NEAR PROVIDENCE 11.4.21

A perfectly gray

day. Who can understand it?

Imperceptibly

the ducks float between

cove and cloud. Life is not art.

We wait for spring. We

come to rest in what

we do not know. We quote Chuang

Tzu on wild-card mind.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 10.4.21

Radiance of mud-

flats. A man and a boy walk

the edge of the bay.

They stop. The man looks

out over the water, the

boy crouches at his

feet. Sunlight touches

the boy’s red shirt. Desire makes

man, boy, sun equal.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 9.4.21

From my sickbed I

listen to the twisting gulls

squeal in shifting winds.

I have seen broken

water shine in April sun

under tiny gulls.

I have come to this

late in life. Call it Stoic,

call it mystical.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 8:4.21

On my morning walk

to the dock, the goose couple

we all know was there,

one alert in shade,

the other asleep in the

sun, the head bent back,

lost in bright plumage.

Young, I could see my old wife

and me that happy.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 7.4.21

On the icy waves

of a dark spring day, the ducks

are quite voluble.

They stick together

on the broken waves, their words

a comfort like those

a poet overhears

in the poem she writes so

she can write again.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 6.4.21

Ah, see, they return,

the village’s children, from

schools far away, dreams

of another life.

The essential summer work

must be done, money

must be made. See them

talk among themselves. Two sit

at the water’s edge,

lean together, be-

fore life can begin, begin

a different life.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 5.4.21

Yellow daffodils

brim the cove where the swans swim

together. The light

does not know what it

is or wants, but I stand here

as the day passes.

It’s Easter Monday.

Is what I’m seeking not this

ordinary peace?

NEAR PROVIDENCE 4.4.21

It’s Easter, I’m up

early. I visit the geese

as they preen and sun

in the early light.

They are not religious,

I tell myself, mesh

of habit, desire—

flesh of my Flesh. I do love

them for their thick selves.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 4.3.21

I pause at the bridge

on the way to the pub. Spring

waters sparkle and roar

into the Bay, surge

at the very place Buson

stood near the floating

world, or so I dream.

It is Easter Saturday

and hell is empty.

Refreshed faces hold

me here, repeat their stories—-

they know I’ll listen.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 4.2.21

And was your walk in-

terrupted by St. Stephen’s

bells this Good Friday?

The silence of swans

feeding in the Bay deepened,

their long necks whitened.

Love is sacrifice,

I’m told, though my memories

of love heighten it.