Source

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Often while reading,

I scan the words,

turn the pages,

and then the book

vanishes, and I vanish,

aware of nothing.

 

To hold nothing,

and have nothing hold,

I desire this freedom–

a breath unnoticed,

as it is

ubiquitous:

 

Radiant, without center,

I cannot name

my discontent.

A wind, at my ear,

stills as I turn;

yet, still’s nearby.

 

(November 4, 2018)

Snapshot

source

 

As laconic waves lap the shore,

Children’s laughter catches the breeze;

And seagulls’ cries pierce the sky.

 

In the moment before it happens,

No one notices the clouds overhead

Casting shadows on the ground.

 

Recently, I saw an old photograph—

A typical summer beach scene:

Two young blonde women lean over

 

A railing in modest bathing suits.

They look out over the crowded beach

Toward the soft clouds on the horizon.

 

Everyone seems happy. Everyone

Exists in the moment, oblivious

To the candid moment they are in.

 

The caption reads: Germany, 1936.

It could have been any day;

It could have been today.

 

 

*(historical note: Dachau opened in March, 1933)

 

 

(October 15, 2018)

Ballistics

volleyball-serving

The young girl thinks

constantly of the proper

manner to serve

a volleyball true.

 

The smack-smack

of leather against

the polished wood floor

dominates and supersedes

 

the hard-lined proofs

of geometry; the arc

and vector, with

the slightest bump,

 

returns her to the game’s

concrete abstractions.

 

(September 19, 2018)

Where One Learns as What One Learns

Unknown

 

My old tai chi master

watched his students

study their college texts,

then laughed explosively

into the silence

of the courtyard,

our open air dojo.

We all looked up

like gazelle’s scenting

the air. He laughed

again, then said,

“There should be a book

on how to watch clouds.”

We looked at him quizzically.

“All it would say

on every page—

Look Up!”

 

(August 28, 2018)

sculpture

Stone-carving-gwlalior-960x598

 

“chiseller of inaccuracies”

–Fernando Pessoa

 

I would not speak

if I knew what to say.

There would be no need

to form words around

an unrealized dream.

It is the unsaid

which must be given

shape; which calls us

from its shapeless dark

to speak into existence

what we cannot know.

Yet, I know so little

about so much, I must

speak about it all.

I start where I am

which is always here.

First, I must listen,

discern the shapes

before I can speak.

My words carve out

what is there

from what is not

as the silence unfolds

a new kind of truth.

 

(August 23, 2018)

Perpetual Reinterpretation Machine

dark-forest-2

 

It is familiar enough

to be familiar, but no

more: a scratch in the dark

which stops when you stop

to listen to what you think

is a sound somewhere nearby,

but it’s just you thinking

in the silence to the dark.

It’s absence breathes heavily

as if aroused with metaphor

still clinging to its half-formed kiss.

It waits on memory to form

a shape which conforms to desire’s

simple reduction to a truth.

 

(August 17, 2018)

 

 

 

Right Here Where We Are

 

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There are too many trees

in this forest for a trail

to easily follow home,

too many slavering wolves

to pay attention to the way.

 

Often, I tell stories without

telling stories as I teach.

Who has the time for hidden

messages? The metaphor’s too often

lost in the ubiquitous as it is .

 

Like now, one should mark this

turn on the path so we might

return again later as different

people who are no longer lost.

 

Of course, that would require

attention to where we are

now— accepting what’s here

as the only place to know,

and the only way we can be.

 

There is no one hiding

behind the trees, no fairies

dancing circles in the dark.

There are only our words

right here where we are.

 

(August 7, 2018)