KAPALA PRESS

a tributary of D Press

Kapala Press is the Vajrayana tributary of dPress (www.dpress.net) which is a literary press, established in 1967, to produce books of my own and my friends' writings and now has over 200 titles in its backlists. At present, the main focus is to create saddle-stiched, short-run, 20 to 40 page editions with color covers utilizing the modern copy machine.     

            Jampa Dorje, aka Richard Denner

 

As Dreams Give Way to Day

Lara Bache

D Press   2013   Santa Fe

photo by the author

 

IMG_1929 copy.JPG

As Dreams Give Way to Day

 

I like to sleep with my windows open at night

but that has usually meant

listening

all night long

to traffic

cars

swooshing past a small intersection,

the T of a road becoming

an elementary school parking lot

across from my bedroom window.

 

There is a crosswalk there

a few yards from my pillows.

In the mornings it is a

chattering, occasionally sobbing,

honking and whistling

cacophony

of little ones

being dropped off,

walked in,

or earning their own walks in.

 

There used to be a woman

a crosswalk guard

whose goofy, adorable laugh

woke me up most every

7:something-or-other

Monday through Friday

Dependably.

 

Some mornings I’d wish to shut her up;

in my disrupted fatigue

I would throw pillows in my dreams.

and yet

we always waved at each other

and I could never hold a grudge against that smile.

I miss her;

nowadays the new crosswalk guards

tend to avoid eye contact.

 

Some nights

I’ve slept with my windows

shut.

closed out

the sounds of midnight cars races

roaring and thundering past me;

shut out

all the hustle and bustle

of mornings that

should be spent

stretched out and purring

in a dreamscape

made of far-off sounds.

 

But I prefer to sleep with my windows

open

letting in whatever is outside.

 

My favorites

have always been nights

spent away from traffic,

nights

of whispering wind-songs

soaring gracefully

through the treetops.

 

My favorites

are mornings filled with

birdsong melodies,

as dreams give way gracefully to day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be They Rock Flesh or Waterfall

 

Last night I dreamed I was

inside of my breath.

I drank deeply

from the ins

and the outs

of her rhythm

 

The the trees

on my mother’s hide

shook!

 

She shed her bark,

revealing her layers of

inner suchness

just waiting

for recognition

 

for me

or for we

to start seeing

and shedding

our own assumptions

about the lifelessness

of our surroundings,

be they rock, flesh, or waterfall,

atomic nucleus or

dying star.

 

Tonight my ears stopped being

my ears.

 

They became melded

with sound,

and the sound that

SURROUNDED

sounded

like the wind and city

singing

 

And up there

flying and billowing,

mixing with winds

wiping tears off of

tree leaves and

patiently sculpting the

mother’s curves, this

dancing sea and

what was once me

became ONE,

inhaled

by a countless many,

exhaled tainted

with traces of spaghetti,

wrapping and

cresting,

STORMING and

resting, both

to-Earth pressing and

sky caressing,

the WIND that came by told me,

Look, woman, and FLY!

and I bowed to

my laughter

for shaking the

my place

in this dancing,

encompassing

space.

 

Alive in this moment,

a bodiless smile,

a gentle

and constant

embrace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Echo

written in 2008

 

I am the echo of a mother’s song

 who used to cradle nightingales.

  their tales of flight

   would plant and blossom

    comfort from my lips

    and I used my finger-tips

   to stroke the broken bits of many

  who had fallen from their nests

 and gotten lullabies for pennies.

 

I am echo

   perfect

echo

   sorry

echo

   bleeding

echo

  gone

 

Echo

  of an

echo

  in an

echoed

  baby’s

    broken

      song.

 

There are words caught in a dreaming catcher

   strung in my esophagus

      I wonder how much worse it gets

        than stitching silence shut.

 

When I dream at night

      I wake bent over

  choking on my lyrics.

There are traps inside

      this voice of mine

  frustrating ancient spirits.

 

And I try to echo

   echo

try ta

   echo what

I know

   I know

My body’s fading

   fast away

     from echoes that

   I used to own.

 

‘cause there’s blood comin’ up

   from a sickly soul

sticking to my tongue

   so it cannot roll

and the rhythms and righteousness

   I regularly spit

become a swallowed ball of apathy

   building inside this pit

 

I want nightingales

   to remind me that

I always taught them

   how to fly.

I wish that I

   could take a chapter

from the book

   I used to write.

at night I cradled

   broken fables.

      turned them into poetry.

I set them free

   with words that maybe

      echo in them still.

 

I am echo

   empty

echo

  tryna

echo back

   a fading song

echo

   tryna

echo what

   I know

I know

   is not quite gone

Howling in My Dreams

 

You there,

            woman

Are you awake some nights

            shivering

                        as I am?

Are you wondering why?

   why it is

why we must

               suffer

                        and shiver?

Some nights it is Grace

that unlaces my

                        sadness,

releases my struggle

            and bathes me

                        in laughter.

Sometimes

            mistaken,

some others

            awakened

I quake with

the thunder

      of Earth’s

going under

Sometimes

in dreams

all the midwives

             stand up

we soothe

            our dear mother

with whispers

                                    and sighs

Sometimes my eyes

            have marveled at her undersides   

Others

            I’ve barely recovered from

watching her

                           shudder

    as we

            in this stumbling place

                 put her body through things

                        that I’d rather erase. 

 

In my heart’s a broken record,

all of you have heard it

I must breathe and pulse

                                    for every moment in this

borrowed body

If I fail my mother planet

I am just a cancer cell,

but life’s too short to

                                    dwell upon it—

She’s still breathing!

                                    I can hear her! 

Plus, I’m having dreams,

            I told you!

   All of us

            were standing UP!

We helped her crawl,

            and helped her circle

held her hips

                                    while lower still

                                       the future dropped

                                    inside her belly,

                        fed her water,

            stoked her will,

                        and told her

                                    she was perfect.

So listen, midwives   

            I can hear you

                        howling in

                                    my dreams

            so if you lie awake

                      and shiver

                            we are not alone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flex

written in 2009 in Spiti, India

 

I think I can flex my pencil,

I’m ready for this poem

like a woman who’s ready to see her child’s face—

it’s graced my interior for long enough nights

and its flight just may shake me to smilin’. 

I’ve been

Cupping my hands ‘round the pool of my prayers,

trying to make the reflection take shape,

but it’s rippled with winds on both sides of this globe

and I can’t seem to give it a name. 

Never claimed a tradition for fear of their cages, yet

still I’m so drawn to the wisdom of ages.

My peers have since birth

been so blessed and so cursed

by the freedom of choosing what’s sacred. 

We’ve sometimes found wisdom and sometimes found traps,

and sometimes found nothing but ignorant naps—

A whole generation positioned to see

all the names and distinctions so relatively:

at times it’s so clear that the prophets of old

have been quite repetitious in what they have told—

Just love one another

and listen to elders

but don’t be too timid

to leap where they’ve faltered,

Just know in your core that wherever you run

The tides that flow through us affect everyone.

and if you’ve a neighbor who’s hungry or scared

don’t let that damn ego prevent you from caring

cause sharing is what

those wise souls do,

and we timid short sighted block out every light

when we cover the windows

for fear of the night.

And those who have learned to examine these faiths

have seen at their center a similar face,

yet still in this grace we’ve been met with the shadow

of splintering faith

and disease in the shallows—

This ocean of wisdom is out on buffet

but can we digest the preservatives?...

And with the depletion of soil of traditions

can we hope to be nourished

while not too conservative?

And even if one finds a well-balanced recipe

can they feel right, eating

without community?

I long for unity,

sanctity,

movement;

a life of devotion,

but also amusement.

There’s this deep question mark buried within me

and much to be said

for ceremony.

Symbols and rituals cannot replace

the things that are nameless and tameless and free,

yet they are the tools that remind us to say:

“Hey, there’s so much out there more important than me!”—

If we can know this and work to be free

of thinking our actions hold no gravity,

then maybe the course of our species may shift

and we can remember that life is a gift,

and fertilize soil

and plant sturdy roots

whose sap sings a chorus of knowing…

and all of our growing may aim for the light

of wisdom which guides where we’re going…

and soft in the ears of the children to come

we can whisper the stories—

and tunes we can hum—

and sing them to sleep

with the tales of a people

who saw in each other

their own lost face

and took on their fate

to believe in each other

instead of deciding

to detonate…

 

I long to plant seeds

in the clear-cut ground

where work of ancestors erodes under feet—

I long to make beats

so my people can dance

and remember that rhythm is

where

we

meet. 

I think I’m ready to flex this life

like a woman who’s ready to see that face—

I’m cupping my hands ‘round the pool of my prayers

and prostrating down before Grace. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Astrologer

 

Make a wish

         she says.

The stars are aligned and smiling at you

  they will grant your wishes

    whether or not you are aware of it -

                                  Careful!

     for wishes are embedded

  in each moment’s hushed reflection;

                          Wishes

              are there under your breath

under the surface of your waters’

      clear reflections,

being shaped from your mind’s eye

    as it adores or distains,

smiles or curses at

                        its circumstances.

 

Make a wish for your life,

          she says,

for it will be delivered now,

    be careful not to lace it

  with your mindless nagging doubt.

 

Make a wish and wrap it all in

      ribbons of intention

   whisper in its ear

of how you’d like its ripples

  to be always kind –

                      Think!

              and make a wish

           so you will know it

                  when you see it;

See it and then know

       that it will come.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Wish

 

that every starfish hand

   phalanges stretching wide

feel satisfied

     content with all that is and

         purified of pride

may we hear all silent prayers at once

   with nothing in the way

      and let us pray

on our knees now

   let it in

     and out again

we have learned to live

     with haste stuck to our shoes…

we have learned that

    some will win this game

and some will surely

    loose.

Let’s mourn

    for the way we’ve bruised each other

       out of fear

let rivers of my empathy

    fall freely now as tears

Let it out and only then

    let it in and out again

In these days of our becoming

    we regurgitate our sins

we are searching for a premonition

   deep inside our being;

trembling with starlit bliss

   at what our dreams are seeing

If I become a blazing star

   for anyone to see

will you illuminate this night

   beside me?

If I am boldly wide awake

   while all that was is crumbling

will you elucidate your wisdom

   kindly?

A wish that every starfish hand

     finds all it needs to hold

so we can wave and sing,

        our stories told