November 2017

“An Artist’s Eye” by Bei Kuan-tu

—-Painting by Tracey Fletcher King

This poem is dedicated to my wise, sweet friend M. A person of incalculable passion for life and the path she now excitingly follows.

You were born of the Holy
gifted in ways that few know
and fewer could ever know.
How long has your heart celebrated your poetic flair?
and artistic touch?
that searches the stillness of the night
for its next expression?
Most likely, long before you were born

Cloaked in paradox and allegory
without name or form,
from your birth you’ve been drawn to this mystery
where the voice of the ages whispers come hither,
whereby the soul speaks the unspeakable,
in a patois of an artist’s eye

A turbulent past sparks your present flare.
Primer before pigment, ya know.
A naked, transparent heart embodies you
to paint and pen your passions,
hopes and celestial dreams

For so long you resisted,
“practicality over passion”,
“first things first”
but the universe said no.
It’s “still small voice”
igniting your soul to rise
sometimes fearless.
Transcribing between empty frames,
brushstrokes of beauty, sorrow, agony and bliss
speaking your sweet language of light,
All as a winsome woman — now set free!

You‘ve worn these colors from your earliest days,
unfathomable sensitivity
drawing nigh
deeper into the human condition;
questioning the very fiber of reality;
To find where you belong;
To know who you belong with;
To seek guidance from within;
And to gaze up at the amazing sparkles
that hang from the night sky.
expressions of humanity’s hymn,
all in an artist’s eye!

Your calling is that of a living flame,
with heat and Light!
to paint and pen what arises
deep calling to deep.
You are love’s mystery
incalculably sassy
always anointed
And with the most exquisite artist’s eye.

© 2017 Bei Kuan-tu All Rights Reserved

Zen Poem — Ikkyu

63 Snow Moon.preview
Artist Linda Nadel

Every day priests minutely examine the Dharma (universal law)
and endlessly chant complicated sutras.
Before doing that, though,
they should learn how to read the love letters
sent by the wind and rain,
the snow and moon.


"Patsy Canyon" by Rebecca Braun

--Frederic Edwin Church’s “Twilight in the Wilderness, 1860

Where my dreams ran wild.
Fierce rolling thunderclouds and sheets of rain 
move quickly through the wide expanse.
Purple, black, angry energy;
fragrant coniferous forest floating 
on the current of chilly air
as the stormy clouds tumble toward me.

Wild stallions run, 
prairie dog and chipmunks chatter,
King birds hover as jackrabbits stop
their foraging to run down the rocky slope. 
Far off into the distance coyotes howl a warning, 
their voices singing on the crisp cold air.

It was here I brought my love in spring
eyes reflecting in deep blue lakes 
and fresh running streams.
We shared this secret landscape,
my senses reeled, my body craved 
the excitement of his languid touch.

It was here his desire shook me, 
the canyon thunder collapsing and echoing
for miles in summer squander. 
He caressed every line of my face,
tousling my flowing hair into waves of wind
blowing softly. 

In winter, our snowshoes would leave prints
on a perfect sea of whiteness along the edge,
his voice calling my name across the canyon,
floating along the emptiness
in a timbre sweet and joyous.

Now, black clouds roll in to capture my heart.
Left alone, I stand on the precipice
waiting for the wind and rain to slap my face,
and awaken me from this dream.
His voice dances faintly on the memory 
of the turbulent tides of a fading storm.

©2013 Rebecca Braun All rights reserved.