The thin curve of moon echoes.
Owls chorus dark-soaked streets.
Fogs advance to the edge
of the thirst
offer just enough.
I once visited Ryokan’s hermitage,
where poems with names of simpler times
came alive with the sounds of cicada,
thumbnail frogs, humid shade and moss
covering the stones.
light intersections, passing tires
whisper warnings no one hears
Damp with the hum of solitude,
rains arrive in the night,
confuse the sleeping streets.
Like the almond tree in the front yard
blossoms fully in late February
because it’s warm.
Learning early on
we couldn’t control her spirit,
we tried all we could to manage
the world about her
and couldn’t do that either.
The lights at night in the hills
never speak aloud, never call for more
than those who turn and who linger
with those lights, lingering back.
Delhi, the Sikh soup kitchen
25,000 mouths a day,
seven days a week,
come rain or come shine.
No one pays, no one paid,
no one turned away.
Jamba, Northwest India
Sometimes it hurts, almost,
to not sing long, melodious sighs
aloud. Like now,
as the sun sets clouds to silver, to grey,
the desert finally to shadow,
the sky from blue to black,
to silently stud itself
Mumbai, at the Taj Hotel—the tour brings us here,
along the bay, across from the famed Gateway
to India, down the street from the corner
where families sleep on the sidewalk,
babies bare-assed in the dawn.
Kochin: what Westerners often miss…
the mist along the shores of the Arabian Sea
that lifts with light’s arrival, leaves puddles
to drink last night’s dusty streets—
tropical birdcalls, slippered feet
and harboring ships that sound
in morning’s warmth
like a lover’s breath,
moist and pulsed
How nightmares are made:
In the dream I write a poem
they want me to tell;
when it doesn’t go well,
they want to help…
The sun drops, river waters silver
in changing light
and foolishness announces itself
Prompted by the ever-unfolding face
of personal circumstance,
the primary conversation
is always the internal—even
in the collective, we choose alone
how to live—this, who we are,
is our freedom.
“What does it mean.
This is not a question,
but an exclamation.”
The Same Poem Over and Over
The collective is one
of primal kin—not singular one
but wholeness in relation,
meaning in movement realized
in connection—no one thing ever lost
to another—like stars to sky, earth to heaven,
like gravity, foot-fall.