Volcanoes are ancient teachers
Rising up from the magma
Core of planet earth
The effluent bringing forth
All the swirling elements of life
Choking out gaseous
Fiery energy and chaos
Creating oceans and rivulets
Mountains and savannas
Landscapes for the tiger
Spewing lava and ash
For the delicate lotus
To break through
Reaching to heaven
Painters and poets
Are modern interpreters
Of universal truths
Written in calligraphy
Hidden deep within the
Caves of The Thousand Buddhas
All of humanity
Reaching toward the sky
With brush in hand
Creating their own reality
On blank silk canvas
Doreen LeBlanc lives in Massachusetts and spends time in summer and fall at her cabin in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, where she was born. Inspiration bubbles up out of the river and sea, streams down the mountain, and comes through family
A ghost cannot gather itself
inside a tree, or a peregrine,
or a creek, or heaven. It cannot
draw stars through the window
of a building in Beijing, or
on a cabin near Woolwine with
spring peepers chorusing music
to fit the sky. It cannot revive
its mind in a trout lily, as much
as I wish. I can’t tell it my name.
I can’t share one flapjack, smoke,
or a sip of bootleg. I rummage
in a poke of cornmeal, and ask
hungry? The campfire won’t say.
TELLING LIES ALONG THE MONKEY RIVER
Clouds tease my boat down the Monkey River.
The sun slips past me with a jabiru on a mudflat.
I enjoy every lie I tell. One of them is a boat,
and another is Monkey River, and one more
is this jabiru staring at me, owning the river,
placing the sun in its wings, because my … Click to continue . . .
Some things are meant to be in pairs. They’re meant to be twinned, coupled, one and one. Not because dualism wins. Not because we’ve lost out to dualism, in all of its permutations. After all, it’s dualistic to think in terms of the pairs and us, of the pairs not existing and us. Even of the need for pairs in this world, as if it isn’t already that way, and so.
Fix You and Run, by Coldplay and Snow Patrol, respectively, form such a pair for me. They belong to a category I’ve just invented, stolen from myself, stolen from a non-dualistic sphere, or from someone within it. No. It’s no one’s category, really. As long as no one grasps, it’s no one’s.
Fix You is a song of rescue and healing, ostensibly. But because we live in Cynicstan, that can’t be. It’s not allowed. It has to have loud guitars here and there, to make up … Click to continue . . .
It’s something we really don’t know much about at all. In our own lives. The absence of war. Even to the extent that we’re not involved, we see it elsewhere, hear about it, note its presence on the news, in books, in history, on film. It surrounds us, this absence, this lack of the presence of anything remotely akin to peace — again, whether or not we’ve ever experienced its opposite.
In. The. Air. It’s with us wherever we go. Perhaps it’s like the knowledge of an impending storm we know is ready to dump flotillas of hard rain on us from above. Dark skies. More than that. We’ve internalized this and it’s why we do whatever we can not to think about it and escape.
Escape into buying things. Stuff. Escape into, ironically, stories and films and documentaries and songs about war, violence, overwhelming aggression, death. In many ways, this escape is … Click to continue . . .
Gary Clark Jr. is one of those guitarists other guitarists, and musicians in general, just love. Just love to be on stage with. Born in Austin, Texas, in 1984, he quickly gained a reputation as one of the finest guitar players of his generation. In 2011, Rolling Stone named him “Best Young Gun.” Extreme skills on that instrument, even after some 60 years of Rock N Roll, still carry a great deal of weight. And when they’re Bluesy and Root’s based, they tend to garner even more respect.
The lyrics for the above song, from his 2012 album, Blak and Blu, seem to contest their own ground, with an ironic subtext of famous people singing about anonymity, demanding to be known by name, assuring they will before the night is through. The cool confidence and self-assured performance deepens this contradiction, and the edgy belief in the power of one’s own skills cuts across many realms.