Night storm


The bedroom lit by lightning.

Once twice three times. Rapid eye

movement. On the wall

an etching; ice, rock

stunted spruce along a lakeshore.

Where was I just now? The dog

growling in another room

runs downstairs barking madly.

I curse. Tell her it’s alright,

it’s alright. You’re a good dog.


Where was I just now? Before

I was standing in the rain?



I am often astonished


Yellow warbler crosses the stream and lights on a branch within reach. Muskrat with a mouthful of bulrush passes just below the surface.

Grackles chase an eagle and the pup curled at my feet looks up.

I am often astonished that emptiness, swallowing the ten thousand things in a wordless gulp, is so much more than enough. Worth every breath.

Somewhere an unlit candle. Outside our bedroom window, Mars in the branches of a giant pine.



Morning walk

Contemplating the first four chapters of the Tao Te Ching.

Nameless origins, non-action and natural order. The first nation’s humble relationship with the world comes to mind. Chickadee appears and as quickly disappears.

“… becomes one with the dusty world.”*


*Tao Te Ching, Stephen Addiss & Stanley Lombardo translation



Appearing from nowhere

Beyond the bulrush, leaf-bare birch trees suggest the slender face of a doe. Hooded mergansers and a white scatter of gulls on the marsh. Belted kingfisher and red-tailed hawk. Opening the window, morning chill fills the room. Dry fallen leaves, crow call and distant traffic. I stretch toward the hidden sun. Bend at the waist. Sit and strike the brass bowl.

We appear from nowhere. Our existence is not voluntary.

A dream: Bound and blindfolded. Smoke filling the room we roll across the stone floor and press shoulder to shoulder, cheek to cheek. Impassioned. Every last thing we can possibly be. Then gone.