Unkai: Sea of Fog

this morning, unkai – the sea of fog – unrolls train valley Oe-san and browning peaks around all swim in mist slow down feather grey engine sighing smoke kisses mist sun weaves thin air banners between lowering waves of cloud it begins above train arrival chimes one note falling far from clear song one silver…

Wood With Rabbit

married at the scar, two salve trees lean against each other, how we all learn to walk, watching feet trusting heads to sky silver leaves tip up for rain and beneath them, small boy rabbit frozen in prayer, down among fireweed, wild rose and stalks of tiger lily, velvet footed indian paintbrushes is that where…

In the Garden, Retilled

you can’t hurry dirt garbage to rich brown, seasons and the efforts of millions, obedient to life, composing, compost, calm pose, compelled to completion so small against it all, tidal wave, tectonic thrust, breath ocean exploding, green threads back toward the sun. does any given microbe know daylily blooms?   And here’s the 2009 edit,…

Yevshan, a song goes on singing

now take the sage — yevshan — now breathe it in yevshan yevshan you call from it a story of your own people far away an eastern light, far grasslands yevshan yevshan yevshan your silver leaves bend shining slight arms embrace the wind your sharp breath breaks the bonds of winter roots endure and flourish…

Worm Medicine

earthworm, indivisible one, you feed on smaller things what is dead, and what is rotting food of worms, no glory until above you, sky riots with beauty that feeds on your tiny work was it you? st. francis held in his hand, praying make me a channel of Your peace here, this reeking moment, break…

Song of Praise (resung)

In Nass Valley, one shaft of sun lights two red and white toadstools in damp moss, luminous deeper in cathedral, wingéd ugly fungi, colours i wouldn’t admit there, i and all that i am, no less than the stinkhorn and oozing mud sing the brown and wrinkled, slick and loathsome, what i would not dare…

Seokguram Temple (revisited)

watch the spell these  mountains clarify our breath, that is the sea over there in this grotto, guardians of broken stone can’t stop tourists, nor the thief who pried loose the jewel once in Buddha’s brow at sunrise, they say you could stand just inside doors opened wide toward sea, and the first ray of…