Thursday, April 22, 2021

THE DISPOSABLE 


The disposable
line ask for
nothing.

Write something
hard like rock
brought up

by winter's
heave, left
to warm

in spring sun,
permanent,
mythic.


Wednesday, April 21, 2021

IN SOME LANGUAGE (41) 


In some language
the word for heaven
also means plum blossom.



Tuesday, April 20, 2021

THIS PLACE 


This place was
this place before

it had a name
and it will be

this place long
after we are

forgotten.



Monday, April 19, 2021

IN SOME LANGUAGE (40) 


In some language
the word for good-bye
also means
Baby, don't go.



Sunday, April 18, 2021

TEN OLD MONK POEMS (11) 


IF YOU DON'T

If you don't
know what it is,

the old monk says,
don't waste it.

~

HOW MUCH

How much can you endure,
the old monk asked them.

How pure is your heart?

~

AT THE THEATER

The old monk went
to the theater.

Why do you hang
around here,

they asked him.
He said: I don't want

to miss the feature.

~

WRESTLING

Wrestling the poem,
the old monk says,

I don't give up
until it does.

~

THE OLD MONK'S SERMON

Sometimes
what's most dear

we don't know
we have.

~

TURN OUT THE LIGHTS

Turn out the lights
before you're done,
the old monk said.

You'll see things
differently.

~

IF IT WORKS

If it works,
the old monk said,
keep working it
til it won't.

~

IF WHAT YOU WANT

If what you want
is nothing,
the old monk said,

that's something
you can get.

~

CROW GOES

Crow goes
where coyote can't.

Go with crow,
the old monk says.

~

ASKED ABOUT PREACHERS

Asked about preachers
the old monk said,

don't get me started.

~


IN SOME LANGUAGE (39) 


In some language
the word for rocking chair
also means wisdom.



Saturday, April 17, 2021

WE ARE 


We are nothing but
a darkness between the atoms

which hold us together.
That is to say,

we are the light
which consumes all things.



IN SOME LANGUAGE (38) 


In some language
the word for ten thousand
also means sparrows.




Friday, April 16, 2021

ALL THE UNIVERSE 


All the universe
but one bubble
in a swirling pot
beyond us. So much

more than we know,
those other places
we cannot reach.

All the life and death
and resurrection
of endless others,
we think it matters.

This universe, too,
this moment, matters,
until it doesn't.



IN SOME LANGUAGE (37) 


In some language
the word for wind
also means music.



Thursday, April 15, 2021

THIS TOO 


This too shall pass,
this day, this earth,
this universe,

a dust mote,
light and light's
disappearance.

The star we saw
last night, was it
there as we looked,

or was it only
its memory.



IN SOME LANGUAGE (36) 


In some language
the word for father
also means stranger.



Wednesday, April 14, 2021

STONES AND STARS 


Stones left in the spring
field by winter heave.

Tough grass just green
and the budding leaves

on trees. Mudded earth.
The run of river.

The wind, sun, and sky,
and at night the stars.

Of these we come
and to them go.



IN SOME LANGUAGE (35) 


In some language
the word for word
also means lie.



Tuesday, April 13, 2021

THIS MUSIC 


Branches of the cedar,
waving arms, a conductor

leading the music
where it goes. Or, no,

it's music leading the
conductor, the branches.



HAWK. WIND. 


Hawk. Wind.
Words mean

what words mean.
You don't

always need
a dictionary.



Monday, April 12, 2021

THE SOURCE 


The source
of her

mystery,
always

where she
turns back

upon
herself.



RED BUDS 


Red buds
of the silver maples

making promises
to the wind.



Sunday, April 11, 2021

TEN OLD MONK POEMS (10) 

 WINE AND HOLINESS

Wine and holiness
are my companions,

the old monk says --
one more than the other.

~

MY HEART

My heart has
always been lazy,
the old monk says.

Heaven is
perfect for me.

~

HEAVEN WILL BE

Heaven will be home
for the homeless,
the old monk says.

Wait for it, brothers.
Wait for it, sun
on the mountain.

~

THE STARS ARE

The stars are patient
with the night,
the old monk says.

The wind in the pines,
not so much.

~

YOU CAN ASK

You can ask the tiger,
the old monk says,

but you might not like
what he has to say.

~

WHAT THE MOUNTAIN

What the mountain
doesn't say,
you don't want
to hear,
the old monk says.

~

IN THE DARKNESS

In the darkness
is where darkness
hides itself,
the old monk says.

~

ONE STANDS

One stands
on the mountain

where no one
is seen,

the old monk says.
One hears

voices
in the distance

and watches
the late afternoon

light enter
the woods,

the air glowing
green above

the moss.
Here comes old

Wang Wei himself.
Say good evening.

~

OH, YES

Oh, yes, sometimes
I confuse myself

with myself
and don't know

which way to go,
the old monk said.

And sometimes
confusion is

just what I need
to find the way.

~

OF ALL THE STARS

Of all the stars,
the old monk says,

not even
the Great Attractor

is the greatest,
for it, too, is

being pulled
even farther

into darkness --
we don't know

by what, as we
are unable to

see past God and
God's companions.

~



IN SOME LANGUAGE (34) 


In some language
the word for midnight
also means great silence.



Saturday, April 10, 2021

ADDRESS 


Address
the naked

loveliness
naked.

Seize
the day.



CROWS FLYING 


Crows flying
sideways in
March wind --

nothing lost,
nothing gained.



Friday, April 09, 2021

THE MORE 


The more
you say it

the less
it means.



IN SOME LANGUAGE (33) 


In some language
the word for wind
also means mischief.



Thursday, April 08, 2021

PALE / AS 


Pale
as a red-tail
in autumn,

November
sky.



A WIND 


A wind
which sweeps
your shadow away.



Wednesday, April 07, 2021

WHAT WE KNOW 

 
What we know
of wonder is

already
in the heart.



IN SOME LANGUAGE (32) 

 
In some language
the word for flying
also means falling.



Tuesday, April 06, 2021

A PROMISE 

 
A promise
like water

finding
its level.



A WIND 


A wind
which sweeps against

the darkness
this morning.



Monday, April 05, 2021

SOME MEDITATIONS FROM EARLY APRIL 


(1)
What the
poem
depends on:

the pain
which begins and
ends it.


(2)
What we can be:
a matter of scale.

Within us, universes.
Beyond us, more.


(3)
We want to be
mountains.

We want to be
stones

warmed by the sun.


(4)
Even where
there is no

light, there must
be an idea

of light. Hope
demands it.


(5)
How cold
that particle
of light

from a star
three quarters
of the way

back to the
Big Bang, still
moving towards

us at the
speed of what,
and we see it

only now.
How old
was it then

when God said
Let there be
and now it is

we who are
the stuff of stars.


(6)
What, you think such words
want for us to find them?

No, they weren't there at
all, until just now.



IN SOME LANGUAGE (31) 


In some language
the word for language
also means stumble.



Sunday, April 04, 2021

TEN OLD MONK POEMS (9) 

 IN THE DARKNESS

In the darkness
any star's light

will do,
the old monk says.

Let it
shine on you.

~

IF YOU UNDERSTOOD

If you understood,
the old monk said,

we wouldn't even
be talking.

~

IT DOES TAKE

It does take much darkness
to scare up a poem,
the old monk said.

~

THE OLD MONK'S STORY

We must be who we are,
the fly said to the frog.
The frog said Gulp.

~

A POEM'S LIKE

A poem's like a joke
that's really hard to tell,
the old monk said.

~

THE MONK LIVES

The monk lives his
holy silence.

Even the deer
in the shadow

knows the saint's
great patience.

~

HE COULD

He could give it all
up for silence,

the old monk said,
speaking of another

old poet. Well,
except for the wind

and the music
and maybe the poems.

O, and chasing
the women, on the off

chance he'd catch one.

~

HOW MANY

How many tricks can you do,
they asked the old monk.

How many cards are in the deck,
he responded.

~

THE GALLOPING STARS

The galloping stars,
the old monk says,

all those horses
running away and

not coming back.

~

WHAT DO

What do
I have to

tell myself
so I know

what I mean,
the old monk

wondered.

~



CROWS 


Crows
over the cornfield.

Blue sky.
Daytime moon.

If this were
a painting

that's what it means.



Saturday, April 03, 2021

DRIED STALKS 


Dried stalks wait
the winter

wind. Snow will
grace their

beauty, then
bury them.

None hopes
for more, yet some

remember spring.



IN SOME LANGUAGE (30) 


In some language
the word for fire
also means love.



Friday, April 02, 2021

EXPECT NOTHING 


Expect nothing
and morning

will bring joy.
We know that,

yet we don't.
Look away,

then look back:
there is hawk,

there is fox,
coyote

standing side-
wise to hope.



THE LANGUAGE 


The language
the poem loves
is rooted,

as the old pine
holds the earth,

as the moon
holds the pine.



Thursday, April 01, 2021

THE WORLD HOLDS 


The world holds
what the world

holds but it
cannot hold

everything
so the trees

let go and
wind takes leaves

and light takes
the darkness.

Joy sends sorrow
down the road.



IN SOME LANGUAGE (29) 


In some language
the word for listen
also means silence.



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