As a child I would often stare up into the night sky. The stars, the planets, at least the two I knew I could see. My parents didn’t think my behavior odd, they assumed I wanted to be a scientist and explore the universe. I let them believe this. It was far easier than explaining that the alternative was to sit in the living room with them and listen to them bicker about something so minor that happened that day, with no escape from their earthly prison.
It is far less a matter of space
for we have that in profusion
if mostly always beyond reach, but
unnecessary anyway given our pervasive
fear of being alone while always trying
to define our particular uniqueness.
The universe has a vastness we
can never hope to grasp and so
we turn inward, where space is constrained,
and we can imagine impenetrable borders
that exist solely within the mind.
But the dimension that gives rise
to fear and loathing is time, for it
despite its vastness, is always finite
and always, in our deluded eyes
shrinking as the universe expands,
and we know there is a point
when time becomes a deathly singularity.
The universe is more vast
than we could begin to contemplate
forty billion galaxies of
forty billions stars, thrust out
a child, an aged one bent by time
mothers with children in tow,
giants standing above with
names belying their stature.
Sitting here, pen in hand
it is comforting to know
there is another, and another
stretching infinitely, secure
in their uniqueness, in the shadow
of their suns, casting
words into the void.
I called to the moon
and it refused to answer.
I bless the silence.
A galaxy born
Spirals through space while we, here
see only our sun
Deep within my mind
a new universe is born
as an old one dies.
Our purpose is to understand
and then explain
the order of the Universe:
the logic of the neat array of stars
from our centrally located
observation deck, the galaxies
as so many fractals seeking
to hide their organization.
We have no ability to control
and lack the mechanisms
to make all but the most minute
adjustments and then as if
to energize a stray electron
into a higher energy state.
We would like to foretell
but we have no essential premise
on which to erect our framework
just a cornerstone unwilling
to settle in place or time.
We can only recount
what we have learned
cautious that we miss
only events of lesser importance
even if they are prehistory
long before they occur.
Before the beginning
was the beginning.
Published in the May 2004 issue of Vent
Out the plane window
a lake or a sea of clouds
Why does it matter?
during an eye blink
the butterfly spreads its wings
Cats curl in furred sleep
the moon crawls across the sky
a monk awakens
leaves cling to the trees
the rivers flow more slowly
the stone is unmoved
In the deepest, darkest portion of night
we are taught that dreams reside, that they
are not real, figments, fragments of imagination,
woven into an evanescent tapestry
that disappears upon waking, leaving only
a faint shadow to indicate its once presence.
Many like to believe this, for it
relieves them of ownership of dark thoughts
that night can unleash, like dogs of war.
To the dreamer, the dream is no less real
than the experience when awake, more real
on some occasions, so ask yourself
what if the dream is reality and
your waking existence is the fiction
and what is the difference which is correct
or if neither is, and dreams are
all the substance of our universe.
He says we are getting to the point
where we can see almost to the edge
of the universe, see the moment
when all that we know was created,
see gravitational waves cast off
by the collision of neutron stars.
She says that is all well and good,
but why can’t he see that he was
supposed to pick up milk and bread
on the way home, and that they
have to be at the school this night
at seven to meet the teachers.
And, she adds, you do realize
that you neutron stars collided
when the first flowering plants
were appearing on Earth, so
in all likelihood, you can’t
even blame the snake for it all.
an entire flower
and a single rose petal
a whole universe
exists in a drop of dew
two crested ducks pay
no attention to people
When the cup is half full
what more can be added?
In the garden, the moon
can exist in a full cup
or one only half full.
It is the empty cup
that can hold
infinite in capacity.
A reflection on Case 1 of the Shasekishu (Sand and Pebbles)