, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

                a smooth and railed
                in-noticeable decline to the tunnel under the channel

                and sudden dark,
                lighted for miles;

                the books and persons
                I selectively collected for a

                are crusting away painlessly

                revealing pink
                and sensitive skin beneath





books wormhole: threshold to behold
change wormhole: c’mon – keep up
life wormhole: slight sneer
pink & retirement wormhole: ‘don’t look at it …’
time wormhole: Lapping Reflections [Deep Within Waters] – sooner; / and later
train wormhole: 10/30 by William Carlos Williams
travelling wormhole: The Boats of Vallisneria by Michael J. Redford – The Valley



‘don’t look at it …’


, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

                don’t look at it
                but the sun is
                sherbet orange

                so we eat our
                meals, and shared
                and wondered

                about future
                until the sky

                behind cranes
                and masts was
                pink sugar-ice





Carol wormhole: Valentine’s Day 2019
crane wormhole: travelling / back
orange wormhole: 10/22 by William Carlos Williams
pink wormhole: the old man;
retirement wormhole: Renunciation
sky wormhole: The Boats of Vallisneria by Michael J. Redford – The Valley
sun wormhole: Lapping Reflections [Deep Within Waters] – sooner; / and later
talking wormhole: 10/28 ‘On hot days …’ by William Carlos Williams


the blessings of the Buddhas


, , , , , , , ,

                the blessings of the Buddhas

                                                agghhh … – schTinnk
                                whmmp, wh’ whattayoudoing!
                                look, you bloodied my nose, I

                                think it’s broken; why did you
                                stop me; “you snivelling, little
                                squit; not even looking where

                                you lash your forkèd tongue
                                or blink your sclerotic I; get-
                                outtahere, can’t you read, go

                                away and learn to read, or
                                I’ll kick your arse again and
                                show you what this pike can

                                                really do; that other door; there” – dink


smack up against: Bodhisattvacharyavatara Chapter VI – verses 98-101: [98] Anyway, receiving praise and recognition and such make me complacent, they disrupt my equanimity, and then undermine any fear and weariness I have with cyclic existence and any sense of urgency to escape it, they engender jealousy towards those who have developed good qualities, ending up with anger and rivalry towards them so that all that has been built up and achieved has been defiled and wasted.   [99] Therefore can it not be said that those same people who are so closely involved in undoing my reputation and cutting me down to size and such, are really rendering me the service of holding me back from falling into lower rebirth and hell?   [100] These ties of getting and status I do not need and are unfitting for me who strives for Liberation.   How is it that I would be angry with those very persons who accordingly liberate me from those same ties?   In what way are they my enemies?   [101] And, how is it that I can be angry with those who cause me pain, who have become, as if blessings from the Buddha, a closed door, preventing me from entry as I stumble headlong and blindly to enter a world of overwhelming suffering?   In what way are they my enemies?




identity wormhole: The Boats of Vallisneria by Michael J. Redford – The Valley
sound wormhole: Lapping Reflections [Deep Within Waters] – sooner; / and later
sound wormhole: The Boats of Vallisneria by Michael J. Redford – Rain


Lapping Reflections [Deep Within Waters] – sooner; / and later


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


                occasional sun broke through
                splashed watery light on the road

                on the bridge gazing on the waters
                the flow      caught the eye upwards

                while the music scented of                 mist through the trees

                (grey light and silver hung
                 without movement in

                 folds) until
                raindrops drummed upon our capes;

                and later – jotting

                in the note-book – each blade of grass
                suspending a drop

                (pearls waiting on the
                 clothes-line for the starling’s quickfeet),

                then, when
                my sleeve touched a leaf

                and three drops merged and rolled down
                into the soil down

                through the years, there where
                clouds draw scent from the land, there,

                when a spark of light jabbed
                into my eye

                bright as solid substance cupped
                within a lupin leaf


read the collected work of ‘Lapping Reflections [Deep Within Waters]‘ as it is published: here
this is an appliquiary to: The Boats of Vallisneria by Michael J. Redford – Rain




bridge & leaves & mist & rain & roads & silver & writing wormhole: The Boats of Vallisneria by Michael J. Redford – Rain
clouds & eyes & grey & passing & sound & sun & time wormhole: The Boats of Vallisneria by Michael J. Redford – The Valley
light wormhole: light of all interaction
music wormhole: c’mon – keep up
trees wormhole: Candaka
water wormhole: boiled spangle with soft centre


Bodhisattvacharayvatara: Chapter VI, Patience – verses … 112-113; reflectionary

Bodhisattvacharayvatara by Acharya Śāntideva

Chapter VI– verses …112-113

Transglomeration: [S112b; T112cd] … and there are plenty who thereby journey towards, or have landed, the further shore of Supreme Perfection both by working for the happiness of the one and by honouring and relying on the other.   [113] And so, since the attributes of the Buddha-Dharma are found and realised both by virtue of all sentient beings and in reliance on the Conquerors, how is it that I would not have the same respect towards sentient beings as I do towards the Conquerors?

~~~ “BCA” ~~~

V. 112a/ab there are two fields within which to cultivate virtue
↑ Stitch ↓
V. 112b/cd-113 Enlightenment is attained through both, therefore why value one and not the other?

Reflection: [112b/cd] those who have pleased other beings have attained perfection; this ‘pleasing’ will be the whole hog – happiness that does not wear out, freedom that is not compromised – it’s not just any old bit of happiness you have given to others; this is a ‘path’, a way of life, spent on the sort of giving to others that is focussed on their striving for happiness and wanting to avoid suffering (which is exactly the same as my striving for happiness and wanting to avoid suffering, of course, but which leaves out the ‘my’ bit of it, making the striving more universal, rather than despite), a Mahāyāna path which recognises, and takes one’s responsibility within, the whole of the world of interdependent causation, so that any success one has is not ‘one’s but ‘everyone’s, and therefore organically true

Determination: [113] sentient beings are equally due veneration as causes of realisations; ‘realisations’ is mostly translated as ‘Buddha qualities’ although both the Sanskrit and Tibetan refer to ‘Buddha-Dharma’, nevertheless the qualities implied are the ‘realisations’ of the Buddha-Dharma, not the teachings, so much, but the realisation of completeness, wisdom; as verse 114 will go on to qualify, you don’t get the full-blown qualities of the Buddha as soon as you’re nice to someone, rather you (begin to) share in the Buddha qualities which, after all, are innate within one anyway: when benefitting beings you are starting to find and develop and realise that quality within you which is beginning to open to Enlightenment, you are beginning to accord with that quality, you are beginning to tune in to that quality, that quality is beginning to resonate; you don’t get gifted these qualities – they are not a reward for good behaviour – you assume these qualities; certainly both the Sanskrit and Tibetan have ‘Buddha Dharma’, referring, presumably, to Dharma-realisation in particular, rather than the Teachings; certainly, also, the Dalai Lama makes the point: (A Flash of Lightning in the Dark of Night) “Without beings we cannot have compassion, and without compassion we cannot achieve Supreme Enlightenment but will rather fall into the extreme of Nirvāṇa”; now, Nirvāṇa is all well and good, it is, after all, a complete cessation of all suffering and self-grasping, but it is described as an extreme, it is not the completion of the practice (of patience), it is isolating, it isn’t taking full recognition of, or responsibility for, interdependent-origination; HH also says elsewhere (My Spiritual Autobiography, HH Dalai Lama (pg. 107)): “Nonviolence is not limited to an absence of violence, for it is a matter of an active attitude, motivated by the wish to do others good” (my italics); again, Mahāyāna

Commentary: at the beginning of day four of HH Dalai Lama’s teaching on patience (Healing Anger) he prefaces the commentary with a slightly lengthy exploration of the lack of intrinsic nature as understood through interdependent conditionality and the understanding of karma through which it operates and concluding with Maitreya’s assertion that all beings have intrinsic Buddha-nature … as the sketch for why the practice of patience is so essential or fundamental to shifting one’s spiritual practice up a gear from karmically effective spiritual self-improvement to a practice which has both universal implication and effectiveness; the point is implicit (but nonetheless there) in the first two perfections – you can’t perfect giving without others to give to, you can’t perfect behaviour without anyone to behave toward – but is wholly brought out regarding the practice of patience …

Practice: rather, again, a location, a field, in which to practise…

Bodhisattvacharayvatara: Chapter VI, Patience – verse 112 …; reflectionary

Bodhisattvacharayvatara by Acharya Śāntideva

Chapter VI– verse 112…

Transglomeration: For this reason the Skilful One has specifically talked about both the field (of endeavour) of sentient beings as well as the field (of merit) of the Conquerors,

~~~ “BCA” ~~~

V. 109-111 … even though the enemy has no intention for us to practice patience but does intend to harm, they are essential to our practice
↑ Stitch ↓
V. 112… …so there are two fields within which to cultivate virtue

Reflection: this verse inaugurates the climax of the practice of patience: in the simple statement that ’Buddha talked about the two fields’ (in relation to becoming Enlightened, this Bodhichitta motivation, remember) – i.e. both of them, not just the field of Buddhas, which is obvious – is emphasising that there is much more to the practice of patience in order to make it a perfection rather than just a personal practice; patience is so much more than just not-getting-angry; a fundamental aspect of developing and cultivating patience is the recognition of the multifarious cause and effect world in which we live, appreciation of which nullifies the tendency to anger we can develop when we try living and striving (in this cause and effect world) through proposing, then grasping and then building up and then defending, our sense of self; the cause and effect world is fluid, nothing remains as it is for a moment – in ignorantly proposing a sense of self into this fluid world and building this sense of self up and defending it despite this fluid world, we are creating ourselves adverse to existence; we are inevitably unsuccessful in both the short and long terms, but the grasping to our self is so strong that we don’t recognise this as unsuccessful and use these disappointments/hardships/sufferings to dig ourselves even further into adversity by trying to ‘show them’, by trying to win, by proving oneself, and thereby we cultivate our habits of denial and anger in all the effluence of our creative skill; the practice of patience is a simple reversal of this process: by recognising that the world does operate fluidly through cause and effect, our adverse sense of self necessarily lets-go and dissipates; fine, problem solved (although this ‘letting go’ ain’t as easy as eating a smooth fruity yogurt on a hot day); but there’s more: having dissimulated ourself through living with, and in, cause and effect, still we notice that there are others out there, millions of them, billions …, all just bumping into each other, some of them still bumping into me (‘leave me alone, I’m trying to dissipate’); what about them; so this verse makes explicit, now, and really starts to lean into the Mahāyāna motivation – you can’t just leave them bumping around into each other the same as you can’t just let the fly keep buzzing against the clear glass right next to the open window (well you could, but there you’d go building up that sense of isolated and unconnected self again); the end point isn’t just the dissipation of one’s own sense of self because if you did stop there, there would still be a sense of duality – you not angry anymore, the rest of the world still bumping around into itself – and if there were satisfaction and relief that you were not angry anymore – phew! – then there would be some sense of ‘tough luck, suckers, I’m out of here’ … the job wouldn’t be finished yet, you were still not dissipated, you hadn’t fully grasped the implication of what happened, there, when you loosened yourself from the constraints of self-assertion: it isn’t, and never was, all about you; patience, this verse culminates, is the full embrace of cause and effect, far beyond the dissipation of one’s own sense of self, but working to the dissipation of any sense of self; you can’t just personally stop playing the ‘self game’ and call yourself Enlightened, you’ve only released the thread, you haven’t untied the knot; the practice of patience inaugurates the embracing of the whole picture, the whole problem of existence-despite-cause-and-effect; it’s not that you’re just being nice by looking after all the rest still stuck in self-identification, it’s just following through with the process that loosed you in the first place: you don’t just hold the spoon of yogurt there, in your mouth open and salivating, thinking ‘I am satisfied’ … lips closed, scoop the spoon clean, squeeze the cream through the mouth, burst the fruit with the teeth, swallow, eyes closed; patience is never an endpoint …

Reflection: the translations from Sanskrit seem to be saying that the two fields are one and the same, the Tibetan that they are ‘like’ one another; I would read these emphases as effective (… resulting in Buddhahood) in the case of Sanskrit and causal (… of attaining Buddhahood) in the case of Tibetan; also the translations range from ‘declaring’ to ‘talk about’ these two fields: did the Buddha ‘declare’ that the two fields are the same (or similar) as a specific point, or that Buddha talked about there being two fields (of endeavour in which one can practice of virtue); the Dharmasangiti has “The Field of Sentient Beings is a Buddha-field because it is from that Buddha-field that the qualities of Buddha are attained” and the Sūtra of Perfectly Pure Aspiration has “Formerly upon the field of beings and on the field of Buddhas did I base myself.   ‘Tis thus that I have harvested the endless qualities of Buddhahood”; so certainly they are related because working in the field of sentient beings produces the result of Buddhahood, so there is a causal explanation for their identification but also a resultant understanding that they are identical in the end – ultimately – ‘empty-ly’ – there is no difference between the two fields, there is only nominal difference conventionally, and there is suffering incompatibility samsārically where the self is postulated and lived to within an inch of its very life

Perspective: both the location and the orientation of practice: kṣetra: ‘field’ of endeavour, of situation/location, Matics, ‘opportunity’, Barnett, ‘domain’; truly a Mahāyāna perspective which includes the ‘field’ in the endeavour for Enlightenment rather than simply wanting to escape from it; this is non-reclusive, in the sense of non-isolating from, even if one is in retreat, one is by no means isolated from the concern of all living beings because one cannot be in any way isolated … and be in any way Enlightened; what power!



, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


                out from the trees
                he emerged but was bedraggled

                he stared just under
                ahead, no longer to triumphant horizons

                his jaw hung as if forgot to locate
                no further to commend

                and his sword listed, tinny and tarnished,
                unsure to hand;

                just yesterday
                was a dream where he played the part

                of losing each part that he had played
                step by tired step

                and out of step with Kanthaka’s step;
                he had lost the Prince


etching, from the Arya Lalita Vistara Nama Mahayana Sutra; Chandaka was the charioteer and the groom for the Prince, Siddhartha Gautama, his chauffeur, in a way, but also a confidant, to some extent; it was Chandaka who led the Prince out of palace-life where the Prince encountered the Four Signs (four features of life which he hadn’t taken into account in his privileged life – old age, illness, death and living outside of society and social role); Kanthaka was the Prince’s magnificent horse, worthy of bearing a sovereign, the epitome of beauty, strength and transport; despite society and role obliging the Prince to remain in the palace and fulfil his dharma as king, his urge to get to the bottom of purpose and life was strong from previous lifetimes of vows … he had to leave; the gods themselves helped the Prince escape – it was only Chandaka who did not fall into a deep sleep; Kanthaka’s hooves did not strike the ground, the gates flew open by themselves – because they wanted someone to get to the bottom of purpose and life as well; both Chandaka and Kanthaka were devoted to the Prince but could not fully appreciate the gravity of the Prince’s quest, they played their roles – their dharma – but without full agency: all they could appreciate was the challenge to role and society that they had participated in, and no means to understand beyond that …




Buddha & renunciation wormhole: light of all interaction
dreams wormhole: “And anger it is that lays in ruins / every kind of mental goodness.”
horizon wormhole: The Boats of Vallisneria by Michael J. Redford – The Valley
meaning wormhole: A Corner of the Garden at the Hermitage, 1877
society wormhole: looking for the right exit
trees wormhole: The Boats of Vallisneria by Michael J. Redford – Rain


The Boats of Vallisneria by Michael J. Redford – The Valley


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The Valley

My first memory of Wales is an aural one.   My brother and I were evacuated during the war and arrived late at night in Trelewis, a little mining village by the Rhonda Valley.   It was too dark to see anything of our surroundings, not that we cared much anyway for the winter’s journey had made us far too tired.

It was the sound of rocks that woke me early the following morning.   Having always lived in London, I had rarely heard their raucous tones, certainly not in such great numbers.   I could see from a narrow strip of sky between the curtains that the clouds of the previous day had been swept away.   At first I was undecided as to whether the colour of the sky was grey or a pale, misty blue, but as the minutes ticked by, it became evident that the heavens were clear.   I glanced across at my brother in the next bed.   He was still and fast asleep.   Without moving my head I took in the details of the room that had come to light.   There was a small wooden cross on the wall opposite and behind the door a small cupboard where, presumably, we were to keep our clothes and the few toys we had bought with us.   Beneath the window was a long wooden chest draped with a green satin runner, the secrets of which we were to discover later.   Apart from the two beds in which my brother and I were sleeping, there were no other items of furniture in the room.

I glanced at the bed beside me once more and again at the curtained window.   How desperate I was to see what lay beyond.   Should I wake my brother or should I let him sleep?   The minutes ticked slowly by.   Then slowly he turned over towards me.   His eyes were open – he too had been looking at the window.   Alan and I had always been very close as brothers, often both doing the same thing simultaneously, each seeming to know what the other is about to do.   Our eyes met for a brief second and without a word being spoken, we slid from our beds and crossed to the window.   Had an observer been looking at the rear of 9 Richards Terrace at seven o’clock that crisp winter’s morn, he would have seen the curtains slowly part and two small faces peer out with large apprehensive eyes.

We were almost on a level with the hills opposite.   In this part of the country the Welsh mountains do not present a dramatic outline to the sky; here, they are soft and rolling, rather like the South Downs on a much larger scale.   The hills were quite bare, void of trees, fields and hedgerows, and only one house stood there, square and lonely.   A paddock surrounded by a dry stone wall contained three ponies that tossed their heads in the early morning sun.   One wall of the paddock continued down into the valley to disappear behind a black, tower-like structure topped by two of the most enormous wheels I had ever seen.   From these, thick black cables ran down into a blackened building at the rear.   Everything was black.   The ground, over which ran a network of miniature railway lines and trucks was black; all buildings, shacks and huts dotted about were black; blackness was heaped everywhere.

Now we were conscious of other noises.   The distant rattle of shunting trucks and a continuous hissing sound of escaping steam.   Then the faint clip-clop of horses’ hooves became noticeable from the High Street below, and there appeared for a brief second between the houses a yellow float laden with clanking milk churns pulled by a big brown horse.   The bare hills, the colliery, the grey slate roofs of the village below and the screech of the rooks above, stirred within us a mixture of emotions, emotions that encompassed apprehension, expectation, excitement, loneliness, sadness; and even today, whenever I hear rooks calling on a winter’s morn, whenever I hear the rattle of the shunter’s yard or the sound of newly-shod hooves upon a hard road, I am back once more in Trelewis.   But no longer does loneliness feature in the memory now for I have many dear friends there.   No more apprehension or sadness, for the Welsh hills have afforded me much happiness and security, and beauty can now be seen in that which at one time appeared ugly.   Now, the memory is warm with affection for those sincere people and there is a longing to be among those stony, fern-covered hills once more.

As we descended the stairs later that morning for breakfast, the smell of polish was evident.   Everything shone.   The lino on the stairs had a shine so deep that I grasped the bannister tightly for support for fear that I should slip, and the brass fender in the living room glowed with the intensity of the sun.   The aroma of breakfast sizzling on the big black hob was wafted through the kitchen door together with the aroma of a hitherto unknown delicacy called a Welsh Cake.

The people in that remote little mining village threw open their doors and welcomed us into their houses.   Such was their nature that we, who could justly be called ‘foreigners’, became in a very short time, part of them and their community.   How many London mothers, I wonder, have cause to be grateful for the care and love lavished on their offspring by strangers in a far-off country.

The countryside behind the village differed from the great hills on the other side of the valley.   Here, there were dairy farms.   Hedgerows bound in small fields and cows grazed to the accompaniment of pure crystal streams that tumbled from the mountains further up the valley.   It is in these surroundings I feel sure, that I first became aware of the beauty around me.   I became conscious of a physical and mental freedom that could not exist in London.   Here, one could be alone, one could run and jump and roll in the grass without fear of reprisal, and high upon Wineberry Mountain on the other side of the valley, one could race the winds for miles before a fence or even a dry stone wall would be encountered.   Here on the heights, one can shout with full voice, yet it will be lost upon the wind.   Only a stray sheep will turn its head and the bracken will dip and ripple to the horizon like waves upon the sea.   Up here the ceaseless wind is the ethereal reincarnation of Dionysus, urging one to drink from him and become drunk with freedom.


read the collected work as it is published: here




beauty & clouds & grey & hedge & passing & smell & valley wormhole: The Boats of Vallisneria by Michael J. Redford – Rain
bedroom wormhole: LIGHT HEARTED WILLIAM by William Carlos Williams
black & horizon wormhole: slight sneer
blue & faces wormhole: 11/1 by William Carlos Williams
brown wormhole: The Diligence at Louveciennes, 1870
curtains wormhole: ‘… plane is upright …’
eyes & love wormhole: light of all interaction
green wormhole: 10/22 by William Carlos Williams
hills wormhole: Lapping Reflections [Deep Within Waters] – I took my camera into the fields
house wormhole: quietly in my quiet house
identity & wind wormhole: c’mon – keep up
kitchen wormhole: 10/28 ‘On hot days …’ by William Carlos Williams
London wormhole: {reading right to left}
morning & sky wormhole: then
mother wormhole: in deed
roof & windows wormhole: THE ATTIC WHICH IS DESIRE: by William Carlos Williams
sleep & time wormhole: looking for the right exit
sound wormhole: window
stone & sun wormhole: boiled spangle with soft centre
travelling wormhole: travelling / back
walls wormhole: “And anger it is that lays in ruins / every kind of mental goodness.”
waves wormhole: Valentine’s Day 2019
yellow wormhole: 10/28 ‘in this strong light …’ by William Carlos Williams


c’mon – keep up


, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

                c’mon – keep up

                I was a teacher
                I was sometimes
                very good, I cut edges;

                things changed,
                (they’d never
                 quite coalesced)

                I stuck to
                principle, fatal
                to behold,

                couldn’t shimmy
                with the wind (there
                was never a wall

                that created the
                draft) I was
                still, sometimes,

                very good,
                but things just
                changed –

                                ~ O —

                wazzat I hear,
                music, far away,
                can’t make it out:

                “I don’t need no reputation
                  I don’t need no CPD
                  no starkly standards by which to measure

                  system leave them selfs alone … … …
                  hey, system, leave yourself alone …
                  all in all I’m just another brick in the wall”


from Bodhisattvacharyavatara, VI, 90-93: [90] And as for praise and fame and status, these will not necessarily affect my life at all; they will not bring me virtue or recognition, they will not extend my life-span or give me strength or free me from sickness or even make me feel good.   [91] If I truly knew what was of benefit and import to my life, what value would I hold in pursuing such things?   If all I want is some nominal, transient mental entertainment, perhaps I should just indulgently devote myself to gaming and getting high and such.   [92] And yet if, in pursuit of fame, I squander everything I have or even get myself killed for some point of honour, of what use would be the mere sound of words to anyone?   Once I am dead, to whom, of all the people I knew, would they bring satisfaction?   Can you eat words as if they were flesh?   When I am dead, what comes of my honour?   [93] When their mud-houses (and sand-castles) collapse, children spontaneously burst out crying in despair and anguish; and, likewise, when my approbation and renown dry up, my own mind reacts just like a silly child.




acceptance wormhole: the mantra of Maitreya
career & change wormhole: Renunciation
identity wormhole: looking for the right exit
music wormhole: there will be ovations
teaching wormhole: my uncomfortable life
wind wormhole: the old man;


light of all interaction


, , , , , , , , , , , ,

                light of all interaction

                he had been offered
                unending carnal delights
                and he smiled on them
                and declined in a
                thousand tender ways

                he had relinquished
                palaces and his eyes
                in a highway of response,
                so he shined without
                source or pervasion, everywhere


slight opacity from the Arya Lalita Vistara Nama Mahayana Sutra, the life story of the Buddha who left behind all that life could give in order to find what life is all about, who could be you or could be me




Buddha wormhole: the Bodhisattva set out / for the Seat of Awakening
compassion wormhole: waiting to be heard
eyes wormhole: The Boats of Vallisneria by Michael J. Redford – Rain
light wormhole: THE ATTIC WHICH IS DESIRE: by William Carlos Williams
love wormhole: Valentine’s Day 2019
realisation wormhole: there will be ovations
renunciation wormhole: Renunciation
smile & world wormhole: mandala offering