End of year inventory. Combing through three miscellaneous journals... what to keep? what to toss? This one, inscribed affectionately by my former wife, opens to a 1994 jotting, "Nobody dies a moment too late or a moment too soon." Rama. He's a character in my novel A Much-Married Man. Rama is the silent yogi, yogi who replies to questions by writing on a slate. He's the person on whom character is modelled and actually said this. Working as a journalist for several years in Canada... well, it's served my poetry in some interesting ways. I'd like to think I listen better...
Ken Wilbur spoke of the "premature closing of accounts with reality." I can't put the journal away (packing it off to Washington University Library in St. Louis, MO) without transcribing that phrase or, "Rama" saying, "Me is just a thought form." And, "Freedom is to stand nowhere, not in form, not in body, not in not-body."
And a philosophy of life, "You huff and puff and pretend it matters." On that account I'd say I've earned a grade of C -.
Meditation asks nothing. Prayer is a request. That observation, not my own, led to the poem "From Beyond the Grave, the Podiatrist Counsels His Son on Prayer." Appeared in God is in the Cracks (2006, Black Moss Press), and reprinted in "New & Selected Poems, 1957-2011," Red Hen Press due out Oct., 2011.
In the poem, my podiatrist father says, "Just remember, God doesn't answer prayers. / So don't ask. / Don't ask for anything. / Shopping is shopping. Prayer is prayer. Don't confuse the two."
Causes Robert Sward Supports
Audubon Society, National Geographic, "Green," the Environment, SPCA...