Of Zen, Slaughters, And An Ocean And Decades In-Between

“There’s a poem here somewhere…”

Excavation

Fact: Chris Pirsig, son of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance author Robert Pirsig,
was stabbed to death outside the San Francisco Zen Center, USA in 1979.
Fact: Maria Teresita Teaño, yoga guru, was shot to death when her car was stolen
at the parking lot of the Brahma Kumaris Meditation Center, Philippines in 2011.
Theory: There’s a poem here somewhere…

© Karlo Sevilla

KarloSevillaof Quezon City,Philippinesis a writer whohaspoems here and there. He also attends protest actions with the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (Solidarity of Filipino Workers) every now and then.

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The Power and Importance of Compassion in Literature

There’s a line in one of my poems that goes: “Dearth of compassion inflicting the Earth…” In moments of crisis, it’s hard to find humanity, but it’s there… it’ll always be… hidden or lost as it may seem at times.

Sara Letourneau's Official Website & Blog

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I’ve been thinking about compassion lately. It’s impossible not to, with everything that’s going on in our world. Terrorist attacks, increased racial tensions, insensitivity toward other minority groups, and the most vitriolic U.S. presidential election I can remember (notice the timing of this post, fellow Americans?)… From a social perspective, 2016 has been a bleak year, and I’m deeply worried about where we as a society are heading.

But let’s not discuss politics. Instead, let’s focus on a topic that I think many of us will agree on: the power of compassion in literature. By compassion, I mean moments when characters show kindness, mercy, and similar qualities. These actions can draw us closer to those characters, move us to tears, and make those stories all the more memorable. And during these turbulent times in our world, finding – and writing – stories that demonstrate compassion may be more important than ever.

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Tupelo 30/30 Project – Day 23 –Celebrating the Birth of a Lioness

The year is 2015. She turns 40 next month. Soon after, I turn 37. And, for this long, we have been best friends.

My sister is a warrior, a brave beautiful lioness. She is also a loyal daughter, and the mom of the sweetest, wildest and most untamable of cubs.

She is a healer of both body and soul, compassionate and attentive, even when all else in life fails to make sense.

Lately, she has been questioning her faith, but prefers not to talk about it. At all costs, she avoids worrying our parents.

Having lived through half her life, as she says, she wonders about what she has achieved. Let us recap, sis, shall we?

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You have mastered the rare ability to love unconditionally those around you… and we are devoted to you for it.

Sly and svelte, you have come out of life’s battles victorious; surely scarred, but ever stronger and more stunning.

With grace and dignity, you have created order where entropy would have otherwise prevailed.

To me, you have been an exemplary fortress, a loyal and patient shoulder and ear, an inspiration for many verses.

You have raised a spirited amorous kitten… an angel who has bestowed upon us a collection of delightful memories.

You have kept a home for him every step of the way. As your world seemed to crumble, the walls of love and care around him have always withstood.

Now I see you worried and overworked, maybe lonely at times, frustrated with that which you cannot control… but this too shall pass.

You are a survivor and a champion… no matter how huge the obstacle, how rough the path, how hectic the days.

At your darkest hours, remember all that. Hold on to the lioness inside, to her enduring strength to hurt and hunt in the wilderness.

Remember, too, that sometimes she will need to roar and run free. She may even feel like scratching and biting every once in a while.

And she requires her own time and space to rejoice in nature, to yawn and nap… to purr, stretch out and lie lazily in the sun.

Sis, you are perfect… with all your feline imperfections. Happy birthday!

Leonard Cohen (1934-2016), Kenneth Koch, and the Island of Hydra

Leonard…

Locus Solus: The New York School of Poets

                   

Very sad news broke last night that the legendary songwriter, singer, and writer Leonard Cohen had passed away at 82.  Cohen began his career as a daring young Canadian poet and novelist, before switching to writing and performing music in the 1960s.  Not surprisingly, he is considered one of the most literary figures in popular music history.

It may be surprising, however, to hear that Cohen had a close tie to the New York School of poets, but he did, thanks to his friendship with Kenneth Koch.  Cohen and Koch fortuitously crossed paths on the Greek island of Hydra in the early 1960s, when it was a bohemian enclave of ex-pat writers and artists, and the two became good friends. At the time, Cohen was a poet and not yet a rock star, and Koch watched his later rise to fame with some surprise…

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Tupelo 30/30 Project – Day 22 – Jubilee

there is excitement in the air
a speck of magic in the night
a touch of freshness in the heat
so light

as words break in to play and flirt
spelled out with joyous singing might
and those that linger unsaid out
of sight

wherever this may lead us
would you dare hon would you follow
spread your wings at dusk over the ocean like
there’s no tomorrow

hands-2

do you feel your hands vibrating
our hearts are beating so fast
sensations spreading all over
at last

when the dancefloor begins to move
our rhythm is put to the test
freeing musicality at
its best

wherever this may lead us
would you dare hon would you follow
spread your wings at dusk over the ocean like
there’s no tomorrow

sereia

we must surrender to this beat
perform with gusto our own part
revel today with joy & at ease
be smart

a world in melodious motion
life’s such an exuberant art
to practice and slowly perfect
at heart

wherever this may lead us
would you dare hon would you follow
spread your wings at dusk over the ocean like
there’s no tomorrow

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Tupelo 30/30 Project – Day 21 – logomaniacs

Poesia em Chines

art
must sometimes get real raw & apoplectic

today we don’t write to be apologetic
to be charming or polite
enough is enough hence we rhyme
scream and shout for a change in paradigm
we are here to make noise
for as long as it takes as loud as it gets
till you stop
to hear our voice

our poetry has purpose
it has wrath anguish awe
for humanity seems to have gone astray
on and on day after day tumbling down
this Cimmerian path

dearth of compassion inflicting the Earth

our poetry bleeds hope it abounds
in ecstasy sparkles with idiosyncrasy
when it becomes about
the power in small gestures
vivacious acts of solidarity
in nature’s dynamic balance
linking together such tenacious cat’s cradle

we are here to describe & reinvent
to protest & celebrate by translating
rebellious feelings into winged words
like the logomaniacs we are

will you
step out of your plutomania
& experiment “freeading”?