NEAR PROVIDENCE 20.4.22

WORK IN PROGRESS

An ornamental

lemon tree, the patio

in dry Bakersfield—

boyhood companion-

ing cool solitude.

I’d sit out there and watch it.

Tiny white blossoms,

sour, grape-sized fruit, slow

slow invisible growth. This

taught me how to write.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 18.4.22

WORK IN PROGRESS

It takes some ego

to push yourself out the door

on a cold April

morning for a walk

and see crowding your neighbor’s

yard blazing crabap-

ple trees. Take your walk.

Other power will become

self power as you

pass exuberant

dogwood trees spreading the news:

Go slow: Nirvana.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 17.4.22

Holy Saturday.

When Jesus arrived in Hell,

it was quite empty,

until we heard the news.

There are other narratives.

We all talked at once.

Later I watched an

egret liftoff over me.

That empty fullness.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 14.4.22

WORK IN PROGRESS

I moseyed out to

a spot on the breakwater.

A sunny April

unseasonable

day for a look at the Bay.

But all I saw was

bareness —a raw stump

where an old twisted pine had

framed the immense blue.

The shock wore off as

I wandered away thinking:

O Maunday Thursday!

NEAR PROVIDENCE 14.4.22

WORK IN PROGRESS

Spring strains disbelief.

Deep chaos of Holy Week.

Gold forsythia

rampant, poverty

of imagination gifted

with the heart’s sudden

willingness to fall.

We wake from dreams of old loves,

glad to start over.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 11.4.22

WORK IN PROGRESS

“What has to be accepted, the given, is — so one could say — forms of life.” Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, 226.

You’re light on my arm

today. Wind-blown clouds, sparkling

water—we meet there too.

We met late in life.

On breezy, light-filled Spring days

we’d take a walk. Rome

or Bath proposed perfection.

At home such perfect

days proposed Bath or

Rome. You’d lean on me, and now

I’m in Bath or Rome.


NEAR PROVIDENCE 9.4.22

“Thinking is forgetting differences.” Borges

[ The crucial equivocation on ”think” was a response to the commentary in Moeller and D’Ambrosio Genuine Pretending: On the Philosophy of the Zhuangzi (Columbia, 2017)]

I run into you

on my way to see the ducks.

“You think they’re happy,”

you say. ”Right,” I say.

“But you’re not a duck,” you say.

“As you say, I think;

if you knew how I think, you’d

see ducks are happy.”

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