Harrison writes about Red Pine

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Red Pine, Stonehouse and Gary Snyder are mentioned in Jim Harrison’s new trilogy of novellas that was just released, The Ancient Minstrel:

“After attending and giving at least a hundred poetry readings he could remember only one that struck him as a hundred percent genuine and honest. A poet named, simply enough, Red Pine read from an ancient Chinese poet he had translated, called Stonehouse. Red Pine read with quiet integrity just what he translated. Usually after a reading he was in a private snit and needed a drink, but now he walked down and looked at the harbor, his spine still tingling. The other true exception was Gary Snyder. He never wanted Snyder’s readings to end.”


It

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Photograph by Alex Markovich

 

 

It

Isn’t it it

Or is it it

Or is it it

It’s it isn’t

It.


Jim Harrison, RIP

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A great writer, Jim Harrison. died today at his casita in Patagonia, Arizona.

Soul

My spirit is starving.

How can it be fed?

Not by pain in the predictable future

nor the pain in the past

but understanding the invisible flower

within the flower that tells it what is,

the soul of the tree that does the same.

I don’t seem to have a true character

to discover, a man slumped on his desk

dozing at midafternoon… – From Dead Man’s Float

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James Newton, Soul Man

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A great soul and true friend, James Newton, died on February 12.

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Daylight

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Did you notice the daylight today?

The days are short in December.

It comes before dark. Sometimes it passes

in a hurry to get someplace else

More friendly perhaps. Fiji maybe.

We become forgetful and miss it some days.

In March there were six different warblers

in one willow bush. What else could

you possibly want from daylight?

– Jim Harrison, Dead Man’s Float


Finger Snapping Time

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Photograph of Blue Heron by Jesse Sublett

People can’t explain why they’re so crazy

The two evil birds on their faces

The three poison snakes in their hearts

One or another blocks their way

Making it hard to get hold of things

Lift your hand high and snap your fingers

Homage to the Buddha

– Poem #223 from The Collected Songs of Cold Mountain, translated from Chinese by Red Pine


This is what you shall do

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“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”

Walt Whitman

 


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