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.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 16.2.21

The end of the road.

At low tide, in midwinter,

mist covering the

cove, just visible

gulls perch on small dark stones in

silence. They sleep, stretch,

spread their long white wings.

The mist hides the opposite

shore, at least to me.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 15.2.21

February. Peace

to dull ice and shining snow.

I’ve made my peace with

falling: the loss of

dignity, the brainless jolt

stripping the self of

flesh in the moment.

O happy fall, a stranger

pulls me to my feet.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 14.2.21

Valentine’s Day. The

place loud with local voices—

manly men, retired.

I read Saiguo,

so passionate (for a monk),

always on the road,

torn between beliefs

and his love for cherry blos-

soms. As I love ducks.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 13.2.21

Wide pants, heavy gray-

blue coats, the postal workers

take a lunch break. I

watch them and listen

to their low voices. Angels

to our loneliness,

and awesome. Snow drips

from their boots and glitters on

the tiled floor we share.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 12.2.21

In soft winter light

my selfies do justice to

the man I’ve become,

wrinkles and fat lips,

a brow unclouded by thought.

Life is brutal and

I’ve been pampered. Words

would say more but these selfies

capture the moment.