THE HOUSE OF INTELLECT


I’ve read another book. Judging from the very neat pencil underlinings it looks as though I’ve read it before sometime. Since I often wonder why it has been my habit for sixty-odd years, I was interested to find that the underlinings were very helpful generally but especially during the course of more or less skim-reading […]

The Figure of Eight (R6)


The dynamic concept of the Figure of Eight was introduced in my Blog ‘Somatic Markers’ dated 16th November. The bottom half of the Figure of Eight represents the ground of our being—core self—that which we can become more aware of in meditative exercises of one kind or another: the rush of blood in the ears, […]

HAIKU – another fifty-one


walking now where those who passed the café window walked ten minutes ago * from the train window glimpses of village streets I shall never tread * brief conversation at breakfast during which a whole life is aired * longing for the fountains that play in other people’s gardens (Fernando Pessoa) * today a colony […]

Three Poems (R6)


the soul can either build of itself a work of art or sit and watch the Barbarian inversion of old certitudes— mask of Evil that entices into the wilderness of the future; or it rides out of the Wasteland tramples the vineyards demolishes the shrines giving over soil to sand and the mind to this […]

once upon a time


an angel visited the Earth: for many years he thought everybody on Earth was mad because he could not understand what it was they were enjoying; then he caught the Earth disease and began to enjoy Negative Emotions just as they had always done and he could no longer see the madness; when the heavenly […]

The Quest


Pursuing my private intention to discover what it is in Hilaire Belloc that I love so much, I’ve read some of his minor novels and returned to the essays. Apart from some supremely outstanding poems, his verse is negligible but the man is a poet through and through – a ‘maker’ of profoundly affecting prose […]

Richard Jefferies & Zen Buddhism


THE INTRODUCTION TO MY BOOK OF FOUND HAIKU FROM RICHARD JEFFERIES SOMETHING BEYOND THE STARS MORE OR LESS AS IT APPEARED IN 1993 Something Beyond the Stars may be of interest to at least three kinds of people: Richard Jefferies enthusiasts; adherents of Zen Buddhism and haiku fanatics. Assembling it, I found myself wearing all […]

MORE OF HILAIRE BELLOC


I continue my exploration of the work of Hilaire Belloc in a determined effort to discover why, since many of his beliefs are so inimical to me, he continues to have a very special place in my intellectual life. He would no doubt have defined me as somebody possessed of a ‘…one-legged, knock-kneed, gimcrack, purblind, […]

HAIKU IS A STATE OF MIND


If It’s true that haiku is a state of mind, as I believe it is, the next question is: What is the right state of mind for writing haiku? But before that you must answer this question: What is mind? And that’s a question which pre-supposes that there is only one mind to bother about; […]

On Being a Belloc Fanatic


For nearly seventy years I’ve been what I suppose could be called a Belloc-fanatic. The question is – How could that be the case when he was a died-in-the-wool Roman Catholic, of an anti-pacifist, anti-vegetarian persuasion? I think I must have just relegated all that (on his account) to the category ‘unthink’, and (for myself) […]

ZEN & HAIKU


We are often told, particularly by the pioneers of English language haiku (such as D. T. Suzuki, Alan Watts, and the Beats) who mistakenly emphasized Zen Buddhism in Japanese haiku, that haiku should be about the ‘here and now’. This is an extension of the notion that haiku must derive from direct observation and personal […]

IN THE PRISON OF THE MIND


I re-read Mark Epstein’s Thoughts without a Thinker. I made noteswhich gradually formed themselves into a poem. I laced it togetherwith haiku from a forthcoming book of my own; I suppose the result could be said to be a sort of haibun. ❁ in the prison of the mind we’re too busy survivingto confront the […]