Friday, May 17, 2019

Here and there, April into May

Just as currents eddy and pool round ankles
and hoofs, round the lilt of tongue 

on the waiting face 
of morning’s lake, 

the ears that hear these curls
drink in

the awareness of our living.


After-rain chill, sky glittering blue,
and the hills, there, fresh spring green: 
what else, what other, could I want to be ?


My good friend walks with me, 
asks to see me, but the door is jammed
with words that no longer hold meaning.
Having run too far, too often, I think 
it’s time just to sit.


Not so sure what other to call 
this tiredness, but deep in bones 
that need only sleep. Body’s warmth 
thrown over itself, the rest left to dream.


The wind needs room this morning,
pushing limbs and branches, brushing 
through flowers and grass, leaving
nothing untroubled, nothing of itself 
behind, but what we breathe.


Watching the spider
slowly work its way down
and across 

fully extended bamboo blinds, 
stopping to inspect 

each connecting thread
supporting the whole, 

wondering what in the world 
I’ve managed to learn 
in this life.


In the museum, Monet, an old friend 
again met, echos of articulations
of time and space, color and flavor, 
all remembered, all new.


Pissarro doesn’t allow distance
to deter what exists in the depths
of painted scenes, 
but you have to step back
to see that.


Awaiting take-off, snow and ice
stream and blur the plane’s windows.
Chicago’s version of spring, confusing 
expectations of Washington’s blossoms.


Fundamentals: step out, look up—that’s it !



There’s this
subliminal hum
of recognition.

Even if, even when
going along, that hum
signals going further
or getting off.

The warm-glow feel
of going it alone

found center quiet.


For me, the reach for belief often fails, 
not for lack of want, but lack of root.
For me, doing itself is the surface trace 
of source, thought a layered mist. 
It’s not about making, but finding, 
a different patience, witness, 



Warmth and light from the muted sky
fill the east-facing window as readily as 
full-foliage trees reach into spring. A block
from Metro, our lodgings edge cobblestone
walks in Old Town, digital buzz and hum
rolled under the muscled runs of real trains 
nearby—old, they say, but still here. Like me.


The garbage men service the hillside streets
on Friday mornings—we share this space,
dark and light, winter to spring, summer 
into fall, like this: we pass and wave.

This time, as we passed, low-slung overcast
began to lift and part, as if to reveal
sky’s deeper promises…

but we just waved, anyway.


Canyon Buckeyes show the fulsome circle
summer opens to spring, white pirouettes
of dense petals, deep foliage green
and the dance of senses.


I write with a ballpoint pen
that’s nothing you can discern
from where you sit, any more than
I can tell where these words
that lean along thin blue lines
really originate either— 

even if I sit here thinking it’s me
doing or following, it’s actually perfect,
not purposeful, but actually perfect syncopation, 
continuous happening happening here, 
me-here, wholly-in-part-with, world’s unfolding,

pen drawing, moving hand, sitting, thinking
—all nominally me, mine, words even, 
even if but for a time—but really…

An acquaintance once said his wife 
was a Christian, which he said 
he admired and aspired to, 
if but only inconsistently.

If asked, I assent to being a Buddhist,
but more and more experience
discomfort at saying so of myself—

it’s in part the inconsistency,

but the suspicion too, the conviction (?),
of something other going on,

fundamentally illusive, but fundamental, 
more true, really.


—Masanobu Fukuoka

That cagy old farmer once said this about that: 

“It is like clapping your hands and then arguing about
which is making the sound, the left hand or the right. 
In all contentions there is neither right nor wrong, 
neither good nor bad. All conscious distinctions 

arise at the same time and all are mistaken.”