Tag Archives: tzu-jan

Sunday Service, Small Town in Virginia, Late September, on the Occurrence of Emptiness

Sunday Service, Small Town in Virginia, Late September, on the Occurrence of Emptiness

No traffic. A leaf clatters like a steed with an urgent message
then gives in to a burlesque swirl and stills itself out

of momentum. A yellow moth staggers on uneven air across the empty street.
I can walk down the middle of the road past lonely double-parked cars.

Not a soul is about. The churches are filled up with their giant doors shut
like a present I will not unwrap. The entire town is my empty prayer.

I can appreciate every curb’s lift, every curve of crumbling brick
arch on old buildings, window-shop for emptiness and find it

everywhere. Even the crow’s shadow barely skims the earth.
And a thousand yellow leaves do the moth better than the moth did.

To the Tune of a Song Not Yet Written [3]

Note: third in a series of poems with the same title, to be scattered throughout a larger project called The Drift

To the Tune of a Song Not Yet Written [3]

Five white petals on a black flower
among many in an orange field on the sliver of wing

of an insect pausing by the sill then flying then forgotten
nine months later—my first five decades




Lotus Compass Points

Lotus Compass Points


Some times you have to go
deep enough in so
there’s no way
before a sense
of real direction


Orange sun sets through gap in clouds
in the midst of a spring snow flurry

does nothing know its place?
or I have forgotten nothing

has its place here


Mist rises from trees
ghosts of foliage
longing for last summer
Sometimes I feel a ghost

in myself a burning off
that I mistake for rising
It clouds the moon
between us


Navigating mountain fog road
I slow to the speed of the visible

The sun only a white rumor
all wild empty air just out of reach

Descent brings clarity
a painted line, the next curve ahead

truths higher than any
enveloped peak