Sunday, April 21, 2019

One day...

                          —April poems

And one day the world comes in from somewhere, saying 
something or other about this or that, and, well, a draft pulls 
instead of pushes, and even though you trip on your own
resistance, you’re out there—everything’s changed, no going 

And then later, a long later, maybe, you realize how little
you’ve done on your own, remember how steady the pull 
has been all this while, and how the light has lingered, even 
if scattered sparks, lingered throughout the arching reach, 
the presumed maturity, 

and you feel (you know by its pull), you feel the world wanting 
again, and this time you know 
to lift your feet.


Never just this or that,
always everything.


The moon, just passing full, takes the quiet sky
to the west. No struggle, no other—neither us, nor them. 

Sky’s lead is empty, empty enough for whatever fullness 
might dare to dream.


Mist and rain…

Walking later than usual this morning,
as garbage trucks make their noisy runs,
parents their illegal turns to drop the kids,
as new growth shows past dull green old. 

Unable to figure the so what, or ah so
somehow warm with it all, this morning,
later than usual.


The open eyes of morning call fatigue
into filtered grey light

like freshly washed underwear, clipped 
under loosely stretched line, 

white flapping winds and two wooden pins
determined to stay put, 

till everything is ready to get on
with it.


How many morning walks more,
old man—furtive moments
of unlimited exuberance 

signal pure illusion now, we know—
but take their extended hands anyway,
I say, welcome each next on its own


The parent part never leaves,
so they say, and so it seems as 
true as true can be, as they say
it to be, and I’d say I’d not have it
any other way, not even for a day.


Finding you’ve finally arrived
and it’s where you started

may be classic, but nonetheless
happens—to wit: duh..

thud, foot hits earth, breath
passes nose, both ways,

forever leaving-always returning,
always here but going everywhere,

final exit, a return,
leaving body its return—

Buddha is said to have touched the earth
and said “I”

If he was thirty-five,
what’s taking you so long?


I mean, flowers attend
sun’s doings, which feeds
bee’s needs, which feeds 
flowers doing attending.


Grey overcast dominates,
offering only silent shadow,

asking nothing, making no demand
that anything give 

more than it would
to fullest light,

yet each does—

working harder
for more light, 

most all of us,
is who we are.


The hills in the light just after the sun drops
show of winter, shades of green that reverberate 
so intense one might think golds and browns
would never return, might think it so true as to point 
with certainty at the way of it, and think 

this the mark and fitting end of the song,
only to wonder, perhaps, perchance, 

at some distant, almost imperceptible humming 
still heard.


Primary things
like earth, like breath,
rhythm, motion,
stretch and retract,

sound made, sound heard,
seeing, being seen,



Clouds completely gone, 
crisp and blue and empty sky
carries the train’s voice,
somehow always a surprise—
peripheries of purpose.


For India

The cheap pen
from the expensive college

slides the page no more smooth
than the cheap pen from the school 

and office supplies department 
at the pharmacy,

although the former does admittedly 
exude certain gravitas and pride 

for the grandparent here now 
pushing it along.


The telephone poles 
in town are still made of wood.
The woodpeckers know.


Easter Morning

And where,

when gone,
does wind

go ? 

Monday, April 1, 2019

March poems

Light pouring through the window
into the living room,

passing through comment free, 
touching everything.

Moon’s search-party, 
still here.


I hitchhiked once, when young, 
from the west-reaching arm of Florida,  
to a small beach town 
on the continent’s western edge, 
just beneath Los Angeles.

Most of the details of that stretch of road-
life have long-since slipped into space 
far more grand than the Pacific, 
every last one still vital,

critical components of tidal influence, 
of life enabled 

to feel and to further 
this yet gentle wavelet, 
its own flavor deeper west. 



shelter from the rain
on a vine-tangled branch
of the pine—true to time, true
to place, we, doves and me.


Just when I think I’m lost, breath 
reminds me it’s holding my place.


for Hayden Carruth

“Poet” is a “way of being…” 

Pen speaks love of world
to the page. 

Voice is kissed resistance 
for those who would cover 
it over.


Occasions of contact 
can be arranged, created, 
purchased even. 
Understanding and love 
are different.


Bright sky light blue,
scats of cloud-brush

and beneath rooted feet, 
scattered shadows.

Trees and grasses hold,
while sun climbs.


Rains leave for longer now, warm-breathed light 
between hints of final growls—long mornings waiting 
for clearing skies, satisfied, we pull weeds 
to show spring we’re ready. 


Off to the side, my shadow races,
winner determined by the direction
of the light.


the heart bent 
to quiet-smile release,



makes eye contact.

Palms together chest high, 
elbows either side 
wheelchair arms,
she smiles.

At me, or Buddha,
she doesn’t say.



The true poem 
isn’t about the moment,
it is the moment,
in breath, and out,
in and out.



Morning, watching hills appear
in final trails of night’s rains, mists low 
and thinning, shadows grey under the pen, 
lines and words, haloed peripheries,
lifting black.

To attempt other awarenesses
than those certain happening here,
seems almost ludicrous.

To think to study the self
is to attend to other than this
is to think self away. 

Open attending is foundation—wonder, 
praise, reflection.

Pen scratches silence. Words give
of themselves the silence
that welcomes 
them back.


From out of the house sounds,
my name on her voice
stops my heart.


Everything whispered this morning,
splaying fingers in front of my eyes
that look just like mine.


Salmon-pink’s steady glow in the east
prompts promises of gladness
from the last of winter’s showers.


An open-winged crow
swoops low, lifts, a’lights
a’top the pole, to state its name
to drizzling rains.

Eyes washed clean of sleep, 
I raise my feet above the street
to state my name too.


“A poem is not an expression, nor is it an object. Yet it
somewhat partakes of both. What a poem is

Is never to be known, for which I have learned to be
grateful. But the aspect in which I see my own

Is as the act of love…”

        —Hayden Carruth, from “The Impossible

                        Indispensability of the Art Poetica”