Putting myself in various spots
and observing the mind that happens there—
I want to meet myself.
From Haya Akegarasu’s poem, Wind of Early Summer
On the exchange of prayers
Showers Lake, by way of Carson Pass, 9/7
In deep night
high mountain silence,
the surge of hardened earth
in open-domed dark,
close whispers of mutual turning,
of stars’ most careful approach.
Tamarack Lakes, under Sierra Buttes
Awake well before the sun
touches the highest reaches
of south rising buttes,
we watch in chilled shadows
the quiet waters,
slow building clouds,
waiting the day to tell our turn
in full light,
where a pilgrim’s footsteps might fall
and to be gone, then, before
the turn of darkening skies
absorbs again the myriad forsaken dreams,
leaving us awed, yet lonely
for steps not readily taken.
San Bruno Mountain, late September
There are no choices to be made
Breathing deep into steady steps
the labored hills in pre-dawn light
edge at early autumn’s promises
The green return of spring
spoken and sung
in brittle tones
through nights long with winter
A birthday offering 9/29
I know only Buddha’s name.
I know, even on this day, at this age,
of no answers,
can only guess the calamities
of choices made of darknesses given
of limited, yet trusted vision.
I know, even on this day,
of no answers,
the Masters proffer:
that this knowing of not knowing,
this presumed confusion,
in light, is clarity,
confusion turning in light,
the truth, there heard,
the song of not knowing,
In my quiet way,
I do my utmost
to control life;
only slowly, relent.
of turbulent encounters
in free-flowing streams
and sparkling sunlight.
Five Poems of Polska (Poland) 10/08
Soft light rolls hills in autumn colors,
gently belies the harsh and heavy history
of these ancient people of the meadows.
The tide. Darkened murmurs
of windless cries of the many bare down now,
the great unquiet not ever quelled, never-still silent movement
against the utmost edge, the unendurable
evoked, unrestrained, splayed raw.
Such pains, to mute moon and stars.
Toward Warsaw, trees thin, meadows spread to swells
flattening within a sky grown so steadily larger
even the coming night cannot hold it fast.
Of Warsaw, they say,
nothing was left; yet
today, aside the road, in October,
In the pre-dawn light of Warsaw, while others sleep,
we stand, mute at the tomb,
two sentries, the flame and me,
each attentive in our own way
of the eternal.
From the steadiness in her eyes,
we learn of the sanctity of resistance, of resilience
and of rededication to voice
found only in enduring sadness and irredeemable loss.
The third season here, she says, is golden autumn.
First winter rains come warm
on light filled currents,
to so many gladdened ears.