NEAR PROVIDENCE 6.12.21

”We are led more clearly to see the insentient as sentient and the submission of self to be a disciplined action of individual will.” Martin Dubois on The Windover in his study of Hopkins

As the bay darkens,

the last of this year’s sunlight

glows in the dried grass.

Blessed are the poor

in spirit. That radiance,

cobalt water, cold

wind—they compose me

to know my own nothingness

in the moment’s mix.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 5.12.21

Dim December light.

Something’s happening at low

tide. Something lights up.

Among black-headed

Canadian geese a mute

swan unbends its long

white neck to sip. I

live where not much happens, to

speak of, but this counts.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 3.12.21

Out of the cold, from

a fold in my hoodie, a

scarlet lady bug.

It springs away from

the warmth of my body. Good

bye, fellow traveller.

We are separate

now. Our hard brittle nature

conceals suffering.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 2.12.21

Living alone lasts

until a storm blows open

a window or sun-

light dazzles new snow.

The deeper into winter

the more we respond

to the silence: it

mocks the nothingness we take

as our very own.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 1.12.21

A rare walk in the

dark. Habit replaces sight.

Mist disperses light

from windows and stop-

lights. My pedestrian muse

my true companion.

The faint sky moonless.

A shadow figure backlit

on the darkened path.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 30.11.21

”In lyric awareness, we don’t know at arm’s length, we know as part of a larger whole.” Jan Zwicky, The Experience of Meaning, 163.

I see you walking

your dog. Your dog walks you, too.

When I say walk, I

mean wander under

the sky as I versify.

It’s just what happens.

My dog (my soul) counts

the steps we take, notes changes

in the light, sings with

the gulls out at sea,

turns us toward home. My dog

demands to be walked.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 29.11.12

As it gets colder

my walks get shorter, but feel

longer, more intense.

Winter condenses

time into crystals, each one

its own metaphor

for timelessness. Fall

combines spring and summer mo-

ments, never winter.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 27.11.21

I watch the TV

at the pub. The sound is off.

We all love football.

The light outside is

ripe. These fall days are smokey

with a long finish.

There are values and

values. I’ll go see an old

flame who lives alone.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 26.11.21

”The importance of prayer is to demonstrate one’s attentiveness to the status of its own finitude.” Takeshi Morisato, Faith and Reason in Continental and Japanese Philosophy, Bloomsbury, p. 172.

I may not be re-

ligious but there are times

prayer stops me cold.

Like the resonance

of Basho’s elsewhere cuckoo.

In the overcast,

the green fire of a mallard

from the dark water.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 25.11.21

”In order to use language as a musical medium we must also approach it as a physical medium, as sound.” Zwicky, The Experience of Meaning, 150.

Within earshot of

the pub I turn toward the

cove, the raucous sea-

gulls, glittering waves.

I close in on the silence

of fellow creatures.

A chorus of shrieks

in the impersonal glare

of winter sunlight.

Later I’ll stop by

and say hello to the girls

who sing in their prep.

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