White Nights

A sliding glass door
that showed my father’s garden
was my bedroom wall
before I left home.
At night when I wrote the dark
made it a mirror.
Sometimes a pale face
appeared, myself looking up
from a darkened page.

Ceci and I

As often as I
must pick up the cat so I
can sit in the chair

she occupies, she
must wake and does so slowly.
The space between us

opens to the gift
of being as we look and look
in each other’s eyes.

It’s a sort of spell,
a wordless tuneless song of
being together.

Sometimes I get caught
up in the moment of her
sweet indifference.

On Immanence

So you must decide
where to make the cut but leave
immanence untouched.

“No one invents the
quiet that runs through the grass”
(Burnside, his text on

“the gift of the world,
the undecided”). The space
between decisions

itself immanent,
is not constructed but found
as a gift is found.

John Burnside, “II: SI DIEU N’EXISTAIT PAS, IT FAUDRAIT L’INVENTER” in GIFT SONGS (2007)

Easter

After months of rain,
a dry windless pale-green day,
and Easter day, too.

Unconditional
love, as unconditioned, comes
from emptiness, the

“fertile void” (Desmond)
(thinking through Merton’s Zhuangzi
here because it fits).

Is the tomb of god
a sign of such emptiness?
Could be, could be. Un-

conditional love,
as unconditioned, supports
no such narrative.

We acknowledge our
folly in community
with old hymns, dances.

Like a Whale Song

For a life-time it
seems I’ve let the twists-and-turns
of verse overwhelm,

flood my memory.
Now, old, dozing in the sun,
my memory thin,

I observe pale shapes
move, and between them hear time-
less conversations.

The Discovery

As exponents go,
there’s no power to which
poetry may be

raised; nor be broken
down, reduced to roots. Only
as we try and fail,

accepting defeat,
does poetry rescue us
and show what’s prior.

Knots of Resistance

You know that extreme
big old knotty useless tree
Chuang Tzu praises

planted in empty-
ness? The knots in its twisted
limbs show the path of

least resistance is
not the easiest. They are
beautiful and true.