NEAR PROVIDENCE 2.8.21

”In order for us to account for the concrete singularity of the finite mindful self, then, we must both reach out to being in its irreducible otherness and open ourselves to the divine absolute beyond ourselves.” Takeshi Morisato

Ladders fall away

between billowing white clouds

and ducks in the cove.

The way up and the

way down, there’s no difference

on this July day.

A vision granted

to a wanderer. I’m not

picky about such.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 1.8.21

Under a small dark

tree shadows shift, sparrows leap

from the ground into

the foliage. Did

I spook them? I hope not. They

disappear. Nothing

now in the summer

sunlight. The original

radiance. Absence.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 31.7.21

It’s official:

we live in catastrophic times.

The news can’t shock us.

We spend time alone.

We make peace with Nothingness—

not mindless but mind-

ful of otherness:

that just this stranger now and

again says hello.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 30.7.21

The leaves breathe, the trees

sigh. Midsummer. Having come

this far, there’s far to

go. Canadian

geese gather on the grass near

the breakwater. Some

look at the Bay, some

find seeds and grit to eat. None

find me interesting.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 28.7.21

Han Shan says his mind

is like a cloud that leans on

nothing. I know the

feeling. I watch swans

preen for two hours a day on

sandy outcrops. Grass

holds the spot intact

in the deeps. The swans’ white forms

change shape constantly.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 27.7.21

My fist sticks to the

notebook page. Humidity

slows everything down.

I draw the same swans

in the same dark cove, the same

chiaroscuro cools

me. As I work, pas-

sivity becomes a grace

on hot afternoons.

,

NEAR PROVIDENCE 26.7.21

There was no quiet

when I got to my writing

place. So I just wrote.

I wrote my budget—

numbers are writing, right? I

filled pages with cute

steel-nibbed italics.

I emptied my so-called mind

then enjoyed myself.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 25.7.21

As it turns out books

overflow their shelves, mountains

of them make canyons

and then higher heights.

I keep the lights on all night.

I learn from the cat

how to step with grace.

A saint may pick up and read

on impulse, not me.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 24.7.21

The bed is so hot

I can’t lie down for a nap.

I take a cold bath,

think like a duck, and

roll with the cold wind and waves.

I can see the point

of my duck-viewing.

Humans trapped in themselves suf-

fer beyond reason.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 23.7.21

Later today, if

the forecast holds, these tower-

ing clouds will give way

to thunder and rain.

Now they complete a sublime

image: two white swans

incandescently

groom themselves in the cloud’s

shimmer on the bay.