Light pouring through the window
into the living room,
passing through comment free,
I hitchhiked once, when young,
from the west-reaching arm of Florida,
to a small beach town
on the continent’s western edge,
just beneath Los Angeles.
Most of the details of that stretch of road-
life have long-since slipped into space
far more grand than the Pacific,
every last one still vital,
critical components of tidal influence,
of life enabled
to feel and to further
this yet gentle wavelet,
its own flavor deeper west.
shelter from the rain
on a vine-tangled branch
of the pine—true to time, true
to place, we, doves and me.
Just when I think I’m lost, breath
reminds me it’s holding my place.
for Hayden Carruth
“Poet” is a “way of being…”
Pen speaks love of world
to the page.
Voice is kissed resistance
for those who would cover
Occasions of contact
can be arranged, created,
Understanding and love
Bright sky light blue,
scats of cloud-brush
and beneath rooted feet,
Trees and grasses hold,
while sun climbs.
Rains leave for longer now, warm-breathed light
between hints of final growls—long mornings waiting
for clearing skies, satisfied, we pull weeds
to show spring we’re ready.
Off to the side, my shadow races,
winner determined by the direction
of the light.
the heart bent
to quiet-smile release,
makes eye contact.
Palms together chest high,
elbows either side
At me, or Buddha,
she doesn’t say.
The true poem
isn’t about the moment,
it is the moment,
in breath, and out,
in and out.
Morning, watching hills appear
in final trails of night’s rains, mists low
and thinning, shadows grey under the pen,
lines and words, haloed peripheries,
To attempt other awarenesses
than those certain happening here,
seems almost ludicrous.
To think to study the self
is to attend to other than this
is to think self away.
Open attending is foundation—wonder,
Pen scratches silence. Words give
of themselves the silence
From out of the house sounds,
my name on her voice
stops my heart.
Everything whispered this morning,
splaying fingers in front of my eyes
that look just like mine.
Salmon-pink’s steady glow in the east
prompts promises of gladness
from the last of winter’s showers.
An open-winged crow
swoops low, lifts, a’lights
a’top the pole, to state its name
to drizzling rains.
Eyes washed clean of sleep,
I raise my feet above the street
to state my name too.
“A poem is not an expression, nor is it an object. Yet it
somewhat partakes of both. What a poem is
Is never to be known, for which I have learned to be
grateful. But the aspect in which I see my own
Is as the act of love…”
—Hayden Carruth, from “The Impossible
Indispensability of the Art Poetica”