The Place

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The Place

The surprise of hearing my own voice

like seeing slivers of light filtered between the trees

The words are whispered which I could have missed

Words of encouragement, a push

My eyes are closed, my attention sharpened

I am resting a bit after walking long

My breathing is trying to catch up with my steps

In trying to reach my goal I struggle

There are benches, handrails, sources of spring water

I am vulnerable but not feeble.

I am not alone, or helpless

Though night is approaching I am not lost.

Is it the wind or spirit descends from above the trees

A voice telling me a place in eternity

The place where I am going.

 

Decision

May be it’s to answer a call or blind fate in finding something

You decide to hike the Appalachian Trail.

The trail is kind to the brave and humble

The pain and sweat and determination

Stay with every step in solidarity with others.

To reach the summit the climb becomes steeper

You have to grab handholds firmly

And pull yourself up with steady upper body strength

In the thin air your heart has to persevere

Your legs gather the steps almost like forever

You do not lose sight of your stamina and purpose

Till a shout of triumphal gratitude.

 

You  are in your nineties now

Seldom mention the deep meaning of your accomplishment

You often smile when someone talks about hiking or a climb

You walk only two to three miles a day.

Length of Stay

Length of Stay

There is no more boredom or uneven walk on the hiking trail
No more mere acorns and colored pebbles from the riverbed
A new day of catastrophe’s widening reach
Wearing a mask wherever one goes
Suspicion of catching the virus when traveling, talking with friends and strangers
Living in narrow corridors
A suffocating feeling, counting the hours
Waiting when the end come?
With fear of being left alone and contagious

Today I walk to the river
There is a pink breasted bird flying from one branch to another, from one tree to another tree
Tweeting and communicating in a high pitch bird talk
I see a fisherman attending to his line
The fish has not touched any of his baits
But living is not all about intensity and patience
Not all about uncertainties and business hours
Life is also about the every day simplicity: corn on the cob and opening an umbrella during the rain,
A good book, kind thoughts, and Beethoven
And kissing you goodnight.

At The River

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8E5397D0-B672-47FF-B507-0F5BFDB8A7D5At The River

The lines are cast

The fish are not biting

A fisherman wonders why

I don’t know

From a distance in the walking path

Two walkers are approaching

Ask them the question when they arrive.

The base of a tree is surrounded by stones

The other trees are not.

It’s winter even in a tiny vineyard

Meantime I’m walking back home

I’m thinking what I will have for lunch

Will xfinity know?

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Attention

She sits on the sand

listening to the sound of the sea

There are a few people on the beach

Some are waiting for the sunset

She waits for the green flash.

A loud sound of a car crashing distract her thoughts

Like tiny fevers that affect the carpenter’ mind

Sounds of hammering, falling nails, slip of a saw

She runs to the road, a car

Smashed against a tree

She opens the car door quickly

Pulls the driver out, bleeding, moaning

Assessed the situation quickly, calls 911

Still shaken after the ambulance leaves

She returns and looks at the ocean again

And see not just darkness that veils the horizon

She sees farther, lines of light, 

Bright as her thought

Or she sees clearly what’s in front of her

She still misses or only glances

For things with deeper meaning

How fragile is time and beauty

Simple thread, as we are,in the tapestry of the universe.

We may not even be able to say goodbye.

The Lightness of Carrying an Epidemic

The Lightness of Carrying an Epidemic

New drink from the ginger roots pulled out from the garden

A glass, freshly boiled and rich with honey

You plan to replenish your depleted immunity

The storms of microbes are dousing the plane passengers

All coughing now and feverish

Chinese medical reports an epidemic in the chicken farms

Spreading from airports to airports

When they arrived home children will carry the virus with their books

From class to class, backpacks, playgrounds and sleep overs

The virus travels like a seasoned wanderer, unhindered and silent.

Ordinary Things

Ordinary Things

I will not need a hammer

to make a yogurt

I may need a loom

to weave a tapestry

To find lost civilizations

I have to dig hard and deep

The ordinariness of routines,

struggle and perseverance

The devoted hours of monks:

prayers, sleep, work

I will have to master my hands

may not need a trowel or shovel

to work my way through

to find a needle, diamond, or poem

hidden inside a haystack.

Harvest

When the fields ripen

The gray  and golden grains gathered in sacks

The guitars will freshen the air

Children will dance around the stubbles

The farmers will wash their hands

Gratitude written on their faces

They will tell the  stories

How the rain filled the thirsty land

Balanced the summer’s dryness

Like when the maiden peeks through the window

After hearing a serenade

It’s him, she says.

Meaning of play

I’m sorry I have not posted for the last 5 days.

I spent my time on chess

Playing by email against 4 opponents

of two games each

I lost track of time

hours of concentration

It’s not surprising I forget

parts of the day or meals

What should a bird do

when flying over colorful meadows?

Time in the woods

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A time of windy days, of falling leaves

Trees of fertile, intricate roots, anchored

Rarely do we enter the woods

As if we are afraid bears or snakes may cross our path

Thursday afternoon or any day,

Any ordinary day, is a day of sauntering,

Luminous time of spending an afternoon

Without concern of looking backwards

Not to imagine but to experience kindness of time passing,

To experience ourselves vulnerable and alone sheltered in the woods,

I like to think distant birds return because of me, a selfish notion of enticement,

Dreams die not because of unimportance

Though lustrous, their solace is celebrated no more

If you are struggling just to survive, are you missing much of life?

I encounter the homeless and heard of refugees

They crowd the margins, tiptoeing the edge of the cliffs,

The deep sea below and jagged rocks.

Each morning they look for a clean place

to be alone.

Life of abundance, life of scarcity, life of loss

And the liminal spaces between

What are the life’s possibilities and questions?

Intense experiences challenge the boundaries.

Solirude. Tumult. Arrested time.

The book I’m reading, page 37, asks,

“What’s the measure of your worth?”

Priceless, I shouted.