"Between Buddha and Pan" - Eugene C. Bianchi

"Between Buddha and Pan" - Eugene C. Bianchi
(A conversation overheard while doing tai chi) 

A solitary dance of tai chi 
across bluestone porch
sun rises over myrtle and begonias 
water sings down a chalice fountain 
as I move between Buddha and Pan. 
He puts down his flute, shifts a cloven foot. 
“Over there, you with funny hair ball and droopy ears, 
why do you sleep sitting?” 
I grasp bird's tail breathing out. 
“We meditate awake for compassion and peace.” 
Pan laughs: “Give it up. We're on a binge 
red in tooth and claw 
haven't you heard?” 
I wave hands like clouds breathing out. 
Buddha smiles craning around me. 
“Mind aware does not bleed or bloody.” 
I lean into double punch and kick. 
“Silly in your saffron dress and na├»ve ideas 
I've been around longer than you 
as goat and man I know the fullness.” 
I sweep into single whip and reach for needle at sea bottom. 
Buddha adjusts his robe: 
“I honor your double self and sense of suffering. 
You keep my seat on the soil. 
So I send you calm breath. 
May your music lead you to tranquil heart.” 
Pan folds hairy legs, puts his flute to his lips and winks: 
“Will you ever learn both lessons?” 
I lift my hands in a wide arc bringing them down to my dantian.

(photo by Michelle Castleberry)

"Fear" - Sharon D. McCoy

"Fear" - Sharon D. McCoy

Caging the beast
Pretending ribs can hold it
As it worries flesh from cast-off bones
Sucking marrow – resentful, watchful, claws tense, red and
White grin sharpened for the inevitable moment, its jailer’s careless inattention

Better to face it wild and free, to study
its shape, its slinking muscular predatory moves,
catching its gaze, holding its eyes only long enough to
say, “This far, no farther.”  Releasing it, remaining peripherally
aware as it seeks easier prey, its gnawing hunger a distant howling tremolo.

Illustration: "Cityscape" by Jeremy Mann. His work is also available here.

"Trips" - Rachel Peterson

"Trips" - Rachel Peterson

I am addicted
I have been for years it's not one that I could fight I feel as though I am diseased
It's like despite the amount of times that I've told myself I'm quitting that I've told the world I'm quitting that I've told you I'm quitting I just can't seem to find myself quitting

The come up hits you in the face it's like a sharp slap that stings and leaves red marks on your cheek
But once the trip starts it's got you hooked
So hooked that you'll do things like take the hand that just slapped you and cup it ever so gently against your cheek and hope that you could feel the warmth because somehow that slap hurt in just the right way and the wrong way at the same time
And though the trip is the best out of any drug there is the comedown is absolutely the worst
It leaves you feeling empty like there's a hole that is been shot through your chest with buckshot and every time you fill one of the little holes another little hole appears right beside it
The only way to fill almost all of the little holes at least enough of the little holes so it doesn't hurt anymore is to take another dose

I was given my first dose when I was 14
It was handed to me like a newborn puppy and I couldn't help but to touch it and pet it and rub my face in it and allow it to follow me wherever I went
It didn't take long for me to find out that my dose wasn't pure
I discovered that the tainted drug led to the impressions of a good trip
But all the while set you up for a come down that would bring you down lower than even where you started
Isn't it a shame that the first time you try a laced drug makes you not ever want to try it again

And maybe that's why I didn't immediately go try and find love again

But when I found love again I found the purest thing the real thing and the trip was more than I ever could've imagined
But the come down this time was my fault
I couldn't make it last 
I had developed a tolerance 
I needed more of it and I didn't like the corners of his soul that were blocked off when I tried to look at them and even more I didn't like that I wasn't ready to show him the corners of my soul that were blocked off
It wasn't enough
And I knew it
And that made my addiction worse

But now it was worse because I knew what I wanted 
I became obsessed with knowing what it was 
How do you define love 
When is it strongest and how can I get my hands on it 
For a time I confused it with how his hands felt on my skin 
And at some point I realized I needed a soul behind those hands but he wasn't there so I didn't know any better 
I think I'm still confused 

The part of my addiction I can control is how far I want to go 
I must either trip forever 
Or not again ever at all 
I can't have a link to each world 
I've never liked to have strings attached 
I don't have the capacity for grayscale love 
Either black me out or show me all the colors of the world 
There can't be a second dose 
To come down again would be fatal and if I'm going to die by love 
That love better be the most unadulterated kind you can find 
Because I refuse to go out at the hands of an incomplete desire 

"The soul of music" - A Poet Bee

"The soul of music" - A Poet Bee

and thousands
of years ago,
long before
whistles of bone,
even drums,
our forefathers'
listened to the night.

They learnt
to appreciate
and inculcate
rhythm, beat,
and tone
into humanity's
young soul.
Atavistic traits
that now give us
and great

Eons later
in the cold drizzle
of English weather
pre-Druid friends
stayed up at night
and waited
for clouds to part,
clear sky,
and unnamed consellations.

For some cheer,
they listened
to their early souls
and imitated
with drums
and song.

By day,
they dragged great
rocks around
to celebrate
the night sky,
maybe sunlight.
Who knows?

we dedicate
to song,
not the fizzle
of star gazing
behind gray clouds.

Hear, ye. Hear!

And play! 

A Poet Bee will read upstairs at The Globe this evening beginning at 7:30.

"Twin Image" - Wyatt Anderson

The die has been cast.
so what's in the present tense?
rosy skies, thunderclouds,
death shrouds, diapers.

Protocol leads me to believe I have a lotta thoughts
some of which are barely judgments
vindictive in the abstract
philosophy without the baggage.

I am the model, the mechanism!
the sweet bastard gulping for air
my dependency, depending
on the formless mass to magnify 
and explore the outcome
yeah.. that's somethin to suck on.

So I step into the same river twice, but I was twisting
twin brother- always insisting
throw my weapons down in heat of desire
Skin is melting but I'm singing in the fire.   

"What Lies Beyond This Great and Mighty Sea?" - Charley Seagraves

A sonnet for a glorious Easter morning.

"What Lies Beyond This Great and Mighty Sea?" - Charley Seagraves

The new day's waves spill softly onto shore,
While dragonflies patrol the dunes nearby,
And pelicans in tight formations soar
Beyond the blue, into a cloudless sky.
A peaceful breeze, as constant and as true
As love's sweet serenade, drifts out to sea.
It fades, then steals away into the blue
As I let soothing waves wash over me.
A cautious crab appears, then disappears
Into its sandy cave to lurk and hide.
On stilted legs a heron stands and peers
Above this royal blue and restless tide.
I stand alone in awe and mystery:
What lies beyond this great and mighty sea?