The hawks have been circling
more frequently of late,
but in the early autumn laziness
of merely riding the breezes
that seem to pick up in the mornings,
before the midday sun bids them
be calm so it can make its transit.
By afternoon, they tend to roost
high up in the giant pines, peering
down as the flow of people flows
along the paths seeking to grasp
the fading warmth and last blooms
for a few moments longer, and
as evening approaches the hawks
take flight again, knowing the moon
can move the tides, but is powerless
to change the winds which blow
when and where their sky mother chooses.
There is a precarious balance
we spend much of life
attempting to maintain.
It is like the invisible
border between day and night
dream and forgetting
and we walk the wire
along the precipice
awaiting the arrival
of the sun so that we
can bid farewell
to the dark places
in which our dreams hide.
If you set aside the small fact
that earth is the only inhabitable planet
it’s fairly clear the cosmos gave us
a surprisingly bad deal when the cards were dealt.
It’s true that Mercury and Venus
got no moons, but it wouldn’t much matter
for they can see a sun we can’t
begin to imagine, huge and ever-present.
Even Mars, bloody warrior planet it is,
got two, and it got gypped in the grand scheme.
From there is a wealth and you can be sure
Jovians and Saturnians hardly know
which way to look to see a moon rise and set.
But we have the one, and it is frankly
rather boring, its primary claim to fame
being that it is just the right size
to blot out the sun every now and again,
but the sun never seems amused and quickly returns.
In the middle of the day
you can not see because
the sun is too bright
and may blind you.
At midnight you stumble
searching for light
for you are blind
in the darkness.
What is it you struggle
so hard to see?
A reflection on case 66 of the Shobogenzo (Dogen’s True Dharma Eye)
In the morning
the sun will reach
through our window
and draw us out of sleep.
it sneaks through the clouds
which it pushes aside,
only to retreat again
when we reach out
and try to grasp it.
It is the sun’s caress
we crave, the promise
of a lover yet unmet,
a tease awaiting
They promised rain yesterday.
It did not rain yesterday.
The sky grew dark, the clouds
gathered, convening, no doubt,
to consider rain but clearly
they did not reach a consensus.
They say it will rain today,
but we have no reason at all
to believe them, for they are
wispy and darting around
under the sun’s watchful glare.
But the clouds snicker,
for they know fealty to no star
and are merely waiting
for the right moment, when we
venture out assuming that
there will be no rain today.
Dreams are a place
where the dead are free to walk about,
where they speak in voices
barely recalled, but which seem
so familiar to the ear.
They are willing to engage you
in conversations left unfinished,
you are always surprised
at what they have to say,
at how it is not at all
what you expected or wished from them.
You tolerate this in your dreams
because you know that you will
soon awaken, and the dead
will retreat from the sun
to await the dark night’s return.