Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Uncovered interludes

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.



the name

held close in the heart

whose public face

is kindness.


The angle just so

catches the light underside

burn—a Robin’s breast.

Glimmering there

beneath nonviolence—

no harm.


How we hear

Just above the horizon,

under hovering clouds, a thin break

of clarity

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.


The Sufi

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.



Gianzatep, Turkey,

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.

All else follows.

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