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NEAR PROVIDENCE 10/5/20

Sunday afternoon.

I give myself a pedi-

cure and take a walk.

Low tide. Sun on the

mudflats. The horizon bright

with the sound of geese.

As Zhuangzi says, this

is also a that. Nothing

compares with the Il-

lumination of

the Obvious. Haiku and

Zen go together.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 24.1.22

I know little of

ducks but that doesn’t matter.

I watch them closely.

Being myopic,

I see their passivity,

non-action, shimmer.

On these winter days,

I feel kinship, reverence.

Ducks show forth the Dao.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 23.1.22

I say it again:

This crowded pub on snow days

is where I can think

inelimina-

ble and unappeasable

chaos. Outside,

in the snow blowing here and

there, the perfect Good.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 20.1.22

”In the twinning of patience and striving, we are the porosity of being become mindful, become willing.” Desmond, The Voiding of Being, 203.

My old books are gone.

It’s different not having them.

Today on my walk

invisible snow

flakes kissed my ears (kiss means

my delight is theirs)

once or twice. A mild

day. No accumulation.

So yes, some laughs too.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 18.1.22

If you get a good

title you can go on and

write. Metaxyturn

is a good title.

It means between god and us

is where it happens.

Flow becomes wave, time

space, meaning riddle-clear, and

we shut the fuck up.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 17.1.22

”We wake up to ourselves as not-knowing before we know ourselves as desiring to know. There is the event of astonishment that carries into us the emphatic strike of an otherness that yet is intimately inward.” Desmond, The Voiding of Being, 232.

Young I’d get around

by train, cab, or bus. I’d walk

the rest of the way.

Only then alone.

Otherwise, never alone.

In community.

Now, if I feel like

watching the ducks seize the day,

I can just do it.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 16.1.22

” ‘ Loving attention, John [John of the Cross] writes, ‘happens when the soul’s discursive acts and meditations cease.’ ” Simone Kotva, Effort and Grace (Bloomsbury), 155.

Too cold by the cove

so I turned up Broad Street and

walked past the lit shops.

So, walking in town

requires Stoic attention;

Nothing distracts you.

In the last cold block,

I saw the convenience

store and bought ice cream.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 15.1.22

A space for thinking,

this wandering. But winter

has other ideas.

Halfway home, I can’t

form a thought. I’m becoming

landscape not inscape.

Low tide, bits of ice,

Canada geese half in, half

out, already home.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 14.1.22

Where do the gulls go

on nights like this? All day spent

at odds with the winds

now gale force. Should I

dream, I’d glimpse white forms riding

the dark tossing waves,

but I’d rather hear

the occasional silence

between mindless gusts.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 12.1.22

”On its own grounds—the contextless, arm’s length discourse of rational analysis—skepticism is indefeasible. But gestalt experience shows those grounds to be incomplete. This—thisness, this haecceity—is real; that’s the most obvious thing about it. That’s why we have to change our lives.” Jan Zwicky, The Experience of Meaning, 166.

The old goose couple

honked loudly, demanding

charity. ”I’m not

the one you want,” I

said, guiltily. She is not

here; I’m passing through.”

Their orange bits shown

in the winter sun. My white

face blushed for shame. We

depend on others.

Their glares touched my stupid heart.

I waited with them.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 10.1.22

”…however dark the times, there is always cause for celebration and joy. This being, this one— and this and this, and this. The extraordinary music of existence, which, as long as there is something rather than nothing, sounds through each of us.” Jan Zwicky, The Experience of Meaning, 174.

work-in-progress

Should I wait or write

another poem? The cold

is in my fingers.

Anchor lady says,

“Cold is hard on the old!” Muse

says, “I’ll hold your hand.

We’ll count syllables

together—contingencies

the stuff of obits.”

A fly interrupts

the conversation, its buzz

beyond beautiful.

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