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.