Monday, May 30, 2016

When Up is Down (guest post by E. Dōgen)

Perhaps when up looks up, up is down.

Maybe when down looks down, down is up.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Cloud Within a Cloud

Perhaps there will be a soft, murmuring voice in the sound of the just-after. Nothing you can put your finger on, or name, or run to tell your friends about. A cloud will appear at the axis of heaven and earth, a hovering veil carrying the possibility of rain and the promise of life. Portal, or dark auspice? Though the answer is not revealed, it is not hidden, much as the bird’s path is the forest when dewdrops wet the early morning moon.

Maybe as we enter the cloud the reason we don’t see, hear or know of it is that it is not anything remarkable. Yet it forms the circle of our way and is never cut off. It follows the stream within, passing through us as the tea and rice of our daily activity. We set out to follow it. Is this old age, or not?

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Bench Faces the Lake

Perhaps far out on the lake three small sailboats glide, tight white triangles of light no warm wind can loosen. Today the lake shimmers with the glossy blue backs of hungry swallows skimming the surface of the water. 

Maybe a line of geese walk single file across the picnic grounds. Reaching the edge of the lake they slide over rocks and slip in without a sound to join ducks and swans gathering by the dock. One handsome drake with colorful plumage makes way for a white goose with a rough bump on her beak. One brown female mallard is smaller than all the others.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Last of the Last (collaboration with Anna Kamieńska)

Perhaps as I look through my file of recently written poems, I read the last line of the last poem as if it were meant to be the last. How will it sound then? Will it reveal to me the meaning of all?

Maybe as we rush to the final point, the active gift of gathering impressions eventually disappears into nothing until only ashes of words remain. Poems pass through us like air, for this you don’t need more than a few words the cool breeze tells me. Arguments, disappointments, losses, suffering – this isn’t punishment, it’s almost a favor. Otherwise the poem would disappear and life fly away, requiring a more difficult clarity, a more imperfect order.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Tomorrow Never Comes

Perhaps the sky calls me, the wind calls me, the moon and stars call me. The dance of the fountain calls me. Smiles call me. Tears call me. A faint melody calls me. Come, come! Everywhere and everything calls me, everyone that longs to fall in love with a lullaby, the length of a rainy day, the seven clouds above on the sky’s top floor.

Maybe when to be contained so joyfully in the world’s beam is a pleasant entrapment, dear feet and hands, lips and eyes, remember, it’s the right of all that live to have you here. Hiding in the pillow next to you, I hold myself tightly and whisper softly into my own ear, my mouth half-closed. It's as if something long awaited was just about to happen as I cradle my head in the hand of a name my mother used to call me - a beautiful word remembered from long ago.