The iris bed is ready for winter. The sleepers are settling in, some with space between them, others in full embrace, with backs and shoulders turned to the soft fall sunlight. None, apparently, are concerned about the presence of the two tiny oak seedlings that sprouted earlier in the year, not even those that are two or three inches away. And anyway, that’s just a human measurement; irises and oaks probably see things on vastly different scales. To an oak, for instance, space and time might well be interchangeable. Who knows what’s taught in their quiet moss-covered universities, or what irises think when they turn their velvet faces to the spring sky? Roots and rhizomes; mushrooms and fir needles; the rise and fall of mankind — maybe they weep for us; maybe they laugh: “We were once like you. Once, we were you. And soon will we be you again.” And vice-versa. Ah, fall — you find me on my hands and knees, then pick me up and bid me join your grand procession.
October 9, 2020
I’ve been in ancient cathedrals ruined and whole, climbed the stone steps, gazed upon the altar, listened to the wind through cracks in the dome, contemplated snowy mountains through the narrow window of the hermit’s cell, chanted, lit candles, burned incense, walked in the procession through the nave and out past the burial ground, and what I haven’t done I’ve dreamed, and what I haven’t dreamed I will, and what I am I will not be for long, and this is my song.
Recently Banned Literature, April 27, 2018
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