She says just think of it,
when the cat is twenty you’ll be 87 and I’ll be 92.
I never thought of it
quite that way, of the cat being twenty, I mean.
My cats all died
in their teens, and though I missed them terribly,
I assumed it was
just their time, just how long they should live.
I’ve now thought of myself
being 87, and the cat sitting on my lap
staring into my half
lidded eyes, reminding me to take my afternoon pills.
Walking through a nature preserve
like Wakodahatchee Wetlands you must always keep a sharp eye.
The birds are everywhere, they are
unavoidable and even the alligators, imagining themselves coy are
soon enough easily recognized,
snouts appear just above the surface wary eyes scanning the shore.
Here you are also surrounded
by poems, but they are far more able to hide, among the eggs
the wood stork carefully tends,
in the purple iridescence of the gallinule, trailing behind
the uplifting wings of the great
blue heron as she lifts skyward, and in the spray of feathers
the snowy egrets dangle always
drawing our eyes like a bride’s diaphanous veil, but we, at
a loss for words in the midst
of all of this, cannot see them awaiting us to give them flight
Both are asked
to bring more light into the hall.
rolls up his shade. One’s action is gain one’s action is loss
there is only one shade
there is only one light.
aA reflection on case 26 of the Mumonkan (Gateless Gate) koans.
it was so much easier when I could still
imagine myself a bird, untethered and free to take flight on a whim.
In dreams I often flew, no Icarus
but a raptor, peering down, seeing with a clarity the earth denied me.
Now my roots have taken hold
in the enmeshing soil plunged deep and spread tendrils anchoring me,
and even thought of flight has been
buried deeply in memory, and I am like others of my species, left
to maneuver through my life knowing
that true freedom is waiting, but above and always now out of reach.
aging, birds, Children, Memory, Myth, Nature, Philosophy, Photography, Poem, psychology, Time
A man stands on the peak of a hill,
staring down into the valley below him, but it is not clear what he is staring at.
Standing in the valley, by the bank
of a slowly flowing river, I stare up the tall hill to its peak, and see
the clouds gather around the man
as if soon to swallow him, and I wonder what it is like to be eaten by a cloud.
The river flows slowly by, ignoring
the hill, with the man standing atop its peak, ignoring me standing
on its bank, and ignoring the man
atop the ignored hill, staring at the clouds, awaiting a hearty meal.
clouds drop rain replacing tears locked inside stones and cloth red and blue unseparated still worlds apart orderly ranks all at attention and silence thundering anger a mad world soaked in peace only until midnight.
Publsihed in New Feathers Anthology (Summer 2020) http://www.newfeathersanthology.com/a-day.html
My wife pauses by the placard
in the nature preserve and tells me that what I have been calling grasses are in fact a sedge known as sawgrass.
She points out the warning that
it’s serrated on the edge and earned its name from those who grasped it without knowing or thinking first.
I feign listening but she knows
my mind is elsewhere, knows I often depart conversations suddenly while maintaining a false presence.
She does not know I am 40 years
younger, pouring hydrogen peroxide on the cut deep into the interossei muscles when the glove slipped off
and the yucca I was boldly trying
to pull from the dry, stone like soil had decided this was the moment to extract its final revenge.
We bow our heads
and utter words not to the cicada speaking through a spring night or the beetle crawling slowly across the leaf searching for the edge. We bid the crow silent, the cat mewling his hunger and lust to crawl under a porch awaiting morning, the child to sleep. The stream flows slowly by, carrying a blade of grass and the early fallen leaf.
Published in The Raven’s Perch (August 3, 2020) https://theravensperch.com/prayer-by-louis-faber/
While out for a walk
on a sun filled Spring day if you happen across the Buddha how will you recognize him?
If you offer gassho
to Buddha surely it will be returned, but is it he or merely your reflection off the surface of a still pond? Does this matter to you?
A reflection on case 45 of the Iron Flute Koans
Buddhist, Koan, meditation, mind, Nature, Philosophy, Poem, Religion, seasons, Spring, Zen
Last night, all the romantic
comedies worth watching on Amazon and Netflix having already been seen, many twice
we had no choice but to opt
for a coming of age tale on Netflix accompanied by the mellifluous tones of Sir David Attenborough.
In my dreams last night there was
a debate between the Gentoo and Emperor Penguins as to which was the more enrapturing,
and a Greek chorus of krill suggested
neither was worth our time or effort, but the pod of Right Whales ended their incessant commentary.
As I awoke to the cry of the limpkin
he reminded me that the ice cap is ever shrinking thanks to my kind, so I had best learn a few dirges.
birds, Dream, Humor, language, mind, Nature, Photography, Poem, Science, Time, weather