Wednesday, August 21, 2019

"One should not neglect one's own welfare for that of someone else, however great..."
Dhammapada 12.166







Monday, August 19, 2019

GozoCiné “奄美フィルム―ミホさん追悼 Amami Film: In Memory of Miho-san.” 2007, 14 minutes. Courtesy of Osiris. Special thanks to Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival. English subtitles: Mizuno Sachiko. © 2014 Yoshimasu Gozo.

The World: Even if previously careless, when one later stops being careless, such a person illuminates the world, like the moon breaking away from a cloud.
Dhammapada 13.172



The demolition of the Baldoni house began today. At seven in the morning, the crew arrived. First, they cut down the two pines that flanked the front door.  The air smelled of them all morning, better than the candle by the bed I burn these cool nights. More trees followed. 

The front door removed and, sledgehammers in hand, three men entered to battle plaster, wood, and metal.

Grim work, killing a house.

Later, after workers left for the day, I thought back on those who had lived in that old, honest house. First I recalled an aging Italian immigrant, landlord to a young couple. Childless, he left the house to them in his will.  That couple, the Baldonis, came from a family of local accordion makers. They raised children in that house, planted fine old red roses, and the twin front pines. Landlords then themselves, they let to a Vietnam vet, an amateur actor. Upstairs lived an assistant soccer coach and his lonely girlfriend, who departed separately. Then followed a long and blurry succession of engineering students, recent graduates, and office workers. Sold to its present owner, a bank, the house was vacant for a few years.

An old brick place I have called neighbor since moving here blinks once, twice.

Its doorless front entry now gapes, wide and toothless. Windows have been wrenched out for resale or refuse.  I am watching its decomposition over days.

It's a noisy process, this blinding, muting, gutting, shunting the domestic into the ground.








Thursday, August 15, 2019

Evil: If a person does good, let them keep on doing it. Let them create an inclination to it.
The accumulation of good means happiness.
9.118 Dhammapada


Full sleep changes mornings.
I awake without an ache,
mind clear, hear, as always, birds.



Wednesday, August 14, 2019

children play in a park,
a mouse runs for tall grass
empty nets
shrugged off by trees
these are moments from yesterday's class
Children share
their own ideas about
insects, frogs
reminding
they
listen, look, do,
with
few predictable
associations.



Monday, August 12, 2019

Navvies channel water, fletchers fashion arrows, and carpenters work on wood, but the wise disciple themselves.
Dhammapada 6.80


What I wish is this
that threads
don't lead
but weave.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Something truly upsetting happens, is revealed.

To whom do I turn?

Do I turn at all?

The first anxiety rolls in like the tide.

I ride it by walking.

Then adrift like a ship, I sift and sort through.

New situation.

Find quiet.

Float out.


Thursday, August 8, 2019

It may be that what we want
and what we need
exceed perceptions,
are glitched into obscurity
by the recurrent insecurities
of our characters.

Am I good enough?
Am I a failure?
These are useless preoccupations,
distractions.
Let go.

Sometimes in walking and watching a fine day unfold, I stumble.
Tests of physical coordination perplex me.

Last night I sat in a dark room, listening to the wind
run through the studio,
pushing against paper paintings,
passing through the glue bottles,
fussing over tabletops.

Later, I made ink from Japanese charcoal.
Crushing tree with a stone against glass, I passed water and ash through a cloth,
stirring in white vinegar,
drop by drop.
The ink looked thin, malnourished, a flop.
I stopped.
Today the grey of yesterday turns black,
back to char, usable if a little gritty.

The cardinals, male, have been singing quite a lot this morning.
One sweet fellow accompanies snare-brushed sounds
found around the intersection at the bottom of the hill.
It's a good day for a song,
with long cooler hours ahead.




Monday, August 5, 2019



Dhammapada says no sorrow, no fear.
It's clear I have a long way to go.


What miracle am I waiting for?


shunyata
shunyata
shunyata




(Dhammapada 16.215)

Thursday, August 1, 2019

waterdogged

In her dream,
a yellow dog,
made of water,
is a
stream
spirit
spitting
at her.

After that,
she's in a spat
with an angry man
who is repeatedly hitting her.

The waterdog,
waterlogged,
leaps from his stream,
takes
him
down and into the water
where
this man drowns.

Then her saved women's soul rolls over into the dog's.


Thank god,
she thinks,
for odd
dreams
and
a soggy dog.


new moon


a rabbit runs
another done
flattens
to bone and fur
near the plum
where
midair
two goldfinches spar
are lit by the late sun
one more daylily
blossoms
opening in the cool morning air
there
at the edge
of summer


Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Overcome anger with freedom from anger.  Overcome evil with good. overcome meanness
with generosity, and overcome a liar with truthfulness.
Dhammpada 17.223


All this cool completes
the happiness I
feel as I, forward,
paint, write
here at home,
alone.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

spill 2019

s p i l l

Flowers: A holy man should behave in a village like a bee which takes its food from a flower
without hurting its appearance or its scent.
Dhammapada 4.49



Costmary
Hosta
admirers,
the bees,
are pleased.



blink

 

Monday, July 29, 2019

echo







leave of absence

Better than a thousand pointless words is one saying to the point, on hearing which one finds peace.
Dhammapada 8.100





Cool today, with wind and cardinals.





Saturday, July 27, 2019

m a r g i n s

milkweed                                hosta
          Asclepias                           hemerocalli
Daucus carota         R              yew
              vetch                            birch 
        bee balm                            maple                                         
                sumac                        ash
       goldenrod          I                    wild grape
         coneflower                       nightshade
black-eyed Susan                     thistles
      joe-pye weed                     walnut
oak                           V                     apple
fir                                              coreopsis
raspberry canes                           box elder
tallgrass                                    spruce
aster                                          burdock
clover                       E                  marestail
plantain                                     chickweed
dame's rocket                            creeping bellflower
teasel                                         wild buckwheat
smartweed                                        lambs quarters
pigweed                    R                 field pennycress
cockle                                        curly dock
timothy                                          side oats

Friday, July 19, 2019

water tale 3

"My mind used to go off wandering whenever it felt like it..."


Before six
this summer morning,
I look down
into a
garden of
oxeyes,
daylilies,
creeping bellflower,
Queen Anne's lace
with central purple floret.
This last, Daucus carota,
a refugee,
should not be confused with
native hemlock,
a wildly poisonous
lookalike.

Bindweed, hops,
and wild grape
tent
rabbit warrens which
exist under
lamium and gout weed.
Celandine and nettle flourish
near ripening mulberries.
Beside these,
plum trees have been weather stunned,
and remain barren,
though sumac's thriving in the heat.
The garden's circumference is neat,
colored blue, white and yellow.
Here at the edge a chicory hedge,
while sentries yarrow and tansy
let in ladybugs, are spider's allies.

Underground, nematodes
near the house, rain doused, eat
as songbirds who
flew here feed
on millet seed,
near thistles, 4 varieties.

While I seek
adlumia, the Allegheny vine,
white star grass and
wild leek,
asters lie close to the ground, a
patient perennial, waiting.

Such plants hiding,
biding time
may be seen again
in fall.
Yet this garden's season
excludes few
in color, origin,
and
renews hope that each year
will reappear
an abundance
complete,
perhaps reticulate,
a wish that exists,
at least now,
in the midst
of summer.







Wednesday, July 17, 2019

water tale 2

"...There is no companionship with a fool."
Dhammapada 






she sees trees
understands
within land
a language







Sunday, July 14, 2019

water tale 1

A red dog
approaches
two girls
he's spotted
squatting near a river
where a young gull
bobs in the wake
of a red boat.
Both children
expose
webbed toes
they've loosed from
shoes and
red socks.
The red dog,
shocked,
retreats
from these feet
and
runs
off.



The trees are eating air.
Where and when did I first learn
that the invisible fed them?
It's led to this -
a walk within their reach,
as boughs soughing,
we, the trees and me,
hear bells ring out
our hunger,
supper's number,
six.







thrush

"...Occasions of hatred are never settled by hatred. They are settled by freedom from hatred."
Dhammapada 1.5




1. 2. 3. 4. 5
I've heard this sweet crescendo
then descend to silence, repeat,
neatly marking a turn from dusk or dawn,
a song
drawn out into the light,
while the singer 
remains
hidden.






Wednesday, July 10, 2019

first quarter

suffering disappears.....

gaff

I wrote small medium espresso
because my mind wasn't behind the enterprise,
but following with them, listening to the quips,
I slipped.


fatigue

I slept for 12 hours.
I cannot seem to escape the exhaustion.


the robin

this bird, this bird,
flush throated,
dusk sung,
brings me home.


mind

doesn't seem
but is.
Still.
There.

















b o r o



Monday, July 8, 2019

always tired -
will be good to
have one job,
not two
for a few
months

Sunday, July 7, 2019

today's
walk
began
at
seven
when
the back alley cat
that I saw
stalking
killed a large rat.
This tiny calico, with
its great grey prey
slipped
quick
up the hill
as I wandered to
the riverside.
Finding a single lily, fire-flecked
drew me to
a few
false indigo in bloom,
while four
young ducks nodded
in the dark water
as a boat's wake shook them.
Then I took the wood path
headed
for the footbridge
its floor boro
sashiko stitched
pitched in
a slight sweep
where underneath ashore
three men fished
loosened lines, slipped creels
into currents
for their
gap-mouthed
catch.
Afterward,
I took the stairs up
the bluff and
some streets away
spoke
with
a man named Gary
who showed me
his garden folly
in green perspective
before I left
and met
a teacher
a dog
a soused lout outside
the grocery store.
All this
before I slipped
a peek inside
my own garden
where
rusting bells told
the hour
and time turned
the walk
around
toward
dusk
and home.


Friday, July 5, 2019

Where the expert in the right and wrong road?
asked of the Dhammapada 26.403



      At the end of the story, the hero dies. He has saved a woman's life, arrested the man who intended to kill her. He has made peace with his sister, found the promise of love, feels good, happy. He smiles at a stranger, and she smiles back. Abruptly, his eyes grow large, his hand hovers over his chest like a dragonfly. He topples.

     At four, your mother went away. "Play outside," said the woman watching your baby sister.
She locked the door. You lived in a new American subdivision with no trees, a hot sun, not one swing, or thing to do. For hours, you and your brother sat under the eaves of your house, silently drawing in the dirt.

Revision: The hero calls your father, who sweeps you into an air-conditioned sedan, takes you for ice cream, and finds a playground full of trees. He takes you home, unlocks the door, fires the woman inside, and brings your mother, balanced and well, home from the hospital.

    My mother sent us frozen strawberries by post. The box came stained red, berry bled, spoiled.

Revision: The hero is alarmed when you report your mother's behavior. He convinces her to see a specialist, who diagnoses her illness. After treatment, she spends many happy and productive years with her husband. 

    His mother walked the street in slippers, accusing passersby of collaborating with the Nazis. Few knew that, during the war, she had seen them shoot green boys for laughing.

Revision: The hero listens, looks for and alerts the authorities, who prosecute the collaborators. Your father asks the hero to find a place for your mother to rest, and you and your brothers live with a kindly older couple. You go on picnics, read books and play music together. 

    Where do you buy your chicken? Not that shop, no. That one, over there, dumped his mother's body in the rice field. When the Guadalquivir rises, she does too. At such times, we listen to her bones sing.

Revision: The hero repeatedly visits the son in his dreams. Overwhelmed by remorse, the son confesses and shows where the body is. 

    You went out to shovel snow, suited for it, though it was July. Your mother was told,. She looked out the window, shrugged, lit a cigarette and went to fetch you.

Revision: The hero understands you are different and protects you. He whispers in the ear of your parents, brothers, sister, wife, and friends to care for you. Does it change anything?  The hero watches you live as before and realizes you haven't changed, but those who love you have.  

    Why did you give me away? They say it was poverty, youth, the wrong boy, violence. I looked you up and visited. It was awkward, unwelcoming. I can look back now, over a sea of life, and wonder what difference you and I have made.

Revision: The hero gives your birth mother courage. She defies custom and loves you unconditionally. Still, you are taken from her. Later, when you meet she tells how she has searched for you. 

      After the hero dies, he has helped unhappy children,  sick women,  sluggish husbands, guilty sons who killed during war and peace. Families, finding the promise of love,  feel good. He smiles at these strangers, but they cannot see him. Abruptly, his eyes grow large, his hand hovers over his chest like a dragonfly.
 


Thursday, July 4, 2019

July 4th

this independence night
pop and bluster of
I prefer
the Tanabata sky
looking for
you up there on a bridge, waiting for me

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

poem for Kyoung Ae and Anne

Perilla (깻잎)
in the garden
knows
greater celandine,
goat's foot,
plantain.

These -
wind-blown,
self-sown,
uninterrupted by
pain,
doubt,
an empty pause -
can teach us
to lean
against fear,
go
forward.


Saturday, June 22, 2019

end of

it's "hunch weather"
which, in a "beard second" will change

an unpredictable loose wind
like lips
sinks ships

a certain shivviness remains

a cultural agerasia
creates
jingle boys
flash pans
lurch of us lost
produces
more, more, more

proditomania

less, less, less

of a nyctograph and more of a

mamouchi

a schapsiddee

oh my ambilaevous
dear handedness hardened off

leave the hectoring behind you

get lost





afterward

parch marks



live
die


know
here


we're not
much longer

within
flow


but
cut


young stump
seeps water -




weeping?

Friday, June 21, 2019

elm stressed
seeds everywhere

roots
augured
foretold
old
tree
new
you'll
both
die
sooner or later


Monday, June 3, 2019

complete when making

the practice of

the presence here

cold summer
tall dandelions

the sewer augur
free of roots
foretells
the wells
I saw them today
saw the wells
new universes
deep
colorful
small


Saturday, June 1, 2019

a dream



In this dream,
I am on the St. Joseph
as it leads me
to the watershed
Maumee
which feeds five percent
of Erie.

Nearly home now.

It's unclear whether this journey
is meant
to be a beginning or an end.

Wake me up.
Tell me the truth.
The sun is rising.




Thursday, May 30, 2019

Sun in Pisces, moon waning crescent...



1
death meets men and nightingales

2
I had a vision today.
I saw the sidewalks and streets filled with all those that had ever lived in this place.
Transparencies,
they walked through one another, looking stunned.
I saw them linger over the road worker digging into the asphalt,
leer at the legs of young women,
look at me looking at them.

This vision lasted for two city blocks.
It did not matter which way I turned
I saw them -
behind, beside, in front of, above or under me. 
There was not a speck of terror.
It was wondrous more than anything.

3
I missed yoga.
I mix up spelling.
I cannot type.
Directions don't make sense.
I have to find
the sense in it.

There is no sense in it.

I am not deceived.

Or am I?

The nightingales, the nightingales.....









To Giselle, Chérie's seeing-eye black Labrador, six years old, met today on the bus



Lyrics, Giselle

Siempre estuviste en mí y no te pude alcanzar
Siempre estuviste aquí.
Eres ilusión eres realidad
eres como un sueño del que no puedo ya despertar.
Yo quiero una verdad
yo quiero una razón
no puedo comprender porque no te puedo encontrar
yo quiero una verdad yo quiero una razón
no puedo comprender porque no te puedo encontrar.


Songwriters: ADOLPHE ADAM (PD)
Giselle (Ballet Suite) lyrics © S.I.A.E. Direzione Generale, Atmosphere Music Ltd., Rob Forberg Musikverlag Gmbh Co. Kg, Naxos Ltd., Crc Jianian Publishing, Lunden Edition


You were always in me and I could not reach you
You were always here.
You are an illusion you are reality
You are like a dream from which I can no longer wake up.
I want a truth
I want a reason
I can not understand why I can not find you
I want a truth I want a reason
I can not understand why I can not find you.




Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Tuesday, May 21, 2019


"....a disciplined mind leads to happiness."
3.35. Dhammapada




Saturday, May 18, 2019


White-crowned, vesper sparrow,
wood and hermit thrush,
are tribed together
ground foraging,
dusk covered,
hushed
as
she, cardinal,
calls
them
all
here,
here,
here.



Friday, May 17, 2019

Endurance, strength in patience...and that patience is power.
26.399. Dhammapada





A full moon at forty-five degrees
no daffodils



Monday, May 13, 2019

teaching longer
lengthens forgetfulness
word fatigue
in league with
exhaustion


lost paper
drank red
said
tomorrow
s a test

it's here, tomorrow
and I sitting
the red stoplight blinking
thinking when did that
empty
into
this?


Sunday, May 12, 2019

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Why am I learning this when
I am slipping slimmer into age ?
the house is breaking apart the water may be poisoned
but I alive
learning .


levels of understanding


I don't recognize
this angry world.
What
allows
young men and women
to crash into despair?

May Pome

dreaming that
I am running
in drops of
water
that wear away
this grey
and
lift
again a wren
who
here
in my garden
love-loosened,
calls
all nematodes,
soil bound,
rain soaked,
awake.


returning to painting
is a plasma donation
to
to the northern within
that needs things thin
into spring,

 (ˈbreɪkɪŋ  θruː  ðiː  ˈlɪmɪts  ɒv  maɪ ˈlæŋgwɪʤ )


for example

"reek" remembered as mountain ramp
(out of stock, seasonal)

or the circle path where the sea meets stone
I am alone 

ag damhsa ag Dún Aonghais

or after

reflexión sobre campanas

Jeg ser mig selv som et hul i jorden

drikker, drikker

som et fjols.

dance
fort
ring
water
fool

where you go

shows how little

you'll
learn
about the real reek -

life.

_______________________________

cardinal's call -
it's all in there.
listen.

_______________________________

underestimated the flower's power
to tell time's
changed
rearranged spring
first periwinkle
tulips
violets
plum
the daffodils missing, the daffodils missing

__________________________________

Ramadan
Kenko
Tao Yuan Ming
purple things
in spring cold

these transfers
belonging
to islands
of light
might save us from

l o n e l i n e s s

___________________________________







   



Wednesday, May 8, 2019

What is passed, passing and will come

Come to pass, pass by, in passing, pass to


old age
may
shut them,
but 
you
open out





Monday, May 6, 2019

wyoming (feb. journal)

stone, sun,
dry stream, stalk
walk
mountain surround
east - a blue you missed
slants 45 degrees
to ground
around
deer grazing
hazed rocks, light
might've seen two does, or five
grey, white-rumped
black-eyed
that gaze!
you, they, alert
to an old dog limping
foward
leashed
who
stops where
there could be
thawed memories
a moat surround
an imagined boundary to
this morning
that makes of us
sun stones
winter gold,
furred rock,
cold.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

notes

1
advice
a thing, a thought
ought to
go to the beach this weekend
wearing sunscreen.

2
a card
send one to us
while you're there.
could you
would you?
We'd be so
be happy
to hear more
about the shore.

3
post-its, a letter
dear _____,
here at the beach,
away from teaching,
I find
I've written
notes to myself.
Sending them along,
with a little song.
I needed the sea -
it's been a
bleak week.

Here's
what
(not that you asked)
is harming us, and
of course my class -

a) double talk    
b) rationed sense
c) torturous paragraphs
d) lies footnoted

On top of that, there's always plenty of war.

Love and truth -
you'd have thought
we'd have bought into
teaching more about
these
and this long ago

but no.

ring around the rosy
pockets full of nosy
dystopians
ask us, task us
and we'll pull
it all down

best always, m

4
an uneven diary entry
time
changes
news too.
imagine you in Tapei
where they
treasure old.
it's hardly likely
you'll
get Yaddo
they're low on creative capital
and anyway
who has heard of your school?
you'll disappear here
near Michigan
in the cod colored snow
though
being in the middle of it
you'd like to say
hey
what about us
don't condense
just listen -
makes sense, doesn't it?

5
some dated stuff

rags      may 15
beams              may 17
a bibliothek               may 31
check the center (ongoing)   june 10
village   june 10
treasure             august 1
ado                                 undated
drake     september 30


heimat   september 17

toll                             10,000

blade                                     2049



an inward of things

the outer edges of which
consist of
dead lines  dried dates
late notices

If you want to remember, use your calendar.













Saturday, May 4, 2019

bird
heard

warbler

robin

said spring - sing.





cyanocitta cristata

I've not heard
this bird
in my garden
for years.

This morning
its barbed blue
passed
through
an elm,
the only one
in the
neighborhood.


I thought
its song
said
we belong,
both tree and me -
survivors.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Sheila Hicks

Do you
cook,
clean,
sew,
she asked.

These
things
grow
when
slowly
done.


Cook?
Clean?
Sew?

No, said the writer,
just show me by saying it.
I'll jot it down.

Sheila Hicks, quiet, frowned.






Chosen

An ant on white
slight line, moves across,
black.

You, slapdashed vertical,
spared,
while I
pluck, pluck
douse and drop
others
into
death.

Why did I
allow you
to get
through?


How
did I
decide
a shadow
crawling
up the wall or
the thin scrap down it
must be
plucked and drowned or
left free?



Seems to me
I remembered
your
slacker slant,
ant,
as
somehow
significant.




If nothing's left
but this
enough for
I think
one
or
one

done quietly
alone

Sunday, April 21, 2019

(waning gibbous) ...there is no taking refuge in the family.
-Dhammapada  20.288



Air calves clear -
hear
cardinal inquisitive,
thrush scold.
Old chickadee
knew
who moved
this rock of air,
where winter was.
There, on the threshold,
he died,
singing spring
among
love's lessons
and complaints.

Told me
last thoughts
as I held him,
this old bird,
in hand -
and then,
when
he'd gone,
the air opened,
exhaling
as far as I
could see.








Friday, April 12, 2019

1
thoughts on 
the human surround
sound of
reason for

2
exploring
another red 
fled
shot through

3
even as
enduring 
aspects of
are erasable

4
locus mirabilis
surprisingly room
for 
partum

5
tabula plena

6
the eternal stars
are

7
swans
tanagers
flies 




joist
jointed
joined
spine, the heart

soft-bodied extinction
(close, nearby)

somatic


flooded
we
you
we
float





birth font
death-ish






"Look at old age....no enduring stability."
- Dhammpada 11.147


wit's returned
and tears
nimbuses


sorrow
shifted
antibodies


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Sunday, April 7, 2019

...not seeking wealth or power for himself or for his family... wise...righteous...
-Dhammpada 6.84





1
the tulip
the snake
the brown earth awake

child up

2
the jasmine
the shed
the black panther, dead

child down

3
the strawberry
the snake
the severed foot boot

child rising

4
walnuts
wind lobbed
bobbing in rivers

child found

5
plums among
the wattled wasps


child silenced

6
witch hazel
marks
the return
of the larks

child sung

7
the fruit
the flood
the blood flung
thud

as foot

a child witnessed

fell from the sky
while her damage
airborne
became tulips,
walnuts,
or could have.

we don't understand
the lightness
of

flower
child
foot-stung fruit

we understand ground
not these,
hovering now,
or the bird's return
or wasp, rising
as she,
surviving,
would.

8
up
down
rising
found
silenced
sung
witnessed
won.




Wednesday, March 27, 2019

reread your email.
loved me.
cried.
rang the bell bell thrice,
clapped, bowed.
to dust.
to love.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

the stream
that spring
was lost
to imperfect us

your
ashes
guarding my attention



Thursday, March 14, 2019

Friday, March 8, 2019

This woman
of
bramble and stone
lives alone
as though she
simply
waking, walking
extends
hours to prayer
there
along roads
of stones and birds.
Her feet without shoes
listen to the ground.
The sound
of voices may scare her.
There
where she
lives this
goddess
of the
sun
is
one
who
prays
alone
stays to
warm us

Monday, March 4, 2019

if I could tell of something now
but sleep
still
there are birds in the trees
knees that we recite a ssongs
along with mandarins and snow

winter's indigenous

I know said the snow

Friday, February 8, 2019

eye of the storm


he
lifts
then
drops.

below,
cries,
snow.

suddenly
blurred
this bird's
swept
into me.

alarmed,
we embrace
facing

see
both are
golden-eyed

awed

as each
in this,
not one
but us.







Monday, February 4, 2019

for kevin

grey rain
drowns
snow

below my feet
dropped yellow
chrysanthemums

yellow chrysanthemums
are out of season.

yet today they
stay in my mind
when
I think of you.

this grey.

not as that sun that day.

white, white
walls
the brilliance
surrounding
the fade that had been you.

slender petalled chrysanthemum,
a flower that endures frost,
lost,
that winter.

yellow turning shadows violet.

grey ash, brown sere.

yet you are here -
white
white
nothing -
a yellow flower
that died,
alive,
on the wrong side
of cold.







Saturday, February 2, 2019

Thursday, January 31, 2019

-19

below though

now

three degrees

above


"...like spent arrows, grieving for times past..."
- dhammapada 11.156

house shook
looking into the wind

found small black fly
dying on the white floor

more beautiful than
more beautiful than


Wednesday, January 30, 2019





I thought today
as I wrote one thousand words,
two
you a week ago,
despairing.
Where were the words then?
Here, clearly,
and waiting. 
"...When you are set free, do not run back to the chains."
- dhammapada








no gloves
though fifteen
below
young man's
hands
balled
under
edges of







Sunday, January 27, 2019

moon
last
quarter
counts
coup





Fools on an island
felled all the trees
these to make a raft
none knew how to build.
Killed trees without reason.











Friday, January 25, 2019


Warm house,
bed
said
"safe"
as
outside cold
lowed at the door.

More arctic air 
split vortices,
gripped night.

Sightlines
under stars
crossed.

Polar frost
at twenty below,
caught between
thin glass,
gasped,
gazed into you
who, when
looking back,
remained
so brutally warm,
intact.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

It's best to get on with it. I'd like to to be swallowed whole, as on Monday, happily underwater, creating, invisible to ships and other distractions.  But I can't wait for the next dive, so I'll slog through the snow on the long walk home along the river, as I did tonight, gloveless, cold and immensely happy, in spite of myself.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019


Weir-smug
Grendel
dying
bloodlet
by Beowulf
gets in death's
breath
a forewarning -

the
dragon's
ashes
will return
to
smother
mothers
monsters
heroes
gods.

Fearless
embers,
eaters
of us all!









the woman in the urn


cremation urn, English, woman's name, rune-inscribed



Three circles
quartered
on an indigo lipped jar
are
line driven moons
runes over
waning gold.
Reading all
tells me
that she
within
in leaving
left her tongue
becoming
ours.








Monday, January 21, 2019

Truth...is not subject to aging.
- Dhammapada 



The Dhammapada says to cultivate the company of wise people.  Where do we find such persons? It is unusual to hear them shouting from mountaintops. Often they are are stutterers, like Moses.



Prepare for the wise.
Keep the sidewalk clear
of snow, ice.
Set slippers by the door,
for more often than not,
they will appear
unannounced.


Sunday, January 20, 2019

Όμηρος - for you, five years gone

I looked through the letters of our alphabet to discover you, but could not.

Όμηρος
 Ómiros

heard
your beard
quiver
in the black
boxed ashes
brought you
back to me


***************************************************************************


ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ
πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν·
πολλῶν δ᾽ ἀνθρώπων ἴδεν ἄστεα καὶ νόον ἔγνω,
πολλὰ δ᾽ ὅ γ᾽ ἐν πόντῳ πάθεν ἄλγεα ὃν κατὰ θυμόν,
ἀρνύμενος ἥν τε ψυχὴν καὶ νόστον ἑταίρων.

andra moi ennepe, Mousa, polutropon, hos mala polla
Planchthé epei Troiés hieron ptoliethron epersen;
pollón d'anthrópón iden astea kai no-on egnó,
polla d'ho g'en pontó pathen algea hon kata thumon,
arnumenos hén te psuchén kai noston hetairón

andra moi | ennepe, | Mousa, pol | utropon, | hos mala | polla
Planchthé ep | ei Troi | és hier | on ptoli | ethron e | persen;
pollón | d'anthró |pón iden | astea | kai no-on | egnó,
polla d'ho | g'en pon | tó pathen | algea | hon kata | thumon,
arnume |nos hén | te psu | chén kai | noston he | tairón.
***


Sing (ennepe) to me (moi) O Muse (Mousa) of the man (andra) of many turns (polutropon), who suffered (planchthe) many (polla) evils (mala) after (epei) he sacked (epersen) the holy (hieron) citadel (ptoliethron) of Troy. He saw (iden) the cities (astea) of many (polon) men (anthropon) and learnt (egno) their minds (noon); in (kata) his (hon) heart (thumon) he underwent (pathen) many (polla) pains (algea) on the sea (en ponto), striving to preserve (arnumenos) not only (te) his soul (psuchen) but also (kai) his comrades' (hetairon) homecoming (noston).