NEAR PROVIDENCE 26.2.21

About half way to

the other side gulls ride the

waves, laughing, sobbing.

I join another

old man leaning into the

cold wind off the cove.

At last we agree

there’s no difference between

gull cry and white-cap.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 25.2.21

They’re back, the sparrows

in the Gulf station over-

hang. Above idling

cars their raucous songs

cascade in polyphonies.

Let’s hope it truly

is Spring not a thaw

to be followed by snow or

precocious summer.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 24.2.21

When I get to the

Bay I see it’s colored the

same shade as the sky,

which cannot be true.

It’s periwinkle blue. On-

ly the Dao is the

same everywhere.

It’s such a common blue, high

and low, and so true.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 23.2.21

The duck at the end

of the distance today, in

the middle of the

bay, was the only

one. It opened the space of

the cove like a door.

Getting lost like that

on a walk makes exercise

the soul’s own workout.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 22.2.21

I’m in their midst be-

fore I see the grazing geese.

We share the soft shoul-

der, we share the snow,

dirty and crusty now. They

don’t look up, I look

down, startled they are

there. This makes a difference

to me, not to them.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 21.2.21

I take photograpghs

to document the moment.

Certain things shed a

strange light. Take this duck.

I do a double take, I’m

thrown over the i-

mage in the cove. The

cracked cement sky says, “No, it

is the duck’s dark shine.”

NEAR PROVIDENCE 20.2.21

Side by side twin black

plastic lawn chairs sit in the

snow, not a flake on

them. The sun is bright,

the snow fresh. See forms create

expectations, some

of which go unful-

filled. One possibility

is this photograph.

Another is, I

sit down. It’s like a city

bench in the village.

Whatever. I was

bored, I’m no longer bored, this

walk has been special.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 19.2.21

As I make tea at

the end of a busy day—

the rain turned to snow—

I watch the snow fall.

The tea bag turns the water

darker and darker.

I’m breathing in through

my mouth eight counts, out through my

nose four counts. Yes: Life

is motion, and mo-

tion seeks its several ends.

One being my tea.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 18.2.21

Lacking grace I fall

in the ice and snow. It is

one way to get there.

A man of method,

I now see life’s deep meaning:

The way is meta.

I look back on life.

The way you live it can’t be

found on any map.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 17.2.21

Who am I to feel

something of an ultimate

as I watch a duck

slowly cross the cove

on a dull day with snow in

the forecast? All by

itself it leaves a

widening wake touching both

shores, a soft glimmer

in the near darkness.

I’ve never felt so close to

Horace or Basho,

names writ on water,

I mean I felt such urgen-

cy to write it down.