Nothing is last, nothing first.
Everything is a wheel. Here
and here and here with no room
for there. Even infinity is a loop
twisting back on itself. While dark,
also light. Up, also down. Try to mark
what ends from what starts, walk
on this spinning ball east to west
or north to south and the place you began
is also moving, like the horizon
out of reach. Stand still and ride
through the night sky that holds
the morning light. Morning,
the crescent moon hangs
like a comma in the sentence
of your life. Follow it.
Thanksgiving's not always the easiest holiday; there's a lot of history to consider, both personal and universal. Here's a short poem that reflects some of that.
Wind is erasing the hills this morning,
blurring their lines with a white mist
of lifted snow, the northern sky
an imperturbable blue. The turmoil
of air is not its business. I kneel
before Quan Yin, her four arms
hold a lotus, the braided loop of infinity,
and two hands touch in the sign of prayer.
I contemplate the suffering in this world
and ask for relief. It blows like the wind
lifting snow. It sweeps around the earth
like a silk veil, this exhale. In and out,
breath and wind, darkness and light,
living and dying. It goes on with us
and without. These bones settle on the cushion,
in the body, compressing like the rings of trees,
rooted in the neutral, ever changing earth.
Outside, the snow collapses
on itself, water finding water
that way it has of shifting shape
and staying the same. The river
roars its full-throated runoff,
wicking away what falls.
The arc of light slants higher
across our hills, days longer
by seconds. Still, it’s winter.
In this quiet expanse of white
lit life, we fall into our own
slant of time. Bones resting
on bones that spark in bright
arcs of pain. You paint. I write.
Fire pops in the grate its long held
breath of rain. Water moving
to start again.
Like us, trees are never alone.