NEAR PROVIDENCE 9/21/20

One more summer day.

Over the Bay, empty sky —

pale blue. In the Bay,

whitecaps, wind-driven,

do not reach the shore before

giving way to more.

Is there no end to

the blue in your eyes, Toby,

in death and in life?

I stuff my cold hands

deeper into the pockets

of my human coat.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 9/18/20

Higher than the birds,

wildfire smoke from the West Coast.

Yet a cold wind sur-

prises me. It’s Fall.

I watch ducks watch a dinghy

put-putting out to

the ocean. The world-

space contains me, pierces me.

Something just let go.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 9/16/20

I watch broken bits

of shell rise and fall in the

waves, think of Basho

saying good bye with

a lecture on his ideal:

a sandy bed seen through

a shallow river.

He left them on a litter

in the pouring rain.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 9/13/20

The marsh grass bronzes

in the warm sun and cold wind.

The human alloy

moves the heart to change.

We are all grass. We pray to

feel the sun and wind.

The elements are

God’s word to flesh that’s open

to the sun, the wind.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 9/12/20

The window open

to the chilled September air,

the hush of traffic.

Such I am tonight

under this lamp, a breath

of warm air, ongoing.

White lights then red lights

disappear down the dark road.

I rest in unknowing.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 9/11/20

Big fires both sides of

the highway as we drove north

fifty years ago.

Today the West Coast

fires are apocalyptic.

I hunch over in

the wind off the Bay,

the rhythmic hushing of the

waves concentrate the

mind. Words escape me.

Apocalyptic is not

a word but a scream.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 9/10/20

Desert my first land-

scape. Tumbleweeds and poppies

shaped the seasons. Snow

on a distant peak.

Now at sea level, I watch

a tired cormorant

soak up Fall sunshine.

Basho was right to find com-

panions everywhere.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 9/8/20

Darker earlier.

I let the tea steep longer,

sip it more slowly.

Between now and dawn

books, memories, and more books.

Memories of books.

The bad infinite.

I turn your picture to the

wall. You make good dreams.