LOST AND FOUND

He cannot be certain when he lost it. He isn’t even sure where he lost it. He knew he had it, had it for years, and then, once when he looked for it, it was nowhere to be found. He wasn’t all that upset at the loss. It was more that it was familiar, that he was accustomed to it, not that it had in intrinsic or extrinsic value. In fact, he had already replaced it the moment he noticed it was missing. Still he couldn’t help but wonder where it had gone, and why he hadn’t noticed its loss at the moment it occurred. Or had he? But ego could be like that, and it was comforting to know the replacements were stacked up and waiting.

THE LAST TIME

The last time we spoke
you asked me when the end was coming.
I didn’t have a good answer for you,
wasn’t even quite sure what you meant
by the question, the end of what? Of time,
of your life or mine, or merely the end
of a conversation we had been
carrying on for as long
as either of us could remember.
That was some time ago
and I have thought about
your question quite frequently
and seeing you today,
you walking by me
without acknowledging me,
I realize the answer
should have been
and most certainly now is
that the end came
the moment you
started your question.

COGITO

She said, “I truly think
that a large part of your problem
is that you spend too much time
thinking about what other
people think of you.”
He wasn’t inclined to agree,
but she did think that so
he had to give it consideration.
“I don’t think so,” he replied,
“but if you think so, then perhaps.”
“What I think doesn’t matter,”
she said, smiling, “I remember
some of the best advice
I have ever been given,
‘What other people think of me
is simply none of my business.'”

DEAR CASS

She’s getting downright boring,
every night lying up there,
staring down when she decides
to part the clouds, saying nothing,
as though all of the words of praise
for her must come for us, unreturned.
I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised
by her vanity, it is why, after all,
she is up there now, unable to move
and we have to accept that our words
are small salve to her when the gods
invert her, and she is left
to gaze down upon us in her mirror
when she bothers to stop
gazing at her own image, but she says,
“I have all eternity, Poseidon be damned.”

ODE TO THE CAT

I read a poem today
about a cat
and the memory
of my last cat came to mind,
and with it,
the certainty
that cats
have an innate sense
of people which people
utterly lack.
It may be that cats
are completely ignorant
of the masks we wear,
or simply that
they could care less
how we see ourselves
and only measure us
by what we offer them.
In that sense, of course
they are people as well.

DHAMMAPADA

A foolish man sits at the edge
of the pond, his feet
perfectly still in the water.
He stares into the mirrored surface
and sees a fool, smiles
as a ginkgo leaf floats
like a sail on a morning breeze
onto the pool, ripples
radiate out, touching his toes
and he smiles, and the fool
lying beneath smiles.

A foolish man stands
in the road, staring
into the pavement, transfixed.
He stares into the silvered sheen
left by a morning rain
and sees a man of substance
in fine clothes, and man servants
awaiting a command,
and he smiles, and walks on
with the man of substance
on a road with no end
leading nowhere.