HERE IS A POEM YOU CAN HIDE IN
failed hopes go, turn
where my child’s voice is heard
in the night, still damp from dreams.
Talk of sweet surrender against the
February snow, and then turn inward,
where silver trims the bitter limbs.
I’m not afraid to mention
precious aspirations, and
all we know went wrong,
I’m here with you,
under the same sun and same moon,
right here, the source of prayer,
right here in my hand.
Tiny Ants without Sorrow
thematic elements of nature,
climb the beach house wall.
What vibration causes them to stop, confer
with another line, then move on, we’ll never know.
Over and over like a prayer, they go.
These infinitesimal creatures, moving in unison, reach
another set of beings, freeze, then begin again.
Protean intelligence with an elegant sense of balance,
—with sensibility unfailingly sure of its path—
They do not have wounds too deep for anger.
They do not need to elevate the struggle.
The Third Heart
LEARNING FROM BUDDHA
I wish I hadn’t made fun of him that day at Union Station when he walked away from the tie rack with the same green and blue striped tie he had in his closet at home. Green and blue slanted stripes. “You have one” I laughed. He said maybe the stripes are wider on the other one. I proved I was right. They were identical. I proved it. “Why have two exactly alike?” Because I like that tie, he said. I always liked this tie. Then I recalled when I was 17 and his mother took the hat right off my head. She liked it. Actually my father did this when she said isn’t that adorable. He took it right off my head and handed it to her. I never found another. None of this is what I want to talk about. This second, I want to show you the way the sun lights up the tree, such a funny slice of light it couldn’t be made by design, the way it hits the angle of green. There will never be another moment like it.
Three O'clock, 1942