Ephemeral Sky

The morning traffic swells in slow motion like the heart
beat ing

and as you approach the tunnel you see it:
a cloud slowly passes by over the sun —

outlining the crystalline see-through edges and crimson, or bronze or chanterelle, or colors that you have no words for

this should frustrate you, but it only makes you want to write it more, and you watch in silence as chemicals are tracing the sky.

And traffic approaches the tunnel and you think do they see it too?
with a smile on your face its all so clear to you,

slogging through the tunnel, you realize that you are lost —

cocooning yourself in language, wrapped tenderly and bitterly in lexicon.
— you’re gone.

And you emerge from the tunnel only to realize the sun hangs in the sky —alone. The cloud is gone and with it the beauty you mistook the world to be. But still

And still,
you look into their cars and they talk on their phone, or they gaze in def cycles with blind eyes, and you realize they’ve missed it.

Frolic Gentle Observer

A walk through the
neighborhood
is actually more like
frolicking
through the neighborhood
i stop
to watch bees
diligent and effortless
in their work
dozens of them appear from
the orange poppies
then reemerge elsewhere—
there’s no telling how many
a car door slams and i think
how silly or
simple i look and i
get embarrassed
for being the
gentle observer—
so easily amused
but we shouldn’t
be embarrassed, the gentle
observers, in being able to
take joy in simple pleasures

pass under a horsechestnut
look upon the mace fruit
green with youth and i know
because science tells me
that the fruit is the product
of the flower, that is, the
fruit comes after the flower,
i can’t help but think that
perhaps the flower
is a veil around our attention and
that the fruit was there
ripening all along
and with the withering of the flower
the fruit emerges like the bee
under the scope of our attention
and i think. . .
perhaps that’s all i’ve ever been—
a gentle observer

Modern Poetry

The modern Poet towers over me, standing on piles of words, handheld degrees, like a decree, held tightly against the chest. Why is it that modern poetry makes me feel so small every time I venture to read it?

Outside the window, moment after moment, the night sky flashes in a brilliance of lightshow. Bursting from the shadow of memory, thunder rumbles and rolls on and on into the dark. We all stop. Rehearsing the truth in my mind, I had nothing to say. The dog trembles in tremolo. In the shatterd nightsky, crackling eggs. We momentarily left our houses, built on convenience, and entered a bliss built by the ancients.

Practice

I’ve read it a couple times, heard it said, each time from a different source, I believed it each time, felt the truth of it, but it never really clicked until yesterday. How many of my thoughts are tied to time and space? I meditated on this question for only about 10-15 minutes and it became clear that nearly all of them have some connection to a different time or place. Even while thinking new thoughts, new lines for poems, or pictures to draw, I’m simultaneously thinking of the blog post, at some point in the future, that it could go on! While driving I think of places I’ve been, or the destination I’m going to get to. It seems endless. And for what? For each of us the answer might be different, for me I’ve found that these thoughts come up when I’m feeling worried, unprepared, embarrassed; thinking my way out of a difficult situation, reasoning my reactions to help me feel better. So, where is the void around these kind of thoughts? The space that takes them in. When I listen to the silence that has no concerns for time or space, the formless, that is always available, I feel like I’m standing behind a waterfall. In a carved out granite ledge, feeling the force of wind and mist passing me. Very freeing.

Now I’m doing some walking meditation noticing the thoughts concerning time and space, and I’m thinking I have to stop, I know how unnecessary, I shouldn’t think in these terms, I should be doing better… And here’s where another teaching I’ve read, or heard a dozen times, believed to be true, but never really was able to call it forward more than a few times before it gets forgotten came in -Nonjudgmental observation. By understanding my thoughts to be my way of dealing with stresses and worries with nonjudgmental observation I give them that space to be, and feel that freedom. By understanding I mean knowing what the thoughts are, where they come from and being understanding of them.

Now after rereading this I realize that these words are just like the ones I’ve read, and so not even original to me, which is what makes it an underlying truth, a principal to stand on. The original part is taking the time to question these things, on your own until you come to your original unique understanding, Ah ha! which is called insight, knowledge is read, insight is understood in your own terms and words.

Moving forward
I know what needs 
to be done.
Understanding.

Modernization

While you’re walking down paths of progress, between redbrick post- Victorian apartments and new construction framing, under berry laden but otherwise bare branches, through the din of robins and chickadees, finches and sparrows, the ancient cacophony spills out from every direction, you know it intrinsicly and realize it won’t be long forgotten even in the face of modernization.

Cedar River

The glint of cottonwood leaves

and helicopter seeds

spiraling down

like

the underbelly of the osprey

that circles above

above the Cedar river

above the moss laden and

bare maple crowns.

Rushing river.

Splunk of rocks.

We held each other.

I closed my eyes

to realize

everything is spinning

in some secret way.

And I’m wired to

not even notice.

Cottontail clouds

emerge beyond the treeline

move with the wind

and make abstract shapes

which my mind insists

is a dragon head.

Now my head is spinning

and my heart beats faster,

and I just want this moment

to last forever.

Fog Over Lake Washington

The fog sits thick

over Lake Washington –

immovable like an activist.

Wakes come in from

behind the curtain –

in an endless supply –

to tickle the shore.

 

Watching change,

a trout’s splash

ripples the water

which in turn ripples thoughts

through my mind.

 

It occurs to me that as I try to describe

nature’s song, I ripple thoughts

through your mind.

 

If my actions are the only thing

that I truly have,

then perhaps the best thing I

could do is nurture growth.