Lost & Found

As I walk the streets of this world I am often reminded that “One person’s RUBBISH is another person’s TREASURE.” we’ don’t always see eye to eye on things and that seems OK, right? But I also often think that there is ONE TRUTH that overrides all our differences and that we seem to ignore this. This contemplation inspired this poem. Enjoy? …or ENJOY!

LOST & FOUND 

INSIDE A GLOBE FILLED

WITH CALMNESS AND CLARITY

SAT SHE ABSORBING

AND EMITTING

SAID CALM

 

OUTSIDE SHE GAZED

TO CATCH GLIMPSES

OF A PASSING

CIRCUS PARADE OF

GROUND-POUNDING ELEPHANTS

DANCING BEARS

A GROUP OF SELF-PROCLAIMED

RINGMASTERS

AND THE COMPLETE

CAST OF CLOWNS

 

ONE OF WHICH APPROACHED

THE GLOBE TO SPEAK

“PARDON ME BUT

YOU LOOK A LITTLE LOST”

TO WHICH SHE IN GLOBE

CALMLY RESPONDED 

“THANK YOU BUT I HAVE

FOUND ALL I NEED

…AND…YOU?” 

THE CLOWN CONFOUNDED

BACKED AWAY

AND TURNED TO

REJOIN THE PARADE 

New York (13 March 2020)

 

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YIN TRIUMPHANT

I, like most of us most of the time these daze, have been contemplating the current state of affairs probably far too much. (Not that this hasn’t been going on for centuries)! I’ve been thinking about what might bring about a solution that would be the best result for all of us. The Chinese image of Yin/Yang came to mind which connects the apparently disparate elements of the world. Some of the definitions of Yin/Yang are good/evil, light/dark, female/male, hot/cold (you get the idea). Now choose one of those definitions to explain the meaning of this poem I offer to you here.                          

Russ Davis

Yin:Yang

YIN TRIUMPHANT

It sensed a need and sought the source

but not to share, to take by force with no reason more

than to capture and keep

then add it to the rubbish heap.

It went about its business thus

conducting all with jabs and thrusts

ignoring beauty, hiding truth

and with haughty manner refused to move.

Then slowly rose another one

with loving eyes and tender smile that spoke…

“I’ll take the reins awhile.”

So cleverly, with good intent this one

brought warmth and light into the cold dark spaces

and cleared away all saddened faces.

All faces followed this one close behind

and with directions received

a place was crafted where all could be as should be.

WHAT VICTORY!

Ladies Making Music

(Grafton, VT-11 August 2018)

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Love in the form of KIWI

For those of you who have that loving pet that’s been a part of your life for some time you probably know that they become a member of your family and that saying goodbye to them is more than painful. On 26 August, 2016 our beloved miniature poodle KIWI went to sleep and left us. Here are some pictures of her with my dear Patricia and daughter Blair followed by a poem I wrote to remember her by.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Patricia and our Kiwi

Blair & Kiwi 2

LOVE IN THE FORM OF KIWI

Love comes in many forms,

sometimes in a

soft, sweet, fluffy

red package

that saves

licks & snuggles

for those most loved,

that saves

welcoming barks

as greetings for those

found most interesting,

that saves

burrowing in to become

one at sleeptime for those

found most trusted.

 

Love comes in many forms,

but none with love

more automatic,

more constant,

more real,

than in the form

of KIWI.

Blair & Kiwi

 

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Birch Among Oaks

There is a birch tree in the woods near my Brother & Sister-In-Law’s weekend home near Cold Spring, New York that has always caught my attention over the years. I think of it as an old friend and I’d been toying with this poem inspired by that tree. While spending a weekend at a Buddhist retreat at The Grail at Cornwall on Hudson I finally received the inspiration to complete the work and here it is. Bear with me with the structure of the first segment of the poem as I’m trying out a new style and flow but I hope I can take you to this beautiful place where you’ll receive this peaceful message.

BIRCH AMONG OAKS 

I, a birch among oaks

awaken to a sparrow

on my shoulder/branch

singing hello to all

that greet the sun

with a message

heard by hawks

who need the same

sustenance as the beetle and caterpillar

that share space and sensations

with a spider burrowing beneath

the roots of the willow

captured by a breeze

that gently tickles

a neighbor pine

whose quivering branches

call to the feeding crow

who takes what’s needed

and leaves enough

for the finches.

 

The message fills the air again…

“We made it through

another night,

another winter

to another spring

thriving by sharing

the plenty!”

 

Would that it could

be forever

then forever

again forever.

 

(Cornwall on Hudson…26 March 2016)

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TEACHER TREE

While on a wonderful retreat at the Aryaloka Buddhist Center in the middle of the woods in a lovely part of New Hampshire I felt inspired to finish the following poem that I’d been toying with for the past few weeks. The beauty and solitude of the place combined with the peaceful and positive vibrations of the gathering were all I needed to complete the task. 

Tree in WinterTEACHER TREE

I see he/she taking the nutrients from the ground,

A king/queen commanding the earth to deliver goodness.

Then windy dancing begins with an invisible director

proving that this is no god/goddess but a simple twig grown taller.

Then I see this tree in me and me in the tree, for I too rise to salute the sun

and take all it has to offer to a hungry supplicant.

I too bow to a bracing breeze then move on my transient roots

to suck the sustenance from sources all around.

The leaves and blossoms will wilt and fall.

The roots recede and cease to form foundation,

while my heart weakens and all I am becomes less than before.

You are no more than me nor I than thee.

I thank you for the lesson oh tall, wise teacher tree.

January 2015

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TO SMILING GLENDA

When I was 3 my dear sister, Glenda, passed away at the age of 6. She had leukemia. My younger brother Steve was only 1 so my parents, who were busy working and taking care of the baby, left me in the care of my wonderful sister who was my guardian angel. This picture is the only physical image I have of the two of us together and you can see how lovely she was but you will never know how sweet and wonderful she was inside. You can see how happy I was to be with her and I think of her almost every single day. In 1983 I wrote the following poem to her and I share it with you now.

Glenda & Her BrotherTO SMILING GLENDA

You left, and never leaving,

tore all asunder,

creating the pain-joy

that first came,

and will always come,

at the sight

of those sweetest

slits of eyes.

 

Tiny one so large

take me in for I freeze

since our play stopped.

Teach me of your

solitary celebrations.

Your light is blinding

but I see with eyes

that only look.

LOOK!

The Jane is here for

the baby play.

We can join again!

Can we join again?

 

All says your dress

is the chief fashion of a goddess.

can you not grant passage

for the brother-traveler

who longs for arrival

in the residence-port

of your sacred form?

I but cry in my laughing

while your laugh is of love.

My loving is of hurting

and my hurt is

that we are not.

 

Trick me with an elder wisdom

as I seek your simple secret.

hide, but if I find you

allow my prize-choosing,

that we spread flat

the mother blanket,

a bed for child-games

and revelation of

your perfection

so quickly acquired.

 

7 February, 1983

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THE STREAM

Some of the finest times I have these days are in the company of my wonderful family at the weekend home near Cold Spring, NY that my brother and sister-in-law, Guy Morris & Pamela Lippe, invite us to share with them from time to time. It gives us acres of nature in which to submerge ourselves and a refuge from the non-stop crazy that is New York City is always welcome. Today, while taking said refuge, I was sitting by a stream that flows down the mountain by their house and this poem popped into my head. Everything in this poem is true!   Russ Davis

Image

The Stream

I seek a refuge for meditation

by a forest stream,

and slip into a space

with soothing stereo

as it flows from

source to final destination.

 

I find my rock in the sun

among a constellation of

algae-covered stones,

undisturbed for decades

in their perfect harmony

with all there is.

 

A small, golden leaf

is twirling in place

caught in a tiny cove,

trapped in a swirling whirlpool.

maybe it dreams of force of nature,

a bird…a breeze…to give it freedom.

to affect the change

it cannot itself achieve.

 

A caterpillar flies downstream

grasping at foam,

the bank, the rocks,

anything to give it footing

and freedom from

the overwhelming current.

surely it dreams of

becoming the magnificent moth

that only it can be.

 

I rise to leave

and as I walk away

I find myself turning back,

for I am drawn by

the beckoning arms of the trees,

the gentle kiss from the breeze,

the sensuous sound of the water in motion.

I cannot leave for

I am the leaf, the caterpillar,

the stones, the forest.

I am the stream.

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Disasters

I’ve had the seed of this poem for months now but a recent natural disaster devastated the Philippines, and the impetus arrived to make me finish it. I keep thinking how lucky I’ve been in my life, so far, in so many ways. Is it just being lucky…or is it something else? Hmmm…Image

Disasters

Angels are walking on eggshells

as the scent of bourbon floats

through the rareified air.

 

a gentle breeze begins then

the pressure from above

creates a howling wind.

 

children in a small corner of the world

huddle in the corner of a room

as the wind takes their roof, then their ghosts.

 

a tiny island made of shells and sand

is tickled by waves that fast become

a wall of raging water.

 

the ravenous force that follows

devours the shore until

the island is no more.

 

a wedding party dances

to a joyous beat of union

that shakes this room of happy souls.

 

a sinister rhythm interrupts the dance

as the space becomes an abyss,

opening then closing on the event.


angels are walking on eggshells,

whispering as they walk by the columns

of the gilded palace.

 

god’s been drinking again.

 

24 November 2013

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The Place That I Call Home

Imagine yourself at your own “Going Away Party” as you leave the safe, friendly confines of your old neighborhood and hometown to make your way in the world, relying on your own wits and will to “make it.” That’s the scene that popped in my head as I wrote the lyrics to my song that follows.

Russ Davis 

The going away party for Russell A. Davis (RAD) you see!

“The Place That I Call Home” 

I’ve walked these streets all of my days

but now the time to make my way

arrives to send me far away

from all that I have known

 

As friends and family gather round

I faintly hear the building sound

of happy sadness tumbling down

from deep inside my soul

 

This very house in which we stand

my father built with his own hands

there never was a stronger man

or kinder man than he

 

My mother taught me right from wrong

to write a poem to sing a song

to see the good in everyone

she means the world to me

 

To all my friends who gather here

please join this toast with me

to all the things that we have done

and all that we can be

 

No matter where i go from here

no matter where i roam

I’ll always think about this place

the place that I call home

 

I may not find a better place

or people I can trust

but if somewhere I find myself

I’ll know I’ve done enough

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“Film At Eleven”

Recently one of the songs I wrote back in 1980 popped into my mind.  It came to me while I was watching one of many recent news reports concerning the disfunction in the supposed U.S. Congress which I believe was once thought to actually represent the people, look after their interests and work for the betterment of all society.  It’s funny how something I wrote over 30 years ago can still ring true.  It was written to reflect the power of media at a time when the “evening news” was the place where everyone came to get the truth.  Now the news is everywhere and there’s more media than ever before.  But the truth…justice…well that’s another topic for another song maybe.  Here are the lyrics of the song “Film At Eleven.”  

Russ Davis

“Film At Eleven” 

DID YOU HEAR WHAT JUST CAME DOWN?

HEADS OF STATE ARE FALLING.

CITIES CRUMBLING ALL AROUND.

HUNGRY CHILDREN BAWLING.

OUR DECADENT SOCIETY IS

FALLING ON ITS FACE.

THERE’S CRIME IN EVERY CITY,

A FROWN ON EVERY FACE.

THE SIGNS OF OUR DAMNATION

ARE SHOWING EVERY PLACE.

THE QUEEN JUST DIED

AND THEY SAY SHE WENT TO HEAVEN.

WE’LL ALL FIND OUT CAUSE

THERE’S FILM AT ELEVEN.

 

DID YOU HEAR WHAT JUST CAME DOWN?

SOMEONE FAMOUS “BOUGHT IT.”

SOME DISEASE HAS SQUEEZED OUR TOWN,

AND MY GIRLFRIEND CAUGHT IT.

THE RICH ARE HORDING MONEY

TO CARRY TO THEIR GRAVE.

THE POOR HAVE AN EXISTENCE

A NOTCH ABOVE A SLAVE.

AND ME, I’M ONLY LOOKING FOR

MORE WAYS TO MISBEHAVE.

AND WHEN I DIE I’LL NEVER GO TO HEAVEN

BUT YOU’LL FIND OUT CAUSE

THERE’S FILM AT ELEVEN. 

THE CORD WAS NEVER SEVERED,

OUR MOTHER IS THE TUBE,

AND WHEN SHE SAYS, “IT’S GOSPEL”

YOU KNOW THAT IT’S THE TRUTH.

SO GATHER ‘ROUND THE ALTER

THE ANCIENT AND THE YOUTH,

AND HERE ON EARTH

IT’S HELL AND IT IS HEAVEN.

WE SEE IT ALL

WITH FILM AT ELEVEN.

DID YOU HEAR WHAT JUST CAME DOWN?

MARS IS NOW ATTACKING.

IN A MINUTE ALL FALL DOWN.

THERE’S NO NEED FOR PACKING.

ADIOS MI AMIGO.

DAS VADANA COMRADE.

TURN THE TUBE OFF ‘FORE WE GO

WHAT A BLAST WE ALL HAD.

OH YEAH!

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