Saturday, June 12, 2010

Where From Does Beauty Come?

Robert Buckenmeyer

—robert buckenmeyer, lincoln

a leaf floats down from a live tree
having slipped loose from its host stem
on wind currents i cannot see
to the grassy slope below them;

the branch drops from the living vine
cut by a pruner off its trunk
with shears in hand whose single eye
cares for the fruit more than limb junk;

her God seems harsh as does nature
when life itself, its trees and fruit
get more care than leaf or limb share,
so health and wealth of life more suit

the whole than the parts which they serve;
so must mortals suffer and wear
death on this earth since nature seeks
more from life than earth can now bare.


Thanks, Robert! Lincoln resident Robert G. Buckenmeyer (Ph.D. in Philosophy) is a retired educator and administrator with a black belt and an interest in Montessori education who has published many articles, studies and books, including The Morality of Peace and War (Itelman Publishing, 1974); California (soon to be republished as an “e-book” by The Paulist Press); Lectures of Maria Montessori, 1915 (CLIO-ABC Publications, 1997); and The Philosophy of Maria Montessori: What it means to be Human (Xlibris Press, 2009). In addition, Blackfriar’s currently has published two chapters of his A Philosopher’s Way and is in the process of publishing the total seven chapters. Welcome to the Kitchen, Robert!

Also thanks to Pat Pashby for a nest poem (our Seed of the Week). And Mitz Sackman continues her Urban Solace suite. I hope you noticed the device she's using, in which each stanza ends with a line from the quote. Try using that yourself?


—Patricia A. Pashby, Sacramento

A bamboo birdhouse
with dangling hollow reed wind chimes
hangs out on a patio hook
awaiting a breeze.

A young wasp couple
looking for a ready-made nest
check it out for a day or two,
then settles in.

Soon it is a full house of newborns
swarming in and out windows,
swinging in the hollow reeds
as the parents come and go.

The family grows quickly
and as quickly we sneak out
after dark, hanging it behind the house—
until their lease is up.


—Mitz Sackman, Murphys

The way back forgotten
Hidden away
I become like you
A boat, floating, adrift
—Tu Fu

She wandered in the park
Fascinated watching birds in the trees
Breathing in the sweet green smell
Her heart full in the summer sun
The way back forgotten

The rotten day at the office disappeared
She settled on a bench beneath a tree
Quiet, with no one around, she sat
Listening to the birds chatter, the wind blow
Hidden away

Her eyes followed birds
Working the ground, searching for food
Then rushing back to their nests
Of screaming young, thinking of the office rush
I become like you

Glancing at the water across the path
Laughing at herself, she relaxed
Her mind opened to possibilities beyond
Her present circumstances, her mind became
An empty boat, floating adrift


—Mitz Sackman

In the winter dawn, I will face my fortieth year
Toward the long shadows of sunset
By the headstrong stubborn moments
Life whirls past like drunken wildfire
—Tu Fu

It was late January, the weather cold enough to watch each breath
Her seventieth birthday coming next week
Friends would gather to warm her apartment with their good cheer
She remembered being so depressed this same time
Just a few years back it seemed, her memory of feeling so old
In the winter dawn, I will face my fortieth year

She laughs at her young self
Thinking that she was old when so young then
How much precious life she had experienced since
How rich those days have been
That was the year she bought her bookstore
Now her daughter is running the shop, her life is shifting
Towards the long shadows of sunset

She lived, had lived and would continue to live her life fully
Her eyes always open to the moment that is
A butterfly constantly seeking the truth each day
Flowing with life, the winds of time, always herself
By the headstrong stubborn moments

So far life had been kind, challenges yes
Filled with friends, cats books and her writing
She anticipated more time in the future for her work
Today, the dawn of her thirty-ninth birthday
Seemed only a moment ago
Life whirls like a drunken wildfire


—robert buckenmeyer

thoughts as seeds blossom into speech,
as hope seeds of winter flower in spring,
but weeds too recruit root from rain and sun,
yet, the crocus breathes, earth’s first color to sing

after winter’s dark when love’s warmth sparks life
from earth and renews this mud with birth,
as love first burst forth from Yhwh’s mouth
with sea, sky, fish, bird, earth and human mirth!

but whence these weeds? (from Yhwh’s breath of life?)
are these too love’s work with seeds
and flowers? or come they from some other source
shadow, dark, the under side of light to breed

deep inside this new life? but a baby’s eyes
show not such shadow dark, only bright
as they smile light from within a soul
clasping the body from dust with life’s might,

still, are those weed seeds some place there
within, deep behind those smiling eyes,
sneering, leering, waiting to blossom,
flowers of another kind, perhaps latent cries

for death, seeds of fear whose roots invade earth
to spring forth as weeds of hate and drain
life’s breath from flower roots seeking nourishment
to feed their growth from seed’s living strain

to bud, to flower, as some death idolater,
like a devil, to undermine seed life
within the womb of earth and frustrate
the surge of life’s light for good with strife?

like those thoughts which blossom into speech,
entice to action, then spew out weed seeds
of fear to germinate acts of hate as milk plant’s
white parachutes float to earth to breed spiny reeds!

but, why must crab grass choke out life to spread
its strife? rob from the soil nourishment
for flower seed roots which will not grow
because this weed grass claim speaks banishment

to roots of the another flower seeds,
whose strength is less than that of this weed hate,
so all seeds, flowers and weeds need wait
until that time of harvest to separate!


—robert buckenmeyer

every question is a womb for new birth
since every question the mind does open
and every open mind roams everywhere,
searches in, about, here and there anywhere

until it finds an answer which quiets
its efforts and finds its peace no matter
how long the search or how much the effort
‘til mind and heart find their hope realized

their mind’s truth achieved, and their heart’s love
fulfilled, yet answers are but fresh tombs
into which one buries oneself since answers
stop searches, satisfy desires and end quests!


Today's LittleNip:

—robert buckenmeyer

where from does beauty come
which around us dwells deep
down inside everything we
see when awake and asleep?

from love does beauty come,
whenever love passes by
she smiles, lights her look and leaps
out beauty as heart replies!



Photo by Katy Brown, Davis