• POETRY CORNER

      – 5/30/18

      Hosted by Kathabela Wilson

      My daughter told me, soon after she came home with her new baby, and for weeks after, ‘we take a walk around the grounds each night, he loves to watch the trees moving with the wind.’ This has stayed with me, and I am sure, with him! Then I thought of Peter Mugglebee, my Tai Chi teacher, and his private story to me about how he keeps an open mind, like a baby. So I asked him to write it for me this week. I am grateful that he did, and I wove it with the words of these poets in tune with his. I hope you find it as helpful, provocative and inspiring as I do.

      ~ Kathabela​​

      Butterfly by Johannes S. H. Bjerg.

      Butterfly by Johannes S. H. Bjerg.

      Johannes S. H. Bjerg

      while crows take refuge in my skull I become a horizon

      Ο Ο Ο

      Peggy Castro

      clouds patching
      up the sky…and
      you fading into blue

      Ο Ο Ο

      Karla Decker

      still pond
      butterfly in the air
      in the water

      Ο Ο Ο

      Valerie Fern

      just past sunset
      the rustling of wind in trees
      nothing seems more real

      Ο Ο Ο

      Peter M. Mugglebee

      Those who study Psycholinguistics, the study of how the human brain functions with respect to language, recognize that at birth, and for a number of months thereafter, the human infant interacts with its environment, surroundings, and care-givers with a high level of sophistication- in lay-person terminology, “understanding”. It’s visual and auditory sensory receptors are functioning as they will for the rest of its life.

      It is indisputable that the baby sees, hears, smells and feels, and responds to these sensory inputs, but it is also evident that the infant has no words, no systematized, structured facility for communicating its experience of these sensations.

      Ο Ο Ο

      Josie Hibbing

      the clouds
      in their nameless shapes…
      silence
      is sometimes more
      than a thousand words

      Ο Ο Ο

      Peter M. Mugglebee

      Until the structure and pattern of its native language are impressed on the structures of the brain in combination with the sensory inputs, the child perceives and engages its environment without words. Once the words have been made coincident with the sensory experience, the cognitive apparatus is forever hobbled in its ability to exceed the limitations imposed by the inadequacy of words compared to the actual experience.

      The challenge and objective is to try to regain the purity and fullness of experience, as it was for each of us before we had the limiting elements of words attached to the experience. We are born with a functioning sensory net and an innate facility for developing linguistic systems by which to communicate our experience. Prior to the development of the language capability, what do we have at our disposal to think with, to remember by? My contention was that we utilize “images”-pictures instead of words.

      Ο Ο Ο

      mantra By Tzetzka Ilieva

      Mantra by Tzetzka Ilieva

      Johannes S. H. Bjerg

      for a moment all there is to it cherry blossoms

      Ο Ο Ο

      Peter M. Mugglebee

      Thus the task of trying to reclaim the clarity of infancy became- think in pictures to the exclusion of words. It became quite apparent very quickly that this was no easy thing to accomplish. It became clear the extent to which words have taken over the experience itself, limiting and devaluing the potential richness of what the experience could have been if not being substituted for by a word.

      Ο Ο Ο

      Michael Czarnecki

      water flows
      where it needs to
      without thinking about it

      if obstruction occurs
      water will find a way around
      there are places it must be

      With open mind, beginner’s mind, child’s mind, there are no distinctions. There is only flow, like stream water flowing toward the ocean, forever.

      Ο Ο Ο

      Peter M. Muggleebee

      As in all meditative endeavors, the venue for engaging this quest needs be comfortable, quiet and private. The more distractions, the more difficult. Sit or lie down in a darkened space, close your eyes, and defocus your mind- Let images come and go, all the while trying to see them without verbal content, context, or implication. Don’t be frustrated if at first the recognitions are all familiar to you by way of words- people by their name, places by their location, events by their headline. The first time you conjure an image and the experience attached to that image is devoid of words, will be a great satisfaction to you, as well as a guidepost to have it happen again the next time.

      Ο Ο Ο

      Johannes S. H. Bjerg

      dusk till it fills the fields

      Ο Ο Ο

      Michael Czarnecki

      when one is open
      all possibilities arise
      water flows effortlessly
      clouds float effortlessly
      with open heart
      with open mind
      we too can float
      effortlessly
      through this life

      Ο Ο Ο

      Mariko Kitakubo

      bamboo sounds
      beside the Japanese pond
      thanks for
      bringing me back
      to my childhood

      Ο

      Pear by Johannes S. H. Bjerg.

      Pear by Johannes S. H. Bjerg.

      Johannes S. H. Bjerg ​lives in Denmark. He creates poetry in many forms, haiku, haibun, visual poetry, painting and asemic writing. “Asemic writing has been around for ages​,”​ he says, “​I​t simply means​ ​a writing without semantic content​.​ In that way it’s kinda like haiku: The reader decides for him/herself what it means. Guess that’s why some combine it with art and it becomes postasemic and post-literate … as the theory peeps say.​” He adds “​It is one thing I do while trying to figure out what it means to be alive.​” Learn more about his words and art on his website. Peggy Castro who attends Peter’s tai chi class and our ‘Poets on Site’ meetings in Pasadena wrote this in a garden: “letting my mind open to emptiness and loss”. Karla Decker lives in Lincoln, Nebraska with numerous beautiful little fish ponds. She says: “One very still day I saw this butterfly flying over a pond and was amazed at the perfect reflection”. Valerie Fern of Carmel Valley, California is a former elementary school teacher. She’s been following the path of Japanese poets for many years, with the intention of capturing a single moment in time and remaining still in that moment. Peter M. Mugglebee teaches Tai Chi at Caltech. You can be inspired by following his movements and insights here. Josie Hibbing lives in Iowa, USA. She says: “This tanka was produced one time I was traveling in my van all by myself. It was a sunny day. The sky was so blue and their were big clouds on the sky. My life was always full of noises– kids talking and jabbering but at that moment, I enjoyed the silence, watching the clouds and I could think clearly. That’s when I thought of that particular tanka.” Michael Czarnecki lives in Wheeler Hill, NY. He’s a traveling poet who makes his living giving poetry workshops, readings all over the USA, and publishing books with his Foothill Press. He writes daily spontaneous poems on Facebook. Tzetzka Ilieva (haiga) lives in the suburbs of Atlanta. She says: “Each evening, I take a walk around the neighborhood and it is usually during that walk when everything seems to fall into place.” Her haiga captures the essence of our quest. Mariko Kitakubo is a tanka poet who lives in Tokyo, Japan. She travels the world performing her tanka, in Japanese and English, accompanying herself on traditional and contemporary Japanese percussion instruments. Her most recent book ‘Indigo’ was published by Shabda Press in the US. Her tanka will be included in our forthcoming ‘Storrier Stearns Garden Poets on Site Book’. She has visited and performed here many times, and practiced tai chi with Peter Mugglebee on her visits.

      Ο Ο Ο

      > We welcome and encourage your response especially in the form of short poems. You may reply by leaving a comment below.


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      Contributor

        • Kathabela Wilson

          Kathabela Wilson is a local poet/writer/artist and musician. Her Poets Salon has become an international respected must read in the poetry world. She's the creator and host of the Pasadena-based group, “Poets on Site.”

          Colorado Boulevard is your place for enlightening events, informative news and social living for the greater Pasadena area.
          We strive to inform, educate, and work together to make a better world for all of us, locally and globally.

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      Comments

      1. Sharon Hawley says:

        I especially like these:

        “water flows
        where it needs to
        without thinking about it” – Michael Czarnecki

        “clouds patching
        up the sky…and
        you fading into blue” – Peggy Castro

        Once words become coincident with sensory experience, the cognitive apparatus is hobbled in its ability to exceed the limitations imposed by the inadequacy of words, compared to the actual experience. (Revised from Peter Mugglebee.)

        Sharon Hawley

      2. susandiri says:

        Dear Poets & Poets-@-Heart, this was a lovely invitation to the fresh within, as well as to the fresh outside! A balance that speaks volumes to creative people, indeed to all people who taste the world and dream! Many thanks!

      3. Valerie Fern says:

        Kathabela,
        This is both wonderful and hopeful.
        Thank you for including me. What an inspiring message by you and others. xo
        Valerie

        a quiet place
        white stones beneath our feet
        where rivers run

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