fix my own eyes on any single spot, it’s all full of wonder. Up through the dunes to the beach- the Mother was not holding back, she was as dramatic as ever, more than just exercising a duty to make waves, but doing it with a little extra fortitude. Here’s paradox; a completely unspoiled, virgin terrain did I emerge from, yet standing distantly on either side of me are monstrous hotels, condos, edifices not so much as facing the ocean but challenging it. Tombstones, I thought. I sat, and listened to the in-breath and out-breath of the sea, absorbing the vibration into a body otherwise absorbed with time and things so far removed from natural. A body absorbed with the woe and misery of so many, a mind which is preoccupied with finding hope for these folks, yet is often too exhausted to find the honey for itself (or taste the honey it already has). The ocean wastes no times in healing, and lifting these things into the current, and dissipating them among the foam and arcs of waves.

    I made for the pier. Since I was little, I always sought out some distant feature on the beach to walk to. While it’s cliché to say it, the feature in question was never the point, it was getting away from where I started. Then, it was the chatter of family. Now, it was simply to go deeper into unfamiliarity. For a buck, you can walk the pier, which was being battered and swayed by waves eager for sand. Blackbirds cackled, a few bored fishermen tried their luck, and I savored the silence, and the lack of necessity in making small talk. I can see why sailors of yore were a feisty bunch- the horizon yields nothing but mystery and ghosts of far off lands. It’s as inviting as it is potentially deadly, the perfect mix for sparkly and unreasonable eyes. There was a quiet restaurant at the base of the pier, where I likewise savored a mustard-laden bacon cheeseburger, fries, and two pints. I do believe that many would find this antithetical to contemplative practice. Again, I must say au contraire, it might just be a requirement.

    I thought of dualism and monism, idealism and realism. I consider our foolhardiness in just opening our mouths, how a choice of word or belief cleaves away limitless tendrils of possibility just as a butcher cleaves away what once was a living body. I find that wrestling with the cosmological is of no less import than in wrestling with my inmost “demons.” In fact, the two are connected intimately. The indwelling opponent is the by-product of an inflexible and insatiable material world, the rewards of gravity and the reliability of things; from flesh to coins. The self that I strive ever more to be, ever more to radiate, knows that the world and life is little more than soup made of stars, and the things we covet and crave are as meaningless as thinly painting the image you see out the window on to the window itself. Instead, we are fed by the nameless; the undercurrent which gives sudden form to the formless, the whip of ‘gator tail, the laugh of gull, the skittering under a leaf, that dream of holding a lover, the act of reconciliation with the opponent and walking away wiser. The opponent is not the enemy of the soul, but rather the frictive force that gives the soul its moral shape by testing virtue’s resolve. I will always have an indwelling opponent, as we all do. In my time of healing, I gain strength from it, I tame it, I draw my boundaries firmer and ensure its territory is beyond the field of my actions and words.

    By doing such, I also make cosmological reckonings; the material world is not the enemy of consciousness, but rather a symptom of it. Awareness gives shape and color; should I not be aware, what is a star? What is a desk? What is a self? It’s worth noting that our conception of the cosmological is not just human-centric (by the consciousness of our species), but it’s identity-centric, the ultimate trickle down theory. My concept of the Universe is not just tempered by how science or religion explains it, but by my own psycho-linguistic-perceptual filters. I don’t speak English, I speak Me-ish. You speak You-ish. The language of our tongue is just a rough enough translation that when you say “watch out!,” I know to jump. Yet simultaneous to your exclamation, my brain runs through every meaning of watch, and every meaning of out, and fits them into Me-ish by context of the snake about to bite, or whatever.

    I can tell you about the brambles along the dunes, or the choir of young tree frogs singing in time with the ocean’s breath and the play of red-winged blackbirds, but what does this scene mean? Something completely different to each of us, but we conjure together to pull meaningfulness from it. The less aware we are, the more meaningless, vapid and stupid walking along a beach is, but we can describe it just fine. “I walked along a beach today.” The more aware; it becomes the most important thing we’ve ever done, though we can barely cough up an adjective to make sense of it. “The awareness that is I moved with the Universe at this particular geospatial juncture where elements perceived as separate clash and integrate with each other, during this knowingly illusory fragmentation people call linear time and material space.” It’s as if we live with one eye closed; we sublimate the vastness of our vision and experience in order to be understood. We limit input in order to navigate. How to open both eyes, really? I’m sure if we were to do this more than metaphorically, we’d disappear completely, in a flash… something both enviable and terrifying.

    Humans are terrified, ultimately, of purposelessness. But the closer we get to understanding the physical states of matter, which appear as orchestrated slam-dances of energy, the less purpose it all seems to have than just to be. How do we get to fit within all that? We used to sing on our way to the beach “We’re here because we’re here, because we’re here, because we’re here!” which might just be as great an incantation to a cosmic “truth” as we’ll ever really get. Our desire for purpose or meaning gives social order and safety; it drives the machine of beginning and ending. The closer we get to fully accepting the great heaving mass that life and consciousness really is, the less and less useful social order and safety really is, as we fall out of that system and become its madmen, heretics, and heathens who just love being alive so radically that we’re not willing to cage it in institutions, words, or fields of study. We want very much to know it, yes, and know it deeply, we just know that our knowledge is very limited itself because it’s all written in Me-ish or You-ish and is therefore an infinitesimal fraction of how the Universe finds meaningful expression of Itself. The Universal language is the Universe itself. It is that it is, you are that you are, and everything in-between is some kind of flavorful filler we’ve added to make it that much more digestible. There’s no translation of this language; if you don’t speak it in one way or the other, you’re dead. The key is to become aware that you’re speaking it, and that the world around you has been articulately pronouncing itself for all time, and you’ve got just enough years to become barely conversational in the Universal language. Better to speak a smattering of it than none at all.

    That being said, it’s time to go out again, and find something to eat.

    ***

    Humans, let it be said, are weird, especially in our endless desire for entertainment and distraction. One such peculiarity is the pack mentality, that we need do damn near everything in terms of group versus individual will. For example, the culture of dining out is a major social phenomena. There are a few seconds of awkwardness when the index finger goes up and the lips pronounce “one.” At the Italian restaurant, the server hurriedly removed the opposite place setting, so I’d “have more room.” Room for what? If I’d needed that much room whilst dining with another we’d be in a pickle, eh? I am a somewhat in a world designed for pairs, or more. There are few cultural outlets for the free bird, the solo artist. Even here, in a place designed for solitude and contemplation, I’ve been asked many times whether I’ve done this group thing or that. No, I explain as tenderly as I can forfeit, I’m here for solitude, to not interact with people but to dissolve my own personhood into the moist soil and surrender ego to context just as fungus digests the fallen leaves. Being a short-term hermit is not an outcasting or an antisocial enterprise; rather, it is acting upon the hunger of the soul to know its source, to concentrate via whatever tools it has to work with upon the rudimentary questions that cannot be answered when in the scuttle of social hullaballoo.

    I soloed my way through a 3D documentary about the International Space Station at the Imax theatre, then through a round of pollo molé and Dos Equis. Prior to this, I walked along the beach, just because. I was exalted by the play of gulls, the strong wind that made the sand dance as auroras, by the random flotsam that found its way to these shores; a twist of nautical rope, shells within shells, a brittle and bleached old bone. What graceful remnants; if only we could be some careful to leave such beauty in our wake, rather than the plastic that remarks to the discoverer “hey, I consumed something!” Everything else rots, and rightly so, except that which we make or plunder. We refuse to allow the spoils of our civilization to just go away, as if thumbing our noses at time, to succumb to the decay that is gnawing at our feet second-by-second. If anything is gleaned from our excesses by the fantastical future, let it be that we were an insecure culture. Even our gods were plastic.

    Sleep beckons. See, there’s entropy again.

    ***

    While asleep, I time traveled. In a sense, it’s “Spring Forward” day and rather suddenly an hour slipped away. Dreams are always weird things, never routine. But last night was weirder, complete with cats sneaking into my cabin that were incarnations of the Master, collectively (it’s been said he will appear to folks here from time to time. A friend of mine thought his wife was wearing a Frank Zappa mask but alas, it must’ve been someone else). There was something else about a sombrero, but that’s all I’ve got. In a bit, I’ll pack up and return the Tree Room to it’s me-less state, and make one last time for the beach, to pay my kind regards to such a dear and eternal friend. When I was half-asleep there the other day, post-cheeseburger, my mind playing with the dream-world as a kid toes the tide, I thought that I could peacefully and happily die in front of the sea, that if I had a choice (many decades away, mind you), that’s where I’d slip away. To think of the elderly pilgrims who make their way to the Ganges who, once upon her banks, seem to turn off like a switch with little fanfare. Not only are the enlightened not fearful of death, they tame it, know it, just as I have sought to know and tame the indwelling opponent. I admire that self-control… this time though, I was thrilled to be alive and present before such a great power, even as the sun lulled me into a reverie.

    Have I achieved what I came here for? I could best answer that if I fully knew why I was here. I think my primary thrust was a strong dose of inner peace, and a quieting of the constant self-doubt which tends to make me either more hesitant or emotionally awkward. Yes, then, I think I’ve achieved these points. Am I healed? Insofar as I acknowledged the wounds and allowed them to be dressed by either my own will or the weed-like creeping in of the natural forces which slip in through the holes in our souls and take root, making a balm from the inside-out. Fairer to say, I’m healing versus healed; there are many places on and within that need a balm, and I’ve had to choose the most critical functions of the soul and heart first. But I’m coming away with a hefty bit of contemplation, something my life allows little time for. For this, and for the Tree Room, for the turtles and ‘gators and laughing gull, I’m so grateful. Today, I’ll go to a sculpture garden as the grand finale of stimuli, but certainly not the final overture of this way of thinking.

    And so the journey ends, but certainly not the Work…

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 15.23 Mon, 15 Mar '10

    Thu 25 Feb 10

    My February in tweets

    There was once an innocent time when the above would sound so much more whimsical. Anyway, on with trimming the fat...

  • The only effective cure for migraines is total removal of the brain. Seems to be a common procedure I can't seem to sign up for.
  • Some people so concerned about saving souls they lose interest in saving their own conscience.
  • The least well behaved kids at the market were the ones who came out of the largest SUV laden w/ religious paraphernalia. Go figureth.
  • I love it when my boss calls & prompts me to get my ass out of bed to look at the moon. I mean hey, that's usually my job, the mystic-thing.
  • Venting: Some parents make more excuses for their kids than their kids do for themselves. There, that's better.
  • Though grappling with the unknown can be such a struggle, to dance with mystery leads to acceptance. To flee from it... ignorance.
  • No, Huey, it is *not* hip to be square. I so hate office music.
  • @moonbird has a baby Yog-Sothoth who has lost its way and needs souls to eat! Oh my!
  • Shields up, photon torpedoes loaded for this 24 hour journey through the Schmaltz Zone, where cupid aliens smarm you with romance beams.
  • Mystery is the most common element in the Universe; despite our great knowledge, we'll always remain beholden to & comprised of mystery.
  • If Catch 22s came in bulk I must've ordered a trailer-load today. Sheesh.
  • Overheard at work: "to kiss my ass, press 4."
  • If nature abhors a vacuum, why aren't certain brains being taken over by weeds?
  • Am I getting the sense this storm isn't the big bad wolf, but more of a spastic Yorkie?
  • Witty status update regarding the day's happenings, concluding with an abstract personal reference framed in a prosaic metaphor.
  • My blog turned 7 years old yesterday, w00t: http://is.gd/7Benw

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 23.36 Thu, 25 Feb '10

  • Mon 08 Feb 10

    Of Saints and Heroes

    I don't believe I ever sat down and actually watched the Super Bowl in my entire life, because generally I could care less about sports. Tonight, I watched it with (and for) lil' one. He has never sat down with a man to watch the game, never had a Dad who made wings, red beans and rice, and shook the house with a mighty roar at that first touchdown. Tonight he does- thank you Saints, you made champions of us.

    I feel this is an odd sort of milestone- that connection between the odd geeky new-ish Dad who has no sports IQ, and the Son who has overcome many hardships and seen the shattering of many dreams now enjoying something together this simple. He said it meant a lot to him, even me reading up on the rules of football so I could follow the game better.

    These little things, these passing minutes of our passing time, accrue such value. The moments are forever sealed in some holy place, tied to our names and our fragmentary existence. I cannot estimate the value to him to validate his passions, something that passes in about 3 hours, something as small as passing a ball back and forth.
    Tonight, we have watched a game, but I feel that we've won something far greater.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 00.25 Mon, 08 Feb '10

    Wed 03 Feb 10

    4,969 Posts Later...

    Just a few hours ago, Bird on the Moon . com celebrated its 7th birthday. This coincided with a night of merry making and home brewing with my best friend Joshua, and neighbors Sarah and Lynn. Long before the "social media revolution" of instant status updates and breathless texting, this blog served as my voice when I frequently was too unsure of it. Over time, thanks to the feedback and support of the over 3,000,000 visitors from damn near every nation on Earth, I became more confident of that voice, and ever more aware of the power of each larynx, each fingertip to change the world.

    Since those early golden days, I've become a Dad twice over, a published author thrice over, and have been within an inch of my life a few more times than I care to count. The point is, as the lyrics go to "Indiscipline" by King Crimson: "No matter how closely I study it- no matter how I take it apart, no matter how I break it down, it remains consistent." My life has been spelled out for a few million strangers for seven years, and though each day I may acknowledge its fragility, this life persists. This name, just like yours, just won another minute. All the more reason to speak more clearly from the heart, and more powerfully from the mountain top. The words that we emit may not be constrained to a single place now, in this age of constant connection and the madly addictive buzzing of an entire planet learning to speak. They spread out, and when the lights go out, we are saturated by words from throngs of souls we'll never meet. Provided we do something with the strange knowledge that we are all connected in ways that cannot yet be comprehended, we are fulfilling the dream of ages- being humanity and simultaneously sharing the same stage.

    The Internet is just a very rough and queer step on that path to true interpersonal, international interconnection. It is a primitive and crude simulation of that uncanny feeling we all know subconsciously, that feeling where we know that we are surrounded by the very knowledge we lack but just can't yet touch it. Each of us is tapping on some steampunk telegraph to the rhythm of our soul, at the least calling out in wonder from our common biology. It is still a young tool no matter our comfort with it. It is an opportunity awaiting your Next Important Search.

    So, what does all this really mean? Heck if I know, but it has been and continues to be an immense pleasure to hold this place dear to me and share it with you, bot or Bolivian, with unconditional peace. For the next year, Bird on the Moon will persist in one way or the other, and the Internet will grow in untold ways, and hopefully you will be given the opportunity to use your voice in transformative ways... come what may and for whatever reason.

    In the spirit of our endeavour, as searchers and teachers, I can only leave you with this spellbinding gift:

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 01.13 Wed, 03 Feb '10

    Fri 22 Jan 10

    The Obscuring Factor

    Do you think we might be made of
    Something more than what the scientists say?
    I might be a smörgåsbord of old photos
    Or the random bits of old game pieces
    Found scattered on the shag carpet.
    You might be some wind blown note, crumpled,
    Only to land at my door, ink blurred and intent lost.
    You might be the strange fog that settles over the city in January
    The obscuring factor, the breath of a ghost.
    Are we more than places, bits, together tumbled
    In time's ruthless wind?
    Are we more than a collision of consonants and vowels
    Pulled off the highway, waving for the attention of passer-by?
    In these later hours, the questions pass
    As onlookers on the other side of the glass
    Determined to get somewhere but too compelled by the shadows
    Not to be curious.
    As a stranger snuffs his smoke
    I close my book- no closer to answers
    But merged deeper with the question.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 23.43 Fri, 22 Jan '10

    Sat 26 Dec 09

    Snowmelt Quartet

    When the thin sheets of fog veil the city and hush her silver lights
    And the snow, which fell as stars that entranced our tongues
    Recedes back to the rivers, I too will melt, be absorbed,
    Even in the stillness of this house, shadowed by a single dancing candle.
    Snowmen collapse to Earth- I too lose my form
    Somewhere between here and sleep, and drip back to oblivion.
    The mind is softened by the loosening of shape and the returning of flow.
    ***
    My slowing and darkening thoughts numb the impossible- I fly through the mists
    And the shadows which blur the sharpest line… winging unbound,
    Singing myself raw in the song of a newly freed slave.
    Gravity unchains me, in dreams as real as a lone flame in the night.
    To become a meteor in reverse, streaking in a flash of re-binding
    Hurling my sulphurous way into the cold shimmer of heaven.
    No-thing touches me here, even light relaxes because fantasy is faster than law.
    You can take anything away, but none dares ransom this dream.
    ***
    Before nightfall, I read that telescopes found yet another planet out there
    Watery and massive, circling a sun seemingly unremarkable.
    One could hail the discovery, save we have not yet discovered our own world.
    Where is an observatory of the soul?
    Where are the lenses that can focus upon the light of life
    That we may name it, constellate it, give shape to a nameless radiance?
    Just as there is no net fine enough to trap a soul and the photons it loves
    There is no glass which bends life into a single, discernable image,
    And no place high and dark enough to entice a freed thought to come back down
    To take its place back among the alphabetized litany of “what makes sense.”
    ***
    As the snow continues to merge with the swollen stream of yesterday
    I will cling to the worlds in-between… the gentle minute between frozen and wet,
    The unshackled thought which ran deep into the night and
    Defied the roughened bounds of assumption like a fleet-footed vandal,
    A dream on the wing parading through a mist-softened city at midnight.
    A man in that city edges toward sleep
    While evermore clutching in gratitude all that awakens him.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 01.18 Sat, 26 Dec '09

    Wed 09 Dec 09

    The hardest thing in the world to do...

    ...has always been for me to ask for help. It's something I don't seem to have a problem coaching my clients on, but for me, it takes a lot. Here's the skinny: after knee surgery, loss of insurance, a failed return on investment from the new book, losing over a week's work (as a contractor, this blows the most), losing savings through failing mutual funds (I know that American poverty is still a luxury), not getting paid for services, vet bills, my cousin being sent to Asheville for me to "fix," and other recurring unexpected expenses, I'm at a total and complete standstill. Today, despite what the lender called very acceptable credit, I was turned down for a loan that was the last ditch effort. The lender has been leading me on continuously, saying that everything was clearing. Alas, he leaves it to a coworker to break the news. Now, whatever gas is in the tank is all that there is or will be, and despite my issues with Christmas, my son celebrates it and was looking forward to the just rewards of his incredible, blossoming character. Unless a miracle occurs, the last of the dominoes will fall in short order.

    I know I'm not alone in asking for help, and as I said, my dire situation is an opulence most of the world cannot enjoy. We rats have been bred to accept this paradigm, and create dependencies that are beyond what is reasonable to sustain life and thrive. While in comparison this is small potatoes, for the moment, it's an emergency.

    I am squeamishly and humbly asking for any donation possible. I need at least $250 to breathe, but about a paycheck's worth to relax. Anything you can provide is a wonderful gift, and accepted with gratitude. Even if you can't help, I'm grateful that you're reading this. Every thought does indeed count, and while I ask for help this way, I know I have it through the incredible generosity of my friend's spirits and hearts.

    For that, I'm eternally grateful, and by that I am truly sustained.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 16.01 Wed, 09 Dec '09

    Sat 21 Nov 09

    Only a sliver away

    Only a sliver away from empty,
    She says, as the brokenness in her eyes mirrors the brokenness of her home.
    Only a gust away from collapse,
    He says, as shelter recedes into the gale and again, the familiarity of loss overtakes.
    The worn chairs of an emergency room
    Harbor memories of a million kinds of anguish
    Hunger- madness- desperation- being utterly alone
    Under the glaring white of anonymous lights.
    How many children will only know this?
    How many grandparents will die waddled in regret over what should’ve been?
    If time would only stop long enough to allow love and reason
    To dodge the seconds and dash into hearts long hardened by fearing
    The gaze of a stranger who knows only pain, and doing something about it-
    If time would only stop long enough to re-order our disassembly
    Into new patterns where the least of these are pulled back from the margins
    And return to the center of the spiritual city
    To pull down the dividing fence between want and harvest
    To welcome humanity back into itself
    To be more than neighbors, but family-
    To be more than family, but species-
    To be more than species, but alive-
    Not merely out of consequence
    But of intention.
    To live in hunger and lack may be an accident of our forgetfulness,
    But to live in balance and community-
    That is what we shall do on purpose,
    Only a sliver away from happening right now,
    Only a gust away from becoming strong again.

    (Poem written for the 10th annual WNC Hunger Banquet)

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 20.30 Sat, 21 Nov '09

    Sat 07 Nov 09

    After five long years...

    Birdonthemoon.com, quiet though it may be, holds a very important place in my life. It's the studio that my house doesn't have (yet), dusty though it may be, the place where I come face-to-face with my creative effort. Through the archives of the past five years, I collected hundreds of poems and prose, culling here and there, and after well over two years of planning I organized that material into my third published work, One For The Nameless, which was officially accepted for publication just before midnight yesterday. It's through your feedback, interconnection, and support that this work was made possible. I'm humbled and awed to have nearly 900 pages of printed material from the past ten years, in addition to magazines and other print media.

    I can't yet say I'm proud of this- that'll take time- but I am grateful for all of these opportunities to create, both in verbal and visual media. Thank you, again, for occasionally popping in the studio and saying hello, even if the desk is dusty, it means that this place holds value to you as well.

    Cheers, friends.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 01.18 Sat, 07 Nov '09

    Sun 01 Nov 09

    All Saints Come Passin' Through

    If eyes are the windows of the soul
    You have pulled at those safe curtains, and the
    Wind is blowing through, there’s a big storm coming
    With each passing second that my eyes are pressed against yours
    All manner of love is raging between us,
    As all saints come passin’ through.

    I made a bonfire out of yesterday’s fallen heroes,
    Holy crackles be-glitter the night
    And my words are burning- and my heart is burning-
    And my eyes are burning with
    The pure revelation of your love, heat and gusts of leveling breath
    Rocking my foundation
    Shaking me and transforming me into the very cinder I feign to master.
    As we collapse into ourselves, I hear the distant anthems and
    Proud hymns as all saints come passin’ through.

    The last exhale, my Beloved, your hurricane of re-affirmed yes,
    A symphony of innocence
    That crescendoed through the valley and shook the dome of the night, Made the stars waltz, those very lights where you were and I am
    So temporarily placed under.
    Your name is now flung among the constellations,
    The twinkling play of suns
    Where you now run, full of love, as all saints come passin’ through.
    I ask who will stop the time- who will stop time- who stops time
    To honor the faces that fast become as thin as air, who we
    Too easily forget when once we held them warm, alive?
    We once stopped time for each dearly Beloved,
    For those once-opened eyes where all saints came passin’ through.

    This isn’t a metaphor or a convenient way to say to the
    World how holy you are for having been incarnate- no-
    When we touched I knew that same dizzy love that makes champions Of the dispossessed and raises up chiseled busts from
    Rough hewn rock, and there ain’t none
    That can question the virtues which arise from doing something more With love than just sighing.
    Eye to eye, breath upon breath, this isn’t death because
    There’s no stopping love.
    Death stops no champion, no hero, no lover,
    And at the moment the veil of life is loosened to the wind,
    All saints come passin’ through us,
    Among us… we bridge the mystery of light and shadow
    By holding on to dear life as each determined heartbeat
    Turns a gear in the clockworks of every soul you dared touch.

    Today, I heard about a rush of leaves that came from heaven
    Flocking through sunlight as a million fiery angels
    A sudden blaze in your colors- the rustling was your name,
    And that was enough for us to know
    That you, my saint, my hero, my beloved,
    Just came passin’ through.

    For Ursula

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 12.13 Sun, 01 Nov '09

    Sat 31 Oct 09

    Wink (I'm still here)

    FYI: There's a lot to be said about how discomfort pries loose mediocrity and exposes a raw and sometimes unnerving creativity. Perhaps, it's what's left of the animal in us- we grow stronger because of the wounds, not because we avoided them.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 23.14 Sat, 31 Oct '09

    Wed 07 Oct 09

    Ursula's tribute video


    The Queen's many nicknames: Bear, She-bear, Betty-bear, Sweezle, Floor Biscuit, Lady Bucket, Lady Head, Princess from Outer Space, Sistah, Empress of the Known Universe, Lezbot/Lezboterian, Love-a-bear.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 23.03 Wed, 07 Oct '09

    Tue 06 Oct 09

    Ursula, the everlasting Queen of my heart


    ~1995-2009

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 12.49 Tue, 06 Oct '09

    Mon 31 Aug 09

    Connective Tissue

    When I walk, do I remember enough the symphony of bone and muscle
    That takes me through the streets, through the rain,
    And into such a gentle night?
    Do I remember enough the impossible synergy of tendon and energy
    That propels me into your arms, that brushes me against your leaves?
    It is so easy to forget
    The strange convergence of some billions of forces
    Which have built from nothingness this fluid body,
    Forces constructing weathered words
    Spoken out of breath, into your ear,
    Into the Earth that is the you I name.
    Just as all rests within all,
    So does the abyss from which some artful surge
    Pushes forth this world upon us.
    This is as terrifying as it is ecstatic;
    Nothingness is not immediately comforting-
    It is the hoary ghost which hides behind silence,
    It is that mystery which will one day completely encompass you.
    You keep it away as desperately as you want it, want inside it,
    Want to know the carnality of the ineffable.
    Just as I mindlessly cross intersections,
    I mindlessly choose to be enamored
    By each crack in the street, each rustling and discarded thought,
    Each bold weed which declares its belonging by root alone.
    These things are the purest of privileges;
    The experience of time passing,
    Sentinels which declare “Today, you remain alive and in connection,
    Do more than witness this- know this.”
    To be in connection is to be a wayward and brazen anomaly of time-
    You have emerged tenderly from the dark into this rush of everything
    Grasping what you can, fashioning from elemental clay your work,
    And going away...
    And when you touch another, any other, the other-ness may dissolve,
    Leaving you with it All
    Clutching a bundle of nerves that holds you as much to the Earth
    As it does some unnamed star, some cresting wave,
    Some shimmer elsewhere.

    We become each other’s connective tissue
    When we, at last, become our selves.

    ***

    When I walk, bone and muscle and tendon and energy
    Are remembering, deeply, the symphony that is time.
    I notice the woman who moves slowly up the hill
    Under a large and twirling umbrella.
    She is at once the center of the Universe, and its entirely,
    And the nothing from which it came.
    She does this so simply
    Just by walking
    Through a night where the cicadas keep time with the good rain
    And the shadows merge silently.


    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 00.05 Mon, 31 Aug '09

    Mon 10 Aug 09

    Pale Blue Dot

    I made this video in celebration of Carl Sagan and the gift of perspective. Presented 9 August 2009 at Jubilee.

    Carl Sagan's "Pale Blue Dot" Music by VNV Nation from moon bird on Vimeo.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 00.01 Mon, 10 Aug '09

    Sun 12 Jul 09

    It's All The Rage

    I am
    So rapt
    With the sky
    Which passionately
    Paints the day in bold
    Arcs, no matter the banal
    Goings on in the grids and highways.
    Funny how a sky's moon is oft linked to madness.
    She has been so damn noticeable the past few days
    Days in which there was great tumult scribbled into the calendar.
    Sensible people lured into burning buildings of the mind, only to scream.
    Sensible hearts drunken and flailing for words, longing for upheaval.
    Making love after clocks dismantled explosively around us.
    I cannot make sense of it all, this circus of emotions
    Born from fecund neural landscapes I'll never see-
    Can only hold so many souls without losing mine.
    Somewhere afar, a star silently goes supernova
    All its material surrendered to the artful
    Play of the void, much as the imagination
    Holds close our dreams, then bursts
    In unison with the passionate
    Delirium of the moonstruck.
    Only containing so much
    Until the pull of
    Gravity takes
    Our spirits
    Beyond the
    Horizon.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 00.35 Sun, 12 Jul '09

    Sun 28 Jun 09

    Walking/Breathing

    (inhale)
    You are no different than the stars, really.
    The same atoms that form you are dispersed all throughout
    The night sky that brings you such awe.
    You seek to unite all your disparate parts
    Yet you are the cosmos, walking,
    An aspect of an ever changing awareness;
    You are a messenger, an observer, a nerve cell.
    (exhale)
    You took a dare tonight, and flung yourself
    Haphazardly into the arms of strangers,
    You cupped fire in your hand and danced on red-hot constellations.
    To love is such a dare, to trust, to just feel is a risk.
    That you chanced it is evidence enough you're alive
    Every action is as dangerous as it is beautiful-
    Your next breath is just as transformative as any ceremony.
    (...)

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 01.08 Sun, 28 Jun '09

    Sun 21 Jun 09

    To be invincibly curious (for Solstice/Father's Day)

    In the vivid days of childhood you felt such a thrill
    When you ran out the door for the forest, freeing yourself from time
    Skipping into mystery and shadows without fear
    Upturning stones in the creek to catch a salamander, to be invincibly curious.
    You recall the wonder of the sun, some yellow star in a book,
    That brought out your sweat and blazed your trails
    Through a wilderness of thickets and souls.
    By sunset, your name was called, tugging at you like a yo-yo string
    And you brought yourself hesitantly home, perhaps a little late, out of breath,
    Perhaps a little wiser.
    In the mirror now, in these days,
    The memories of youth are plotted in fading freckles
    And we are punctual, and we enter the forest
    With maps and caution as if we were once defeated by it.
    However, there is a message inscribed
    On the other side of that mirror where we mourn time;
    There is adventure yet, for you are still a child of a Universe made of mysteries
    There is exaltation in little things yet,
    For you are still a child of senses which awaken further each passing day,
    You are still a child even in your frailty,
    For there is an eternity of graces yet to know and teach.
    As a child, we do the walking for our ancestors,
    Our mothers dwelling within our skins, our fathers anchoring to the bones,
    And from these names in our blood emerge new children, new names,
    New ripples in Creation’s pond.
    The word made flesh.
    From this newness comes an amazement in responsibility, and I am a father now.
    From a child’s name comes a wonder in infinite outcomes,
    And you are a mother now.
    From the forest comes the child trotting,
    And we uplift the goodness of their freedom, even when they’re late.
    More than flesh made whole, the child before you and within you
    Yearns that we never outgrow adventure.
    I will affirm this in my muddiness,
    As this father runs with the son into the forest again
    Chasing dreams, catching holy glimpses of infinity
    As easily as we might catch a salamander and laugh long
    On the first day of summer, freed from time, the flesh made whole.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 12.26 Sun, 21 Jun '09

    Sat 13 Jun 09

    bridge work ahead

    I'm on the bridge
    The river is a muddy rage
    And the sky, a battlefield of clouds.
    There's thunder somewhere, could be in my head.
    With a flutter, a white pigeon flies toward the mayhem above.
    Lost, it seems, anxious circuits above the bridge, flapping with vigor,
    As if its life indeed depends on this upward thrust to chaos,
    There is reorientation and calmer winds yet.
    Not along ago, a woman jumped from here-
    For a moment lost on the air,
    For a moment, free.
    Life does indeed
    Depend on being
    Found, and at
    Peace with
    The sky.
    Should she
    have seen this
    White bird swirling
    Amid the impending weather
    She might have chosen to be winged
    And chase the very airs which troubled her
    Finding herself in command of the wind, not merely blown
    By it but meant to be upon it, intended to be made ever more alive.
    I deeply revere these passing seconds, and the coming
    Storm, and to behold this white pigeon flying for
    Its freedom, flying for its life, flying perhaps
    For these eyes only for they are lost too.
    I uplift my vision to the passion of the
    Sky, that I may too be reoriented
    And clearer of my surroundings
    More knowledgeable of my own
    Feathers and their ability
    To course through the
    Very mystery which
    Hold me back.
    To the sky,
    May I again
    Be found
    In you.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 20.17 Sat, 13 Jun '09

    Sat 23 May 09

    something there

    We talk about the corner of an eye
    When we know it's round
    Fooling ourselves into boxes and lines.
    We're more fluid than that
    Flowing from here to there, streaks of vision
    Seldom aware of the limits
    So swiftly made just by naming a thing, fixing to now.
    The Big Dipper hangs as a
    Question mark over the house, paradoxically casting light
    Long since old but no less mythic.
    I with those stars form the arcs of a riddle
    Joined by our mere points in space
    Orbiting in nameless absurdity as strangers then, now and yet to be.
    Inhaling the sweat of suns, you can exclaim
    There's something here or something there
    When both and neither are true,
    As real as an almost-kiss.
    There's something behind the wall, within the grove,
    And surely, there's something in your cornerless eyes.
    As a tireless mockingbird I exclaim
    Multitudes of somethings, perhaps senselessly.
    There's no proof of even the stars
    Of even the bird's song
    Of even your eyes.
    I could live without proof, and besides,
    I would rather dare a dream of life
    Than to deny that there's something there.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 01.17 Sat, 23 May '09

    Wed 22 Apr 09

    a haunting image

    Today, at the hospital, a patient I was evaluating became increasingly hostile and unsafe. He was getting belligerent with staff, and the police were called in. I was wanting to get the guy some help, but I knew he'd forfeit that if he blew his top and broke the law there, which seemed increasingly likely as the minutes escalated and buzzed.

    An African-American nurse walked by, who was just doing her rounds, and in his explosion he yelled out the dreaded N word. I turned to watch her sink, her head coming down to her chest as if her spirit just deflated. "Arrest him," I said, which they kindly obliged. I don't think I've ever seen a word so cleanly puncture a person's soul.

    After he was carted off, I looked around for the nurse, whom I'd never seen before. She's from Africa, and said she'd never been called that word as long as she's been in America. I've seen people slapped, kicked, bludgeoned, and she was justly in shock over a wound just as real. She said that in her culture, if you offer a stranger a piece of bread, you acknowledge that you're their brother or sister, that the community takes care of each other. She said that's what she tries to bring to nursing- I said that she's giving an even bigger gift, that of sharing a great cultural value that "ours" needs so badly.

    I was immensely touched by her spirit, even as it was wounded. For while she was reeling from such unkindness, she felt so badly for the patient. That he was arrested brought her no comfort, only sadness for him and such selfless compassion.

    I've a lot to learn from that hour or so. And I'll never forget the haunting image of a proud, beautiful and strong person so suddenly broken by the careless arrogance of someone who is refusing what this nurse so freely gives... compassion.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 21.43 Wed, 22 Apr '09

    Sun 19 Apr 09

    the lilac tree

    The lilac tree uproots itself
    And dances in the street at night.
    Exuberant hues of purple thrill the air
    With each sweep of a branch, each flourish of blossom.
    Or, it could be you who's dancing,
    Your spine arcing across the starfields
    Fingers play with the wind, loosened from names and time.
    Dancers, of dream and of now, you were once bodies
    And are now words, blazing through the music
    You are the poetry of some love-mad fool
    Each footfall an answered longing
    Each leap a wish unbound by reason.
    Is a lilac any more reasonable than a poem, a dance?
    If you have transcended bone to become a word
    Do not be timid in your pronouncement,
    Spin for the audacity of spinning,
    Dance close to me that I may be moved by your orbit,
    Swayed by the language in your steps.
    I look out the window
    And behold the lilac tree...
    Still for now,
    But waiting to be caught dancing,
    As I look on and on, wordlessly,
    Waiting for a poem.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 00.33 Sun, 19 Apr '09

    Sat 11 Apr 09

    Programming Note

    It has come to our attention that this blog is being infrequently updated. Pleased be advised that the blogger is experiencing time-related deficiencies and this situation is being closely followed by Management. Remain out of your homes. Disregard the warnings and emergency broadcasts. Do not panic, as area authorities and the Great God Pan have the situation under control, as much as it can be controlled, which is actually quite little.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 23.43 Sat, 11 Apr '09

    Sun 05 Apr 09

    petals fall

    In the woods today a breeze
    And a rain of petals on the path
    Each a dancer in the moment,
    Each spinning in homage
    To the space between twig and ground
    Falling is coming home
    Lying there as crazy as a starfield
    As purposeless as anything else,
    Purposeful dancing only unto itself.
    Being witness to such a game of chance
    While so gracelessly be-forested
    Casting out for such breath and sun
    Is a daredevil's compact with gravity and happenstance-
    I'll fly through time like those raptured blossoms
    Singularly created for this very moment
    To have my one dance seen by some stranger from afar
    Admiring the winding path ahead
    And might notice the petals fall.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 23.32 Sun, 05 Apr '09

    Thu 05 Mar 09

    still here

    This is one of those blog posts that is intended to be a mere blip on the radar, a brief surfacing for air, a sudden spike in the EEG. Things are, well, as the recent meme goes, just what it says on the tin. I'm still here, to quickly reiterate, but I've been frightfully immersed in such wondrously time obliterating pursuits, such as:

  • Learning my lines for the ghastly play, which I barely agreed to be in a few weeks ago, and now is one week from opening. I'm the lead, and this wretched script, dug from the very bowels of a publisher's hell, is brutal on the English language and even the most easily entertained.
  • Feverishly working to complete the final FINAL draft of the new book, as I need a stack for sale by this time next month. The miracle of modern printing will likely come through for me, but with the cancer upon time that the play is, I have a monumental task yet ahead.
  • Working. Stretching my brain around horribly warped dynamics and sadness. Also beginning to prep for my Substance Abuse boards in June, itself as fearful as taxes.
  • Co-parenting at a very critical time for the lil' one. I can't use this space to get into his stuff, of course, but it's fair to say that as he faces struggles, I face them with him with the added benefit of my experience in maneuvering similarly, yet with the added fear and unsettle-ment that time and memory bring.
  • As with the rest of America, experiencing severe financial discombobulation. Alas, poor Yorick...
    I feel badly that my twittering (a somewhat gut-wrenching reworking of that lovely verb) has been far more frequent than my posting here. Perhaps, it's a side effect of our rapidly dwindling time/attention as a society, or my own, heavens, internetty laziness.
    I will post more dispatches from the front as time and situations allow.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 22.05 Thu, 05 Mar '09

  • Sun 15 Feb 09

    stalking

    Stalking

    If anything, I am a stalker of words
    The right words, their accompanying sounds
    In dense trails through the brush, holding my breath to
    Catch a glimpse of a semantic beast, a toothy emissary of the wild
    At my own peril, to bare my chest to the creature, to drop my weapons and dare it.
    I am not a killing man, yet there’s something terrifying- my bare hands are to confront it.
    The very nature which draws me out, adrenaline shook and skin chilled
    Are my own pronouncements gone feral, once gently past my lips
    Only to get that crazed look in their eyes, and dash out into
    Shadows, howl, and enter the thick symbolic bramble
    And rage, and thirst for blood, and lead the chase.
    Supple mouths are but gates that swing in the
    Wind, and the entire menagerie creeps
    Out, and that screeching is mine
    The clawmarks are mine
    Myself my own prey.
    How is it that that which
    Is tame so suddenly succumbs
    To intoxicating instinct and becomes a
    Wholly different animal simply by sniffing a
    Breeze kissed with the freedom to run, even into chaos?
    It is night, and it is still and I am waiting for you, for that which
    Was once mine, was once me, now young and feral and uncompromising in appetite.
    What will I do with my hands when finally, the words are caught, and time is nigh?
    I may tense them in a hunter’s unforgiving grip, or open them, and embrace
    Something once cherished, once escaped, now beyond recognition
    In that moment of capture, but as I hold those words
    Those savage nobles, those fearsome beasts,
    We break down in sudden remembrance
    I howl with you and you gently
    Go with me, the fight is over
    Leaving us to merge again
    Into our homeland
    Of air and
    Flesh.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 22.28 Sun, 15 Feb '09

    Fri 13 Feb 09

    Closing in...

    oftn_webthumb.jpgI've just finished the rough first edit of the new book. Yes, the new one, and incidentally, the third one which I've been sitting on for some time. The beast is at least weighing in at 350 pages of my gibberish presently, and with some cuts and additions, that's about where it will likely settle. Not that the page length has anything to do with it, really, but being a man there's something quite comforting in such a long, ahem, piece of work.

    I'm still aiming for an April Fool's 2009 launch, and the free time between now and then is so, so thin. A poem ("Kick up the dust") originally seen on this site and performed at Jubilee will get an interpretive dance work-over in mid-April at the Diana Wortham Theatre, and I'd love to have a stack ready to go by then. It's quite an humor, obviously, and thanks everyone for your hand in the inspiration and the drive to keep this thing going.

    Yippy skippy, and all that.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 21.55 Fri, 13 Feb '09

    Mon 02 Feb 09

    And so it goes...

    If anything, this blog is a personal archeology rather than a public compendium of interests and whimsies for the masses. I've never been much of a consistent journal-er, yet I find another Groundhog's Day/Imbolc is here and Bird on the Moon adds another year to its dusty stacks.

    Happy Birthday blog, you are 6 years old today!

    What is especially interesting in this is that I'm pouring through all of these entries for material. I am closing in on having the first rough draft and edit of the **NEW BOOK** and so much of it has its roots here. Yes, my frequency of posting is wanting, and perhaps the public substance has been less than immediately mind-blowingly transcendental, but what you do with these words is your business dear reader, I just arrange them. Transcend as you will.

    So, no gloaty and self congratulatory posting here, just placing a marker here along the path. I am certainly keeping this going, because while it may benefit the passing reader (okay, over 2 million visits since the start) it is ultimately a time capsule for myself and perhaps for others... maybe my lil' one will be interested in going through all this some day. If at least to help him sleep.

    Well, thanks everybody. It is an honor to be among the most senior of Asheville bloggerati, and it is an honor that some folks I'll never know hitch along on my journey. As the glam metal 80s song goes, "I don't know where I'm going, but I sure know where I've been."

    Here's to not knowing tomorrow, and being thankful for so many great years!

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 23.00 Mon, 02 Feb '09

    Sun 01 Feb 09

    how you fell asleep tonight

    The house at its quietest...
    The little one fell asleep listening to
    Old stories, oral histories, fantastic fictions.
    I laugh, kiss his hair, and tuck him in.
    Now alone with myself after a day of
    Cold and muck; we sought out stones
    At a disused mine, deep reds
    Which emerge through the
    Sleeping dirt in perfect geometry.
    A brief moment of eureka, holding aloft the find,
    When the stone is not the found thing at all,
    But that moment itself now merged with
    The crystalline, no longer the stone,
    Just time in the sun, even as cold
    As we were, even as entranced
    And exhausted, and free.
    Now, though, a flickering candle,
    These fingers, these words, and this
    Fruitful silence where the gravity of my
    Changing life is not less heavy, but more comfortable...
    The gravity of transgressions, regrets, awkwardnesses, shadows
    Is reclining, may as have its feet on the table, whistling
    "Round Midnight" or some other hymn to these times.
    Tonight, I am just as able to converse with the
    Heavy burden of my worn and addled secrets
    As I am to hold those rocks we found,
    Thinking of the holy effort not in the digging
    But in seeing, savoring, exalting.
    Perhaps, stories exist to lull
    The child in us to dream
    Just as much as they do for the teller
    To find new passages through the mystery,
    Unexpected paths through the bramble of our days,
    And laughing in the quiet of a small house, at ourselves.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 01.49 Sun, 01 Feb '09

    Fri 23 Jan 09

    Friday Deep (Fried) Thought

    As the Universe created itself, and as we are the Universe embodied, so it is our course to create ourselves. We must further look to the stars to see that all creation, all forms, must one day un-create, disembody, and dissolve back into darkness and light and all that lies between and beyond.

    To fight this is the ultimate denial; to take charge of it is the ultimate strength.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 12.30 Fri, 23 Jan '09

    Thu 15 Jan 09

    the spider and the lampshade

    There is a great fascination in conceptualizing the Other,
    That alien, that shadow, that ghost who makes a home
    Just between the atoms of our Everyday, and lurches,
    Suddenly, into our own, taking our breath
    Without ever having to ask for it.

    I was listening to this wind we've been warned about
    Rattle the edge of my world, surely freezing
    Any still thing, when a spider larger than the eyes watching it
    Crept down, carefully down, the lampshade.
    The Other moved with such precision
    In strides that surely inspired daVinci
    Mechanical is a crude word for it
    A perfection of organic orchestration.
    I do not move with such gentility,
    I bumble dance and zig-zag through the symmetrical corridors of days
    Not altogether graceless, yet not as aware
    As the arachnid whose mission has now advanced to the bookshelf
    Moving through pages which attempt to strenuously capture
    The awe of the creation in which we find ourselves
    Waiting for the Other,
    Surrendering to the intruder
    Without ever a breath of understanding between us.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 20.23 Thu, 15 Jan '09

    Wed 31 Dec 08

    the obligatory year end post

    It pretty much weakens a blog post from the start to say something like "I wish I could say more, but...", and this is one of these cases. I've got to be up frightfully early in the morning for the annual pilgrimage to Delaware, get the house ready, and somewhere in the middle of that, acknowledge a calendar flip to the much anticipated and feared '09. I type this while still annoyingly encumbered with a lingering laryngitis, which tries my patience even when the words are spoken by my fingers. So, a proper year end review would take more times than I am allowing myself, so I will process Zero Eight with a run-on sentence, thusly:

    "It started with tossing some fireworks out the back and attracting the new neighbors attention, and continued on with a dire amount of unblogged work panic related to my own damn procrasination which actually lead to a vacation in Charleston where I met a fabulous gentleman with whom I still try to correspond amid the new duties ascribed by me as a Godfather-plus which stretched joyously into the springtime wherein I found a short poetic resurgence which couldn't have prepared me for the sudden death of my cousin Brooke whom I still miss and feel strangely about not being physically incarnate, then again even the most base matter is incarnated somethingness though by July I'd had it with a certain religion which would've argued even the above loosely worded observation, of which I increasingly shared at Jubilee to good reception, mysteriously, and it was to mystery I flew in September after resigning from a company that took over my older company, to which I retreated to a different division, but more excitingly I traveled from Istanbul to Bruges (Belgium) for about a month where at the midpoint I rendezvoused with Joshua and Robin for Oktoberfest and zaniness in Bavaria, and when it was all said and done after returning home I felt out of place by remaining in place and back home I tried to undertake a sabbatical but the new division of old company snatched me up and suddenly I was a "crisis counselor" full time which flew by as the autumn colors splashed across the mountains like a spray can shot off a fence post which isn't "Green" but whatever it's a metaphor, and fall grew into wintry-ness faster than I anticipated and the responsibilities and rigors of an emerging parenting role consumed me and lead to a few dark nights of anti-confidence which quickly dissipated each time I saw my lil' guy's happy eyes, which makes everything worth it, and despite losing a shitload in the markets and living a much less financially secure life (who isn't?) I find that I am happy and can leave Zero Eight wiser and, quite possibly, happier than I entered it, so in forty minutes I'm going to throw some fireworks out the back, and..."

    Jeez that was exhausing for me too. Happy Arbitrary Passing of Time Day, y'all, and with joy and care may we welcome yet another symbolic chance to get things even more right.

    Love,
    jaybird

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 22.13 Wed, 31 Dec '08

    Fri 19 Dec 08

    Bigots are not the change we need

    David Corn: [Obama] stepped over a line by picking Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration--even if this is only a symbolic gesture.

    By all means, Obama should work with Rick Warren when there is common cause. For political reasons, he should not eschew Warren because of his anti-gay views. Warren can be a powerful ally when it comes time to persuade the public to support climate change legislation. Success in governing often depends on forging coalitions with those with whom you disagree.

    But Warren's opposition to gay rights is more than a mere policy dispute. It is an act of bigotry. Sure, Warren does not believe he is being discriminatory. But that's what it is. He is denying rights to certain Americans because he disapproves of how they love. By handing Warren this prime slot at the inauguration, Obama is saying that he recognizes Warren as a spiritual leader and is reaffirming Warren's position as such. This is an insult to gay Americans and those who support equal rights in this nation.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 06.38 Fri, 19 Dec '08

    Sun 14 Dec 08

    Observers Rushed In

    Up north, they say the trees bent and cracked with ice,
    Billions of temporal crystals bringing the day down,
    Cities on pause as in amber,
    Time for the observers to rush in.
    No such thickness here, that you can touch anyway.
    Though I cannot tell if I am inside the shaken snowglobe, perpetual in mid-wonder,
    Or outside it, shaking vigorously, questioning what has really ever changed.
    Time for the observers to rush in.
    I do know that the cold has twisted and crackled the branches of my tree
    Gnarled them unrecognizable from spring’s gay pageant,
    And we are in greatest upheaval when we are unseen to ourselves.
    Time for the observers to rush in.
    The winter is fearsome only in that it renders the obscure naked
    Reduces flamboyance to only the most essential of movement,
    Making the hide-n-seek of summer’s festive play a pointless act; nothing disguises you.
    Time for the observers to rush in.
    I was born on the cusp of the season, a rainy Thursday which surely washed leaves into the gutter.
    Suddenly, skeletons around which we build the meat of our names, our craven necessities, are revealed.
    I am spending the rest of my life peeling away to the origin, the naïve twig, the fragile bone.
    Time for the observers to rush in.
    From these heaps emits a gasp of timelessness, even as they whither under seemingly permanent stars.
    Do you remember the games you played with yourself, dancing between two opposing mirrors?
    It seemed that distance blurred you, but in fact you merged with that light, dissipated within the glass.
    Time for the observers to rush in, one of them is you,
    Finally seeing yourself.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 12.14 Sun, 14 Dec '08

    Thu 04 Dec 08

    make believing

    When my mind wanders, just before sleep,
    I enter the world of make-believe, the province of my younger and unstained hands,
    Where I would simply play the day away,
    To be some brave an noble figure commanding the world from my bottom bunk.
    It is so often said so as to be second nature
    That not-knowing, a celestial sort of innocence, is the closest we have to the child inside.
    The first star I see tonight, I wish I may,
    I wish I might, un-know all that has made my steps more pragmatic and careful,
    All that has informed my restraint,
    So that for even a mere hour I could reclaim the naive woodland paths of my forsaken years,
    Where the rigidity of knowledge couldn't obscure the boldest of dreams.
    Even though as my fingers are wrinkling with the millions of minutes spent wrestling Truths,
    I see too enticements to play and pretend, to make believe
    That the world's radiance cannot be overshadowed by the limits imposed by fear and pain.
    Perhaps I can still pretend, even as the map of my body and soul
    Succumbs to separatist movements of the competing flags of truth, honor, and virtue.
    There are tree houses yet unbuilt, worlds yet untouched.
    Though adventure may be tamed by the clock, I must jam the gears for child that follows,
    And dare to never come home on time.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 21.59 Thu, 04 Dec '08

    Tue 11 Nov 08

    Rust

    Time's measurement by the senses:

    Only rust red and thin veins of gold cap the mountains-
    This morning, I heard the syncopation of a tree letting go of it's final tiny hands-
    The weight of heavy down is shield enough against gloom-
    The very breath of the Earth is ferment now, roots into roots-
    I crave spice, artificial heat, edible furnaces.

    All life is clockwork, yet there is no universal agreement
    What time it really is.
    All I know is that autumn has arched the pinnacle,
    An almanac page loosed from its binding,
    And we flutter now into the nurturing dark and chill
    Again, one with the province of stars, again,
    Left to calculate our place and pace in the passing night.

    What senses record your history?
    What undiscovered dimensions of feeling are the dutiful scribes of your name?

    I tremble before the venerable and exact chronology of mountains,
    Of the iron in my blood and the exultant push skyward
    Of mere ruddy leaves, southward flocks,
    And the coming still nights.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 09.32 Tue, 11 Nov '08

    Wed 29 Oct 08

    For the blessings of liberty

    Life has changed, and always will. It's the thankful litany of the ages that ours is an incarnation as variable as the autumn leaves, as random and resplendent as the stones along the shoreline. For this, I of course offer gratitude, but for that changing life, I must also offer concern.

    Ours is a world that has been overwhelmed by the weight of its own divisions, a world that is collapsing under the strain of wars, disparity, and entrenched idealism. While beauty abounds and potential runs as freely as starlings, there is a very tenuous grip on the future here, and it's straining, and the gravity of millenia of carelessness is pulling us down. Each of us, from ivory towers to the shanties of the poorest slums suffers.

    This year, I was asked to take on a responsibility that has transformed my idle minutes into measures of necessity. I was asked to be a Godfather, and beyond. For years I've been against the grindstone for children who've been cast off by a society too drenched in judgment and obligations of artifice to give the powerful mercies needed to help them recover from the suffering inflicted by the grand scale selfishness of society, abuse, and poverty. Suddenly, all of my efforts were contextualized into the needs of a child frequently disdained, labeled, written-off. Suddenly, I was asked eclipse the work-a-day world and be a champion for a soul whose merits were overlooked because of his challenges. I cannot imagine a better thing to say yes to, and a greater cause. I cannot imagine a greater challenge, and a better reason to fight for a future which is ambiguous at best, fearsome at least, prosperous at most.

    I now have, finally, something greater than myself to fight for, to die for if need be. I never took the future of America as seriously as I do now, and never have with as much fire in my belly screamed aloud for change as I have in the past weeks. For this reason, for the sake of my responsibility which I view as sacred and as necessary as my next breath, I implore that all Americans take the time to look around them and undertake action which honors and magnifies their own responsibility. I implore you, my homeland, to seek out the greatness of your own callings and do what is required to grant a just and peaceful legacy to those who will follow us into histories yet unwritten. We have been too long negated, exploited, and like my Godson, written off. We have been mere pawns in a sickening political game, which does not honor the soul and the justification of a nation. The birthright bestowed upon us by our ancestors has been sold to high bidders and profiteers, and I don't believe freedom was a virtue intended to be commoditized and traded like cattle.

    I believe that freedom was a virtue intended to be improved upon by successive generations, perfected, and practiced. This child who calls me Dad reflects a deep abiding wisdom when he says "it doesn't make sense that we make a big deal about hate speech but our institutions are themselves hateful." Can we not aspire to the words of children, and cease our nationally ignorant contrariness?

    I believe that, in some form, we can at least begin that great work by using the best of our remaining democratic opportunities and elect Barack Obama the next President of the United States. Since I was young, I've always watched politics as a sport, at times a blood sport, but always without great inspiration. It was with a certain schadenfreude that I watched the powerful tear themselves down and see what mere virtues remained. Yet this campaign has proved me wrong. I see in Barack and Joe the best of America remaining unscathed, because they refuse to bow to the blood sport and spoil the justification of their message. They stand uniquely equipped at this time in history to create dramatic shifts of hope and opportunity, nit for myself as much, but for the one who depends on me most.

    For the sake of the most innocent, and thus the must vulnerable and the most often victimized, do what is right, America. Do what is the essence of our birthright, do what composes the blessings of truest liberty, and vote.

    Vote with love, vote with compassion, vote with confidence, and vote with hope.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 22.42 Wed, 29 Oct '08

    Sat 18 Oct 08

    I was once a boy

    I was once a boy,
    Now, by default a man who through chance
    Ran the gauntlet of time to hold these small words in my hand.
    I was once a boy in my mother’s house,
    With a forest at my back and silent meadows full of magic
    Left to make worlds out of silent hours, to make sense out of paint,
    To learn the world through yellowed paperbacks, rope swings, and the kids down the block,
    Our secrets bigger than any treehouse, darker than the stagnant creek
    By which we made our pacts.
    I was once a boy in my father’s house,
    On the brink of a river whose tides once ripped the basement, and would carry you away,
    Where the clink of glass and the echoes of lonely proclamation
    Were the make-do comforts of a misfitted bumbling frame,
    Told with such fervor that there was something I stood for just by the heaving of my blood
    Told that there was no trying greater than signing a once privileged name
    But the driftwood boats could ferry away my soul, a hobo, a prince, to some greater ocean.
    I was once a boy,
    Now in my own house, quiet save for the cats and the chestnuts that hit the roof with each breeze.
    I am wrinkling, I have numbers sewn into the spine of my worthiness, a chest of old stories.
    The boy, once ruffled and curious, inexperienced and blessedly naïve,
    Now has seen too much, inventively forgetting the scars, a luxury where once he was entertained by mud.
    I wish I knew, even remembered, the goodly comforts of innocence, life before obligation.
    I was once a boy, now a man, now a father,
    With only years between this house, and the houses of my earliest days,
    Years that pass radiantly, from my storied hands,
    To those of the boy.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 03.41 Sat, 18 Oct '08

    Wed 15 Oct 08

    The last debate liveblog for at least four years

    2045: First off, I soon hope to return to higher-minded posting, but politics has always been a sport I follow with a Neanderthal's zeal for the good-guy-clubbing-bad-guy-on-the-head-with-a-mammoth-bone kinda stuff. American politics is certainly the world's lowest common denominator, so to speak, but Obama seeks to bring the dignity and respect back to the gladiator's ring. We'll see how joyously he wails on the tired old awful Walnuts. Poor Walnuts.

    2057: Mmmm, reheated garlic lemon rosemary elitist chicken! With capers!

    2104: Walnuts is hurting right now, and he's angry.

    2106: As always, I'm mentally yelling at my router. Barry comes on strong an energetic, Walnuts is puddling-like.

    2109: If this is what "going on the attack" is, it's like playing war with balled up socks. Barry continues to sound presidential.

    2113: What's wrong with spreading the wealth around? It might be "socialist" sounding, but so is nationalizing banking. Which Walnuts voted for.

    2117: I'm sure Walnuts remembers the Great Depression. He voted for the 10 trillion dollar debts that will hobble our kids.

    2125: Frankenstein has the scars to prove it, too. Why can't McCain return the respect he's being generously given by Barack?

    2131: "Politics as usual is not working for this country."

    2134: How dare Walnuts not acknowledge the bafoonery and evil statements that have gone on at his so-called rallies?

    2141: Walnuts scrambles like a drowning rat at the end of the Ayers question. I will grant that he's a master at changing the topic.

    2144: What's weird about the instant reaction feeds is that it relies on reflexive, not thoughtful, responses. Oh, and Walnuts is ridiculous in pulling out the "special needs" card. She's not even taking care of her baby.

    2156: Still here, just dumbfounded by the fact that Walnuts gets to have the last word on every pivotal question.

    2159: What's with Walnuts' cocky and unpresidential smirk?

    2205: Yippee, you can drink now because Walnuts mentioned the gold plated Caddy! I swear, I've never seen more reprehensible rhetoric from a major candidate than tonight from McCain.

    2209:I could consider eating a lobster, Sen. McCain, and perhaps I should get credit for considering it. Fact is, no way will I actually eat a lobster. But I can get some points for at least thinking about it. Right? That's what you're saying.

    2215: the issues are not really being represented here. it's a gotchya tit for tat, a sifting for soundbites. the questions are weak.

    2218: We trail the rest of the world in education because of our approach to education. We can't factory farm the power of the human mind. Intellect is a commodity that can't be created though a model that is so geared toward profit, but through instilling a classical desire to learn. I don't expect either candidate to address educational philosophy, but the way we educate has a lot to do with the failure of our system... we don't allow for the great variety of capacities, curiosities, and inclinations that make a big difference in a child's success.

    2226: Okay, you fucker, bring it on about autism. Show me, Sen. McCain, how the administration you palled around with increased the funding and likelihood of effective treatment and education for autistic children. Show me.

    2230: An eloquent (new elitist buzz word) finish from President Obama, while Walnuts was again scrambling with his fake hubris. It's over now, thank the heavens.

    motivator1353075.jpg

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 20.40 Wed, 15 Oct '08

    Fri 10 Oct 08

    seriously

    I was expecting to be posting journal entries from the Odyssey by now, having completed processing the pictures, video, and audio as well. Maybe I would've finally gotten some time in to work on the book, itself long overdue. Yet, what have I done, other than accept some contract work, dig a firepit, and play house?

    I've been absorbed in the "correction" we've been seeing, the collapse of our entire financial sector (my investments included), along with real spasms of inadequacy in our energy sectors affecting real people, not just speculators in a pit. I've watched with great dismay the desperate thrashings of an old, power hungry man and his Manchurian compadre as the last democratic exercise we possess, the election of leadership, turns suddenly against him and the paradigm he represents. The venom, the whipping up of frenzies and lynch mobs, and the incitement (or, at least, tacit approval) of violence is sickening, appalling, pushes the bounds of realism. Is Barack Obama being called a terrorist? Is George Bush nationalizing our banks, the very socialism his ilk have blamed Obama for suggesting with regards to health care?

    Is America so intellectually vacuous that these arguments have merit with even the "lowest" of low information voters? Apparently somewhat, as the mobs seethe and roil, yet it appears that gains continue to be made by Obama and the forces that hold dear to what remains of our democratic institutions. It feels as if there is almost a cleaving, a separation, occurring whereby partisanship will be generationally and regionally entrenched. With Obama's certain victory, a sacrifice is made, that of growing disparate populations who have accepted spoonfed hate and isolationism, in a time of great turmoil. Many will overcome their racial biases, and fears of "otherness," yet many will also hold fast to cultural and intellectual xenophobia.

    I need satire to vent, base and thoughtless as it may be, we all do. But after we salve each shocking sting as the world we know melts away, there's got to be some action behind it, some energy that is prepared to fill the gap. Energy higher than the merely partisan, action more powerful than the pronouncement of words and opinions. My goal for today is to find my action, for words and opinions I've aplenty. What am I willing to do? Whatever it is, it must be far more than mere voyeuristic witnessing of a collapsing paradigm, as has been the American luxury.

    Whatever it shall be, it's time to get serious.

    What are you going to do today?

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 09.39 Fri, 10 Oct '08

    Fri 03 Oct 08

    quickly, quickly

    I am back, and have been for a week. Updating the site has been a lower-echelon need, but I'm getting at it. I'll add a link to all of the goodies you were enjoying on the splash page last month, and now that there is time (albeit presently from concentrate), I will get back to blogging more often, and more meaningfully.

    This weekend, the big O is coming to Asheville, and I and a jazillion others will be packing it in to watch him speak on Sunday. I was proud of my little home state last night, at least of being of the same geographic stock as the good Senator Biden. He sure ate some mooseburger, ya betcha.

    Tonight is a wedding rehearsal for two great friends, and I have the pleasure of doing the duty. So, back to work on the ceremony, and the peacefulness of this terrifyingly gorgeous autumn day (so damn gorgeous that I'm worried that a glitch in the simulation software will occur, and the Universe as I know it will have to reboot for having exceeded the memory capabilities of the System).

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 15.03 Fri, 03 Oct '08

    Mon 15 Sep 08

    downtime

    I guess I could've taken the train to Prague tonight, and in hindsight maybe it wouldn't have been so bad. But I think my mind and body just needed a break. My stomach and innerregions are troubled somewhat, and there are other indicators which lead to tonight's brief hermitude: the abortive attempt to cool my heels (and ferklempt ankles, which have never seen this much activity) at the thermal pool, the constant running to hither and thither, the energy required to communicate ideas, and perhaps just a need for a static and peaceful few hours prompted this respite. I'm abiding the break comfortably in this oddly shaped hotel room directly overlooking the minaret where I once stood nine years ago, seeking some sort of connection. Now, almost a decade later, I'm feeling overconnected, and glance through the rain at the minaret as a symbol for not only a call to larger contexts, but also to the self that seeks it. We embiggen ourselves to find ourselves in the Eternal, almost stepping on the snail that crisscrosses the footpath.

    There is some guilt in not adventuring tonight, gastronomically or otherwise, as I am obviously not in Central Hungary everyday. Yet I've feverishly chased town every rainsoaked street of the main centrum, lost or otherwise, I've put my sweat and drive into the day's unwritten adventures, and perhaps the kindest one can be to oneself is to stop and just be in the body for a while. At least, that's how I will justify my downtime tonight. Anyhow, a bucket can only hold so much usefully before it becomes an awkward comedy of excess, so tonight, I'm emptying.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 15.41 Mon, 15 Sep '08

    Fri 12 Sep 08

    "Pop Goes the World"

    ...is what is now playing here in this quite net cafe in Ljubljana. I take a 0625 bus tomorrow morning for Trieste, and through the help of certain stateside goddesses, I have been able to print out what was lost in Mostar, just down a few momentos from the binder, but no great loss (provided of course I can work out the issues with Deutche Bahn regarding my lost ticket).

    Ljubljana is stunning, and as I twittered, it should be a haven for expats. I am now 12 days into the trip, two weeks left, and I am getting better in adapting to the wear, team, and grime of cross continental travel. Albeit, I am less daring than backpackers who throw themselves across borders with little more than tattered guidebooks. But this is who I am, no more, no less. I have been asking myself what standard I hold myself to, regarding what I should get out of the journey and what I put into it. I feel that my expectations of myself are almost completely beyond what is immediately achievable, in the realm of the mythical attainment. While I must keep one foot across the threshold of higher purpose, my forward foot needs to be more grounded in the now, the journey, the topography of this minute´s adventure. I think I have grown up in such a self analytical and critical climate that it makes it impossible to ever achieve enough, the same struggle I see in school kids. The same I see in seniors, struggling to put an exclamation point at the end of life. Overreaching creates an underreaching within, discarding an aspect of the soul/self for what it is... there, present, singular, and briefly anchored to a material incarnation.

    Today, I will dive deep into Ljubljana, for the joy of it. What I come up with is what I come up with, and I will be happy with it. As the cafe radio now blares from the depth of the ´80s, "It´s my perogative."

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 06.07 Fri, 12 Sep '08

    Sat 06 Sep 08

    Hello from {painfully} Sunny Serbia

    It is a hot day here in Nis and I cannot find the apostrophe key on this haggard cafe computer anywhere. My phone is about toast, and I do not know if I will be able to twitter much without it. No problem, really. I have a bus ticket for Herceg Novi, Montenegro for 1715 tonight, about 24 hours behind schedule. No worries, though,I extended my stay in Dubrovnik to cover the lost day and am making Mostar a day trip, from which I will leave for Ljubljana of the 10th. My hotel here, though, is a thing of beauty and cannot be forgotten. As the elevator heaved its way to the 13th floor at 2 this morning, I felt so grateful for a temporary shelter against the elements of grime and sleeplessness. Alas, the room was stacked full of old mattresses, there was a pile of old rags in the bathroom, and a full tilt Serbo-rave going on til 5 in the blessed a.m.. It is the best of post Soviet hospitality. I wish the shower had an option for sanitizing gel.

    Despite the hiccups, though, I am enjoying myself ragged. The language barrier has been fun, and in Sofia last night I was reduced to making a choo-choo noise to the cab driver to indicate the train station. We both laughed, and he sold me a CD of Bulgarian hits, actually quite good. Today I wandered in the heavily accented heat around the fortress of Nis, which has since fallen into use by drunkards, and its historical value is only discernible through intuition. I know it was built in the 1700s, and surrounds much older structures. But for the ubiquitous cafe umbrellas and the retired carnival rides littering the outskirts, you just soak up the history by osmosis.

    The sun is now full tilt on the monitor and I can't see a damn thing. UPDATE: the gentle cafe host jury rigged a cushion resting on top of my journal as a shield. I was about to say, and thus am saying, that the sun here is more brutal than the sun at home. Hotter than Balkan political rhetoric. Even more than that. I think metal is melting around me. AC does not exist here, at least in any perceptible way, but again I'm not here for my comfort, but to learn and be open to the lessons of the road.

    I still have an hour before I have to get to the bus station, and I'm computered out. I suppose I'll look around for a burek, the local cheese filled pastry wonder.

    Love y'all...

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 09.14 Sat, 06 Sep '08

    Wed 03 Sep 08

    Being here

    Istanbul is a city of remarkable and thrilling contrasts. Perched on the arbitrary edge between Europe and Asia (which I briefly entered yesterday), the city must reconcile its ancient history with the adrenaline of westernization. I am impressed with Turkish pride, and the resistance to anglicization, though it does make basic communication a tad tricky. It almost feels like a frontier settlement, though not because its roughshod. This type of frontier is entirely mental, a philosophical border upon which I am now perched upon in more than one metaphorical way, naturally. I'll write more, much more, tonight. The bustle outside is tempting me out.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 03.14 Wed, 03 Sep '08

    Sun 31 Aug 08

    Kick up the dust

    Last poem written in America, at least for a little while!

    “Kick up the dust” by jay joslin
    This body is held to the Earth by the long golden light of another passing day
    Is made a lengthening shadow by the rush of protons from a heaving star
    These footsteps fade into the gentle late summer night,
    Falling in rhythm to the whimsical dance of stars
    Under the opulent fantasies of constellations,
    And the whirring chorus of cricket song.
    Your body is held to the road and its curiosities by the ever quickening drama of time,
    Is implored to move across the map by whispered promises of legends to behold
    Your footsteps kiss the paths through a wilderness made to be known-
    The Universe desires passionately to know itself through your bones,
    Seeks to feel, dance, laugh, and run uphill through your skin
    Longs for brambles parted by your hands in discovery.
    Our bodies are held to their destination by the urgency of mortality and the blessing of names,
    Are composed of atoms that are but dust, kicked up in the exertion of self-awareness
    Our footsteps are made in the agreement that for this life, we must know it,
    Must know the surging waters of love and the drought of disillusion,
    Must wander in the moonless night for shelter, warmth and song,
    Savoring holy moments of meteors and sudden friendships.
    This body is held to the Universe, as much as it is an extension of it, soul within soul, star within star,
    Is choosing to make camp in the rugged wilds of the unknown, for where else is there sanctuary?
    My footsteps kick up the dust along a well-worn path trod by every living hungry creature,
    An irresistible highway worn by the endless gypsy caravans of our young intellect,
    I cannot help, like you, but to cross this perilous terrain of Earthly existence,
    Thus, let us make camp together, light the fire, and tell stories
    Over the embers of yesterday, marking our progress
    On this tattered map, agreeing we have no choice
    But to kick up the dust, kick it up within the soul
    In torrential recognition of our rambling nature,
    Kick it up along the road into swirling eddies
    Of improbable molecules, and ride the trail
    Into ourselves, in this long golden light,
    Through this shimmering landscape.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 13.08 Sun, 31 Aug '08

    Tue 19 Aug 08

    It's all true

    Yes, it really is. I've transitioned yet again jobwise, and it is a bittersweet thing. Many of you know how incredibly proud I've been of some of the accomplishments the kids and families have made, and that pride can only swell as I gently and gracefully take my leave from this particular position. It's with a sense of gratitude for serving that I step out on journeys unknown, and a sense of profound relief that I've at least for now decided to shelter myself from the gale forces of mental health "reform" in North Carolina. Many of you know how much I love the community I've served with a passion, and that love does not subside as I move into a period of transformation... I will be back, in a variety of contexts. Roots is roots.

    It's also true that in 13 days you can watch this site for daily updates on my Oriental to Occidental Odyssey from Istanbul to London. I'll have pics, real time GPS data on where the hell I am, and observations from the road as communications allow. It's 27 days of 17 countries, mostly as a solo traveler until I reach Munich for Oktoberfest, where I join Joshua and Robin for merry making, sausage saluting, and beer bellying. I will be in the Balkans for most of those days, and with so little time left to get my logistics in place, time is being funneled into very tiny points of must dos and check lists. Minutiae never loomed so large.

    So, despite the lack of activity in the past, I dunno, era, the blog will be cooking daily. Please join me in the coming weeks as I slide into purposefully perplexing portals hither and yon in the Old, and Older, Country...

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 19.51 Tue, 19 Aug '08

    Fri 08 Aug 08

    a few words in the dark of morning

    Under the summer drunk stars
    Around four in the morning
    I left the house almost naked
    Pushed out by a dream
    To pet the cat.
    She was about as surprised as I was at this behavior
    Purring warmly on the lawn chair
    A rather holy place to be.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 04.36 Fri, 08 Aug '08

    Sun 27 Jul 08

    Meditation: Range of Focus

    Did you hear that researchers in Italy have recently unearthed some interesting documents in the life of the astronomer Galileo? The little town of Pisa was famous not only for its leaning architecture, but also a heretic in the making. One of these scrolls has just been translated, a 450 year old letter to the editor of the Pisa Citizen-Times:

    “I am writing to complain about the scandalous activities of my neighbor Galileo. He believes God’s Earthly real estate revolves around the sun, and stars are not holes poked in the canopy of heaven, but other suns! Blasphemy! He also thinks the moon is too far away to reach, yet my meemaw, bless her heart, would climb up there every Sunday for our gorgonzola. I have some friends who work for the inquisition part time and I am sure they would love to talk with him about the heresy of rejecting common sense. It’s like saying that our beloved tower has an issue with staying erect. There’s a peeping tom problem in Pisa, so I wonder if his telescope is being used for other purposes, you know what I mean? Well, let me warn you, Mr. Astronomer, when moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s divine justice.”

    We’ve got to wonder just how much in the world has really changed from Galileo’s time to our own. He was forced by the church to recant his theories and lived the rest of his life under house arrest. Though facing blindness and chastisement for second guessing the pope’s celestial dogma, he privately held firm to his heliocentric far-sightedness. Galileo joins a litany of countless martyrs snubbed not for being right, but for being objective.

    In the blink of civilization’s dusty eye, we’ve gone from living on a flat Earth at the center of the solar system to billions of other suns, the Hubble telescope, and constant revelations of the mind-bendingly awesome and terrifying expanse of space. We’re mites on a windblown seed compared to the infinite map of the Universe ever unfurling deeper into starfields of knowledge and reckoning.
    It was only a matter of evolutionary time before we looked out from our caves and wondered about the stars. By shifting our focus from digging through the mud for tuber treats and tasty grubs, the movements of the constellations suddenly became labors of the gods, and the crashing of the waves were the magnificent heavings of a breathing ocean. The shift of perspective from immediate survival to the eternal mystery, small picture to big picture gave us our myths, legends, and greatest struggles. Breathe deeply.

    You’ve heard before that I was a weird kid, and rug-rat Jay thought that lives were lived in a black and white world until the advent of color television. Some of us still think the world is in black and white because of color television. Still, I wasn’t terribly far off, at least in cosmic time. According to evolutionary biologists, our ancestors didn’t gain full color and focal range until they stopped their nocturnal hunting, began to eat flowers and fruit, necessitating avoidance of deadly predators. We may have hunger and slithering beasties to thank for our ability to look deeper and clearer. Again, check it out: we can’t see the big picture until our survival as a species is threatened and we’re forced to evolve. That’s happening right now.

    Just as the wilderness bound Israelites tested their willingness to see God’s big picture in that surprise delivery of the certified organic manna, our vision is grown when the unexpected suddenly appears. Not just eyeball vision; the vision of heart and soul is profoundly clarified by the light of sudden wonder. “When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, ‘What is it?’” Breathe deeply.

    Way back when, at a Mt. Shasta campsite, I was bitterly lamenting in my journal that I had traveled two thousand miles for some good meditation, and couldn’t do it. I tried in vain, studied the ins-and-outs of dozens of meditative practices, and yet there I was… spilling my ink in the shadow of one of the most majestic mountains on Earth… not getting connected. During my unfocused kvetching, however, a bee landed menacingly on my hand, ceased the writing and grabbed my prickled attention. For over half an hour, the curious critter shook his honeymaker all up and down my fingers, and that’s all there was, the waiting, the care to avoid being stung, and the fascination of contact. Just as suddenly as it came, it went, leaving behind the gift of a powerful and unexpected meditation. That bee didn’t read the mindfulness books that were dog-eared in my tent; the bee helped me just be, and I just was. The song is by Asheville’s favorite son and original Jubilant David Wilcox…

    “It's the choice of a lifetime & I'm almost sure
    I will not live my life in between anymore
    If I can't be certain of all that's in store
    This far it feels so right
    CHORUS: I will hold it up, hold it up to the light,
    Hold it up to the light, hold it up to the light”

    The internal struggle between big and small picture was mediated by a tiny insect who was only curious, resulting in an exercise of focus that forever changed the way I see. We’ve all been there, we’ve all puzzled with getting the big picture back. Mostly, the answer is right under our nose, jumping up and down for attention.

    “The search for my future has brought me here
    This is more than I'd hoped for, but sometimes I fear
    That the choice I was made for will someday appear
    And I'll be too late for that flight
    So hold it up, hold it up to the light,
    Hold it up to the light, hold it up to the light”

    Shortsightedness does have its advantages, just as farsightedness. Choosing to see only the smallest picture unlocks the subatomic, the foundation of physical realities; looking for the big picture gives us astronomy, exposing the context of our cosmic interplay. Working the graceful ability of balancing perspective grants us the wisdom to know the difference, charting a literal and metaphorical route from our point As and point Bs. Forgetting the context by which we walk those lines trips us over the first little bump. Just watch any random streetcorner and observe how clumsy we’ve all become through the distraction and misplaced immediacy of our digital lives. We’re immersed in an ethereal world of virtual contact when we’re shoulder-to-shoulder with our friends and family. We watch videos about what’s happening outside and when we’re out there we’re so gadget-enthralled we may as well be inside. Distracted by the short-term, we forgivably forget we are a part of a swirling galaxy, and have come through the Universe just to be here now.

    “It's too late to be stopped at the crossroads
    Each life here, each a possible way
    But wait, and they all will be lost roads
    Each road's getting shorter the longer I stay…”

    Think about it; for those of you in long term relationships, when you bicker, do you usually tussle over whether mutual love is free will versus destiny, or to blanche or boil the broccoli? Typically, we’re drawn to stumble over the seemingly smallest of obstacles, and the molehills become perilous divides. That’s until we have our “eureka!” moments, recalling that a disease of conflict begins with a paralyzed point of view. Relax the eyes, and bring the light in to help, and the conflict becomes conversation, and the conversation becomes music.

    “Now as soon as I'm moving, my choice is good
    This way comes through right where I prayed that it would
    If I keep my eyes open and look where I should
    Somehow all of the signs are in sight
    If I hold it up to the light”

    It doesn’t take much imagination to see why being stuck on just one way of seeing things is dangerous to our survival. Regressive politics, cultural narrow-mindedness, and religions which abuse their origins provide plentiful bad examples of what happens when we disregard the wonder of our visioning potential to hyperventilate over some otherwise forgettable point. Political and religious tunnel vision reveals the devil in the details. It’s those molehills that always, always divide us, not the mountains which beg to inspire.

    “I said God, will you bless this decision?
    I'm scared. Is my life at stake?
    But I see if you gave me a vision
    Would I never have reason to use my faith?”

    What would happen if we reconciled these differences in perspective by holding up to the light that which we don’t yet understand but care to transform? Could a room full of antagonized politicians stand together against hate crimes? Yes. Could the leaders of the world’s religions stop proselytizing for a minute to gather and unequivocally condemn all forms of faith based violence? Yes. While it may not have happened yet, we can’t deny there’s a powerful movement afoot to create healing in the littlest of ways, by choosing to be a curative to despair by seeing the big picture emblazoned in every heart, by smiling at a stranger, and surrendering what we don’t know to the light.

    “I was dead with deciding - afraid to choose
    I was mourning the loss of the choices I'd lose
    But there's no choice at all if I don't make my move
    And trust that the timing is right
    Yes and hold it up hold it up to the light
    Hold it up to the light, hold it up to the light”

    We do this every Sunday at Jubilee and hopefully every day as Jubilants, by pecking at the thin eggshell of our collective comfort zone and taking a chance on ways of thinking and doing that just might transform and heal profoundly and imaginatively. When we gather with intention and focus, we as individuals, not nations and religions, seize the day to be corrective lenses for a critical planetary shortsightedness.

    “I will hold it up hold it up to the light
    Hold it up to the light, hold it up to the light.”

    Children are born into the world wide open in wonder, and for a few years there’s a great magic between each eye blink. Things exist without labels, the sky can be blue for whatever fancy that day. As we age, the eyelids gain weight, the labels stiffen, and world becomes fixed, routine. That’s where my godson comes in to do the teaching. We’ll go to a garnet mine deep in Madison County, looking for hours amongst the muddy creeks and rock heaps for these mere gems, tiny fragments of a massive geological artistry. In the silence and bramble of those hours, the eyes relax, and details I would otherwise stumble over become patterns and clues for yet more treasure. He’ll find a garnet, tell me to come and see. “What is it?,” I’ll say, and he will hold up to the sun an ancient stone of beautiful deep reds and purples, shining through a union of distant star and upheld hand, mouths open in wonder. Just for that moment, all the fighting in the world ceases, a holy symmetry emerges, and a creation story is radiant in the palms of our hands. For that moment, we just see, and through the miracle of vision, the vision of soul and heart, we all can just, and justly, be.

    “I will hold it up hold it up to the light
    Hold it up to the light, hold it up to the light.”

    Dedicated to the congregation of the TVUUC

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 19.33 Sun, 27 Jul '08

    Sun 20 Jul 08

    Dear God..

    I've had it with Christianity... it's a ghoulish, enslaving practice that thieves free will from the young and the helpless. Yeshua would have long since disowned his so-called believers. Little more than the same money changers in the temple which he scorned, the Christians prey on the desperate and keep them plugged into a dogma which maintains weakness by obliterating the virtue of doubt, replacing it with the morphine of blind faith. There are millions of "good" Christians out there, but the Evangelicals and proselytizers wear the pants now. The bathwater and the baby are too tainted to be useful.

    If you really want to be close to god, it's time to fucking evolve the fear out of you.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 01.41 Sun, 20 Jul '08

    Sat 12 Jul 08

    Midsumer

    Yes, midsummer.
    Locusts and fireflies are your doormen
    Love and pain are your guests
    "Madness and mendacity" your dichotomous motto.
    So far, sand dunes have overrun the interstates
    Moss and toads have taken the circuitry
    And this place I've known, the subtle chamber of bone
    Which hosts the electrochemical dance that I call me
    Is dampened by creekwater and green tides.
    You are called a host of extremes
    And you enchant me with your humid streets and porch stories
    Such leisurely things
    While forests burn and islands drown in anonymous tears.
    You've spiked the punch with authenticity, and danger.
    You've shined the mirror to a terrifying reflectivity,
    I can't bear to look more, but as a raven is drawn to glitter
    I am forced to confront the light which bounced off me, into the glass
    And all the illusion held captive in a second's peek.
    Even the night birds hush in your breath,
    Inhalations of fecundity, exhalations of reaping.
    Midsummer, you throw symbols at me
    And the least I can do is throw some back
    And we're left in an exchange of colors across the fence
    And even in the greatest pain, your verdant mantle soothes,
    Leaves me not with faith, not with doubt,
    But just this moment, clamor of dreams, just this now.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 01.15 Sat, 12 Jul '08

    Thu 10 Jul 08

    A Eulogy for Brooke

    Imagine an early Easter morning, one in which an eager curly haired little girl could not wait to open her Easter basket. This precocious and determined child had woken dad up early so as to get a good head start on finding her goodies, and her Daddy obliged, as only dads do. The bounty was discovered, and amidst a likely pile of wrappers and egg shells, Dad (who was probably a tad sleep deprived) nodded off and dozed. Now, to some children, dad’s nap would either be disappointing or opportunity-making. Brooke was different. Her big heart, caring nature and kind soul was evident even as a young child. She doted so much on the needs of her friends and family, gave so much thought to how to reach out to those in need. That was Brooke’s way. Dickie realized this for himself when he woke up, and found that Brooke had been diligently trying to feed him a whole chocolate candy rabbit in between snores. Imagine, between the crumbled and melting bunny and the chaos of an early Easter morning the great laughter and surprise that rang through the house. That was, and is, Brooke’s way.
    Breathe deeply.

    Early on, Brooke liked to team up with me when we were at the beach. I remember exploring the bug house with her, looking for salamanders and toads out back, and generally adapting to my weirder and older interests for the sake of company. We ate mustard sandwiches together. Yes, just bread and mustard, and it was good. She believed in the power of friendship, and as we grew older, the message was clear: “we’ve got to stick together cousin, we’ve got a heck of a family to hold together.” I remembered that conversation we had when performing her wedding to Eric, and seeing the whole family together, joined that day in the infectious joy of watching two people scatter their love like some radiant confetti. Nothing is perfect, and love is not an exact science; but for Brooke, giving and receiving love was a devotion constantly practiced, and practice makes perfect. Today, we welcome her into perfect love. Lyrics from a favorite song of hers by Michael W. Smith represents her passion for cultivating love and friendship:

    “And friends are friends forever,
    If the Lord's the Lord of them
    And a friend will not say "Never"
    'Cause the welcome will not end
    Though it's hard to let you go
    In the Father's hands we know
    That a lifetime's not too long
    To live as friends.”

    Breathe even more deeply.

    Brooke’s favorite quote, and perhaps her motto, was from Alexander Pope; “Act well your part- there all the honor lies.” Brooke sought, through her relationships and her beliefs, to have a clear role in the world. This is clear through her constant availability to her friends, and Eric says that no one could talk her out of this readiness and steadfastness. So strong in her convictions, Eric also says that there weren’t a lot of things you could talk Brooke out of. That was and is her way, a sincere and steady devotion to the pursuit of a personal truth. For all the quirks and challenges of that pursuit, it is indeed the only path we truly have, and some discover that too late. Brooke got started on this early, and leaves this world with cherished convictions for us to drink deeply from.

    We mark the passing of a life with memories and stories, yet sometimes in these rituals of celebration and letting go we become so enwrapped in our shared grief that we neglect to illuminate the departed’s virtues, and make commitments to take these on for ourselves as a way of honoring them. Her love for her cats, and all animals, speaks deeply to an infectious compassion for the helpless and the small. May we carry this on, for Brooke. Her attention to and love for national politics speaks to a profound caring for a troubled country, and a desire to make right the injustices of this world. May we carry this on, for Brooke.

    Her love for her ancestors and for the land from which they came, Ireland, is a reminder that we are all connected not only through the bloodlines of family but from the cradle of history, and as descendants we are charged with the duty to know our individual heritage and defend our cultural treasures. May we carry this on, for Brooke. From her favorite musical “Rent,” comes a lyric to remember this commitment to carry on Brooke’s passions:

    “Find Glory
    in a song that rings true
    truth like a blazing fire
    an eternal flame,
    from the soul…”

    As we gather in this sacred place to recall the warmth and breadth of Brooke’s life, and the lives of those who proceed her, may we be so bold so as to hang on to our laughter, and our chocolate bunnies. May we be so bold so as to hang on to our faith, and its transformational power. May we be so bold so as to be a family united, just like on Brooke’s wedding day. We speak of a person’s legacy upon their passing; seek Brooke’s legacy and lesson for yourself, just as you’d seek out Easter eggs on a hunt. It’s there, and it’s your job now to find it.

    When Brooke was born, she was a mere five pounds and change, and mother and father could cradle her with a single arm, just as now she is raised up on eagle’s wings. Angels, together we implore you to make your wings big, for Brooke has grown a lot. Brooke, may God rest your soul, and the souls of those who cherish you. Thank you.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 08.30 Thu, 10 Jul '08

    Mon 30 Jun 08

    Brooke Joslin Cook


    Peace and Mercy, Cousin.
    1975-2008

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 21.42 Mon, 30 Jun '08

    Sat 28 Jun 08

    One week of summer down...

    With a heaving breath and a bold foot forward
    We say “at last!,” to this long day of longest light
    Of our own star and the billions unseen in even the clearest night
    From the twinkling of atomic dances deep inside our bones
    To the lightning bolts of dreams, flashing us awake…
    We say at last to the rooting of our own feet
    To this soil, the touching of our soul to the compost of generations
    And we turn the soil as if turning a page,
    And our fingers are trailing historians through the dark skin of the mother
    The mother who moves us to slough our own seed-shells and grow upward,
    Perilously, hopefully, brazenly upward to the height of the summer sun.
    We say at last to the golden days of reverie and discovery
    Amid the brambles of our thoughts and the thickets of desires,
    Pulling from the undergrowth some magical thing we rush home to tell everyone about,
    “Lookit,” we say, “I found something amazing. Wanna see?”
    We say at last to our streaming of curiosities, which we nurture in the hours of heat and ardor
    Along the creekbeds of the soul, where we are bent over in wonder
    At this thing we call our reflections, in the clear blue,
    Some future self calling us to dive in, no matter what you’re wearing.
    We say at last to passions finally spoken and tears and sweat spilt
    To the wrestling of shadows along the sweltering sidewalks
    To the thick and humid afternoons where even the molecules siesta
    And even our firmest intentions waver and stand still.
    We say at last to a season of paradox, of exultant joy and trembling sorrow
    To the fruitful green which tendrils from the cemetery
    To the abundant table and a hunger which cannot abide.
    At last, we stand in celebration for the longest day,
    And bow gently to the slowly creeping night
    Which brings yet more starlight
    Welcomed by the cadence of crickets
    And the sweet, soft murmur of breezes
    Through the leaves and branches of the summer soul.
    At last!

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 16.23 Sat, 28 Jun '08

    Fri 13 Jun 08

    cry for innocence

    As holy fireflies take flight
    And the cicadas intone golden orchestras,
    Cry for innocence, for as we are steeped in the worldly stew of summer
    A child loses his childhood, syllable by syllable, second by second, robbed blind
    Of reveries and curiosities, replaced by the putrid promise of false properties and cleverly disguised viscera...
    Who steals this but the society which prizes innocence, or so it righteously claims,
    Burns books to keep the tawdry words in ash but sells them back with
    Some god's careless permission and redemption in blood money?
    This world is fetid enough, from the humid wretch of birth
    To the broken mirror of death, and the children know
    There is cruelty even in the benign past the
    Window's vale, and so tonight I damn
    Those who selfishly thrust the murk
    Against the pale years where the entitlement
    To mystery and secrets of time are now the endangered sacred,
    What for the morphine of palliative entertainment, and the subjugation of the prophetic
    To a mere profit margin.
    In the strongest words I know,
    Curse the damed robbers of youth,
    And cry, wail, and thrash for innocence,
    For if I were to die in battle, let it be for those few years
    Where the auric song of the cicada and the vigilant light of firefly
    Overwhelm the petty and neurotic saccharin which contaminates the sugar of youth.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 21.31 Fri, 13 Jun '08

    Wed 04 Jun 08

    Obama

    Suddenly, I feel a great resurgence of hope and pride... I know, "Hope" and "change" are quite ambiguous. We will ensure that Barack is clearly guiding us to these, but certainly getting there will be far easier with genuine and inspired leadership than crotchety old men who feel entitled.

    In this blog's 2nd year, I endorsed Dean. It it with even greater pride in the redemptive power of inviting every citizen on board that I gladly endorse Barack Obama for President.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 00.36 Wed, 04 Jun '08

    Sun 18 May 08

    Folly Mediation: World Without End

    Coming down here, I thought much about the cliché of the freedom of the road. Writers tend to be observant, if downright hypervigilant, of such overused phraseology, much like a neurotic nature-phobe smack dab in a snake infested woods. Yet, there is a deep and unavoidable truth to the road, and the freedom-process it generates as you get further and further behind the place you once were. Or, the person you once were.

    I had several stops along the way, and worked hard to remember that it was I, not the people around me, that were suddenly decontextualized. The silver haired waitress at the bagel shop, at the center of the first state to secede from the Union, who reminded me that they don’t sell pork products. Or the gentleman who shared the lobby with me as I waited for new tires on the car, whose voice was long and golden, whose countenance was remarkably gentle and accommodating as we awkwardly noted the physiological inconveniences the free coffee generates when the bathroom doors are locked. These people become consonants and vowels in the sutra of peeling the self away from home and comfort and lackadaisical routines. They serve as sudden reminders that our self-important journeys are not so pivotal to the flux of the Universe, that every breathing conscious entity is also trippin’, and that Chaos must always visit and transform the ordinary as soon as it begins to crystallize. We are variables, random factors, and yet the greatest Universe our presence distorts is our very own, the one we peer down long and hard when we suddenly realize, at last, that we are not where we once were, and are utterly vulnerable. You can learn these things from trivial banter with store clerks and passer-by on their way to their own jolting somewheres.

    Out my window in this temporary place is the ocean. The ocean, well, it oceans. It does what it does, and my heart exhilarates to find it in the process of oceaning. I delighted in the tidal pools, the evidence of an always working Mother, and the neat piles of spent lives in shells and fossils. There was an old boat which had tried to wash ashore, but didn’t make it, now covered in the green hair of a graceful decay. There was a hint of phosphorescence after the sun was through sunning, and the pier which juts a thousand feet into the Atlantic was excitedly alive underneath as the waves bullied the pylons and lovers and fishermen found their respective romances above. The beach is an intoxicant, an immediate Earth-based psychedelic, it makes us do things we wants so badly to do but are otherwise conditioned against. Like being in awe without being casual. I can stop and stare and be jaw-dropped by a flight of pelicans in a way which could render stares and quick judgments on city streets. I can stop and pick up things and marvel at them like a three year old, and no one gives the slightest shit, nor I them in their own exaltations. My own biological imperative becomes enlivened if exaggerated, and last night I drank and ate and slept and dreamt of sex. How unlike a sea turtle or a dolphin or a mere gull am I now?

    I went to the islands further south, and found the most quiet forests you could dare not hear. The occasional red-wing blackbird, the rustle of a sudden snake black as midnight and as slick as a pickpocket. Skittering crabs. Breezes here and there flirting capriciously with the palms. That was it, no other buzzing or grumbling or beeping or barking. It was such an eerily pristine place that it’s little wonder that the locals feared those groves, as it’s from such awesome silence that howling gnashing-teethed beasties emerge from to scare your soul back from whence it came. Love it.

    And the stormy weather came, and if you listened close enough in the howling winds a crooner questioned why there was no sun up in the sky, et cetera. The waves became decreasingly serene, and their thrashing reminded me of how precious little we know. We can say that the moon’s gravity, and wind, and the shape and grade of shorelines makes a wave, which is all well and good scientifically, but there’s more to their story. There is a mystery in each foamy curve, a question as to what the wave is carrying to shore, what it takes away. There is also a powerful realization which takes our concertmaster’s mind and turns it inside out; they stop for no one. I dreamt again, and this time I saw the waves stop when no one was looking, and the ocean became placid, and a single ripple would’ve been news. It was black and eternal and terrifyingly still, which is the stuff of greatest fantasy. The whole Universe is a storm, and there is no power or organ within our mind that can cease the thrashing. It will always be a violent maelstrom that we, as desperate barnacles, cling to. The placid dark of utmost impossibility might just be death, but even as one barnacle is loosed by one particularly brazen wave, another will follow and another. World without end.

    Then, from the ocean to the marshes, the swamp. The word swamp is wonderfully onomonotopeic, as it is rather the sound of that humid and biologically tawdry place. The murk presents a whole other kind of mystery versus the ocean, and conceals a primordial violence which will certainly ensnare the wayward and careless, be that a tumbled nestling or a cocky upstart human. Alligators. I was mere feet from one who certainly could’ve entertained a me-sized appetizer. I stood, silent, as we contemplated each other’s fate. In the end, it happens as it always happens; we each went our respective ways without so much changing the course of our mutual, if completely alien, lives. There was an agile snake too, ebony and stealth, who I observed from a safe distance. She stalked a cardinal, and a frog, and neither were so inclined so as to experience the opposite of life on such a lovely Friday. Pity for the snake, but such wondrous suspense for the human, for whom time was completely obliterated and was taught, again, that rapt attention to the world (a very deliberate choice inspired by holy, profound curiosities) is the simplest pathway to being-here-now. How sweet it works. Rapture is a muddy and fecund and raw agreement to recognize how much in this Universal body this name inhabits so quickly is unknown, unexpected, and yet so deeply entwined in our Natures. I know that snake, that alligator, and the cardinal, and the small squeaking frog; they are me. Though they “happen” a few feet away, they register in the meat and sinew, they belong to the labyrinth of the mind, their fates are magically threaded with my own lifeline. I cannot explain this feeling any more than that; I think it comes from Mystery.

    I slept that night deeper in the city, deeper in the arms of another, deeper in the tangle of a self purposefully unraveling. The ardor of the world which burns and scrapes the skin, which entraps small prey in a sudden moment of resigned horror, which inspires the violent dance of waves, also excites the smallest of things, mere atoms that become enlivened and blossom at the touch of another in passion. The joy of a lotus blossom exploding into the light, the thrill of night jasmine; this is the sacred adventure also writ into the body, and at last, I adventured and guided such through the hoary unknown of our dual natures. And I laughed like I haven’t in ages, innocently, convulsively, just for the hell of it. Why not, and why not more often? Why are we all not guffawing in the streets? I only ask, but with no expectation of an answer. Damned if I know, and frankly, it’s early and I’d like some coffee.

    I had to go home. I ran out of time. The danged road is always circuitous.

    “I ain’t got time” may as well be the abbreviated national anthem… as tiny windblown seeds at the mercy of the infinite, it is in fact all we have. But we are so beholden to this trip of mortality that this does not compute, in the least. Divide by zero. We live within the heavy parenthesis ( ~ ) of birth and death. But the old city, the ocean, the swamp, these all dance within this queer cycle and are crushed and remade from time. I’d just heard that a fish in a Washington lake has experienced an accelerated evolution, and they are now armored, the first such mutation in a million years. Add some chemicals to the water, et voila, the cycle is broken and the sacred inventiveness of our genetic fabric throws on a new fashion. It took little effort for them, and so what are we waiting for? More time? We both fear it and crave it. The horseshoe crab knows only its life but the shoreline knows well its shape, from fossil to crawling right up to your toes. We all must come home.

    I can’t count the waves and I certainly lose track of time. I cannot conceive of an Origin, nor can anyone, so we make up stories. In the beginning, God created the paradox, which was perplexing as he didn’t mean for that to happen. God looked upon the face of the paradox, and like Groucho Marx it was an old slapstick routine of the mirror that won’t quite conform to your reflection. God, with nothing but time on/in her hands, tried but could not quite synchronize herself with the seemingly autonomous reflection now before her, and moved on to other creative pursuits. The sky. The critters. And such. They also were first produced from God’s imagination, yet were peskily acting beyond God’s control. The mind of God became much less a canvas on which to paint creation, it became a crowded stage of impatient actors, clamoring for scripts and asking for rewrites. God had a decision to make; cleave from the chaos of their creation, or dive into it, a great swan dive into the pool of God’s own excited tinkering, which was done so hastily that each created thing had its irony, of not its opposite. Why I did this, I do not know. Perhaps I should ask you.

    All we have and don’t have is time, and the time could well be used to find out whether God dove in or hitchhiked out of town for a second chance somewhere to get it right, free of paradoxes (which, itself, it, you know, a paradox. Right?). It is in these times of heightened curiosity that I’m thankful that I don’t have a clue and for the most part know nothing of this. I think I knew once, but forgot, which is fine. There is a great relief in spending time with the tides and the pines and the sudden creatures… I don’t have to know these things to be dazzled by them, and thus to learn from them. I don’t have to be a cartographer to understand my sense of place, nor a scientist to grasp the reactions around me. I think I just have to know, as much as one can, myself. I see traces of me in the washed up shells, and hints of you in the laughing gull. Comfort enough. Evidence enough that we are entitled to witness and exist. World without end.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 12.11 Sun, 18 May '08

    Sun 13 Apr 08

    generations

    Yes, it was a beautiful day,
    That cliché, past tense exaltation
    Cannot be denied. Not today.
    A friend and his family found beauty today,
    As his mother's ashes were poured into the ground
    And the petals of cherry blossoms snowed in the comforting heat
    And it was so quiet there, so simple a punctuation for a whole life lived
    A name reduced to dust, as the trees trembled, and memory breezed.
    What troubles me is not death, that pouring back
    Of body into originating body, nor its random
    Calling- no, it is that this finite body
    Has so little time to know all these
    Other finite bodies, and to
    Bless them, and to
    Say goodbye, properly,
    Though a little less than hello.
    Like cherry blossoms, I desire interconnection
    So brazenly that I beg it to rain on me in torrents
    To soak me to the bones and soften them in the realization
    That ultimately and finally, all that stands between me and thee
    Is the quality of our animating principles, that which
    Drives us to be, and do, and revel in it as madmen.
    I've lost some big connections recently, though
    Not as overtly as my friend, whose calm,
    Noble stance was a testament to his
    Mother's tutelage. Yet these losses
    Are for me deaths, though not in the sense
    That I need contact a mortician; these are the
    Deepest cuts of life, the severing of bloodlines and lifelines
    Between generations of jadedness and misbegotten fortunes,
    Those deaths that need not be, but are cold stares
    Across the chambers of the heart, and you know
    That, regardless of history, it is finished.
    There is no idyllic churchyard for these
    Broken realizations, nothing but a
    Heap of unspoken regrets and
    Pleadings, but alas.
    There are more to these generations,
    Because just as the priest fumbled with the
    Ashes of that fine woman, some human somewhere
    Was writing with holy ink a reflection of a promise
    I'd made, never to abandon, never to judge, never to cast off.
    I held that paper about an hour after that mother, a Cherokee legend,
    Met the improbable womb of her mother, the goddess Earth,
    And realized that even after the deepest cut,
    The body to which we belong heals fast,
    And makes dazzling connections
    Not out of obligation, but
    Choice, love, and hope.
    As those petals
    Fell in the music of mourning,
    I felt a stranger near me; not some
    Apparition, not some metaphor newly released,
    But a stranger of time, from time, that exotic country
    Where we expel our castaways of memory, and to which we
    Are yet bound. The stranger, amid forsythia, magnolia, and freshly dug earth,
    Was myself, shimmering in Creation, with you, and you, and her, and him, interwoven
    Though not yet realized, a generation within eternity though not yet
    Grown, a fiber of continuity just beginning to be woven
    Into legacies, and that even as words do not
    Pass in death or brokenness, there is
    Assurance that we remain
    Touching, regardless,
    And it is love
    Which tightens
    Our mere strands,
    Makes them shine in the
    April light
    Just
    So.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 00.05 Sun, 13 Apr '08

    Thu 10 Apr 08

    help meh plz not be monotonous kthxbi.

    Hello!

    I just needed to say that to someone. That someone happens to be you, I suppose. So hello, I say, with perhaps a tinge of feigned joviality. I have been a slave to this computer screen for the past several days, completing a task Sisyphus himself would not envy. I think at this point, I have thoroughly and completely lost my blessed mind. And because I'm dyslexic and a horrible typist, I've taken to using voice recognition software, which is accurate about 75% of the time. In this moment of reaching out, I thought I'd share with you perhaps the most bizarre piece of failed recognition. I present it to you entirely out of context, fresh from the stinky sulfurous pit of hell where instead of flames and molten bitty bits dripping from the Ashcroftian hopeless expanse above, there is nothing but endless painful bleeding paperwork for you to struggle through, this comedic mistranslated gem:

    "Think he may be how how how I can't in Kenya. I loses wind and wave, my name is Jay, I'm going to wrap lodging counseling on flying alcohol."

    Interpret as you will. That is all.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 21.22 Thu, 10 Apr '08

    Sun 30 Mar 08

    To rise as intended

    The soil knows exactly what to do;
    No clocks, no procedures, no sanctimonious dictate,
    The soil is wild and free, and is the place of beginning.
    It's spring now, and we emerge from our dens
    As the sun emerges as warmth on the skin, days on the wing.
    You can smell the Earth's thinking
    As the soil, common dirt, is awakened and electrifies the slumbering underworld,
    And within days the mountains here are buzzing
    With anxious tendrils of birthing and returning life,
    Their holy codes activated with a mother's whisper
    And we are reminded of the resolute autonomy of the thin skin of our host.

    See us from a distance; we are mere seeds.
    We ourselves shall shed our casing, sprout, fruit and whither,
    And do so with desperation, like weeds, shadowing all else for more light,
    All else be damned.
    Weeds do have their place,
    Yet in zealously controlled gardens their clinging is loosened by the scythe,
    Brought down by their own nature,
    Brought down by the gardener's desire for a productive season-

    This I must ask myself; when am I gardener, when am I weed?

    Through the holy soil, the sacred dirt, intermingle roots;
    I am entwined in you, and you me,
    Our growth is in correlation.
    My roots are my gardener's hands,
    Just as my roots are the shimmering strands of fellowship of my weed nature.
    Our world is as much below the soil as upon it,
    As much in darkness as in light,
    Yet, like the soil, we cannot resist the sun's impassioned blessing.
    I cannot but grow along with you.
    I cannot but be pruned by strange hands.
    I cannot but live as the coiling secrets invisible in my body command.

    Standing, rooted in seeming contradiction, I rise yet.
    You will rise through the dark with me,
    Silently, in exaltation for the random tossing of mere seeds.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 10.20 Sun, 30 Mar '08

    Mon 10 Mar 08

    Meditation: Fire and Light

    Delivered Sunday, 9 March '08 at Jubilee Community, Asheville, NC

    Diary of a firefly, Summer, 1986.

    It was the big night tonight, and all the boys were glowin’ mighty fine before liftoff. I myself had supercharged my bioluminescent enzymes for the purposes of tonight’s courting, and gave a little zing to my antennae, which I’ve been told are my best feature. As fate would have it, however, my lightshow was cancelled by some human brat with a glass jar. Haven’t those pesky bipeds gotten the memo that we have an important job to do? At least the clumsy mouthbreather poked holes in the lid, but next time I do hope for a cleaner jar. Reeked of peanut butter. Happens every time. Using the usual strategy, I withheld my flashing so as to underwhelm him and win my release as a presumably boring specimen. It worked, I was dumped in favor of brighter fellows. By then it was too late; everyone else had found love and turned the lamps down low. Everyone except Charlie, whose last-minute flashing caught the kid’s attention which landed him in captivity. That bug has one bright tweeter but is still quite the dim bulb. Oh well, I’ve still got some flash in me yet. And the stars, which the bumbling human failed to notice, were putting on a heck of a show. Now, I’d love to know how to catch one of those beauties!

    Or so one might imagine the journaling of one of thousands of fireflies from those innocent days when light and fire drew our combustible childhood curiosities into nights of adventure. When I was really little, I knew for a fact that the fireflies which lit up the fields like roving carnivals / were star-seeds, looking for a place to land. With a promise that all was not fearsome about the dark, they softened a night then also filled with boyhood monsters.

    Darkness by itself is imperceptible; we perceive it only because light will never completely surrender. We know this just by marveling at the night sky; we know this because even within ourselves, even when drenched by darkest nights of the soul, there is an ember that will stubbornly never cease radiating. It’s this indwelling soul flame that is the most captivating kind for this fire bug.

    So, can you imagine the scene when fire first took off as a commodity among our prehistoric ancestors? The cave parties must have been a real hoot; “hey blokes, come look at this, this stuff lights up the place and makes things disappear at the same time! UGAAH!” It’s that magical quality that also compels the pyromaniacs and the mystics both to drop what they are doing and burn stuff. Come on, I know that there’s some other pyros out there beside me, right?

    The pyros, scientists, artists and mystics all love fire because it reduces matter to its most skeletal and primal nature, the fundamental chemical element from which all life on Earth is fashioned. The charcoal which was used to graffiti those primeval fire-intoxicated caves is mostly carbon, our organic godfather.

    When I was that scrappy ragamuffin carrying my jar of fireflies, their twinkling brought me happiness just as the stars gave me awe. I felt that somehow, even despite my troubled childhood, I was a part of all of this crazy light around me. There are dark times in being a child, and those fireflies gave me holy nights. I can’t thank them enough.

    As I tore into grade school science, I was bugging out over the concept that fire was energy; pure, raw, transformative energy, the breath of the Universe. Somehow, through our own biological spark comes a realization that we share a strange commonality with the fireflies and the leaves and twigs I’d burn out back for kicks. We are all star-stuff, all made by and dependent upon the same solar heat.

    In those smoldering days of youth that I learned to pray. Isn’t it interesting that all around the world, the act of prayer commonly is accompanied by lighting a candle? Isn’t it interesting that, when we pray, we are usually provoked to it because some darkness, some thick and dim mystery has encroached? It’s as if the flame acts as a stand-in for God, being with us as we endure the gut-wrenching unknown. In its small and tenuous flicker, the candle stands as a beacon, like a firefly who whispers “don’t be afraid of the dark, you are never truly unseen!” While that might be hard to remember when we’re in the dark and off the map, it’s by these little lights that we find each other.

    The Hopi have a ritual that is never missed; each day, dancers must gather on the mesa before dawn and dance the sun awake, to call it to blaze through the dream-soaked canyons and give meaning to the day ahead. The choice to dance reconciles the long night with the emerging day, interweaves them. The choice to search out that light gives lift to the dense unknown, and allows understanding and reckoning to ascend through the long, lonely nights we all must navigate. The song we are singing today is written by Bruce Springsteen (c). Band, take it away:

    Can't see nothin' in front of me
    Can't see nothin' coming up behind
    I make my way through this darkness
    I can't feel nothing but this chain that binds me
    Lost track of how far I've gone
    How far I've gone, how high I've climbed
    On my back's a sixty pound stone
    On my shoulder a half mile line

    Come on up for the rising
    Come on up, lay your hands in mine
    Come on up for the rising
    Come on up for the rising tonight

    This portrait of fire and light we’re painting is intimate, and personal. Yet fire in the forms of disaster, bombs, and war makes for the biggest headlines and the most breathless reporting. Like most everything natural and beautiful upon the Earth, human ingenuity in the adrenaline-filled quest for power has wrestled fire into napalm and split atoms. If you look at the timeline of human history, I guess it’s easy to sigh and say that it was bound to happen. While this song we’re singing was written in response to September 11th, it’s not about retribution, nationalism, and waving our torches angrily, it’s about what flames teach do in those times; to rise above, to arduously carry what we’ve surrendered to the stars.

    Left the house this morning
    Bells ringing filled the air
    Wearin' the cross of my calling
    On wheels of fire I come rollin' down here

    Come on up for the rising
    Come on up, lay your hands in mine
    Come on up for the rising
    Come on up for the rising tonight

    Consider the phoenix, that flaming bird which rises from the ashes. Its flight represents the freedom and new birth that personal transformation brings by reducing to cinders what holds us back. Consider Prometheus, the Titan in Greek mythology with a craving for fairness who stole fire from Zeus and gave it freely it to the mortals on Earth. Zeus wasn’t keen on empowering the little people and punished this brave light-bearer for the sin of riling up the population. It’s all too familiar that we see the same cycle of the light-bearers being scorned and ridiculed for blessing the masses with luminous gifts. Jesus encountered that. So did Gandhi. So did Socrates. So did Mandela. Why must illumination be so dangerous? Why must history make martyrs of those whose love for life burns brighter than the risk of death? Perhaps the answer is simply that while names can be blown out, there are lights that never extinguish, and with each passing generation the human flame of goodness and passion will rise as high as each soul dares it.

    Spirits above and behind me
    Faces gone, wise eyes burnin' bright
    May their precious blood bind me
    Lord as I stand before your fiery light

    Come on up for the rising
    Come on up, lay your hands in mine
    Come on up for the rising
    Come on up for the rising tonight

    I believe each of us has the power of the Prometheuses and Brighids and Christs and Gandhis of this world. I’ve seen it in the fiery selfless love in the parents of the kids I work with who have been held hostage to poverty and abuse. I’ve seen it in their kids’ strength not to succumb to the doubts of others who write off their potential for a full and beautiful life. I’ve seen it in the hospitals of Haiti, where we put joy of living ahead of sorrow and held dying children who would never grow to play in the sunshine. I’ve seen it in this community, right here at Jubilee, where without question we have dispatched ourselves to New Orleans to bring light to besieged St. Bernard Parish, where we have stood up for the homeless and the hungry, and where we accept, without question, every imaginable path to God as the birthright of all beings. Bearing light is not just for mythology and antiquity; it’s happening right here, in this room, with something as simple as holding hands and being together through all the tears and laughter that life so miraculously shines forth.

    Come on up for the rising
    Come on up, lay your hands in mine
    Come on up for the rising
    Come on up for the rising tonight
    La la la la la la la la la lah, etc.

    From the cartoons, I learned the phrase “fight fire with fire.” As we further kindle and feed the growing light of generations, we are facing the cost of fruitless fighting for something so wonderfully common and ubiquitous. The light we’ve fought for, created religions and dogmas for, and drawn sharp borders across the Earth for, has been, is now, and will always be within us, just like our firefly in the jar. We speak of fiery passion to renew the world; you may confront the artificial fires which are charring the planet by rising and shining with a transforming radiance born from making a holy commitment to yourself and your singular life. Rise and shine, to energize and inspire this world, right down to the molecules dancing in excitement from this sacred heat.

    Come on up for the rising
    Come on up, lay your hands in mine
    Come on up for the rising
    Come on up for the rising tonight
    La la la la la la la la la lah, etc.

    May you be moved to pass on this ancient progression of increasingly magnifying light by kindling it, to watch it rise in the most needful of places. May you find a cosmic hint of yourself in the shimmering sunrise, and may you be visited by dreams of fireflies encircling you, themselves enthralled by your own mystifying and compelling glow.

    Oh yeah!

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 00.32 Mon, 10 Mar '08

    Sun 02 Mar 08

    A Bright Day

    There is an imperceptible light; thin, quivering, just below the surface of your vision that connects and holds all that you know, all that you are, and all that you shall be.
    Scientists, artists, musicians, madmen; they all see some shimmering of this light, but can ever completely discern its blinding luminance. For to know that all light- to know it with your eyes with your heart with your mind with your spirit- will tear apart all that we know that is our fragile human consciousness. Perhaps that is a good thing that we don’t all stare at the sun. Some to truly dare the fiery brilliance of that light at risk of their own soul. Revere these beings, for while they are overcome by brilliance, theirs is a holy reeling in the flames, theirs is a sacred compact with the ash of our charred assumptions and limitations.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 13.47 Sun, 02 Mar '08

    Sat 23 Feb 08

    I must admit...

    ...that the typically creepy and largest theo-fascistic B*ps*st Ch*rch in West Asheville had quite the point illuminated on their cliché sign tonight:

    Love is a risk, but never a loss.

    It got me, and got me in the gut. I've said in so many ways so many times before that I'd rather risk everything I am and could be for the sake of delivering yet more love than accept blindly a path of greater comfortability. This strangely is ever so true tonight, as this evening is a confluence of forces reckoning with each other. Too complicated to explain here, but it truly is better to dance the jig of love cliffside than to safely entrenched and numb to it all.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 23.46 Sat, 23 Feb '08

    Sat 16 Feb 08

    deconstructing bird on the moon

    A profile on this here web thingy for the upcoming edition of Q-Notes, the newspaper for the queer community of the Carolinas...

    Approximate average number of page-views each week? Month?


    I rate about 6000 page views a week, and hover steadily around 30000 per month. While I've not posted as gregariously as I did at the blog's inception, I think the high number is due in part to the fact that most blog's lifespan is about 2 or 3 years [BOTM is 5 y.o.]; being around for a while in a variety of incarnations pays off with reader loyalty.

    Tell us a bit about you. Where are you from? Where are you living now? What do you do?


    I live in Asheville NC and have been here in the mountains since escaping from Delaware in 1997. As much as I feel a link to the soggy landscape up there, I have always felt more at home here nestled in this slightly more rugged patch of Earth and anywhere else. The 'what do I do?' question is deliciously open ended, so I'll start by being as such... I dream, I question, I sift information like a mad Gold Rush prospector, and I enjoy overturning presumptions whenever possible, especially my own. Being more specific, I work in a therapeutic capacity with emotionally/behaviorally challenged children and families, do after hours mental health crisis work for a rural hospital, and am a majordomo of sorts to a famously funky spiritual community in downtown Asheville.

    How would you describe your blogging style?


    It certainly fluctuates with my mood and what's happening in the moment. I like to highlight stories and information that contain some sort of obvious transformational value, so I'll post links to breaking news on consciousness, health, ecology, and urgent political opinion. I will provide commentary when needed, but will also let the links speak for themselves [old school blogging style]. Inversely, the blog is a sketch pad of sorts for my poetry and wordplay, and even though those works are somewhat veiled by personal symbolism, it's the closest I get to publicly emptying my bucket of psychic beans.

    What issues or topics do you like to speak and write about?


    Expanding consciousness sounds "retro," but it's our future, the only one we have as a species if we choose to thrive in this world. It can be spoken of in a number of ways, because our consciousness is not limited to the domains of gurus and neurologists. Anything, in fact, could be used as a transformative tool to wedge open the skull and allow for previously unseen and unthunk ideas to percolate within and through our world. I suppose that's my main thing, vague though it may be. To narrow it down to issues that are affecting us now, we cannot afford not to talk about the Earth, our poorly evolved political and religious institutions, and basic human rights. You'd think that the future we were promised would preclude us from having to march in the streets for those basic rights, against torture and bigotry, but alas the work is not yet done. It takes passion for us to live, and boredom for us to succumb.

    How does your online personality match up to your "real world" personality?


    I can be sharper tongued with my fingers typing than my tongue wagging, but there's not much contrast between my written self and my real world self. If anything, I bumble more through the real world. If I were to critique my online/written self, I'd say that I am more far more humble, pliable and goofy than the words portray.

    How do you use your blog to address political or ideological principles? Do you use your blog to write on progressive or LGBT issues, and how so?


    My blog is there specifically to play with beliefs and allow space for examining them within your own context. I like to place the rigid entities of politics, religion and culture in a philosophical crockpot and reduce them to the soft states they fight against becoming. I will blog on LGBT issues when they are relevant to me... While being gay is an aspect of my identity, I don't wear it as a chip on my shoulder. I acknowledge and praise those warriors that have fought for the recognition of our right to live and love freely, and am passionate about unlocking society's taboos about sexuality and personal freedom. Our diverse sexualities no doubt influence our whole beings, yet I don't personally feel inclined to "metaphyisically graffiti" my gayness everywhere [excepting when I feel especially pathetic about being hopelessly single, wink]. I think sometimes we as a community frequently overcompensate for the millennia of oppression by becoming caricatures of ourselves and our movement... we all do that from time to time, but there's a time to wave our flag and a time to be in the big fat human picture, too.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 13.30 Sat, 16 Feb '08

    Sat 09 Feb 08

    remember when...

    The only way to begin
    Is to start at the place
    Where you first forgot why
    There was anything at all to do.

    This house is so quiet
    There is nothing, nothing,
    Nothing to indicate I am anchored
    To any one fixed place in this midnight void.

    Is there any reason to doubt
    That there are no reasons to believe
    The ensconced gilded myths we go glibly accept
    Are little more than some kid's rock skipping across the water?

    Perhaps the most terrifying thing
    One of us can do is to heave away the trust
    We hold so fervently to our love-starved breasts
    Into the darkness, eaten by the moon, dissolved by some unknown breath.

    I want only that.
    Though I am shy to admit it,
    I want the terror and vastness of not-knowing,
    Not-thinking, not-filling-in-the-blanks, not tripping over my own shadow.

    There's no time for sanctimonious pangs,
    Only a moment or two for remembering when life was the color
    Outside of the lines, the untamed scrawl that dared shallow conventions,
    The sweet realization that we are creator first, created second, and responsible always.

    It's time for music;
    Time for some Slavic circle dance
    For the starry night which overhangs this house
    Which I come to inhabit beginningless, endless, as slowly I bring the lights up.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 23.24 Sat, 09 Feb '08

    Sat 02 Feb 08

    Happy 5th Birthday, Bird On the Moon!

    It's true, and I thought that, gasp, I might have shuttered things by now. Not true, but it is hard work to keep a metapersonal meme fresh (so long as one frets and worries about it). I've obviously been a lot more relaxed about it all, and that's been a relief as I've been mired in logging vast and creatively fecund realities, let alone blogging them. I could be less cryptic, but I can't be (?) at present, because there are things going on that are somewhat painful in the familial sense, and work is an ever-present umbrella that follows me everywhere I go, and work just isn't something I can talk about online. So, WYSIWYG, and hopefully that's enough. It is for me, though I'd certainly like to rekindle the blogging fire.

    Here are those 2 February (or Imbolc) milestones of the past 5 years, just fer kicks:

  • 2003
  • 2004
  • 2005
  • 2006
  • 2007

    If I didn't have to go right now, I'd wax poetic and whimsical, but, as aforementioned, I have to go. As do we all, in our own quirky and seemingly pointless ways... where are you headed, my friends?

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 10.42 Sat, 02 Feb '08

  • Sun 27 Jan 08

    One for the nameless

    It has been windy
    Here in this valley of winter
    Here in this fantasia of familiar turned skeletal
    Here in this body, even, this weathervane of memories.
    With the wind, much is scattered about
    Reckless debris being driven to who-knows-where
    And who-knows-why.
    Among the leaves, the bottles, the crumpled rejects of some scribe,
    I know that scraps of love, pure love, are on wanton trajectory.
    Ownerless love, spent and used love, outgrown love, love beyond repair...
    Blowing around as plentifully as any other careless thing
    You wouldn't know that there's so much orphaned and stained love
    Rambling about each time the wind picks up.
    There may be a worried and passion-worn photograph
    In a flurry with all our other forgotten nameless jetsam
    Skittering across the road, and you're lost in your own whirlwind,
    You might not see that one scrap winging by,
    You might not see your own face
    Caught in an amber of momentary bliss
    Now darkened, now sloughed off, now as common as twigs and paper bags.
    With all this bluster,
    Let there then be a madman...
    One who chases fruitlessly after all the trailing bygones
    Who stitches together the improbable random stories of love lost
    Who collects the discarded tears of broken dreams
    Who exalts the song of love from atop a heap of time's rubble
    Who, though sullied and calloused by dashing here and there,
    Vindicates love even in its waste
    And from his daft collecting,
    Holds up one for the nameless, the forsaken, the broke,
    Summoning light to again enter the trashed years
    I've left thoughtlessly behind in the wake of desires untouched.
    Let the madman's work remind, no, exclaim,
    How great is the right to love
    And cruel we are to toss it out the window
    Wheeling down the road
    Done with it
    Without passing it on.

    Let us all be madmen.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 11.59 Sun, 27 Jan '08

    Wed 09 Jan 08

    A recurive error that doesn't make sense

    ...or exist:

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 05.24 Wed, 09 Jan '08

    Sat 29 Dec 07

    The Best of 2007

    Songs, not necessarily new releases, but the ones that made the biggest impact for me:

    13. Tool "Lateralus"
    12. Justin Bond and the Hungry March Band "In the End" (Shortbus)
    11. Wolf Parade "Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts"
    10. Bat for Lashes "What's a Girl to Do?"
    9. Covenant "Humility"
    8. Masala Sound System "Od Tarnobrzegu po Bangladesz"
    7. MIA "Birdflu"
    6. Seabound "Watching Over You"
    5. David Wilcox "Hold it up to the light"
    4. Iggy Pop & Teddy Bears "Punk Rocker"
    3. Syke 'n' Sugarstarr "Like This, Like That"
    2. Peter Mayer "My Soul"
    1. VNV Nation "Arena"

    Photos:


























    Poem of the Year, "Holy Elemental"

    I

    Standing there,
    Half in, half out the door
    Between the darkened house
    And the autumn morning alit with glories
    The invigorating chill that greets the face: a kiss from summer
    Passing down the road, heading south, waving goodbye with long golden light
    Trailing across the dew-blessed grass, tiny prisms, a thousand stars at my awakening feet.

    II

    Do you recall
    When you dove headlong into a pile of leaves
    Your smile-creased cheeks tenderly touched by the fallen green of yesterday
    And your childhood laughter echoed across the idyllic fields of the passing years
    As crows kept time, and the night crept in, and when the fires were lit to keep you warm,
    Your eager mind wandered into the shapes in the flames,
    And you wove fantasy from the heat, lulling you into sweeter dreams, as frost wrote
    Sonnets upon your window?

    Do you recall
    The last plunge into the lake before the ice took the water away?
    That moment in flight, forever a child of the winds,
    To be swallowed in a splash, the last of the year,
    And the chattering of your teeth were mantras of the ruggedness of simply being alive?

    Do you recall
    That you are holy elemental?
    That you are a spinning wheel of all that which combines to vivify today?
    That you wade through the cosmic brazenly, in the face of entropy,
    With a face of a singular being quizzically raised from ice, fire, void,
    You are as much the rough embrace of sycamore bark
    As you are white water, a sky as blue as faded jeans, a fire from darkest cracks of Earth,
    A star…

    III.

    With mystery, you move forward slightly,
    Past the door where you stood astride the equilibrium of the Equinox,
    With the galaxy of memory that is your darkened home behind you
    Toward the brilliance of the shortening day
    Toward the bliss of rediscovering the steam of your breath
    Toward the music of bending milkweed, the red leaves on the crisp wind;
    Kissed by another summer now receding,
    This is the first morning of Autumn,
    And as mockingbirds intone sutras toward the lowering arc of our sun
    You do recall
    Bravely
    That you are all of these things, these images, these songs,
    These hopes and dreams of matter against the vastness of space.
    You are still a child
    Who, as a sudden act of creation, is made of all of this,
    Who can play even as the flowers fade
    Who can jump sprightly even as the chimney swifts spiral south
    Who can learn, ever more,
    That it is you who are the season, changing:

    Holy elemental, how do you dare, right here, right now,
    With these gallant and young steps ahead,
    How do you dare to transform
    The Earth
    That is
    And can only be
    You, yourself, your own celestial body?

    Video of the Year, and 12 runners up:


    Carl Sagan, "Pale Blue Dot"

    Person of the Year:

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 18.14 Sat, 29 Dec '07

    Wed 26 Dec 07

    Things to care less about in 2008

    In order to create a powerful new year, I hereby unleash a pent up torrent of bitterness, so that opportunity, creativity, and clarity may flow in:

  • Proselytizing, pandering, arrogant, and manipulative people of any faith that wave around their Glorified & Righteous™ symbols and expect others to just plain submit to their intellectually numbing and spiritually vacant religiosity and clap loudly for their magic tricks and circus acts. I'm so utterly and completely done with the vampires among us that prey on the young, ill, poor and uninformed to bend to kiss the feet whatever poobah is the ever-lovin' source of all your comfort. I've seen far too many abuses lately of what *were* great spiritual traditions for the sake of stroking the collective ego of insecure and unethical people. I'm not disclaiming religion, spirituality, or faith... quite the contrary. What I am condemning in no uncertain terms is the practice of vomiting religious screeds all over those who are down and out, lost, and thus easy to manipulate, and guilt tripping them into following along like good little sheep. It's sick, and only served to keep the dumb on in a society who has the complete ability to turn dumb off.

  • Anyone whose greed overtakes their love, reason, and moral obligations, and runs away with it. You know who I'm talking about. And as much as it personally hurts, I'm over it and goodness will prevail.

  • Politicians. In this election year, unless you're willing to stand up and insist that you will make massive changes in this utterly broken system of government, you are every bit as responsible for the brokenness, and good luck piecing the system back together. So far, only Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, and to some extent Ron Paul are showing their cojones. Because the system is rigged against political will that falls outside of the neat little boxes we've designated as safe, these folks are devoid of any chance of winning, and that sucks. So, revolt or sleep. Take your pick.

  • Gay men that are pussywhipped by the narrow limits of social acceptability into playing weak-willed characters instead of actually doing the hard, sometimes painful work of self discovery. It's not all Andrew Lloyd Webber and tight jeans... it's a distinctively difficult life path we've been given to live in a heavily dualistic society where our love breaks the mold and causes uncomfortability. Do we play along and accept our apparent role as snazzy, witty, and materially addicted, or do we create social change by being rugged individualists being who we are most deeply compelled to be? I've talked to so many of you that scoff at your deepest desires... why? Why gracefully submit? It's just another form of victimization, so stop playing along, stand up, and be someone other than who you're expected to be.

  • Pity. Yeah, I've played that game, used it like a dishrag time and time again. I've been over using it personally for a while now, years in fact, but I see so many people who are taught by their environment to use pity for gain, it's terribly sad [but not pitiful]. Why? Why lower yourself to get something you could easily gain by lifting yourself up? That includes the "pity fuck," welfare, time on Dr. Phil's couch, emotional hostage taking, and a spirit numbing false sense of entitlement. Stop it. Pick yourself up. You're better than that, right?

    There. Now that I've grumpily released my curmudgeonly misgivings, I've got the space to intentionally create and further become the opposite of my vexations. It's a choice. Wanna join me?

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 19.44 Wed, 26 Dec '07

  • Sun 23 Dec 07

    For want and lack

    I want to invoke the names of the old gods
    Those beings who inhabit the gnarled wood
    The stone faces of sacred mountains
    The curling waves which tell stories to the shores.
    I want to raise, in the dark and hushed hour
    A tribute from the harvest
    To meet it with my lips
    And pronounce, with good company,
    The continuity of life.

    I want to declare the right of all beings to be revered.
    I want to stand in defense of the weak and broken.
    I want to rise with you into the ineffable light, dark, and unknown.
    I want to break the mirror of our shared delusions.
    I want to grow, that one day I may bend and whither and be glad for having lived.

    It is one thing to express a want
    Another to justify it
    Another to fight for it
    Another to give yourself to it
    Another to give it away completely.

    All these things, I want,
    So I may give them to you,
    And walk away relieved for having
    Finally, with a simple act, set myself free.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 21.07 Sun, 23 Dec '07

    Sun 16 Dec 07

    December Rain

    There was rain on the roof
    Rivers ran down the thin glass
    That keeps here from there.
    Touching the window,
    Tracing the storied waters
    Something like catching stars in a net.

    I want words here
    Words to trickle in stellar trails of truth
    Words to rain down on my mute wishes
    Of these stormclouds to speak for me
    For the rain to cry for me
    For my door to be opened
    [some muse off the street comes in
    folds an umbrella
    and says hello]
    I want the linguists of the soul
    To name my unspoken troubles
    Which thoughtlessly tremble my hands
    Which know every cell I am.
    I wish to succumb to the flooding
    Of some holy lexicography
    I wish for the roads of my body to slicken, ice,
    For my creeks to rise, and overtake the bounds
    Of my understanding
    And to go downstream,
    Toward some hypernymous sea, some inexplicable sky.

    I wish I were named something like this rain
    Which makes December music tonight.
    I could patter on your roof
    Roll down your window
    Even your finger
    And at last
    Be given
    Wholly
    To the
    Earth.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 21.33 Sun, 16 Dec '07

    Fri 07 Dec 07

    The Annual Birthday Post, part XXXV

    Reader, it's been a long time.

    First, before I unzip the squishy tumblething that is my brain, you should know by now that this blog is quite periodic as its author has more-or-less been significantly distracted away from the medium and will post periodically as time allows. Management sends its regards, nonetheless. Some day, a new manifestation may appear, or some bloggy zeal may reinhabit these pages... until then, be content with the constantly updated fresh postings that can been seen through the feed called your window. The whiplash inducing comments in Reality threads are quite addictive.

    Cryptic asides aside, things have been well-ish, if scattered and somewhat overrun with the onslaught of responsibilities and minor personal fuckups that I've been privy to. The good thing is that there are good things afoot, such as a new drive to solidify my philosophies into something more tangible and workable than the common late night rants with good friends; I'm writing things down and trying to craft a cogent and useful system for myself. It's like playing hide-n-seek with yourself in a mirror, though; the best I can do is to catch myself and all the inconsistencies that lie therewith. I need more bounce, more avenues to sound off and thus receive critiques from the thoughtful minds that live beyond my brain. Yet, save one soul, I'm too shy to air my quizzical laundry for the whole world. Very few see the delicate underthings of my inmost thought, so suffice it to say that I'm getting things done and am doing the Work.

    Today just so happens to be the 35th anniversary of my signing on to be on this planet with y'all. I plan to do a lot of self care and some minor indulgence today, to create a little personal levity in what has been an otherwise stressful season. Again, those things (the stressful bits) tend to stay under wraps here on the blog, so that when I do post, I can hand you something more useful than Eeyorish wankery. I save that for the mental health profession.

    Thanks for sticking by these sporadic broadcasts, and know that like a elf in the night, the blog will occasionally drop you a treat when least expected.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 10.05 Fri, 07 Dec '07

    Sat 24 Nov 07

    Written for Friends

    Love is the force most mysterious
    For it abides through dark and light
    Above and below
    Through the royal sky of day and the bejeweled canopy of night.
    Love has infinite names and no definite place
    Yet it is written in your own bones
    It wakes you and dreams you
    Crystallized in a clear moment which none can own.
    Love compels us to know ourselves
    When distraction and hullabaloo competes to win
    Self knowledge is galactic
    Through it, we propel forward, and give from within.
    Love propagates from itself
    And creates potential in its wake, a gypsy dancer
    You cannot help but to jump and exalt
    For the question of love is its own answer.
    Love is the force most mysterious
    Yet somehow, you can touch it now, here;
    You chose it, love chooses you,
    Just this once, trust its embrace, for as with all Creation
    It is ever present, and yet you are the one who chooses to hold it near.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 13.21 Sat, 24 Nov '07

    Sun 11 Nov 07

    Reflections of the past weeks

    Below are some journal entries from 29 October to today. I was in Marin County, California with good friends. Below the post, enjoy a slideshow from the experience.

    ~

    I’ve been in California since Monday, and haven’t written as voluminously as is typical. This can be attributed to a variety of factors, but mostly it’s due to immersion in the visual medium to record my thoughts, whimsies, and dreams. Of course, this medium can be rather “one way,” but so are words; I’m pointing to something that I hope magically conveys what I’m needing to communicate, making assumptions that the syllables or colors are adequate messengers of the language-less, the formless. Photographing a sea lion emerging from the turbulent and frigid depths has been just as accurate as a rhymeless poem about my own tides and emergence. Touching stones smoothed by a thousand years of friction has bee just as useful as sculpting a theory of time and place from logical chains of order and analysis. This now, as the ever renewing mystical state, remains the medium of greatest use because it’s immediate; the reflection in camera lens or ink has power in the after-now only. It’s the post-orgasmic floating above the self, and not the ecstatic contraction and expansion of the body. Metaphor about foreplay excluded for the purposes of imagination.

    Yesterday, I walked the Golden Gate, an inexplicably massive ode to matter and form. Entirely wrapped in fog, it was an experience of being suspended above and below nothingness, only the suggestion of the bay below and the sky above could be made out in the blur. Fog horns blew damn near apocalyptically, with such urgency and knowledge of doom that I may have well been blindfolded in a valley of dragons. The wind only brought a sensation numbing chill, and did not abate the dull white that obscured every hard line and boundary. The bridge was merely a plank that mercifully mediated the void, and the sight of cables thicker than any body disappearing to an unperceivable upward left innumerable points to question. Because of the interplay of fog and sun on the ground, I saw a fog-bow, and my own form haloed in rainbow hundreds of feet below. For those that jump off of this beast, that illusion may be their final bull’s eye, but for me it was a blessed apparition and validation of the self in such a puzzling relationship of scale.

    I’ve been alone with the ocean, too, a terror-able restless goddess. The softness of water has no time there, it is too absorbed in being thrust with cold, relentless force that a mere drop or ripple is purposeless and thus overruled by heaving currents that would rip the very name from my muscles should I dare it past the ankles. Yet, standing so near to this, are redwoods and sequoias that confound any sense of creature-hood you’ve ever had. Put all these trees together and they vie with the Golden Gate for massiveness, though their survival is measured in millennia versus coats of paint and bolts. The contrast is so simple as to be easily dismissible, yet I must ask as to the persistence of man’s nature against the persistence of nature’s largest of sentries. I titled the photographs I took there as a series called “Mere Words,” because my mere words are utterly useless and wasteful in the presence of such graceful yet unrelenting avatars of the Universe’s desire to grow against odds. Mere photographs are equally as useless, but it’s what I have. I humble myself before the trees as a bumpkin, a mute, a mere drop of spittle in a heaving tsunami of life.

    The West Coast is home to so many of these contrasting and rugged events of life affirming contact that this must be why the contagious easy-goingness is as ubiquitous as the Bay Area’s fog shrouded valleys. The people here, save the occasional waitress and speeding sportster, are infected with a strange tendency to smile even when no one’s watching. Here at the Koffee Klatch in Fairfax, the bespectacled waitress just affirmed that “nothing’s normal anymore,” a perception that doubtlessly informs the lack of shock or fear that comes in some level with most human contact events. My glasses are rose colored, sure, because I am a visitor here, but I’ve been in places far less welcoming. I can say that humanity is not pictured on the back of the milk carton, headlined as missing. If anything, what’s missing here is that dark streak of suspicion that is genetically emblazoned within the hearts of most rats in this race.

    Today, I think I am going to the City, to find what I find. Or elsewhere. I have a few days left to be purposeless and free of the restraints of the ordinary. Odd that we have to displace the self in order to shake it up, rather than displace the mind. The former is far easier to do, though the latter is far easier to hold once accomplished.

    ~

    Thoughts cannot be continued from the previous, too much time passed to stitch new thoughts onto it without being terribly unjust to the moment. I’m at the airport now, and I’m on my way out. It’s a bittersweet waiting, this. I leave here not in awe of any one thing in particular, but in complete appreciation of the power of friendship, strong enough to move a person across a continent for a week of respite from routine. I leave drawn back to the same, to my friends in the mountains and the home which now is intermixed with my name and history. When returning, it can be as much of a discovery as the new sights of the destination… things become displaced in memory, the delightful way shadows arc across my own home is as moving to me as the mists of the Marin Headlands, or the quality of light in the ancient temple-like Muir Woods.

    Today I took a curious journey to an old prison, situated on a desolate, lonely island. Alcatraz. The name is certainly not euphonious, and it feels as sharp and foreboding as the fading razor wire and rust-eaten bars. I had to consider the strange confluence of my freedom and choice to wander those grounds, versus the cold and cruel theft of free will that went on there since the late 19th Century. True, horrible crimes created that prison, but it served as a place where persons were stripped on their personhood and hidden behind cold stone in their rage and death throes. I could not help but question how tenuous and fleeting our freedom can be when plugged into a system which organizes humans by their economic worth and vague, subjective notions of productivity. We are in a sense choiceless upon birth regarding our entry in to this system, itself arbitrary and made entirely of successive layers of the detritus each generation’s brute force. To not subscribe to the same brute forces that dictate rule and order is a risk, and surely some who dared that system died within the walls of that place. Interesting that Native Americans seized the island in 1969 as a protest against the dissolution of their own personhood by the grievous designs of the wards of our troublesome mode of meting “justice.”

    About time to board the plane, which is a bird that we gladly employ for own trifling escapes. These escapes may be into ourselves, as we wish and are able, though frequently it is the self we wish to escape from, to embrace a place. I may have done that with the ocean, the bridge, the giant trees, but the self (or this one) is not so easily lost.

    Countless words I’ve spent to process vacations, and escapes, though I puzzle over why I seem to spend so few words when I am utterly and intensely involved with the present. Perhaps it is losing my place that jiggers the words out, yet when in place, the words are neatly arrayed in my mental bookcase, and dusty. Often I’ve speculated that my artistic life would be best served by constant motion, and yet I know full well that my orbit around this star and the void is faster and more profoundly pioneering than other coastlines and mountains. This trick, as it always is, is to act upon these speculations, rather than tumble them further in a mind already strewn with too much thinking.

    Climbing to 37,000 feet, it’s warm and cramped. Below are countless worlds racing by. I cannot ever see or known them all, and it is enough work to see my own. Perhaps, that is what I will come away with this time.

    ~

    Postscript

    I’ve been putting my words and thoughts together since coming back to the mountains, much like unpacking the well-traveled bag of suddenly small and oddly detached souvenirs. The beaches where days ago I played and hunted for green stones have now been besmirched by gobs of heavy oil, leaked from a tanker. This was highly unnerving. I connected to those beaches, those birds who calmly rode the waves, the staggering trees that kept sentry. It’s all suddenly in question, as each species relies on another, many of these from microscopic to mammoth are under the threat of the sick, black, stream of industrial vomit that is now coursing through that heavenly bay. I don’t know what to do but to thumb the green stones that are now in a small china bowl, so utterly out of context from those now-fouled beaches, and thus so alone (as far as stones go).

    California is slipping, pebble by pebble, into the dreamlike for me after mere days away. Yet, pebble by pebble, fresh realizations churned up by wheeling down the roads of the soul are now before me. These are precious stones, sacred stories, and points on a map of the future that unfurls so fast that I can barely make out the landscapes at my fingers. But, I am nonetheless experiencing a profound comfort in being animate within this perfect storm of a universe, with all its woe, suffering, calamity and isolation. I am holding hands, tenaciously, with mortality and the forms it takes. The flesh that explores these stones is terribly impermanent and will have a much shorter story than they. But that’s alright. That’s what I signed up for. It’s a switch from the anxious teeth clenching that vexed me terribly when I recently had a bout of the mortality jitters. It was troubling to accept that my bones were dust waiting to happen, and this voice, this history, was as helpless to time as a milkweed puff to the wind. Yet after watching the sun, our source, toe the horizon to illumine oceans unseen, I felt alright about my impermanence. Seeing that was enough to turn the condition into joyful surrender. I can’t say why.

    So, that was California. I have the greatest of caliber of friends out there. To Casey, Gustav, Richard, Carol… thank you, deeply. To the Ocean, to the Shores, to the Trees… long live the holy pulse of all that which was not made by man, long live your battle to survive amid our madness.

    ~

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 21.44 Sun, 11 Nov '07

    Sun 30 Sep 07

    Quiet in the Yard Today

    It's quiet in the yard today
    Even the crickets
    Have slowed their orchestrations
    So it's up to the crows
    And the kids on bikes
    To make the music of the hour.

    Black cat, a neighbor's, skulks
    Through the grass, stalking its own shadow
    Or mine, or yours, we can never know.

    It's quiet in the yard today
    So every thought I have is louder
    And I try not to think, but to bend down thoughtlessly
    To look at pebbles, feel the dirt
    As an iteration of sunshine past
    Through which the dandelions, ever industrious,
    Break through one more time
    Like those memories I had presumed
    Long since been taken by the wind.

    Persimmon fruit hanging lower
    Its sweetness building as I forgo
    Intellectualizing and analyzing
    The majestic outburst of autumn's old trumpet.

    It's quiet in the yard today
    And I sit here, afraid to make a sound
    To be a good citizen of the grass and greens
    To let the westerly winds do the speaking
    And whatever it's saying I'll agree
    For how can I resist that deeper poetry
    Inked by the secret composers of Sundays
    With verses wrought of acorns and found feathers
    Not hollow images
    But the metaphors themselves that leave us rapt
    When we find these real words, pick them up, hold them,
    Nature examines Itself...

    Wren explores the porch in hops and flaps
    Eye contact, for a moment, each of us foreigners of a sort,
    No chirping or verbs, but a knowing connectedness, and we both fly.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 17.03 Sun, 30 Sep '07

    Mon 24 Sep 07

    Hello again

    Yes, I know...
    I've been woefully neglecting the blog, and no, I won't offer excuses. I've been through too many of these dips and spikes in activity to count, and as Bruce Hornsby sang in his late '80s buttery way, "that's just the way it is."

    Today, I'm out sick with really vicious back pain (and some genuinely wicked exhaustion), so it's only appropriate that I take the time I have to say hello, and offer you this appetizer of a blog posting, though it's up to you to find the cocktail napkin that goes with it.

    The house has been taking up the time it really ought to; I love this place to a fault, in that it's so hard to leave and so hard to not feel the compulsive desire to stalk the grounds, find something to fix or improve upon, or just sit with. It has a life and personality that is charming me, daily. The house fixes me a drink and woos me to bed, starry eyed. I continue to be culture shocked by something as simple as shelter.

    My creative output has been embarrassingly slim, though you will notice a new poem and new pix on flickr. I'm gearing up to make a short film, as I feel the need to play with a variety of media. I hope that by winter if not sooner, I'll have my first 15 minute mini-documentary up and ready for viewing. This is ambitious, yes, and I haven't told anyone about it yet as the idea for it has been swimming in my mind for a while but hasn't until now set foot on metaphorical shore. But if you're in AVL you'll soon see me with a little camera, and if you know of any interesting characters who would agree to a 1 minute interview, let me know. I won't discuss the topic because I want the responses to be fresh and un-thunk.

    I've got to go now, but I will try to mind this old bird a little more often...

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 12.18 Mon, 24 Sep '07

    Sat 22 Sep 07

    Holy Elemental: Invoking Autumn

    I

    Standing there,
    Half in, half out the door
    Between the darkened house
    And the autumn morning alit with glories
    The invigorating chill that greets the face: a kiss from summer
    Passing down the road, heading south, waving goodbye with long golden light
    Trailing across the dew-blessed grass, tiny prisms, a thousand stars at my awakening feet.

    II

    Do you recall
    When you dove headlong into a pile of leaves
    Your smile-creased cheeks tenderly touched by the fallen green of yesterday
    And your childhood laughter echoed across the idyllic fields of the passing years
    As crows kept time, and the night crept in, and when the fires were lit to keep you warm,
    Your eager mind wandered into the shapes in the flames,
    And you wove fantasy from the heat, lulling you into sweeter dreams, as frost wrote
    Sonnets upon your window?

    Do you recall
    The last plunge into the lake before the ice took the water away?
    That moment in flight, forever a child of the winds,
    To be swallowed in a splash, the last of the year,
    And the chattering of your teeth were mantras of the ruggedness of simply being alive?

    Do you recall
    That you are holy elemental?
    That you are a spinning wheel of all that which combines to vivify today?
    That you wade through the cosmic brazenly, in the face of entropy,
    With a face of a singular being quizzically raised from ice, fire, void,
    You are as much the rough embrace of sycamore bark
    As you are white water, a sky as blue as faded jeans, a fire from darkest cracks of Earth,
    A star…

    III.

    With mystery, you move forward slightly,
    Past the door where you stood astride the equilibrium of the Equinox,
    With the galaxy of memory that is your darkened home behind you
    Toward the brilliance of the shortening day
    Toward the bliss of rediscovering the steam of your breath
    Toward the music of bending milkweed, the red leaves on the crisp wind;
    Kissed by another summer now receding,
    This is the first morning of Autumn,
    And as mockingbirds intone sutras toward the lowering arc of our sun
    You do recall
    Bravely
    That you are all of these things, these images, these songs,
    These hopes and dreams of matter against the vastness of space.
    You are still a child
    Who, as a sudden act of creation, is made of all of this,
    Who can play even as the flowers fade
    Who can jump sprightly even as the chimney swifts spiral south
    Who can learn, ever more,
    That it is you who are the season, changing:

    Holy elemental, how do you dare, right here, right now,
    With these gallant and young steps ahead,
    How do you dare to transform
    The Earth
    That is
    And can only be
    You, yourself, your own celestial body?


    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 19.52 Sat, 22 Sep '07

    Sat 08 Sep 07

    Quickie

    First post from the new house! I'm kinda pressed for time [procrastination/obsessive home stuff], but as is custom [?] it seems right to at least wave hello to you from the new place, one week after the official move. Tomorrow is housewarming, and I'll liveblog it...

    ...if I remember to.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 21.39 Sat, 08 Sep '07

    Thu 06 Sep 07

    The Chimney Swifts Return, And This Is All I Can Say

    Swirling in twilight
    The chimney swifts spiral toward sanctuary
    Down the chimney of a forgotten church
    So effortless in their whirling
    Feathered electrons, planets spinning in orreries,
    A sky dance of late summer
    That brings in wing a chilling of air,
    A tremulous line twixt light
    And ever encroaching night
    A rite dictated by the stars
    And felt in familiar morning clouds
    Which descend over us, wordlessly.

    I inhabit some new grounds
    As an impending new season overtakes the stubborn heat
    I touch new Earth
    Dig in it
    Lay upon it as the animal I am
    Place a heart-shaped stone in the dirt
    As some metaphor I can't decently explain.
    The street is only interrupted by the industry of squirrels
    And the artful passage of shadows.
    Inhabiting this place,
    As the swifts dip and exalt in the purple heaven
    I take my place among the countless names and nameless
    As one who suddenly, vexedly,
    Finds himself anchored at once to place
    And longing ever more for the placelessness of sky.

    It's dark now,
    And the door politely sighs shut
    And the swifts are roosting in the least known of holy places
    And I'm face to face with my words again
    Writing them in some new context
    But still, despite the distance,
    Wrapping them around you, the one I dare to love,
    To warm us amid our home in this swarming of stars...

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 20.51 Thu, 06 Sep '07

    Thu 30 Aug 07

    The wildest week yet

    It is hard to summarize the wave of emotions of the past several days, but this week will certainly go down as perhaps one of the most surreal and memorable. I was alone in the new house last night, suddenly taking in the awesome if bizarre sensation that I will live there for some time, and that it and I somehow will merge unlike anyplace I've ever lived... an odd marriage of place. A compact of sacred balance, honoring the land for, in name, it is mine. That's so weird, but at the same time, who really can own anything on a six billion year old planet of constantly recycling molecules? The house and the trees and the dirt may be mine according to a piece of paper, but it owns itself, and if anything, the Earth owns us, sunglasses and all.

    We complete the move this weekend... I doubt I'll get used to this feeling anytime soon.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 09.33 Thu, 30 Aug '07

    Sat 25 Aug 07

    It's done

    I now am a homeowner... very strange and unsettling feeling. The whole process was painful, but that's gone now and what remains is a move. The first boxes go in today.

    The Closing Celebration

    I had a sweet dinner with friends last night to celebrate. I feel so incredibly grateful, and, as evidenced by this short post, speechless.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 11.14 Sat, 25 Aug '07

    Fri 24 Aug 07

    The Big Day

    It's finally, dreamily here: today, I close on my new house, and, humbly, I took receipt of a new, kind of insane car. Life is changing freakily fast, and yet there is somber bittersweetness as all of this odd fortune is born from the death of my grandmother on 11 June. It will be her picture that will enter the house today as the first thing moved in, followed by the traditional little porcelain dragon which has preceeded every move for a decade now.

    I'm a little dizzy, but utterly, deeply, profoundly thankful... and this day I dedicate to those who are disenfranchised beyond belief and are forced, unjustly, to the margins. Margins forever be damned. I'm wearing a bracelet made by Afghan orphans today... as a powerful reminder that while I bead one very bright day, most of the world will today thread a bead of hunger, and want. I will make the most of this gift to bring more light, and more hope, to those who thread tomorrow.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 11.52 Fri, 24 Aug '07

    Sat 18 Aug 07

    Arising and Returning

    Last week's posts were rather feeble blips on the collective radar screen of blogophilia, I freely admit, but I can now gaily admit that many forces have finally come together to enable regular installments again.

    Much mystery surrounded my cryptic posts about being awake for ungodly amounts of time; this is from a marathon session of answering crisis calls at the hospital, paired with prepping for a major audit at work (who writes a kickass treatment plan? That's right, naysayers...!). In the midst of the marathon, I had an apparent blood-sugar crash and fainting spell type thing that felt vaguely convulsive. It was a blur to Monday, audit day, and a mad dash to the end of the therapeutic summer program which I've helmed for the past 9 weeks... concluding in a tearful speech and pie in the face. Allow me to state that, unequivacably, that this is a laughable yet generally horrible fate... the shit stings your eyes and for the rest of the day, no matter what, you reek of curdled cream. But such is the way of the fool: invite the trickster in, and the trickster will most certainly strike without.

    So, the focus of much energy and attention has gone to the upcoming purchase of my first house. This has been a wild ride indeed, and surely the move will be yet another distraction soon. I am a little overwhelmed with the numbers involved here, and the suddenness of it all has been akin to having a house land on top of you, Oz and tornado style. That combined with having a get a car, and quick, and various issues with jump starting school again have been all intense stressors which originate from well-intentioned sources.

    But without further ado, so as to reinvigorate a sense of normalcy, here's the Saturday Random 10 out of 5,614:
    1. Science Fiction Double Feature ~ The Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack ("where's the best place to f***?")
    2. Gidelam ~ Baaba Maal
    3. Walk the Walk ~ Poe
    4. Afrika ~ Tukuleur
    5. Try (Just A Little Bit Harder) (Live) ~ Janis Joplin
    6. Heart And Soul ~ Wolfstone
    7. Indian Stomp ~ Cyrus/Random Trio
    8. Poor Boy ~ Nick Drake
    9. Space Age Love Song (KMFDM) ~ A Flock Of Seagulls
    10. Don't Think Twice, It's Alright ~ Joan Baez

    Random mp3 of the week(s): Charlie Parker ~ Chasing the Bird
    Sounds like it is, a stray starling poking around a rain slicked Greenwich street, playfully dodging Studebakers and winos.

    And for the viddy, here's the funny courtesy of Joshua.

    Good to be back y'all.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 11.16 Sat, 18 Aug '07

    Thu 09 Aug 07

    closing in...

    ...on 48 hours, presently at 45 with a minor catnap. I'm doing this because I have to, and I'll tell ya more about it soon.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 02.48 Thu, 09 Aug '07

    Wed 08 Aug 07

    wooooohoooooo?

    This is a brief telegraph from someone who's been awake for 29 hours, and is hardly cognizant of posting it because of the intense amount of stress and, well, intensity I'm dealing with right now.

    w00t.

    I'll tell you when the storm has passed.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 11.25 Wed, 08 Aug '07

    Sun 05 Aug 07

    Fan Mail

    I received in my inbox last night a scathing and insulting overview of my life, apparently, as seen by some random person. If anything, it's emboldened me, strengthened my self concept against the grandiose, the petty and the puerile. My friends always seem to hint that I could use a boost in the self esteem department, so here it is, ironically delivered by someone determined to shoot a hole through my spirit with their judgmental pomposity. Didn't work.

    And now, we let the sunshine in...

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 12.06 Sun, 05 Aug '07

    Sat 04 Aug 07

    On Reckoning With Wasted Time and the Indulgence of the American Daze

    For those that have emailed, you're on my list. For those of you that have called, I swear I'll check my voicemail. For everyone and everything else, I am getting to you, I promise. These have been the mantras of my Everyday lately... it's admittedly trite to admit that I've been 'oh so busy lately,' but all I have left to say to that is the trite. Note my rapid neglect of the blog, my dismal creative output, and if you could tap my dreams, they're mostly a mosaic of dispassionate numbers. The light I'm missing outside is streaming peach juice, and I'm just now beginning to think larger thoughts than the Pavlovian, drool inducing enticements of food, sex, and territory.

    Am I being unduly harsh on myself? Some friends would say yes, undeniably. Yet that harsh-ness is quaint to the self-immolating monk, the Darfur refugee, the shattered toys of a blown up Baghdad kid. I am so deeply and somewhat frenetically attached to the buzzing world of obligation that I tend, on days like this, to run from the World Itself. I've been thinking, when time permits, lately of the "burdens" and "woes" of our puffy, industrialized, one-size-fits-all-mostly western hemisphere monoculture. Our diseases are so obviously symptomatic of living in our self-built maze, our perils and crises are opulent dilemmas indeed. I know this, even as in these glittering, tranced out valleys I succumb. Should I throw myself to the slums, then, to live in the open sewer of the castaways, the lowest caste, the exiled? No. I still brazenly believe that the whiz-bang of the technologied West can be used to pioneer new campsites for the soul, I still believe that our affluent afflictions can be reckoned with by getting our soft hands dirty in hugging the seamy underbelly of Life Itself, venturing with the unspoken others, dancing fearlessly the shadows. Our collective cure is what most on high would call the disease.

    You might read this as a guilt cleansing rant conveniently typed from my comfy chair. True, lately the turns in my life are taking me closest to the most sacred absurdities in the Occientalist Canon; purchasing a home, eliminating old venomous debts, anticipating the sleekness of a new car and the sudden security of investment. Upon death, we bequeath wealth in our society, to the point that it's even enshrined in law (i.e. Social Security), albeit in monthly payout of a paltry pittance. With my grandmother's death comes this strange, awkward to hold gift. This gift is not her, but it's her enabling hand, her energy, and her final line item. I've not received other inheritances in this family for a number of obscure reasons, and I'm grateful for that, oddly. It enabled me to understand the value of work. But now, I am admittedly at a time of financial sink or swim, relatively speaking. This lifeline that will transit in an envelope soon will change that. But it is not without some sense of guilt that I will gingerly tear its seal, withdraw the weightless paper, and enter that even stranger club of stepping up to the American Dream, touching it, and entering it with a readied pen and tremulous footsteps.

    It was fifteen years today that I boarded a Greyhound bus for the undiscovered country, the mythical West, and the pulsating galactic night. I was naive, idealistic, obsessively iconoclastic, and terribly unprepared. I went into the visionquest under Wyoming stars pale, young, and open to the lessons of the road. I left it burned, hungry, infected, blistered, and chastened for my youthful ignorance. Yet happily so. Blissfully so. Thankfully so. I am today that boy again, with my heavy bag shouldered painfully, moving toward a new, if frightening, constellation of lessons. I will soldier breathlessly up the sun beaten path, and will hope to only drop that bag when I've gained new perspectives in struggle that are in line with most of humanity, not just the small, well equipped splintered-off tribe from which I come. I'll walk into this place for my Grandmother, for the monk in his poverty, for the Baghdad girl in her fear, for the places where unfairness is the rusty edge of a battered blade.

    I type this in knowing disparity; I type this in the hope that my malaise is lifting not through the chemical reactions of coffee and Benadryl, but through the reckoning of six billion other tragedies, six billion other possibilities.

    *****

    The Lost Hours

    My second, third or fourth morning of the day
    And the sun's nearly in bed
    The shadows are too long for my eyes to track
    And the kind of tiredness that has wrecked me
    Is a sad privilege
    To the few in the world
    Who dizzily whiz about
    Thinking that somehow, there is time to waste
    Sneezing, sleeping, practicing the prone delirium of death.
    Pot of coffee, Ritalin, black cherry water
    My last chance for Saturday and a million things undone.
    Perhaps there is something more profound
    Waiting to be said
    Something about the infinite pleasures of coneflowers
    And the alluring bliss of jumping through recursive thought
    But today I'll leave that space blank in penance
    [ ]
    For the reality of the sick luxury of listlessness
    The gross uprooting of the eager soul by the laconic
    And halcyon couch cushions
    That stalled my movement today
    That stole my breath
    Those irretrievable hours.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 18.36 Sat, 04 Aug '07

    Sat 28 Jul 07

    Nope, I'm not done yet

    I have been busily coursing through the swollen river of summer life, but still know that I desperately need to blog. And believe me, there's so much to say, so much changing. What a tease, I know, but please don't give up hope on this old blog.

    Stay tuned, kthxbi.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 10.06 Sat, 28 Jul '07

    Sun 15 Jul 07

    (unfinished)

    Eight days ago I met the ocean
    With this body, which as any instrument
    Has been played with both mournful and thankful tones
    And I remembered how tears taste like the sea
    The one thing our bodies took with us
    As we arose from the mother's Mother.
    The ceaseless industry of the waves
    The goodly sand moving through my fingers
    Faster than time
    Those stones of a million years the fragments
    Of a continent, broken and rebuilt
    In more lifetimes than there are footprints
    On any beach, anywhere... eight long days ago.
    Since then, my words have been driftwood
    Un-anchored, adrift, smoothed by the pounding of hours
    And a calendar of storms.
    Like any flotsam, these words will be washed ashore somewhere
    For some future hand to toss back in.
    Perhaps my own identity is an ever-circulating
    Armada of gnarled wood in the turbulent waters
    Of our ancestor's rising.
    Far and wide, we are a vast flotilla of disparate parts
    Which quixotically assemble as happenstance sees fit
    Then dashed again in the roiling currents of now.
    Like stars, we constellate ever-so briefly
    At the whim of the observer, and resume our holy innate twinkling
    When their gazing eye blinks in the black of time.
    Now, the interstate is the surf in my ear
    And those stalwart summer cicadas are my beach music.
    Yesterday, I saw a pile of glistening rocks
    Circling the base of an old pine tree-
    There for the moment, a moment that lasted forever.
    Yesterday, I walked in an empty house
    And felt my Grandmother's gentle laughter
    Echo off walls she'd never touched.
    Yesterday, I held a seeker long into the night
    Breathing together, exploring the chemistry
    Of desire, and of the still warmth the animal of our body radiates.
    These days,
    Of oceans and old trees,
    Of holding strong memory and becoming its ambassador
    Of writing thank you notes to old monsters
    Of touching driftwood and stars
    Of being the living eyes of ancestors
    These days have jarred me into something
    My drifting words cannot come together to describe
    And that is a paradox
    Which oddly brings
    Such relief
    Because it leaves me open
    And this poem unfinished

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 22.22 Sun, 15 Jul '07

    Sat 07 Jul 07

    Mixed Media Saturday (sort of), Delaware mini-edition

    I've got to keep this short and sweet- I'm in Delaware getting some closure on my grandmother and experiencing the emotional trying-ness that is family life. I'm very lucky to be here actually; my car mysteriously died Monday and my super awesome company let me use the company vehicle to get up here. I'm soon on my way to the beach, and will rendezvous with long-unseen friend Dennis, from my gold-plated fuzzily formative years. I'm on my way home, as it were, Monday morning. So, since time is tight and while beaching I will have amply time to write, here's the Saturday random 10 from my iPod:

    1. Siyavuya ~ Miriam Makeba and the Skylarks (South African Jazz)
    2. Go Back ~ Analogic (Techno, no other info)
    3. High and Low ~ The Crystal Method (U.S. Techno)
    4. The Green Brook Running ~ Tse Chun Yan (Chinese Folk)
    5. Is Chicago, Is Not Chicago ~ Soul Coughing (New York, Alt. Funkiness)
    6. Big Fat Cloud ~ The Orb (U.K. Trance)
    7. Can I Have It Like Back In The Day ~ DJ Jus Ske (New York, Hip Hop)
    8. I Would Die For You ~ Prince (Minneapolis, Pop)
    9. Oh ~ The Pearl Sisters (South Korea, Jazzy Kitsch)
    10. 4AM ~ VNV Nation (U.K./Germany, FuturePop)

    Can't do the mp3 this week for uploading reasons, but it would've been "There Is No There" by The Books...

    Sweet video of an airline pilot's perspective on flying several thousands miles in just a few days.

    I'll rant much more later...

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 10.31 Sat, 07 Jul '07

    Sat 30 Jun 07

    Mixed Media Saturday:

    The coffee is on, the lights are up, and I'm staring at a blue-eyed fish named Sunan. This is the latest edition to my already cluttered but lovingly repositioned desk, from which I oversee catnaps, pokeberry bushes climbing virulently, and the slow steady sun of a half-gone Saturday. I need to clean house, do megabytes of paperwork, exercise (yes, folks, I'm losing weight fast, down close to 30 lbs in six months in an effort to live in the south but remain northerly in figure), design two websites, and at some point contemplate the wow factor of being incarnate today. Ho hum.

    Yes, folks, it is also true that in the past week I have experienced Passion™, and yes, it was most fruitful and wonderful to connect so easily with another human bean. This thing is what it is, though; just know that I'm happy+spellbound, and this gives a nice spice to an otherwise ordinary summer sun. I'll tell you more in person, should we be so fortunate.

    This seventh day of the week is typically a day of recharge from emotional exhaustion, and today is no different. This week was difficult, yet began to uptick nicely as it wore on towards today. In a matter of days I undertake a rare northerly journey to Delaware in honor of my grandmother, who passed nearly three weeks ago. The lack of time to deal with it and experience the reality of it has created a strange space which will be shattered as it should as I am confronted with her empty home, the static photographs, the dust on memorabilia, and finally, the grave and family plot. Mortality; it's what's for dinner, ultimately. But so strange, so bittersweet, so utterly plan and complex to comprehend. I am no less sad than I am in awe of the invisible clockworks that tick in every muscle, behind every eye, within the space between each muttered profession of love.

    So, um, that was a fine burst of multisyllabic thought. The day looks nice. I think I'll go see...

    This week's random 10 of 5,474:

    1. Can I Get Get Get ~ Junior Senior (Denmark)
    2. Moja Stikla ~ Severina (Croatia)
    3. The Human's Race ~ Sweatshop Union (Canada)
    4. Liberdade ~ Das Primeiro (Angola)
    5. Sexy Boy ~ Magnifico (Slovenia)
    6. Any Hopeful Thoughts Arrive ~ Hood (U.K. Leeds)
    7. Everything Reminds Me ~ Le Chevre (U.S. S. Carolina)
    8. How Does It Make You Feel? ~ Air (France)
    9. Fight The Power ~ Public Enemy (U.S. New York)
    10. Endgame (Drowning by Numbers) ~ Michael Nyman (U.K.)

    Random mp3 of the week: Some Like it Hot ~ Robert Palmer and Powerstation (buy @ iTunes - view @ YouTube). Gosh, I remember this first coming on MTV, and my pubescent brain puzzling over which was more attractive; the cartoon neon ladies or Robert Palmer. I believe that we've finally settled on the latter, though his dancing pale-faced vixens seem to be more agents of sensuality than gender representations. Their curvaceous forms and deep eyes welcome each of us into sensuality, orientation irrelevant, while the song joyously and cheesily beckons from the dayglo Reagan years of a repressed but rising tide of healthy sexuality. Besides, it's just plain correct; we do in fact sweat when the heat is on. We tend not to otherwise.

    The viddy this week was a tough choice, especially when there are just over 100 viddies that deserve this relatively lowly distinction. I will simply say that the BBC's series Planet Earth as narrated by Sir David Attenborough is jaw-droppingly awesome and worthy of being watched by every single living human being. Good endorsement, no? Watch this small clip and follow the bunny trail to the goods on YouTube; the whole series is there. This is just one watery hor d'oeuvre:


    Part II: Freshwater, clip 1

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 15.52 Sat, 30 Jun '07

    Sun 24 Jun 07

    Only 10 minutes to downtown

    On this walk, overhung by a half moon in a haze
    Reminiscent of some smoky celestial tavern,
    I delighted in the fact that my shadow is longer
    And more subject to the whim of light
    Than I'll ever be.
    I saw you peeking through the thicket
    So dense that even the orange hum of streetlight
    Cannot faze the low hymns of shadows.
    I heard you in the holy boom-boom-boom of the dancehall
    Where lovers like stars will form new constellations
    If only for tonight.
    I felt your photons fly through me
    As distant heat lightening titillated the sky
    Toward a climax of light and forces mysterious.
    I tasted you in the last drops from the bottle
    Just enough to swoon a June mind toward July
    Just enough to make my assumptions spill awkwardly to the pavement.
    You may have been the rose tonight
    Tended by that eccentric old lady down the street
    That collects rusty bicycles by the score.
    It was pressed against the fence
    Yearning to poke through
    To cross the border from property to placehood
    To entrance the passerby with the most fleeting of rosy thought.
    You may have even been that panhandler who wanted three cents.
    I'll find you again.
    You're on the map,
    A map so deep within its occulted by swarms of veins
    I'll never see.
    I'll walk that road to glimpse you again...
    Since it's only ten minutes to downtown.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 04.44 Sun, 24 Jun '07

    Sat 23 Jun 07

    Mixed media Saturday: A Slow Trudge to Normalcy Edition

    For the first time in weeks, the ingredients are slowly heating in the omelet pan, the cats are at ease, and the morning coffee is not a rushed affair. Not that this Saturday is not bittersweet; my grandmother's rather sudden and brief funeral was this time last week.
    My words (scroll down) were there, my body not, my heart and soul yearning for her but perhaps not for a hastily assembled family ever weary of being in close proximity. To my right, I've got candles burning by her portrait. Her smile is as vivid and as real, now as ever.

    Last week I was living in Brevard, as I was after hours mental health on call for the hospital. Good times. My calls were great learning experiences, if trying. I had to think on my feet to protect some vulnerable folks, and make some pretty weighty decisions. All the while living out of my office, prepping the first week of the therapeutic summer program I direct, and mourning Nonnie when I could. Those were most definitely exceptional times; as out of my element as I could be in every way. Somehow, perhaps at the expense on that seemingly unshatterable exterior that I've outwardly ducktaped over my soul, I persisted. Perhaps even at the expense of the delicate soul which hides therein.

    People seem to think of me as this perpetually "on" character, with charisma and stamina fully recharged. Perhaps that's what I want to be seen, but obviously, there is the wisdom of books, covers, and all. I've got a reputation for being frighteningly positive and encouraging, and I can easily apply this to my interactions with others. But when it comes to my own inner conversations, I am exhausted; the words are short, my body is tired, and I retreat from the world of people eagerly into the world of moths on the window screen, the light of the leaves, and the reckoning of memory. Yet having established myself as the perpetual people person, I am called ceaselessly to stand up and speak loudly. I do this with such reluctance at times, other times I relish it. Because of this, my moods and my ability to process what I'm really feeling are fluctuating, even fickle things. I guess I'm just trying to say that I've been "on" for so long and had so little time being "off" that I crave desperately the latter. I need time.

    This under consideration, I did have the time in between mourning and working to pen an ode to the Solstice, which passed me by as a truck whizzes by a hitchhiker. Now summer is here, full force, the most fleeting and easily lost of seasons. I intend deeply to retain it fully this year.

    We stand as a circle, upon a circle, within a circle;
    We contain, effortlessly, billions of circles within our body
    Which, itself, grew from the merging of worlds.

    How magical it is that we are surrounded by
    And daily circumnavigate through endless abodes of the infinite!
    How more magical could it be if we paused in our scurry to notice and feel
    The uncoiling of the eternal in the bold green of summer's body?

    To be animate, here, now, as emissaries of the eternal
    Is to stand as progressions through the generative womb of the Universe.
    We are combined in the secret alchemy of the stars
    As a single element, life, borne of the ardor of mystery.
    We are Earth, rising;
    We are Fire, walking;
    We are Water, moving;
    We are Air, singing;
    We are Spirit, becoming.
    These are not lazy summer metaphors-
    Touch these things, then see how the landscape of your skin
    Is as raw and wild as the elements which do conspire to be real beneath your feet
    And through your body.

    Earth rises through you as the curious green tendrils of the tomato plant, reaching toward fruition-
    Fire walks you as flames lick through your campfire of holy embers, that blessed warmth in the night-
    Water moves you as ocean waves which brought to your young eyes messages from the sea-
    Air sings you as the thunderstorm wind, the awe-bearing breath which rattles you temporal shelters-
    Spirit becomes through you, randomly and unexpectedly, as the summer's dream unfolds in the lushness of your heart.

    These gather together to form your body, which stands upon a body, which is cradled
    In the starry body of this timeless Creation.
    Consider the next step you will quite literally take
    As a being united through these forces that wanted so longingly for you to exist,
    That you may witness this elemental dance that formed you,
    And all you love,
    And all you know,
    And all that you are,
    And all you shall ever be,
    In this grand show of exuberant life,
    On this first of summer.

    Blessed be.

    Here's this week's random 10 of 5,416 from the frightfully huge iTunes library.

    1. All The Right Friends ~ REM
    2. After the Goldrush ~ Neil Young
    3. Toura Toura: The Medina Remix ~ Cheb I Sabbah
    4. I Feel Fine Right Now ~ dj BC and the Beastles
    5. Gonna Fly Now (Theme from Rocky) ~ Bill Conti
    6. Work It Out (Beyonce vs. Dave Matthews vs. Jurassic 5 vs. Deee-Lite) ~ Lenlow
    7. The Divine Self ~ Jah Wobble
    8. Sun Is Shining ~ Bob Marley vs. Funkstar Deluxe
    9. Much More ~ De La Soul
    10. I Just Want To Celebrate ~ Rare Earth

    Random mp3 of the week: Every Grain Of Sand ~ Emmylou Harris (Buy album @ Amazon / Wiki)
    What an anthem. I knew this song long before I ever delved into Dylan's version (I know, when I was a scraggly Bohemian (as opposed to the present day blurrier Boho) I really should've known every lyric in the Dylan canon, but I didn't) and it's always served as a musical statement of my own beliefs about preciousness and infinitude. I can't think of a voice powerful and sweeping as Emmylou's; her take on the song is a raven's feather cutting through the earliest light of dawn; wake up, look up, and remember who you are. Who you really are.

    As for the viddy of the week, this has gotten a lot of traffic, but still, it brings such beautiful hope... a cellphone salesman's dream to perform one of opera's most powerful arias ever coming true. This, despite its origin in crapTV, evokes such wonderful, deep joy:

    Thanks again for your support, everyone.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 11.44 Sat, 23 Jun '07

    Tue 19 Jun 07

    Madness and Love, Perpetual

    O Virtue of the starry night
    In the affirm'd sanctuary of friendship
    That carries aloft the tears to the clouds
    To let the crazed proclamations of seers and sages
    Rain down as love and goodness upon the drought-strick'n land
    I raise to this the offering my own heart's illogical celestial drumming
    ...that through the life-willingness of the Earth
    Shall ever deeper love and faith sprout
    From the smallest and hopeless of
    Seeds.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 00.51 Tue, 19 Jun '07

    Sat 16 Jun 07

    A Hippity Hoppity Remembrance

    Everyone take a nice, deep, rejuvenating breath for a moment.

    First I’d like to thank Paull for delivering this on my behalf. When we talked on the phone, Paull said something that was both reassuring and enlightening. He said “everyone knows how you feel about Nonnie.” That is very true, and at the same time, each of us has a relationship with Nonnie that is particular to our life story. This is to say that no one can image what Nonnie will always and forever be for me. When we hear her voice, see her face, and get those cute little cards with the Westie terriers, signed with Xs and Os, it opens for each of us a storybook in which she and you and forever intertwined. For me, our storybook together is rather like “The Velveteen Rabbit,” which she read to me one beautiful summer’s day. I was young, and blond at the time, and aloof. I’m not sure I paid a lot of attention to the story of the Rabbit, and his desire to become a real, live hopping bunny. What I remember most is the timbre of her voice, the gentleness of her presence, and the knowing smile that would emerge subtly from her wise, luminous and loving face.

    Another deep breath.

    My teenage years and early adulthood did not appear promising. Yet, despite my ragged appearance and risky ways, Nonnie sustained me with that loving smile, no matter what. It as if the Rabbit would lose it’s stuffing from time to time, and her love would always fill and stitch it up. The storybook Nonnie and I wrote together is ragged, dog-eared, and you can find the occasional dried flower pressed in the pages, especially in those tough times when the Rabbit really truly doubted it would become a real, live, hopping bunny. Every phone call, every card, every kiss on the cheek spoke volumes of the peacefulness and embracing love she gives with each wink of her eye. We would talk of the amazement of watching this strange world change five times over, the revolutions, the technology, the constantly rewritten rules of society. I was amazed with the grace of how she handled it all; with a shrug, a laugh, and an “I don’t know what to make of it anymore.” That graceful assessment of things will teach me volumes for years to come; she was saying, in a way, “Jaysers, don’t take it all so seriously, but enjoy it all the same.” I will, and I am, as not only a descendent of yours, but an aspect of you. We all have the opportunity to be Nonnies to the world now.
    One more deep breath.
    It’s not easy at all not being here, in the physical sense. Know that, at this time, I am seeing all of you here, in this old church in which our family history is writ. Perhaps, with Nonnie coloring my every thought and action right now, I am far more here than not. At the very least, I have the storybook we share securely nestled in my arms, embracing it in the same way she held me when I was small enough to bounce on her knee. The good thing is, the storybook still has many blank pages. The thing about my love for Nonnie is that it will always be renewed, each time a memory floats by, each time I see the beach and toe the tide, each time I think of a woman I know who serves as a role model on how to live life fully, gratefully, and with a good measure of laughter along the way. In the story of the Velveteen Rabbit, we are told that someone become real once they become loved. Nonnie gave me that gift, and gives it to each of us, right here, right now, just as we uplift her name and celebrate her eternal spirit.

    I would like for us to remember one of the most endearing, if sometimes silly, of Nonnie’s qualities. Let us commit to use in our vocabulary forevermore, the words mush-toad, cat-soup, bumpershoot, cackleberries, full of beans, and cow-juice. If you don’t know what these mean, just ask.

    I am not going to “close” this remembrance; if fact, I’m leaving it wide open, like the “barn door,” as she’d say. Open for newness. Open for more stories. Open for new expressions of love, of gratitude, and of all the unspoken wordless feelings that forever shall abide with me. In fact, I plan on seeing Nonnie really soon… in the sunset, in the blooming of daffodils each spring, in the tolerant smile of any grandmother overwhelmed by a hyperactive scruffy kid with dirty fingernails, which desperately need to be trimmed and cleaned. Billie Holiday sang it much better:
    “I’ll be seeing you, in all the old familiar places, that this heart of mine embraces, all the day through. I’ll be seeing you in every lovely summer’s day. In everything that’s light in gay, I’ll always think of you that way. I’ll find you in the morning sun, and when the night is through, I’ll be looking at the moon, but I’ll be seeing you…”

    Nonnie, I’ll be seeing you. Home again, home again, jiggidy-jig. May God bless your soul, and the souls of all who cherish you. Thank you.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 11.15 Sat, 16 Jun '07

    Tue 12 Jun 07

    Josephine Schuyler Baily Joslin

    1914-2007

    Always my grandmother.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 01.30 Tue, 12 Jun '07

    Mon 11 Jun 07

    Honk if you still exist

    *HONK*

    I'm still here, just inundated. I'll be able to get some more goodness out later this week...

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 08.08 Mon, 11 Jun '07

    Fri 01 Jun 07

    Free to a good home: purebred stress puppy

    G'day, and I know I've been quiet excepting the silly pics I posted earlier. I'm really on overload right now, and hopefully after tonight's monster fundraiser downtown, I can come up for air soon. Meanwhile, to get a sense of what I fundraising for, watch this:

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 10.24 Fri, 01 Jun '07

    Sat 26 May 07

    Mixed Media Saturday: A momentary oasis of unbound time

    Well, hello there pilgrim. By jove, the past seven days have been an exhausting parade of humans on the edge, all glittered out in their drama gear, float by float, hour by hour. They invited me to join, to sashay down streets littered with emotion and indecision, and I kept pace for as long as I could, until retreating to an obscure alley of obscuration, whence I now take my repast and gently sate my senses with sensory vittles so thankfully low in emotional calories.

    In other words, this week very nearly sucked. If it weren't for good friends and morsels of support from my work-a-day world, I'd be a mere ember of a person, a crisped shell, waiting to be swept into a dustbin. Yea, verily, I'm feeling life creeping in, through the shell of the shocked emotions I plow through as part of my daily on-the-clock routine. I've tried to come home to quiet evenings, free of emergency phone calls and pestering paperwork, to only marginal success. My friends are right: I am dangerously close to burnout and overwhelm, the mental swamp of blown fuses and derailed trains of thought, festering in the mud. How to correct this heuristic malady? How to free myself from the sticky trail of my commitments?

    I say this to my half-eaten frozen pizza and luke warm coffee, to the cat sprawled on the floor, begging for belly contact, the empty hammock rocking ghosts in the breeze, the hours left in Saturday... I dunno, but it feels good to spend some time with words, putting this shapeless feeling to shape with verbs and consonants. I cannot peter out, though; people depend on me, and not with widgets and wares, but with my shot-in-the-dark at problem solving lives, hearts, souls. It's always an honor, no matter how exhausting, to be entrusted with this. Yet I must entrust myself with "jay care" in order to keep up with this potent parade of purposefulness.

    Now that I've spilled alphabet soup all over the keyboard, on to the mixed media which is eluded to above. The pic below is Ursula earlier in the week, soaking up the sun. Despite her shuttered eyes, her sight appears stable, and the eye issue seems to be clearing up. She's such an awesome sprite. In order to maintain cosmic balance, I should feature Avatar next week.

    This week's random 10 out of 5,394:

    1. You're Forever an Hourglass ~ Benzos
    2. La Verite ~ Fadela & Sahraoui
    3. Bombs Over Baghdad (Rock Remix) ~ Outkast / RATM
    4. Each Year ~ Ra Ra Riot
    5. The Kleptones (24 Hours) ~ 0245 If Not For The Ambulance Driver
    6. Phish ~ Access Me
    7. Takeda no Komori Uta (Takeda Lullaby) ~ Ayuo & Ohta Hiromi
    8. The Way You Dream ~ 1 Giant Leap (Featuring Michael Stipe & Asha Bhosle)
    9. Ride my Seesaw ~ Moody Blues
    10. I Remember Learning How to Dive ~ Animal Collective & Vashti

    Random mp3 o' the week: Where I Belong (Red Astaire Remix)~ Sia
    This might be what passes through your mind as the light of an unexpectedly hot sun goes down on your favorite mythical city, full of characters straight out of novels and pigeons listless in the heat. You're unfazed, feeling sexy, and on a mission. That's what this song is to me, anyway.

    This viddy is just sweet. A video camera is played on a conveyor at a Japanese sushi restaurant; the result is a Jim Jarmusch-esque circuit of the place, with the surprised and unsuspecting faces caught mid-chew, delighted or oblivious. It's just great, watch it...

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 18.27 Sat, 26 May '07

    Wed 23 May 07

    I'm here

    Really, I am. Time has been few and far between for delightful things like blogging, finding transcendent inspiration through the alchemy of the written word, et cetera. How many apologetic posts like this ping the blogosphere daily? Quintillions, I'm sure. I hope that tomorrow I can begin to be consistent again. Meanwhile, the invisible support of your visit right now is a very nice thing.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 07.07 Wed, 23 May '07

    Sat 19 May 07

    Saturday Mixed Media (and double feature)

    This week, the apparently high levels of stress finally caught up with me. By Wednesday, I think, I was reduced to a tweaking cinder of a person, punchdrunk from the shortness of time versus the greatness of need to do many big and important things that are theoretically helpful to the world. Today, the first moments I have to cloister and regain, through mindwork, the vivacity that I've spent on the perhaps quixotic dream of helping others feel the goodness they deserve. Yet I deserve it, too. I've earned these quiet moments, this still Saturday morning.

    Despite my altruistic and high-mindedness, I could not dent taking some perhaps crude pleasure at the death of a putrid and hateful bigot. No one really spoke for my joy over this with the acerbic accuracy Christopher Hitchens. While I don't like 90% of Hitchens' politics right out of the bag, his eulogy of Falwell was delicious: "The empty life of this ugly little charlatan proves only one thing, that you can get away with the most extraordinary offenses to morality and to truth in this country if you will just get yourself called reverend. Who would, even at your network, have invited on such a little toad to tell us that the attacks of September 11 were the result of our sinfulness and were God's punishment if they hadn't got some kind of clerical qualification? People like that should be out in the street, shouting and hollering with a cardboard sign and selling pencils from a cup."

    Sweetness. Crass, a bit of grave dancing, but thankfully the world is includes one less boogeyman of snake-oil pseudo-virtue.

    As for other eventfulness this week, there's not much to speak of. I do feel as if I'm getting into rather good physical shape, and my creative juices were possibly extra-fermented by the intense pressures of the week. I did have a moment of awe, when I hiked Cedar Rock Mountain with a client and absorbed the verdant rolling sea of bright green hope that is our mountains in May. I was privileged to have a few moments of thought which, like mid-sentence parenthesis, interrupted my therapeutic strategizing with bursts of infinitude, sheer dumb luck in experiencing even a wink of the Universe, and a mandate arising from that dumb luck to cherish and interact with this Earth in more than a passing way. These are not new realizations for me in any way, but it was a nice unexpected and revitalizing momentary vitamin to swallow.

    Now to music. I've been sure to surround myself with it at every turn lately...

    Random 10 of 5,340

    1. Under The Milky Way Tonight ~ Gary Jules
    2. Hit The Road Jack ~ Mo' Horizons
    3. Passing ~ Daydream
    4. Shamanism and the Omega Point ~ Terrence McKenna (triphop lecture)
    5. Once Is Twice Enough ~ The Brand New Heavies
    6. Wacky Angsty Kids ~ Splism Splasm
    7. Birthday ~ Sugarcubes
    8. Wacha Yakufike (Zanzibar) ~ Culture Musical Club
    9. Emerald City ~ United State of Electronica
    10. Morning Wonder ~ The Earlies

    Random mp3 of the week: These Days ~ Nico (buy @ iTunes). Ah Nico, her voice a quiver of curtain, a sparrow bent branch in the early Saturday sun. Even when she sang with the acid that was VU, her milk-n-honey words remained uncurdled, sincere and light. This could've been the song that reflected my first moments of wakeful thought... "These days I seem to think about / How all the changes came about my ways / And I wonder if I'll see another highway."

    No pix this week, alas. I've had the camera at the ready but the pace of life ensured it was never nearby when I needed it. So, as a consolation, I offer a double feature of youtubery. On the left, one of my favorite bands, Huun-Huur-Tu at the Philly Folk Festival. The other in a wonderful, 10 minute trip through "100 Movies, 100 Quotes, 100 Numbers." Beautifully done.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 10.57 Sat, 19 May '07

    Sat 12 May 07

    Saturday Mixed Media

    As I sat down to write this post (later than usual due to a sudden camping excursion where rain did fall, I remained dry, and the morning crow's wake up caw was tops), Ursula the cat and I both startled. Seven gunshots rang through the air, the newly minted night split by some frightful exchange of rage and terminal lead. Sirens almost immediately wailed, and there was an uneasy silence. It stayed like this for some time, and soon the waters of the everyday flooded back in.

    While this week hurled forward as a runaway train, I'm grateful to finally have a moment of relative stillness, even if punctuated by unforeseen ammunition. The newspaper may betray the tragedy of that sudden barrage tomorrow, and in a way I just don't want to know. Yet that intentional ignorance didn't pay off this week, as I reckoned with some ugly old business, ready to throw my phone to the roof of the bus depot, ready to change my name and become a cattle rustler in Idaho or some such malarkey. Yet the increasing immersion into the electric green mountains of May continually refresh and grace with perspective. I'm certainly immersed; I could grow potatoes under my fingernails, as my grandmother would say.

    I've decided to take on one last major project at work... being on call for the county hospital for after hours mental health crises. This will mean staying the week I'm on rotation in Brevard, probably living out of my office (which is a sweet office). As my friend Howard said, "Jay, how many other ways are there to torture yourself? Are you wearing a hair shirt?" He's right, in a way. Maybe I keep my nose to the grindstone out of some desire to "make up" for decades of follies, selfishness, and a closet full of bones. I can't help but to be linked umbilically to the guilt-laden Protestant blood of my ancestors, and of course I've tried to alter my own chemistry to include a more galactic and life affirming recipe for actualization. Whatever the motivation, I'm going to keep at it, for whatever reason it is that mysteriously fuels me.

    Random 10 of 5,252

    1. Feel The Universe ~ Juno Reactor
    2. Morning Noon & Night ~ The Limes
    3. How to be a flat milkshake feat. Baunes Brevkasse ~ Some Random German Mashup
    4. Don't Stop Me Now ~ Queen
    5. The Host Of The Seraphim ~ Dead Can Dance
    6. Usti, Usti Baba ~ Senor Coconut vs Kocani Orekestar
    7. The Fool On The Hill ~ The Four Tops
    8. History Repeating ~ Propellerheads ft. Shirley Bassey
    9. I Know What I Know ~ Paul Simon
    10. Shido El Himeh ~ Marcel Khalifa

    mp3 of the week: Dastgah Segah ~ Faramarz Payvar Ensemble (buy @ iTunes)... having had a surprise once-in-a-decade meal of lamb, I suppose it's only reasonable that something Middle Eastern shows up at #11, the automatic random mp3 slot. With her silky inflection and midnight-flavored intonations rising above minarets, this Iranian chanteuse and her ensemble will wrap you in dreams of saffron and whisk you off who-knows-where. Enjoy.

    No photos of note this week. Too busy. But you'll love this incredible music video, directed for a talented Italian cellist, and it's sweet mesmerizing promise of daydreams. It's simply a photographic achievement at the very least.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 21.47 Sat, 12 May '07

    Thu 10 May 07

    Yes, it's about time

    wftl.jpgOh f***, I'll go ahead and produce a podcast already. Well, okay, it's actually going to be fun to do, and I anticipate a thrilling weekly 15 minute ride of rants, obscure music, and wistful yet sardonic freewill commentary.

    Look for "Word from a Loon" to appear magically by the weekend.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 23.06 Thu, 10 May '07

    Sat 05 May 07

    Mixed Media Saturday

    Yes! It's finally raining, a good, long, drenching rain that brings music to the quiet house through open windows. I am finally able to put a stop to time for a while, letting it pass drip by drip as I allow it. I slept in later than I've done in months (10.30, woot!) and have begun to decompress from a week painted from a palette of many emotional colors. Yesterday's was a steely gray exhaustion, as several months of effort to fund raise for my therapeutic summer program collapsed somewhat in a heap of well-intentioned but sparsely attended hours at a "mansion" that smelled rather like a bingo hall on Death Night. Within our organization, the support was tremendous, but it was rather like giving money to ourselves just to make us feel good. Alas, that one's over (another next month).

    Some good news came this week in the announcement that the Whore of BabylonSecretary of Health and Human Services, the reviled and disgraced Carmen Hooker Odom, announced her resignation (announcing that last night brought rapturous applause). On behalf of the kids I serve tirelessly, so long, bi-yatch. For context, scroll down a ways.

    It was a great pleasure to welcome the Joshua back into chez-moi after his debut in the international sphere. We had a great discussion on the differences between destiny/fate and there's so much good stuff there to chew on. On friends: we know their importance, their influence, and why we develop such strong bonds as they reflect those aspects of self that seek refinement and light. Yet there are mysteries as to why we choose to allow certain orbits to cross our own... it's amazing just how many like minded souls there are milling about but how few we filter down into tiny coteries in our contact lists. How is it for us that some shine brighter? What magic that invisibly interweaves twixt us that compels such great love?

    Anyways, as for goodies this week, here's the random 10 from iTunes. By the way, my iTunes and iPod have a very strange thing going. In the car and such, I of course pod up and keep it on shuffle. At home, the pod charges while iTunes shuffles. But with over 5300 songs, they like to play the exact same tracks in roughly the same time period. What's more, the playcount on iTunes is really skewed. The top track has 14 plays (Cobrastyle ~ The Teddy Bears), while there are hundreds of songs with one or less plays (less being zero for those like me who are mathematically challenges). Now, whenever I'm home (heh) iTunes is always on, even as I sleep. Plenty of chances for those one hit wonders to catch up. Really, though, the weird concordance between the pod and the mothership just makes no sense... or does it?

    1. Acetone ~ The Crystal Method
    2. Last Night of the World ~ Bruce Cockburn
    3. Little Girl Blue (live) ~ Janis Joplin
    4. Annihilation in Allah ~ Henry Kaiser
    5. Dinah ~ Tadaharu Nakano and the Nakano Rhythm Boys
    6. By Your Side ~ Nick Cave
    7. I'm Coming Out ~ Amerie
    8. Rules of Travel ~ Roseanne Cash
    9. DJ BC ~ Einstein on the Beast (Glassworks)
    10. Thought About It 2 ~ The Coup

    mp3 of the week -> Pi ~ Kate Bush (buy @ iTunes)
    Funny, numbers have really been a big deal this week. It's been beaten by them, kissed by them, dodged them like hot bullets, and eat them in a chipotle marinade. Pi in particular: I helped a kid calculate circumference yesterday (how?), I had a long discussion about the implications of the seemingly endless digits, &c. Kate really weaves something beautiful out of these numbers, telling a story of a man obsessed with numbers and how they seem to have more power than the one who loves him. Chilling and dreamlike.

    So, apropos to this random injection of digits into this particular synchronicity-plagued mind is my photo of the week:

    I suppose if there's a theme to this post, it's concordance. In that spirit, I can only follow with this stunning musical exploration of the puzzling Rosslyn Chapel^ in sound. Specifically, the sounds of the Rosslyn Motet (a haunting composition by Thomas Mitchell) as clues to some of the chapel's bizarre and oft speculated upon mysteries. Using cymatics^, the wave forms of the sound appear to mirror several carvings on cubes above an angelic sculpture which appears to hold a musical key. I know, it's a lot for a Saturday, but thoroughly fascinating...

    The Rosslyn Stave Angel ~ Musical Cipher

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 17.47 Sat, 05 May '07

    Thu 03 May 07

    humbled

    Every moment is a moment in history and a seed of the future.

    Everything we've ever known
    Every pang of love
    Every gasp of revelation
    Slips away as dandelion puff
    When I bring the stars into focus
    When the entirety of what we've got to work with
    Spreads before us in the night
    As tame, twinkling, far away words
    Which rage secretly with the passion on the sun
    With the context of our creation.
    Somewhere amid this terrifying totality
    I found friendship,
    I found something to believe,
    I found justification for this improbable mass
    Of bone and blood, animated and observant.
    I have questions like cages birds
    Banging against the bars
    Begging for the realization of their purpose
    And I set them free in the night
    They fly into the starlight
    Directionless, wanton, free...
    So it goes in this vacuous eternity of existence;
    Cages won't hold our great need to understand,
    And the long night cannot host a nest of settled answers.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 23.56 Thu, 03 May '07

    Tue 01 May 07

    Good Beltane, all

    Alas, I usually avoid work like the plague on Beltane. But today, there's no way around it... regardless, I celebrate the stubborn verdant rise of Spring and the power and passion of the sap that pushes through even the most hopeless of trees. While I scurry through reality in stead of 'round the maypole, that generative spire of growth and transcendence, here are some things to think about:

  • Through the power of narrative Universes are created
  • Neurotheology attempts to bridge the gap between Science and Religion
  • Could black holes be portals to other universes?
  • Unsolved problems in philosophy
  • A Beltane Primer

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 12.56 Tue, 01 May '07

  • Tue 24 Apr 07

    Holy shit.

    Well done Tarheels.

    Well done, Governor Easley, Lt. Governor Perdue, and Secretary Odom!

    ncflag_sos.JPGYou just thrown hundreds of thousands of mentally ill people to the wolves. I hope that you get some perverse satisfaction out of destroying the lives of our most vulnerable and poor citizens. I hope that the grin on your face is saturated with line-item bliss as, with a pen, you cast the most valuable commodity, our children, into a mental health abyss, left to fend for themselves amid the absolute insanity of our culture of inanity and avoidance. I sincerely hope you sleep well tonight as your pretty heads find comfort in your down-filled pillows as the kids and families I've struggled to support with every ounce of energy I have left cannot sleep in their poverty-stricken, anxiety laden cannisters you call subsidized housing.

    Enjoy yourselves. Have a hearty breakfast tomorrow as my kids swallow their Depakote, weary of a world full of dismissive bureaucrats and obstacles which thwart their every attempt at living a full and productive life.

    May your conscience be clear as your administrative sphincter pinches the budgetary loaf of your appropriations to old buildings, decreased corporate taxes and the failing education system. May your hands be washed of all of the kids at risk of becoming goddamn prisoners at age 12, the addicts desperate to get clean and the families seeking to become whole and functional. I hope your dreams are sweet tonight as the sugar-plum fairies of mental health utopias dance in your hollow, cold, Vulcan heads.

    In short, fuck you, Mr. Governor and Mme. Secretary. Fuck you on behalf of all the kids who will wake up tomorrow without any support in helping them cope with the pain of social dysfunction. Fuck you on behalf of the thousands of children who will suddenly lose their role models, and are left at the behest of foster care and the faltering Department of Social Services. Fuck you on behalf of the kid, born crack addicted, who will be deprived of access and linkage to specialized therapeutic services to help him survive the endless obstacles ahead. Fuck you on behalf of suicidal mothers. Fuck you on behalf of tomorrow's goddamn funerals.

    I especially appreciate your candor and frankness in this dialog, even if you've had nothing to say at all, in any substantive way. That's par for the course, I understand, of publicly elected office holders and Legislature-approved cabinet level appointments. You needn't bother responding to the tens of thousands of letters, emails and phone calls from the very people who you heartlessly deprive of services, effective today. Good job. We'll remember your hard work on election day!

    Thanks for not listening. I hope that you henceforth have a deeper appreciation for what makes our state such a special place in America; the shittiest mental health spending, the coldest and least compassionate of public officials, and the poorest regard in the United States for the "least" of our citizenry.

    Good night, and God Bless.

    Yours in Absolute Shock,
    jaybird,
    A Provider of Services for At-Risk Youth, Who Will Soon Clog The Living Shit Out Of Your Piss-Poor Legal System.

    easleycunt.JPG

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 23.49 Tue, 24 Apr '07

    Tue 24 Apr 07

    24 Hours Until Awesome People Return

    DSC02231.jpg

    My beloveds, Joshua and Robin, return from their 17 day escapade in Ireland tomorrow. They've been all over; Dublin, Ballyconnell, Letterkenny, Sligo, Galway, Adare, Cashel, Macroom and Kilkenny. I can't wait for the stories and their undoubtedly wonder-exposed wide eyes to touch down. I've missed them happily (?) and of course, the old chestnut of absence=heart*fondness is a very valid equation in this circumstance.

    Wind be at your back, friends, and come home safely.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 22.28 Tue, 24 Apr '07

    Sun 22 Apr 07

    Lost Bird

    Can't say whether it was the wind
    Or the curiosity of those afar hills
    That made for this lost bird.
    All that is known
    Is that the place where the self is found
    Is never the place intended;
    That moment the self is found
    Not some moment of symphonic bliss
    But songs of shock, and trepidation,
    And loneliness as the flock ascends into the cloud
    Too late to follow
    Too lost to lead.
    Hard not to cast the wings down
    Away from the sky
    And its blue upward depths.
    Hard not to stay here
    And fight the urge to dare those clouds and stars
    That road above this crumpled map
    Of impossible places, impossible birds.
    There will be many suns yet
    And leafings and ice and successions of days
    And should the lost bird settle here
    Will the flight path of future restive days
    End at the perch
    Or can a bird's soul migrate within
    Where there is an eternity for every feather?
    To know resolution there is only time;
    That other strange element of matter and matters most
    What every bird needs
    And what every bird lacks.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 00.38 Sun, 22 Apr '07

    Sat 21 Apr 07

    Auddie, Viddy, & Pickie Saturday

    This week, like the track list that follows, was a study in randomness and surprise. I tend to cringe around Ruby Ridge/Waco/Oklahoma City/Columbine week, and of course we all know the big news story of the week... this combined with the still no-news of the state's criminal de-funding of mental health (my livelihood), the chilled weather, taxes, and slogging about in a haze of exhaustion and emotional overload makes for a much awaited Saturday.

    I'm missing my Best Friend Joshua immensely as he and Goddess Robin traipse about the Emerald Isle. Of course, I'm quite happy for them, and the thrill of their journey, but selfishly I'm experiencing some withdrawal and generalized awareness of either having a very limited social support system or a deep underutilization of such. I am very effective at entertaining myself (not in an onanistic sense per se), and today might actually be a good day to do some imperative energy release and acquisition in the non-virtual world. J+R return next week... I will bearhug them both until the Guinness runs out.

    Here's my pic of the week:


    And this week's random 10:

    1. Miracle Drug ~ AC Newman
    2. Something Like A Mahna Mahna ~ McBoozo the Clown
    3. Thunder Road ~ Bruce Springsteen
    4. Body Surfin' ~ Dancing Djedi
    5. Are you lonely? ~ Patti Labelle
    6. Go (DJ Excel remix) ~ Aasim
    7. Day By Day ~ E.T. Mensah (Nigeria)
    8. Take It As It Comes ~ The Doors
    9. Soul Power '70 ~ DJ Design
    10. Hombre ~ MIA / Xerox Soundsystem

    Bonus! MP3 o' the week: Sinister Exaggerator ~ The Residents

    To round out the barrage of stimuli, I needed to laugh a lot this week A lot. With that in mind, the following is SO NSFW, but holy cow, God Bless The (we) Freaks and Our Passionate Defense of Non-Mainstream Beliefs and Self-Actualizing Schemes.

    I present to you the venerable Alexyss Tylor, of Atlanta:

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 14.04 Sat, 21 Apr '07

    Sun 15 Apr 07

    Slow Thaw

    The wind has blown the city down
    Sirens wail the power of the breath
    As the dark whips around the shifting house
    Scares the cats, scatters thoughts as so many leaves
    Summons all to bow to the cold, yet again,
    And the windows rattle with urgency
    To put words to the storm
    Against which I brace.

    I cannot help but to damn the cold
    As the world, this body, is not yet
    Thawed from our time out of warmth and light.
    The mirror records an iceman, who cometh
    Hither and yon to touch something other than
    Some fleeting whimsy, some be-gusted debris
    To feel at once heat and light penetrate the skin
    Which can only hold back the weather so much.

    How many times did you decry your wasted loves?
    How many times did you avoid the howl of neglected duty?
    How many times must you push out your deeper secrets into the night,
    As an unwanted guest is toss'd from the inn?
    How can you guess the intentions of this fierce April sky?

    I ask this pressed against the glass of the door
    That thin space between the familiar
    And the chaotic, populated, needful days ahead which
    Flail about in their potentials like these confused tree limbs
    Just as befuddled as I, a shadow in a doorway,
    Standing here, waiting for something to blow through me
    To topple my own complacent towers
    To whisper rumors of warmer winds
    That may finally reckon with the ice
    Which has resisted the distant sun so well.

    Just as birds huddle close and cling strong to the wires,
    I hold on, worn, wordless, waiting...
    Please, let the storm pass,
    And bring the light back.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 21.14 Sun, 15 Apr '07

    Sat 14 Apr 07

    Auddie and Viddy Saturday

    The Sun Highlights The Lack in Each - Bonnie Prince Billy
    The Dirty Glass - Dropkick Murphys
    Fake Your Beauty - Bertine Zetlitz
    Milano - Sigur Ros
    My Heart, My Life - Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Michael Brook
    If not now - Tracy Chapman
    Little White - King Biscuit Time
    Have a Little Faith in Me - John Hiatt
    Homeward - VNV Nation
    El Lado Mas Bestia de la Vida (Walk on the Wild Side) - Albert Plá

    I'm spent, y'all. This has been the longest and certainly most surreal week I've had the unusual pleasure of experiencing recently. The damn phone keeps ringing, mostly with people demanding various favors. One of these people is from the now defunct Asheville "Kindness Campaign" and is incredibly pushy. Jesus. People freak the fuck out when they expect you to do nice things and you're not on their schedule.

    Can you tell I'm a bit punchy? With the latest non-response from the state, there's still great uncertainty regarding my job [and the jobs of thousands of others, and the lives of over 100,000 kids and families], which tends to produce an air of anxiety about one. Always weary of admitting depression, I s'pose I had ought to fess up and say, yep, I'm toast on that front. For now, anyway.

    So, with my organic hormone-free beans thusly spilt, I soldier on into another Saturday night. I welcome any distraction. That said, here's a man who in his seventy plus years urged everyone to wake-the-hell up and stop with the distractions...

    Here's to you, Kurt...

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 16.18 Sat, 14 Apr '07

    Thu 12 Apr 07

    Holy Crap, I'm Elsewhere All of a Sudden

    So, you'll recall the post downpage regarding what the Great State of North Carolina wants to do to our already ravaged mental health system [see also]. I got a call yesterday to get my ass up to Raleigh to rally and protest today. Yet another act of spontaneity has governed the course of my days in one week.

    Then, I hear that Kurt died.

    And the world's second largest forest is toast.

    So, being here is a hoot, and it's time for some of that good old time for all the right reasons... for the kids, for the planet, and even for that old coot Kurt.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 08.21 Thu, 12 Apr '07

    Mon 09 Apr 07

    Scenester-ville

    Alright, I'm in Charlotte for the VNV Nation show. Damn, this takes me back to my heady punker days... the smell of clove cigs, mohawks as flamboyant as cockscombs. It goes without saying that the passage of time has made me a bit of a foreigner in this scene, which is especially true as I'm here solo.
    All the more reason for a transformational experience.

    UPDATE: And that it was... I'm hoarse and my eyes are still reeling from the flood of emotion. More later.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 20.10 Mon, 09 Apr '07

    Thu 29 Mar 07

    Untitled #?

    Just a shadow in the doorframe
    He might be
    Just a ripple in the river
    She could be
    Whoever they are,
    Whoever you are,
    Please accept this passion
    Which runs downhill from my most ardent beliefs
    Crazy as they may be
    That through love and desire
    We find in the embrace of surrendered fears
    We understand, at once (!) our axis-point
    In this turning tumult of a Universe.
    In the spray of stars
    In the sensuous exhale of nebula
    Hear this longing cry
    And find us a place
    In the bosom of Earth
    In the ecstasy of the cosmic.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 23.51 Thu, 29 Mar '07

    Sun 25 Mar 07

    First Blooms

    Today, the sun truly
    Gave heat to the body;
    The penetration of light through the skin
    A nuclear romance of cell and photon and desire
    Such a powerful thing
    As new moths took gently to the blue
    And innocent shoots of green spread a rumor
    That from the sleeping ground, waking dreams upswell.

    Amid this tranquility,
    I beg that starry light to burrow further into me
    Concentrated as through a kid's magnifying glass
    Burning through the bramble and scar
    Of abandoned love, besotted vision, crumpled plans
    Which kick through the streets as litter.

    I implore the heat to compel this body
    To the dust of the road, the trail of ardor,
    The strain of miles upon muscle
    The heaving breath which is made through
    Deep commitment to travel, unabashedly,
    To the foreign fields of sweetest dissolution.

    Rattle these bones o star,
    For I cannot walk upon this Earth meaningless
    Drifting carelessly from thought to thought-
    I must know the mind of this Earth
    I must touch its memory, I must feel its
    Pulsing emotion beyond any I alone can conjure.
    I must wail upon the shore
    And count my tears among the stones
    Which have been worn by the work
    Of countless kindred seekers who crazily sought union
    With the verdant world over the momentary dalliance
    Which proceeds whispered promises, a-bed with the moonlit lover.

    These longings are not my sole domain
    For they are stitched in the folds of every being
    To be made mad with the brilliance of love
    To be upheld in the dust of shed skins
    To present oneself, at last, naked to the cosmos.

    The birds have settled for the night
    And the sun has left hints of its blaze
    In their province of cloud and breath.
    I settle as well.
    I rest in the shelter I've made of my desire
    I bend to the ground
    And feel, so tenderly, the surge of life.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 17.24 Sun, 25 Mar '07

    Fri 23 Mar 07

    In Thanks To Rumi

    Once, reading the back of a packet
    Of morning glory seeds,
    I read that it was wise to knick it
    To help the seedling emerge
    Through the thick, protective outer shell.

    I can only ask the same of myself.
    I can only seek to be cracked by
    All that I've averted my eyes from
    Only seek the kindest of obliterations
    That my own morning shall be erupting in glories.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 23.09 Fri, 23 Mar '07

    Tue 20 Mar 07

    Equniox Ritual Invocation

    Time just changed... time just passed...
    The clockworks of the soul have just been reset,
    The gears and cogs and springs of our passing hours
    Jolt and quicken to a rhythm foreign to the concrete world of
    Skyscrapers, newspapers and the ceaseless volley of data which informs
    Our footsteps.
    The rhythm is a greening song,
    A warming breath, the tender lust of roots
    Which spread from the heart of beings into the soil of being-ness.
    The rhythm sprouts parliaments of birds from the unfolding fingers of trees,
    Its vibrations beckon timelessness,
    Inviting the soul of our merging bodies
    To move bold and fearless into the flower-kiss'd dawn
    Dancing us into a current of music which overwhelms the highways and headlines.
    The rhythm is desire.
    The rhythm is an anthem of a promised land.
    The rhythm is as ancient as the first dream and as new as the breath just now within you.
    Together, each is witness
    To a song composed just for each of us
    By the elements of the cosmos and the elements of our memory.
    Together, we intone the rhythms of the new time
    Which entices the seedlings of thought to grow
    Reaching ever toward the sun
    Blossoming ever toward the infinite
    We are together the flowers of a new spring
    Fed by the love for a spinning improbable blue dot in space
    Blessed to give the nectar of service to those who would delve within.
    We do not passively bloom as the galaxy twirls...
    We spin in the rhythm
    We dance in this timeless haven
    We grow in passion as the sweet rain whispers poetry
    We seed the concrete world of clocks
    With subtle hints of eternity
    We emerge, opening ourselves to all that need
    To catch a moment of beauty
    To swoon with the caress of this good Earth
    To irresistibly embody the Universe in our blooms.

    We bless this new season in love, in service, in awe.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 12.24 Tue, 20 Mar '07

    Sun 18 Mar 07

    Dispatches from Realityville

    It's been a frighteningly quick weekend. I slept late yesterday and everything's been all fastforward-y since then, as if someone spiked my otherwise one-beat-behind neural network with the liquid essence of Alvin and the Chipmunks. I won't carry that one any further.

    I did something exceedingly rare for a Saturday night and socialized. The typical Saturday night brand of socialization is a raucous round of "F5s" and posting comments to exceedingly geeky conversations with what appear to be real people. The far more seldom version of encountering actual physical bipeds will involve a saunter to the dance club, wherein I will allow my shoulders to "move" so as to indicate a "dance." The last time I went, the only person I really spoke to was the bartender, yet I did get a firm handshake from a stranger. It was his hand that was shaking another body part of mine, rather unexpectedly. As soon as my brain registered a) the possibilities; b) the embarrassment; and c) the fleeting .1 second of interhuman sexual greeting, the man (?) slipped into the sweaty shadows of the dance, and I was smitten for another handshake, let alone a high five. Bear hugs are however OUT.

    Last night I went over to the pleasant Montford domicile of two friends, was offered (and accepted) sippin' whiskey, and proceeded to devolve into crass silliness. It was awesome, especially as I was feeling somewhat vivacious and socially unencumbered. Perhaps this was due to a slightly celebratory mood, in that yesterday, the Feast of St. Patrick (that Pagan-killing patriachalist beast), was my conception day. In 1972, on one of the very few occasions that my mother got tipsy, she and my father "did it" in a sauna at the grand opening party of a health club for which my father designed the signage. Later, that health club became a D*sco and it was there that I, a wee lad of 4 or 5, made my first DJ booth request: In the Navy by the Village People. My mother spun me around on the lit-up floor as Tom of Finland types watched and probably made Pops feel somewhat insecure. Good times, and precient, they were. It would be the last time they attempted to celebrate their anniversary.

    I told that dusty story and a few others as the night waned. Today I did my usual Sunday AM routine and came home to unexpectedly rearrange damn near everything and clean the hell out of the place. I slaughtered legions of dust bunnies, for which I'm sure I'll be scorned by all the dust bunny activists out there. I found in the basement a four post bed and a suitable mattress/box spring deal, and now for the first time in forever I can say I have a proper bed... one which can actually accommodate myself akimbo and possibly one other adventurous soul (under 37, liberal, slim to average, well versed in Blake, Foucault and Tom Robbins, loves the outdoors and creating Temporary Autonomous Zones in a mellow relationship. Please send face pic and dissertation on obscure orientalist topic by email when the moon is in the seventh house ONLY. kthxbi). I also radically upgraded my little meditation space and it now floats above the ground somewhat awkwardly. I hopefully will not perseverate on this while trying to comprehend the unity-of-all-things.

    Finally, on Sunday night, I made a post to my blog. Then, I wrote some notes for work, did homework and went to sleep. I awoke on Monday morning, bright eyed and bushy tailed, and promptly forgot that there was a weekend at all.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 21.43 Sun, 18 Mar '07

    Sun 11 Mar 07

    Bug Jar Meditation

    It’s still technically winter and I am already thinking about lightening bugs. I was actually just remembering doing the thing all boys do; finding an old glass jar, punching some random holes in the lid with mom’s best scissors, and throwing some grass in there for good measure. Scraggly haired and wide eyed, we sought to fill the jars with enough light to read by after lights out. We’d stare at the pulsing yellow, shake it up a bit, and found that while we couldn’t follow the comic book line by line in that flashing, it lit our dreams.

    When I was even younger, I innocently enough believed that I could net the very stars overhead and similarly consign them to some glassy embassy. In those innocent years, anything is possible. Gradually, we move from massive far-off nuclear furnaces, to insects, to catching anything for our ethereal bug jar we dare that fascinates us and gives us temporary meaning in the night. As the faint lines of experience make paths across the face and the first grays set in, we need reminders to keep the net ready and the time free for play. Poor bugs… you gave me holy days.

    The reminders to be en-garde for the mesmerizing and mysterious do seem to become more subtle, which gives one a choice; follow the trail into the soul’s forest or stay put in the world of scheduled, portion-controlled fancies. There is danger in either choice. Just as a kid must face the ghosties and beasties of the bejeweled summer woods to fill the jar, thirty-something seekers face doubt when seeking that queer light. Will it satisfy? Will it explain the vast seething Unknown? Will I look completely bizarre in following this notion to be renewed by awe? We thought we found ‘it’ so many times before in drunken revelry, the explosive orgasm, the sudden kiss, the breathy promises of this human world. While I hold onto these dog-eared memories, each for me did not reveal the lightening bug I was looking for.

    Unlike the bugs, it seems that the points of ecstatic revelation I seek are not so precise and anatomically predictable. Much like the stars, the thrill of the light is amorphous, harder to quantify, brilliant to blindness if the entirety of it is considered at once. It is maddening to choose to be at the whim of the moment, in an unmapped land with terror and sweet exaltation whenever you open your eyes. So, I do get numb and settle for the electric glow of home, the regulated containment of the self within routines and limits. The brightness outside is as inviting as it is overwhelming, even at night. As I’ve progressed from dungarees to professional/casual, the temptation to settle is a sticky goo that seems to get all over and is a total pain in the ass to wash out. Yet…

    When I get under the moon and interact with it, I choose to respond to a world which creates itself without deadlines or quality standards, the total organic experience of being alive as a creature, living upon a larger creature, within the body of some impossible-to-grasp creature. When I had those lightening bugs in my little room of half-finished projects, my curiosity and desire to know that light overtook my name and I fell into the jar, flying up to the glass, seeing through my primal eyes an alien face on the other side of the glass, fogging it up with its massive breath, waiting for the moment when the lid comes off and I am free again. Once in the night, I will not settle until my own light reaches the stars and twinkles them just so.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 17.39 Sun, 11 Mar '07

    Fri 09 Mar 07

    duckies of hope

    Shakespeare decried the inconsistent moon
    Yet he truly put his tongue to the crowds
    This mass of humanity which waxes and wanes
    In love, in truth, in the folly of pursuit.
    Moonlight is my constant;
    Names come and go as streaks on the highway,
    Feelings are numbers on a napkin,
    And the meeting of words is fleet and random.

    Damn it, too many lines have been writ
    Filling libraries and the lips of luminaries
    Of each peculiar pang of heart.
    No emotion without some inkstain to contain it
    Yet each of us bobs along, plastic yellow duckies of hope,
    In the belief that our time in the bath
    Is some parenthetical pause of grand importance
    Just as the molecules of ancestors
    Once marched with pride and assurance.

    Pedestals are for toppling.
    Human constructs are for dismantling and reconsidering.
    Social ballyhoo is for unfucking.
    Who hasn't watched the movement of ants
    For the analogs of our civilization?
    Who hasn't crushed an ant, some pesterment
    And appreciated human life's scale and its perversion of power?
    Who hasn't sought to crush
    The little words inside
    Which validate each sordid day of normalcy?

    Who hasn't irrationally longed to be touched
    In passion, in love, and lost to the human world
    But for a moment, gone from names and date and
    Convention of this body and the billion of others like it
    Just a wandering verb in a place of no language...

    Let me then be irrational, and let me dream.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 13.54 Fri, 09 Mar '07

    Mon 05 Mar 07

    I just wanted to say...

    ...that I love my friends and am truly grateful for them. I felt that I just had to say it, so I am.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 08.51 Mon, 05 Mar '07

    Sat 03 Mar 07

    the concordance of the stars

    I stepped out to look for the eclipse
    And found the horizon warmed by the radiant clouds of gathering souls.
    No moon, but kids on bikes, red roofs, and sparrows.
    These are enough for today,
    Astronomical events for sure,
    Of less predictable orbits, none could have guessed
    The laugh that bounced off the sky
    As the kids flew away on wheels
    And the leaves blew as they did
    Across the parking lot
    As so many stars shot across the night at my feet.
    Braced against the descending cool
    Running fingers along the rust of the fence
    The decaying border 'tween this and that
    Time stops, to make room for the concordance of the stars
    Upward gaze
    Myself eclipsed
    Ourselves ablaze.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 23.59 Sat, 03 Mar '07

    Fri 02 Mar 07

    23?

    I am the only person in the theatre for this movie. Solo. I dig. It's my day off and I've loved it, and needed it. I even had a real massage. Sometimes, I can have no guilt in doing self care.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 17.36 Fri, 02 Mar '07

    Mon 19 Feb 07

    A few words

    "...love dares you to care
    For the people on the edge of the night
    And love dares you to change our way
    Of caring about ourselves."


    ~Queen & David Bowie, Under Pressure.

    The kind of work I do can very emotionally taxing, especially when you see good people under such immense pressure and pain. Every night when I get home, I think about some of these families "on the edge of the night," caught in cycles of poverty and devaluation of the self. But experiencing this with these survivors only keeps me going stronger, even at the cost of my own tears and exhaustion.

    Every living being is entitled to hope... on the path of dharma, loving warriors seek to bring that hope to each soul, if only the best you can muster is a smile, a held hand.

    It really is the least any of us can do...

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 22.40 Mon, 19 Feb '07

    Sun 18 Feb 07

    to catch all the sugar from heaven

    If words were snow
    the conversation last night
    got right to the point
    and not a single syllable was wasted.
    It's ironic, the idea of
    listening to silence
    having a dialog with it
    without a single utterance
    letting instead the snow, as gentle stars,
    do the talking.
    The world is always so quiet
    when it snows
    as if it stops to be awestruck
    as if the soul of the earth
    stretches its tongue
    to catch all the sugar from heaven.
    We talked but I can't say
    what was said;
    it's all constellation now
    blowing around my puffed cheeks...
    at least we spoke,
    it's been a while.
    It makes me grateful
    for the cold.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 13.16 Sun, 18 Feb '07

    Wed 14 Feb 07

    Self Referential Feedback Loop

    Yes, I know Steve. The last incarnation of BOTM was uttlerly schizophenic. I basically was experimenting, and we experiment in order to test theories. The theory of my last site design is, well, inexplicable. It must've been a late night, caffeine induced madness. But it's passed, and yes indeed, if this blog were like the many incarnations of Dr. Who, this time it's like Tom Baker. Get it? Tom Dalek-stomin' monster-thwartin' Tardis-crusin' Baker. It's just so good right now that I can't picture the next incarnation, and don't want to. Yes, I know I'm probably carrying a metaphor way beyond its capacity, but being back to blogging just has me juiced.

    And thanks, good sir, for the write up!

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 21.20 Wed, 14 Feb '07

    Mon 05 Feb 07

    Done.

    Finished, kaput. I just now posted to the very last class of the past two years of pure boring hell. Gott in Himmel. It's over! Next comes the really exciting stuff: all psychology for the next 18 months (well, about 36 months when you count the long stretch to my Master's).

    Why, why, why did I not make better academic decisions when I was a wee lad, where I could've avoided all this drek? Oh, that's right, it was all that pot I smoked which killed my motivation for about a decade. Or maybe the lack of funding from my family, which abhors a purple sheep. Or maybe it was all the antidisestablishmentrianism and iconoclasty that my upstart soul proclaimed from the hilltops.

    Either way, thank Goddess the first, and worst, part of this is OVER. I'm not stopping until there is an LPC at the end of my name (yay, I'm being assertive! Neat!).

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 00.03 Mon, 05 Feb '07

    Fri 02 Feb 07

    Happy Fourth, BOTM!

    In a way, it's like saying happy birthday to myself, which is strange, because I'm 30 years older than this weblong. If you've been following the site lately, you may have seen, well, not much content. Work and school have absorbed scads of free time, but I'm recommitting to the site and rededicating it today. It's been an important part of my life in the past four years, and has brought me much happiness and stimulation. I hope, in keeping my irons in the fire, it will do the same for you, as a bundle of binaries and electrons which oddly reaches around the world.

  • First Post! 2 Feb. '03
  • On 2 Feb. '04, I was dealing with computer woes, a cracked up technician, and no WMDs.
  • The world I was living in on 2 Feb. 05 was full of work stress, database corruption, and REAL SNOW. When will we ever see that again?
  • On 2 Feb. 06, I neglected to mention BOTM's birthday. Surely I must've hurt its feelings, but 2006 was the highest traffic year with over 500k visitors. I remembered later. My 4 Feb 06 entry reminds me of how bleak things looked then for me (unemployment, sleep apnea diagnosis). Stiff upper lip and all that, I successfully managed to trot on to one important date: 17 Feb. 06, when I got the call which opened the door to the BEST JOB EVAR, a wish realized which has stretched my brain and driven me to work tirelessly to improve the lives of children.

    Which brings us to today. I flexed out today and with the snow-n-ice that never happened, I had a pleasant day off yesterday too. I think it's called self care. My new set of classes are about to start, so for the next year, it's all Psych all the time, and my Master's program will begin immediately following that. I finally have a drive; to receive in the mail in a few years a license to practice therapy. This grounds me in a way to the world, finally ties me to a particular kind of conversation and interaction with it. Of course, I won't go into it by rote; I tend to shake things up, and I'm really beginning in earnest to research the heaven out of consciousness.

    I am surrounded by blessings, and ever grateful. Even my knee which continues to be a pest and will soon be perma-braced is a blessing (I think it's saying slow down, dude). I've got my first photogrpahy exhibit up and sales have been brisk. I would have never guessed.

    You can never guess who are until you're done with guessing.

    Happy 4th, BOTM. Onward and upward!

    PS: Related to my enthusiasm for my job, I'm seeking to 'win' funding through a monthly group funded philanthropy site. Each page view advances my wish. Please check it out!

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 11.10 Fri, 02 Feb '07

  • Thu 01 Feb 07

    Not only do we return

    ...but we return with a sudden Web 2.0ish redesign and no more confusing little windows. Leave it to a snow day for me to finally get things done, all in honor of BirdOnTheMoon's 4th birthday tomorrow.

    It was, well, supposed to be a snow day. Heck, the way they called it, I was expecting to fire up my (soy)blubber lamp atop the igloo, fending off all sorts of polar vermin and driving gales. The agency closed and the grocery stores licked their chops with all the panic buying. But it rained. For about 45 minutes. And it wasn't even freezing rain.

    I cannot deny that I savored every blessed minute of complete and utter decompression (except for those 15 minutes I tried to figure out my taxes). The many days since we last spoke passed by with all the frenetic energy of a Baghdad highway. I'm even off (mostly) tomorrow and have a generally unhindered weekend ahead. Kick out the jams.

    So I've got to thank you all for your patience while I clear the way for getting this done and getting blogging back on track. I've got MBs of material to present and consume with you, over a nice dry Cabernet. Oh screw Cabernet, let's break out the Wild Irish Rose!

    I just told my good pal Srewie Hoolie that his most recent post will be my first official link of my umpteenth dozen incarnation, so enjoy:

    Rethink Your Precinct: Once upon a time in western North Carolina, the Democrats ruled every corner of the land. If you wanted a job, you'd call your party contact. If you wanted help getting around obstacles, you'd call your party contact. Those party contacts became very powerful men and became very complacent after winning elections for decades without even trying.

    Then Charles Taylor showed up and stole the seat.

    filed under: from the birdy's beak blogged: 17.59 Thu, 01 Feb '07

     

    "Aut Viam Inveniam, Aut Faciam." - Seneca