Category Archives: poetry

Our Cloud Never Dies

cloud is us ~d nelson

From highest high peaks
towards street level & lower
our cloud continues, falling,
dancing, splashing, sustaining life,
steadily settling into calm clarity.

Recognizing our cloud, within
proffers insightful glimpses:
nature’s cycles persisting
as they always have;
inter-playfully patient & wise,
manifesting of elements,
energies & unknown;
all when conditions
are just right.

Isn’t it a miracle being here
& now across space & time
with you, my friend?
Smiling to breathed replies.

“A cloud can become snow, or hail…or rain. But it is impossible for a cloud to pass from being into non-being. And that is true with your beloved one. She has not died. She is continued in many new forms. And you can look deeply and recognize herself in you and around you.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

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February Promises

 

Feb 1 rose bud ~d nelson

Yes, another coldest night
followed by another coldest day
felt in delicate, dark, places of fragility
in earth’s life forms, big & small.

Feb 1 blossom

Slowly breathing in this coldness
compassionately breathing out warmth.
Thawing mine & the world’s blossoms;
Once revealed, grateful at being witnessed.

Feb 1 blossom 4

This morning’s warmed moment’s potential
of next warmed moment’s possible
makes me smile as I discover
another hidden rose bud, inside.

“So take refuge in Mother Earth and surrender to her and ask her to heal us, to help us.
And we have to accept that the worst can happen;
that most of us will die as a species and many other species will die also and Mother Earth will be capable
after maybe a few million years to bring us out again and this time wiser.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Feb 1 blossom 2

Bloom’s New Continuance

Compost Transformed into Roses Cozy Harmony ~d nelson

Wonderful, our continuation into this
new year, dear refreshed fellow, yet fragile
blossoms in the garden of humanity.

calligraphy by Thich Nhat Hanh

Traffic Cone Cycle Slalom

’round cone play ~d nelson

Been hurt going too fast
finally has slowed me down.
Yet, even moving slowly,
no faster than I can pedal,
seemingly unavoidable obstacles
hinder otherwise graceful momentum.

Hints of road rage become bells
of mindfulness to momentarily
pause, breathe calmly & smile.
Upon remembering I’m alive
& well, compassion is borne
for myself & others involved.
Staying ever vigilant of distracted drivers.

Many are, understandably, super stressed this season.
Tired of so much real losing; losing what
was once possible for humanity & all beings.
Losing income, losing homes to fires & foreclosures.
Sad, complex social, economic & political landscapes
ruled by unqualified, greedy & unworthy leaders
who heartlessly cage children, spew anger & hate
contributing to many losing their sense of community.

thanks for not making tracks on fresh cement!

Determined to live with dignity & peace,
I’m hugging the obstacles, which I can,
while maintaining joy & playing
around with the ones I cannot embrace.
Ours & our children’s future depends upon
experiencing moments of happiness & fearlessness.
When going out, let’s laugh & play; bring the young ones.

We are very afraid of being powerless.
But we have the power to look deeply at our fears,
and then fear cannot control us…
If we can relax when our strong emotions come,
then we don’t pass fear on to our children and to future generations. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

 

 

Winds of Change

seeing sky streaming ~d nelson

Rising with sunshine, feeling
gratitude for a brand new day.
Vowing to bring happiness
during morning, to myself
& others; & reduce misery
in the afternoon.

15th holiday season for Fang the Terrible ~d nelson

Recently a friend said to me,
“life’s always been tough.”
Me: “yet, has it
ever been this tough for
so many at the same time?”

full fall color

Walking slowly in nearby park
taking in an array of natural expressions,
i.e. miracle of life, continuing
in all its hues & shades.

play chipmunks

Feeling gratitude for nature’s gift
of renewal & smiles
experienced when being with
mother earth’s plants & critters.
A few images for encouragement
to take a meditative walk in wilds.

 

 

May we offer each other,
whoever we are with,
supportive comfort,
warmth & little lights shining,
moving into this season’s
winds of change.

 

 

Impermanence makes everything possible.
We are often sad and suffer a lot when things change, but change and impermanence have a positive side. Thanks to impermanence, everything is possible. Life itself is possible. If a grain of corn is not impermanent, it can never be transformed into a stalk of corn.
~Thich Nhat Hanh

Mindfulness Sweetens Our World

Rain’s freshness Healing this Dry Earth ~d nelson. Below is a letter sent to friends in my meditation community on Thanksgiving.

How wonderful that it is now raining in Northern California.
From Native Peoples I’ve lived with, especially Hopi, I learned to express
deep gratitude I feel for rains, which sustain all life.
These current rains here are blessing us with clean air to breathe and putting
out the devastating wildfire. Thank you land ancestors for helping me express this thanks.

I’m feeling very grateful for having Thich Nhat Hanh as my spiritual teacher for the past couple decades,
as he has provided compassionate & wise teachings for experiencing well-being,
while continuing to offer a beautiful example of practicing them at 92 years of age.
Furthermore, using skillful means he has spoken honestly to me about impermanence, explicitly climate change,
preserving mother earth, human relations & other issues of concern to us all. Breathing through an air mask for these past couple weeks, when outside, I’ve felt accepting of dry, smoky, unhealthy conditions as they were.

Skies were also smoky here many weeks this past summer. I’m feeling more solid as a mountain than I could have without our practice of stopping, conscious breathing & trainings to not do harm to ourselves & all beings. There is a sadness I feel for descendants who will not have the privilege I’ve had of growing up in a seemingly stable environment.
May they be happy & feel safe in the world they inherit.

I’ve great gratitude for being able to take refuge in a mindfulness community or sangha.
Such a wonderful condition of happiness being a part of a community
that practices living in harmony & awareness;
that we may awaken from the illusion of separateness.

On Thay’s (affectionate Vietnamese term for “teacher”) continuation day last month
some lay friends on retreat at Deer Park Meditation center gathered,
expressing gratitude to him by sharing the benefits of, or fruit, of their meditation practice.
Some were quite new, with real beginners mind. Others were more experienced brothers & sisters. A clip of these heartfelt expressions, including images of Thay enjoying tea at Tue Hieu in 2007 (his root temple, at which he is now spending his last days)
can be viewed here, if interested: “mindfulness sweetens our world.”
Wishing you sweet fruit from the practice you’ve chosen to bring happiness, healing & insight.

fruit of our practice (click to watch happy video)

Solemnly Remembering Paradise

Ashes of Paradise (foto taken at noon Thursday) ~d nelson

Remembering that time when
my journey landed me upon
a special high forested mountainside,
inhabited, mostly, with friendly older folks,
who called the place Paradise.
Perhaps you can remember
being in such a pleasant place, yourself.

Ashes of Paradise 2 (taken at noon on Thursday)

Hadn’t thought about Paradise
for such a long time (several hour drive there)
until the other day when darkness
suddenly descended at noon
and its ashes rained down on my valley.
A local witness said it was like the gates of hell opened up.

Ashes of Paradise 5 ~usda

Breathing in (with a carbon filtered mask), I taste smoke, again.
Breathing out, clean carbon dioxide.
Sadly reflecting on those lost, newly homeless,
continued windy, bone-dry conditions,
realizing another catastrophic California inferno.
Details are easily found on current news & here.  (my local air quality below)

Ashes of Paradise 6 ~epa

As a veteran, also remembering
those who gave, as Lincoln said
“the last full measure of devotion.”
May all live free, in a paradise;
with gratitude to those
who’ve helped protect us
& mother earth.

No Comments this time,
just solemn, respectful silence.

 If your house is on fire, the most urgent thing to do is to go back and try to put out the fire, not to run after the person you believe to be the arsonist. If you run after the person you suspect has burned your house, your house will burn down while you are chasing him or her. That is not wise. You must go back and put out the fire. So when you are angry, if you continue to interact with or argue with the other person, if you try to punish her, you are acting exactly like someone who runs after the arsonist while everything goes up in flames. ~Thich Nhat Hanh