Scarlet Cherry Tree

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Picture: Red Autumn Tree Of Life by Christine Bell

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Ablaze in the rain,

Burning cold

At the foothills of the stronghold,

No leaf sprouts in vain.

October showcases its trinkets,

While clouds of milk spread in the teacups.

Tree, standing in my mind, coming back in brackets,

Lively, dancing, delicate in the downs, light in the ups.

The gardens breathe through Me,

All labels are soaked and shredded in the rain,

There’s only space for Thee

Beyond the veil of pleasure and pain.

Teach me, oh, teach me,

The art of shifting seasons,

Transcending the small me,

In the language of the unspoken Reasons.

Ablaze in the rain,

Growing young and old,

Simultaneously unfold

Death, birth, and all things mundane.

The Source of creation is everywhere around you

And within

Each and every subatomic particle.

Surrender to Yourself.

 

Herons

Let Yourself Go, Let Go Of Yourself

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Picture by Mark Berger

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Let yourself go,

You’re a speckle of cosmic dust.

Don’t buy the scam of your mind:

Big deals for sale,

Cheap tailored drama series,

Ancient tales of separation.

Let me tell you,

What the mind says is not a big deal after all.

Give Universal intelligence permission

To overthrow

The small, limited you.

Let go of yourself,

Let go of who you think you are.

Silence:

Amidst the traffic horns,

The city wandering crowd,

The rolling of the cars,

The ambulance crying out loud.

Silence underneath all sounds,

That is who You really are.

 

Herons

A Pirate Named Gianni Cobalto • Part 1

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Picture by unknown

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The sharp saltiness of the ocean flutters in the lazy afternoon breeze. A clavichord is giggling from the inside, beyond the wooden porch. It’s a tune from Scarlatti, the Neapolitan. Gianni is carried away by the melody. His memories at sea are intertwined with his future projections – very likely at sea. The Old World looks so precious now that it’s kept in the gilded casket of the past. But the pirate knows about the illusory nature of such coffer. “Memories are tricks of the little you, designed to hold you back from experiencing the wonders of the larger You,” said the bearded Indian guy in Pulau Ujong. “The little you likes to be right. Rigid in its beliefs, it likes to provide you with a sense of identity.” All these esoteric ideas strangely resonated with Gianni. His Christian upbringing taught him that God was up there, ready to judge you after your final breath. The Indian guy, instead, told him that God is within and is free of judgment.

“What do you like?” asked the man in orange robes.

“I like… What do I like…”

“Yes, is there any form of beauty you can appreciate fully?”

“I like music. In Italy, we have great music. Corelli, Vivaldi, Scarlatti, Pietro Boni, Albinoni… Poi ci sono i Tedeschi,” he inadvertently switched to Italian, his eyes shining, “Bach, Telemann…”

“So. The next time you listen to a beautiful sonata, let it become one with you.”

“How do I do that?”

“Listen to it with your whole body, not with your brain. Don’t listen to your parrot mind, let it fly away. Listen to the music!” he lifted and shook his palms with intensity. “Imagine yourself as a biscuit, soaking in milk.”

The voice of the swami fades away. Gianni is now in the New World, a land of great uncertainty and even greater opportunity. He promptly applies the method suggested by the guru to the playful sonata coming from inside the house. The clavichord melody, note after note, flows through the banks of his awareness like a river. The course of this river is initially twisty and restless. Then he expands his focus on the harmony: left and right hand, white and delicate, dance on the keyboard in the dimly lit room. The river is finally approaching the sea. It surrenders into the infinite waters of the ocean. The pirate has never experienced such a sense of peace. Of fullness and emptiness at the same time.

“Cobalto!” a male voice pops in the background. “Cobalto!” It sounds farther than it really is. He does not react to the desperate vibration of those shouts. The music stops. A gentle drumming of steps follows, out of the porch. A fresh hand touches his neck: he feels the love of a lifetime piercing his skin-shell through those fingers. “Jean…” The female voice chimes in like a timid violin: “The Spaniards…” He lifts up his gaze and her features astound him. She radiates a soft golden light. Her dark hair balances with the pale blue eyes and face. “You have to go, Jean…” He caresses her tender cheek. Thus, he calmly gets up from the creaking chair and inhales the last puff of smoke from his pipe. Gianni turns to the girl and smiles confidently. The green, tall palms behind her idly wave in the maritime breeze throughout the bay. The sun is hiding behind the clouds. The pirate doesn’t know what to do, but he doesn’t mind, as if he were guided by something smarter than himself. Jacmel Bay is as gorgeous as a dream, including the small Spanish frigate at the horizon. He turns to the French angel who had accidentally fallen on his lap. One kiss. He’s swiftly off to the stable, where Troussard and Cantley have been shouting his name. “Hurry up, Venetian!” said his English comrade. They gallop away at once. They cross the forest and villages and face a dilemma.

“Port-au-Prince lies a day away,” says Troussard in his strong french accent.

“Too late to join any ship…” answers Gianni.

“But the filibusters will protect us for the night.” suggested the Briton.

“Of course, Jack, they would, the Spaniards wouldn’t dare lift a finger there.”

“Why you’re so doubtful then?”

“Cause it’s what the Spaniards expect from us. They’re not only coming after us. They’re surely ahead of us.”

“We need an alternative plan, vénitien.” Agrees with him the French pirate.

They’re heading north, towards the coast. Gianni listens to the sound of hoofs knocking on bare soil; the air gets fresher and fresher as they climb up the road through the mountains. The forest is alive. He closes his eyes for an apparently infinite moment. No parrot is chatting in his head. His mind is clear like the water of the Caribbean. He’s listening to everything with his body like the Indian man suggested. He’s a soaked savoiardi biscuit. Suddenly he knows. He knows what? He just knows.

“Are we fucked up, Venetian?” genuinely asks Cantley.

“We could be. But we’re not. The Spanish head-hunters are probably waiting for us at Carrefour. We go straight to Gonâve Island. And leave tomorrow on the first filibuster ship stopping for supplies.”

“How do we reach l’Île de la Gonâve?” asks Troussard.

“Even if we steal or buy a boat on the coast, what makes you think we’ll cross the Canal du Sud alive? That is the most dangerous place in the whole New World for a pirate, now that the French want to kick the filibusters out of Port-au-Prince. Dutch, English, French and Spanish ships swarm in the area – untouched by the retreating pirates.” Cantley emphasizes his words opening his arms wide.

“God will bring us there.”

Gianni’s companions are both silent, in shock, for a minute. “Cobalto, do you suddenly miss catholic school? What the hell. We’re bloody pirates. Murderers and thieves! What makes you think that God would help us?”

Gianni bursts into laughter and the horse responds neighing as if it could get the irony of Cantley’s reaction. Troussard, renowned atheist, does not speak. “You, silly Briton. I’m not talking about the God of the Bible. I was just using a word you could understand. The Divine is not an old bearded man chilling on a cloud. The Divine is all around you and inside of you!”

“You’ve gone insane, Venetian…”

Je lui crois. I trust his plan.” Asserts the French man. “Even though I’m still quite skeptical about the mystical stuff,” he grins through his sharp mustache.

Jack Cantley is stunned on the back of his black horse.

Perfetto.” Gianni turns to the English man. “At worse, we’ll die with the saber in one had the bottle in the other,” he winks, “I have a bottle of cognac from Maxine.”

“Right…” he mumbles, totally spaced out. So he thinks about the half-empty bottle of smoky scotch whisky he’s jealously keeping in his bag for special occasions – to die fighting looks like a special occasion indeed.

The sun suddenly escapes the clouds and the forest radiates all its gorgeous colours. None of them was expecting such a sight on the mountain causeway to Leogâne: a kid, brown like syrup, appears in the middle of the road. Nine years old or something, he holds a weird carved stick on his shoulders; he stoically gazes at the three riders as they approach him on their horses.

 

Herons

Rowan Tree (罗恩树)

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Embroidery by Lili Jahilo

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Your children,  sleigh-bells,

Ring red, orange and sharp;

It’s Christmas every day.

You stand tall, my little friend;

Ash, beech and oak, your giant tribe folk,

Respect your trade and your grave.

Feasts of butterflies,

Busy bees and flies,

Loyal bird-midwives.

In essence,

The whole forest thrives.

 

When you stop trying to solve the mystery,

You become it.

Birds and butterflies,

Bees and flies,

Rain and trenches,

Leaves and branches.

In essence,

You become You,

One with everything.

Luō ēn shù.

 

Herons

Mulberry Tree (桑树)

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Picture by Vincent Van Gogh

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So sweet are your children,

So far is your image

In the past, in the future…

Here and now I summon you,

Mulberry tree.

Some might not see it,

Some might not admit it.

Some might not taste

The texture, mild flavour, and aftertaste

Of those red, lilac, purple and black

Jewels, dangling from your canopy-rack,

Mulberry tree.

But I do,

You know, I do.

And so do you.

Sāngshù.

 

Herons

 

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By the way check out this amazing song by Dylan Ryche.

 

We Share The Essence

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Picture by Mark Webster

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Yellow rose

In her shifting pose,

Lulled by the wind,

I take that hint.

Into me, into you,

The cherry tree is bearing fruit.

If reality’s a mirror,

I see stillness.

In my aching limbs,

Beyond my pride,

I surrender to the Flow,

For I am the Flow,

And I share the essence of the yellow rose.

 

Herons

Water

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Picture: Glass Of Water by Evelina Dillon

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Pour a glass of water,

Witness the miracle of

Life hydrating all deserts.

Breathing bodies

Sliding boats

Dancing fish

Blissful rain…

Remember, toast with the trees on a rainy day.

Pour a glass of water,

Witness the fluidity of water

On your lips,

In your mouth,

Down your throat,

In your belly.

Pour a glass of water,

For a friend,

For an enemy,

For the people,

For yourself,

It doesn’t really matter…

Pour a glass of water,

As words fall away in the one river.

 

Herons