Essence: Poetry of the 2012 Conference, Part 3

June 30, 2012

From Bill Denham:

 Point Reyes—wild oats in the wiind

for JQ

As if it were the holy spirit
engulfing me,
as if I even knew
the nature of such a thing,
as if I might even be able to tell you
the mystery of a moment that pushed me
to the very edge of . . . of . . . something,
calling loudly without words for me to simply open up—all the way . . .

We stood together in silence,
in the midst of things,
on the headlands, high above the surf,
a dusty trail beneath our feet
crisscrossed from time to time
by slow moving, shinny black beetles,
while stationery, high above our heads
a hawk lay just beneath the cold gray blanket
that covered everything on this tiny slip of land
sliding northward, sliding always northward.
And everywhere it was wind—
the air moved, ruffled clothes and tousled hair,
made soft staccato pops and flutters in our ears
that almost hid from them
an exquisite, near silent song.

Had we not seen the wild oats dancing,
delicately dangling their tiny, hull-covered seeds,
atop straight golden stalks,
that bent down in the wind,
as if to say, namaste, to everything,
lightly touching one another, then,
like bows and strings—
had we not seen them dancing so,
we would have missed their music,
their heavenly music,
the intricacy of which,
the joy of which
went well beyond
what human hand
could make
or these human words
describe.

Oh, the wind and the song of the wild oats!

BD 7/9/10

Essence: Poetry of the 2012 Conference, Part 2

June 27, 2012

Spoken by Bill Denham:

Lead

Here is a story
to break your heart.
Are you willing?
This winter
the loons came  to our harbor
and died, one by one,
of nothing we could see.
A friend told me
of one on the shore
that lifted its head and opened
the elegant beak and cried out
in the long, sweet savoring of its life
which, if you have heard it,
you know is a sacred thing,
and for which, if you have not heard it,
you had better hurry to where
they still sing.
And, believe me, tell no one
just where that is.
The next morning
this loon, speckled
and iridescent and with a plan
to fly home
to some hidden lake,
was dead on the shore.
I tell you this
to break your heart,
by which I mean only
that it break open and never close again
to the rest of the world.

Mary Oliver

Essence: Poetry of the 2012 Conference, Part 1

June 16, 2012

One of the true joys of the Conference is the poetry spoken within the larger container that we create there. Their essence, like the environment we experience as we hear them, tends to seep into and become part of us, and afterwards frequently give rise to a longing to revisit those pieces of poetry that particularly spoke to us.

This posting is the first of a handful that will bring some of those wonderful poems back to be savored again (or newly introduce them),  for which we thank the authors and the men who spoke them in that time and place.

The first post is from Brother Bill.

——————————————————————————-

From Bill Denham:

On the Friday afternoon of Memorial Day weekend I was standing in a redwood grove a few miles East of the Mendocino coast line, not far from a beautifully rustic old hall with moss covered roof shingles and a giant stone fireplace and chimney, built by the strong hands and arms and shoulders of WPA and CCC workers in the 1930s and  just a few yards away from a beautifully serene pebble beach on the North Fork of the Little Big River, across from which the river had carved away the earth, revealing the roots of a giant redwood tree which stretched to the heavens in the dappled sunlight of late afternoon. Everywhere was huckleberry and redwood sorrel and trilliums and moss and soft humus beneath our feet and giant old growth stumps lying half submerged in the earth or towering like cosmic alters above our heads.

I stood in awe with a friend. Into that space and into our reverent silence he spoke these words I share with you.

Twilight in Hendy Woods

This is the hour of magic
When this world and the other world
Touch in a lingering kiss
And a deep stillness settles over all things.

This is the hour of magic
When the Earth,
For one eternal moment, holds its breath
Before turning from the sun.

This is the hour of magic
When, if you listen
With an open heart and a quiet mind,
You can hear the Ancient Ones, the elders of the forest

Telling the old stories:
Of the chainsaw massacres and the fires;
Of the great ice ages and the birth of mountain ranges;
Of the times long past when they were many and covered the Earth.

They are leaving us now.
When they are gone,
Who will tell these stories?

Larry Robinson

Eros and Its Shadow

24th Annual Men's Conference

2-EROSMemorial Day Weekend, May 23-26, 2014. Mendocino Woodlands Camp Two, Mendocino, California

We define ourselves in every part of our lives by our gender and our sexuality, often in terms of what we are not. Have we as men the courage to examine our programming around the erotic to see how it hinders our quest for wholeness?

Click here to download the Conference Brochure.

The attendee information packet with required release form is here (requires Adobe Reader.)

Click here to go to the Registration Page.

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