An angel came last night
to my ear and whispered “love.”
I whispered back, Buddha’s name.
Last night in a dream an angel said,
“love” and Buddha’s name came to me
over and over, it went on
like this: whisper—name,
name whispered; love—Buddha, Buddha’s love.
Just a dream, I knew, but in the dream
I smiled, and was glad.
Songs come, they come
from where they come—so
sing, just sing
as the children do.
Stay with dis-ease, as long as
it stays, that is—
sometimes it lingers sometimes
not—of the many gifts of light,
Of this life…
The challenge lies in the fallow fields
of the wintered heart, hardened by promises
hidden beneath its own cold crust.
Probed by the simple persistence
of the pen, turned, over time, to reveal
the multi-flowered faces,
the myriad silent poems released into voice
at the singular touch
Not surrender, no, not closing
down; but realizing, an opening,
a fallen away.
As night’s blackness retreats, horizons
first emerge dark
against thinning ribbons
of salmon-pink, and morning wakens
across the sky-spread face
of the bay.
I’ve come to notice in the morning hours
before light or just as light breaks, or
in the evenings past sun down and the air
settling, Buddha’s name
to the lips,
and that this is not so for me
in between, in the sun’s time, as if
Buddha’s work is more fluid
closer to dark, and otherwise moves
as all but silent…bubbles
From past notes
The abiding silence often spoken of, carries—it’s not
the reverse—it carries us, coaxes,
encourages along an inner current of vulnerability
that remains quieted, unless exposed
to lighted air, in an out-rush release of joy.
a certain sadness
seems appropriate enough
for it does indeed end
but sadness motivated by joy
is no barrier
So close a companion for so many years,
the writing, the poems,
I’d almost never have guessed it my way
or that so many would so readily see
it that way too—such sparkling newness
at this late age.
North coast forests crowd right down to the bluffs
overlooking the breakers
and the distant horizons of their coming.
All along the road, California Lilac sing
by their common name—blue-blossom.
“From here on out,”
From here on out,
I will live this life, as given
in the poetry that is nembutsu.
No more “abouts”—that
I’ve done, can leave to others
—but the living, as given,
that’s for me
from here on out…