Scaling the Tao by El Collie

El Collie was my first wife. She died in 2002 leaving me with all her writing, and a hole in my heart that left me feeling empty and ready to die.
Yet here I am 7 years later writing my own poetry, stumbling along as best I can.
I have since remarried, made some friends on Twitter and am still, for better or worse, a part of life.
This being my blog I can put what I want in it. Since El’s writing now has passed into my hands, I will post some of her poems here also. Perhaps some of her collages as well.
The picture above is actually one of my collages that I choose to use with her poem to remind me of my connection to her.
So here is her poem:

Scaling the Tao

I am not Mohammad,  I have no elevation,
but I will go.
I will travel to Delphi and touch the peak
of aspiration with my exposed nerve.
I will make a pilgrimage to the Himalayas;
I will wind my way to the slopes of Kilimanjaro;
I will pay homage to the Alps;
I will lay myself at the foot of Aconcagua…
I will go
with only faith for my rope
and honesty for my guide.
I am no master; I cannot levitate,
but I will go.
I will offer my earnest intent
to the highest altitudes.
I will give myself over,
I will open, open, open
so endlessly deep
that the mountain too steep for me to climb
will slip down to meet me.
In Namaste’ recognition,
the mountain and I will bow.
This is how it can be done:
By mutual veneration
I move the mountain which moves me.

El Collie


Old Poets: An Old Man’s Grumblings

An Old Man’s Grumblings


Is this all that I have left,
To talk of death and an old man’s complaints?

Shouldn’t I be dreaming of angels with their wings 
Ready to bear me up on that long flight home?


Still of what use are these poems?
Will they ease my passing?

Or just crowd more life
Into my tired soul?


Yes my eyes still greet the moon.
With tobacco offerings

Daily rituals to calm these old bones
And warm my slowing heart.

Yet each night when falling asleep
I remember all my dreams of death


These poems you ask for
Are not what I really need.

But I’ll not be here long
So I’ll write them for you.

Scribed in blood to mark the seasons
In sacred circles of bone white chalk.


Now the years spin faster.
Waking me at 2 or 3 A.M.

To vex my nights
And Stir my pulse

With spirit messages for the living
Like the sun setting at dawn

From old to young
Against the flow of time.


I prefer the Bardo’s living fire
Taking me into the light I crave.

Not for me the grave
With its stone walled musings.

Let my bones burn bright
like a cold full moon.

Silvery in clouded breath.
Let my burning flesh melt like snow.

Sending my footsteps back to the stars
and leave no tracks with my dying.

Dec 09 

And Love, and love, and love

Tammy Ho wrote a somewhat playful, but also sad poem for Christmas, called “It’s Christmas — so what?”
I felt a need to respond and this is what resulted:

And love, and love, and love.

Cupids arrow is not a gift
To be found under the tree
wrapped in shiny tinsel
and pretty smiles

Erotic presents are not free
No one is exempt from sorrow
Always, always, always
There is a price

But who of us can resist
That unexpected look
eyes meeting across the room
Falling into each other’s soul

Love has no limits
It’s not on sale
When that arrow hits your heart
You are dead and life begins.


Song of You

Tammy Ho Laiming  posted some beautiful pictures of herself in some new dresses.
There was also a very erotic song to accompany this post
Rose McGowan’s version of “You Belong to Me”
The song inspired this poem that I posted as a comment:

Song of you

I see your eyes
I feel your lips
erotic nights
move our hips

my ears

“You Belong to Me”
lights the way
to your heart


Response to Tammy Ho’s “Marvellous banality”

“Marvellous banality” Is an exceptional poem by Tammy Ho.
I have found myself both inspired and learning a great deal from her poetry.
This is my response to her poem that includes some thoughts about truth as well.
I love your “Marvellous banality” 
truths turn and twist
spiraling inside and out
traveling round and about
then journeying far
to the heat of our hearts
the cold of our feet
the taste of our hands
The visions so sweet
How can I resist
these images’ twists
best not to speak
The Fates not to tempt
our hour will come
when all will be done
in mind’s eye’s care
We will be there