(For Jan Benson 1952-2019)

She was sick but that is true for so many of my friends. Admittedly, the diagnoses sounded more final than chronic, but her energy for life continued to be so strong.

One day she told me she had no more pictures of crows to send.

I didn’t know that was her way of saying she was dying.

              grandmother moon
              the resilience
              of violets

(Drifting Sands Haibun 3, September 2020)

elephant skull

Grateful thanks to Chen-ou Liu for translating a poem of mine in Chinese for his bilingual blog (

elephant skull
the looming shadow
of Kilimanjaro

(originally published in The Mamba, March 2018)

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


kinhin (walking meditation)

In Zen, and often Theravada Buddhism too, periods of sitting meditation (zazen) are alternated with periods of walking meditation (kinhin). This achieves two things – it allows the legs to stretch and blood to flow, and also is a practice of meditative awareness in its own right. Movement occurs slowly, step-by-step, breath-by-breath, feeling the body shifting from one posture to another, and finding a new equilibrium. Our awareness is totally embodied and resting in the experience of life, just as it is.

one footstep
after another
temple bell