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.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 9/7/20

The village subdued

this Labor Day. You’re either

out of work or know

someone who is. I

drift down to the cove to see

the cormorants. Three

crowd the deck. The breeze

swelling their wings, they wobble

in the autumn sun.

Under the pier, a

small white egret. I over-

looked it then saw it.