Monday, March 3, 2014

The Tradition of All Experience

Before what we call morning,
there’s another that lives
where dark turns,

where doubt finds room
near the surface, 
or along the shore

where light weighs time,
lays claim to all experience
as its own.


And so, I’ve taken the pen at times,
at different times so many times
that the weight and heft

often remains un-discerned,

nor separate a charge from heartbeat
or the lift and rise of pulse—such it has become
of its own so thorough, so as to

reframe the world, steady the step
and simplify the things that need be carried.


“…because every syllable counts.”
                                       Cid Corman

The thrust of our living
letting loose our careening way

propelled and re-propelled millions
of little moves—is who we are—countless

the triggers off those little moves:

the greater mystery
               of who we will be.


Words—swarms of bees and honey—


It would be,
it is,

enough to say 

I don’t know…


Blue ink
marks the page
a way
beyond black
and yet
close akin
to remind
one of
the other

as tracks
swirls and
broken lines
make their
own way

there on lines
that now here

hold weight and light:

a single point
in all time.


To turn
right there
and meet
the eyes

of the friend

you’d been
for all

don’t let go
that look…


The glint of moonlight
  on the rim of the bowl
     on the table at my feet

—at times a lonely way,     
         but never alone.


Fog collects thick as doubt
this morning. Even the closest trees,
rootless, shadowy slips, like distant cousins,
reliant upon familial resemblance.


One rejects nothing, the other
accepts everything.

Different times, different tongues,
linked on the lure of language in line.

And for each,
though treating margins differently,

each day begins
a blank page, listening.


Answering the last hours of dark on the mountain’s trails,
sitting among the chilled stones, watching light
begin its work,

earth’s textures, what night holds safe, why stars
lean so close, how morning returns
already full.


There are days when utterance crumbles
as it meets the air, when the most careful intention
stays jagged and torn and reliable lies just beyond reach.

On these days, let grip slip to those slower movements,
to those recesses deeper than doubt, return to that refinement
where inevitable resides.


And what if the world arrives,
full distance of all time, present
at your doorstep?


Mist and low-hanging clouds.
The moon, a luminous smudge.

But the owl calls, quick to scold
those who turn away too soon.

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