Integral Poems & Koans


"Now is the time for the emergence of new voices." -Jack Micheline

“The intention of a koan is to make people who are bright in an ordinary way, or ordinary people who are bright in an odd way, work harder and go further into themselves. The language presents an opportunity to perceive a metaphor that calls one not to “thought” but to work. Work is performance. Performance is embodiment, and not subject to ordinary rational analysis—it must spring forth freely and spontaneously, as does life for most working people, who are always dealing with the immediate. That’s one kind of koan. So in a way we’re not talking about “language,” we’re talking about the theater of life.” -Gary Snyder



Self in the Water

If you should die a thousand deaths before evening
What can oppose you?
Not even you!



King of the Knives, Solar Mind, Blade of the Kosmic Sun–
when He squared and quartered the wandering wind, was it not
She who drew it near him, who magnetized, who charmed it?

Of countless rays, this Head of Light–who hurled his flint across
the horizones, carving a world-order out of dilemma, and was it not
She who powered the sling, and swelled as His glory and His wonder?

Did He, Crest-Diamond, not hear, did He, Jewel of Flame, neither feel
nor sense Her–when his steel, sharp and honed to precision, etched
a view and a will on each window, gave them each name and number?

And when His toil of kreation rested, did not She, Void Wise of Fire,
lend him her breast as pillow, did She not say here, here is my cup
runneth over, offering Him the cool of moonbeams and violets?

(Playing with Upanishadic style, Integral motifs, and masculine-feminine energies
at work in any act of creation.)


We learn all this knowledge yet we don’t
have the wisdom to use it…
We learn how to transplant hearts yet we
struggle how to Love from them…
Why is the one thing we yearn for from the
time we are born to the day we die…
Love…so hard to contain, sustain and remain.
This is our great contemplation to
become our koan. If we solve this question can
We solve all the worlds problems?



At the root, a thousand hungers–

Fingers rake, tear and claw
at the earth, at bloody carcass
at the musky body of other

There is bliss

in the wild, don’t you forget it,
the fleeting glut, the satiated need
yours mine, inseparable, immediate

There is only now

on the face of the old sun, in the eyes
of the frenzied a glint of moon–

"Eat! Eat! Chaw da bone

Clan of Vagaries,

Breed and breed–"

pass to me pulse lusty in the gut,
fierce sinew in the loins

Hand me down

the long-wandering nerve, the prowl
in search of fill, let me feed
let me feed

Bequeath to me

the vital root, mouth of the many hungers,
senses sharp in stark interior, I bow
to you Clan, I bow

All ravening

a nod to both the grave and the cradle
I’ll be your survival, your tomorrow
safe-keeping the perseverating marrow

Is this greed? Is this greed? Is this greed?


Tribal Magic

The story is in the river
Long Man, god
on whose banks Selu
the Corn Goddess makes of
her seasonal lifestream an offering

The story is the river, shape-shifting
flow of life into and out of other
now giving, now receiving

The story is ancestral

human invention, originating
contrivances; prototypal
device for finding self
in spear, in fish, in water,
in kernel and pollen
Making of blurry scheme

a product of meaning: everything
is alive and everything is related
in the spell of time, in cyclic time,
in time beguiled, time enchanted

The story runs now in the river blue-red
in the veins of the Beloved Woman,
her cupped hand a ritual vessel at-one
with seed. It is herself

she drops into the earth,

singing the solar songs, calling
the lengths of rain, praying fertile fluid
into fertile land. Reconvening
Long Man the god and the goddess Selu

she ever invents the field afresh,
ever creates the stalk anew.

(The god Long Man, the goddess Selu, and Beloved Woman are important figures in Cherokee mythology and traditional medicine ways. Long Man is the consciousness of rivers; Selu is ‘corn,’ or ‘corn woman.’ Exemplifying the mystical sense of fertility associated with the magical stage of development, Cherokee legends hold that corn grew wherever drops of Selu’s blood fell. Portrayed as lovers, Long Man and Selu (who also had a husband, Kanati the hunter) are “supernaturals,” spirit-beings of the elemental powers of water and earth, respectively. Beloved Woman (“Ghigau”), on the other hand, is an actual role, said to be the most highly regarded role to which females can aspire. It is a tribal title denoting sage/wisewoman/guide.)


Our Love Story

At what point did evolution move from its slow processing

to an accelerated process? Perhaps it’s that

moment when consciousness itself became so aware

our evolution is within us humans as it is also

within the biological natural world. Humanity became

alive within its own awakening and its aware

consciousness of itself to become its own now directed

driver in co-creation with our powerful, loving

evolutionary force. Our One alive God living and breathing

through nature and through all humanity.

A great realization emerged of a great and grand vision

that us many varieties of our One Mystery

now can help our greater, loving creator take a giant leap

into a new future creating the greatest planetary

Love Story where We all in our many varieties of genius

work together side by side to harvest a Truth,

Beauty and Goodness that we all may live and prosper in

a synthesis of science, religion, politics and all

manner of business and health care. Is this possible? Can

two seeds create life…can energy be harnessed?

We know the answer is YES. Using the Power of Love as the

highest and most beautiful harnessed resource

given to us as this awakened and aware consciousness We

can use this power with guidance from our greater,

loving creator source of evolution within and without to now

plant these Love seeds within everyone and everything.

The blooms of Love in all manner of life can and must become

our new world. A world where God through all of us

and all the beautiful creations now smiles and says “Well Done.”


What is real cannot be threatened. What is unreal does not exist. Herein lies the peace of God.


Big Ego Too Big

How can I love thee, Big Ego Big?
Colorful and pumped up but not
as fun as a helium balloon, you rise
at any opportune occasion, always
amusing, Big Head on a string
lording over the party,
always celebrating

You think yourself immortal
and fantastic, but for all your
buffoonery, you are you know,
essentially a pipsqueak,
an empty piece of plastic?

Bloated with hot air
and blind to your own script,
if anything should prick you,
you spurt, sputter, and squeal,
twist and rage in the wind.
You contort and distort, wrinkle, fold
and double-down, fattening yourself
to fight, preparing for battle–

but alas, you always crash–
your view and your voice so lilliputian.
Weightless, your fate is to plummet,
to collapse into flaccid heap
on humble ground

Crumpled and fallen, deflated
and defeated, looking so in need
of comfort, so in need of healing,
I can love you then, recall for you
That truly with no beginning,
That truly without end–
even as I scoop you up
and toss you in the trash bin.



The flag behind him frayed, the cross rigid,
Preacher held court at the altar, booming
voice exploding through the whipping-stick
of his pointing finger

On the benches (stern pews
forbidding any unmoved mover move)
the Sisters and the Brothers:

row of reminiscing old men, eyes smoky
and aglow like the kerosene lamps
that lit the back-country timbers
during the snake cult’s occult doings

the row of bent and smiling old women
hissing, tsk-tsking the newcomer’s jewel-toned
lips and cheeks and nails, her bare arms

The scattered misfits staring straight ahead,
God bless them, stiff-necked, shame-faced,
blood in the eyes (the manly drunk trespassing
less than the vain woman)

the proper families, motherfatheroffspring,
in their proper places, up front and upright,
a grove of salvation in a forest of ‘forgive them’

the row of stray and will-stray children,
the little girl next to the little boy, her nice
and his bad clasping hands as a little shadow
pure and sweet passed between them

The girl knew the rules and (mostly) obeyed them

sat quietly when Sister Pearl spoke loudly,
shrieked oddly, holy tongues escaping
through the clapboard walls

sat still when Sister Opal danced wildly
in the aisles, spirited heels ravishing
the wood-planked floor

never blinked when forced to peer
at sleeping bodies in pretty boxes,
stiff, waxy, and not sleeping at all
but dead, very very dead–

Church was family was church and while
the Outsider said it was belief in the Father
that held them together, held them in place,
the Insider understood

belief was redeemed in the coil and the drape
on an old man’s reaching arm, in the ecstasies
of the semi-precious women

And the little girl’s future whispered yes
that’s all well and good, and don’t forget
the whipping-stick, the walls, the boxes,
don’t forget the woods–

cedar-lined churchyard of Christmas trees
and Easter baskets, summer picnics in the thick
of gray sinking gravestones, ashes to ashes,
dust to dust–

“don’t flinch, see clearly, think of heaven”–

little toy ants playing
above the fires of hell,
feeding atop the rot
of lying caskets.



Do you remember your first time of imagining

something absent? A longing or sensation

so your mind begins to image this as missing.

Like it’s somewhere else and imaging

gives life to it. Is the mind creating to help bring

it into existence? What an incredible

imagination our great Mystery, Presence, had in

creating our beautiful earth. Was there a

felt longing of form absent, perhaps, giving rise

to this powerful imagination creating the

most extraordinary planet of mystical lands, water,

air, mountains to then emerge life to inhabit

the earth garden. This mysterious mind also imaging

to emerge minds, bodies with internal systems

wired to walk, talk, and become conscious. How often

do you think about this? Shouldn’t we?

Are we becoming too robotic moving through life like

ants building our colonies, using our minds to

image even war and hate? Why do this when these gifts

given could do so much more to increase the

beauty, increase the goodness, increase peace and, most

important, increase the Love. When’s the last time

you sat next to a stream or tree or climbed the hill or high

mountain to just let yourself image beauty?

What if We all fell into wonder, awe and even curiosity of

what is here and that We, possibly, are part

of making it continue through our grand gift of imagination

with our Divine, loving Mystery within and without?

What if We choose to enter into moments with our Divine

Mystery imagining a world filled with Divine Love

and peace for everyone and not just a select few? What a

gift back We can all give as gratitude to what has

been given to us all. What a beautiful Imagination for life.