NEAR PROVIDENCE 26.7.22

“The one is all things but no thing.” Plotinus

I walk out into

the bloc heat of August noon.

The absolute one.

Things in the cool shops

and a little money buys

air conditioning,

human relations,

my smiling self. Once outside,

the inscape wobbles:

which overflows, being or

mind knowing itself?

A few sips of pop

and things settle down: finite

goods are the real goods.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 17.7.22

Summer Song by the Ocean

“Our horses winnied to each other at parting.”—Li Po

Voices cross the bay.

Duck voices, boat people, waves—

all carried by wind.

It could be any

time of year, but it’s summer,

and you are away.

The empty- fulness

of this day leaves plenty of

room for a love song.

Summer friends stop by

but I’m not there, I’m here with

you by the ocean.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 11.7.22

“The image is a mediator in the porous between—making the between porous to what is beyond the between.” William Desmond, GOD AND THE BETWEEN, 270.

In the July sun

the cove becomes a mirror

too bright for my eyes.

I listen. The ducks

keep talking quietly. Time

overflows it seems.

The peace that passes

understanding passes as

the ducks fall silent.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 7.7.22

A SONG IN PASSING

I’m the blind man who

waves to every passer-

by—the bird wing’s sigh,

the human footstep.

I have beautiful hands, or

so my lover says.

I’m told I’m naive,

trusting. We are all passing.

We make our own luck.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 6.7.22

WORK IN PROGRESS

You kill me, I said.

You looked off to the pond where

a white egret stalked.

You kill me, I said.

I looked where you were looking.

The egret plunged its

long white neck and

drew it out shining, throbbing.

You kill me, you said.

That made me happy. We were

young, we spoke our minds.


NEAR PROVIDENCE 5.7.22

“It is thoroughly unbiblical and destructive to think that we can never suffer innocently as long as some error still lies hidden within us.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, PSALMS

You died peacefully

at night, having faced the worst,

smiling. A few days

later, your ashes

drifted on a Pacific

wave. The wrath of God

hounded me for years.

Today the Atlantic shapes

the stones I turn o-

ver idly at sun-

down. The only cure for grief

is another love.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 29.6.22

WORK IN PROGRESS

“To make way for the other is to create an opening for freedom that is not for oneself, though in that opening one is fully there for whatever may eventuate along the way.” William Desmond, quoted by Morisato, Faith and Reason, 124.

I have met others

on my summer rambles through

the estuary.

Village gardeners

wave over their bent shoulders

and beds of iris.

From time to time glints

of ocean shine through the hedges.

Heaven and earth one.

I follow Basho

following Zhuangzi: forget

your self on the way.

I have met others

as I get home: the coolness

in the shuttered house.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 27.6.22

In the lush tree tops

this long summer afternoon,

children endlessly

play. The sun goes down

in the thick poplar windrows,

leaves stir in the breeze

and suddenly there

the moon is— abrupt, whole, clear;

nothing else matters.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 23.6.22

WORK IN PROGRESS

SONG OF SITTING

Still as an infant

on her mother’s lap, I watch

the world go by. Folk

pass as the weather

worsens and the killing set-

tles nothing. Couples

hold hands loosely or

with white knuckles. Mother shifts

her weight, her gaze

never leaving me.

Buddha gently directs me

to her empty smile.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 22.6.22

SONG OF EXCESS

From Luke 6:38: ”good measure, pressed down and overflowing.”

Daylight streaks the walls.

After last night’s discussion,

what more can be said?

I fall into day,

squinting. We touched on all our

favorites, and then

some. And today’s bright

emptiness confirms why we

hold the silences.

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