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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Buddha Mind


Three komodo dragons
ate a small deer:
one in the back, one in the belly,
one in the rear.

The shocked deer endured,
its black tongue taut,
half an hour: four hungry creatures
with just one thought.

I understand this really happened.
Three komodo dragons were seen slowly devouring a deer.
My wife ran from the room and left the poem unread.
Sorry.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

N.D. 1948-1982


Weeks of it, then, months of it.
Her weight fell, but the pain reached no limit.

She was just an ordinary woman--
worried, worn, and emptied again and again;

but not released. No, not released.

2.

The coming of this death, it's empty
lack of dignity

is worse than any word
could say. My sister, my little bird....

I remember long ago.

3.

I want to say our memories
are safe, beyond disease,

but I won't stir them up in you.
Our summer games are far away and few.

What past startles through her sleep?

4.

My sister, like Beardsley, once drew
clever people. This passed too.

She raised a beautiful son.
Now hopes and all, one by one,

are part of our hard and sudden prayers.

5.
I haven't prayed well.
For what heaven? From this hell?

Only for the transfiguration of pain.
May someone remain

to bless us, who knows.

June 1982
Such a beautiful woman.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Place de La Concorde


When we roll, the wooden wheels of the cart
Bow slightly so that we wiggle a bit
Like a butterfly in a breeze. The barest pause,
From the grit of the cobbles, mimes the burr
Of a military drum, and the crowd, in wonder,
Breathe together and gather, the way a crone draws
A rag around her neck, into a tight warm fit.
The place becomes us, no more a thing apart.