December 2014

"THE LITTLE MAN" by Bob Fergeson

From early morning coffee
to late night herbal tea,
We lived for near forever,
the Little Man and me.

When first I came to travel
in this classroom wide and grand,
I knew nothing of the coming
of this lonely Little Man.

But parents, teachers, doctors,
the whole damn Helping Herd,
Soon created him inside me,
As their ancestors had insured.
He has no real existence,
None that I can see.
But could and should and would!
Screamed the Little Man in me.

Soon I hid myself in pride,
Found that fear blocked every door.
I was now what I despised!
Just as those that’d gone before.

The hypnosis worked it’s magic,
No peace had I, no stand.
Just a mis-identification,
I became the Little Man.
I took him for a person,
Hell, I thought that he was me!
He sure could be convincing,
that Little Man in me.

Then one day it happened,
I know not really why,
I looked out there below me
From some Great Eternal Sky.
He didn’t even notice,
So busy as a bee,
He just kept right on sleeping, but
that Little Man ain’t me!

One day looking in the mirror,
From my bed as I did stand,
I receded back behind him,
that sleeping Little Man.
He didn’t even notice,
Just a grain lost in the sand,
He can’t look back and see me,
that lonely Little Man.

I watch him and his pattern,
How he blends right in so well,
That his life and his surroundings
are no different from himself.
He has no greater vision,
Desire and fear are all he sees.
An actor in the TV,
that Little Man in me.

It’s a sad but true short story,
I cry a tear, and so does he,
He won’t survive, he lives to die,
the Little Man in me.


"Symphony of Spirit" by Naomi F. Stone

Painting by Rassouli — “Greeting the Dawn”

Every night I arise to sing,
to invite,
and to celebrate
the birth
 of sacramental love
in the opening of hearts,
as the earth and sky
reflect the brilliance of the light,
of each created moment,
of unnumbered seasons,
of the unexplored spaces of the soul,
of all that is possible
in the flashes of vision
radiantly given
through the divine
light of God.
In perfect stillness,
a cosmic beam
pierces time and splits
the universe
to let us touch
to feel and glimpse
the horizon
where heaven allows
its breathless beauty to mingle
with our own.
A Presence lingers
in the mystical movement
of every breath,
a sweet unfolding
 is poised to sweep
this human existence
into a transcendent realm
of union.
The songs slide
from my lips,
helplessly spinning
   words of love
into the music
of flowing streams
of spirit
already mingling
with your own.
— Naomi


"The Need to Win" by Chuang Tzu

The Need to Win

When an archer is shooting for nothing,
he has all his skill.
If he shoots for a brass buckle,
he is already nervous.
If he shoots for a prize of gold,
he goes blind or sees two targets.
He is out of his mind!

His skill has not changed,
but the prize divides him.

He cares.

He thinks more of winning than of shooting.
And the need to win drains him of power.

—Chuang Tzu


A young Japanese archer took great pride in the excellence of his marksmanship with a bow and arrow. Having read a lot of pithy Zen stories and received some basic training on mindfulness, he soon came to the conclusion that he was a true master of archery. So he decided to travel to a remote mountain monastery in order to challenge an old Zen master, who was reputed to have once possessed great skill with a bow and arrow.

After having arrived at this monastery he eventually managed to persuade the old Zen master to compete against him. The old man was reluctant to accept this challenge, as he had not touched his bow in many years. He first had to dust and wax his bow before testing its pliancy, then gently brush the cobwebs away from his quiver and arrows.

The young archer set up a straw target at eighty paces. He drew back the string of his lethal-looking bow, and released an arrow that sped straight into the central eye of the target. Then, notching and shooting a second arrow, he managed to split the shaft of his first arrow along its entire length. With great pride in his prowess he turned to the old man and said, "Now let me see what you can do."

Instead of notching an arrow the old master beckoned the youth to follow him. Leading the way up a steep and narrow path they eventually arrived at the top of a narrow gorge with sheer walls. A long and springy pine trunk bridged the top of this chasm, while far below two hundred feet of vertical cliff faces enclosed the turbulent roar of a mountain river, with sharp rocks protruding above the chaos of its thundering white waters. The old man stepped lightly onto the narrow pine trunk and walked briskly to its middle. He calmly strung his bow, drew an arrow from the quiver behind his shoulder, notched it, and then let it fly straight into the trunk of a tall and distant pine tree.

The young archer felt his heart rise to his throat when he saw how the pine trunk on which the old man stood was bouncing from the momentum of his bowshot. He could hardly even bear to look as he felt the paralyzing spasms of vertigo seizing control of his body. His stomach churned, his ears rang from dizziness, and the dark shadow of oblivion was threatening to eclipse his consciousness. The old man stepped lightly back from the narrow pine bridge and said, "Now let's see what you can do. Can you split my arrow from the middle of the pine bridge, or shall I do it for you?"

By now the young archer was on the verge of feinting, with a complete lack of control over every nerve and muscle in his body. He could not take one step towards that pine bridge, which was still quivering ominously. With trembling hands he grasped the old man's shoulders and pulled him back from the edge of the precipice. Then he fell limply to the ground, his trembling body hunched in a fetus posture, his heart and soul drained of all the strength, courage, pride and certainty that he always believed were his.

When the young archer had regained a bit more control and composure, the old man said to him: "You certainly have great skill with the bow and arrow. But you seem to have very little skill with the mind that controls these weapons. This is a dangerous predicament for an archer, especially when he has to face the reality of war, where violence can arise upon any kind of terrain and under any conditions. Pride, anger and fear are the inner enemies of every warrior. I have trained many young archers, and those who were afflicted with pride always tended to end up making me their target. When their arrow hit the mark they would always praise their own skill, but when the arrow went amiss they always blamed the straightness of the arrow."

The young man remained at the monastery for the rest of his days, though he no longer thought of himself as an archer or a master. In the course of time the old Zen master died and the younger man became his successor. Two unstrung bows and quivers of arrows still stand against the back wall of the monastery's storeroom, where the dust and cobwebs of many years have settled thickly upon them.


"Beauty" (excerpt) The Prophet — Kahlil Gibran

—“High Tide & Green Octopi” by Peter Rudolfo

And a poet said, "Speak to us of Beauty."
Where shall you seek beauty,
and how shall you find her unless she herself be your way and your guide?
And how shall you speak of her
except she be the weaver of your speech?
The aggrieved and the injured say, "Beauty is kind and gentle.
Like a young mother half-shy of her own glory she walks among us."
And the passionate say, "Nay, beauty is a thing of might and dread.
Like the tempest she shakes the earth beneath us
and the sky above us."
The tired and the weary say, "beauty is of soft whisperings.
She speaks in our spirit.
Her voice yields to our silences like a faint light that quivers in fear of the shadow."
But the restless say, "We have heard her shouting among the mountains,
And with her cries came the sound of hoofs,
and the beating of wings and the roaring of lions."
At night the watchmen of the city say,
"Beauty shall rise with the dawn from the east."

Click Here for Gibran’s Website