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Letter Box On Line (LBOL) Files #18

  • Section A: January 15, 2004
  • Section B: February 15, 2004
  • Section C: March 15, 2004
  • Section D: April 15, 2004
  • Section E: May 15, 2004
  • Section F: .................................................................. Jun 15, 2004

    Dorset, England

      DIVINE DRAMA
      (Lila, Non Duality)

      What then is ultimately heard
      is singing in a singing bird—
      what then left of her's or his,
      is it everything there is?
      Is there room for your's or mine
      is it sacred and divine?
      Is it verb and also noun,
      is it knower and the known?
      Is it world and solar aspect
      all of object and of subject?

      Is it the patient and the nurse,
      the in and outward universe?
      If all we sensed were ever true
      would it,in playfulness, be you?

    There are a lot of my poems wanting to speak on www.mysticseed.com

    Roy Austin
    troya@onetel.com

    Tucson, AZ

    Here are two poems: something old and something new. I hope neither is too awfully blue. The first is really an ode to my parents. They were simple Midwesterners, my father born in West Virginia and my mother in Kentucky. The second is a simple sonnet. It sort of took its own direction as I lay in bed listening to the cars go by on the busy streetcorner where I live. And it is about who I am and how I feel at the present time.

      THE THOMAS HART BENTON PRINT

      Got in to my folks house
      A Friday night, drove down
      From Monterey to L.A.
      Tarzana, suburb where I grew up

      It's July, summer heat
      The grapes are filling out on a vine
      On a back fence, My Dad's
      Garden, though he's eighty-eight

      It's night, the first thing
      I notice in their living room
      Is an old Thomas Hart Benton print
      A barn in profile, a man closing a gate

      A black and white print
      Of the power of the people
      Of this land years ago
      Dusty farm upheld by stubborn will

      Captured in a print
      Signed by the artist
      Hanging on the wall of this house
      Of my parents, American originals

      Now in their eighties
      Still keeping a half acre place
      Garden, lawns, the whole bit . . .
      My Dad moves slowly, steadying himself now and then

      They have a parakeet I gave to them
      Three years ago after their pet rooster died
      And ended the sound of morning crowing
      In this L.A. suburban cityscape

      The parakeet is sick, my Mother says
      "He chirped a lot for three days,
      And now he's been quiet for two"
      This morning he breathed hard, obviously weak

      Late in the morning my Mother says
      "He's dying." I go look to see
      The parakeet is still alert
      But inexplicably distressed and weak

      I get him out of the cage into my hand
      To comfort the little bundle
      Of feathers and light
      Struggling with the last extremity

      The small bird does not struggle
      In my hand, but seems comforted,
      Then shakes and trembles
      The extremity coming to the extreme

      The bird shudders violently
      And then is still, head drooping
      Eyes wide but no motion in the body,
      A tiny spark torn loose from matter

      I tell my Mother "He's gone"
      Showing her the lifeless body in my hand
      She smiles a sad knowing smile
      Says "He sure was a good bird"

      Death has come with its
      Punctuation mark
      To a small life,
      A warbling part of larger lives

      My Father walks outside
      To get a post hole digger
      To dig a grave
      I say "Let me do that"

      He shows me where he wants it
      Near the garden where he grows
      A few squash and tomatoes
      After eighty-eight years still a farmboy

      Like the man in the print
      By Thomas Hart Benton
      A man of the earth, strong in knowing
      That what comes from the earth

      Must return to the earth
      Knowing with an ancient knowing
      Learned in the bones from
      A lifetime of working the earth

      He was taken from the country
      To the city, but the country
      Was never taken from the boy
      Its wisdom abiding in his years

      I dig the grave in the summer's heat
      In the shade of the plum tree
      He brings the body in a plastic bag
      I lay it in the shallow grave
      He has a shovel and takes the dirt
      From the pile I made
      And covers the small feathered corpse
      In completion of the cycle of the earth

      Walking back to the house
      I remark on the abundant
      Clusters of small grapes
      On the deep green spreading vine

      He points to the one vine trunk
      And says it was only last year
      That the vine began to bear
      And now it stretches in abundance

      The afternoon is muted and sad
      But in the unspoken words
      The quiet strength of the earth speaks
      Like the dusty farm in the Benton print

      TRAFFIC NOISE AND STILLNESS

      My plastic cup of wine is red and cold
      A measuring cup if truth be told
      I sit in bed at night and hear the sounds
      Of cars on the busy street my house bounds

      Sometimes a silence comes when no cars come
      And then I feel stillness like a kingdom
      Silence is a virtue seldom had here
      Except when 3 AM comes idling near

      Tucson Arizona is a small town
      And I am only one small crazy clown
      A disabled accountant to be true
      Seriously mentally ill I rue

      Being mad is not such a sad affair
      It's more like taking God out on a dare

    Chris Lovette
    cwlovette@cox.net

    Carmel Valley, CA

      THE MORNING OF DECEMBER 31ST
      (For Nancy 3/23/46 - 12/31/03)

      The last day of the year
      the phone rings.
      I don't rush
      on the way to the hospital,
      feel no panic,
      having made a similar journey
      a few months before.

      I enter the ER waiting area,
      slip into a chair beside her lover,
      offer him my arms
      to hold his evident fear.

      A nurse comes, says to us
      the doctor would like to talk with you
      in the quiet room.
      I condense the news
      I sense is coming
      to a manageable pinpoint of light.

      The doctor says he is sorry,
      they could not bring her back.
      I hesitate,
      back from where?

      A drawn out wail
      escapes from my throat.
      I forget for a moment
      all but my own anguish.

      Then we cling to each other,
      her companion and I,
      in sudden shared sorrow.
      A medical explanation is offered,
      possible cause and effect.

      A chaplain appears
      I repress my ancient anger
      at the uselessness of faith.
      He prays with us,
      but I hold my heart
      in the only hands I trust.

      They say we can see her
      if we want,
      warn us she has been intubated.
      We stand beside her sheet-draped body
      to say goodbye.

      Her matted hair is pushed back
      from her forehead,
      her skin a peculiar gray-brown,
      lower jaw slack, mouth propped open
      by a breathing tube
      that holds no breath.

      We speak to her as if she hear,
      with those closed ears,
      touch her shoulder as if she can feel
      our warm hands.
      His tender dark fingers
      caress her cheek.

      A nurse gives us the only jewelry
      she wore today, a black cord holding
      five letters that spell F-L-I-R-T.
      Even in death, she invites a smile.

    Laura Bayless
    ctblaura@redshift.com

    Carmel Valley, CA

      LIGHT VERSE

      Poetry knocks on the door
      invites me to play
      to catch words
      toss them into a delightful order
      before evening illumination
      pays attention to the dark.

    Illia Thompson
    Illia99@aol.com

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    Section E: .................................................................. May 15, 2004
    Del Rey Oaks

      PARIS 4-1-04

      lightening spread across the sky
      striking back the blue green dark
      filling the air with its smell
      wrapping time in mortal shreds
      pulling life from beneath the sea

      PARIS IN THE SPRING

      Paris in the spring
      stripped to its bones
      leafless trees
      blooming plums
      you can tell the tourist
      they clutch hold their purse
      staring at the sky
      praying that culture
      will strike them
      whole
      bird sounds and pansies
      tulips in their beds
      some trees blooming
      others still leafless
      the city of light.

    Stephen Brown
    SteveArtis@aol.com

    Dorset, England

      US

      What then of this
      that time would drown,
      the holy face of bliss
      found fathoms down,
      as earth gives up her secrets so
      then what does anybody know?
      What now of wisdom
      life often hides the truth
      that flies on wings of myth,
      'til we perceieve the evidence
      of prehistoric us,
      sitting in the lotus!

    There are a lot of my poems wanting to speak on www.mysticseed.com

    Roy Austin
    troya@onetel.com

    Salinas, CA

      Golden Lioness
      Defender of Ideals
      Protects her young pride

    [Laura's photo collage 2]

    Laura Carley
    LCarleyCat@aol.com

    Carmel Valley, CA

      MODERN FAIRY TALE

      I trail bread crumbs
      in shapes that call,
      small portions of lore offer
      scent of self for others to inhale

      Occasionally I look back
      view travelers tasting
      some taking seconds
      provisions for endurance.

      It matters most
      that I leave just a bit
      of myself behind
      offer that as sustenance.

      That way
      I do not become
      too fat
      too proud
      nor too lonely.

    Illia Thompson Illia99@aol.com

    Marina, CA

    NOTES TO MY SON

    The other day, our church philosophy group had an interesting topic, one that dealt with defining yourself. It included a funny quote by Kirk Douglas, who, when picking up a hitchhiker, was amused by the question "do you know who you are?" It led to his realization that "it's a question we all must ask ourselves." And this is true, we all must from time do, as they say in the science fiction shows, a 'complete diagnostic.' Self- awareness, the thing which we assume separates us from other animals, comes with a price-a mind capable of stark assessment of who and what we are, other than very small specks in a very large universe. Each of us answers that question differently, depending on our past, our personality and our developmental life stage. If I were to ask you this question, for example, you would proudly answer "I'm Jason," as if that were enough because the whole and wonderful you was encompassed quite nicely by your name. If I were to ask myself, the first instinct would be to say that I do not have the slightest clue as to who I am. Of course I know what I am, a female physical being taking up space, but who I am is a question that should be at least examined, if I am to claim any sort of honest approach to life. So who am I? The short answer to that—I am a mommy. Taking care of your physical, intellectual, and emotional needs takes up a very large space in my inner landscape and defines a great deal of my private self. But at the same time I am fully aware that one cannot define that self in terms of any role, regardless of how satisfying that role may be. There is more to a person than that more than just the labels Life thrusts in your path. I cannot say 'wife' or even 'teacher' or 'writer' and fully encompass all aspects of my thoughts and my reactions to the world. Much of who I am is here, in these pages, at times coherent, at times blithering and rambling and probably mind numbing; elements which are fairly typical in human beings. I could conceivably list my most salient character traits—inner strength, sporadic bursts of logical thinking, wry sardonic sense of humor, capability to love deeply—and it would just be a laundry list, fairly meaningless in value. There is no way, I think, to explain what the mind's, eye sees when picturing our own selves. There are no words for it, it is simply an image that takes everything about you in, all at once. How do you explain or express that? I have no idea. So, failing to come up with a comprehensive and philosophical response to the question "who am I," I'll turn to the utterly ridiculous and quote Popeye "I yam what I am and that's all that I yam." That in a nutshell, sums it up as well as anything else.

    Olga Chandler

    Big Sur, CA

      UNTITLED

      in the forest of my mind grow the trees of my heart.
      i'm walking there, beside waterfalls of feeling that
      never desire to be explained. i'm walking there,
      through the moss of no mystic's trailing glory, over
      the boulders of another beginning, another end.
      every forest is my longing's deceptve cry.
      suddenly my tears have died... my lips, moist and
      mute care not but to try once again to capture one
      illusionary moment of freedom before the last tree
      falls, fleshless in the flickering twilight.

    David Dunn
    ddunn3@earthlink.net

    Tucson, AZ

      DEEPER EXPERIENCE

      If you want to experience a poem
      Be arrested for some misdemeanor
      That will be the beginning of it
      When you feel the handcuffs behind your back
      Feel the cuffs bite until the wrist nerves crimp

      If you want a special added attraction
      Pepper spray in your eyes will provide it
      The paramedics might then come to you
      Hosing your eyes while you keep them open
      And you get into the patrol car wet

      The jailers treat you with amused contempt
      Leading you to a cell with barren walls
      An eight by eight cell with a metal cot
      Metal concrete and brick are yours to keep
      Until you know that you are unwanted

      Try to sleep near the urinal on the floor
      The floor was mopped but on the metal bed
      Are urine and what looks like feces stains
      Old timers say "Sack time is easy time."
      So try to get lots of sleep on the floor

      The jailers like to play the TV loud
      Especially from one to three AM
      It makes the night shift go a bit quicker
      And when it's over they leave the jailed scum
      {If prisoners aren't scum they wouldn't be there}

      You must be arraigned within 24 hours
      Taken to court in your cuffs and shackles
      The good judge will treat you like a number
      Tell you what you will do and threaten you
      With more time in jail if you don' t do them

      You will not leave until the judge says so
      And when the jailers do your paperwork
      Which will not take more than six or eight hours
      When you will be free to go attend your hurts
      And get out of the way of those jailers

      If you listened well you will have heard it
      The timeless wisdom of the jail cell walls
      Some know they are losers and some are taught
      Some innocents soundlessly ask "Why this?"
      But the human spirit speaks from those bleak walls

    Chris Lovette
    cwlovette@cox.net

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    Section D: .................................................................. April 15, 2004
    Dorset, England

      DID NO ONE HEAR!

      Listening to that little thrush
      singing in the midnight hush,
      beyond the spire, above the yew
      as if the stars were listening, too,
      so crystal clear, beyond the word—
      a cosmos in that little bird;
      remote to count the miles in years
      but then, they do through us, have ears,
      in silence, with the earth asleep;
      a miracle beyond the veil
      did no one hear the nightingale!

      SUN. DAY. NIGHT.

      Mourning dove is in the wood,
      rainbow through my observations,
      sun sets on the mountain top
      giving back the constellations,
      nightjar mimics in the air
      round an empty house of prayer;
      wonder fills my awe-struck mind
      high above the sleeping land,
      stars are written out tonight
      by another author's hand.

    There are a lot of my poems wanting to speak on www.mysticseed.com

    Roy Austin
    troya@onetel.com

    Salinas, CA

      Tiny rosebuds bloom
      In chilly rains of Winter
      With the breath of grace.

    [Laura's photo collage]

    Laura Carley
    LCarleyCat@aol.com

    San Jose, CA

      NIGHT SHIFT

      Here I am, an old man
      Waking up late at night,
      Disturbed by dreams
      Clawing for attention.
      Strange dreams of anger and rage.
      Fierce furies are on the loose
      During fickle sleep of this age,
      Fading into shadows unknown
      The moment I come to myself.

      Into darkness I must descend
      To recover old rubbish
      Discarded in youthful days
      When feelings became so painful.
      Barely forgotten the pain
      Just settled into the bones
      As a constant reminder,
      A reminder not heeded for years:
      Attend! Tender Attention!

      I have become used to pain,
      Less frightened by feelings.
      It is time to climb down,
      To sift carefully through my rubbish
      And salvage fragments of my life.

    Franz Spickhoff
    franz@sj.znet.com

    Wuppertal, Germany

      TIME TO THANK FOR THE ROSES
      (a reminder for all who have forgotten...)

      I love life like roses,
      full beauty blossoming
      an infatuous fragrance
      leads even blind eyes.

      Already I had known
      these lovely promises
      during childhood's sheltered happiness
      touching treasures from above
      parents' arms held me with love.

      Then starting on my own
      life so huge and I not grown
      having forgotten how to love
      everything seemed strange and tough.
      I was mean and hopeless
      between hurting green bushes
      filled with hate and despair
      ignorant, fighting,
      thought it were
      scratchy thorns, biting,
      whilst there
      higher up the wonder was waiting.

      Patience and love made me grow
      and out of a sudden
      happiness did show
      again,
      so now I dare
      with all open hearts share
      a poem.
      I embrace life and you friendly,
      even the unhappy enemy,
      thank God, parents, lovers, family,
      and sing of life's beauty
      gratefully.

    Hiltrud Mueller
    mmhiue@t-online.de

    Fair Oaks, CA

      THAT VOICE

      Inside my head
      lives a loathsome creature I call
      THAT VOICE.
      Shrill,
      insistent,
      demeaning,
      THAT VOICE
      lives to create
      havoc with my mind
      and terrorize my heart.

      In no uncertain terms,
      THAT VOICE
      reminds me
      over and over and over again
      that I do not measure up,
      I will never succeed,
      I am just not good enough.

      THAT VOICE
      is thrilled with my doubts,
      feeds on my fears,
      and paralyzes me with
      never-ending comparisons,
      judgments of my
      numerous shortcomings.

      Sometimes, though,
      THAT VOICE
      is quiet and still,
      allowing courage to
      thrive and peace to come in,
      but it doesn't last.

      THAT VOICE
      is strong
      and cannot be stopped.
      It renews the war
      with spiteful enthusiasm
      and I sink under the weight
      of it's terrible, painful words,
      choosing to believe
      in my own
      blackened
      failure
      to
      be.

    Carol Mathew-Rogers
    Mathewrogers@lanset.com

    Santa Paula, CA

      When I was a young medical student in the early 1970's I thought that by the year 2000 serious diseases like cancer and heart disease would be things of the past. My faith in science bordered on the religious. Like others in my school, I also thought the primary mission of physicians was to sustain and prolong life. What I did not begin to see until later was the part about sustaining life at all costs. It seemed somehow comforting to focus on the ills of the body and the many ways of addressing them. The ills of the mind and emotions were far too hidden, too complex, and often too scary to be faced openly.

      After my father, an old fashioned GP who made house calls, died of cancer I felt like my souls had shattered. My confidence in my medical training was shaken to it's roots. His suffering from radiation and chemotherapy, his facial mutilation and loss of speech from repeated surgeries, and his depresion and mental confusion broke my heart. A terrible anger welled up inside me, as if I had been violated and betrayed. Medicine would never feel the same to me again.

      Other relatives died of cancer. I watched them suffer with numbed emotion because my expectations had been rudely lowered by my father's ordeal. Science was no longer my religion, and out of that change, a great longing was born in me. Where was I going to put my faith? In what was I going to believe? I tried to settle for the small victories medicine could provide, but the deep longing in my heart grew over time.

      Medicine kept me busy. There were always new treatments, procedures, and studies. I tried to stay focused on the tasks of the practice. Yet gradually I began to question the need to prolong life at all costs and realized how terrified most people are of dying. I certainly was.

      Despite my activities I also began to notice an exceptional person every now and then. There were attitudes and emotional qualities in these people that grabbed my attention like no medical book or lecture ever had. I tried to sense what made these people stand out, and I came up with words like courage, peace, strength. Yet that was not all.

      I began to notice that some people accept death calmly because they live life fully and believe that life does not end. These were not necessarily religious people who had visions of a heaven in the hereafter as a reward for having been good on earth. These people seemed to have an immunity to the directives of society about what not to eat, what pills to take, how much money to make, what to buy, where to live, how to look, and how to live. My guess was that they listened to some inner directions that had nothing to do with my prescriptions, warnings or advice. Though at first my ego was hurt, I loved it!! I watched some die peacefully without pills, shots, or tubing of any sort, because they demanded that right.

      I watched some live with joy though they were not the richest, the slimmest, the prettiest or the most educated. It opened my own heart to see that ordinary people could be happy simply because their lungs were breathing, their hearts were beating and they felt intensely alive. My warnings and prescriptions made no sense to some because, after all, what did they really have to do with living in the richness of love.

      Technology and science have made strides over time. Medicine has some great successes that allow longer and more productive lives for many people. If our technology and our science can be used lovingly and respectfully, I believe a new era of health will dawn on planet earth. The good news is that this is possible, and that there are people who can help us understand love more deeply. They are here living life eternal right now.

    Jemille Hardy
    jemille@medscape.com

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    Section C: .................................................................. March 15, 2004
    Dorset, England

      LOVE OF THE FORGOTTEN

      The heaven I see
      is that look in your eyes,
      you never quite hear
      or listen to lies,

      and never quite you
      there, that stands at the sink,
      and never me, but
      one soul at the brink;

      one soul forgotten
      and one soul that is wise—
      beyond conception,
      beyond our demise.

    There are a lot of my poems wanting to speak on www.mysticseed.com

    Roy Austin
    troya@onetel.com

    Monterey, CA

      UNTITLED

      I have come to this place without a map or a compass. It feels like potency vibrating life. These cells of mine know their purpose and function. They know more than this mind comprehends. If it is true that all reality is occurring in now time, a part of me is already home, and sends me glimpses of a future greatly to be desired.

      Divine order guides the stars across the night sky. The moon sheds beauty in every phase in her sequential passages. By day, sunlight dances in delightful flashes, and I am entranced. Nature embraces like a magical grandmother, adorned in crimson, gold, greens, lavenders and blues. I adore her lush scents, her coolness after a sudden shower.

      Who I am is almost beside the point. What do I know after all? I am a part of life, and depend upon the generosity of others, and of Mother Nature. All of it serenades my soul. As long as I can, I hope to live fully, love passionately, and remain conscious of what I want to be and do. Within me is a divine spark that glows brighter as I share myself in my own way. I want to participate fully because I love life. It never stops teaching me.

    Shirley Tofte

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    Section B: .................................................................. February 15, 2004

    Del Rey Oaks

      BEGAN THE SUN

      now setting
      began the sun
      holding for all
      to see
      ancient ways
      across the silver bay
      rainbow fog
      beneath the sun
      light filling sky
      mystery hidden
      covered to begin
      pearl place
      in soul
      the legend says
      we cannot cross
      the golden grass
      where the samurai warrior
      arose
      sword in hand
      arrows poised
      to draw the bow
      praise the Buddha
      lilac purple glow
      the chrysanthemum
      raising with the sun

    Stephen Brown
    SteveArtis@aol.com

    Dorset, England

      GLIMPSE

      Time, drips like that stripped maple
      onto a timeless pool,
      my mind, beneath the surface
      tension, feels the break,
      that ripple to infinity;
      but then, clarity as before
      would too soon restore,
      my common sense in winter thaw.

      LIGHT IS LOVE AND LOVE IS LIFE

      Stars seem captive tonight, out there,
      held by their own gravity,
      and so am I in thinking
      space would mirror the freedom
      of my inward gaze;
      my life is light, the light
      that fills the external void
      while within,—that feeling of space,
      the loving space we make
      where others live and move
      is light as freedom, expressed as love
      thus love is also life as well as light.
      The face of youthful beings
      seeming green and vain,
      knows not the inside beauty
      that hides their timeless age,
      where an old man from time
      hides his ageless youth.

    There are a lot of my poems wanting to speak on www.mysticseed.com

    Roy Austin
    troya@onetel.com

    Monterey, CA

      BUT WHEN I REMEMBER

      Sometimes I forget my connections
      To the whole world and everyone.
      Sometimes I listen too much
      To the chatter in my head and forget
      The peace of silence.

      And sometimes I forget to breathe deep
      And realize that there is so much to love.
      There are bird choruses at dawn every morning.
      Full sunshine pours forth living energy
      Into all that lives on this beautiful earth.

      And beauty abounds
      Even when my eyes are unseeing.
      Pure love surrounds me
      Even when I am upset.
      Waves wash clean the sand on Carmel beach,
      Even when I'm in my little house.

      But oh, when I remember,
      I can hardly keep my heart within me!
      It wants to fly free and dance around the moon,
      Sing out loud among the stars,
      Break into colors to form a rainbow
      Over all the earth.

    Shirley Tofte

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    Section A: .................................................................. January 15, 2004

    Del Rey Oaks

      GOLDEN MOUNTAIN

      I approach the golden mountain
      kneeling by the silver river
      washed and pure
      praying in the sacred circle
      absolved and clear
      I approach the golden mountain

    Stephen Brown
    SteveArtis@aol.com

    San Jose, CA

      AMONG MARMOTS II

      Unblinking black eyes look on,
      Inspect the visitor at rest.
      He glances at the old pine
      With freshly amputated limps
      And flogged by the winter storms
      Calling this implacable,
      This billowing cumulus cloud
      Luminous and towering—indifferent
      The granite rock, hot and sparkling
      Home of an oasis of moss—distant.
      What cold core creates such images
      Isolated, disconnected?
      A core implacably indifferent.

      At this lofty top at the end of the trail
      A proud prayer was offered
      At an alien altar
      Ignoring this path into light
      Is also the path into darkness.
      Only the mind knew
      The path up is the path down
      The path out is the path in.
      This the heart could not under stand
      Because a cold mind refused to stand under.
      The unblinking gaze dislodges a new prayer
      Shantih—this pine, this cloud, this rock.
      OM Mani Marmot Too.

    Franz Spickhoff
    franz@znet.com

    Carmel Valley, CA

      MISSING

      All the silver winter driftwood
      has been burned
      or hauled home
      to become sinuate effigies
      in coastal gardens.

      Seashore. . .
      summer
      high fog subdues
      colors to muted hues.

      Even waves
      are docile,
      sliding up
      and retreating effortlessly,
      as if some slender hand
      were swaying slowly
      through the kelp
      far out to sea.

      All the passionate turbulence
      of storms merely
      a dim echo,
      no more retrievable
      at this moment
      than the intoxication of spring,
      vital obsessions
      of desire,
      or the vivid image
      of someone long ago lost.

    Laura Bayless
    ctblaura@redshift.com

    Monterey, CA

      GIFTS TO GATHER

      This is a time to be aware of gifts
      That hide in tiny swelling seeds
      That lie buried in black earth,
      Living sweetness singing tunes
      Heard in the quietest moments.

      A time to ask for miracles,
      To whisper heartfelt thanks
      When these arrive while the asking
      Lingers fresh in my mind.

      A time to gather sunshine
      Within the last of autumn's tomatoes
      Ripening on kitchen window sill
      Time to watch their orange turn to red.

      A worm peeked out of the soil and waved
      As I planted elephant garlic today.
      It has plenty to do, the little plowboy!
      This is a time to be grateful for
      My garden and my life.

      A time to allow my soul's whispers
      To be heard, to ask for and receive
      Fresh energy that dances and sings
      Time to watch the glowing sun in a pink shawl
      Kiss the world goodnight.

      GRACE AND BEAUTY

      When I look into
      The center of my mind,
      When I search for myself
      As the wave seeks the ocean,

      I find simplicity, purity of form,
      Serenity, grace and beauty.
      Golden light that leads me
      Dazzled with joy
      To discover that I am more than
      This ego mind pretends to be.

      This soul of mine
      Delights in its connections
      To the earth and all its inhabitants,
      This air, soil, fire and water,
      This sound and light.
      And I remove my shoes
      To stand on sacred ground,
      For I am stunned to know
      That all this bright world shines
      Here for me. It seems that
      I have hidden in the darkness
      Unaware that I could simply
      Walk out in this sunshine,
      Breathe it in, and sing.

    Shirley Tofte

    Thank you for your creative offerings!

    I invite readers to share their own creative works (poems, stories, images, comment, etc.) in Letter Box On Line (LBOL). I look for work and comments I feel support understanding and encouragement of the creative process, and hence, the process of life.

    The Editor

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