The Churma House


The other day, a poet named Brenda invited me out to meet some Filipina writers at a special event welcoming a visiting artist.

As K and I were about to head over, Brenda sent a message that she couldn’t come but that I should still go.  As we drove up Kamehameha I thought we were looking for a performance venue and I was half expecting a converted plantation house to emerge from the lush greenery.  But what I read on the evite as The Churma House was actually the Churma home.  Silly.

I knew one person there– a writer named Amalia.  She explained that most of them had come together a couple of years ago  to do a production of The Vagina Monologues which benefited the Filipina Rural Project.  All of them were writers.  A number of them were librarians which I thought was very cool.   Rose, the host, owns a book distribution company called Kalamansi Books which exclusively sells titles from the Philippines here in Hawaii.  Their house was lovely–serene and warm.

We had to leave before the reading started but Amalia said we should eat and get to know people.  We stayed as long as we could.  The pork adobo was delicious.

The Breeze at Dawn


I’d missed 4 days of yoga and felt bad about it.  Being sick this week  made going to class feel like a chore. I didn’t want to slip into that rut.  The day I went back Brigitte read this:

For years, copying other people, I tried to know myself.
From within, I couldn’t decide what to do.
Unable to see, I heard my name being called.
Then I walked outside.

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.

Jalaluddin Rumi version by Coleman Barks



Ugh.  I have to write new stuff.  The conference co-chairs gave us the date of the panel reading.  It’s called Pilipino Kahit Saan, Kahit Kaila.   Which roughly  means you’re Filipino wherever you are no matter what.

I found  my former teacher Kurt on the web the other day.  I need a pep talk from him…wish I could find him.  K suggested I write ‘for’ Kurt to make up for not being able to talk to him.  I think what helps is writing for Ruth.

Robin was going through Ruth’s writings and he said my poems were mixed in with hers.  He’s going to send them to me in case I want to use some in April.  He said there was one about Long Island that was quite good. I’d written it on the LIRR.  The last line was something like ‘it doesn’t get worse than this’.  I started laughing when Robin brought it up because when Ruth read it she said ‘oh it does’.

I miss her

I miss her

I miss her

The Sunrise Ruby by Rumi


Martin at Aloha Kula Yoga read this on Valentine’s Day. I loved it. SOURCE

In the early morning hour,
just before dawn, lover and beloved wake
and take a drink of water.

She asks, “Do you love me or yourself more?
Really, tell the absolute truth.”

He says, “There is nothing left of me.
I’m like a ruby held up to the sunrise.
Is it still a stone, or a world
made of redness? It has no resistance
to sunlight.”

This is how Hallaj said, I am God,
and told the truth!

The ruby and the sunrise are one.
Be courageous and discipline yourself.

Completely become hearing and ear,
and wear this sun-ruby as an earring.

Work. Keep digging your well.
Don’t think about getting off from work.
Water is there somewhere.

Submit to a daily practice.
Your loyalty to that
is a ring on the door.

Keep knocking, and the joy inside
will eventually open a window
and look out to see who’s there.