The Garden

If you could have something named after you, what would it be?

“As you approach the end of the coastal trail, you are invited to sit and rest at the richly landscaped Garden of Meditation. Here, a variety of evergreens and perennial flowers call to songbirds year round. You are welcome to sit and relax on one of twelve hand-carved benches, each adorned with a brass plate bearing a word of reminder about things we consider fundamental to our life together on the planet we call home.

“You are invited to Breathe, Listen, and Give; to Sing, Rejoice, and Forgive. Take time to reflect on Love, Compassion, or Gratitude; Peace, Mercy, or Truth.

“Enjoy one of the most beautiful and scenic views of our coastal region while receiving the gift of rest and renewal.”

The Garden of Meditation was made possible by a gift to the State Department of Cultural Enrichment from an anonymous donor in 2045.

Flow-State of Being

Neanderthal bone flute of Divje Babe

So – where are we? Here we are, in a flow-state of constant becoming. Out of the messiness, the humanness, of us,

(dissonance and harmony, distortions and clarities, visions and nightmares). We are these self-contained xenomorphs,

somewhat strange to ourselves, somewhat a mystery to others, but nonetheless learning who and what we are.

We really are in a state of flow between then and now, between now and when. We make of our art a day, and our day an art.

We write scripts for how we work and play, playing while we work; not to box ourselves in, but to set us free from wandering

around with nowhere to be at any time. We come into a space and make ourselves at home in these houses of skin and

bone, as if we belonged there, which we do, because that house was made for you.

There you curate your business – the very thing you are doing now – and listen to the deepest voice of things for instructions

(who will oftener say: make a choice and trust it). Then we practice stillness and trusting in the doing, unlike the one who is

constantly anxious that something could go wrong. We aren’t forcing a thing, but allowing energy to move through us.

Then, thus sifted and sorted, filtered and lengthened, we find ourselves opening out like petals onto pages and find we are

flowing in stages, and we dance ourselves into being.

Borne On Currents

Photo by Arnie Chou on

Again, I say:

I will attend to my inner housekeeping

my vibrational hygiene

my spirit cleansing…

I lay myself out

flatten into the bottom

and melt into the earth

which is my mother,

releasing, relinquishing everything

as I came into this life

and will go out,

from ground to ground

element to element

energy to energy,

for everything is given, is a gift

and nothing worth receiving is not…

I am free, floating

on the current which

takes me wherever it will

For I was never saved

until I was,

when it was time

for me to receive

the baptism of surrender

to that which is greater than me,

than me, than me…

And so,

whichever door is opened

that will I pass through

and whichever is closed I will forget

moving about

with the energy loaned to me

for a little while along the path I see,

little and by little

carrying gratitude easily

for the gift it is…

for the gift everything is.

The Voices I Hear

Tragedy by Richard Croft is licensed under CC-BY-SA 2.0

I now weigh all the voices

on the scales within my heart

to measure out their weight

and to tell them right apart.

I set thereon the voices

of the scripted top officials

the righteous barked dogmatics

the objective high judicials.

I place upon it all these there

and watch them float into the air.

I then set here the voices

of young fathers and of mothers

weeping for their children

and crying out for others

killed within the halls

of schools or halls of churches

and the heartsick anguished voices

of the mindtorn stricken teachers

weighing over the price to pay

for staying sick and burdened

for doing what they hoped

or for finally walking away.

The weight all those voices

is dropped heavy down and down

as if to linger there awhile

with those buried in the ground.


Never would I have gone

if I had known where it would take me

The quicker I’d have turned away

if I had glimpsed what it would cost me

Funny how these things work

Funny how these things flow

You do the housekeeping

so you only know what you know

Never would I have chosen

if I had seen the disappointments

The sooner I’d have opted out

if I had understood the risks

Funny how these things run

Funny how these things go

You do the daily chores

so you only know what you know

And if I’d known what was coming

I’d never see what I can see

and how much joy it was to find

Who I never dreamed I’d be

Eyes Wide Open

Photo by Jan Laugesen on

You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.

You can explain why drinking water can be very helpful.

You can have an entire philosophical argument behind you for why you’re in the business of leading horses to water.

You can have a six-month plan mapped out for how to support the horse after it gets a taste of the water, and how to use the energy derived from drinking and staying hydrated.

You can have all this, and show the water, and demonstrate drinking from it.

Still, you cannot make it drink.

The horse must choose to drink. It must want to drink, even to get a taste. It must be thirsty for it, and see in it a chance to do and be what it can’t do and be now.

Keep your eyes wide open for thirsty horses.

Give Me A Home


how a three-chord ambient sound

repeating over and over

for a half hour or more at a time

can hold me –

Major mode largo

effexed for deep tone and soft transitions

moving like a quiet slow-rolling river

in no hurry to get anywhere

My soul to flow like that

So give me that home

where the mysteries roam

and the violins quietly play

where never is heard

a discouraging word

and my mind is not clouded all day

Culmination of Collaboration

Rub a dub, three men in a recording studio, where the talk is like the music itself, which

is in play and in flux and is a form of communication underscored by a form of communion of which astrophysicists speak after sitting at a black board for months to work the terms of a black hole until it all finally falls into its proper actuation, with

the nominal and phenomenal exception that we don’t know where we’re going while floating in this tonal tub, but we’re working it all the same, as

phraseologies and currents of frequency bounce off three pairs of ears, of oars in the water, processed

through three separate brains in real time and sometimes you struggle to say what you’re thinking next, but

we all hear with more than our physiognomy and it always works one way or the other in real time,

four-quarter time, syncopated and synchronized in that shared space of rolling signal flow, now

then again the air is punctuated by the emotional high of a sequence that comes together, a trio of voiced rejoicing, the sound coalesced into fruition, the kind of which you never saw coming and therefore is all the sweeter for the fruit.

You happy? You good? I’m so good, we’re all so fine with it, we’re all so very fine. This is music, not as determination or even destination, but soley the process of getting somewhere by good intention and faith the size of a semitone. If the whole world knew that kind of magic, why…

it would feel like we could all say adios to war.

Four naked children dancing by Johan Teyler (1648-1709). Original from The Rijksmuseum. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel. by Rijksmuseum is licensed under CC-CC0 1.0

I’d Rather Be In Sydney

It’s an absolutely beautiful day out here in the North American Pacific Northwest.

Rain is softly falling. It had snowed the 24 hours before, leaving a soft, wet cover of white on everything. Then the temperature moderated a bit and the rains have been falling since early morning. It is cold, of course, but not quite as cold as it has been the last week or so. The entire continent has been laboring under an apparently unusual series of winter storms.

As the rain falls it warms the snows previously fallen, and turns them to a semi-transparent state somewhere between snow and rain and ice. Somehow the cold air is colder than it must otherwise have been because it is now so blatently wet, cutting through the layers of fabric we wear to the pores of the skin, causing us to feel that going outside at all is a heartless thing to be doing – something akin to Shackleton and his crew shuffling across the antantarctic. Fortunately for us, winter’s outings are limited to short walks from the door to the car, or from the door to the garbage bin just a few feet away. Or from the door to the edge of the deck where we can watch the dog fetch the things we throw, hoping the dog will get it over with sooner rather than later – and get its piss and shit over with as expeditiously as possible to boot.

The sky is as white as the ground, which white is disappearing fast under the gentle influence of the cold, cold rain, inhospitable to man and beast alike. Everywhere now is a slush, a mush. The birds, hunkered, have nothing to say about it.

Come to think of it, though the thermometer says 40 degrees Farenheit, my entire countenance and frame says rather minus 12, or thereabouts, with humidity at 152 percent. Or something.

It’s an absolutely beautiful day.

Super Nova

His name is Nova. It really is.

I have never met anyone named Nova, boy or girl.

He is small compared to the other kids in his class. He is frighteningly articulate for his age. He knows things that I don’t know. Who is this kid? I’m told he reads far above his age level. Clearly, he’s being trained at home by intelligent, proactive parents. Or, he carries more than the usual amount of extra-terrestrial DNA.

When he wants your attention he doesn’t raise his hand, like everyone else. He says, “Um, excuse me? Um, excuse me?” He can be very persistent, but never raises his voice. Yes, he’s being schooled.

And he likes it. It makes him feel strong and very, very powerful. Is this parental compensation strategy? Is this how they help him feel not so little, not so less-than?

“Today, we’re going to do something different,” I start out. “Today you’re not going to use loops for creating a music mix. Other people created that stuff. Today you’re going to start learning how to create your own music from scratch.”

“Um, excuse me? Um, Excuse me?”

“Yes, Nova.”

“Um, I would prefer to use the loops today.”

“We’re not going to use the loops today. We’re going to learn how to start making our own music.”

Nova looks down at his pad, or possibly the table, or possibly nothing, and his face tightens, constricts. He looks pissed. It happens.

Then, the tears start. Ope, he’s not angry. He’s sad, possibly mad-sad because he can’t have his way. But this is, after all, extended learning time. He knows the ropes.

Then he mumbles something.

“What’s that, Nova? I can’t hear you?” says the high school helper sitting next to him. I lean in.

“I don’t think I can do this,” he says. His voice is quivering.

Oh, of course. Sometimes I forget. He’s afraid. He’s scared stiff. I’ve hit that nerve. I’ve seen that before, too, but mostly in teenagers who say, “I’m bored,” or, “I don’t feel so good.”

Nova may be a high-level reader and he may know stuff, but he’s a kid. He’s a little kid, and kids can feel vulnerable at the drop of a hat, especially if they have superpowers. Kryptonite is real shit.

I came right alongside of him and said, “What’s your name?”

He looks up at me as if possibly I just lost my marbles. “Nova,” he says.

“That’s right. Do you know what it means?”

“Yes. It’s the explosion of a star.”

“Well, that’s part of it, yes. They gave the name Nova to that kind of thing. But do you know what Nova means? Nova comes from the Latin,” I say.

I get out my smart dictionary.

“Latin is a dead language,” he proclaims. He knows stuff.

I show it to him: Mid 19th century (originally denoting a newly discovered or newly visible star or nebula): from Latin, feminine of novus ‘new’.

“Your name means New.”

He’s looking at it, then at me. Apparently, no one told him.

“Today you’ll know the real meaning of your name. You’re going to make music that is new because it’s yours, not anyone else’s. It will be something that no one else on the planet has ever done.”

I show him how to get started. I tell him to turn on his metronome (he knew what that was before anyone else in the room).

“Listen to it,” I say. “Listen real close. Now punch this chord.” He does. “Now this one.” He does.

Within a minute he’s punching chords to the beat, which he understands. Which we’ve clapped a hundred times. I hit the record button. After eight bars I press stop.

“Okay, go to your track window.” He knows how to do that.

“Play it,” I say. He does.

“Listen to what you did.”

“That sounds good, Nova!” says the high school helper. She’s not blowing smoke. It really does.

“Okay, now, now choose a beat loop that fits your piano part.” Reward time, but with a kick.

I walk away. He knows how to do loops. When I return after checking on other students, I see that Nova has six other tracks added. He looks up at me.

“Okay, I’m done,” he says. In that way that kids do when they are ready to show you what they’ve accomplished. He hits play. There it is.

“That’s your music, Nova. That’s new music and it’s yours. Way to go.”

I tell him he should save it. He knows how to do that. This is the title he gives it: Supernova.

Dragon slayed.