Thursday, May 19, 2016

Honshu--April to May

Because light,

of the world
gather it
 for us
 to see.



The writing, for me, says more
than the written.

Words bang around
as best they can, push

and probe; 
but what they know 

is nearly 
never said

and what they say
is mostly missed.

The writing itself
is clearer than this.



on day three in Tokyo, a long walk without getting lost
goes a long way to settle the senses. Trains sound
less foreign now, people wait for signals, for breakfasts
of fish from venders and generally appear to ignore
the grey-beard gaijin passing by—we’ve arrived.


Iris in the royal gardens
is said to signal early summer,
but late spring rains slake the thirst
of violet-rimmed tongues,
choked with gold.


Mists and clouds suddenly rush aside

to reveal Fuji, 

buck naked, under a hat 

of the whitest snow.


At Hokone Inn
at sunrise, the public bath 
washed away the night.



Multiple temples nestle in the wooded foothills
on the eastern edge of town—stone Buddhas watch,
large bells, quiet and ready, waiting the streets,
the freshly leafed trees, almost as if, in first light
only the river moves. 



Second only to Fuji is the Hakusan range,
pure, sacred, covered with snow and run through 
with the river Sho—Shokawa, river of a hundred miles,
plumbs, penetrates and tunnels deep, blessed 
with prayer and spring-borne petals.


The Kyoto National Museum

celebrates Zen forms. Old friends
show up of course, though we don’t talk 
so much as smile, nod and bow—reminds me
how neglectful I’ve been; but no one mentions

this, nor the sense of warmth coursing 
the crowd, that one form, for me, 

that continues to stick, impossible, so it seems, 
to shake: Buddha’s call, there even if 

no one shows.


Sometimes wind sings
through others’ voices. Birds
take it where they can, give it back
with gusto. Others think of it
as their own, have to be taught.

In time, we all learn—the blessed
do so a bit sooner.


Tokyo lets us go today,
the gentle release

of acquaintance 
turned friend.


Found the well last night,
an open-centered spring, deep
in swimming dreams,

a silent illuminating presence,
not still, nothing shown upon, just 


The heart falls back 
on itself; first trust there,
then follows the rest.


Recognition by name is nearly everything.
But witness, claiming only presence, 
comes closer. 


May 10th, at 10:30 evening time, the moon
high in the west, fully half-way to full,

freely blankets the world at large
in unbinding silvered light.


Resting on the slope of the shell mound in Buckeye Canyon 
in a bouquet of a singular flower reminiscent of lupine, 

bright white and violet, with dusted leaves, differently shaped.
Getting close, getting to the ground to press this vision

to memory, I remember Thoreau—curious intentions

flowering with poems of joy and delight.

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