Go get right with god, girl –

Take your pent up wishes
and shape them in your form
live em out and embody
what you stand for.

Get your ass up off that porch
and start working it –
put your arms to use in the field
to feed your self.
Come into being, as a person.

Send your fears flurrying
with a breath of hot air
from your lungs. Push yourself.
You gotta get right
in relationship
to yourself.

Speak true words
and mean them.
Don’t let people play you
and cut them some slack.
Don’t sweat your off days neither.

Just come round again
to yourself. let your eyes
shine with it and give it on
because the people need it
right now.

They need you to be clear
about who you are, to make it easier
to reflect themselves in your eyes.
They need to be able to shine some too.
You can give them that grace
and it don’t cost you nothin.
It builds.

Build the people up
and stay out of the bog down shit.
Plant your seeds of all kinds
and play some more. Thrive on fun
again for a while – but use it,

turn it like mulch in the soil
of your heart and then
grow and harvest your fuel.

starting the morning off with a little reading on Dakinis

I’m reading a book about the feminine principle in Tibetan Buddhism called Dakini’s Warm Breath by Judith Simmer-Brown, who is a professor at Naropa – and I’m using my favorite approach when it comes to dense and complex but well written tomes: opening at random and reading a few pages.
Here’s from last night’s exercise, p.90.

“In Vajrayana meditation, the practitioner becomes accustomed to the vast openness of this experience of the ultimate nature.
This is the true meaning of “kha” in “khandro”. The wisdom dakini is of the essence of emptiness, understood in Vajrayana language to be pure space. The images used to express this ungraspable experience are, in the inner tantras, those of sky (namkha) or space (kha). This is not ordinary space; it is Ying (dhatu), which is the unconditioned, ineffable ground of all experience. Ying does not refer to a philosophically derived conclusion concerning the lack of inherent existence of all phenomena, as one might find in the Madhyamaka schools of Mahayana. Instead, it refers to a direct experience of primordial vastness out of which all other experiences arise. While this vastness is in the realm of experience, it is not accessed by any method or experience of anything other than itself, for it is inherent in the nature of mind.

One can understand Ying through the analogy of a cloudless sky, but one realizes Ying through the practice of actually contemplating the cloudless sky. Such a sky is ideal for practice because it has not support and contains nothing upon which to fixate. When one gazes deeply into a cloudless sky there is tremendous capacity to experience the nature of mind, the inner Ying. Perceiving the simultaneity of the cloudless sky and the nature of mind is the real discovery of space. There is no arising, dwelling, or ceasing in what one observes; neither can these be found in the mind that observes. When the practitioner receives transmission from the guru, the inseparability of Ying and Yeshe is recognized experientially as nondual awareness.

From this point of view, the quintessential dakini is not merely space itself, but simultaneously wakefulness that realizes space. Calling this the mind is too narrow, for its nature transcends the mind, yet because it is an experience we speak of space and wakefulness as the ultimate nature of the mind. Because there is space, an all-pervading vastness; it is possible for nondual, self-existing wakefulness to arise, which is Yeshe. If knowing were separate from what it knows, we could not know. The moment space is known in our experience, Yeshe is there. They cannot be separate. Space is likened to water, wakefulness to wetness; space is the flame, wakefulness is the heat of the flame. There is no space without wakefulness, no wakefulness without space.

Wakefulness radiates uninterruptedly and illuminates all experience. For this reason, a favorite image of Yeshe is the dawn, the rising sun that illumines ignorance and confusion. The ultimate feminine principle is this inseparable space-wakefulness, ying-yeshe.”

Yin is a principle which I’ve only ever half-understood, for all that I tattooed a ying/yang infinity on my skin when I was 19. (I guess I’ve only ever half-understood yang as well, and since they are each a part of the balance, perhaps I do get it afterall…) This concept of yin-yeshe is interesting to me because I’ve had a hard time getting past the notion of yin as a vacuum, a magnetic void – and this way of understanding the sentient aspects of yin helps me place awareness again smack dab in the midst of all that is arising. As it should be…


Lift up the self by the Self / and don’t let the self droop down.

For the Self is the self’s only friend / and the self is the Self’s only foe.

– Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 6 verse 5. From the Book of Runes intro, which continues:

The Book of Runes has been written as a handbook for the spiritual warrior. Free of anxiety, radically alone and unattached to outcomes, the spiritual warrior places absolute trust in the struggle for awareness, and is mindful that what matters is to have a true present. It takes a long time to grow in wisdom, to say nothing of the time it takes to learn to think well. Following the warrior way is not for everyone, although it is available to all who are willing to undergo its challenges. To embark on this path is to cultivate the Witness Self, the Watcher Within, the one who can profitably converse with the Runes.

That fellow on the bus who randomly killed his seatmate – a samurai twisted up in a lost culture – I offer this creed as reminder that the urge to exact action is an old one, formerly bound in honor and lineage. Now unmoored and veering down movie sets… or perhaps he was a wolf borne into a boy’s body, and finally unloosed. nonetheless.

A Warrior’s Creed

I have no parents: I make the heavens and earth my parents.

I have no home: I make awareness my home.

I have no life or death: I make the tides of breathing my life and death.

I have no divine power: I make honesty my divine power.

I have no means: I make understanding my means.

I have no magic secrets: I make character my magic secret.

I have no body: I make endurance my body.

I have no eyes: I make the flash of lightning my eyes.

I have no ears: I make sensibility my ears.

I have no limbs: I make promptness my limbs.

I have no strategy: I make “unshadowed by thought” my strategy.

I have no designs: I make “seizing opportunity by the forelock” my design.

I have no miracles: I make right-action my miracles.

I have no principles: I make adaptability to all circumstances my principles.

I have no tactics: I make emptiness and fullness my tactics.

I have no talents: I make with my talent.

I have no friends: I make my mind my friend.

I have no enemy: I make carelessness my enemy.

I have no armor: I make benevolence and righteousness my armor.

I have no castle: I make immovable-mind my castle.

I have no sword: I make absence of self my sword.

– Anonymous Samurai, Fourteenth Century.

Summer and the many festivals

When labor for the sake of vision has filled your heart / with its solid satisfactory shine,

and the details crossed off each list number higher / than those yet to come,

take yourself and a box full of sustenance: / a good hat and sturdy shoes / plus that laugh that hasn’t

much emerged since last winter / and get thee to good music. / Lay your body down

in the field grasses / soak in the sound of harmonies rising on the fair breezes / and when the spirit

moves you / allow yourself to be moved / and keep moving / to join in the great speckled dance

of jubilative restoration; / go Get Down / and call it holy / for this is what will redeem you

in your own eyes / and legs / and elbows, / that you heed the call of joy / when in comes

and greet it / eyes alight / hips shaking / laughter firmly loosed / in your heart.

Procession of the Produce

Olympia, WA originated a great parade in 1995, to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of Earth day. Dubbed “Procession of the Species”, there are only three rules regarding participation: no motor vehicles, no lettered signs –

The Skagit Valley Food Co-op is turning 35 this year, and inspired by our neighbors in Oly, we’re having a “Procession of the Produce” Parade, with artichokes and asparagus, mushrooms and butternut squash, watermelon and grapes, bees and honeycomb and blueberries. I’ve been hosting paper mache parties on fridays in the studio shop. Tonight Britt and Matthew and Shelley came over with Eva and Simone, two gorgeous little girls, to prepare Eva’s blueberry costume for the parade. Eva took off her dress and painted herself pink. Also some flower petals – while I tackled corn husks and bee wings.

We spun some dreams and ideas around, we caught up on old friends from when we were kids – the people convened and played together for a while. In honor of the joyful conversation, I offer this wiki-style research
into the nature of fruits and vegetables and legumes. :

The term fruit has many different meanings depending on context. In botany, a fruit is the ripened ovary—together with seeds— of a flowering plant. In many species, the fruit incorporates the ripened ovary and the surrounding tissues. Fruits are the means by which flowering plants disseminate seeds.[1]

In cuisine, when food items are called “fruit”, the term is most often used for those plant fruits that are edible and sweet and fleshy, examples of which include plums, apples and oranges. But in cooking, the word fruit may also rarely be loosely applied to other parts of a plant, such as the stems of rhubarb, which are made into sweet pies, but which are not botanically a fruit at all.

Although the word fruit has limited use in cooking, in reality a great many common vegetables, as well as nuts and grains, are botanically speaking, the fruits of various plant species.[2] No single terminology really fits the enormous variety that is found among plant fruits.[3] The cuisine terminology for fruits is quite inexact and is likely to remain so.

The term false fruit (pseudocarp, accessory fruit) is sometimes applied to a fruit like the fig (a multiple-accessory fruit; see below) or to a plant structure that resembles a fruit but is not derived from a flower or flowers. Some gymnosperms, such as yew, have fleshy arils that resemble fruits and some junipers have berry-like, fleshy cones. The term “fruit” has also been inaccurately applied to the seed-containing female cones of many conifers.[4]

With most cultivated fruits, pollination is a vital part of fruit culture, and the lack of knowledge of pollinators and pollenizers can contribute to poor crops or poor quality crops. In a few species, the fruit may develop in the absence of pollination/fertilization, a process known as parthenocarpy.[5] Such fruits are seedless. A plant that does not produce fruit is known as acarpous, meaning “without fruit”.[6]

The term “vegetable” generally means the edible parts of plants. The definition of the word is traditional rather than scientific, however. Therefore the usage is somewhat arbitrary and subjective, as it is determined by individual cultural customs of food selection and food preparation.

Generally speaking, a herbaceous plant or plant part which is regularly eaten as unsweetened or salted food by humans is considered to be a vegetable. Mushrooms, though belonging to the biological kingdom Fungi, are also generally considered to be vegetables, at least in the retail industry.[1][2] Nuts, seeds, grains, herbs, spices and culinary fruits are usually not considered to be vegetables, even though all of them are edible parts of plants.

In general, vegetables are regarded by cooks as being suitable for savory or salted dishes, rather than sweet dishes, although there are many exceptions, such as pumpkin pie.

Some vegetables, such as carrots, bell peppers (or Capsicum as they are known in Australia) and celery, are eaten either raw or cooked; while others, such as potato, are traditionally eaten only when cooked.

A legume is a plant in the family Fabaceae (or Leguminosae), or a fruit of these plants. A legume fruit is a simple dry fruit that develops from a simple carpel and usually dehisces (opens along a seam) on two sides. A common name for this type of fruit is a “pod”, although pod is also applied to a few other fruit types, such as vanilla. Well-known legumes include alfalfa, clover, peas, beans, lentils, lupins, and peanuts. A peanut is not a nut in the botanical sense; a peanut is an indehiscent legume, that is, one whose pod does not split open on its own.

Varieties of soybean seeds, a popular legume

Varieties of soybean seeds, a popular legume

Pea pods

Pea pods

The history of legumes is tied in closely with that of human civilization, appearing early in Asia, the Americas (the common bean, several varieties), and Europe (broad beans) by 6,000 BC, where they became a staple, essential for supplementing protein where there was not enough meat.

Legume plants are noteworthy for their ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen, an accomplishment attributable to a symbiotic relationship with certain bacteria known as rhizobia found in root nodules of these plants. The ability to form this symbiosis reduces fertilizer costs for farmers and gardeners who grow legumes, and means that legumes can be used in a crop rotation to replenish soil that has been depleted of nitrogen.

Legume seed and foliage have a comparatively higher protein content than non-legume material, probably due to the additional nitrogen that legumes receive through nitrogen-fixation symbiosis. This high protein content makes them desirable crops in agriculture.

Farmed legumes can belong to numerous classes including forage, grain, blooms, pharmaceutical/industrial, fallow/green manure, and timber species, with most commercially farmed species filling two or more roles simultaneously.

  • Forage legumes are of two broad types. Some, like alfalfa, clover, vetch, stylo, or Arachis, are sown in pasture and grazed by livestock. Other forage legumes such as Leucaena or Albizia are woody shrub or tree species that are either broken down by livestock or regularly cut by humans to provide stock feed.
  • Grain legumes are cultivated for their seeds, and are also called pulses. The seeds are used for human and animal consumption or for the production of oils for industrial uses. Grain legumes include beans, lentils, lupins, peas, and peanuts.[1]
  • Bloom legume species include species such as lupin, which are farmed commercially for their blooms as well as being popular in gardens worldwide.
  • Industrial farmed legumes include Indigofera and Acacia species, which are cultivated for dye and food gum production respectively.
  • Fallow/green manure legume species are cultivated to be tilled back into the soil in order exploit the high nitrogen levels found in most legumes. Numerous legumes are farmed for this purpose including Leucaena, Cyamopsis, and Sesbania species.
  • Various legume species are farmed for timber production worldwide including numerous Acacia species, Erythroxylum species and Castanospermum australe.

The term is derived from the Latin word legumen (with the same meaning as the English term), which is in turn believed to come from the verb legere “to gather.” English borrowed the term from the French “légume,” which, however, has a wider meaning in the modern language and refers to any kind of vegetable; the English word legume being translated in French by the word légumineuse.

Legumes are good sources of iron and fiber.

All hail the plant kingdom.

After some time (arthritic culture poem)

The first curl of knuckles into unfamiliar fist / begins to set

a pattern in the synapses: here is how to respond / tuck in

and be ready. This great love of the wide world / doesn’t translate

well into the everyday details. The people at large/ are not graceful

but determined to claim stake. And who / can blame them?

We in this world have arrived in the midst / of disintegration

and we none of us thought carefully / before deciding to contribute –

we woke / to find ourselves / on the boat / already sinking.

Quick comes the impulse to save / what might be saved

the small pieces grow significant / the large movements

too late in arriving / so we will take what we can / even of peace.

It is the mute truth of our defeat / at the hands

of our greatest epic storied histories / how science

killed us with its material / how we killed

the world with our need to know / and to take.

The fist cannot form fully / the joints are already

too swollen to bend / or to straighten:

crooked fingers / poised and waiting.

Sunday of the Visitation

Sunday of the Visitation

A trip up to Bellingham brought old and other worlds together today. We gathered in Jess’ living room to begin a conversation about the language of power and the language of love related to this article: http://www.shambhalainstitute.org/Fieldnotes/issue-13-kahane

On my way home I turned right at the old familiar corner of F street and Dupont, and spied Dale the neocappadocian, that old lion, ambling down the road with a carton of coffee. I pulled over and gave him a ride home, where we shared wine on his small porch and talked snippets and places. He told me about the significance of the day – you can read about it for yourself at www.neocappadocians.blogspot.com – and we made a passable visit. We talked about ducks and raccoons and the sound that bugs make, about intergenerational groups and the making of world peace and how it doesn’t matter where we are when the shit goes down, we’ll be going down too.  Here’s a link to a story about Dale from one of the local papers – http://www.lovelycitizen.com/story/1397120.html

Brought back old times, did today. All my relations.

Puerto Rico, dawn to dusk

From Hunter S Thompson’s The Rum Diary, p.191

Those were the good mornings, when the sun was hot and the air was quick and promising, when the Real Business seemed right on t he verge of happening and I felt that if I went just a little faster I might overtake that bright and fleeting thing that was always just ahead.

Then came noon, and morning withered like a lost dream. The sweat was torture and the rest of the day was littered with the dead remains of all those things that might have happened, but couldn’t stand the heat. When the sun got hot enough it burned away all the illusions and i saw the place as it was – cheap, sullen, and garish – nothing good was going to happen here.

Sometimes at dusk, when you were trying to relax and not think about the general stagnation, the garbage God would gather a handful of those choked-off morning hopes and dangle them somewhere just out of reach; they would hang in the breeze and make a sound like delicate glass bells, reminding you of something you never quite got hold of, and never would. It was a maddening image, and the only way to whip it was to hang on until dusk and banish the ghosts with rum. Often it was easier not to wait, so the drinking would begin at noon. It didn’t help much, as I recall, except that sometimes it made the day go a little faster.


what it must be like to paint in spanish/ the colors unsame? the blue in the sea of cortez remains/ untranslated

and skagit blue is not the same / this northern valley

claimed from an inland sound / the soft clay soil / diked

and waiting for seed. what simple blue this sky/ breathes

in and out / salt breezes/ riding on/ rising /birdsound / brightcloud / cowpoop

sometimes the coyotes come down from the hills and cross/ the fields

to fish for ducks in the light fading behind the islands.

do the mexican coyotes too/ descend from hill to shore

in search of ducks floating on the bright blue cortezian sea?