Han Shan says his mind

is like a cloud that leans on

nothing. I know the

feeling. I watch swans

preen for two hours a day on

sandy outcrops. Grass

holds the spot intact

in the deeps. The swans’ white forms

change shape constantly.

Author: Tom D'Evelyn

Tom D'Evelyn is a private editor and writing tutor in Cranston RI and, thanks to the web, across the US and in the UK. He can be reached at D'Evelyn has a PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley. Before retiring he held positions at The Christian Science Monitor, Harvard University Press, Boston University and Brown University. He ran a literary agency for ten years, publishing books by Leonard Nathan and Arthur Quinn, among others. Before moving to Portland OR he was managing editor at Single Island Press, Portsmouth NH. He blogs at and other sites.

One thought on “NEAR PROVIDENCE 28.7.21”

  1. Dwelling on and dwelling in constant change,. the reader finds through the poem, is an exercise of being constant and being content with her no-thing-ness. we are not by doing but by staying and relating. From the image of the cloud the reader moves to the image of the preening swan–itself looking like an animated cloud. ther reader may then re-see herself as weighless and free and yet grounded and connected.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: