Thursday on The Left Coast…

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On The Music Box: Kraftwerk – Electronic Cafe

The morning glory also

The morning glory also

turns out

not to be my friend.

-Matsuo Basho

A feast of this and that… Sun is up, but cold. Coughing over coffee, New plants are blooming. The dog walks in and out of the house, sunning her self for awhile. Cat is on the fence, doing his cat meditations…

I hear Mary stirring somewhere in the house…. work beckons!

Beauty is everywhere. The light is moving from silver to golden. The earth breathes with new life and springtime really, really is here.

Working on the magazine at night, visiting with friends when possible.

Life is full, and much more so… I feel poetry coming back into my life. Time to write!



On The Menu:

Basho Haikus…

The Links

Edo-period Kappa Sketches


Peanut Butter, The Atheist’s Nightmare!

Peters’ Thursday Gift!

Jain Tales: Queen Chelna and King Shrenik

3 Poems of Hafiz

Art: Lucien Levy-Dhurmer (French, 1865-1953)

Lévy-Dhurmer’s women were completely different from the charming society ladies painted by his fashionable contemporary, Helleu. They posed, sphinxlike, and formed groups where the talk was all of art and mysticism, and where they listened, head in hands, hair shadowed by a mauve lamp shade, while a pianist (Debussy, perhaps) played themes from Parsifal. The atmosphere was troubled, dreamy and naïve, and the people who created it were obsessed with anything new, curious about everything which the materialistic 19th century had rejected. They adored Moreau, Puvis de Chavannes and Redon, but these great men could be admired only from a distance. Lévy-Dhurmer, however, was a lot younger and he moved in their circles.


The Links:

The Night People

Enduring mystery of Jim Thompson

Mysterious Rock Growing ‘Hair’ Put on Display in Beijing



Edo-period kappa sketches

Kappa, arguably Japan’s most well-known creature of legend, are mischievous river imps notorious for luring people — particularly children — into the water to drown and eat them. They smell like fish, enjoy cucumbers and sumo, and are said to be very courteous despite their malicious tendencies.

Although kappa are typically about the size of a child and greenish in color, they can vary widely in appearance. They frequently have a turtle-like shell and scaly skin, but sometimes their skin is moist and slick, or coated in fur. Most walk upright on their hind legs, but they are occasionally seen on all fours…




A son asked his father, “What is soul?”

The Father replied, “Atma* can be explained by a seed. Bring me a fresh fig.”

When the son handed him a fig, the Father sliced it with a knife and removed a tiny seed. “In this seed is a tree. Try to break it in half,” said the Father. The son broke it. His Father asked, “What is inside?”

The boy replied, “Nothing.”

His Father responded, “There is formless in the center of form. Creation is inside. Within nothing is something. The invisible becomes visible.”


*ATMA means higher self or Soul in Sanskrit


Peanut Butter, The Atheist’s Nightmare!


Staying at an inn

Staying at an inn

where prostitutes are also sleeping–

bush clover and the moon.

-Matsuo Basho

When the winter chrysanthemums go

When the winter chrysanthemums go,

there’s nothing to write about

but radishes.

-Matsuo Basho


Peters’ Thursday Gift!

Lisa Gerrard & Pieter Bourke “Sacrifice”


Jain Tales: Queen Chelna and King Shrenik

This is a story from the time of Bhagwän Mahävir. At that time, king Chetak was the ruler of Vaishäli and he had a beautiful daughter named Chelna. Once an artist called Bharat painted a picture of Chelna and showed it to king Shrenik of Magadh. Charmed by Chelna’s beauty, Shrenik fell in love with her. One day Chelna came to the city of Magadh where she saw king Shrenik and she also fell in love with him. They soon got married.

Queen Chelna was a devoted follower of Jainism, while Shrenik was influenced by Buddhism. The king was very generous with a big heart but somehow was not happy with his queen’s devotion to the Jain monks. He wanted to prove to Chelna that Jain monks were pretenders. He strongly believed that no man could follow the practice of self-restraint and non-violence to that extent, and that the equanimity shown by Jain monks is superficial. Chelna was greatly disturbed by this.

One day, King Shrenik went on a hunting trip where he saw a Jain monk, Yamadhar, engaged in deep meditation. Shrenik let his hunter dogs go after Yamadhar but the monk remained silent. On seeing the calmness and composure of the monk, the dogs became quiet. King Shrenik got angry and thought that the monk had played some trick on them. So he started shooting arrows at the monk but they kept on missing him. Becoming more upset, he finally put a dead snake around Yamadhar’s neck and came back to his palace.

The king narrated the whole incident to Chelna. The queen felt very sorry and took the king back to Yamadhar’s meditation place. Because of the dead snake, ants, and other insects were crawling all over the monk’s body but the monk did not even stir. The couple witnessed the limits of human endurance. The queen gently removed the ants and snake from the monk’s body, and cleaned his wounds. She applied sandalwood paste. After sometime, Yamadhar opened his eyes and blessed both of them.

The monk did not distinguish between the king who had caused him pain, and the queen who had alleviated his pain. King Shrenik was very impressed, and convinced that Jain monk were truly beyond attachment and aversion. Thus, king Shrenik along with queen Chelna became devoted to Jainism and believed in Bhagwän Mahävir.



A bee

A bee

staggers out

of the peony.

-Matsuo Basho

Teeth sensitive to the sand

Teeth sensitive to the sand

in salad greens–

I’m getting old.

-Matsuo Basho


Three Poems of Hafiz

A Suspended Blue Ocean

The sky

Is a suspended blue ocean.

The stars are the fish

That swim.

The planets are the white whales

I sometimes hitch a ride on,

And the sun and all light

Have forever fused themselves

Into my heart and upon

My skin.

There is only one rule

On this Wild Playground,

For every sign Hafiz has ever seen

Reads the same.

They all say,

“Have fun, my dear; my dear, have fun,

In the Beloved’s Divine


O, in the Beloved’s

Wonderful Game.”

What Should We Do about that Moon ?

A wine bottle fell from a wagon

And broke open in a field.

That night hundred beetles and all their cousins


And did some serious binge drinking.

They even found some seed husks nearby

And began to play them like drums and whirl.

This made God very happy.

Then the ‘night candle’ rose into the sky

And one drunk creature, laying down his instrument

Said to his friend – for no apparent


“What should we do about that moon?”

Seems to Hafiz

Most everyone has laid aside the music

Tackling such profoundly useless


Last Night’s Storm

Last night’s storm was a journey to the Beloved.

I surrender to that, the wind that

is my Friend, and my work.

Each night, the lightning flashes.

Every morning, a breeze.

Not in some protected place, but in the flood

of the heart’s pumping, in the wind

of a rosebud’s opening out,

that puts a small crown on each narcissus.

A tired hand collapses, exhausted,

that in the morning holds your hair again.

Peace comes when we are friends together,

remembering. Hafiz! Your honest desire

and your benevolence free the soul

to emerge as what it is.


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