The Arts


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



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

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

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

                                                               Thich Nhat Hanh

Reasons to Meditate


to practice noticing
to understand simple things
to give myself clarity
to face inevitable difficulties
to make a conscious choice
to welcome my feelings
to know pain
to experience the bliss of effort
to take gentle possession of my mind
to free my mind
to be aware of my sinsitivity
to dip below superficiality
to brighten my eyes
to forget how i look
to stop moving
to let myself be how i am
to love deeply
to risk being myself
to sit upright like a pyramid
to stay still
to breathe in the air
to encourage a positive habit
t o behave in the manner of one who woke up
to pursue freedom
to touch the ground
to learn without words
to unlock my heart
to go beyond

Lisa Cullen

Lisa Cullen writes:  Two women are waiting on a packed train platform in Calcutta.  One of the moment is hunched over reading The Spiral Dance.  The other is absorbed in biting her fingernails.  A cow ambles by.  A rickshaw driver is arguing with a naked sadhu.  A Tibetan woman is selling bone malas.
                                                          “Which character am I?”

Zen Poetry

Summer grasses:
all that remains of great soldiers’
imperial dreams

– Basho

O Snail,
Climb Mount Fuji
But slowly, slowly!



” I have not heard of a single Buddha, past or present,
who has been enlightened by sacred prayers
and scriptures.”

– Bassui

The wind has settled, the blossoms have fallen;
Birds sing, the mountains grow dark –
This is the wondrous power of Buddhism.

– Ryokan

The nature of the Mind when understood,
No human speech can compass or disclose.
Enlightenment is naught to be attained,
And he that gains it does not say he knows.

– Huang Po


Sitting cross legged on a wooden floor
     above the tiny desk, pine branches hang in rain
before my eyes thru glass – a drop falls from the roof edge

broken earth here, pebbles brought from afar scattered
     by white treestump, green grass Crowds the path –

Grey streaks my beard, I began sitting quiet
     lately, but it’s too late to read Lankavatara,
Surangama, Diamond and ten thousand sutras –
     bald head holds no Chinese, Sanskrit, Japanese,
and now Rheumatism twinges my Knees ehn I walk –
Well, with such pines hung in grey sky                   
     I still must be Buddha here – If not
                                who am I?
                                                                    May 3, 1971

Praise to Tara


Praise to Tara

Homage to The Three Jewels

Homage to Guru, Deva and Dakini

Homage to you Tara, who bloom with love and compassion

Homage to you Tara, who dwell in wisdom and certainty

Look how you tend to pain and ease the afflictions of all

Look how you protect from dangers and lift the downtrodden

Look how you subdue all negativities and place beings in happiness and joy

Your enlightened form is shining with beauty

Like a 16 year old maiden in her bloom

Draped in silks, adorned with precious jewels

You appear in glittering rainbow colours

Your mind and heart is the union of ancient wisdom and eternal love

Manifesting here and now for the benefit of all

With Amitaba’s light sparkling in the topknot of your hair

You are sure to lead us to the pure lands

Tara, I take refuge in you, please protect and uplift me

Help me to be useful in my life, to really benefit myself and others

Help me to transform every negativity

And bring forth every good quality

Just like you have done

Your tiara shines in splendour

The five poisons having blossomed into their full potential

Let me become a wisdom holder just like that

Your left hand holds three precious Upala flowers, blue like the sky

In honour of the enlightened ones of the three times

Praise to all who have realized the unsurpassable Bodhicitta

Your right hand is in the mudra of giving

Whatever beings need and long for

Always pure, joyful, natural and relaxed in your nature

You rest on a beautiful lotus and moon disc

Your measureless intelligence and compassion shining out in all directions

Tara, compassionate guide of beings

Take me by the hand, help me avoid the lesser paths

Lead me to the higher realms of peace and love

Include me in your mandala of ambrosia so freely given

Let it flow through me and – as if by magic – on to all beings

Who are of the same nature, inseparable from love and light

And let them too become fearless and free like you

Tara, great protector

By the power of vows, interdependence and all our merit

Protect us from being imprisoned by negative circumstances

Protect us from losing our way, protect us from outer calamities

And the inner misfortune of being overwhelmed by negative emotions

By our devotion, remove the veils that hinder clear seeing

Remove the obstacle of ill will and negative actions

Remove the obstacle of clinging to ego and transient things that cannot be relied upon

Remove the obstacle of getting caught in the snares of the world

Remove the obstacle of denigrating others

Remove the obstacle of not understanding how precious we are

Help us to realize the empty nature of phenomena and rest in

The blissful Bodhicitta that is the source of every useful thing

Noble Tara, compassionate mother of beings

Inspire us to be like you

Fearless in suppressing poisonous negativity

Inexhaustible in positive actions for others

Always victorious, joyful and immeasurably kind

By our devotion, please send your blessings

In your white aspect, you grant prosperity, comfort, long life and peace

In your green aspect, you remove obstacles on the path

and show the way of enlightened activity

With your left foot extended, you are always ready to act for beings in need

In all your aspects you are master of skills and medicine

Endowed with power to cure the ills of the living

Tara, compassionate and nurturing one

As long as our devotion remains

Mature us in your nectar of boundless compassion, wisdom and love

                           Let us understand it to be our own nature

Help us gain confidence in the view

Help us rest assured that it is so

Help us to be inseparable from you

Om Tare Tuttare Ture Svaha

                                                                        Image result for green tara tibetan script                                        

From Heidi Trondsen KTL sangha in Norway, working for Shenpen Tibet Aid in India and Nepal.

The Buddha’s Master Plan


Beneath the sea of glistening stars,
Between the ethereal evening air,
Lies a forest of glowing dreams,
But as diverse and rich as they are,
None escape the same Moonbeam.

Under the lucent morning glow,
Roll waves of raving emotions, 
Turbid fortunes and cruel woes,
The burning craving of billions, 
Yet the same Sun illumes them all.

Princes, beggars and pretenders,
All dance their own tango with
Fortune’s jeering taunts and tantrums,
Each gambles to grapple with fate,
But upon the same soil they all tread.

The crown of a grand old oak
Casts a wide and mighty shadow, 
Ruffling with a myriad of leaves,
Adorned by blooming blossoms 
That sprout in spring and wither in winter,

With branches amber in autumn, 
Green in summer, and lean and bare
In Saturn’s season of barren frost.
Yet for all its lush richness, it still rests
Upon one abiding unchanging trunk.

So even as human affairs steer here and there,
And wander and meander like wetland streams,
The timeless source remains the same,
For all ripe fruits return to Buddha’s root.

It is often asked why it is said that there are 84,000 different Dharma-doors (i.e. innumerable forms of Dharma). The answer is simple: Sentient beings are complex and have innumerable biases, different spiritual levels and varying aspirations.  Thus, it is not possible for one fixed form of teaching to suffice by itself. 

Therefore, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have not only spoken a rich collection of different Sutras, but have also manifested as the Sages and founders of different religions in order to teach those who could not yet accept the Buddha-dharma.

According to the Ven. Master Hsuan Hua:

“In Buddhism, he (Guanyin Bodhisattva) appears as a Bodhisattva; in other religions he often appears clad in white robes. In Christianity, he is the Holy Mother; he appears as the Holy Mother to teach and transform a certain category of beings. He appears in white robes and Christians call her Mother Mary, but actually she is Guanshiyin Bodhisattva manifesting in that form to inspire beings to bring forth a resolve that will lead them sooner or later to understand the Buddhadharma. Once they understand the Buddhadharma, they will bring forth the resolve for Bodhi. These are the endless miraculous functions and inconceivable states of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva.”

-Ven Master Hsuan Hua’s 1996 Lecture “Guanyin, Guanyin, Guanshiyin” (Translated by the BTTS).

Continue reading

Remember by Christina Rossetti

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 plann’d:

         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.

Haiku, Chögyam Trungpa

The beginner in meditation
Resembles a hunting dog
having a bad dream


His parents are having tea
With his new girlfriend –
Like a general inspecting his troops.


Skiing in a red and blue outfit,
Drinking cold beer with a lovely smile –
I wonder if I’m one of them?


Coming home from work,
Still he hears the phone
Ringing in his office.


Gentle day’s flower –
The hummingbird competes
with the stillness of the air.


Chögyam Trungpa





Flags are separate symbols

that blow and wave, unfurl,

express our pretensions that

we, too, are separate,

country from country

body from body, mind from mind.

Our bars of belief and superstition

have bound us and in thrall to habit

we are ready to kill in the name of a priest,

an imam, a language, a symbol that flutters in the wind.

We must belong, see ourselves as having kinship

with others to protect from the draw of the jungle,

the real division from our true selves

that lies deep down in our true nature.

World Peace Flag

Why is there, one must ask, this division—the Russian, the American, the British, the French, the German, and so on—why is there this division between man and man, between race and race, culture against culture, one series of ideologies against another? Why?

Where is there this separation? Man has divided the earth as yours and mine—why? Is it that we try to find security, self-protection, in a particular group, or in a particular belief, faith? For religions also have divided man, put man against man—the Hindus, the Muslims, the Christians, the Jews and so on.

Nationalism, with its unfortunate patriotism, is really a glorified form, an ennobled form, of tribalism. In a small tribe or in a very large tribe there is a sense of being together, having the same language, the same superstitions, the same kind of political, religious system. And one feels safe, protected, happy, comforted. And for that safety, comfort, we are willing to kill others who have the same kind of desire to be safe, to feel protected, to belong to something.

This terrible desire to identify oneself with a group, with a flag, with a religious ritual and so on gives us the feeling that we have roots, that we are not homeless wanderers. – Krishnamurti, Krishnamurti to Himself, pp 59-60




May the blessings of the exalted sources of refuge,

The Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, the Three Jewels

And the Lama Yidam and Protectors, the three Roots,

Pacify the terrors of illness, famine, war


And chaos in the elements: the temperatures

Unbalanced, grand snow mountains – hard firm glaciers –

Will melt and disappear. Rivers and lakes

Will become parched, so the primeval forests


And trees of beauty too, will near their deaths.

There is the terrifying danger the world’s reaches

Will become a great wasteland. May these imminent

Dangers  be fully extinguished, and sublime


Good fortune and happiness spread all around.

May all beings nurture one another lovingly

And kindly, so their joy may fully blossom.

May all their aims be fulfilled, in accordance with the dharma.


Requested by John Stanley

Composed by Kanchen Thrangu Rinpoche

Translated by  David Karma Chopel.

At Thrangu Monastery Kathmandu, Nepal  2006


From ‘When Snow Mountains Wear Black Hats –  A Buddhist Response to Global Warming’.   J. Stanley D. R. Loy, G.Dorje  Prajna Press , Ireland 2008.


love Annie




For those who like to see things in a unity, and in time for the opening of the beautiful Queensferry Crossing in a few hours, here is the entire sequence of the Brig poems:

The Brig


Too often the ford had been impassable.
The river tormented with a thunderous divide
between the landholds of opposing tribes
that weighed their worth in lineage and cattle.

Wild weathers brought them together at last;
deep quarrels of blood were cast aside
so the need of exchange could override
the lust for revenge through constant battle.

They gathered up stones that the hills had shed,
assessing their value by texture and grain,
and split them to size with wedges, not swords.

With each side anchored by the river’s bed,
on a scaffold of pine they arched a span
locking a keystone stronger than words.

©Angus D H Ogilvy August 2017


On crystal days the bridge and the water
made a circle of light in which birds and
insects, air and thought might pass through time
without a single ripple of reflection.

People came, not to traverse the bridge, but
to be where the gurgling silence was full
and to wait with no burden of expectation till
the moon would tremble the halo with glow.

Lovers met there where arms reached out
and touched, and pilgrims on their way
to penance stopped for ceremonies
of soft water and the sanctuary of trees.

When rain roared with the river in full flow,
fox spirits crossed on the parabola of night.

©Angus D H Ogilvy August 2017


Stones don’t groan, but there are times when
the load placed on them calls out for a sound
to complement the burden of enforced departure,
the weight that presses in a bitter leaving,
to harmonise with the lament of grinding wheels
and shuffling feet against greased cobbles,
the scrabbling masses of submissive sheep
squeezed through parapets towards course shearing.

Dragoons and brigands on iron shod horses
clattered across with cloaked intentions;
and hearses, too, rigid as covered guns,
returned for burials in the heart of the glen.

With the advent of engines, the brig, disused,
decayed, evoked in photographs of then.

©Angus D H Ogilvy August 2017


Sometimes it seems that the brig is one
with the stone from which it sprung, as if
the rock was reaching to rejoin itself after
the wearing of millennia of water.

There is a fragile solidity to
the cupping of time in a curve that lifts
the whole of the sky as an offering
to be passed to the clasp of another
in a gentle continuum of transference.

Or is it, perhaps, the space that wears away,
and time that erodes to wasted sand
with the water as its messenger;
and emptiness that makes the solid
of the hole in the stone it leaves behind?

©Angus D H Ogilvy August 2017


People stopped to marvel at the skeleton
of the brig, how its rickle of stones still stood
in defiance of gravity and hard weather.

Coaches and minibuses spilled out tourists.
Soon it was listed amongst a selection
of ‘must see sites’. Guides were hired to invent crude
myths of secret trysts and black bloody deeds with their
associated hauntings. Teens on study trips
queued at caravans for brigburger
specials and chips. Engineers sweated
to preserve the brig’s dilapidated state
in perpetuity. Nothing could be allowed to disturb
its rich antiquity, the wealth it created.

Pipers piped pibrochs, donations gratefully accepted.

©Angus D H Ogilvy August 2017


The dome of a morning was stirred by a note
that hollowed the bowl of hills and fields.
It loomed as though through a ring of fog;
an upwelling out of the stubborn soil
shivering dying grasses with impending;
water being strummed in a goblet of innocence;
the songbreath of an aeolian vowel
captured in the curvature of a bell.

Horses snorted, stamped, drew back their ears;
dogs turned docile, lolled below lintels,
their jaws held tight to the tremulous earth;
birds cocked their heads, refrained from flying.

Wind touched a wavering harmonic in the brig,
brushed the tension in its stone with a fingertip.

©Angus D H Ogilvy August 2017


When the support about the keystone crumbles,
and the dressed blocks of the arch collapse
into the rough and tumble of the torrent,
once again we’ll have to learn to stumble
over the random stepping stones, and clasp
at overhanging foliage to prevent
being taken by that relentless force
of water thrusting from the thunder of the gorge.

By then we’ll have forgotten the beauty of the bridge.
Our attention will be focused on the placement of our feet,
balancing the power we’ll need to take those leaps
of faith that sudden bursts of courage,
and a fixed will to succeed, should help us reach
those paths we lost through arrogance, conceit.

©Angus D H Ogilvy August 2017


Once there was a brig here. That much is known.
We find it in the lore of stories told round fires
after the inundations, the re-formation of the ice.

Who envisaged it, who argued its cause,
who laid down the gold, who worked it, all are lost
to time and fern and moss with those who loved
and fought in consequence that it was here.

Water has renewed the great divide.

What remains is a bridge of mist,
the suspended condensation of a truth
emerging like a halo out of night,

What continues is the conjunction
of all that hangs upon the arch of a rainbow,
a perfect precision of art, and light.

©Angus D H Ogilvy August 2017




angusAngus was born in Glasgow, grew up in Galloway, and was educated in Edinburgh and Dundee. He has had a career in education which included 25 years as an international school teacher and administrator in Spain, China, Nepal, Indonesia and Zimbabwe. Since winning his school poetry prize in his youth, he has had an abiding interest in poetry and his poems have appeared in various publications.  He returned to Edinburgh in 2008 and spends his time writing, doing voluntary work, and addressing conferences, seminars and symposiums about the patient experience of cancer using his poetry as an aid to communication. He has recently published a collection of poems, Lights in the Constellation of the Crab and House Clearing by Moonlight, in aid of Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres.