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.
He sits, suited in black, with 88
keys at his command,
and we fall silent.
He opens the lock of joy,
the lock of sadness,
the lock of elation,
the lock of tears,
the lock of laughter,
the lock of darkness,
the lock of light,
the lock of surprise,
the lock of compassion,
the lock of love,
and we peer through each door,
unable to enter fully
unable to turn away.
As we walk out, we know
we have tasted Buddha’s promise truth
and we go off in search
of the 63,999 remaining Dharma doors.
As you slowly approach it
it grows perceptibly larger.
This does not surprise you,
for you are familiar with
the principles of physics.
What does surprise you is
that the details grow
ever less clear as you approach,
as though they retreat
under your slow advance.
You think this strange,
wonder what has gone wrong,
question your eyes, and
finally realize that the details
you saw were not there
that it all was, quite simply, what
your mind wished your eyes to see.
A voice clear,
jazz straight up
in six strings
with no surprises,
but sitting next
to my wife and lover
it is what an evening wants
in much the same way
as a night
in the heart of winter
beneath the blanket
pulled up to our chins
the outside world,
having ceased to matter.