Child Care

Rainy Saturday,
the cafe jammed with children
and paler parents.
My dad would maintain
his lead on the mountain trail
to the timberline,
his back glistening
with sweat and bronze in the sun.
I can’t say I cared
about getting there,
which left him cold, but I cared
about him, still do.

Cento: On Power

Hill: master of all
humility. Confucius:
fasting of the heart —

in dialogue I
roll these pious bits around
as I avoid wet

branches and puddles.
When power comes up
for those who know not,

a hole in the wall
suggests a room full of light
(vide Chuang Tzu).

Out of the rain, I
find the Master praises song,
the equalizer.

Hill’s unsung spirit
ends as praise, the absolute
atoned with the con-

tingent, good neighbors
all and each the master of
all humility.

The source’s are Geoffrey Hill’s poem “De Anima” and Merton’s version of Chuang Tzu, “The Way of Chuang Tzu,” iv.I.

Old Pond

To write a poem
is to sink to the bottom
with the giant carp,
giving up for now
your own perspective at
the pulse of the source.
The poem may rise
at times through the darkness and
disturb the surface.

Happy Fish

Enter the nothing,
says the philosopher — art
happens to affirm
being as you do.
An example: Watching fish
leap for joy. Flash! Splash!
So Chuang Tzu says
walking by the stream he knows
what makes fish happy.

We Are Full of Holes

Charles Wright, give me

a break.  There is no second


world to live in or

not.  Let that be our straw dog.

Everything passes–

being included.

Common sense, metaphysics,

whatever.  Music,

says Chuang Tzu, is

the breath of nature passing

over each thingy

thing.  We are full of

holes.  Our sound depends on how

open each hole is.


On the way here this

cold Sunday in March a wave

of silence broke o-

ver the church I pass

whenever the chorus fell

silent.  Wonderful.

I do not doubt faith.

It takes faith to raise one’s voice

in  praise in this world.

Unchurched I thank these

people;  like God they stand in

for others as other.

The Soul Is Involved

Not quite a hermit,

I sit with the golden youth

of this high-tech town

and sip their ciders.

I hide behind a thick book:

kenotic passing

of creative change–

I’d like to share that but don’t.

I feel my losses.

The soul is involved

with creative change but change

alone goes nowhere.