The Blank Means More

 

we fill the blank page
full of words with meaning
yet the blank means more

Short Verses & Other Curses

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No Mind, No Attachment

Wu_nothing

The Mind in its dimensions is broad and great, like empty space. It has no sides or limits, it is neither square nor round, neither large nor small. It is neither blue, yellow, red, nor white; it has neither upper nor lower; it is neither long nor short. It knows neither anger nor pleasure, neither right nor wrong, neither good nor evil. It is without beginning and without end. But good friends, do not, hearing me speak of emptiness, become attached to emptiness.

Shin’ichi Hisamatsu, from The Characteristics of Oriental Nothingness

 

#ofthejournals

 
 

Piddling Over An Abstraction

Have you got five minutes to spare?

No?

No time, you say?

Okay, if you had the time, what would you do with it?

Take your time and think.

I’m in no rush for I, personally, have all the time in the world.

Please stop looking at your watch phone.

Try to judge time’s movement without mechanics.

When was the last time you considered what time even means?

Or time as more than a deadline?

Is a five-minute wait a waste of time for you?

Depends on the situation, you say?

Why?
Continue reading “Piddling Over An Abstraction”

The Absurdity That Isn’t

An Existential Moment
 

I’m not a philosopher despite the fact that it is my belief that everyone with a thinking brain, and especially those without, is one, whether it be as a witting one or not.

No, I’m not a Philosopher, despite my occasional philosophizing about philosophical stuff, in the same regard that I’m not a Poet, despite the fact that I occasionally write poetic-like stuff.

Philosophy as a studied discipline is way too confounding for my confounded brain.

However, practicing a philosophy as a means for navigating life comes as natural to me as the act of breathing or as the desire to include unnecessary descriptive and expounding words, especially those oh so delightful words of the adverbial persuasion, into as much of my writing as possible.

For instance, I have no idea how many times other than a lot that I’ve attempted to read and understand such profound Philosophers as Kierkegaard and Nietzsche and Heidegger and Sartre and Camus and, regardless how many times it’s been, without fail and after only a few pages I have to put their books down in angry frustration and embarrassment from my inability to read the words that they have carefully and thoughtfully written for me with any sustained comprehension. It is maddening to me that, while I can read and understand just about any individual sentence of theirs, when moving on to a succeeding sentence, of which I can also read and understand, I invariably lose comprehension of the sentence which had just preceded it and which only seconds before I had understood.

If hell is other people, then a deeper hell is other people other than the people I can understand…

Continue reading “The Absurdity That Isn’t”

Realm of the Benevolent and Its Loss of Hope

More weird, rambling, forgotten writing recently found while rooting ’round the cluttered Draft files folder. I don’t remember writing it, ergo, I have no idea why it was written. However, as it appears to be a philosophical dilemma regarding torture, and, as torture has been one of the Freak Show promotional devices, I guess that kind of makes it relevant to today. Right?


Realm of the Benevolent and Its Loss of Hope

Or

The Significance of Being Earnest about Torture

 

You and your anointed line, the ancient Realm of the Benevolent, a most modest and compassionate line of monarchs if ever there was one, has ruled royal over all of the Earth’s bountiful domain from time immemorial. And while your realm has always been one full of Peace and Plenty, a new dark day has dawned upon it, for the Sorcerer of the Vile has finally united the Universal Forces of Evil against you and your humble people.

Spells by the Sorcerer have been cast, enchanting many of your brave and trusted nobles and subjugating them and all whom they lord over under the Forces of Evil. With so many of your own nobles now aligned against you, your realm’s existence is being threatened like it has never been threatened before. Your blood could be the last of your majestic line’s to flow.

One of your most valiant and strong amongst all your nobles, whose enchantment is yet unbeknownst to you, managed to storm the Chamber of the Grand Council of Goode while in session and kidnap your most trusted advisor and lifelong friend and one whom to all is known simply as Hope.

Hope has always been there for you for as long as you have ruled. Without her by your side, you feel lost, helpless. Defeated.

For days you hear nothing of Hope’s fate until finally a most horrid of dark riders on a most horrid of dark horses brings word straight from the Sorcerer of the Dark himself that he is willing to allow Hope to live, but only if you, like so many of your enchanted nobles have, swear a subjugating oath of fealty to him of the Vile.

And you have only until the Hour of Eight to do so.

Luckily, amidst your despair at the loss of Hope, word arrives from a messenger of the yet clear-headed and un-enchanted Lord Squarejaw that he and his loyal guard have captured a close confident of the Vile Sorcerer and one whom Squarejaw is certain knows where Hope can be found. But time is short and as of yet no answers are forthcoming from the Vile allegiant and Squarejaw fears and that there is only one way to get answers from his captive before the reckoning Hour of Eight strikes. And that way is through… torture.

For Hope’s sake, what do you, you in all your benevolence and grace, do?

~ Bring your ancient and noble line to an end by subjugating yourself and your realm to the Sorcerer of the Vile and his Forces of Evil, thereby letting Hope live?

~ Continue to resist the Sorcerer of the Vile and his Forces of Evil, thereby letting Hope die?

~ Sacrifice the ideals and principles of your ancient bloodline and Realm by ordering Lord Squarejaw to torture the Vile allegiant in the hope that the captive will provide the information that will enable you to save Hope before the Hour of Reckoning?

 

THE PHILOSOPHY OF INSPIRATION | A Relating to Humans Philosophical Issues Feature

THE PHILOSOPHY OF INSPIRATION
by Rana Tarakji

As Kurt explains it on his Welcome page, it is impossible to mingle with other human beings in an entirely pain-free manner. However, there is a difference between pain that aims to makes a person stronger and pain that aims at the opposite or has no aim at all. How can we inspire others without a bit of tough love anyways?

For instance, telling the truth can hurt sometimes, but isn’t it in the favour of the truth-receiver? Doesn’t it enlighten the person with truths that make him or her wiser and allow him/her to be more successful in his/her future life? Perhaps not knowing the truth might keep the person content, however, there’s usually a bigger chance that not knowing the truth can hurt a person in the long run.

What about giving advice? Advice can be tough for some people to swallow. They might not want to hear what you want to say to them, even if it makes perfect sense. A lot of people prefer not to get involved in other people’s decisions and not to offer their advice if it stands against the other person’s beliefs. But does staying quiet in critical times help that person? No, it doesn’t.

Celebrities are often looked up to because they have usually gone through a lot of ups and downs and tough times to get where they are in their lives. It’s never an easy thing to become well-known, respected and adored by millions. And sometimes, simple but wise words from these inspirational people can motivate us to make small changes in our lives, to the better. The following infographic lists some of the top inspirational celebrity quotes by life coach spotter that will leave you inspired:
 

CLICK TO ENLARGE

lifecoachspotter.com

 


 
Learn more about our open-submissions Relating to Humans feature here.

 
 

While Hacking at a Log

I wonder…

What is more important to most readers of literature…

Just the words as they are written?

Or the why the words were written – the author’s motivation?

Or the how the words were written – the author’s background?

When reading a thesis that may influence one’s medical or legal decisions, knowing that the author has the requisite knowledge and training to write with such influencing authority – the why and how of the words – probably should be important.

However, when it comes to literature – does it really matter what schools the author attended, or how well-read an author is?

Or would most readers regard a work of literature by a less-than educated or less-than well-read author similar to someone hacking in mad rage at a log with an ax and when she comes to her senses she discovers that she had, in her blind passion, formed a beautiful wooden sculpture*?

Would she have created art?

Should she then be considered an artist?

I wonder…


 

*This is far from an original thought of mine but unfortunately I cannot find the original quote to give proper credit. If you know, please comment.

 
 

Haiku, Senryū, and the Subtleties In Their Similarities and Differences

If I had a bit more courage and a lot more scholarship, I would have discussed the similarities and differences between a haiku poem and a senryū poem in the introduction of my newly released book of poetry Short Verses & Other Curses: Haiku, Senryū, Tanka & Other Poetic, Artistic, & Photographic Miscellany. However, seeing that I am woefully deficient in both, I will have to enlist someone adequately courageous and scholarly to discuss these subtleties for me.

What little I do think I know about these two popular Japanese poetical forms is that both are diminutive in structure yet powerful in purpose and meaning, with haiku typically involving nature settings and the zen-like moments often evoked by them and senryū typically involving the vagaries – and vulgarities – of the lives that we lead, often by employing humor and sarcasm. But then, what do I really know about it…

I have no answers
I know just that grass will grow
and that leaves will fall

For those of you who appreciate a little more scholarship and authority, here is what Richard Hass, former U.S. Poet Laureate, has to say about haiku in his beautifully edited and translated book The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, & Issa (Essential Poets). (I find no direct mention of senryū in the book; though it seems to me much of his discussion of haiku can also be applied to senryū as well.)

Robert Hass:

The insistence on time and place was crucial for writers of haiku. The seasonal reference was called kigo and a haiku was thought to be incomplete without it.

If the first level of a haiku is its location in nature, its second is almost always some implicit Buddhist reflection on nature.

When the hokku [what haiku were originally called] became detached from linked verse, it also cast off the room the tanka provided for drawing a moral (thought not all tanka do moralize, of course) and what was left was the irreducible mysteriousness of the images themselves.

There is so much to consider about these two subtle yet so often at the same time plain-spoken Japanese poetic forms. Considerations such as:

– Zen and its influence
– the influence of China and its poetry
– various poetic techniques found in much of traditional Japanese poetry, to include haiku and senryū, such as kake-kotoba (pivot words) and kireji (cutting words)
– the 5/7/5 structure and its relevance to the Western haiku poet

Hass’ book covers much of the list; however, instead of continuing to discuss about these poetic forms, let’s just experience some of the best of their kind and enjoy them as they are.


From THE ESSENTIAL HAIKU

Basho

Awake at night–
the sound of the water jar
cracking in the cold

A petal shower
of mountain roses,
and the sound of the rapids

How admirable!
to see lightning and not think
life is fleeting

Spring rain
leaking through the roof,
dripping from a wasps’ nest

Taking a nap,
feet planted
against a cool wall

Winter solitude —
in a world of one color
the sound of wind

Buson

Coolness —
the sound of the bell
as it leaves the bell

He’s on the porch,
to escape wife and kids —
how hot it is!

Cover my head
or my feet?
the winter quilt

Flowers offered to the Buddha
come floating
down the winter river

Issa

Don’t worry, spiders,
I keep house
casually

The man pulling radishes
pointed my way
with a radish

A dry riverbed
glimpsed
by lightning

All the time I pray to Buddha
I keep on
Killing mosquitos

Visiting graves,
the old dog
leads the way

No talent
and so no sin,
a winter day

From the website HUBPAGES

A horse farts
four or five suffer
on the ferry-boat

the matchmaker
speaks the sober truth
only when drunk

Zen priest
meditation finished
looking for fleas

The face of her husband
looking for a job —
she is tired of it

Richard Wright

The watching faces
as I walk the autumn road,
make me a traveler

An empty sickbed
an indented pillow
in weak winter sun

A falling petal
strikes one floating on the pond
and they both sink


 

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Short Verses & Other Curses – Promotional Giveaway Until 12/26/15

Short Verses & Other Curses

Short Verses & Other Curses

Get your promotional edition here.

FROM THE INTRODUCTION:

I began focusing much of my poetry writing on the Japanese poetic forms of haiku, senryū, and tanka at the beginning of 2012 as a therapeutic effort when finding myself in the midst of an illness. And I continue to write them even as I find myself, at the end of 2015, in the midst of wellness – their therapy for me being more calmative now than curative.

The Short Versesin this collection are all either haiku, senryū, or tanka, with those in the latter half of the section being accompanied by a titled photograph or drawing…

The Other Curses in this collection are poems and sayings following no particular form or convention – in other words, they are quite informal and unconventional. Some in this section are accompanied with a photograph or drawing; many are not.

I discover truth and meaning in the concepts of no mind, living in the now, non-attachment, and the angst of existence as found in the practices and philosophies and Zazen, Stoicism, and Existentialism. Additionally, I admire greatly the concepts taught by the late Dr. Wayne Dyer.

You may notice these conceptual influences laced throughout this collection…


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