This morning the world still
an owl flew off near the house
into the woods
Whoosh shook the dawn
Breakneck rose the sun
Alarm sweetened the terrorized rain
the tender-waking other birds
quick as match-flicks
condensed spheres of smoky twitter
Cosmos in him
He sleeps the rugged deep sleep
that knows sleep as a rest and letting go
after the rock escarpment
climax of a climb -
the flightless sound birds make when
dirt bathes their parasitic skins -
the sleep that stills (a log they say)
yet gathers strength in
each extremity to twitch
with dreams from air. The
sleep that mothers wish for
and fear in night's illness.
It comes so easily to him,
a scalawag, a mentor, and
a beast. It rises rhythmically
near his loins. And when through soft
and furry breath
sufficiently care dissipates,
the Lord Dog rises,
bows nobly to the sun, his charioteer,
and goes, off to the next mountain,
or gully, or pond just as humans do,
as around each turn
they find their unexpected life.
How still he stands
among the rash scrubbery
down in the flat wet
below the roadbed.
Pink eyes fearless.
Tail flashless in
He turns, ambling away,
slipping into the bare tree tangle.
Deer snow white deer,
in the middle of nowhere,
how did I find such a treasure?
Are you listening for
thank you letters?
Albino deer, farewell:
What did he leave?
What trail of almost goose
feathers impaled on the bushes?
A mind-candle, surely.
The pink underskin
of the world
This is my lesson in humility.
My lesson in grief.
My lesson in the cruelty of the human heart, my own.
Trudging through deep southern snow:
finding both of your faces frozen in the white.
Sparrows still singing in the shrubbery.
I could not say it then.
I cannot say it now.
My heart split in two.
A tree limb weighted by ice.
A white quiet and protective.
A white dangerously warm.
My hands spiritless in the drifts.
Why do birds continue to sing?
SONG FOR A BIRTHDAY:
This the month
when the dying God revives, winters fires
smothering springs flames, all
tumbling into summer's thickening
In the air Love's green nobility
Such melon anguish the sweet shrub makes
Its multi-cupped flowers opening
Little lotuses at the wood's edge
to slay winter darkness
And in the air Love's green nobility
Love's bright coy God
little: a Happy Hill Sutra
for SF, TM, GW, JW
For all the Little People in the worlds (ours and theirs).
All of us have not forgotten you.
I came to crush time to study you to teach.
Little enough said little enough thought little enough forgotten little enough
Porch's cold concrete bumble bee's raftered catacomb fog lifting
Bat mother in porch eave tell us your favorite supper
Incessant wren listen cars climbing the mountain one mouth feeding another
Doves weeping on boughs dawn rain
Gay feather in daylilies splinter in finger
In the dress shop peonies in the garden peonies in the mind one
My pockets empty wren hopping cricket death chicks cheeping no rain today
Mournful crow fireflies where are you Gods & Goddesses fern fronds
Two green grasshoppers bathroom's red walls you looking in mirror too
Wasp carrying green worm back again one minute here one minute gone Sisyphus or Sage
Negative space no Positive space on
Fingers aflame with spring water nothing lasts
Not this not that white shadows on the hemlock boughs
Too much said too much thought too much forgotten too much
One day a man came I am not he observe