NEAR PROVIDENCE 1.5.21

A painter fendu,

these outbreaks of chrome yellow

forsythia stun

me to childhood slopes

near the Pacific. Rolling

fields of mustard. Far

out in the grey-blue

migrating whales one by one

stately as they pass.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 30.4.21

Everywhere I walk

apple blossoms blow; apple

blossoms line the path.

The cove appears, gray

and flecked with foam. An egret,

not about to leave,

stands in two-inch waves

and waits. No difference: sub-

stance and emptiness.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 29.4.21

Young, I studied my

self in Yeats’s many selves.

None survived my youth.

A day at a time

seems best, and walking around,

slowing to see things

as they appear. Care

for the otherness of things

is my salvation.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 28.4.21

Just one of those days—

not enough water at low

tide to float the ducks.

The horizon draws

the eye beyond desire to

the edge of elsewhere.

The distance erupts

with the tremulous outcries

of geese taking off.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 27.4.21

Polishing a ku

about my decentered life

made me wobble on

my way to the geese.

I prayed the Dao and settled

down. The wise faces

of the geese, inscru-

tible, greeted me, a drop

of red in my black.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 26.4.21

Solitary bird

moving with balletic poise

across the mudflat

you’re an illusion

of mine, I own you, empty

jesture. Prolonged watch-

fullness shrives me as

gathering wings, legs, neck, head,

my dream collapses.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 25.4.21

By walking I ar-

rive sometimes at the place where

my mind loosens up.

I see the breeze push

a duck along, its dark foot

still as a rudder

in the clear water.

The breeze moves through my mind push-

ing me rudderless.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 24.4.21

Limber lilac and

top heavy apple blossoms

lead me by the nose—

virtue is passive—

walking is a pointless art,

I forget shopping

and dreaming I’m a

painter, read Buson’s renga

Peony Fallen.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 23.4.21

Overnight the tips

of twigs gained weight and color.

Whole trees hum on my

way to the cove. I

reach the water, which glitters.

The world’s meaning, so

clear in winter, con-

fused now by the sense of things,

bursts with distinctions.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 21.4.21

Tiny drops of rain,

more like a breathing of rain,

from a cloudless sky.

At low tide the light

bends in the water, I bend

over to see it,

the enigma of

eternity, its showing

as it passes through.