I am compiling a list, ever so slowly,
of places I still want to visit,
and you may be surprised to find
that Paris, London and Madrid
are nowhere to be found.
It isn’t that they lack beauty, charm
and countless things to see and do,
it is simply that they have been usurped
by other places commanding my attention.
I’ve been to Zeeb and Pawpaw, if
driving by on the interstate counts,
and I am certain in Michigan it must,
but I do need a good laugh at times,
and Yeehaw Junction just might
satisfy my need perfectly, and, failing
that, there is always Surprise and Carefree,
and if I want to lose myself for a while
Nowhere is waiting patiently for me,
although I have heard it’s a bit hard to find.
No, what I really need is Happy Corner,
and from there, as I age I know I must
eventually, end up in Truth or Consequences.
The moment you are certain
that you know where
you are going
is the precise moment
at which you become totally lost.
The moment you realize
that you have little idea
where you are and none
about where you will end up
is when you found yourself.
At this moment you are here
which was there a moment ago
and will be there a moment from now
even if you do not move, so it
is easier to say you are nowhere, always.
It is a large boulder in the middle of a rutted path. That path leads nowhere in particular. It comes to an end at the edge of what appears to be a dense forest. Several trees are posted with “Do Not Trespass” signs, long faded until you must stare to make out the words. The forest is foreboding, so it is not clear if anyone would willingly enter. Few ever come down the path. Fewer still make it to its end. The large boulder has been here for centuries. It stares up at the sky, in amazement.
There are those desperately searching,
who stumble along the way, tripping
over the dharma gems lying in their path.
Others proceed slowly, pausing
to examine each pebble, each twig
uncertain if it, just possibly,
was the key to enlightenment.
I wander along, going nowhere, knowing
that is where the path must lead,
and I am always where the path
and I must intersect in time and space.
A young child seeing this
merely smiles and returns
to his seat beneath the Bodhi tree.
There is a man standing at a bus stop. He waits at this bus stop each day, regardless of the weather. He is waiting patiently for a bus that will not come, the bus line was discontinued many months ago. He has a cast on his leg, but it doesn’t seem to bother him. It is old looking and you suspect the break is healed, but he hasn’t gotten around to having the cast cut off. I consider for a moment at least stopping and offering him a ride. I know he will decline. He knows the bus will not come, but he is going nowhere, and here is where you catch the bus going there.
It stands at the end
of a very long hallway
white walls, naked
like giant canvasses
awaiting the overdue artist.
There are no doorways
off this corridor, just
the one behind you
through which you entered
what now seems hours ago.
You stand as though rooted
to the polished marble floor,
your legs leaden, to move
would somehow rip you free
of your only mooring
and you think that you might
float off like a balloon,
its white string slipping
through the fingers of a child.
It rises gracefully, a white
marble staircase, its steps
visible only by the faint
shadows they cast, each
on its neighbor. Railing
and its balusters are the white
of clouds with no thought of rain
and when you stare it seems
to undulate gently, as if
drawing in and letting out breath.
You have no idea where it goes,
aren’t sure if you want to know.
It goes where it must,
no farther, you think, like
the walls of the house that
rise just high enough
to contain it, and you aren’t sure
it leads anywhere, nor do you
care at this particular moment.
Is it to carry others up
or to bring them down, or
just, perhaps to sit alone
and the end of a very long
hallway, white walls naked
pure, needing nothing, no one.