RHINOCEROS

If I ask you to bring me
an atom of oxygen, where
will you search for it, how
will you isolate it, so that
you have captured
a single atom
that you can bring
in response to my request?
It may take some time
and great effort
to satisfy my desire.
Or you may simply
smile and tell me
to breathe and choose
the atom I wish
from the multitude
you have provided.


A reflection on case 3 of Bring Me the Rhinoceros (koans).

OCTOBER

There is an infinite space
inside an atom, a massive void
into which universes tumble
and stars and planets are born.
Outside, the maple leaves
burning flame and crimson
spiral to the lawn, which
waits to receive them.
Autumn is the season
when the earth prepares to die
and it is left to us
to prepare the gravesite.
The white squirrel stands
on the fence rail, defying
me to find my camera,
his latest nut husks
slowly staining the concrete
of the walk. And yet
we cling to the fleeting sun
as it traverses horizons
for winter brings nothing
and asks even less.