Happy Lucky Idiot

Wild Home Economics

A poem by Nanao Sakaki from his collected poems called “How to Live on the Planet Earth.”

If you have time to chatter

Read books

If you have time to read

Walk into mountain, desert and ocean

If you have time to walk

Sing songs and dance

If you have time to dance

Sit quietly, you Happy Lucky Idiot

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Autumnal River Reverie

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Autumnal river flows

Slow and shallow, breathing

Golden light radiates.

Alder, willow, maple and cottonwood

Emerge out of its banks, skyward

Roots dipping downward, drinking.

We dip our tender feet in

Tentatively, tantalizingly, invigoratingly

Cold long known to salmon and steelhead.

Solar warmth radiates everywhere

From rock, tree and sky

Soon overtaken by cool, upriver wind.

Beginningless wind, always flowing

Deep in the Pacific a storm forming

Does the river know?

Nourishing rains carried on the wind

Dark storm clouds form and reform

Bringing salmon in their embrace.

We walk the riverbank, warm and cool

Lost in reverie, autumn river reverie.


Three Haiku from Deep in the Redwoods

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(1)

Soft scratching way up

High in the canopy breeze

Ah, now I feel it!

 

(2)

Green needles dancing

On the wind, woodpecker call

Looking up, needles fall.

 

(3)

A lone needle falls

Imperceptible wind-mind?

Dark red giants stand still.


Here in the Beginning

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Top of Jebel Maasker (10,800 ft), Eastern High Atlas Mountains, Morocco.

 

So far inside boundlessness

Beyond words and ideas

Dwelling in wholeness.

 

Empty of selfhood

Brimming with fullness

Interconnected beyond belief.

 

Beyond, gone gone way beyond

Emerging spontaneously from silence

Into the cacophony of life.

 

Equal wholeness of beginning and ending

I merge with oneness and am myself again.


My Own Disappearance

 

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Seamless soft sand, a roaring sea

Featureless, smooth sky

Gray fog obscurity.

Godwits in tawny plumage, gulls wrapped in clouds

Forage in the margins, each doing

Their dance with the tide.

Brought in daily from somewhere

Nowhere at all, the ocean’s graveyard

A detrital line of gifts from the sea.

Reminders of our frailty

Here just for a moment

Breathing in the long now.

Following a line of pelicans following waves

I traverse the arc of my own disappearance

And am gone before I know it.


Allowing the world to contaminate me

Wild Home Economics

Trinity Alps Wilderness, California

As I sat on the granite monolith, simply breathing in and out, I began noticing the sounds, smells, sights and sensations of this mountain world. There was the gentle lapping of lake water on the rocky shore, the green dots of conifer trees on the light gray granitic mountainside, the call of Steller’s jay, northern flicker and red-breasted nuthatch, and the feeling of cool stone on my bare legs. But before this intellectualizing and naming of experience, there was just the experience itself. Before I turned this momentous world (a world in the moment) into something extraordinary that I could capture and consume in words and concepts, there was just the world in all its ordinariness and intensity.

Elisabetta Corrà said, “The extraordinary seeks something beyond reality. Intensity forces us to experience reality…” There was still the lapping of the water against the shore and the birds…

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A Great Tree Once Stood

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Photo by Thomas B. Dunklin

For Ted, Willard and all the others that made last week so great. Thank you for all that you taught.

There was once a great tree that stood in a forest of other great trees, between the mountains and the sea. The great tree stood tall and proud since the beginning of time until one day it was brought down by men who did not understand. But the great tree stayed, refusing to be taken by men who did not understand for it had another purpose, a gift yet to give.

Many salmon came and went and the great tree remained, waiting and watchful. The men who did not understand busied themselves with taking down the great trees as they destroyed forests ancient beyond imagination.

The great tree waited a long time, silent and still, for a people-who-understood to regain the ground upon which it lay. It waited for those who would ask and not simply take what is not given. Meanwhile many rains came and went.

Thwack, thwack went the sledge and the wedge and the great tree spoke for the first time in many, many moons. Thwack, thwack went the sledge and the wedge again – the great tree spoke again and the people-who-understood listened. Thwack, thwack went the sledge and the wedge and the great tree began to see, its heart beating the rhythm of the world. Singing, singing the great tree began to open, open, opening and the people listened.

The great tree opened like a blossoming flower to reveal the gift within – two perfect halves, each reflecting the whole and promising two canoes and the renewal of the world.

In gratitude I pray that we may all listen and learn to walk in beauty throughout our days.