The truth of the matter
of this living and dying we do
together while alone
is not one of thought, which is
itself but one of the myriad puffs
of passing living
that delight and confound,
as all expressions
of this marvelous mystery do,
but rather, just that,
Words work best
in bunches let go before breath runs out…
There’s only one song.
Words change with the winds,
the moon goes full to gone.
But there’s only one song.
To the very end, well past the time the lighter
lit its last, my mother kept it and her smokes
within arm’s reach.
What the empty pages of my journal don’t say
is that I carried it and a pen, from bed to couch, to
bed again, mid-morning to middle of the night,
right there, at the ready, every one of the four days
the flu took most everything else of me
I’m not so sure at this point what I’m looking for
when pulling an old teacher off the shelf, to read
what I’d written in margins long ago, or to find now
something missed then.
Some say past impressions have already done
whatever their work; however helpful a dialect
learned along the way might have been,
what remains are only echoes.
Disoriented once on the trails in Zion, the map
became clear to me only when I’d calmed enough
to remember what really helps—hills and valleys
forever speak only in present tense.
The afternoon sun catches in the bowl
on the low table in the living room, throws light
from the shallow cup to the ceiling,
luminous shards of molded glass, a fractured rainbow
of spotted colors moving in angles at odds with the sun’s
arc through the open picture window.
At the bowl’s center, a pair of wooden hands, ebony,
found in a Bangkok market along side the elevated tracks
of inner-city train lines.
Pinkies touching, palms open,
thumbs slightly spread,
Keeping its focus,
keeping its beat.
into the mist amidst
swirls of change.
This endless count giving
this only quiet,
this culling voice living
its own singular joy, this
this walking home.
prayer has voice
even in silence
it listens too
in the stream’s flow and drift,
let its taste
let its rush
tell of your wish,
let its flow speak
the how of how we all go
and its name
tell of all names.
Usefulness is one
of the many petals of
human flowering, identified
only when reflected upon,
such reflection also being just one
of many formless, colorless petals
unfurling there in natural
Flowers do not help, nor cooperate,
nor interfere, but just reach
into life’s light with all they have,
all they are,
to its own
March 15, 2016