new calendar
just made it a few days ago
i cut 2010 out of my journal
and sewed 2011 in, to take its place
and so the years fly by
and numbers progress rather quickly
i will turn 27 in a few weeks
and then i will turn 25 a week after that
give me another few years and i will say
"oh! those days!"
with a gleam of flashing teeth and eyes
last year this time,
i was shivering in a connecticut winter
wondering where to next
how long shall i stay here
what am i doing here
now, entering 2011
this year this time,
i am warm in a wool jacket in a taiwan winter
still wondering where to next
but less fervently
still wondering how long i shall stay here
but with less angst
there are slow progressions
and there is much change and also not much changing
and all is always in movement and flow
now on the other side of the world
asking similar questions
to similar yet different trees and stones
the same sky
a different perspective
there is a flower sitting in a cup on this table
a crayon drawing says "open to wonder" and a color pencil sketch says "the distilled essence of life is love and presence"
red silk bag filled with desert and forest usa herbs hangs from the lamp
metal jar of different artemesia and sage smudge sticks, with earrings hanging down
sea shell prayer beads dangling from my clock
energy medicine book, buffalo woman comes singing, chinese herb books, eat pray love
hot tea steaming, little blue cup
scissors, 2010 calendar, old leather journal
colored pencils, colored string, bag of oranges
a pile of maps, my keeper, handkerchiefs
writer, artist, drummer, carpenter, etc signs
pictures of dancing bears, a dream fairy, butterflies, quotes, poems, and beautiful landscapes
a collection of jars, pothos plants, SHE elixir in the corner
suitcase in another corner
door in another corner
backpacking pack in the final corner
warm bed with leaves, sleeping bag, books, lavender and hops eye pillow
open bowls
open hands
heart full
this is the present now
what next?
(what does that even mean?)
learning a lot
more tea
candles and earrings
a mandala from a new hampshire farm boy
guitar stick (renamed soshuma) makes beautiful song
black grinding stone of taiwan or china makes black ink for painting and writing
toe socks on the floor
pile of wool wedged between two book cases
this is the present


chinese poetry: 第一大勇氣詩 experiment


---------- (翻譯 : translation)=

heartbeat dance
inhale, exhale
dance steps
breath in the stomach
fire in the heart
feet pressing, pressing against mama earth
feeling tree roots like fingers
interlocking with my own
let us
inhale, exhale
heartbeat dance


once upon a time

... there was Nothing
and the Nothing was everything, and the everything was Nothing
until one day,
Wind began to blow
she blew in circles and spirals
eventually blowing a Flame into Being
Suns, and Stars
then rising and morphing into Planets,
among them Earth
Waters covering all the Earth
rolling and tumbling over each other
one day slowly rising from the Waters
a Mountain
further rising into Being more Stones, and Plants, Animals,
and then
there is a Human sitting on the top of the Mountain
it's you
and none of it is separate at all
the Human on the Mountain from the Waters of the Earth, of the Sun and its Flame, borne of Wind, and all ideas birthed from Nothing...
all still Nothing
which is everything
which is
and what is the sound of all this Nothing and everything?


sincerely yours

in answer to the question
raised from tall ancient trees
brewed from deep dark primeval forests
and simmered in oceanic stews
in response to the query
posed from mirrored waterfalls
overflowing from volcanic blood baths
and tossed from stardust cliffs


meridian dance

the utter perfection of this very moment
lies in the unutterable quality of
your very real my very own
tingling fingertips running (diagonally) down green fields tinged with golden fragmites
landing (touching with great satisfaction) gently on stone-kissed stepping feet
where does this line travel in our (same same same) body?

土地公 (mountain spirits)

the spirits of the land have got it pretty good here
there's a small shrine at the bottom of each hill and mountain
(even other places too)
incense, fruits, prayers, gratitude, and more
a constant reminder of all the seen and unseen forces walking with us


so this is love?

is it possible
that i have fallen in love with you
or maybe i just never stopped loving you
even though i didn't even remember when
once upon a time
i loved you

once upon a time
dinosaurs roamed this land
and ferns grew even taller than them
and maybe even
once upon a time
there were no buildings
(i wonder what that landscape would be like!)
and barefoot children wandered the land
and baskets overflowed with acorns and berries
(i wonder if there were coconut trees?)
once upon a time
what were the dogs like here?
now they loll in packs in the park
basking in the sun

what if i
once upon a time
slept under a tree
and dreamed of you
only to wake
and wonder if i dreamed of you
or did you dream of me
or neither and it's all just a big
dreamtime game

what if i
(still loving you. once in love upon an again time)
came to you in this day
(among all other days)
in a dreamtime living reality of we
and said
(speaking is as true as walking is as flying)
hey you
(and our eyes connect)
haven't we met before?
(there is a light of recognition)
it's been a while
(the light is flickering)

once upon a time
the planets decided to have a little fun
and play some tricks
be coyote
they set fire to the tree we slept under
they flooded the eyes we were gazing into
and then they drew lines in the earth and said
(speaking like thunder)
now go
and search
and maybe
one day
(never? always? true? not?)
(surreal. inconsequential. or purely sequential?)

our hearts beating with
(teach me, drums)
earth beat rhythms
foot beats rising and falling
eyelashes raising, then lowering
arms down, head down, breath out to greet the dust
arms up, head up, spine straight to breathe in the shine
spine bent, head loosened, eyes flooding to sea the earth, inhaling
exhaling, hands open, arms high, head proud, nose touching ether
arms down
legs down
head up
eyes open
heart bursting

touch me


taiwan has the most diverse fern population... in the world!
and yet, we can't find any traces of dinosaurs around here...
we came up with the reason why, today:
no dinosaurs to eat the ferns, so the ferns lived a happy fear-free existence
and grew to be very diverse and old and happy wise
(we come up with the most deep philosophical ideas during long hikes!)


welcome to taipei

welcome to taipei
smell the wet air
thick with car, motorcycle, bus fumes
step into the subway
feel the thick heat of thousands of bodies that have pulsed through
look away from the eyes
there are too many of them
but they are all differing degrees of bright
once upon a time children
now shadows of children that are hiding
hiding behind make-up and heels,
suits, vests, and bags
hiding behind poverty stricken grime and loud begging cries,
prostitute women shy yet brazen leaning against the bridge
welcome to taipei
raise your arm above your head
hold on tight as the bus rattles over the bumpy roads
stopping often to avoid hitting the thousands of reckless fast others
biking, motorcycling, walking, and driving
feel the bodies pushing and pulling against your own
and hold your breath when the door opens
and someone steps in smelling like cigarettes
the smell of the wet pavement rising up behind him
well, might as well step out now then
and smell this wet pavement
rich with too many years of too many feet and vehicles
wonder about what lies beneath the pavement
raise your head to look beyond the buildings
and watch the clouds reaching and pulling towards and away
from the tall mountains
some soft some jagged
so far, too far in the distance
imagine the echoes of monkeys howling
close your eyes yes even on this dirty street corner and
see ancient spirits living in holes in rocks in caves in mountains
mountains so old that even here in this city
there are shrines honoring the mountains spirits and earth gods
say yes to the grandmother that offers you some incense
she gives you three sticks of incense
one for the sky god, one for the earth god, and one for the god of the present moment
smell all the years of incense trapped in this one little room
all the smoke wafting and billowing up into the red rafters coloring them a dark blood red
closed eyes again, seeing the blood of my own body coursing through into my heart
feeling the pulsing of my feet hard against this cement-layered earth
feeling lava pushing way down below my feet
so far below
but it once created this very island we stand upon
welcome to taipei, taiwan
sit upon these old stone steps with me now and watch the sun rise
it first hits that tall skyscraper over there
and then the light bounces over to that other skyscrapers over there
until eventually we can see the reflection of big red circular mister sun himself reflected on that skyscraper far over there
and the birds will sing louder and louder
until eventually they all get drowned out by the motor vehicles' songs
welcome to taipei
watch the faces of the thousands of people passing by and listen to their little songs
the gate guard sings a native american chant as he bikes to his post
a customer returns day after day to a shop. they are friends now
the schoolboys walk fast and chatter even faster. something is so very exciting.
the women's voices are high pitched, their skirts even higher pitched.
an old couple walking hand in hand, him carrying her purse and umbrella, her laughing at his jokes.
couples at night all over the old temple, watching the lights of a city that doesn't quite sleep.
faces with scarves that show only the eyes. walking fast. going somewhere incredible.
browned farmers at farmer stands everyday with loud voices and fresh fruits.
bus driver that says peace be with you, and you are blessed. gentle eyes in the mirror.
old women dancing all the same dance in the park, saying come join us, and welcome.
the eyes of a baby in the subway, shining, laughing, innocent, curious, and amused.
welcome newborn one, welcome to taipei.
here, enjoy this cup of fresh tea.


first chinese class assignment:on living environment

for our first assignment in chinese class (we will write 1-2 essays every week. which is a HUGE challenge for me. i can write so fast in english in either poetry or prose, and then the translated words down below... in chinese...took hours)

the prompt was to describe our living environment...

it took me a couple hours to write this in chinese

and now i am translating it into english because i don't know how to type in chinese (okay, and i don't have the patience)
and even though i will complain about how long it took and how frustrating it is to try and completely express myself in a language that i can't get "deep" with... well, i sorta enjoyed the challenge
and am interested in how the results will sound in english

and i only hope i will be able to continue focusing on my other assignments and whatnot for the next 3 months, and give it so much Heart, like i gave this assignment

here's your translation, my dear english-reading friends :)

it's a different world outside of the window. outside of the window, in the farthest area, soft clouds slowly pull themselves across big beautiful mountains. the blue sky is sometimes black, sometimes grey, sometimes red, sometimes gold. outside of the window, a little bit closer, people and stinky cars are everywhere. the small stores and tall buildings fight, seeing who can push who out into the busy streets, to further jostle about with the people, cars, motorcycles, buses, and bikes. the smell that gets jostled out is like too much food in too small of a refrigerator... it's a tad bit rank. outside of the window, in the closest area, there are two exceptionally tall buildings, a small temple, many furniture stores, and a small park. the green leaves in the park help my eyes and heart silence and rest.

welcome back.

it's a different world inside of the window, too. inside of the window, there's rows and rows of books, a wooden table, two chairs, a black suitcase, and a basket of clothes. this isn't really my room; i'm borrowing my cousin's room. but, the wooden floor boards say to me, "no problem. so long as you are comfortable, it's all good!" closest to the window is a bed. at the head of the bed, there's a small metal container filled with my precious medicine grasses that i gathered in the usa mountains. every morning and night, i burn these medicine grasses, like burning incense, and pray. their sweet smoke helps me fly out the window, flying over a city full of rushing people, flying over the big mountains of this small island, flying over a majestic endless ocean, flying over my beautiful usa old homeland, flying over the echoes and spirits of the deep mountains, finally flying to the red rocks and big winds of the desert, and then flying with the wind... going and going until after encircling the entire universe, continuing to fly... and flying over a huge ocean, flying over a small island's big mountains, flying over a beautiful little park in a too-big city, flying into a wide-open window...

alright. so i just reread this. it actually sounds A LOT better in chinese, and was REALLY difficult to translate and... yeah it sounds a lot better in chinese. wow. for some reason, that really pleases me. :)

oh, and usa in chinese is "mei guo," which literally translates as "beautiful world."so, there's some use of multiple words in the essay that could only be caught when read in chinese. sorta like a pun. and that really pleases me!:)

chinese class. we will have a test every other day. lots to learn. 7 other people in class.
and various other things to report on, like i've moved into a different place, i walked into mountains with uncle and saw bear and monkey, am making new friends, learning about local plants, etc etc etc
so much other stories but
now it's bed time
off to dream of golden glowing chapparal!

wan an