He always paid passing attention to the coconut palms.
It wasn’t that they were so attractive as to merit attention.
Quite the contrary, they were remarkable ordinary as palms go.
But he knew that if the drivers here didn’t get him,
a ill-timed coconut leaping from a palm
would be pleased to do the job.
And that was just too horrid a way to go.
He could see the obit: “Killed by an angry coconut
whose natural gravitational journey
he had the temerity to interrupt.”
Only the ducks remain,
and they aren’t saying.
Ask a Muscovy where
all the ibis have gone
and he will say, “good riddance,
they’re ugly and get in the way.”
Ask of the pelicans
and they will remind you
that now there are more fish,
and they’ll be back eventually,
but things are much calmer
in their absence.
Anyway, they say,
the moorhens are still here,
but thank heavens the coots
have gotten a room
to do their mating this year.
And for a moment, in this senior
community, we think
they are speaking of us.
Does coyote come down
the mountain, or does
the mountain rise up
Do either hear
of the Temple bell?
Pull on the robe
against the heat,
tie tight the obi
to be freed
of the leash.
A reflection on case 16 of the Mumonkan (Gateless Gate)
In the park
the ginkgoes, male
and female, separated
by the path, are putting
on their leaves.
Soon the squirrels,
on their branches
to watch them mating.
It is a precarious balance, really,
more an exercise in tottering and teetering
than and standing still.
Some prefer stasis, others,
I included, find it leads inevitably
to a loss of energy, to an entropy
from which it is difficult to escape.
I don’t walk along the edge
of the precipice, but I do peer over
amazed at what lies below,
that I hope to never see up close.
It is a precarious balance,
but one that can be maintained
if you just close your eyes
and sense what actually lies
around and beneath you.
It is incredibly frustrating that no matter how long I spend in discussion with the egret, he will tell me nothing of his life, of what it is like to be able to perch on long legs, and then take glorious flight. The limpkin will speak endlessly on this topic, but he really has nothing to say of any importance. Still, I’m not giving up hope, for a friend said that he had it on good authority from a passing wood stork that the egret is planning to write a tell all book, once he figures out how to use a computer.
It has rained for uncounted days on end
and we half expect one of our neighbors
to begin building an ark, so we look
through the falling drops for pets to line up
in double file ranks, seeking selection
for a journey they know must be coming.
Overhead, the dove sits in the maple
knowing his time to star will soon arrive
but unsure where there could possibly be
a Russian olive tree within flight range
but then, as the sewer drains overflow
he knows any branch will complete his work.
The sun finally appeared this morning
and the weatherman now predicts a drought.