Unspoken Word
October 01, 2021
Radiant Being of Light

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TimelessToday

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:03 PM | Comments (1)

September 25, 2021
Here Comes the Awakening Creativity Conference

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It's free. It's fabulous. It's for you -- especially if you are interested in what it takes for a human being to be as creative as possible. And... drum roll please... I am one of the featured speakers.

Click here to register

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:05 PM | Comments (0)

August 15, 2021
When I Grow Up

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When I grow up, I want to be nobody,
do nothing, go nowhere, having already arrived a long time ago.
When I listen to my voice mail, no one will be talking,
no one asking me for anything at all,
my need to hear a voice, other than yours, completely gone,
me being done with proving or improving myself,
done with what's next and any more stories to tell,
this so-called "me", like a single drop of water,
newly dissolved into the fabulous sea of this moment,
nothing left to say,
each breath a prayer needing no answer.
Perhaps I will make a paper airplane out of my to do list,
fly it out the window and watch it flutter in the wind,
perhaps, when a nearby child picks it up,
forgetting everything and everyone else,
I will hear birds singing as if for the first time.

Not excerpted from this book

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:00 AM | Comments (2)

July 26, 2021
AFTER LISTENING TO YOU

After listening to you, I am moving much differently today, more like the wind than the one on his way, more like the river with nothing to say, more like the prayer than needing to pray.

How this transformation happens is a mystery to me. I do nothing, but have everything, I work and I play. I seek nothing, but find, sitting alone in the room of myself, a newly crowned king. My heart is a milkweed and you are the breeze, I stand taller now, down on my knees, inheritor of a fortune I didn't know was mine -- one that's been waiting for me since the beginning of time -- my need to count gone, the long journey done. You see, and you do, I have nothing to measure and nothing to measure it with, here in this place of pure being, breathing pure pleasure.

Can it really be this simple? Can it really be -- that after all these years of searching for the holy grail the holy grail is me? Maybe that's why babies smile and old monks laugh. Maybe that's why the two of us are one, you my better half. Some people get this on their death bed, some by almost dying, some know it from the beginning, some get lost in trying. Such a great mystery it is because it really isn't: Arrive by already being there! Find the voice of your heart. Be the shore to the wave, the canvas to life's art.

Today, newly born, a thousand psalms fill my cells and I, deaf, dumb, and blind, remember the silence just before the temple bell. How simple it all is! There is nothing to ring, nowhere to go, nothing to bring, and no seed to sow. The flag is not moving, nor is the wind here in this realm where a thousand, grateful angels find themselves dancing on the head of a pin.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:42 AM | Comments (0)

July 20, 2021
The Arrow That Flies

I am pulling the string
of his great bow back,
me being the arrow that flies.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:48 PM | Comments (0)

July 07, 2021
Laugh Lines

The only lines
I want to wait on
are the ones
around your eyes.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:07 AM | Comments (0)

June 20, 2021
WHAT IS THE SOUND?

I am the proverbial tree that has fallen in the forest,
no one around to hear if I have fallen or not,
I am also the moss upon which the tree has fallen,
and the sky
and the birds in the branches just a song's distance away,
not to mention (which I have just done),
all of those clever teachers wondering
if this is a strong enough metaphor to use at their next retreat.

Who, may I ask, is listening to the sound
a tree makes when it falls and does it really matter,
especially when you consider that the homeless person
you have just passed on the street needs a hug
and your tomato plants need watering?

Is it the tree falling in the forest we need to be listening to
or the ones who listen
or, maybe, just maybe, the little known fact
that there is absolutely no difference
between the tree, it's falling, the listener, what's heard,
and what's said about what's heard?

This, my friends, is why dancing exists.

How about we all meet, tonight, at my place,
drink champagne, listen to Pavarotti,
find the nearest forest
and all fall down?

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:27 AM | Comments (0)

June 14, 2021
MY TRUE PROFESSION

I have finally understood what my profession is --
I'm a stripper.
I strip away everything that is unnecessary,
whatever separates me from myself and others,
and whatever I forget to strip away
is stripped away for me,
any way you look at it, I'm a stripper.
Completely naked on a good day,
I'm not sure where the money goes.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:07 AM | Comments (0)

June 13, 2021
HAVING ARRIVED BY ALREADY BEING THERE

Desire is wanting what we don't have,
longing is wanting what we do,
but if we knew how much we already had,
we would have it all,
so much so, that a million lifetimes
would not be enough to give it all away.
Here's a simple as it gets:
There is an underground spring within us all,
the waters of life that quenches all thirst,
and the only thing we need to do is drink.
Yes, the world that surrounds us is beautiful,
but only if we are,
otherwise, it is just the centrifugal pull
of wandering away from ourselves,
the merry-go-round ring always out of reach,
the thought of love, but not the love itself.
You can marvel at the stars all you want,
you can praise a single blade of grass,
but it is only because your eyes are open
that any of this matters.
God's nature is, undeniably, a gift,
the earth, the sky, the butterfly,
but it is only human nature that allows us to open it,
the impulse to see beyond the wrapping and be seized,
pirates on our own ship of this moment's sailing,
passengers on the long journey home,
having arrived by already being there.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:56 AM | Comments (0)

June 07, 2021
THE LOST JOURNALS

Upon moving from Woodstock to Catskill, New York three days ago and getting quite a workout lifting, carrying, tossing, selling, and noticing 26 years of my possessions, I came across three boxes, in the garage, of old journals of mine -- some going back more than 40 years -- moon howling rants, late night ramblings, incantations, Rumi-infused ecstasies, madman utterances, lists, plans, notes, drawings, and other outtakes from own suburban Mahabharata.

I thought of throwing them out, not wanting to pray at the Golden Calf of Memory, but something stayed my hand and so I lugged them to my new abode. Usually, when I lug these journals around, as I have done for 40 years, I stash them in a closet or a basement. But since I have only one small closet and no basement here in the town that time forgot, I removed them from their boxes and placed them on the bookshelves in front of my desk -- my feral children, my orphan brothers, my mendicants, madmen, and monks. And every day I look at them, at least their spines, hesitating to pull one off the shelf, not wanting to disappoint what remains of myself with the half-baked jibberish of my soul's longing to express the ineffable.

There's something in me that prefers the honeymoon phase of life -- the realm in which the promise of love is so much more magnificent than the earth plane experience of it. Anyway, as I head towards 74 and, soon enough, the second wall, I totally get that there is no excuse for not opening these tomes and seeing what's in them, even if the perfectionist in me gets hugely disappointed. And so, this evening, that's exactly what I did. I opened the green one and paged through it until I found something I wrote that was close enough for prime time to share with you today. I cleaned it up a bit, removed some of the clutter, riffing, and self-indulgence that has stalked me most of my life. And so here it is for you, my friends. I'm not really sure what it is. It's not poetry. It's not a story. It's not a prayer. It's not a song. It's not going to make it to my next book, should I live that long. It's more of a sand mandala of words that came to me like a flock of birds, a murmeration of my soul. Here goes:

"What this existence is all about -- my own self-invented scripture no one will ever read -- needs no jabbering disciples to argue its fine points over what I meant by saying nothing, the next day congregating, as they have long been accustomed to doing, just a little too studiously, and debating whether or not we should start our own religion or speed dial the nearest sage sweeping up this morning's sand mandala just before the BIG interview with CNN.

Yes, indeed, it was that kind of moment I was having? So I grabbed what used to be a tree (where birds sang), but now was a notebook, and opened it, like a rose, to a random page and wrote, my sudden revelation taking form, a kind of kidnap letter to myself, though there was no me, no my, no mine, just the caretaker of a knowledge every jazz musician since the beginning of time knows in their bones. That's what I'm talking about, brothers and sisters -- why animals get extremely agitated just before a tsunami and I am left homeless with only my breath held high above the heads of anyone who has ever prayed without words or played, Jerry Lee Lewis-like, an upright piano, alone in a room, the bouncer at the door, a heavy-lidded man with a scar on his cheek, refusing to let anyone in, him not wanting anything I play to be misunderstood or any side conversations going on, my left hand not knowing what my right hand is doing, the night shift cleaning up, as the space between day and night opens wider, a kind of red sea parting in the underground kingdom of love.

I must say, with all due respect, I was a bit surprised at how little of what I knew to be true made it to the page, writing as I was with a kind of invisible ink, with still the faintest glimmer of wanting to say something meaningful enough to sign my name to and feel good enough to die. Space. Lots of space. There was lots of space. And lots of silences between the space, each one an orphan from a place now spinning in great circles around me.

What did I write that night in the underground kingdom of love, bouncer with the scarred cheek standing guard at the door, letting no one in? What holy hieroglyphic made its way to the page, my right hand twitching, my left hand hitchhiking elsewhere? Are you sitting down, my friend? Are you ready to receive the shortest scripture ever written? Four words. That's all I wrote that night, none of them longer than four letters. One of them only two, my entire revelation a kind of speechless tourist meeting Miles Davis, backstage, on opening night, with only enough time to say hello.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:44 PM | Comments (0)

June 01, 2021
Sailing

The tears of a thousand lifetimes searching for you
is the ocean I sail upon today,
the knowledge that both of us are very much alive,
but not in the same room.
Wind in my sails, I see the sun, the sky, and the
backs of my own hands, having aged, it seems,
when I wasn't looking, odd little brown spots
some kind of secret code I do not understand.
This feeling inside me,
this uncontainable, untranslatable feeling inside me
is all I am today,
my heart, a helium-filled child's balloon,
flying free.
Overhead,
I see a lone seagull,
just one,
wings outstretched,
having caught the downdraft
and gliding.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:51 AM | Comments (0)

May 31, 2021
The Still Point of Creation

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The still point of creation is
like arriving, late at night,
at an empty railway station,
no trains coming, no trains going,
just a big sky overhead
and all the rivers flowing,
there's nothing left to do here
and there's nowhere left to go,
simply sitting on a wooden bench
with a cup of morning joe.
It's a place of no beginning,
no start, no stop, no end,
just the space between each breath you take,
your lover, mother, and your friend.
Or how about this?
Why birds sing when they are all alone.

MitchDitkoff.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:36 AM | Comments (0)

April 30, 2021
Poetry Written in the Parking Lot of My Health Club

#1

I am a rosebush, pruned,
my flowers trimmed for the long haul,
the core of myself less visible than ever,
but bursting with life.
There is a season, I think, for everything,
even songbirds sleep,
lovers, spent for the night, stare into space.
Is it the sun now rising in my breath?
The moon?
Alone in my room, but not at all lonely,
I feel the flaming red bud of creation
opening in my cells.

#2

Many years ago,
with my good friend, Bill,
I drove from Denver to Miami
in a Ford pickup truck
that had seen better days,
stars in our eyes, gas in the tank,
and only one CD --
the Best of the Eagles.
We must have played it a hundred times,
never once being bored
on our way to see the one
who showed us how to enjoy the ride.
We barely slept.
There was no reason to.
We talked. We sang. We breathed,
The Best of My Love
playing over and over again
many more times that made sense.
But you see (and you do),
when love is in your heart
and you are driven by it,
everything sounds good, everything,
there is no such thing as boredom or complaint.
Birds sing, water flows, flowers bloom,
and two young men drive cross country, singing along,
pounding on the dashboard, alive.
And when, many miles later,
we finally arrived,
unwashed but not unloved,
we listened to the one we had driven all that way for
hold court in the castle of the Kings,
a man, I surmise,
The Eagles, God bless their souls, would have loved --
such sweet harmonies
heard between the silences.

#3

What is happening to me?
I am sitting here in the parking lot of my health club,
gym clothes on the seat beside me,
overwhelmed by poetry.
This is crazy! This is nuts!
I came here to move my body,
but it is my soul, instead, getting the workout
sitting in the front seat of my Subaru,
storm clouds above me,
wind in the pines,
James Taylor on the radio,
me not having shaved for days,
dazed as I am by what it really means to be alive.
"Goodnight moonlight ladies,
Rockabye Sweet Baby James,"
tears now rising in me
like a thousand suns.

#4

There is an oyster in the shell,
a song in my heart,
a heaven in the hell,
a union when we part,
a birth inside the death,
a kiss inside the monk,
God within my breath,
A treasure in the trunk.
Such is the great mystery of life,
such is the game we play,
everything we want we have
and everything we have
will one day fade away.


#5

Here is the great paradox:
The one you seek is seeking you,
the one you praise is praising, too.
The object of your devotion
is not an object at all, but a vibration
having taken human form,
the face of infinity,
the mask of creation,
the ultimate mirror
in which to look and see your reflection
and, upon seeing it, dance
even if you choose not to move at all.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:52 PM | Comments (0)

April 25, 2021
Three Line Practice of the Day

Crab apple branches thickly laden with red buds,
Grass missed by mower standing tall and elegant,
Bird feeder swinging gently -- waiting.

- Barbara Bash

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:40 PM | Comments (0)

April 02, 2021
Allowing My Dreamer to Dream

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Allowing my dreamer to dream,
I free myself of having to make something happen,
my dreamer is in the incubation period.
Something in her psyche knows it will be
revealed through her to me.

-- Tina Lipson

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:53 PM | Comments (0)

February 18, 2021
What Is This Strange Forgetting?

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An audio poem for your enjoyment

Photo: Courtesy of TimelessToday

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:13 PM | Comments (0)

February 04, 2021
Praise

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:19 AM | Comments (0)

February 02, 2021
The Breath Blown Through Me

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:13 PM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2021
There Is No Door

TimelessToday

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:15 PM | Comments (0)

January 02, 2021
The Real Marriage

Today, my own best man, alone in my room,
I am going to marry myself,
love who I am until death do me part,
embracing what exists
at the core of my being,
knowing, as I do, that my soul mate lives inside me,
closer than my breath,
muse of my muse,
and has always been with me,
even when I was not,
whole until itself,
radiant, free,
snuggling, in its wrinkled pajamas,
with infinity.
This marriage of myself,
this loving the love that loves
is not a rejection of the world,
nor is it a denial of the passionate glory of loving another,
it is, quite simply,
the recognition that who and what I am
were made for each other a long time ago,
best friends, lovers,
the pauses in this poem,
not so much holding hands,
but being held
in the massive arms
of the nameless One
who animates us all.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:05 AM | Comments (0)

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“I have nothing to say, I am saying it, and that is poetry.”
— John Cage

Welcome to my new blog — brief ruminations on what it is that moves me (and maybe YOU, too). If any of my poems inspire you, please forward them to friends. Good muse travels fast. Or could, with your help.

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