Tag Archives: koans

dVerse Poets Pub: Answering Neruda

“Who sings in the deepest water in the abandoned lagoon?”
—Pablo Neruda

Answering Neruda

Who is the one who
sings my dreams here
in the velvet shade of
the river’s guardians ?

Deepest secrets are told here.

Water, the mother of us all,
in league with
abandoned voice of this
lagoon’s ministry.



For dVerse Poets Pub. See the challenge HERE.
Read more responses to the challenge HERE.


Hop Scotch (Don’t Worry. Be Happy!)

                       Click on photos to enlarge.



                      “How green is blue?” the child asks,
“What is the taste of pink?”

                        A prodigy koan-master
 with a novel way to think,
                        such problems keep a child’s mind
engaged in matters other
                         than all the daily problems
of a father or a mother. 

                         No spider ever stumbles
when spinning out her strands,
                         for the feet she walks around on
are really only hands.

                         No specter of a problem
ever plagues a goat.

                          He simply feeds upon the world
and lives his life by rote.

                       And so it is with children.
They go from thing to thing

                      with no worries of the outcomes
that their acts might bring.

                       They leave to human adults
the worries of such things

                        and simply live with pleasures
that every new day brings.

Prompts for today are “How green is blue?spider, stumble, specter and goat.

Ocean Koan II


Ocean Koan

The dolphins ride in on the music,
but why did they come here?
Did they seek to lend their harmonies
to a new music most queer?
Did they soar in on its melody,
come  in on a riff,
drawn by its dissonant whistle—
a mere beckoning whiff?

Whatever the dolphins are hearing,
whatever they’re trying to reach,
we do not know their language
as they strand themselves on our beach.
Perhaps we divert them with towers
that speak in a tongue their own,
and though it’s not our intention,
our messages form a koan

that they are driven to answer
as we’re drawn to outer space,
pulled to find our others
in an alien clime and place.
We believe we are harmless and loving,
at peace with their watered dreams;
when in truth we are drying their world up—
ripping it at the seams.

We send out the signals to pull them
to where they should not be,
like fairytales told to children
that draw them to our knee—
backs to the seaward window,
ears sealed to their keening tones
as the dolphins swimming landward
pave our beaches with their bones.

The prompt today was believe. As I am trying to get a book together, I’ve found an excellent way to meld these efforts with my blog.  As the prompts come in, I look for an older poem written to the same prompt and spend the time editing it rather than writing a new poem. This one has changed a good deal.  If you want to see the original, go here. Let me know if you like the original better.

Ocean Koan

I woke up early this morning and while I was waiting for the prompt, a dolphin swam into my consciousness and prompted this tale.  While you are waiting for me to write a poem about the sense of smell, (today’s prompt), please be content with this one written about another sense:


Ocean Koan

The dolphins ride in on the music.
Oh, how did the dolphins get here?
All of their harmonies forming
around a new music most queer.

They didn’t come in on a melody.
Didn’t come in on a riff.
They came on a dissonant whistle
its tone just a beckoning whiff.

Whatever the dolphins are hearing,
wherever they’re trying to reach,
we cannot hear what they’re saying,
stranded right here on our beach.

Perhaps we divert them with towers
that speak in a language their own–
calling them with no intention,
our messages forming a koan.

We believe we are harmless and loving,
at peace with their watery dreams;
when in truth we are drying their world up–
pulling it loose at the seams.

Then we send out our signals to draw them
landwards where they should not be.
As the fairytales told to our children
draw them to collect at our knee,

their backs to the crystal clear window,
their ears sealed to all the high tones;
while the dolphins swim forever landward.
Our beaches are paved with their bones.


I am not an expert on sonar or other communication technology.  If you want to hear more on the subject, go here:  http://www.earthportals.com/beachedwhales.html