Breadcrumb #519


1. Mid-Septuagenian Blues

Was sort of a bull
back in salad days
when tongue still pink

but now I am more idle cow
what with dangling taste buds
extended to chew like Ger’s cud. 

2. Inner Climate Change haiku  

Is love the world’s glue?
You blame yourself and others.
Ban hate’s distractions.

Bless your past wisely.
Try not to acclimatize
to autobiographies.

Being human is
a bit more intense than most
of us can handle.

3. Anattā* haiku

Self is the center
of narrative gravity’s
rising and falling.

* non-self in Pali

4. Awaking From Delusion haiku

Heart-mind ambushes 
morph into nonviolence 
toward self and others.

Dharmic eyes create
room: streams then merge together
this present moment.

5. The only thing to it is to do it.

Snug as two bugs in a rug
after 50 years together,
a bit smug that these salad 
days might last forever,
I realize one of us will be
ferryperson for the other.

Can our comparing minds
find ways to freedom
through peaks and valleys
of dharma practice’s
attempt to decrease both
clinging & suffering. 

Wow, you did a swell job
when falling down!
Do we ever give ourselves
credit for disasters-- 
failed meditation or taking
care of grandkids?

You can’t despise yourself 
into becoming a better
person but it’s quite possible 
to love selves to death:
every karmic rollercoaster
ride wakens some heart.

More than those theoretical 
strategies, actual 
resonances wash through as 
loving then spirals 
toward ultimate acceptance
and even surrender.

• • •

Breadcrumb #432


I traipse through this meadow
of white noise battling petty desires,
fast realizing the folly of ancient wisdom.
The turn of phrase often serves me well.
If the muse smiles favorably, I can
inspire blushes with the best of them.
But modern love is a texted illusion
supplemented with emojis and filters
to create yet another layer of illusion
to add to this latest album’s collection.
See who sees what, who approves
or acknowledges, how many hits
before crisis of confidence emerges.
In quiet times I will scroll,
seeking solace but instead
reading of personal tragedy,
of trivial journalizing and
conversational salt sprinkled on
latest cause or current event.
It’s a caravan of bandwagons,
and I am barely aware of jumping on,
sliding downhill toward an
unsustainable position.
This is the world I must bequeath
to others: younger, faster, better.
While I observe rules of
perceived politesse,
she posts another perfect pose,
black dress as framing device
to backlit alluring half-smile,
a come hither acknowledgement
of nature’s given advantages.
Yet hours later she admits
her weariness at the sad plight
of older men appearing
on the periphery with
pathetic flirtations,
sad messengers from an outmoded past
whose present becomes blocked
from pursuing hopeful futures.
Is this really a better world?
I sometimes wonder.

• • • • • •

Breadcrumb #210


The façade was defined by a
man bleeding on wood,
and that façade created a
space between
acceptance and detachment—
where you will be cool,
if you were anything but you—
where children, who had just
seen their sperm and blood
had a false faith in their
nascent familiarity with adulthood.

Where you attached to those
beliefs that felt right
at the time, but—

My god, really, ran on
Maybelline red lipstick.

That one day, though, I, 
fatigued by the race of
running away from me,
you, inspired by
a guardian angel,

you said to me—

Hey, you know, you
are beautiful the way are.
I mean, you are pretty, 
regardless, but how you look,
just you—

You saw my born face, and
reassured me that the created
face was an illusion solely appropriate
for this masquerade party called
Catholic high school.
You weren’t that viejo sucio who sold
numbers on the corner, who always tried
speaking to me on some man-woman-level
shit. You were not that
19-year old, who lured me with
Pac-Man then conquered me with his penis.
You were not that kid riding on the
fallacious, so-called looseness
of a coquettish girl who smiled at all,
since attention from home was none 

You were…
well, this other kid—
the mother’s arms after birth—
who felt the path my pain could
have taken me.
The androgyny of the comment felt safe—
I wanted to fall backwards, now knowing
that my future, in its new path, 
would catch me and float my adolescence
into iron womanhood.

Did you walk on water, my friend?

You are the angelito, 
Telling me, all is well, little one.
All is well when you are just you

• • •