Monday, October 12, 2009

Poems from June

Poems from June 2009

Looking back, good friends, I see that June was a rich month for me. Hope you’ll find something of value.

We pause to restore ourselves, to rest,

to drink deeply of the stream, anguish shed

like receding echoes, feint imprints slowly lifting

in the dampened air

above the sands along the edge.


Through the fourth floor window,

leaf filled branches swing in shadows

occasioned with flashes of blue.


Sometimes even the smallest drift of air intrudes,

an uninvited guest, lingering at all

--too long—virus spreading in a shuttered room,

locked from the inside.


On training for ordination

The personal turmoil challenged the feeling

I wasn’t there—only later

did I see I’d already gone.


If I lay this old vow down

one more time without use,

it’ll crust over in the sun like a dried up turd.


big winds come,

blowin’ light

up and down the canyons


So much empty talk, so many empty words, words

spewed now even from digital tongues.

How much less can we manage, how little

are we likely to become, buying intentional insincerity

for the sake of convenience?


William Stafford, ever teaching…

If we truly cherish each other, he said

—so deftly revealing the inner voice of ordinary words,

the inner voice, the spontaneous push to the search for the true,

behind those so ordinary words, as heard.

Points, in his off hand way, to the core common

to Pure Land life and the poet’s vocation,

to hear the call

to trace the contours of the truth in this life,

to listen

to discern the inner voice of ordinary words

and then to speak,

is to hear and speak nembutsu,

remembrance of the source, ever remembering the source



When asked what he did when his work

failed to meet his own standards,

Staffords’s response

was that he lowered them.

What, after all, did the music

that carries the words

have to do

with his will,

he, the listener, trying only

to trace the contours

of the true and real…


The first of this season taken on the open deck,

watching first light slowly peeling night away from tree tops

and the tiny, harried birds hidden there, shifting weights,

from shadow to light, revealing everything anew.


I know you were here.

Your feather, inside up on the ground.

What is it of me

that you will see, left behind ?


Morning’s come warm through open doorways,

and dogs bark, and crows, and crows,

the houses collecting between,

from these calls,

the memories the sky refuses to hold.

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