NEAR PROVIDENCE 11/21/20

Just another day

in the pandemic. We have

lost count of the dead.

We bring the children

to watch the swans in the cove.

So big and so white.

The children laugh to

see them stick their long necks in-

to the dark water.

We’re forbidden to

say goodbye to the dying

or to see them go.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 11/20/20

On the breakwater,

the winter sun at high noon,

the light strips things to

transparency: soul

reading the bright page of keen

attention, there is

a forgetting of

self, cold, my presence, there’s just

the flowing passage.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 11/18/20

It was I pulled from

the cold as the tern broke through.

I saw it coming,

cruising and spindling

above the cove, shouldering

the light as it crashed

through and rose instant-

ly. The beauty of being

pulled into the light.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 11/17/20

I did not ask for

it, I’ll take it, not as sign

of anything grand,

the cloud doubled in

the dark Bay waters, brighter

there than in the sky,

the empty mind re-

minded how ordinary

such transformation.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 11/15/20

I heard it before

I saw it, two swans rising

into the gray, a

rush, a gush of air

as the great white wings spread out

and up and down and

up, water falling.

I had been missing you and

for a time the void

of your death filled with

tremendous white confusion

in the empty cove.

And that arrest keeps

me moving through the winter’s

dark, open spaces.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 11/14/20

It begins to rain.

The luminous autumn clouds

over the water

drain of light. I wave

to the old woman who minds

the plantings and paths,

though as Buson says,

I’d rather end the year with

Basho on the road.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 11/13/20

It gets dark early

so I leave early to see

the swans in the cove.

This is new for me.

I’ve loved and been loved and no

longer seek the one.

There are many paths

to being, being has many

names, still I love to

see these two swans in

the gloaming under the pier

being together.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 11/12/20

When it snows the geese

leave woods for open waters.

Their obstinate stares!

Simple minded, I

recognize myself when they stop

me on winter walks.

What keeps me out in the cold?

The open waters.