Mountains Poured Over Mountains
A cloud shadow crawls across the bare mountainside
touching every tree. Small clouds seep and spread
along the ground like water, large clouds drop
heavily like whole trees being painted suddenly black.
One, then another, backlit by the trees still in light.
Funny to think of something bigger than a mountain
pouring over a mountain, its own peaks in constant change
enveloping what seems so changeless
but is really two images in today’s mirror.
Funny to see how quickly it spreads then leaves,
like something huge suddenly not remembered.
Yet it was there. Pushed by the invisible hill of wind
And over on this peak the sign of an old inn groans
and the paper darkens beneath my pen.
[by my daughter Sophia]
Turtle walks around.
The forest is lined with trees.
–who made that footprint?
The Goddess is fierce.
She never compromises–
in wisdom she waits.
Morning Sounds on a Day Off
Some repetitive bird calls, punctuated by crows.
Closer in, my wife sketching icons
across the table, pen going back and forth
on rough paper. Two cats breathing
still closer on the table by my open book.
When I open my eyes all sounds disappear.
Except the old wall clock ticking, ticking
which I hear even where there are no clocks.
Full Moon, Clear Night, Looking at Tree Shadows on Snow
The yard could be silver overcast sky
seen through the lean branches crossing.
I could stare all night, disappointed thinking:
where is that confounded moon?
When Walking Down Stairs in the Dark
No vision beats some vision. I have fallen hardest
in broad daylight—it’s not about what you can see
and that is no way to go down stairs. The light behind
casts your shadow too large—do not rush to meet your past like that!
The light below flattens the depth of your going—
never guess the shape of what holds you by what awaits you.
Better to close your eyes if you cannot include the emptiness.
Better to not stand on ceremony when the foot needs so little.
Full Moon, mid-winter, two days after a snowstorm, I walk through our house in the dark
The moon, that old toad palace, has seen it all and tonight
I am seeing the world with moon vision:
from my dark house it is a soft ghost
of all the worlds it has ever been to someone
Looking out at it from their window at night.
I don’t dare turn on a light; then it’s my ghost
that will be visible. Pausing outside my son’s door
I look in—the moon’s light freezes on his floor,
pretends it’s not there until I leave. By a lamp
near our bed, my wife plays guitar while I write,
Years from now, when this house has fallen in and
a squirrel skitters across a branch at this height
it will hear a soft music, some murmured words
and see the moon slide behind a gypsy’s leaf.