Who’s That Little Mouse?

BlogImage - SatoriCircleDotCom - November 28 2015b

“Who’s That Little Mouse?”  |  Anthony Satori

(Me up at does)

— a poem by E. E. Cummings

“Me up at does

out of the floor

quietly Stare

a poisoned mouse

still who alive

is asking What

have i done that

You wouldn’t have”

Although quite poignant, I’ve always appreciated this poem by E. E. Cummings.  I think it is a fine example of his remarkable economy of language, his touching sense of empathy, and his unmistakable signature style: a seemingly mixed-up, punctuation-free stagger of words which, upon closer inspection, actually turns out to be a carefully constructed poetic flow of thoughts and ideas.  Like a lot of great art, Cummings’ poetry isn’t spoon-fed to the viewer.  It requires effort and attention.  But, in the end, it is always worth the journey.

Quite fortunately, the little mouse in the image above was destined for a more happy fate than the mouse in Cummings’ verse.  A couple of nights ago, while we languished in a Tryptophan-induced haze, this little fellow took us completely by surprise by scampering across the interior of a ceiling light fixture.  Following his spry shadow, I slid the lamp shade aside and revealed a tiny gray mouse huddled in a corner.  As soon as we saw his earnest little face, we knew that we had to devise a plan of rescue.  We named him “Buford.”  He graciously posed for a portrait.  Then, after some careful thought and planning, we proceeded to use a combination of kitchen implements, a folding chair, and some gentle coaxing to safely retrieve him from the ceiling fixture.  For his bravery, he was treated to some Thanksgiving leftovers.  What a feast!  Then, with a full belly and an unbelievable story to tell, we released him into the night.  Godspeed, Buford.  And Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


Pursuit of the Sublime

BlogImage - SatoriCircleDotCom - November 25 2015b

“Pursuit of the Sublime”  |  Anthony Satori

The pursuit of the sublime is far too easily derailed by accepting the belief that some heights are, by their very nature, unattainable.  How much better to proceed as if all heights can be reached?  What new and exceptional elevations of mind, body and spirit are simply waiting to be attained by those who have the courage to adopt a posture of optimism, vision and faith, and then to engage in the purposeful behavior that derives from these qualities?


Abandoned Car

BlogImage - SatoriCircleDotCom - Nov 18 2015

“Abandoned Car”  |  Anthony Satori

“You’re going to pass something down no matter what you do, or if you do nothing.  Even if you let yourself go fallow, the weeds will grow and the brambles.  Something will grow.”

John Steinbeck

Deliberately envision how you wish your world to look, and then take thoughtful, focused action toward that result.  Choose to make the world a more beautiful place.  Choose to make it a more peaceful, free and compassionate place.  Be an active agent of light.


Gary Snyder, Zen Poet

“Gary Snyder,  Zen Poet”  |  Santa Barbara, California, 2015  |  Anthony Satori

“In the mountains, there you feel free.”

— T. S. Eliot

Campbell Hall, UCSB, California, November, 2015

It is an odd juxtaposition to watch a poet whose primary subject matter is nature, mountains and wilderness put on a tie, stand at a podium, and talk about his work in one of the least wilderness-like places conceivable: a university lecture hall.  You get the feeling of a creature out if his element, a proverbial fish-out-of-water… handling the environment with admirable aplomb, yet periodically, and involuntarily, gasping for air. 

The evening began strangely enough, with Snyder delivering a seemingly unprovoked 20-minute lecture on how we (the audience) were all inept at water conservation — although arguably from a place of authority, since he does live on a self-sustaining commune. 

This was followed (thankfully) by some enjoyable, yet seemingly random, readings of poetry from some of his more obscure collections (oddly excluding both the entire “Beat Generation” era and his most recent book release). 

The event then proceeded to attain new heights of awkwardness upon the introduction of an inexplicably antagonistic interviewer. To paraphrase a sample exchange:  Interviewer: “One farmer said that he grew the best oranges by looking at everyone around him and doing exactly the opposite of what they did.  Is this essentially what you are doing on the commune?”  Snyder: “No.  We’re not that dumb.”  Ouch. 

Almost regardless of venue, however, to hear a veritable institution of literature speak, read and discuss poetry and articulate his views on writing and life is a worthy experience.  Up until now, Gary Snyder has inhabited the status of an almost quasi-fictional Beat Poet/Zen Madman character to me, someone who existed only on the pages of Jack Kerouac novels and in my imagination.  Now, by virtue of this experience, his glowing apparition has been immortalized in my mind, and has, simultaneously, been made real.



"Monument"  |  Anthony Satori

“Legacy”  |  Anthony Satori

“Everyone must leave something in the room or left behind when he dies, my grandfather said.  A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made.  Or a garden planted.  Something your hand touched some way so that your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.”

— Ray Bradbury