Category Archives: poetry

Letters of Love Deluge O’er Me

Nothing can survive without food. Everything we consume acts either to heal us or to poison us. We tend to think of nourishment only as what we eat through our mouths; but what we consume with our eyes, our ears, our nose, our tongue, and our body is also food. ~Thích Nhất Hạnh, the Art of Communication

After Love's Deluge ~d nelson

After Love’s Deluge ~d nelson

We know that everything needs food
including our love;
the love burning inside
& our love over there.
Our sadness, also
will always linger if kept fed.

After Love's Deluge 3

After Love’s Deluge 3

Desiring use of kind, loving words
& practicing using such words
of love is a type of food.
Our volition, or deepest aspiration
is an important nutriment;
like downing a refreshing glass of water
quenching drought-induced thirst
within ourselves & the world.

rain letter

rain letter

Quite often it’s useful to write down
our words and meditate on them,
ensuring they are words we really mean.
Let heart’s expression freely flow.
Inspired words, conceived, written & rehearsed.
Writing love letters is a practice
of cultivating inner love & peace
instead of fear, anger or blame.
Our loved ones eagerly await such letters.

After Love's Deluge 2

After Love’s Deluge 2; flooded

We can also write love letters on topical issues
concerning ourselves, our community, our planet.
This helps us come from a place
of love & compassion and not despair or rage
when addressing issues as significant as survival.
Important concerns written clearly
with heartfelt, loving words can touch
hearts of our elected officials, civil servants & journalists.

Candy might be dandy
& floral expressions, divine.
But, upon receiving an emotional
deluge from your loving words,
imagine your dear valentine’s true smile.
Can you also, visualize the potential
heart opening affect
on even our most love
starved public servants.

peace letter

peace letter

Possible steps for writing a love letter (but do what feels right for you) :
1. Meditate for 20-30 minutes. Bring to mind what you want to write about, what moves you to write this letter. Bring to mind the person you’re writing to, what you love about them, what you’re grateful for, what moves your compassion for them.

2. Allow 30 minutes to write a love letter, sharing from the heart.

3. Ask a trusted friend to read the letter and reflect on it with you.

4. Wait a day or two. Re-read the letter. Revise if you see ways to make your love and compassion more clear.

5. Send your letter 🙂

An example love letter Here & Here, too

You already know the names of loved ones & friends.
Names & contact information of U.S.A. elected officials & current issues at these links:
http://tellyourreps.com/
https://www.callmycongress.com/
http://thesixtyfive.org/home
https://www.countable.us/
https://www.indivisibleguide.com/web

This post inspired by current social and legislative events &
this song 🙂

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

…And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring
us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one. ~Matthew 6:11-13, the Bible

bread of life ~d nelson

bread of life ~d nelson

Despite retirement, the public health nutritionist within me
smiles to the Lord’s Prayer’s humble, redemptive words of gratitude.
Everyone needs suitable & stable sources of sustenance
whether it be from wheat, rice, other grains or plant-based foods.
Really try imaging how hard it is to be grateful and love
thy neighbors on an empty stomach.

bread of life 2 ~d nelson

bread of life 2 ~d nelson

For 10,000 years wheat was cultivated, stored, stone-milled and consumed.
The breads of old nourished western civilization.
In the industrial era, new technologies changed things.
Mechanical mills turned wheat into barren white flour.
Chemical and genetic technologies made it pest, drought and blight resistant.
Wheat was modified to be easier to harvest, dramatically increasing yield per acre.
Genetics were also altered to increase gluten for better, fluffier baking properties.
In the past century science speeded bread mixing, kneading, rising and baking
times from 6 or more hours to about an hour.
Unfortunately our bodies have not adapted to the new products’
genetic changes as quickly as they’ve been introduced
and many of us have become intolerant to altered glutens
and breads; sadly, as breads nourished so many of our ancestors.
Breads made in slow-rising, homemade methods, such as sourdough
can be tolerated by some with gluten sensitivity.

sourdough starter ~d nelson

sourdough starter ~d nelson

“The point is that you can’t be too greedy.” ~Donald Trump

Everyone also needs bread, in the form of cash or other currency
to acquire needed shelter, provisions & medicine for themselves & their family.
May we actively cultivate our compassion to help others in these hard times.
If we still have bread to share, perhaps we can kindly offer a slice
to those in real need, regardless of race, gender, religion or ideology.
While national leaders are turning American Democracy into a Plutocracy
to further enrich fortunes of the most wealthy & military,
many of us will soon have no health care benefit, especially women,
many will be removed from affordable public & subsidized housing.
Immigrants & refugees without large sums of cash will be banned.
Retirees will soon find their pension funds looted
and potentially end up on the streets with increased masses
of homeless, refugees, mentally ill and dying.

bread of life 4~d nelson

bread of life 4~d nelson

There’s a rumor that Official State TV announced white is the acceptable preferred color
& male the acceptable preferred gender, just like the administration’s cabinet.
Christianity now seems the official religion of the USA, with Muslims unwelcome.
Dare I say these acts fail to exemplify acceptance, tolerance, or wisdom of non-discrimination.
Curious, I’ve asked church-attending friends to share lessons they live by
& was told of Jesus’ teachings to feed the poor and heal the sick.

bread of life 8~d nelson

bread of life 8~d nelson

Maybe an alternative fact, maybe not, but
it’s said the newly renamed White House Castle spokesperson
quipped, in a poor French accent, when asked
what will happen to the impoverished & elderly
who’ll become unable to acquire adequate bread of life
under these new austerity programs,
Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”—“Let them eat cake.”

bread of life 5 ~d nelson

bread of life 5 ~d nelson

During the last supper, Jesus Christ told his disciples: “This piece of bread is my flesh. Eat it.” That was a radical statement. He must have noticed that his twelve friends were not awake, and when he saw that he wanted to say something strong to wake them up, to help them live fully in the present moment. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Let Mavis Staple’s voice touch your heart with her performance of Stephen Foster’s 1854 song

Parable of a Particular Peacock

Particular Peacock ~d nelson

Particular Peacock ~d nelson

As long as can be remembered
from east stretching west,
Peacock’s rainbow presence
has auspiciously symbolized beauty
as well as joy, grace, & love.

peacock-1

There was hopeful exuberance
when GoldenBoy was born.
His mother’s aspiration to transmit
loving-kindness & compassion to him
was fulfilled for only a year until
her grave illness & untimely death.

peacock-6

In the sad confusion that followed,
GoldenBoy was abducted & taken
to dark, distant relatives
residing way down below.
Kept away from others,
he was placed before a mirror
that beckoned him not to turn
away from his glorious handsomeness.
“Keep looking, as you are the most
beautiful, important boy of all.”

peacock-4

Aggressively schooled in Objectivism-based lessons;
that selfishness & taking from others
while both dominating & humiliating them
is morally acceptable & the only rational good.
Believing that rules apply only to others
teen GoldenBoy craved all attention & power.

peacock-2

After years of searching high & low,
guided by ancestors up in heavenly abodes
his loving relatives dared enter the netherworld to find
& reclaim GoldenBoy for realizing his mother’s dream
of him being embrace by light & love.
Recognizing his learned self-centered, confrontational, ungrateful demeanor
as an expression of unremitting loneliness & protracted pain
his loved ones placed him in the care of wise Peacock Master.
He was given a mirror that only reflected
back into his own heart.

peacock-3

For the rest of GoldenBoy’s life he apprenticed at a shelter
taking care of others, listening with empathy to their stories
of happiness, despair, poverty, immigration, trauma, abuse & loss;
feeding them, dressing their wounds,
helping some get back upon their feet,
burying broken bodies of the fallen.

peacock-5

Shortly before his own passing,
Elders deemed GoldenBoy deserving
to dance in a rhythmic way
at the onset of shadowy clouds,
outspreading his tail
as esteemed peacocks always have,
bringing beauty & hope to those in need
beholding a living-colored rainbow
alighting a way for all in darkness.

Many things can be taken from us, but no one can ever steal our determination or our freedom.
No one can ever steal our practice. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Out with the Old, In with the Artichoke

in with the artichoke ~d nelson

in with the artichoke ~d nelson

While it’s been said that
an old dog cannot learn new tricks,
I say, “has anyone actually asked?”

in with the artichoke 2~d nelson

in with the artichoke 2~d nelson

Turns out that, when queried
14 year old Fang was quite articulate.
Given the right inspirational conditions
he was willing & able
to cultivate self empathy
then, do best for himself,
while considering what’s best for others.
Going from full-time meat shredding savage beast
to part-time mild-mannered plant-based eater.
Amazing!

A for artichoke, B for broccoli, C for carrot

A for artichoke, B for broccoli, C for carrot

Loving eyes & wagging tail convey
his grasp of beautiful endowments found
in all things consumed via mouth,
nose, eyes, ears & touch.
He now wishes to eat in such a way
that his compassion is kept alive
by reducing suffering of other living beings.


Well, if such an old dog can learn beneficial new tricks,
envision what each of us can do
to long-held habit energies
with empathy & love towards ourselves & others.

Just 3 deep, calm mindful breaths
can bring awareness of the miracle.
Fearlessly try this:  Breathe in, calm; Breathe out, smile. Repeat.
This year offers a bonus
gift of a Leap Second.
Enough time to awaken
that happy puppy, inside.
May your new year be in peace
as each moment leaps
into existence,
breath by breath.

Every morning, when we wake up, we have twenty-four brand-new hours to live. What a precious gift! We have the capacity to live in a way that these twenty-four hours will bring peace, joy, and happiness to ourselves and others. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Unlimited Free Shipping: Mindful Remembrance Drops

drops-2-4

drops of remembrance ~d nelson

A gift that keeps giving begins with a bell’s sound
awakening drops of yearning to be redeemed, actualized.
Breathe In, aware of what is going on within.
Breathe Out, aware of what is going on without.
Each remembrance, a drop of compassionate nectar.

persimmon drops

persimmon drops

With the Energy of Mindfulness
conditions of happiness reveal themselves.
Like drops of golden sunshine through fog.
There is no need to fear any emotion
knowing that unpleasant feelings can be held,
comforted & patiently transformed into vibrant flowers.

drops of remembrance 3~d nelson

drops of remembrance 3~d nelson

Feeling better I hear seasonal jingle, jingles.
So how can I mindfully share my time & energy being of service
to others in need during this chilly holiday time?
Volunteering, perhaps to help older relatives with house/yard work.
They may need help with laundry or something-like plumbing
where I could assist after a little guidance from a YouTube video.
They may push-away at first, but I’ll keep smiling with heart open.

helping hands ~d nelson

helping hands ~d nelson

Remembering that everyone needs help, comfort of some kind,
I could, even, give this relief to neighbors I don’t know.
There are elders, or less-abled needing help replacing the batteries
on home smoke and CO2 alarms, or too-high light bulbs.
There is a gift giving program that needs volunteer
present wrappers that will even appreciate a bad wrapper, like me.
Perhaps I can help prepare & serve food or bring guitar,
voice & cheerful song to the senior center.
And the birdies outside would be most grateful
for some seeds and water that’s not frozen.

persimmon drops 3

persimmon drops 3

Mindfulness exposing present moments.
With breathing, smiling, calming & some food
most all of my needs are met. What happiness!
Mindfulness imparts remembrance.
Each breath, a bell of mindfulness, a drop of compassion.
Remembrance nurturing gratitude for conditions
which have given us life, talents, success’ and failures.
This energy can bring about a wisdom of non-discrimination.
Touching personal sufferings &
my ancestor’s great suffering through hard times
& even, barely surviving atrocities,
I must now have a moment of silence
remembering those who are victims, at this moment;
in Syria, Africa, Afghanistan, and many other locations.
Breathing in, cultivating peace in myself.
Breathing out, sending out drops of peace
& love for my neighbors and for the world.

drops of remembrance 2~d nelson

drops of remembrance 2~d nelson

Uncertainties True Certainties

If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things. ~Rene Descartes

sky un-certainty ~d nelson

Between Earth & Sky
truth’s uncertainty abides.
Experienced with open 3rd eyes,
hearts & minds beholden
of certain inter-being.

Now an alleged post-truth, emotional-disconnect age ?
Well, integrity doesn’t allow sending fake-news!
Were I a tweeter my heart’s messages would be,
have courage dear sisters & brothers
as a frigid moon shines brightly
against light years of darkness.

Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. ~Buddha

If I could tweet a song it would be:
Light one candle  (click here to listen to Peter, Paul & Mary’s performance)
Don’t let the light go out!  (click here to listen to Peter, Paul & Mary’s performance)
It’s lasted for so many years!
Don’t let the light go out!
Let it shine through our hope and our tears.
~song by Peter Yarrow

un-certainty-1

clouded un-certainty

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.~ Rabindranath Tagore

un-certainty-2

natural un-certainty

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy ~Francis of Assisi

Picturing a Car-Free, E-Bike Adventure

Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride. ~John F. Kennedy, U.S. president

pedaling-towards-eternity

How fortunate not routinely having
to travel any faster than I can pedal;
enjoying day after car-free days.
But I’ll share a little secret
about how I’ve compensated for aches,
fatigue & other blessings of another birthday:
an electric bike!

Wonderful still being able to cycle
without fear of hills or going away far
then not being able to come back easily.
Pollution-free, non-sweaty
commuting, shopping, errands
& super fun, heart pumping cardio.
Even in times like these it’s still OK
to be happy & have fun, is it not?

E-bicycles offer cost savings over a car (or second car);
as no licensing or insurance required.
There are cargo versions available, perfect
for hauling the kids or trips to the lumber yard.
Still feeling pedal-powered,
waving & ringing the bell as I go by,
connection with community.

Dear Friends, y’all are invited
to enjoy a car-free day at least once a week,
perhaps on a traditional bike, ready-made electric bike
or with a do-it-yourself bike motor kit on your old bike.
Did you know that every mile a car is driven
releases one pound of greenhouse gas
into the atmosphere increasing global warming?
Resilience is up to us, together, as a political
solution to arctic melting seems improbable.

A whole lot of info available at https://electricbikereview.com/

When you realize the Earth is so much more than simply your environment, you’ll be moved to protect her in the same way as you would yourself. This is the kind of awareness, the kind of awakening that we need, and the future of the planet depends on whether we’re able to cultivate this insight or not. The Earth and all species on Earth are in real danger. Yet if we can develop a deep relationship with the Earth, we’ll have enough love, strength and awakening in order to change our way of life. ~Thich Nhat Hanh