NEAR PROVIDENCE 9.10.21

I walk fast in the

Fall, my breath just ahead of

me. The Bay is flat,

slate gray. Once late the

available light picks out

in the tawny grass

a monstrous Mute Swan,

unearthly as a full moon

in the early dusk.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 8.10.21

”Humility—a deep unconcern for the social fate of the self—is the foundation of courage as well as wisdom: it frees one to see the truth.” Jan Zwicky, Learning to Die: Wisdom in the Age of Climate Crisis (University of Regina Press) p. 54.

During the day, down

at the shore, I listen to

waves crumble, waves re-

form. Then at night, cars

on the road keep me awake—

traffic sounds like waves.

No man is an is-

land; we are all islands, sur-

rounded by the sounds

of coming and go-

ing. Paying attention to

that is salvation.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 7.10.21

Yellow leaves litter

the sidewalks but climate change

drives leaf peepers North

in search of color.

Maybe there maples catch fire

in season. What we

call ”fall color” is

a gift that opens our hearts—

pure, original!

NEAR PROVIDENCE 6.10.21

I sit in the sun

inside the door. Autumn glare

makes blanks of us all.

I smile and greet them

anyway, coming in, go-

ing out. They smile back.

It’s that time of year.

One does not need religion

to feel connected.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 5.10.21

As a child I learned

what to call the pines—lodge pole,

Jeffrey, Western White—

in the Sierra.

They introduced me to clouds.

Now, on the East coast,

I still dream these names.

The clouds here are big and fast,

with Atlantic roots.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 4.10.21

The mystic text ”recalls something that is not a past.” Michel de Certeau

Time is of the essence but ultimately makes a fool of consciousness. Anonymous.

(Work in progress)

The Autumn light off

the water shines, not so I

can see but to be

seen. Just this after-

noon, the whole summer passing

into the past. Now

that I’ve seen it, I’m

on edge, conscious it seems of

origin and end.

The moment passes.

The air darkens and chills. Stars

have my attention.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 3.10.21

The pains of old age—

foot cramps, watery eyes, short-

ness of breath—nothing

but distraction, says

Po. Do your Zen exercize;

sit and forget. Let

letting work its ec-

stacy. Looking for mushrooms,

you will glimpse the moon.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 2.10.21

As many ducks in

the air as in the water.

The restless Autumn.

In summer, old friends

kept in touch by phone, by text.

We were growing old

together. Death comes

as a surprise. The wild light

in the cove stuns me.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 1.10.21

I returned to the

cove to see the beautiful

swans. Yes, they were real.

Beautiful and real.

Now I polish these mirrors

in my memory.

Since the swans are gone,

their absence is vital fact,

beautiful and real.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 30.9.21

Very hot, very

black coffee, and a piece of

cake. The occasion?

A nip in the air.

Early dusk, a lone robin lis-

tens on the lawn.

The contemplative

life finds small things distracting,

then vague, then profound.