Morning walk

Contemplating the first four chapters of the Tao Te Ching.

Nameless origins, non-action and natural order. 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



In the exile of your absence, I remember Po Chü-i and look for poetry in the emptiness.

Late November snow buries the garden and unfinished chores.

Tomorrow’s sun, gone from the forecast.


Belted Kingfisher

Bull Moose

Moose, Cape Breton Highlands


On Benji’s Lake Trail. Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia.

Appearing from nowhere

We must allow the sacred to enter.

I roll out the mat, move toward ritual. Cautiously. Brass bowl and eagle feather. Outside, 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 and sounds fill the room. Dry fallen leaves, crow call, and distant traffic. Later I’ll go there, but for now, close the window and stretch toward the hidden sun. Bend at the waist. Sit and strike the 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. 


November Forest

Red-eyed Vireo Nest Wasps Nest Wasps Nest

Distant Friend

This weekend at Corney Brook, in the Cape Breton Highlands, there was a man with a camera, camping. For two days, he appeared and disappeared. Whenever I saw him I thought of you. Last night in a dream, you stood up at the back of a crowded room and spoke. Your words were brief and perfect. It was nice to see you.

(for Jeff)


Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird


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