Ideation / Collaboration

It sprouted in my heart,
where so many of them start
— this little golden bean of an idea
oh what an idea !

then it travelled to my toes
down my limbs and through my nose
whilst my head enquired :
“what’s going on down there?!”

this bean was far from halting
it was leaping,
somersaulting
(it’s a miracle it didn’t burst my skin !)

then it came down to a simmer
rowdy, still I feel it shimmer,
by its very best endeavour
to hook me in.

Clan

we are children
of the wild
no one taught us
soft and meek

throw your fishbones
on the pile
sit in silence
or else speak

sit in silence
or else speak

whether you be
stiff or limber
whether you be
daft or deft
we’ll embrace you
as our member
up till now
no one has left

up till now
no one has left

Meditation – The Pursuit of Perfection

Benjamin Franklin was quite an extraordinary human being. It’s all there, in and between the lines of his autobiography – his potency and his extraordinariness. In this account, he catalogues thirteen desirable virtues and his fatiguing pursuit of them, his bigger goal being that of attaining “moral perfection”. Today’s reader might scoff at his endeavours, firm in the belief that perfection is unattainable. Poor Ben, maybe someone should have told him.

Increasingly, our view of the world and of ourselves is centred on the acceptance of imperfection. This has a neat name in ancient Japanese philosophy: wabi-sabi. In essence, it means acknowledging that nothing is perfect and appreciating the beauty in that. If we apply this perspective to our whole lives, it can be incredibly meaningful – I believe that. Embracing imperfection can help us to make peace with what is and accept change. And yet, can we really ignore our spiritual longing for perfection? Should we? There is so much gained understanding and beauty through Franklin’s incorrigible pursuit and relentless self-examination. There is value that cannot be drawn from the passive gaze.

When Franklin grew old, he admitted to missing his target with respect to acquiring all thirteen virtues and, by extension, moral perfection. But still, he never spoke about his endeavours with anything but pleasure in having tried. Leaning towards perfection enabled him to break bad habits, to enjoy long continued health, serve the country positively, live honourably, and countless more incredible things. In his own words:

on the whole, tho’ I never arrived at the perfection I had been so ambitious of obtaining, but fell far short of it, yet I was, by the endeavour, a better and a happier man than I otherwise should have been if I had not attempted it; as those who aim at perfect writing by imitating the engraved copies, tho’ they never reach the wish’d-for excellence of those copies, their hand is mended by the endeavor, and is tolerable while it continues fair and legible

In my view, Franklin’s example has subtly left us descendants a treasurable piece of advice – one to give or take…

Follow perfection. Tho’ you may never arrive, you will still reap the benefits.

A Meeting in the Woods

I’ve never cared 
for the enclosure of buildings 
where flowers stand; stunned in their vases 
and telephones drown out 
the language of bees 
and currency’s praised by the masses  

and people play scenes 
like they’re actors 
in a roguish, grand masquerade
where unscripted thunder 
and earthly wonder 
are cast in the vaporous shade  

and the pull
of the unfailing moon
is prevailed by the trappings of time 
which they watch on the face of a clock 
like a fisherman and his line  

and questions  
of north and south 
are replaced by the mapping of “goods”

now
before 
I dance my way out 
would you kindly point me to the woods? 

Godamn Plants!

My ivy plant 
is growing fast; 
it’s leaves are multiplying 
meanwhile,
my little potted fern 
is sighing, slowly dying. 
I’ve given it 
it’s needs and more;  
I’ve satisfied requirement 
It must be more 
attracted to 
a dry, early retirement. 
Where did it  
pick up such ideas? 
Who has it  
spoken to? 
I’ll place my guess 
on the begonia 
or – maybe the bamboo?  
In any case 
my tools are void; 
I know my botany 
but – this demands 
a well-trained hand 
In flora therapy!