So many talks on phone and on skype
So much time deliberating what to do or not do
Seems it was back and forth for an eternity
Like we had always known each other
And known the distance like a tight glove
Known the physical distance that sometimes
Paralleled the emotional distance
When mind and heart did not connect
We waited it out anyway, endured and found no peace within the waiting
We had hope, anticipation, fights and mending
But now the tide is calm and I cannot hear any birds
I do not hear the fish swimming against any current
I hear nothing, not the sound of the waves back and forth on a course sand beach
Not the wind, nor do I feel the sun on my back or on my face
I hear and feel nothing.
Numb, like my fingers in a chilled stagnant snow,
Cold and stoic.
I am not lost, nor found.
I simply exist along with many others.
I no longer take up space in your mind.
I didn’t take up much space in your heart
I made you my center and waited for it to blossom
It neither blossomed nor found its roots.
We simply drifted.

I Would Have Followed You to the Moon

       You’re etched into my memory
like a full body tattoo
chiseled images of you
on the inside of my heart.
I can go nowhere
cant do anything
without asking:
Where are you?
Why did you go?
Why did you have to leave?
What am I going to do without you?
You were my Rock,
My Rock of Gibraltar
my Rocky
My solid mass of four footed assuredness,
grounded to reality,
with four hooves
and a hard head that rivaled mine.
I scream your name,
but the walls echo back emptiness
Your call is now a distant memory
My favorite sound in the world
A goat calling my name.
I lived for you,
my heart existed for you
My reason to live was you
and now all I have
is a box of your ashes,
a hoof print,
some of your hair
and my memories of you.
I would have followed you to the moon,
would have done anything
to get you healthy again.
I was one complicated mass of Denial
believing you’d get well,
that I’d find a Shangri La
so we could be together beyond time…
but you left,
you left,
you left
and I am left – here.
You came to me in a dream
kissing Sunshine’s head, between his horns
Yes, I will take care of my other son for you.
I will stay with this herd
that is now down to one goat and me- broken hearted
I would have followed you to the moon
but instead you went away
left your body and me here.
You were my center
and now I wait to figure out
how do I live without you?
You were my Rock of Gibraltar
My Rocky
I would have Followed You to the Moon.

Door Open

You left the door open

and I walked on through.

You left the door open

and I walked on through.


I gave you a chance,

then another,

then another and another.

I thought tolerance was a virtue

until I saw the door was open.

I thought I should stay and work things out,

mend, heal, become even more tolerant,

forgive, forget.

I stayed and wrestled with reality,

told myself to expand and accept,

to be patient, kind and reasonable,

to adjust and keep adjusting.

To stick it out

and let things improve

by being grateful.

But then I noticed

that the door

was left open

and I walked on through.


Expression Starter

Each encounter we make

Could possibly be a key

We so desperately need

To open a part of ourselves

We kept hidden.


What a pleasure

To have ourselves unlocked

To begin a new direction – within

–and without the burden of self-doubt

That stops the world from moving forward.


Sometimes something happens

-which stops our world

And has us locked up inside

With pain that has no outlet

But punishes us with reminders

Of what we don’t have, but want desperately

Or what we have, but desperately don’t want.

Changing direction because the world

stopped for a moment

and looked at itself,

listened to itself.

It’s not so bad in here

Once I allow myself to breathe.

In The Ring

We wrestle with life,

Push it away,

Yank on it

Complain about it

And want more of it as it gets closer to the end.


We struggle against it:

Its complicated details

Its complex paths

Convoluted and difficult

Like a maze

We must find our way through

Like a riddle that answers us with another question.


I struggled with it.

Wept because of it.

Got sick from it.

Forgot I controlled most of it with positive thought and feeling.

Forgot, too, that I would love it

And sometimes hate it.

That it would baffle me,

but I’d always come back for more.


We often run and hide from this life

Scream and chase it on slippery embankments

Too steep to climb.

Finally we surrender to it,

realizing we influence it

by our tempo, our speed

our reluctance or embracing.

We accept it now.

Allowing life to no longer be the enemy it once was.

Now it is a quiet friend,

A loud obnoxious friend, a soothing friend

A high pitched opera

A low baritone crescendoing into something

we now crave, we now pine for,

we now give thanks for.

Its mysterious twists and turns

Its hot, cold, dry, swampy, warm,

complicated disposition that at once baffles us.

But we come back for more.

We beg for it.

Life becomes this gift

we never have to fight with again.

Having accepted its volatile changes,

Its high and low tones.

We now embrace life

Like an old friend

Like a lover we can never get enough of.

I no longer struggle you to the ground

and swim against your current.

I accept life and life accepts me.

I think I understand

that it doesn’t want to be understood.

It just wants to be loved.



Steep Journey

Turning ‘round to face Mecca –

not the one in the Middle East,

the one east of me, in the Coachella Valley of California.

Sort of screwed up by my lack of spontaneous travel nowadays,

making stories of others’ adventures enough for me

as I sit in my arm chair…

…You were my Adventure –

my mountain climb during an avalanche

my skydive without functional parachute.

I hit ground

and lost my face.

Lost also my sense of reasoning

of what makes sense and what makes me crazy,

switched the two in my mind,

made normal become sick and sick become normal.

I tossed, and turned, like a bean in a salad

like a pillow fight all night long.

My head not finding rest

my mind a sponge to anything screaming peace.

But the act of screaming silenced any chance for serenity

and created You and Me

in between known and unknown,

yearning and turning back

going forward to fast,

while never yet beginning.

You had me like this.

I was at once the Stop Sign and the Go.

As confused as a two-headed snake

succumbing to temptation

and becoming a bad Buddhist

with no ability to detach.

You made me this.

And I allowed it.

Became the crazy lady people might have thought I was.

like a mad scientist,

but neither scientific nor mad.

I was, instead, madly-in-love

with a phantom that only existed in my mind.

I made you this.

And you made me this.

And we existed in time somewhere,

but we were always late to arrive

never got to our intended destination

which was supposed to be Love.

Now “Forgiveness” becomes the word I hear

in between my breaths, chants and prayers…

“Forgiveness,” when it used to be the words “I Love You”

reverberating in my head.

Now “Love” becomes Let Go, Detach and Forgive.

Sounds like a romance to me….


Why do we Chant?


Why do we?

Why do we chant?

Why do we chant to the Gohonzon twice a day?

Sitting on a chair, on the floor, cross legged, on a pillow,

With or without candles lit?

Facing the Mandala of Light

Nirchiren Daishonin’s gift

Of Blessed Chinese characters

Looking, gazing, mesmerized

As we chant

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo


Until we

Until we awaken something in our brain,

In our psyche, in our soul,

Our being, our core

That calls out for expansion

Quick, get me to Buddhahood,

Cleanse my Karma, lift me up,

Steady my gaze

To see past the horizon

Change my vision to see clearly

Transmute to visionary,

An instrument of the Universe

To serve humanity, to serve all sentient beings,

Plants, animals, too.

Awaken us as we chant the Daimoku

To remember our origins of purity,

Our Buddhahood within,

Our visions of a world Happy and Harmonious.


Nichiren Daishonin urged us, pushed us, persuaded us in every way

From past life to this life,

We receive Help to Be Who We Really Are –

-An instrument of Peace

– A light of Happiness to Guide the Way.

We sit quietly, sometimes not so quietly, sometimes slowly

Sometimes quickly like the Big Horn Sheep running up hills,

Swiftly – we chant.. Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

We transform, we transmute

We transcend

We change our inside to one that is softer,

One that can hear Divine Guidance

Even in a cluttered world

That speaks loudly in Shoulds and Should nots,

We move onward, we strive,

Our stride swift,

As we chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

As we receive the Lotus Sutra

Our brain soaks up the good vibration

So we can soar above the common world

So we can see

So we can know

So we can understand

We can right our wrongs,

We can gain access to the vast sky

Seeing with a bird’s-eye perspective

The Way to transformation

It is inside,

It takes us inside

Where we change ourselves.

Where we polish and mold

Where we let go of blame

Of all externals

And rest inside to a New View of Transcendence.

This and more…

Because we chanted this morning

And will again this evening

This and more….

Because we lifted our own selves high enough

To be able to help

Another to see…..

I Belong to this Moment

I belong to this moment.

All of it, every second

And every part of me.

I am totally in this now

As if my life depended on it

Because it does…

I belong to this moment.

Not any part of me is somewhere else

My thoughts are not on breakfast for tomorrow

I am not worrying about the stock market

Or how my hair will look after I take my hat off.

No part of me is fretting about something else

No part of me is thinking about someone else,

Or if I should be different than how I already am in this present moment,


I am here.

I am Only here.

I belong to this moment.

And my life does depend on it

All of me is in All of this moment.

I feel my heart beating

I feel the blood moving through my veins

I feel the energy floating around me

And none of it is somewhere else.

In this crisp moment

There is only Here,

There is only Now

And I am in it



In Awe!

I am not fragmented into shattered pieces, going a mile a minute

To every shore and every nation

Every cell a different place

Without focus on any one thing in particular.


I am not scattered and shattered.

I find myself utterly here.

And I can breathe.

I can open my eyes further because they are both looking in the same direction

With me behind them.

I am in this moment so utterly complete

That I belong to it

And it belongs to me.

Lottery Loss Becomes Win/Win

Opulence, diamonds, golden dreams

of  Lottery Heaven….

– A quick way out

– A simple easy fix

– A Deus-ex-Machina

the kind in antiquated Greek dramas

where a God descends to save the day…

We weeped for the success

of the right numbers

that would instantly render life

completely fixed and perfect

in one Gigantic Instant,

like a shot of heroin

with only positive side effects.

I pulled for this.

I pulled so hard

my mind became a mush

of positive affirmations and Shangri La-like visualizations

Giving way to a Fantasy Reality

that would make any fairy tale pale in comparison.

I desired this.

I desired this so acutely

that my insides became

as intense as Victoria Falls.


The Quick Fix that

is like finding Happiness in a Box

in the middle of a barren desert

that instantly brings the oasis of Bliss.

But, the water to quench

the parched land

quickly became a Mirage.

An Illusion

like everything else

that gets me from day to day.

And yet this time….

I do get the Transformation.

I do get to see the

Addiction of the Quick Fix

And I get to lament instead

…on Reality

How it stares one in the face

even when we bow our heads

to avoid being blinded by it.


Yet, I know I’ll do this Again…

…and Again….

I know I’ll pull the Illusion

out from my heart

and put it into some Crazy Action

that I can Laugh at

when I am older and wiser.


In the meantime, I ride the illusion

like a surfer rides a wave,

Eager to catch the next one

for it to be perfect

and make life complete and neat,

in a well wrapped package

that makes sense and is orderly.


Instead, I go back to mine,

my life that is not orderly

and is at times incomprehensible.

But, here in the middle,

there is a heart

that still smiles when it has something to give.


And so Receiving from a Lottery Win

Becomes a warm, pleasant realization

that being able to Give

is the key to being Rich.





Estimated Arrival Time that Never Made it Past Departure

You came and went

Actually, you never really got here

But we were both waiting for that

The only way you could have stayed

– was to Change

With a capital “C”

This would have been like a plastic surgery

that you could never undo

It would have been the incredible change you were waiting for

All of your life

This would have been your stay card

The secret code that got you into the Red Carpet Room

The VIP lounge

The member’s only entrance

But, you left before you got here.

I wanted you to revamp your whole way of speaking

I had it planned

Had the books you needed to read,

Was going to be your coach, your leader

Your guide to change.

I was going to teach you a new language

One of kindness, one of compassion

One of sincerity,

One of listening,

Of caring

Of really hearing another

The art of communication

From crisis to intervention

From chaos to calm

From separation

To interconnectedness through language.

I was going to have you speak in a tongue

That was neither your mother’s

Nor your father’s,

But would have changed you to be the President of anywhere

Would have had you master communication

Like a song bird singing to its mate.

I had you this way…in my mind.

I had it all figured out.

I bought the book and underlined the important parts

Highlighted everything

And bent the top of the pages for future reference

I mapped it all out,

Was going to show you the world

Through effective communication

But you never returned with an RSVP

And the VIP of Master of Ceremonies over Communication

Never even got off the ground

It never even had an engine

Never even bought the book

Never read the email that I sent

Never agreed to meet, to talk, to share

Never made it past “hello”

Before we created the “goodbye”