Posts tagged Tao
Dominique Larntz * December 11, 2012
Even I fall
into the spire spiral
of seeking status.
From my solitude
there waits an imagined
audience, anxious for words.
I’m less prolific than I could be.
Shamed for writing too slowly, my pen nestles
as a needle against my thumb.
The drumbeat of my blood presses
me to create a clever lyric to hush
that great fool wanderer of a muse.
She laughs at my manufactured timeline
and its coated companion, stress. She trades
this suggested piercing for sunshine.
Her compositions blossom into me
off-demand when I am not ruminating
about my breathless audience.
When I am pouring a glass of tea,
liquid in the complete pleasure of being
myself within a wave of language.
November 25, 2012 * Dominique Larntz
We could build a wall, you and I,
and see it fall back into the particles
and pieces that all physical things turn into,
like Legos in earth’s generous toy chest.
You could write a cypher and make it cyber,
wed a hacker and the two of you could spend
your life staring at screens as your bellies quicken to text
and procedures instead of the bend of a baby’s elbow.
I could serve the neighborhood watch each night, my flashlight
joining the neighbor’s flashlight, repeating until the night yields
and the watch has to watch itself, being over-crowded
with people who need to turn the light on themselves.
You and I could amass a pile of nuts like a squirrel
or a pile of anything else that seems valuable now—funny
money that keeps changing forms—when I was young it was
cash and now it is a credit score or an abstract number on a card.
But we know, you and I, that nothing secures us to life,
not even our bodies, because we give them back too,
when destiny points directly to us and tells us it’s time
for the most courageous of human moments.
The only system that works for the human spirit is love,
life’s animating storyteller whose songs keep us fed, who meets
us at every grief and joy equally not as a fragile parent
but as an entire ocean for us to dissolve into as ice.
Dominique Larntz * November 21, 2012
As I peer through the cattails
of the competition
to see another situation
where I was left holding
a saddle I crafted
heavy enough to fit the buffalo
that I watched turn into a monarch butterfly,
here is how I cared for myself.
I reminded myself of the seeds inside me
that grow wild when watered,
that take over plots of my soul
like spilled ink takes over
a poem on a page.
Perhaps one day I will be able
to compete skillfully but for now
I can retreat from society’s
mechanisms of disappointment
and appointment—oh keep me away
from winning, too—those of us who
lose attachingly win with the same animal.
I will put these seeds back
into the rock tumbler of my journey.
I’ll wait for the smooth reflection to form.
When I am ready, those seeds will not be
quivers I can use in some Olympic feat
but worry stones in my pockets.
Dominique Larntz * October 31, 2012
I read in a book my mother gave me
that school children in China
learn to plant trees.
The oldest trees are Redwoods
in or near California,
whose smells and crackles
embolden my memories.
I’d like to be buried in those odors.
So far I’ve only learned to plant things
and I learned it on my own.
I couldn’t go around flinging seeds
just anywhere in this desert,
on this concrete,
in my enthusiasm,
in my greed for growth.
Surely the ground is too bricked,
despite the refrain of moss
and grafting that repeats
in my mind.
What if I had
from the structures
of my world
so that I had no need
to meet someone
from China to ask
if they really learned
to plant a tree
when they were young?
Dominique Larntz * October 23, 2012
Doors keep falling away;
The back screen door slid right off
the track—night before company came.
The front door keeps opening
as the wind signals a change in weather.
I left the back door open all day,
let the sunlight slither in like a snake
I’ll find under the table and need to battle
or avoid later by hoping it belly-slides back out.
I Let the wind carry in flying gnats
that Chuck will likely notice.
Made a mess because I didn’t fix that
broken, leaning door I have been using
like a divine barrier between me
and the dust
and the bugs
and the soil.
This is what gods do—turn
once proud barriers
into nothing but caves.
Dominique Larntz * September 18, 2012
I want to inspire
plumbers to want to help me.
I want those snakes
making my pipes into a slide,
glass-smooth as the tumbled rocks
I prepared as a young girl
and clutched quietly inside
my jacket pockets
on a Black Hills picnic blanket.
I want to inspire
plumbers to show up on schedule.
I want my water available
like you were, husband,
when we met over the
and until next we met
a deep breath
I want to inspire
while I kiss chlorine to mold
and cry over leaks
I feel helpless to plug
and find backup
Dominique Larntz * September 2, 2012
A New Habit
I think I did it first:
he asked me if I liked the shelf he finished
And in my mind I said,
are you kidding, it’s fantastic!
In my heart, I sang of the way a shelf
we carve into our lives to set a book upon
was made from a tree that reached as deeply into the dirt
as its branches stretched toward the sun.
He asked me again, a little perturbed this time.
“Do you like the new shelf?”
I shook myself and said aloud, “Yes, yes. I love it.”
I noticed this new habit we have—
assuming we have heard the other respond.
When we were younger and first in love,
we spoke together fast and secretly—so fast
that we would finish the others’ sentence
before listening and laughing in the joy of it.
Now our love life is ecstatic with age
and I can report back in time
that there is nothing more beautiful
than love well lived.
The love well lived requires both sides
to mature, both sides sometimes to be wrong,
a song of sacrifice lived behind the curtain
of deep desires to do something different than
is being done—requires abandoning the place of want
and its unending possibilities—those are ceded
with wonder and awe for the roots and depth
where we have best blossomed instead,
like two bookends slid securely into place
holding up stories on a shelf that will last for a while.
For twenty years, we have said and not said
so many wonderful things to each other; it seems
like sunshine to be around him.
Our relationship sustains this living landscape
and our daily lives are finally slow enough to feel it.
The other day, I asked him a question—
I can’t even remember what it was—
and he didn’t answer,
so I answered yes for him.
When you ask your next question,
only to wait and wait for its answer,
perhaps your spouse or child
or aging parent or God
is so ecstatic with you
they have this sense
you have already heard.
Dominique Larntz * August 10, 2012
(how do I find myself here again?)
I saw the spirit of the bird rise above the blacktop
as its body took another tire pattern like paper welcoming ink
while I watched cross traffic pour over its broken form.
softer than pavement,
and the things we forge into smooth surfaces
(its final chirp whispered into the eternity of that red light)
is the death that brings
the fortunes of civilizations to tears
no matter how we pave our roads,
if we drive over our birds,
blind our songs,
stifle our softness,
lay tire tracks to our heart’s coherence,
the paved roads lead away
from our true nature.
Dominique Larntz * July 2, 2012
Her body cradles the sorrow
in a canyon so deep
you can’t hear a quarter drop
when you let it go over the edge.
She’s been saying it’s fine
for you spin words of delusion
that swaddle her up to her throat
like a spider’s web.
Her body can’t heal any more
unless she follows the path
of rest and peace and joy,
taking every nap she desires.
Her nerves need a bath of love
and the culture is a river polluted
by overstimulation, by addicts
rushing to destruction.
Her cells weep in blood, the only
language they have, calling for life
to be lived, enjoyed, cherished,
preserved, flowed, balanced, loved.
Dominique Larntz * June 7, 2012
I was walking down steep dirt in the desert
with the same hurt hip that visits daily
in my forties, and each next step became
the uncertain place that pain makes
its bed frame since the accident.
For a few steps, I relied exclusively on the right,
placing my left only momentarily where I knew
its sole would not slide amongst altitude’s tiny granules,
and landed gracelessly with several hard gaits on its companion.
There’s a shooting pain in this sort of imbalance
that no poem can soothe, because it is outside the words
and inside the music of movement in the space
surrounding what I call myself and my body.
I stopped moving halfway down that hill
and I started to meditate instead of hike.
I took my eyes from the bottom of the crest
and focused on the rock right in front of me.
I changed my mind’s calculation
from counting the steps to get to my car
to noticing that I am in this step.
I told my left hip, I am here for you now.
I sustained a simple, humble change
of awareness in each step,
and the pain dissolved quickly
in an unexpected surprise.
Surprise because I was just
trying to finish the walk without falling down
and I had no eyes for easy steps
where each side supported the other.
Wherever else uncertain,
I am sure to take this walk again,
and I may not always find such easy relief,
but I can dig my heel firmly into faith
in the restoration of balance
over an uneasy terrain.
(With kudos to Thich Nhat Hanh For his Walking Meditation which inspired my walking meditation today.)
Dominique Larntz * May 23, 2012
What do I fight for?
Yesterday I heard
a news broadcast
and my body responded–
arched blood pressure
and clenched muscles.
I am self-aware
enough now to feel it
and that is something
spectacular to me.
Previously, I just ignored
my physiological response,
played the part, did my job,
assignments, projects, tasks,
and one could say my blood,
my body, was automated,
programmed to pretend
to ignore itself.
I am slow and mellow,
in a fast world.
In a fast world,
messages arrive in bulk
and slow processors
and when we say stop
stop stop stop and stop
we are told we
and before we
can process that
we are usually
Fast world, what would
the headline read
if you stopped
and accepted me
just as I am?
Dominique Larntz * February 8, 2012
I Am Moss
Tempted again to exacerbate my need
to reach heights I was never made to reach,
I would like to remind myself
that moss’s weathering process is what
made our earth’s atmosphere cool,
absorbing a planet’s worth of carbon dioxide
and cutting our temperatures in half.
In case I think I need to be seen from space
instead of cling to the solidity of rocks, let me
turn to the truth of what is right beneath me
and when I wonder why I can only breathe
at a lower altitude and why why I have to be
so low in this life when I would like to believe
I am as cherished as a begonia or a sequoia,
let me remember the security in being
close to the earth.
Let me hum quietly with
this feeling that forms
an intimacy with life,
more solid than a bloom
and more withstanding
than a tall tree trunk.
So it’s not attention I need to complete this mossy feat;
what I need is the transformation of heat into coolness
to form an atmosphere for evolution. We moss are making
the future environment with each of our small reactions
and our grounded and giving florescence.
Dominique Larntz * January 13, 2012 * “Love Letters To My Body”
Does Nothing; Everything Is Done
I thought I was too late,
and it was a blight on our home,
and I kept apologizing to everyone
but instead it was effortless.
Nature had pushed everything back
this year–from the Spring gusts
to the late blooming tomatoes
that gave us their last fruits
in early December.
I only cleared out a little of the garden
before the freeze and a month
of heavy snows pulled a crisp sheet
overtop the vines and trellises
outside our door.
So my clearing task waited.
Now the desert has returned
to its bright dryness
and when I went to shear the plants,
they did not need to be cut.
They simply fell apart in my hands
like solid dust, and I knew that this
was the perfect time
to clean up the garden.
I piled the branches into bags
and they reminded me of the
passageways in my brain,
and I could see how some of the
energy of my youth had been spent on
fruitless seeds of hatred, eager and petty and
destined to turn as gray and brittle as these annuals.
Planted in the imbalanced nutrient bath
of our warring culture, these resentments
were inconsolable in my youth,
which was always mysterious to me
because I was reaching for reconciliation
as truly as any annual will reach
to find balance somewhere in its soil.
But with the dormant season,
nature offers transformation
in the roots and stems of ourselves,
leaving the perennial parts strong and vibrant.
I find the things I can release
surprisingly woody and weak,
in my relationships and in my life,
and it is at this time,
that I can quietly and easily pluck parts of
my character that have always vexed me–
alongside the annuals–
on a gorgeous wintery, solitary afternoon.
Dominique Larntz * January 9 * “Love Letters To My Body”
There is so much I can’t do today
that I am reminded
to think small
and then to think even
I remember being eight years old
in elementary school.
The teacher polled us
on what we wanted to be
when we grew up.
I said I wanted to be president.
That stands as one of my brightest
as a child.
While I would have
voted for me,
it was obvious
even the teacher
at such a desire
and would not
have cast a ballot
While my campaign
I still find myself
of the avenue-of-where-I-think-I-should-go
and the boulevard-of-the-way-I-was-made
thinking I can re-route the-avenue-
to be anything other than
a traffic circle
bringing me again
to the same,
gentle, right turn.
An exuberant day
can make any future appear possible
and it’s easy to forget that to manifest
a career takes twenty-to-forty years.
Life also brings days like today–you
can call it depression, low energy, tired.
And I wonder how I can be
of service in my life
and in the world on such a day,
when I feel I am no good
for doing anything.
And it takes me a long time–until 3 PM–to
even be able to formulate that question.
Almost before the question is finished,
life has offered three lousy drivers
in oversized vehicles.
Each encounter necessitated
that I slow down
in order to avoid collisions.
I cry a little because I realize those drivers
will never see that I saved their lives.
They will probably never know
the mistakes they made.
I am humbled by my small destiny
on my neighborhood roads today,
and the invisibility of it.
I look into the heart of my eyes
and I wonder how many times
in the future I will be able to see
the same humble moments in others.
I wonder how many times
I will be able to see the deftness
and joy that others have felt
as they have traversed this planet,
making the world a better place
in a thousand quiet, transparent acts.
I may be slow to see
and to appreciate
and the smaller still
delights the pathways
of our lives,
but my eyes are
in the neighborhood.