Monday, December 31, 2007


Sail on, O Ship of Time!

I'll make another passage

if you'll have me.

- Ralph Murre

In The Freeze

even in the freeze
of this wintering woodlot
a dark stream flowing

- arem

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


December in Colonia del Sacramento, Uraguay

somewhere a flower blooms
while somewhere a bulb holds life frozen
somewhere there is dancing
while somewhere a bomb ends the music
somewhere there is laughter
and our little planet spins night into day
and wobbles so slightly
from the weight of tears
and the lightness of joy

- Ralph Murre

Monday, December 24, 2007

joyeux noel

The best to all of you - peace, love, a silent night.

Don't loose sight of it climbing to the cuckoo's nest.

- Ralph Murre

Friday, December 21, 2007

Dusting Off Jesus

"If there is no God,

Not everything is permitted to man,

He is still his brother's keeper

And he is not permitted to sadden his brother,

By saying that there is no God."

- Czeslaw Milosz

Readers of this blog include members of several of the world's major faiths and many others of no faith at all. I am not a member of any religious group, though I was brought up in the Christian tradition. I now consider most religion to be myth, but I say that in no way to belittle the faith of anyone - I consider most mythology to be full of very real lessons and values which have had great import to people down through the ages, and continue to be important today.

At a time of year when many of us are observing holidays, Holy Days, and perhaps idly wishing peace to our fellow humans, let me reflect for a minute on the so-called followers of Christ. First off, how can they possibly advocate going to war, no matter what the justification? What purported teaching of Christ allows revenge? And when, exactly, did God become the property of the right-wing?

"Blessed are the peacemakers", Jesus is supposed to have said. "Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also."... "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good for them that hate you."... "forgive men their trespasses"..."Be wise as serpents," he is supposed to have said,"and harmless as doves." Is anybody picking up on a theme here?

I, frankly, don't know if the Christian religion has any more merit than the Santa Claus myth, but Virginia, if you choose to believe in Christ, hadn't you better listen to his words?

Peace be with you, all of you - believers, unbelievers, seekers and suckers - if you think there's a God, I think there are a bunch of 'em.

- Ralph Murre


Monday, December 17, 2007


so darkly perched
to await the tide's offering
unloved cormorant

- arem

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Three Things

New friends in Buenos Aires taught me a proverb which I hadn't heard before -
En la vida, debes hocer tres cosas:
- Tener un hijo
- Plantar un arbol
- Escribir un libro

In your life, you must do three things:
- Raise a child
- Plant a tree
- Write a book

I like it, probably because it's the only "To Do" list which I've ever completed. Well, I suppose it's true that I only helped a bit in raising children and the book is a very slim volume of poetry, but there were lots of trees.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Back from Buenos Aires

The Artist Claudio Barragan,
photo by Nancy Vaughn

Morning In A Strange City

A mouth full of how-do-you-say?
and ears full of birdsong and builders,
eyes full of children and treetops,
red tile and red wines and green vines,
whitewash and washed clothes
and everywhere sun.

And shadow.

Evita’s air and fresh breeze and cafĂ© doble
and diesel and dogshit and life
and death and jasmine and jazz.

And cats.

And the disappeared who do not disappear.
Oh, do not disappear. Oh, never disappear.

And hope. There is fresh breeze and hope.
And there are smiles.
Even the old woman smiles
as she walks by Cementario de la Recoleta.
Even the mask-maker smiles
as he makes his unsmiling masks.

- Ralph Murre