thrift store1sign
toddler shoes in an antique store

Touching the present moment, we come to know the past created the present and together the future is being created. ~ Unknown

thrift store 2sign
shoe lace I

Just as you unreel the thread from a spool,

I want the past to become present.

thrift store 3sign
shoe lace II

The wife of Yoshitsune, a famous warrior in medieval Japan, wrote this farewell poem shortly after her spouse was deployed to the northern provinces where he later died.  She offers to us our creative ability to mentally bring the past alive and into the present.

thrift store 4sign
shoe lace III

… “Time goes from present to past.”  This is not true in our logical mind, but it is in the actual experience of making past time present.  There we have poetry, and there we have human life.

~ cited in Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, Shunryu Suzuki

thrift store 5sign
shoe lace IV

with each lightening flash,

each roll of thunder, rice and

the world grow richer

seen in a flash

of lightening, the riverbed

looks utterly dead*

wyoming sky
wyoming sky


*cited in:

 The Spring of My Life and Selected Haiku Kobayashi Issa,

trans:  Sam Hamill


Roget’s International Thesaurus: applying color, explanation, learning, lighting, ornamentation, painting, picture, radiation, teaching

how colorless, now–

fields where I took bush clover

for my garden ~Satomura Genjo

winter’s slumber before January’s snow

winter's slumber
winter’s slumber

january's frost
january’s frost

should I hold them in my hand,

they will disappear In the warmth of my tears,

icy strings of frost ~Basho*

a day in January
a day in January

where I planted seeds

oh well!

morning frost~Issa**


Cited In:



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Standing at the Threshold

With uncertainty, I question:

What is it that I seek?

Protection? Compassion? Acceptance? Forgiveness? Completion?

Who is it that I beckon?

A father? A mother? A sister? A brother? A companion? A child? A god?

To be? To endure? To offer? To embrace? To validate?

An intentional presence that is drawn upon

A place and time of shadows, myths, and dreams?

Birthed within a family?

Matured within a relationship?

Nourished within a community?

Where the Stillness within Silence,

Affirms the exchange of life’s giving and taking,

Embraces the connection of life’s emotional threads, and

Observes the interdependence of life with non-judgmental awareness,

Yet, knows of a united oneness with another that can not be?

Since it can not be, do I yearn

To know integration through the formation of thought;

To see clarity through the flowing of ink; and

To feel completion through the act of creating?

And then, finally, within the stillness of silence,

I befriend

An internal companion with whom

There is an honoring of the who and what of which I am;

A woman, a daughter, a sister, a niece, a wife, a mother, an aunt, a grandmother.

I touch

With reverence the presence of all that was, is, and will be.

I release

The seeking, the beckoning, the yearning to the Winds of Change.

I with uncertainty, Step over the Threshold

Foreseeing the return.

leaf in infancy l
leaf in infancy l
leaf in infancy ii
leaf in infancy ii

You can learn about the pine only from the pine, or about the bamboo only from bamboo.  When you see an object, you must leave your subjective pre-occupation with yourself; otherwise you impose yourself on the object, and do not learn.  The object and yourself must become one, and from that feeling of oneness issues your poetry.  However well phrased it may be, if your feeling is not natural—if the object and our self are separate—then your poetry is not true poetry but merely your subjective counterfeit. ~ Basho*

On New Year’s Day

each thought a loneliness

as winter dusk descends ~Basho

Along my journey

through this transitory world,

new year’s housecleaning ~Basho

*cited in Issa’s The Year of My life.  Trans: Nobuyuki Yuasa


Delicate …  the dance

of light and shadow

between insight and ignorance

in life and death

from suffering to tranquility

shadow and light

  May you become acquainted with tranquil single-pointed concentration . . . those who seek wisdom through the lens of tranquility glimpse reality in the same manner as a lighted candle — the light chases away that which is hidden within a darken closet’s shadows.  Insight, once risen, shines light into closed hearts and minds and keeps the gloom of ignorance at bay