Poem of the Month, July 2018: Gardener’s World

GARDENER’S WORLD
FRYday 29 June ’18.

Praise, my soul, the Queen of Heaven,
to HER feet thy tribute bring.
English Hymnal.

I sit, disconsolate, on the edge
of my bed, wondering how I
got here and why. Awoken by
cramp in the leg. Jetlag symptoms. 

Amida’s WILL for me
is very simple:
Say my Name
and Feel Good. 

GRATITUDE
FOR THE GREAT DAY AHEAD
stands in big letters
beside my bed. 

Let the sweet feeling
of gratitude overcome
the wish to complain. 

Humbly accept the facts of life
as they present themselves,
without complaining or blaming.
Less attractive scenarios
might teach tolerance and patience. 

Think well of everybody
you meet. Understand, as far
as you can, their own individual
way of thought and behaviour.
Each is a separate universe.
Live and let live. 

Each and every day
is a lifetime in itself,
to be enjoyed from start
to finish. Rest as required.

Strengthen my Trust in you,
Lord, that I may face my day
with courage, fearlessness
and serenity. I am certain
you will never let me fall.

Am I willing to slow down
and live more in Real Time,
listening to my Body Clock
instead of checking my watch?

Do those tall pink roses
I admire through the window
at meals and often write about
find it necessary to SHOUT
that they are in full bloom?

“Attend to your needs.
Happiness is in reach
of all who persevere.”

REQUIRED BY A SHORT SLEEPER
Several Power Naps of five minutes
in the next twenty-four hours
and not too much work. Hanging loose
without relapsing into worry or boredom.
Not required: “Marcus, you MUST sleep
more. Your body needs to recuperate.”

Less hurry and more enjoyment
of the vital actual moment, some
call it Quality Time, is probably
the gist of my message for today.

Seeing is Believing.
You go out early on the terrace,
stretch your arms to a blue sky,
say “I WILL see a seagull,
or a flight of swallows up high” –
and you actually DO!

LEAVE WELL ALONE.
Luiheid apart, wat we niet doen
(WU-WEI) is meestal belangrijker
dan wat we wel doen. We doen het
toch meestal niet zodanig wél.
Ben ik bereid om Hulp te vragen,
of content te zijn met weinig?

The fear of punishment,
on which my entire childhood
was based, has to be relinquished
for ever. Guilt feelings and shame
serve no purpose in this century
for one who is turning eighty.

Most Flemish people over fifty
regard Religion (‘connection’)
as the cardinal sin
and cause of misery in the world.
They are true supporters of Self Power
and many turn into control freaks,
to the chagrin of their partners.

Warning to myself. Beware of hyper-manic
‘highs’, and strive for more balance,
discipline and self control. Know when to stop.
Over-confidence could steal valuable time
from your Nembutsu practice. Be careful!

Gladly welcome and carry out
the hundred and one necessary chores
which daily life consists of.

Pass on to others
all the blessings you receive.
More are on the way.

Whatever you happen to ‘believe’
is the Truth as far as you are concerned,
provided you believe it deeply enough
and can match it with experience.
As long as it does no harm to others,
why be bothered what they think of it?

You can always ‘start your day again’
at any time, if it hasn’t gone too well.
Give yourself a second chance,
with an empty rucksack.
Say a prayer and hit the road afresh.

Crossing from Arizona into Texas:
I watch a tiny woodlouse
making its way across the terrace.
Strong identification. Vibes.
Brothers in the same universe.

I stop thinking completely
and gaze at the luscious garden
in all its green summer glory.
Bathed in sunlight, it is bursting
with peace, energy and joy.

The ‘outside world’ of radio
and TV, with their news and debates,
concerns me much less nowadays.
What matters more now is my SOUL
and I’m busy filling a deep deep hole.

Give endless thanks and praise
for your breathtakingly beautiful
little town garden, tended lovingly
by Maria.

At last I was able to sit down
in the shed at the back and admire
the Invisible rhododendrons,
blooming in the underworld.

End of May. Please hold on a bit
longer, my dearest rhododendrons.
I hate to see your pink-white blossoms
disappear. They have protected me
from many a rash catastrophe.

Shadows on the garden table
dance in warm sunlight. Fig leaves
rustle. Pigeons flap in Maria’s tree.

A rare phenomenon. Flanders
is suffering from a drought.
Temperatures approaching thirty.
Very sorry, I don’t care two hoots.
Let the sun shine all day for once.

Sometimes it’s not a bad idea
to ask Amida ‘what to do next’.

Rondkijken in huis
naar al die leuke dingen
die ons omringen.

Night will soon fall.
One or two insects climb the window
desperate to reach the sky.

If thinking has any effect on the world,
not thinking certainly changes yourself.
Writing poetry is meditation in motion.

Weariness is the worst imaginable
condition in my life. It rings the death
knell of joy and causes negativity.
Do I sometimes forget it’s time to stop?