Monday, August 17, 2009

In Whistler, British Columbia, we speak with a young woman

native to these parts, who weaves designs from her grandfather’s blanket

(she points to its photo), itself woven for him with prayers and songs

and stories, by her great grandmother—“I come from this blanket,”

she tells us, “and weave only its designs.”


In our loose way, we use the term “sutra” to refer to Buddha’s teaching,

which over time came to be woven into words, on paper.

Pulled from the ancient Sanskrit, “sutra” is derived from the word for “thread.”




Victoria, British Columbia, May 2009

At the bus stop on the harbor 

watching flags wait

glance and plume in morning sunlight 

there gather so loosely

only to again fall

and fall again

to waiting



Saw somewhere written

that the universe is a restless place.

Ah yes, and magnificently sloppy.


 Whistler, BC,

Home to the 2010 Winter Olympics

 and millions

of whispering aspen leaves




Wade deeply early sunlight

in aspens’ layered leaves

--so still

the glistening glow




Straight lines and shingles lay where lighted sky used to play,

a place ill suited to the fullness that is real;

trapped, flat in shadows sharp with longing,

breathless and shallow, watching 

passing breezes eddy.

Openly wanting.



Coming again to quiet possibility,

the place, lighted, as before,

only angles differing from what they were.



Brief as it seems,

most days the work begins

in pause.




Crossing from Horse Shoe Bay to Nanamo on a full, Saturday ferry.

Bumping waters, a haze of whitened skies

and the flow of padded shoes; muted moves

carefully tended by turned heads and dropping eyes.

Time shared in place passing

us each, and alone, along our way.



A poem, for me,

I’ve come to see as a suggestion

come upon,

then visited with, for a bit.



We sleep at times a bit too long

and dregs remain, slowing it seems

even the pull in the veins

a dirge like call into darkness not letting go,

and we slip there with it


where all are allowed to speak

and thus, to make our peace

or not


and the praise that might make poems

is what I chose, careful

attention to all that comes



mingled with words




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