Why did the robin take a vigorous bath yesterday, on a thirty-five-degree winter afternoon? Did he do it to spite the incoming snow? And where is he now? Near the ice-rimmed pool, watching the white-bright world from under the rhododendron, warm to his red in its bed of dry leaves? At two this morning, I was awakened by snow-light. Out walking before seven, I saw a boy in front of […]
New Poems & Pieces
We experience the falling away of friends — not those claimed by death, but by circumstances, of those suffering disappointment in themselves or in us, or both, or some form of private, quietly held anxiety or embarrassment, or of those who have succumbed to weariness, habit, or boredom. Some we have known in the flesh, others through correspondence. And it seems all, whom we thought we understood so well, we […]
A distinct sense, while walking early in the morning through air that speaks of approaching snow, that each breath is greeting and farewell, and that each step is less a passing by, and more a passing through — that all I feel and see is a kindly breeze to please old bones, but never clings to flesh on which they’re hung — a present hum, a distant moan, a first […]
After visiting the massive black walnut tree in the park by the river, we continued half a mile along the trail to murky and muddy Goose Lake, which is swollen now, to the point that we didn’t need to go see it, it came to see us. Despite its name, we have yet to see a goose there. But there were a great many ducks, gliding across the surface and […]
And then there are the unremembered nights, the unwritten nights,
and the countless ways the dream of light transcends them.
I thought I had better call my old friend to see how he was doing,
forgetting for the moment he is dead, yet knowing it too,
and knowing I was forgetting, and knowing I knew.
Approaching the dam, you see the floodgates are open, and that everything below it and before you is bathed in cool mist — the oaks and the brambles, last summer’s grass, the mounds of half-melted granite looking for all the world like a giant’s tears. And you think, what is your own body if not a kind of dam, and what are your eyes if not floodgates? What are your […]
Asked if he practices the art of meditation, the old man smiled and said, I don’t know. If I think I am meditating, am I? Meditation It’s not a question of loss or gain, but of the neighbor’s healthy lettuce; how many veins and folds it must contain of all that’s best for us; just as the less there is to test in us, the more the rest of […]
One thing my wife and I have learned on our many hikes through the mountains, is that on the steep downhill parts of the trail, it’s best if we don’t try to break our momentum. Instead, we run. That way, when the hike is done and in the days following, there’s no pain in our feet and knees and ankles. Also, the alertness, attention, and coordination required is a stimulating […]