Short review of Beloved on the Earth: 150 poems of grief & gratitude
Two mother poems in Bluepepper; thanks, Bluepepper!

"Without Ceasing" reprinted in Running Tide

I just received in the mail my print copy of Running Tide issue 26 (spring 2012) -- also available online: Running Tide 26 at issuu -- and am enjoying it deeply. As the inside cover notes, "Running Tide offers a voice for faith and practice, as well as critical, existential and socially engaged enquiry within the broad framework of Pureland Buddhism." I'm honored to be able to say that one of my poems, "Without Ceasing," which originally appeared in the Worship issue of Qarrtsiluni (co-edited by Fiona and Kaspa of Writing Our Way Home), is reprinted in this issue of this Buddhist journal.

What is Pureland Buddhism? Wikipedia offers an answer, though it's a bit challenging for me to parse; the main thing I take away is that the Pureland practice involves repeating the name of Amitābha Buddha. For a more personal take, I dip into the pages of the journal. Anthony Pilling writes a bit about this in his essay in this issue, which is called "Pureland, Beginners Mind." He describes moving to Malvern, beginning to practice with Fiona and Kaspa's Malvern sangha (community), and grappling with the shift from "just sitting" in silent meditation to what I take to be the more chant-based Pureland practices.

(By the by, if you want to know more about Pureland Buddhism, I recommend the What is Pureland? page on the Malvern sangha's website -- clear, comprehensible, and lovely.) Kaspa notes in his Editorial introduction that my poem reminds him of the Pureland practice of calling to Amida. I'm delighted by this area of overlap between my spiritual tradition and his.

There's much in this issue which intrigues and moves me. Gregg Krech's essay "Relationship as Spiritual Practice" offers insights into how, when one relinquishes the desire to control or "fix" one's partner, one can relax into a more loving paradigm of relationship. And in "Endings," Caroline Screen meditates on leaving Australia after twelve years and on the very human temptation to soften a goodbye into "see you soon" -- whether it's the goodbye of leaving a place where you have lived, or the goodbye of burying a loved one.

Thank you for reprinting the poem, Kaspa! And thank you for introducing me to this journal and to this glimpse of a different set of practices and ideas, both similar to and different from my own.