surrender

You are a stranger in the stream

who walked away from a mountain trail

looking for a waterfall

a translation of the inevitable

modest steps lost in the tributaries

understanding that we are the ones

who are often distracted.

Let deer roam your mind

forest of imagination

when its head dips in the stream

let your heart be surprised

learn “to love things

as no one thought to love them”

you will arrive without knowing,

a raindrop surrendering to the sea,

the immensity of the unsayable.

finding the one you love

If Only for Once

If only for once it were still.
If the not quite right and the why is
could be muted, and the neighbor’s laughter,
and the static my senses make—
if all of it didn’t keep me from coming awake—

Then in one vast thousandfold thought
I could think you up to where thinking ends.

I could possess you,
even for the brevity of a smile,
to offer you
to all that lives,
in gladness.

note: from the Book of Hours by Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy

Rilke’s is one of my favorite poets.

letter to a friend

Last night the rain fell

and still falling, heavy and diligent.

The river embraced the visiting friend

celebrating with the coming tide.

O, the colorful umbrellas and scarves

I will not be able to send photos

my class is on black and white photography.

But you have your white mountain

so white and full of thrills.

Remember our plans for spring.