I remember the monastery
Crashing against the rocks
On that cool spring California night
White foam spraying
As we stared intensely
At the blank walls
As the flames rose
And our heads exploded
Blowing great holes through the shingled roof
And you were the tiger’s claw
Hidden behind the veil
And I was the burning cauldron
Casting stars into the endless night
(Note: This is a poem I wrote in 2005 reflecting on the memory of doing zazen at a monastery in Santa Cruz with my cousin Pamela.)
On Friday afternoon November 24, I was invited by host Pam Spoto to participate on one of her Late Night Poetry Jams on KKRN 88.5 Radio in Round Mountain along with fellow guest Craig Boyer.
The title of the show was Three Artists discuss Creative Space on Late Night Poetry Jam. It aired on Saturday night November 25.
Pamela Spoto is a talented poet from the Redding area. Her weekly broadcast, Late Night Poetry Jam, offers “uncensored poetry which is passionate, timely, engaging and powerful.” Each week features a different guest author.
Craig Boyer is a poet, songwriter, and music connoisseur. Craig hosts “Dig This! Music With a Message” once a month on KKRN. Acknowlging the power of music to change minds and hearts, he uses music in his social work practice with Stroke Support, Parkinson’s Support and Alzheimer’s Support Groups.
During the course of our discussion, we discussed the sources of inspiration and themes of our poetry and then shared some of our work. Here is the link where you can listen to the entire broadcast: http://kkrn.org/broadcasts/2126
I also set up a small camera to make a rough video of the recording session. This is a playlist broken up into areas of discussion and performance.
On November 17, I had the blessing of participating in another of Craig Boyer’s “Dig This! Music with a Message” shows on KKRN 88.5 FM. The theme was “Gratitude and Thanksgiving” hosted by Craig Boyer with guests Alex Colvin & Pamela Spoto.
Craig always picks out wonderful music. His selection for this program were:
LET’S TAKE OUR HEADS OUT OF THE SAND by: BOB WICKLINE
SEEDS by: DENNIS WEAVER
LOVE TILL YOU’VE LOVED IT AWAY (aka, THANKSGIVING EVE) by: BOB FRANKE
SONG BY ALEX COLVIN was : TRAVELING IN THE MAINSTREAM OF LOVE
In between songs we conversed on the theme of gratitude. If you have time to spare, please give it a listen.
Turns one hundred today
Frances from Burney
Lived her life in her own way
Kindness and beauty
Harmony and grace
Have blessed the life of Frances
And all her loved ones in this place
People all throughout the mountains
People all throughout the land
Let us come to celebrate
This special day for one so grand
Frances Oh Frances
With a heart so pure and true
Frances of Burney
Happy Birthday to you!
Once, sitting on my back patio I looked into my self, into my heart. I wanted to know who I was in my essence. What I discovered was an infinitely deep well of love. Then a silent voice said, “Your gift is your presence, and your purpose is enlightenment.”
It is from the deep well of love within the heart that gratitude springs. It is from this deep well that compassion flows.
The well within the heart is fed by the springs of Divine Love.
Just as looking into myself, I discovered a well of love, so also, if we contemplate absolute reality, we will discover that at the core of the cosmos there is a living and giving heart of endless and everlasting love.
The river of love flows from our Father the creator and fills the hearts of all who trust in Him.
The prophet Jeremiah said:
“… blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.” Jer, 17:7-8
A heart filled with love naturally feels gratitude towards the one who fills the cup.
All existence is quickened by giving and receiving. Gratitude is an acknowledgement and affirmation of the gifts of love expressed in the desire to give back and to give to others.
The divine river of love flows to us and through us. It flows into our hearts and then amongst us, one to another.
Jesus said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
Gratitude itself is potent. It completes the circle of love. In so doing it magnifies and multiplies the power of goodness.
Those who are truly grateful do not betray the one they love. Therefore gratitude gives us strength to overcome the power of the evil one.
Once, as I sat in a hot spring looking down at the Pit River, a silent voice said, “Let love flow through you so that your heart may be pure.”
Let us be grateful. Let us cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Let us express our gratitude in thought, word, and deed.