None of Those Things

The Shambhala teachings speak of “effortless effort,” the quality of effort without struggle. I’ve never been very good at this myself – at one point in my career my nickname was “the bulldozer.”  But I’m workin’ on it…

This poem speaks to it as will a “Reflection” that I’ll publish soon.

sunset sky

sunset clouds

none of those things

there’s a voice in my head

that drives me to try,

always

to seek to change the shape

 

of the world, the insidious

insistence that simply living

within this life is

 

insufficient.

 

knee deep in the stream,

nothing I do seems to alter its course.

my hands grow numb

from holding back the water,

 

from trying to force it

back up the mountain.

 

we manufacture none of those things

that might actually

save us.

 

drop the sharp tools, the knives

the axes

and the snaggle-toothed saws.

the heart’s work is to stop

 

striving,

 

to attend

to this day completely,

to bear witness — come,

 

let’s find ourselves a hillside

and watch the gathering of the clouds.

 

the grass here is cool beneath our feet.

perhaps in the deep night

the waters will again begin to rise,

 

but for today,

ours is but to abide,

 

and await the coming of the rains.

 

 

©jafink/oldbones.newsnow.com

chilidish things

 I was walking in a bookstore when the phrase, “we always believed that she could fly” came into my mind, loudly.  That night, a poem arose.  The details are from my mother’s memorial….

 

tombstone, child's grave

detail of weathered tombstone, barnett, VT

 

 

chilidish things 

 

we stood in a circle about the grave

some read poems and some

 

chose silence. the funeral director

placed her ashes into the hole

 

while redwing blackbirds sang

in the fields. we always assumed

 

that she could fly, but then we

were only children, eager to cling

 

to childish things

 

 

 

©jafink/oldbones.newsnow.com

Rock, River, Sand – Feeling the Grand Canyon….

In a second reflection on “where poems come from,” sometimes you find yourself in a place so intense that you must write about it. Problematically, when it’s a place as iconic as the bottom of the Grand Canyon, well, it’s almost impossible to do so in anything close to a fresh way. But you have to try…

This poem and the accompanying image came from a photo trip down the colorado in April of 2014 lead by a terrific Utah photographer, Willie Holdman.

Here’s a link to a gallery of the southwest from Willie’s photo site…

Willie Holdman Photography

And here’s a link to my complete gallery of Grand Canyon Images from that trip…

JFink Images Grand Canyon Gallery

Peace,

Jeff

nankoweap granaries, colorado river

Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, April 2014, at sunset just below the Nankoweap Granaries

 

rock river sand

 

and light, dancing

the eye of the raven, his ragged

 

wing, vishnu’s

impassive face, creator

 

and destroyer.

time made solid, layered

 

rim to river to rim. the ghosts

of the grandfathers

 

watching from the high walls

as we pass, encased

 

in our tiny stories.

the canyon

 

doesn’t care, the river continues

carving — deeper, deeper

 

into the dark heart of the world

 

 

©jafink/oldbones.newsnow.com