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Oct 08th
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The Poems of Len Anderson

ae_LenAnderson2011Editor’s note:  In this week’s Poetry corner, we feature the work of poet and retired physicist Len Anderson, the author of “Invented by the Night” from Hummingbird Press, one previous collection of poems: “Affection for the Unknowable” (Hummingbird Press, 2003), and a chapbook “BEEP: A Version of the History of the Personal Computer Rendered in Free Verse in the Manner of Howl by Allen Ginsberg.” Anderson is a co-founder of Poetry Santa Cruz and serves as secretary-treasurer.
Love and Necessity
We can do no great things—only small things with great love.
—Mother Theresa

If we’re vertical, it’s spiritual,
Coco says, as Kai prances on the leash
and sniffs at my shoes
while the morning fog starts to lift. 
It’s a year since her husband Ken’s stroke
and she explains how two weeks ago
at 11 PM she felt a heart attack coming on,
googled to confirm the symptoms,
then called an insomniac friend
to come stay with Ken
while she went to Emergency.

I guess now he’s inside watching TV.
Thanks to Coco,
the doctors, nurses, rehab staff,
and Ken’s own hard work,
he can get around OK,
even move each finger
ae_LenAndersonCoveron his right hand
so maybe he’ll paint again.
Slowly he relearns how to speak.
Now with a word and a gesture
this once great storyteller
can bring a simple thought across.

Kai yanks on her leash and wants to run,
while Coco tells me she misses that cigarette
she would have here each morning. Ken
gave those up a year ago. I watch
our two great teachers,
Love and Necessity, so close
we hardly ever thank them,
yet ever at work
as long as we’re vertical.

How To Dress for the End of the World
When you see the sky go up in flames,
you need not change
your worn and smudged apron
and those sun-bleached garden jeans
with one knee breaking through. By these
the gods who made this world
will know you, still bent over
in their work clothes too.

And when the sun begins to whirl
like a Mevlevi dervish,
its skirt growing wide
in the sky, join in this dance.
One hand up, one down,
offer heaven and earth
to each other.
Continue on, even if you
are blazing. From these signs
the gods, dancing in their own blaze,
will know you are of service.
For there is ever much to be done
in each new world to be made..

In My Fifteenth Lifetime
At first I existed but was not yet born,
then I was born but didn’t yet exist.

Two magical beings had made me, then made me again
out of steel and love and song each day.

One day I heard a song too beautiful to sing
and took for my own its impossible burden.

And once I saw the wind rise from its bed
and race through the trees, then come back and do it again.

I built a bridge of steel over the racing wind. At the other end
I found a land where I prepared my home and moved in.

One day my love and I rose from our bed and raced
through the trees, then each day we would do it again.

It was the song and the love and the steel of others that made
my impossible burden of song and love possible to bear.

I was born and born so many times I can’t remember. 
At times I was all song and steel and love and I even existed.

I died but came back to say goodbye to myself. 
I flew ahead to prepare a home in the land that is no land.

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Mercury completes its retrograde Friday, poised stationary direct Friday evening at zero degrees Libra. Mercury begins its journey through Libra once again, completing its retrograde shadow Oct. 12. Things should be a bit less complicated by then. Daily life works better, plans move forward, large purchases can be made, and communication eases. Everything on hold during the retrograde is slowly released. Since we eliminated all thoughts and ideas no longer needed (the purpose of Mercury’s retrograde) during the retrograde, we can now gather new information—until the next retrograde occurs on Jan. 5, 2016 (1.3 degrees Aquarius), retrograding back to 15 degrees Capricorn on Jan. 25. It’s good to know beforehand when Mercury will retrograde next—Jan. 5, the day before Epiphany. On Monday is Columbus Day, when the sailor from Genoa arrived in the new lands (Americas), Oct. 12, 1492. This discovery by Columbus was the first encounter of Europeans with Native Americans. Other names for this day are “Discovery Day, Day of the Americas, Cultural Diversity Day, Indigenous People’s Day, and Dia de la Raza.” Italian communities especially celebrate this day. Oct. 12 is also Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Monday is also the (19 degrees) Libra new moon festival. Libra’s keynote while building the personality is, “Let choice be made.” Libra is the sign of making life choices. Often under great tension of opposing forces seeking harmony and balance. There is a battle between our lower (personality) and higher selves (soul). We are tested and called to cultivate right judgment and love. When we align with the will-to-good, right choice, then right judgment and love/wisdom come forth. Our tasks in Libra. 


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