The Arts

MORNING PRACTICE

Morning Practice
(for Dónal C.)

The leaves: I’m sweeping them but still they fall
upon the steps and all along the path –
I wonder if I’ll reach the boundary wall.

The storm last night increased my brush’s haul,
though for this rain they will say dhanyavaad,
I’m sweeping up the leaves and still they fall.

How fine to hear the dark blue song thrush call
while smaller birds enjoy their dusty bath –
they’re sure to reach and pass the boundary wall.

Sometimes I think I’ll never clear them all –
Like Milarepa fearing Marpa’s wrath –
so still I’m sweeping leaves and still they fall.

From here in Sikkim via West Bengal,
my pilgrimage goes on into Sarnath,
I plan to make it inside Deer Park’s wall.

I hope this spell in detail I’ll recall,
once I progress into its aftermath.
Meanwhile I’m sweeping leaves but still they fall,
I don’t know if I’ll reach the boundary wall.


Reprinted with the kind permission of Maeve O’Sullivan.
From
Elswhere p.85 Alba Publishing

Dubliner Mave O’Sullivan’s poetry and haiku have been widely published, anthologised and translated.
Her four collections are Elsewhere (2017); Initial Response, An A-Z of haiku moments (2011); Vocal Chords (2014); and Double Rainbow (2005) all available at Alba Publishing
Maeve is a winner of the Listowel Writers’ Week poetry competition for a single poem, and conducts haiku workshops with adults and children.
A lecturer in Media Studies, she lives in Dublin
Maeve’s new collection of poetry, Elsewhere is available from Alba Publishing

MEMORIES

 

               E. H. Shepard

MEMORIES
[LEST WE FORGET]

At night when all the house is still,
I sometimes take my favourite briar,
And one last pipe ere bedtime fill,
Then fall to dreaming by the fire.

The cosy room, the easy-chair
Are left a hundred leagues behind,
I’m with the old battalion where
The cobbled roads of Flanders wind.

And once again the heavy pack,
And once again the miles of mud,
The old precarious duck-board track,
The cold o’nights that chilled the blood.
.          .          .          .          .           .          .
It’s good to have a house and fire,
And bed to go to.  Midnight chimes;
I knock the ashes from by briar –
Millions of men muse thus at times.
W. D. COCKER
From Poems Scots and English 1932, (Brown, Son & Ferguson, Ltd. Glasgow)

INSIDE ROOM 102

Inside Room 102

Of this Art Deco cinema-hotel
a youngish Orson holds his second wife,
a most erotic black-and-white embrace:
his right hand firmly grasps her pale left arm,
her head tilts slightly back and to the left,
the lips just barely parted with suspense;
The Lady from Shanghai is being shot-
a tale of murder, lust, deception, guns-
and Rita’s shorter bleach blonde tresses
are framing her new femme fatale, Elsa.
Her neck and shoulders are completely bare,
an eylash casts a shadow on her cheek.
She leans back for the kiss and holds her breath,
then tumbles into drink, dementia, death.

Maeve is a winner of the Listowel Writers’ Week poetry competition for a single poem, and conducts haiku workshops with adults and children.A lecturer in Media Studies, she lives in DublinMaeve’s new collection of poetry, Elsewhere is available from Alba Publishing.

COMPASSION

image

Amongst the flowers I
am alone with my pot of wine
drinking by myself; then lifting
my cup I asked the moon
to drink with me, its reflection
and mine in the wine cup, just
the three of us; then I sigh
for the moon cannot drink,

and my shadow goes emptily along
with me never saying a word;
with no other friends here, I can
but use these two for company;
in the time of happiness, I
too must be happy with all
around me; I sit and sing
and it is as if the moon

accompanies me; then if I
dance, it is my shadow that
dances along with me; while
still not drunk, I am glad
to make the moon and my shadow
into friends, but then when
I have drunk too much, we
all part; yet these are

friends I can always count on
these who have no emotion
whatsoever; I hope that one day
we three will meet again,
deep in the Milky Way.

 Li Po

DRINK YOUR TEA

Drink your tea slowly and reverently,
as if it is the axis 
on which the world earth revolves 
– slowly, evenly, without 
rushing toward the future;
Live the actual moment.
Only this moment is life.

Thich Nhat Hahn

Elsewhere

 

Japan

Shinbazu Pond –
even these withered lotuses
can lift my heart

 

heated toilet seat –
memories of growing up
in a large family

 

deep-fried pork:
I await instructions
on how to eat it

 

we look through the dark
to the place where Mount Fuji
is supposed to be

 

arrival in Kyoto…
I buy flowers for myself
flowers for the Buddha

 

the clunk of wooden sandals
on stone paving –
Mount Otowa

 

thatched with water reeds
topped with acer leaves –
Basho-an the poet’s hut

 

further uphill
autumn birdsong leads the way –
Buson’s grave

 

wandering poet’s well               its stone collar lotus

 

dusk over the city           two small girls in flowery kimono

Japan has been extracted from Maeve O’Sullivan’s latest publication Elsewhere
available from Alba Publishing
Dubliner Mave O’Sullivan’s poetry and haiku have been widely published, anthologised and translated.
Her four collections are Elsewhere (2017); Initial Response, An A-Z of haiku moments (2011); Vocal Chords (2014); and Double Rainbow (2005) all available at Alba Publishing
Maeve is a winner of the Listowel Writers’ Week poetry competition for a single poem, and conducts haiku workshops with adults and children.
A lecturer in Media Studies, she lives in Dublin
Maeve’s new collection of poetry, Elsewhere is available from Alba Publishing

ODE TO MANCHESTER

The blood of Irish, Catholic immigrants
And Russian, Jewish refugees
Flows through the veins of this Buddhist nun,
A seeker of wisdom, compassion and peace,

Whose path has encircled the world and alights
Now in Edinburgh, where it has stayed.
But my heart cries out for Manchester,
For Manchester where I was made.

And I weep to see your suffering,
Caused by minds deluded by hate,
Yet tears of sadness are mixed with pride,
Seeing what makes my hometown so great.

Strength and kindness in adversity,
That brave, indomitable spirit,
Bred by love that welcomes diversity,
All embellished with pithy, street wit.

Mancunia, Mancunia!
That fortress of northern souls,
Your red brick streets and fields of dreams,
Bear witness to impossible goals.

In grief we stand united,
United we’ll rise from the ruins,
Like so many who’ve gone before us,
For in Manchester, that’s how we do things.

by Ani Rinchen Khandro, AKA Jackie Glass, Mancunian.

A Muslim comforts an elderly Jewish woman (Independent News)

LAZY LAMA FILM

Renowned German filmmaker Niko von Glasow’s newest film is now available to view here!

                                                                         LAZY LAMA FILM

The film shows Ringu Tulku not only as a Buddhist master and teacher – it also offers a personal, humorous and honest insight into his family and working life. It shows Ringu Tulku preparing four students for a retreat which lasts three years, three months and three days, in Sikkim, North India. Spending time with the Lazy Lama gives the audience the opportunity to reflect on their own lives, and find ways to create more room for spirituality, meditation, empathy and the right kind of “laziness”.

TO A POET A THOUSAND YEARS HENCE

I who am dead a thousand years,
    And wrote this sweet archaic song,
Send you my words for messengers
    The way I shall not pass along.

I care not if you bridge the seas,
    Or ride secure the cruel sky,
Or build consummate palaces
    Of metal or of masonry.

But have you wine and music still,
    And statues and a bright-eyed love,
And foolish thoughts of good and ill,
    And prayers to them who sit above?

How shall we conquer? Like a wind
    That falls at eve our fancies blow,
And old Moeonides the blind
    Said it three thousand years ago.

O friend unseen, unborn, unknown,
    Student of our sweet English tongue,
Read out my words at night, alone:
    I was a poet, I was young.

Since I can never see your face,
    And never shake you by the hand,
I send my soul through time and space
    To greet you. You will understand.

James Elroy Flecker was educated at Dean Close School, Cheltenham, where his father was headmaster, and at Uppingham and Trinity College, Oxford.

After university he joined the Diplomatic Service, spending time in Constantinople and Beirut. In 1913 he went to Switzerland to seek a cure for his tuberculosis but died there two years later at the age of 31.

 

Remember

Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you planned:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

Christina Rossetti1830 – 1894

Maeve O’Sullivan.

Morning Silence, haiku from Dónal Creedon’s Tullow Retreat, August 2018

discarded crisp bag:

a faded Mr. Tayto

still smiling

***

talk about listening    I zone out for a bit

***

walking meditation:

you are moving slowly too

little ladybird

***

morning silence    the brewing coffee gurgles

***

early drizzle

creating a round stain

in this concrete pantheon

***

August afternoon

a sunburst spotlights

the weeping willow

***

disturbed picture frame:

the window & horse-chestnut

nodding yes, yes, yes

***

last morning   more    distance    between    sitters

White Heat

(for Lama Tsering)

Just like the moon which shines upon us all,

enlightened beings’ blessings are on tap;

says our dear teacher who has us in thrall

this week in Braga, resting hands on lap.

 

In forty-two degrees we soon will melt

into our mats and cushions, from the heat;

though we imagine that we’re not in hell

but in the realm with Amitaba’s seat.

 

White Tara deity we will invoke

as long as many mantras are said;

Chenrezig figure’s also white light soaked

compassion dominating both their heads.

 

With wisdom and a twinkle in his eye

our Rinpoche instructs us how to die.

 

Maeve O’Sullivan

August 2018

Bodhicharya Summercamp, Braga, Portugal

 

Dubliner Mave O’Sullivan’s poetry and haiku have been widely published, anthologised and translated.

Her four collections are Elsewhere (2017); Initial Response, An A-Z of haiku moments (2011); Vocal Chords (2014); and Double Rainbow (2005) all available at Alba Publishing

She is a winner of the Listowel Writers’ Week poetry competition for a single poem, and conducts haiku workshops with adults and children.

A lecturer in Media Studies, she lives in Dublin

Maeve’s new collection of poetry, Elsewhere is available from Alba Publishing.  A review will follow in the next edition of Many Roads

Existence

 

It is night.
Rain pelts the roof.
The soul awakens
to a flooded Earth –
a sea of storm 
roaring,
then passing.

In that short moment,
shirting lines and shapes,
fleetingl
barely seen.

Before the passing moment tilts
and falls to melancholy,
laughter sojnds
in quiet raindrops.

                                                               Thich Nhat Hanh