There’s a slender, yellow-eyed branch at the edge of the path. I pretend not to notice though he is close enough to touch. Someday I may come upon his change and will carry feather twig and hollow bone to the water. Offer what’s left to the eagle. Cross that strange line again. But then I see a second, silver-grey shadow or ghost, wings fanned, hopping awkwardly in the understory. She says, “No. We are not broken. We are something else.”
This morning watching for signs, I hear the thin chain ticking like a clock. Moon after moon, we wander.
Late autumn forest yellow gold leaves thin silver branches drawing white semi-light into crawling root darkness-not-darkness waiting-not-waiting for spring winter nothing dead nothing reborn tomorrow wind bent rattled touched hands forehead pressed into something TREE not solemn wise divine bone blood organ chakra signals to-from minds all hidden born moved returned hidden born moved returned
Remember when I kept drawing the same card over and over until I realized it wasn’t about the card but the book and I found Tao?
It’s happening again.
Not the mapping of stars writing ancient alphabets hexagrams carefully drawn diagrams of barn renovations or words letter by letter. There’s something else.
Last night I dreamed of black bear running back and forth between us like a happy dog fear turning to sorrow as shots rang my eyes opened. Driving to town I saw crow on a wire scratching his head. Later I struck the index finger of my left hand hard with the hammer. The nail will turn from blue to black and be lost. A new one will grow in its place.
Dead on the path; crow’s change.
Young eagle waits and the wind
Spirit-led to harbour seal
skull and bones. Bury them
Feathers and matted fur. Leaf spirals.
Layer upon layer
of Sufi veils. Sudden God
then some more.
Desire, sly trapper
sets bait, loops the snare. Stop.
Just turn around.
On east veranda
with T’ao Ch’ien. Breath chants
a quiet return.*
* David Hinton, Mountain Home
-20 with windchill;
we don’t go far before
Mira turns around.
hand-painted, snow-drifted sign;
“Where will you spend eternity?”
We buy our eggs from a Mennonite family who live on the Loch Broom Loop. At the end of their driveway by the mailbox there are two signs. One is always the same. Brown Eggs for Sale (No Sunday Sales). The other changes regularly for reasons I don’t know. Sometimes I imagine it may reflect someone’s mood. Fearful and foreboding. Hopeful and inspiring. Stern. Forgiving.
Lately the sign has said, LOVE NOT THIS WORLD.
Arranging these lines I almost step on a small, spotted frog. Glistening gem in the wet grass. The other day I almost did the same to a snake. Writing in my head. Walking blind. Startled awake.
I know and understand the sign. It’s common to many religions and spiritual paths. The problem is, I really like the world. Hell, I’d go so far as to say I love it. There are thousands, maybe millions of minnows in the fishway this morning. My approach scares off a pair of kingfishers.