Sunday, May 13, 2012

Splashes in the stream

To study dharma
is to study the self, as it comes,
as it goes.

If she’s not herself,
then who am I—all alone,
the wife’s really sick.


The hummingbird darts
in and out, a brief visit—
flowers along the rail.


She asks for something cold. I get it,
worrying that my coffee
will cool.


White and gray cumulous re-gather,
                  chasing the blue
                          that chased them away.


Old friends, the monk
and the minister huddle in conversation
over current medications.


The wife in the hospital,
I sleep on her side,
use her pillow—in the silence.


Late night—the wife in the hospital,
waiting procedures—and I at play

with vows

or is it prayers or deals
or offerings to stem the tide?


Amidst the swirl
of un-answerables,
the smallest next step,
pronounced aloud,
pulls the foot forward—
the only certainty.


Having no idea what day it is,
I work the numbers back and forth, 
hoping to reclaim the present
with a name—


The nembutsu spirit…

It’s movement, movement
through familiar terrain
that smoothes the tangled tasks
of new challenge
with the taste of readiness.

Forcing myself out of bed
at the regular hour, to stretch,
to the street and curve and climb,
the distant bay
in thoughtless periphery.

Each step littered
with accrued anxiety discarded
of itself, self-patterned breaths
tracing true the sound of the real
way home,

sitting, lying down, walking,



The pine stands its own
against the distant back drop
of gray, the great eucalyptus too,
and the tall palm. All quiet,

quite dignified in their place,
while I who barely merit a silhouette,
seem somehow to believe
it is I who tower…


To wonder
if one has
yet to live.

I wonder,
is this
a question

for concern,
of regret,

or renewal?
I mean, I ask
and having asked,

looking now
to the sky—
what a wonder!



Looking out at the morning hills, as we often do.
The rise most near lifts pale green grasses
into cloudless skies, the downward slope to the north
and west, revealing the distant ridgeline
that overlooks canyons not visible from here.

Varied shades of spring green, peppered with the light
colored faces of the houses of this small community.
The great eucalyptus that leans to the corner
of the window, the porch railing, quivering ornaments.
The blanket covering my legs. The warmth.

And on the table, the large burnished vase,
full with multi-colored flowers,
sending signals of wishes
for a quick recovery.


And through the door,
the many containers, warmed
with the heft and sustenance
of love.

May Day

May Day,
clear and
dreams of

of point,
of what
it adds,
let go

It says,
it says,
look here,
what is
is peace.


Early, this morning, rising early,
on the streets, in the hills
before the touch of the sun, before
the birds overhead begin

their throated reverie,
silent sentinels, lined and listening,
the passing stranger
wandering below,

for the slightest signal
of the day’s first call
to song.


Deep Mind

Certain truths
simply sink in over time
so thorough that question
has no where to stand,

affirmation dances loose
as a scented petal, and
efforts to ignore or to discard
resonate ever more deeply.


You don’t have to close this door
just because you open
that one.


The moon, nearly full,
passed by the window last night,
so quiet its work,

washing dark’s dust clean away,
even gout’s throbbing
could be heard.


It’s like this…

like everything’s already there,
yet differently heard,

like a familiar stream in deep forests
that you know is there

delights each time with a different voice—
you know it by its surprise…


It suddenly dawns on us:
we’re going to doctors’ appointments,
together !


Sandino David
May 7, 2012

Everywhere is home
for the sage, everyone family.
But for me, there are certain places
where rest comes easiest

and this tiny, early arrival speaks
to me, as only my grandchildren can.
Too early for us to even touch,
still he shakes me—while my son,

his father, wills the earth to steady,
the air around him trembles
as he looks at his wife, and I
reach for my own.

Though they say,
anywhere can be home.


It’s like this…

like sunshine over wind-blown grasses

single-minded practice reaches
the deepest recesses

the silent presence of Buddha
spreads everywhere

namuamidabutsu, namuamidabutsu


The change

The dream was more deep-throated moan
than cry, the weighted change of recognition

rather than decision, the slow, scraping halt
itself implied transition forward

inarticulate, yet specific, message
carried complete

—the arrow’s own movement—

no longer a matter of what to do,
but what’s happening here

plans and calculations jettisoned
in the wake of open wonder

in clear and unhindered skies