I’m told I use quiet words
but wonder, really, which those are
the world itself presents itself
as such so often, how else can one respond
the wave’s reach that seeps the sands,
the spray that’s given to air…
of these, as among the many blessings,
not one is loud.
That which turns me toward peace,
is my own rage
and the threat that speaks to.
Winter’s come, leaves turned and now
fall through mornings clean with the constant chill
of shortened days, the quickened pulse,
the reach for fullness enough to live,
just to live, just enough.
held close in the heart
whose public face
The angle just so
catches the light underside
burn—a Robin’s breast.
How we hear
Just above the horizon,
under hovering clouds, a thin break
the push of light pours
salmon-gold across the watery face
of the bay
draws me still, standing in the street,
waiting, a word, a name perhaps,
a voice surely
working its shadow-less way
through the certainties
of breath shared
of numberless becomings,
of the myriad possible tongues recognized
in the quickening
of the heart.
After the whirling,
the young teacher,
long-time friend to our guide,
answers our questions,
while the Master,
also now in street dress,
quietly serves tea.
Pressing to Harran, we skirt the northern border of Syria
at the Temple of the Moon God, pre-Islamic cult
of ancient astronomers overlooking
the high, fertile plains of Mesopotamia.
They, as do we, built gates, entryways
where none was needed—how much has changed,
how much not?
Call to prayer fills the room,
followed by light, by the sun’s warmth
that flows through every window opened,
to every opening heart.
one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities
in the world.
Allah has ninety-nine names. Amida Buddha, the sutras give ten.
For those who still count.
In either case, in any event
what matters, is the name in the mouth
that’s speaking it.