discovering the gentle

in this breath are kingdoms
made of small passage ways
giving freedom
of transit
moving through the illusions
of social dominance, social
hierarchies, the haves and the have nots

i want a simple life,
a small life,
just a few reliables,
and a lot of freedom

in this breath is so much more
than what I ask for.

it’s the witness of what lies
beyond the terror and the fear
that modern day living

*I’m just experimenting with words…

Mark Nepo: Loving Yourself


Ka Malana Photography, January 20, 2019

I really wanted to share a meditation from Mark Nepo’s, “The Book of Awakening,” p.29., 2000. I’m relating back to my precocious friend who told me about Martin Buber when I was about age 14, as the beginning quote below is from him. I find Mark Nepo’s own words to be incredibly poetic when he draws the analogy of the “clear bird.”

This passage is a meditation on what is not seen by others, and at the same time is full-circle and inclusive – not unlike viewing an eclipse in its unveiling/veiling moments of transformation. There is no dichotomy here drawn about self-love, from that of any other kind of love, or from even existence itself.

Loving Yourself

I begin to realize that in inquiring about my own origin and goal, I am inquiring about something other than myself… In this very realization I begin to recognize the origin and goal of the world.  –Martin Buber

“In loving ourselves, we love the world. For just as fire, rock, and water are all made up of molecules, everything including you and me, is connected by a small piece of the beginning.

Yet, how do we love ourselves? It is as difficult at times as seeing the back of your head. It can be as elusive as it is necessary. I have tried and tripped many times. And I can only say that loving yourself is like feeding a clear bird that no one else can see. You must be still and offer your palmful of secrets like delicate seed. As she eats your secrets, no longer secret, she glows and you lighten, and her voice, which only you can hear, is your voice bereft of plans. And the light through her body will bathe you till you wonder why the gems in your palm were ever fisted. Others will think you crazed to wait on something no one sees. But the clear bird only wants to feed and fly and sing. She only wants light in her belly. And once in a great while, if someone loves you enough, they might see her rise from the nest beneath your fear.

In this way, I’ve learned that loving yourself requires courage unlike any other. It requires us to believe in and stay loyal to something no one else can see that keeps us in the world–our own self-worth.

All the great moments of conception–the birth of mountains, trees, of fish, of prophets, and the truth of relationships that last–all begin where no one can see, and it is our job not to extinguish what is so beautifully begun. For once full of light, everything is safely on its way–not pain-free, but unencumbered–and the air beneath your wings is the same air that trills in my throat, and the empty benches in snow are as much a part of us as the empty figures who slouch on them in spring.

When we believe in what no one else can see, we find we are each other. And all the moments of living, no matter how difficult, come back into some central point where self and world are one, where light pours in and out at once. And once there, I realize–make real before me–that this moment, whatever it might be, is a fine moment to live and fine moment to die.”

Small note about astrology: I am relieved to see the end of the 18/19 year eclipse series with the eclipses in Aquarius/Leo (Tropical zodiac). This last Leo eclipse was in Cancer/Capricorn nodes, but it was symbolically the end and the beginning of another chapter.

a poet understands

Mary Oliver has passed
and her memory goes on,
like a fading song, too soon.

that gently when the lyrical sound
gets turned down,

you reach for her words
as this is what she gave you,
not her essence.

her essence belongs to the
great beyond and the
silent moments she helped you
reflect on your own insides,

borrowing her voice,

pointing to droplets of dew on shards of grass,
wind through the wings of Wild Geese,

your own strength.

* * *

Mary Oliver’s
The Journey

Mary Oliver
The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Writer’s Block

Major writers block,
road block
pathway is a wall
of difficulty,
no climbing tools today,
better focus on what
“can be done.”

Climbing shoes on,
but it’s too hot,
the air is a bit
oppressive. Maybe we
can go home?

But we can’t, have to
keep going.

Rest on the wall, by the
wall, facing the wall.
Seeing the wall,
acknowledging the wall.

Maybe we can unpoliticalize
unseat this bad master
that sets us all apart from

Or worse, from ourselves?

Climbing that wall,
will have to happen another day…

I only follow my own

and one day –
that will get me over
the wall, through the wall,

invisablizing the wall.

de-solidifying, penetrating,
star-gazing away that wall.

Maybe it will dissolve,

get flooded with water, and
revitalized with plants.

Maybe that wall can be decorated
with all the graffiti founded
in the expression
that alleviates all our oppression,

We are united only in our
mutual desire for freedom
of authority. Don’t you see?

We need to be the boss of ourselves.

Fierce Orchid

You carry a riddle in your roots;
your leaves fresh, anterior, alert.
Perhaps a keiki in your future.

How strong you are in your aerial
apparatus, and your submerged green
fresh and fleshy chlorophyll tendrils.

Wrapping is what you are good at,
climbing, living, breathing through
soil, air, elements.

Your home is thick with fog and mist,
and your styles are unique, while full
of mimicry.

I walk forward

No fear in this busy being
of light of hope of faith
of trust

She guides me so effortlessly,
sitting beside the stream
of life of wisdom of

When I listen to her
my mind, my openness, travels
into time into space
into realms into

She becomes me and
I am her, and you and
he, and we, we are
all together
gathering it in,
this moment of passing

acknowledging all
is beside us, behind us,
in front of us, before us,
ready to be discovered
above us
around us.