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Every Day Acts of Peace

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tokyo 1990: Kinetic Energy Wears My Warm Memories

I am taking a break 
from the political upheaval 
and tension in Beijing.
I tell a friend, 
chilled hot 
I was once cold, 
warmed cold 
I was once hot;
I am living 
bathed in the waters 
of simplicity 
now
and so I see 
we are all 
transparent spines 
of light.

Daily earthquakes 
shake the fragile walls.
Nightly 
we are tossed from sleep 
as we lay 
on heated floors.
One toilet 
for both 
men and women,
one washroom 
a large upstanding 
wooden sculpted tub,
always topped full 
of cedar smelling water.

I scrub 
and I rinse 
myself of the day.
I soak in the tub 
until my fingers swell, 
and my hair drips 
of forest smells.

Heaven 
visits me in this tub, 
and so 
I honour this space,
by allowing 
only thoughts,
that match 
the water’s warmth,
to accompany me 
during 
my nightly ritual 
of creating 
a clean peace 
a peace 
I can share clearly.

Bubbles 
are sung 
into cozy water,
I float my face 
on the surface, 
until I am full 
of buoyant comfort.
My limbs relax, 
my still-warm 
undigested dinner.
My pulse-stills, 
my clogged-closed 
circulation opens.
I populate, 
my hours 
between baths 
by spending alone time 
among crowds,
the kinetic energy 
wears my warm memories.

~~ Other People's Fingerprints ~~
Sometime after the year 45, 
Ban Zhao (Pan Chao, Cao Dagu) wrote;

“Throughout the journey we follow the great highway.
If we seek short cuts, whom shall we follow?
Pressing forward, we travel on and on;
In abandonment our eyes wander, and our spirits roam ...

Secretly I sigh for the Capital City I love, (but)
To cling to one’s native place characterizes a small nature,
As the histories have taught us ...


In fact genuine virtue cannot die;
Though the body decays, the name lives on ...

I know that man’s nature and destiny rests with Heaven,
But by effort we can go forward and draw near to love.
Stretched, head uplifted, we tread onward to the vision …”


at the "Immutable Island of Melodious Sound"