Ikkyu Reiterations: After a Few Days Alone

Dew upon the grass,

the moon open to the sky,

for years we sing our song together.

Rain and tears flow through my heart

only to vanish in the river’s flow. 

Outside the tree’s branches

reach into the dark night.

(August 23, 2022)

Ikkyu Reiterations:  and which part of that is now

Having returned a cow

with my horns clipped,

I chew my straw sardonically,

as my sad-brown eyes survey

the undulant fields.


The cow herd pats my neck,

looks across the open field,

and asks me, a mere cow,

with a casual disregard,

“What’s this?” then walks away.


I have no language to unlock

this moment from time now.

Each song ends with desire,

a flutter of a solitary bird

falling from a tree.

(August 10, 2022)

Time and Integrity

I crawled to earth

gasping for air;

I am no more now

than who I once was.

I’ve maintained myself

in memory’s traces,

tucked between the hours

and the tired minutes.

Centuries passed slowly,

like summer afternoon

shadows thicken over

slovenly trimmed lawns.

(August 6, 2022)

to trust

to throw into the fire

the better part of you


your heart as sacrifice

to the life desired


secure in the arms

of your clarity


like a child held

tight against the night


secure no danger lurks

beyond the fire’s edge


where the shadows flicker

with insidious pleasure


(August 4, 2022)

Sonnet

My voices echo within a labyrinth.

Scraps of some other’s stories without form

return as someone else’s dark whispers

where all our monsters are of my making.

My lies breathe wetly in the dark where

I take up my veins like a woolen skein

to braid these lonely secrets from my heart

to some broken cross I drag though the night.

There are not any guides to trace the way,

no straight lines to unravel  obliquely

as if some kind of redemption were there

waiting for love and forgiveness for all.


Hope is the final lie, the last true lie:

the sun breaks over the trees without us.