There is nothing like, no words to adequately describe, that moment when a cloud- hazed sun lingers wishfully just above the horizon, grasping the sky with brilliant talons of light, fearing becoming lost in a darkness that will, on this night of the new moon, engulf us all in its inky shroud.
We know, or pray, the sun will return in hours, just as the sun knows its work is never done so long as it has light to give, hoping that final collapse is eons away.
As it finally settles beyond sight, we smile, retreat to the table and consume our dinner and wine, our daily companion forgotten until its dawning return.
Would it surprise you to learn that like most writers, I have spent more than a little guilty time trying to imagine what you look like, what you know you should be doing while you are reading this poem.
And I do wish I couild see your face as you read it, knowing it is a conversation where you want to speak, to tell me that you like my work, that reading me is a complete and utter waste of time, but you cannot, so I will conclude that you do like my work or else you would not be reading this in the first place.
He found the cup by the curb one morning walking to the bus. He rarely notice things on his walk, thinking always about the day ahead. But this day he saw it, picked it up and put it in his messenger bag intending to clean it later, when he got home after work. He had no idea why he wanted it. It wasn’t particularly pretty, a drab red with a mark where a decal had long ago peeled away. He forgot it, until he found it in his bag several days later, he washed it and placed it on a special shelf in his kitchen cabinet. The shelf was reserved for things he found with which he intended to do something, but that something had not yet happened. He knew something was missing from the shelf, so he took a selfie, printed it and placed it on the shelf.
As you stoop to pick up fallen leaves are you cleaning spring, summer or autumn? What seasons are deep within the winter branch? How does your work and that of the tree truly differ, and what leaves do you shed?
A reflection on case 83 of the Shobogenzo (Dogen’s True Dharma Eye)
She wants to know if I want to her gloves while planting so I don’t get dirt deep in my skin and under my nails. There is no way I can explain to her there is a certain joy in placing my fingers into the just wet soil, in moving it with my hands, squeezing small clods of earth, watching bits of soil fall away. It is certainly dirty work but I know that this is as close as I can get to the earth from which I came without engaging in that final, eternal intimacy.
The once gods have been reduced
again to mere mortals
and find the change disquieting.
Just the other day I saw Hermes
meandering along Fifth Avenue
pausing to look at scarves in a window
of a store he never imagined.
Even the once great queen
finds herself behaving like
a love-struck teenager.
One who bred desire now works
as a hack writer for a card company,
a blow to his psyche more
than anyone can imagine.
Even the nameless one
has been seen working behind
the register at Walmart
thankful for the extra hours
as the holiday season approaches.
We no longer aspire to be gods,
it is too much work and there is
simply no payoff.
It has far less to do with the casting of the net, far more to do with the reeling it in. The spider wishes to work in peace weaving her web, does not desire to be seen. For her this is work and it is not until done, or as done as she chooses, that she can sit at its hub. Spiders are patient, much like fishermen, knowing time is not the enemy but merely a construct to mark the space between now and the catch, from which both spider and fisherman derive life.
Hope lies, she says, somewhere between anticipation and boredom, and in the daily muck and mire so few want to look closely enough to discover its presence, though it promises deeply desired rewards. He says he prefers faith, for it requires less work, just state the desired outcome and believe, as deeply as you can, that it will result in due course. She says that the differences between them are too great, and the time has come to split from each other, and she has faith he will handle the split well. He is shocked and says that he only hopes that she will come to her senses and stay.