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#2519 - Friday, July 7, 2006 - Editor: Jerry Katz



The theme is "home" in this issue which I entitle War Poems Straight from the Heart.


First a link to great satsang videos, bringing us to our "spiritual" home.


Valerie offers a poem on childhood and home and mostly the heart.


Then contributor Gabriel gets locked-up for a little while in the Rosenstockade by contributor Rick who sends a fine poem whose locale is close to his wife's home and not far from where one of the Highlights editors lives.


But then haiku-ist Geert Verbeke sends both a short note and a haiku within a graphic, supporting Gabriel's stance on war poems as stated in Issue #2518.


Finally Sharlene, one of the founders of online nonduality, converses with Toombaru about robberies in her home and the recent passing of her father. Sharlene questions whether anyone is really free of attachment.







Shannon Brophy passes this very interesting information along about satsang videos. I checked out the Neelam ones. The video quality is good. The sound is excellent. The videos play very quickly once you click on them. A very good online experience. has satsang videos of 1-10 minutes including Adyashanti, Neelam, Gangaji, and Eckhart Tolle. Also click on the "related tags" for even more nonduality videos. Alternative linking option:



  In my hometown
all my life there has been
about 5 acres set aside
for a grotto to the Blessed Mother.
   There were stations of the cross there
in a wooded setting, in the middle of the city.
   And there was chapels and every Christmas
they'd have a 'Festival Of The Lights' there,
where it was always very cold, and choirs
sang carols in the night with lit candles.
   Pretty soon a few years ago I noticed
a big
$_FOR SALE_$ sign on the billboard that
traditionally had been the sign for the grotto.
Sure enough, even the Christian Church had sold out,
and pretty soon it was sold to a developer for
plywood housing developments - and so it goes.

   The last Christmas I had gone down there to be with
my mother, we went there with my daughter for the
'Festival Of Lights' - and I bought her a rosary.
That was a lot of sharing for a spitfire * ex-jazz singin,
drug-addled-all-her-life, non-conformist like her.
And I have it now, the rosary, over by her ashes.

   Sometimes we just cannot see what memories are
made of while they happen.
   I remember all the warmth and lights at the grotto,
and how her face shone reflecting beauty.
   Maybe from a long time ago from her catholic-
upbringing childhood, someone somewhere reached out
and touched her heart there like she touched mine.

May we all live in light and love always.




Referring to issue #2518, Rick writes:

WHAT a poop! Mr. Rosenstock should read that quote again - and again
until it sinks in.

 >> Dear Lynsey,
 >> Poems that celebrate war are as obscene as war itself. Allow me,
kindly, to quote something meaningful on the whole dirty business of
war. It's from Volume II of Zen: The Path of Paradox by Osho:
 >> A man of peace is not a pacifist, a man of peace is simply a pool of

> In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
> Between the crosses row on row,

An Obscene celebration? Really! ... or should I say Hardly ...

I'll offer a poem! While it doesn't commemerate the Battle of Somme it
is historically important - mainly because my wife lived right down the
road and at least one of your editors lives in an area inhabited by the
late Thomas Jackson

Obscenely Yours  :-)

Barbara Frietchie
UP from the meadows rich with corn, 
Clear in the cool September morn, 
The clustered spires of Frederick stand 
Green-walled by the hills of Maryland
Round about them orchards sweep,          5
Apple and peach tree fruited deep, 
Fair as a garden of the Lord 
To the eyes of the famished rebel horde, 
On that pleasant morn of the early fall 
When Lee marched over the mountain wall,—   10
Over the mountains winding down, 
Horse and foot, into Frederick town. 
Forty flags with their silver stars, 
Forty flags with their crimson bars, 
Flapped in the morning wind: the sun   15
Of noon looked down, and saw not one. 
Up rose old Barbara Frietchie then, 
Bowed with her fourscore years and ten; 
Bravest of all in Frederick town, 
She took up the flag the men hauled down;   20
In her attic-window the staff she set, 
To show that one heart was loyal yet. 
Up the street came the rebel tread, 
Stonewall Jackson riding ahead. 
Under his slouched hat left and right   25
He glanced: the old flag met his sight. 
"Halt!"—the dust-brown ranks stood fast, 
"Fire!"—out blazed the rifle-blast. 
It shivered the window, pane and sash; 
It rent the banner with seam and gash.   30
Quick, as it fell, from the broken staff 
Dame Barbara snatched the silken scarf; 
She leaned far out on the window-sill, 
And shook it forth with a royal will. 
"Shoot, if you must, this old gray head,   35
But spare your country's flag," she said. 
A shade of sadness, a blush of shame, 
Over the face of the leader came; 
The nobler nature within him stirred 
To life at that woman's deed and word:   40
"Who touches a hair of yon gray head 
Dies like a dog! March on!" he said. 
All day long through Frederick street 
Sounded the tread of marching feet: 
All day long that free flag tost   45
Over the heads of the rebel host. 
Ever its torn folds rose and fell 
On the loyal winds that loved it well; 
And through the hill-gaps sunset light 
Shone over it with a warm good-night.   50
Barbara Frietchie's work is o'er, 
And the Rebel rides on his raids no more. 
Honor to her! and let a tear 
Fall, for her sake, on Stonewall's bier. 
Over Barbara Frietchie's grave,   55
Flag of Freedom and Union, wave! 
Peace and order and beauty draw 
Round thy symbol of light and law; 
And ever the stars above look down 
On thy stars below in Frederick town!


Ó: Geert Verbeke [mailto:[email protected]]
Seolta: 06 July 2006 15:22
Chuig: Gabriel Rosenstock
Ábhar: Re: Sunday Independent/ War Poetry/ Reply from Gabriel Rosenstock

Right: Poems that celebrate war are as obscene as war itself!




Sharlene writes:

Man, I am starting to think that I must be on the wrong side of the universe these last few years.
Seems the what ever happens, happenings, are never very nice. Whatever nice is. My biological
Father passed away this morning. I am pleased for him really. He deserves the break. But I am
getting somewhat paranoid in the processes of life.

Perhaps this too shall pass.
But for right now it seems there are more trials than trophy's.
I dunno.



Toombaru responds

Hi Shar,

When I took my hospice training the instructor, a zen monk, has us all
write on little slips of paper the names of our loved ones, the
personal labels that we liked the most such as 'father', 'husband' and
our favorite possessions.

We were asked to place them upside down in s semi-circle in front of us.

After a while he stood up and began to walk around the room.

A few of the people he passed by but then he would stop in front of
someone.....stare at them with empty eyes.....and pick up one or two
of the slips of paper......put them in his small wooden bowl......and
walk on.

As he slowly walked around the room and stopped at random.....his bowl
began to fill.

People began to get nervous...and would sneek peeks to see what he had
taken.......and what was left.

He was kind to me and took only a few possessions.

Several people began to cry when they lost love ones and would sigh
with great relief if he passed them by.

After a long time.........he stopped in front of me......looked a long
into my eyes......bent down......and placed all of my pieces of paper
in his bowl.

I stared the empty wooden floor and wept.

I am sorry that your father died.

Sometimes.......I think that to be a human is the hardest job on
earth......Sometimes it seems that to be a human is the very best that
life has to offer.

Sharlene writes back:

It seems like life is a long session in letting go. And every day there are lessons in detachment.
I truly don't begrudge those who have passed on to other planes of existence. Sometimes I think I
envy them, sort of a mixed bag of emotion and whatever ego wants to feel at times.

"I am sorry that your father died."

Thanks, I am glad for him, my Mother, my step Father, and my Brother. And yet, still sometimes
think that enough is enough, and when will it end for awhile. With the four robberies in total, it
seems like everything happens without much of break in between. So then I begin to feel paranoid.
lol. And start to wonder what or who is next.

If that saying about the universe only sends us what we can handle at one time, then the universe
knows about me than I do.

Sometimes I feel like the losses never end.

How many times I have I already said, ok, I give up, do with me what you may. Everything I would
write on those pieces of paper are being taken one at a time.

So I guess the trick is, not to have any paper or a pen, or a list to write in the first place.

And even though we think we don't have a list, we always have something to write down when the time
comes for the writing. We just don't recognize it until that time is presented to us.

The robberies made me realize that collecting anything material is futile. And death is something
we all experience.

I just question why it seems to happen without much of a break in between.

What would we be, if we weren't human, having a human experience? Even the thoughts of
enlightenment are a part of the folly of being human. We think there is more to life than living.
That is a better way of being rather than what we are.

We are a mixed bag of human experience, and nothing more. And sometimes mistake a shut down or
closing of the heart as detachment. Putting up a wall around the heart, is not detachment, but
total denial that we feel anything other than compassion. Compassion seems to come easy when we are
not attached to the experience. But add the element of attachment to the experience, and its a
whole different ball game.

I really wonder if there is such a human that is truly free of attachment to something or someone,
including concepts, ideas, or beliefs.

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