memo from the buddha’s desk

beneath the bodhi tree
 
 
sitting, walking, make no distance.
you choose.   your intent.

use your feet like your mouth.
kiss what nurtures you.   observe
how you stand.

your silence might meditate, however
notice, everything speaks.

stones, gravel, sand, falling rain,
the cat amusing your feet.

the chorus is as big as everything.

a perfect earth cannot become
more wise than its limbs.

we are fish in shallow water wanting
knowledge but only as we see fit to
receive.   surrender wisdom first.

no pockets to fill or keep.

lions not eating me

lion tamers are pretty cool.   not the ones in cages,
but the ones out on the bare scrub savannah with

full-faced fair regard.

but to say “tamer”, that’s less precise than saying,
the-one-who-doesn’t-get-eaten-today.

a chair or whip would spoil everything!

what more to ask of love?

sleepish

when we fall asleep where do we go?

two legs swinging over the edge, water
and fish below.   no line, no hook.

maybe a boat will come.   we’ll fly past
the moon.   scatter some crumbs on cheese.

did we remember to bring the cat?

a calico of unusual residence.

do I dream of poems?   no, more likely
pie.   peach to make a wish.

cross the line.   yawn.   a second time.
write home to mom.   a figure of speech.

the cat is nibbling toes.   no new poem
yet.   I’m late.   and the world goes on.

sleep cares neither.   the world is fine.

wake to write another day.

directions to the beach

wait two billion years for the earth to cool.

wait more for the land to build up and then
relax again.

wait for unending rain.   filling a bathtub is easy.
filling an ocean takes some long intent.

wait for things to grind.
 
 
better tell grandma where you’re going today.
 
 
wait for the grocery to open.   we need some
bread, beef and cheese for sandwiches.

be sure the tank is filled with gasoline.
 
clean underwear?   better check.
 
 
aim west over the dark towering trees till
there, cultivated rows of artichoke blooms.

notice how the roadside dirt is changing to sand.

then distant lion’s roar morphs into gulls overhead.
 
 
we’re here.   there’s grandma in the waves.

Letter to a friend

 
on the occasion of change.

water falls, becomes a river, then the sky again.

that is the true nature of embrace.

of a Sufi poet a few hundred years ago,

          Unable to perceive the shape of You…
          I find You all around me.

          Your presence fills my eyes with Your love…

          It humbles my heart…
          For You are everywhere.

look into the face of everywhere,
realize that also means every when.

no lie, the light of a star continues
its far flight, visible to patient eyes,

patient hearts.

I have listened to you and hear your
language with her yet resides in present time.

honor that voice.

if life is a question gifted us
then the answer to pain is love.
 
 
 
read footnotes about this poem

bloom

the first tattered webs on the garden trees.

fast maple leaves.   ginko coming slow ahead.

snails awake with shallow sails.

intent wandering, bigger than a seed.

she sits beside me here.

spring.

ceiling

 
I wonder what’s above the ceiling.

let me kiss the ceiling and find out what.

a bit awkward I know but love’s like that.

granted, ceiling is up there, me down here.
I’ll climb on the bed, reach higher on my toes.

there, kiss the ceiling mouth to mouth.

what’s above the ceiling?

kiss and become.