Sunflower sutra, so hum

I want silence, silence to slide upon
the feet of my guru, lay for him roses down.
a man of course, a matted beard, a drone lute’s hum

he of course a purity, a pristine light; humanity,
om mani padme

oh small gods
of sky’s domain, no fecundity soils your clouded plain,
elevate low your
                       lotus pain,
train the body, control the mind.

he utters up his smoked-gold flutes, pristine chest that never leaked milk, at least he does not lie, so his thousand bubbles fade away. 

oh Krishna carry me away, into the grief and there to pray. That dark voice pure as heaven, baba Ram, baba Ram, the god-portal come.

for all the earth he has the girls, 24-karats in which to seek mad thrills,
he remembers days of now-dead clan, this old man,
still mother’s child, inside.

“we’re golden sunflowers”
said Ginsberg to Jack
above a fecund railroad track
“be here now” said Ram for Baba
shining the masses, in sunshine states

while the gurus remained in India.
Quiet as caves.

“we are one and one is all”
be here now, the ektar drum.
om mani padme hum.
hum, the price to pay.
hum, to suffer meaningless
another day.

In the sunflower, black and white –
a thousand caves,

a whorl of stars, another way.
turning        in
when sun shines bright.

I bring you back, old man, with soul so young, I wash your feet, a  thousand

         roses           lay.

fecund mother

        sunflower           brother

the gates of              heaven          in your gaze

your time has come
to daze     upon days
the answers lie in sunflower ways.

Sit still, to be radical
said Lee Bob Black.


forget the blackened railroad track.
regenerate the thousand blooms 
your teeming
heart of earth.

but Baba went online
to teach the sitters at his feet,
jumping all around again
to that dog-gone beat.
the charming beat, alarming beat.
om mani padme hum.
the ektar strum.

another day, another hum.

and still, I love you all the ways,
for we are one.




“we’re golden sunflowers inside, blessed by our own seed & hairy naked accomplishment-bodies growing into mad black formal sunflowers in the sunset” — Allen Ginsberg, Sunflower Sutra, Berkeley, 1955 

“The path to enlightenment is not a group trip. It’s between you and God. This means you’ve got to go inside.
“The fewer external distractions and the more concentration you have, the easier it is to get there. – It’s Here Now (Are You?)” — Bhagavan Das, home page, last updated 2018.

“Ram, Ram, Ram, Ram, Ram. Remember God. Remember God. Whatever you do, remember God.” —  Ram Das (Reflections from The Love Serve Remember Foundation, YouTube, Dec 13, 2012, via, last updated 2019.

The only truth is music.― Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels, 1965



Nadine inhales & exhales words & images from current vantage point in Zone of Emptiness, France. Thank you for reading. ❤︎


6 thoughts on “Sunflower sutra, so hum

    1. Oooh, thanks for asking that Matthew. I wish I knew how to answer succinctly. I actually overworked this one to death because I was interrupted just before finishing it, then wanted to explain it, then I realized the explanation (in the footnotes) needed probably a post of its own. Here, I’d already reduced the footnotes by 75 % or so. (And yet I know it can be self-defeating to explain one’s one work right alongside work.) 😁😆

      Attempt at short answer: This sunflower image by Lluis Busse (a blogger who liked some of my posts) was the primary inspiration. I wanted to write a post about the image, which had to do with the fractal/Fibonacci sequence of sunflower seed patterns, but then I allowed myself to become distracted, and ultimately thought of Bhagavan Das’s music, which was introduced to me by my dad (along with the writing of Jack Kerouac and contemporaries) when I was a kid and which shaped part of my consciousness; then I started researching BD’s life again (which I have done before), wondering how he was doing now. By the time I started writing, I was intermingling my own experience of needing quietude to do meaningful life work, while at the same time craving companionship and recognition. And finally, it was an exercise in compassion, because guru-figures are never perfect in their own lives, and we can be quick to condemn them for any perceived wrong action, but ultimately they are flawed, perfectly imperfect humans just like us. So hum (“I am that.”)

      But man, did I ever make a mess of it. I had to finally hit ‘publish’ just to move on with my life. Thanks a lot for commenting. :))))


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