The Headless Way
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Jim Clatfelter

Cheek to Cheek

We've never been face to face.
We've never stood nose to nose.
We've never seen eye to eye.
So here's what I propose.

Let's never go head to head,
Or have a tête-a-tête
Let's go hand in hand
Through this merry minuet.

Jim Clatfelter

Excuse Me!

Excuse me! Excuse me!
Am I missing something here?
Could you please enlighten me?
Make it very clear?

I sincerely want to know
This isn't a rebuff
When I see that I am everything
Isn't that enough?

Jim Clatfelter

Eye See

An eye can't see itself
they say
Cannot see its glint.
A camera cannot snap itself
into a glossy print.

A blade can't cut itself I know
in pieces two or three.
But all that doesn't go to show
that I cannot see Me.

Jim Clatfelter

The Works

Presence of Awareness
Is Absence of a head.
If you can see that This is so
That's all that need be said.

If you can see the two at once,
The Seer and the scenery,
Then you have seen Totality,
The Whole, the All, the Plenary.

Jim Clatfelter

Point Counterpoint

I look into the polished mirror
and point at my reflection.
He points too, and this in spite
of all polite convention.

I'm pointing at a handsome face,
if handsome I may judge.
He's pointing into empty space
without a spot or stain or smudge.

Still he's pointing right at me,
overruling my objection.
He's pointing at original
and absolute perfection.

The setup lacks all symmetry.
It's very plain to see
that I look at periphery
while he is looking in on me.

I'm pointing at a face out there.
He's pointing here at nothing,
not at visage plain or fair,
not at body, skin or stuffing.

Though I'm empty, null and void,
my presence is required
for this fine fellow to appear
and for him to be admired.

Without me, he'd be nowhere.
Without him, I'd be bored.
For he gets up to many things,
some proper, some untoward.

I'll miss the fellow when he's gone.
I know that someday he'll go packing.
But I'll be here, and so it's clear
that nothing will be lacking.

Jim Clatfelter


I'm reticent to criticize
They tell me that it isn't wise
But I will do it anyhow
So hold on now
don't have a cow

I found Suzuki a little kooky
And Krishnamurti's bitchin'
left me shakin' and a-twitchin'

So I read The Book by Alan Watts
and books by lots of other sots
And I must say I'm not jokin'
Nissargadatta's really smokin'

Then I followed old Ramana
up to Arunachala
But on the way I lost
my Wei Wu Wei

So in my Absence
here is what I have to say

From Douglas Harding
I'm not departing
Come whatever will or may
He took off my head
and left me for dead
And all I can say is hooray

Hooray hooray for Douglas
He's the one who left me mugless
He showed me that it's really great
to run around decapitate
Hooray again I say

Hooray for Harding, Douglas E
He 'breviates anatomy
Obflisticates all flummery
Ain't that the way it oughta be?
Hooray for Douglas E

I'm glad to take my medicine
from Harding, Douglas Edison
He showed me the light
He showed me it's right
and proper
to eliminate my topper
For that I say hooray

I apologize
to the other guys
for thinking bad
of what they had
to offer
Pardon me
for what I said
I lost my head
and I do remain
a scoffer

So hooray again for Douglas
He took my head
And abridged my stance
He didn't even need a lance
He merely showed me where to glance
And now I am obliterated
And my pate is busticated
I'm finished with this poem
Hooray hooray horray

Jim Clatfelter

Looking Down

I see the sky
then I look down
I see the sea
then down again
I see the sand.
But this descent
it isn't ended.
And I'm not offended
just amused
To see my pants
below my shoes.
To see my shirt
below my buckle
Really gives me
quite a chuckle.
Below my shirt now
I am seeing
The everlasting
Ground of Being.
I love it being
turned around
With my body
upside down.
My attention
just may settle
Now that I see
I'm ass over kettle.

Jim Clatfelter


I'd rather be decapitated
than to be encapsulated
inside a tiny cranium
No room for my geranium
Too cramped for my harmonium
and my lovely pelargonium

Jim Clatfelter


What do you see
where others see your face?
Is it just another member
of the human race?
Or is it all vacuity?
The root and derivation
of the family tree?

Jim Clatfelter

No Head

If you can see you have no head
Then you command my full respect,
For you are honest, brave, and true,
And anatomically correct.

Jim Clatfelter

Out and In

Here is the crux,
Minus prolixity:
Look out for flux;
Look in for fixity.

Jim Clatfelter

That's It!

See the Seer! View the view!
Mark the two as One.
You have captured All there is.
That's it! Finis! You're done!

Jim Clatfelter


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