Poetry Corner – Volume 2


For the inner ear, the voice of the vessel of silence is an embrace
felt by an infinite number of scribes.
It is my wish to offer here an oasis of present day poetic

Each month i shall invite new poets to breathe with, and they in
turn will bring guests of their own.

Poetry Corner at TIFERET has evolved out of Donna Stein’s
enthusiasm to nurture the spirit of beauty in all its forms.

silent lotus

June 2010 Silent Lotus’ Selected

G. Drew Hunter

and his guest Tsultrim Serri

Tony Brown

and his guest Melinda Lee

G. Drew

Which Hand on the Sweet Flowers

It seems the army of lies
outnumbers the troops of truth
and yet the brutal casualties mount
on both sides

If God is the general of both forces,
what a strange visit He
must make to the
graveyards to pay
His respects . . .

Which hand lays the sweet flowers
and which closes over
the weeping?

Elegance of Driftwood

The elegance of driftwood
gracefully incomplete
the tracing of curve
and spine by wind
and rain
no start
no end

to a wait

my bleached soul
among beached souls
one foot in the waves
an arm touching the sun
before the next
tide . . .

G. Drew Hunter was born and raised in Vestal, NY and currently
lives with his partner, Joe, and dogs Amber and Gracie in Palm
Springs, CA.  A serious poet since 2000, he is currently
working as a hospice volunteer to listen and try to better
understand life being lived on the edge. You may contact Gary at

Tsultrim Serri

After Hearing Gretta’s Song

I have heard them chant in the monasteries of Tibet
With the drums pounding, and the bells and damarus
I have heard the horns wail at the transubstantiation
The sacred men saying the sacred words i have heard
In another land in another time
Transporting me to the mind’s essence
Like the lyrics of Gretta’s simple song
About the nature of the all and none
The words simply and sweetly sung
About what has always and never been
About the unseen ways of reality
Down from the words of the Buddha
Through the charnel grounds of the mahasiddhas
To the Tibetan caves of the cotton clad
Telling insistently the only truth
Of nothingness and its riches
But to hear them sung in my native tongue
So simply sung, the logic unfolding, unforced
To hear the perfection in English spun
The words of the Buddha in an English tongue

Tsultrim Serri is a retired physician living in Colorado.
Thirty five year Buddhist practitioner in Zen
and Tibetan Buddhism. Poetry mostly confined to Buddhist


Everything I have learned

That I am nothing.

That as nothing, I am exalted
to be nothing. Deliciously
inconsequential, a part of the Machine
of Stars/Necklace around
the Throat of Creation.

That I mean so little
anything is free
to hold me.

That I am peer
of leopard and dysentery,
of coconut palm and stray wrapper.

That the pattern of rejection/containment
is the warp of my woof. Woolly headed
and slubby as a pilled cardigan
on a grandfather’s back, only here
for the warmth.

That I am song
under shower breath.

That I will be
forgotten and this gladdens the non-ego
that fights my stick-wielding caveman heart.

That love and robbery holler equally
in the alley of my elbows as I grasp
the always coming always receding days
I bore through in anger and dread and joy.

That joy itself is movie written by another
but I imagine myself as grip and gaffer at once
upon its set.

That the skin I’ve stretched
and the blood I’ve pressurized will look awful
when I go, bowels a roaring ghost
of past indiscretion, face a sagged charlie horse
in the leg of a loved one long after my burial,
putting a hitch in their walk.

That every barking tree limb in a forest
laden with ice knows its place better than I do
and I am happy to listen and learn.

That a man’s
no more human than when he is a tin can on a heap of worms
and that the whine of a bomb is the natural song
of the city of God.

That I am happy
and nothing, since all is nothing,

and since all is everything
and nothing at once
it must be so that nothing is important and
nothing stands out,

importance itself
is the Ganges of my fierce greed
and I will burn myself to ash and crackle
in the consummation of The Wheel
as the last thing I say to another
is swallowed in the Great River
and I am lost to the sun and the voice
and the Necklace that hangs upon Creation
will be my shield against the long night
of what comes after this life,
the night of knowing how small I was
and how much I offered to Completion
by simply being the petty animal
I was born to be.

Why I Stay

I don’t love
this life

as much as I love
those who make me feel
as though it’s worth another try
at living with love for it
and all its fascinations

This afternoon I saw
a tiny slug’s fine line
drawn behind its body
across the sidewalk

a history of where it had been

I thought it was a trail of slime
but then a friend pointed out
how from the right angle

it shines

Portrait of Tony Brown ©Mike McGee
Tony Brown, of Worcester, MA, has been writing and publishing
for over thirty years. His most recent chapbook, “Flood,” was
published in July of 2009 by Pudding House Publications (Columbus,
OH). He reads his work frequently in the New England area and also
performs with The Duende Project, his poetry and music duo with
Steven Lanning-Cafaro on bass and guitar. http://radioactiveart.wordpress.com/


Grandma III

when god lifted
his fingers
and touched my grandmother’s lips
took root
in her wrinkles

a salty tear found her tongue
and kissed it.

she lit an incense
sent a prayer toward her dead husband-
his cheekbones
that of a fighter
(jaws clenched, you could tell he was
afraid of the light)

my grandmother died
with Buddha dangling from her neck
his smile,
almost gone from his lips

at her funeral
a single monk with his eyes shut
pressed two fingers against her forehead
and cried.

at 4am,
a firefly found his way
into my bedroom and watched me

later, I woke to find a hummingbird,
staring straight at me, from
across the city

glad to know I was alive.

Portrait of Melinda Lee ©Mike McGeeMelinda Lee was born and raised in Long Beach, CA. She has been
writing now for five years. At 19, she is a senior at Worcester
State College and works as a drug treatment counselor. Her efforts
are aimed at eventually becoming a full-time artist.

Poetry Corner Monthly Archives

CORNER by silent lotus … MAY 2010

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