A Voyage on the Spirit

There are times when destiny is both kind and cruel.a voyage on the spirit

Published in: on June 27, 2012 at 5:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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wisdom…new quote

History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.       Abba Eban, Israeli politician

Published in: on June 27, 2012 at 6:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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Armies of Love

This morning.  A girl in camouflage pants.  Helpless to do anything but write. Armies of Love

Published in: on June 25, 2012 at 5:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Four Valleys

The Four ValleysI wrote this first, years ago, when the events happened.  I have revisited it often.  Now, I want to see it here.   This is possibly not the final song.  

My friend was a sufi girl, in the 1970’s.   As Leonard Cohen said…those were generous times. 

Sometimes, generosity has two edges.  Heartbreak is one of them.  Who would have it otherwise?     The journey encountered in Attar,and in the Baha’i prophet Baha’u’llahThe substance from my own life.

Published in: on June 25, 2012 at 2:02 am  Leave a Comment  
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new quotation

Recorded in George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia:

“Night and the Jesuits always return.”

Published in: on June 23, 2012 at 6:26 am  Comments (1)  
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Family History, part one

Who knows where these things come from.  At any rate….here is Karl May  and, hopefully, more to come…eventually.

Published in: on June 21, 2012 at 7:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Ayesha, Ayesha.   That name haunted me for years.  At some point, I assigned it to a woman of dream.  I ended up writing 21 short salutes to her.  Here are two.  Enjoy.  And dream.


A thin beggar curled against the brickwork.

His beard was long and scraggly, hair matted;

His clothing was patched and shiny with age;

His eyes were bright, as if

He looked upon distant vistas of great loveliness.


He plucked a mandolin with missing strings;

We heard fragments of wonderful sorrow;

And we wept coins into his cap.


How came you to this?  I asked.

He smiled with terrible pity.

I once loved a woman, he said,

Her name was Ayesha.




Ayesha greets the incoming tide;

She walks into it, raising her skirt,

Holding it bunched in her fists, right and left;

Her hands are on her hips.

In a little stationary dance,

She pulls it this way, then that.


The sea plays around her thighs,

The waves slapping higher and higher.

Ayesha laughs.

Soon, the sea is sated;

It lies still.

Ayesha walks to the shore;

Her legs are red with cold.


The sun, and the wind,

It’s their turn, now.

Published in: on June 20, 2012 at 5:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Jesus Prayer

There I was, sitting in Starbies, and the Sons of the Pioneers started singing Cool Water, and this happened.  Jesus Prayer

Published in: on June 19, 2012 at 6:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Purple Poppies

Homer, my boy, the poppies are wine-dark.  Poppies!

They have a superb view of Cadboro Bay, its flesh-shining beach.

It has been a wet and cold spring,

But when it reaches the storm drains,

And people offer tissues to the weeping tile,

It must be the weather.  Damn Henry Ford!

Or the deposits of secret microfilm,

So secret, no one knows they are there,

Not even those who lay them there

In the dark days of 1812, the burning  of Washington,

And the Salish warriors paddling after Lafitte.

The decay produced no flowers, but these,

And turnips are impossible.  The bearded man

Is noteworthy.  How strange is that!

Beatniks had short hair.  Small children frolic

At Gyro Park.  Avoid looking at the swings, please,

Face crime, eye crime, gaze offense!

The inappropriate has become illegal.  The poppies

They stare, and that is why they change colour.  No,

Just kidding.  They blow, you know, they blow,

The poppies, although they have no rows.

They are scattered in anarchic, not chaotic, order.

When my ears are syringed, I will hear them sing.

I will not be surprised.  Just amazed.

The three genders line up for enlistment.

Are you not there, my son?  Ho! then come again,

Sweet love doth now invite.  Do not reply.

Pods like censors have blessed the seed

That sprouts on the dusty ruined rutted strangled

hillside.  Ours, with those who are about to die,

Salutamus! sweetheart!  I swear I will not pick them,

Rather set a guillotine on the slides.

Solomon, the fool, did not consider them.

Solly!  Lilies are for the dead,  with these nod into dream.


Published in: on June 18, 2012 at 6:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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On Father’s Day

(Lines interpreted from Nanaimo petroglyphs)


It is a sunny day and the cloudy

Sky defies distraction.  Dear me.

He carried a suit to the cleaners,

But, wore instead a velvet jacket.


The pickup trucks have scythes on their wheels,

For the white arrows on the asphalt are most

Suggestive.  The girl in low heels

Clatters and swaggers.  Wear sunglasses on your


Forehead, girl.  Do not attempt abstraction;

This is father’s day and no one knows why,

Or is it fathers’ day.  I can live with that.

There are no leaves scittering, the artemesia

Is grey as a head.


I am reading Homage to Catalonia,

And I suddenly am full of bereftitude:

Christ! I miss the cold war, and its stale newsprint;

Christ! I miss the war between the sexes,

Solo anthems, hot and cold;

Christ! I miss the war against drugs, its banners

Tepid at best. Build your cellars above ground, codger!

Christ! I miss the war against terror,

I am enchanted by futility.


Let’s all go to Spain and join the anarchist

Army.  Try not to laugh at contradiction. Ha!  Ha!

It makes it all worthwhile.  You have to walk,

There are no elevators in the towers of silence.

You are ordered to leave your shoes at the door.

A small boy arranges them carefully.  He is not beaten.


There are no manuals for my station;

I will have a beer in the foyer, instead.

(That woman escaped.  The baboons were bewildered.)

I had my wrist slapped for isolation.

I have become gracefully acquainted with pain;

Suffering eludes me.  I failed to follow up.

There is no way out when you stand in the open…there.

There! What did you expect?  Sausages and eggs?

Spaghetti and limpets?  Chives and hives?


I look at your feet and cannot walk;

The eyes, however, are the windows of the sole.

Have it lightly fried, dusted with flower,

Mind the little bones, even here. Uh! Oh!

Hey, buddy, yer flies undone!

I always wondered why we didn’t.

Thank you, dear, for forgetting what didn’t occur.

Published in: on June 17, 2012 at 5:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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