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?
Faith sits on a wooden crate, chin in hand.
Empty-eyed. Willing, but not waiting to be chosen,
danced in a field of fireweed; spun beneath the moon.
Slender fingers begin working a tangle of twine.
A blonde boy in a white shirt, buttoned to the neck,
clogging in the nearby woods; he stops and listens.
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.
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
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.
On Benji’s Lake Trail. Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia.
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.