This wave touches the shore
just as it should,
that wave touches the shore
just as it should.
You may wait
for a wave that touches
but not as it should
or you can sit
and let the waves
wash over you.
What is there in a yawn
that has time inexorably slow,
flattening notes by some unknown
but ever constant fraction of a tone
so that each lingers painfully before proceeding?
A moment is locked in place,
frozen like Schroedinger’s cat
To know the road ahead
ask those coming back.
— Chinese Proverb
I have progressed to the point
that I no longer mark time
in neat segments based on rotation
of this world about that, now I am
measured against those around me, I
seek those with whom I share an age.
It is best to walk at noon, although
the sun is hottest then, for my shadow
draws inward, less exposed, but
it slowly creeps outward as the sun retreats.
I am of an age with the sun, I see myself
reflected in my children, who call
in the night as I have fled
into my sanctuary, away from yapping dogs.
My sons were, just days ago, standing
jaws clenched, before the batting tees,
they would throw down the bat
in disgust after a swing as the ball
toppled slowly to the ground, now one
sits in his cramped office just out of sight
of the river and mulls that moment
of time before there was time, the other
finds structure in the randomness of thought.
I am of an age with that moment
of time before time
I am of an age with that random thought.
First Appeared in Alembic, Winter, 1999-2000.
They sat on the bench in the park
looking out on the small lake,
two ducks swimming slowly in circles.
“Dawn is the most beautiful moment
of the day, the sun chasing the moon
and setting the sky ablaze,
orange, crimson, flame, there
is simply nothing,” he said,
“in the world quite like it.”
“It is that, but it pales compared
to the beauty of dusk
and the setting sun retreating,
the clouds painted by the master
in orchid, fuchsia, and a depth
of pink only the sun and clouds know,”
she replied, “and each day is different.
An old monk walking by bowed,
nodded and softly said, “but look
to the sky on a cloudless night,
see the moon reflect all the sun
has to offer, all the colors
in the spectrum are there if you
only close your eyes and see them.”
It seems odd now, that he is here,
a place he never intended to be,
as it was a place he could not imagine,
yet he most certainly was here.
If you asked him why he was here,
he would answer that he had to be
somewhere, and here is where it was,
just as your being here is just
as it had to be, for you are here.
He points to a sign over his palette bed,
which simply reads “You Are Here,”
and says, I take it everywhere I go
and it has never been wrong yet.
The bell rings for the evening zazen
and as he assumes his place on the mat,
the Buddha seems to smile and say
to us both, You are where you should be.
There will come a time
she says, when all of this
will matter greatly, the question
is how you will know
that moment has arrived.
I assume, he said, it will
announce itself, or at least
make its presence known.
No doubt, she replied, you
will search for it, but
just like me, you
will find it gone.
If the time is now
how will we know it.
And if we miss it
how will we know
what the consequences are?
The better question
is whether it matters
for if we can be
in each moment
to the extent possible
then nothing is missed
and every moment is now
and there is never
a forgotten memory.