The night table


Outside the open window

Quarry Brook gives voice

to the night. Reminds me

the world is without beginning

or end, our view ever-changing.


In another room the dog

stirs. The cat watches.

My love’s foot presses my leg.

I match my breath to hers

then back again. Eyes open.


On the night table:

three translations of

the Tao Te Ching; two books

of Jack Gilbert’s poetry;

one of Arthur Sze (thanks

Jamie D.); Spell of the

Sensuous by David Abram;

The Selected Poems of Po Chu-i,

translated by David Hinton;

Merleau-Ponty’s, The World

of Perception; a card announcing

Studio 21 painting exhibitions

I will never go to; a round tin

of Badger Balm, certified organic

goodness for hardworking hands;

two pair of glasses; one foam

ear plug; a digital alarm clock,

lamp, iPhone and drawer full of stuff.

Garden Bird Facts on a dusty shelf.


In my mind I run through

the inventory, writing it

into a portrait. Sometimes

you can hear geese at night

further down, on West River.