Saturday, April 9, 2016

The next iteration...

Giving the thread its length, let go
the tip, a shallow breath, and watch

the air, without question, carry it all. 


What better way to want to be
than more ready to be more 


Words might well be forgiven their shortcomings.

They don’t hold much or for long, but most do
suggest another word to follow, or to take their place.

And for free.


whether wanted
or not, what’s next 
is always given


doesn’t make
any sense.”

Sandino, almost 4


Student:  what is this,

that I apologize to spiders
when walking through their webs ?

Teacher:  manners.


Four days after we start saving light,
waking in the dark, under thick layers of fog,
feeling strikingly unburdened,

clear and settled, like when things falling
into place make you aware, for the first, 
they’ve not been in place at all,

as if a question is answered 
before you’d thought to ask,

and so you just get on with it,
just get up 
and live.



the planet in the south that glows
its special glow just after dusk
just above the horizon, holds tight 
to an off-kilter clutch of moons 

invisible to the naked eye, yet 

mirror-dancing with their host 
and the telescope, 

here on the roof.


Poetry happens because 
the innate capacity of words
coming together 

can somehow take us where 
words can’t go—or, from the beginning, 
perhaps, that which moves words 

continues well after words 
reach their limits.

Either can bring us to poem, 
and the next one may lead us
to peace.


And if the point of it all is to feel,
feel our way back to feeling, then 
none of the vast range of feelings
ought be rejected out of hand, ever.

Then yes, everything ever is yes.



Catch a glimmer, even the slightest, 
then good, that’s it, to go with 

or to leave. Too much more said, 
is an altogether different direction.


He’s an older man now, as am I.
The clearest memory I have of him 
is with Kerouac’s “On the Road”

in his back pocket at a party—our kids played
in the co-op nursery. Never more than acquaintance,

we meet at a memorial. Two grey beards, smiling 
over coffee in paper cups, friendly
in memories strikingly warm.

Neither of us work for money anymore, nor
commit too full a calendar—footloose, is the way
he puts it.

And I wonder, this shared sensibility as we age, 
a warm anticipation, that here on out is open-ended, 
currents extending in light, trusting everything.


Time with a teacher
is not always
except maybe
over time.


Stars call me to the back deck tonight,
calling out their names.

In an hour or so, glass and chart
set aside, 

I light incense and call Buddha’s name,
or is it mine?


Saijo says somewhere that it’s the writing
in its totality that sustains—I tend to agree
what reaches the page is good enough
of itself, even if tinkered with, is 
the writing too, as so with the breathing
they speak of, that breathing I think is
here tended to, too, as is the singing,
chanting and speaking, those warm, 
welcome extensions.


Before clearing the horizon, morning’s sun
splashes salmon through low stretching clouds 

streaked pink—deep bedrock promise, 
a grey to bluing sky.


Darkness doesn’t speak
its night-long hold.

The sun, simply touching.

These words, a same
but different weight.


The heat goes on
just as the grandchildren begin to stir,
the dim light heavy with chill. 

The youngest whines, then calms 
under his sister’s comforting tones,

while his elder brother sleeps,
deep in undisturbed indifference.

With all this warmth readily available,
why we continue to turn to the men

remains utterly inexplicable.