A single snowy egret sits
on the lowest branch of a long
barren tree, where hours from now
a thousand birds will arrive
for still another evening and night.
He stares at me as I am mindfully
vacuuming, watching carefully.
I pause and ask if by chance he
is a Buddha and he lifts his long neck
and peers around in all directions.
I repeat my question, and he
lifts one wing, which I know
to be his way of saying, “I,
like you, am imbued with Buddha
nature, and I with mother
nature as well, and if you doubt me
ask one of the countless
Bodhisattvas who will arrive
in hours to study the Dharma
well into what will be a wet night.
Nature abhors a vacuum
a fact not lost on God, who spent
considerable time filling voids
and creating vessels, pots
and the odd variety of containers,
some quite will suited to their contents
and others, man as a shining example,
illogical, and worse still, leaky
so that once packed with thought and emotion
it spends years dribbling itself away
until there is only a void,
and abhorred by nature, it collapses on itself.
I cast forth words into my own void,
trying to define its limits, to give it shape,
to circumscribe a piece of abyss, and once
offset, to fill it, to fortify it against
the intense pressures of entropy.
The work of creation is continuous,
practice until you can do it without thinking,
until you can do it devoid of focus,
for then you may master it, and no longer
need to continue, to press on, you will
capture it and pen it, there will be
no need to wrestle with it, it will
exist in stasis, as it was in the beginning
before the tinkerer came along, as it was
when he rested, with no self-replicating systems
to fill the lapse when time was neither line
nor arrow, but point, jot, without dimension
and without content.