My Levels of Knowing

My Levels of Knowing

Fire, smoke and interruptions

Surround us

I found a pebble in my pocket

The entrance to the castle is open

My grandfather does not travel

He often takes me fishing

The guards sees us

We smile and walk forward

My friends are engaged in birdwatching

My grandmother sometimes  hides broken pieces in the closet

When are you returning

Inside the castle with its grandeur, we are lost like kittens

We can’t rise to the day’s heights or adapt to the hours

I accept the brevity of a flower,

I am getting older.

What Will Happen

What Will Happen

What’s like to be stranded in a place surrounded

By foreign language and echoes of history

Will fear envelope you? Maybe not.

Will you be like a child, free

To roam with pocketful of whims?

A universal mind, a child with no habits

With a dimension of willingness

To try, to listen, to ask questions:

How do you say hello, good morning

What ‘s your name? I’m hungry.

Gestures lead conversation and laughter

What will happen?

Complicated things will become simplified

Pull a string, turn a knob, a story will open

In ruins or splendor, devoid of boredom,new

A genius of a child,

Poor or rich, afraid or fearless

Forever curious, sometimes naughty.

 

One voice rises

Above all the mingling of street voices:

Sunset is coming.

Come, share our table

Simply feel at home, my friend.

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New in town

Sweet blackberries and burning woods in the fireplace

Are the last words in my journal

My backpack is beaten up and old

I’m in a new town

When is farmer’s market?

Which I have to find

I will meet the local people

Meld with their activities

I have to find someone soon

To fix the holes in my pockets

Before I’m flooded with losses

Which may not be able to count

I’m afraid I will be overwhelmed

But I will not be helpless.

 

The Path

“We just arrived,” say the fishermen

“It’s a Siberian huskie,” he says.

“They become cold easily,” she says

Both dogs are wearing colorful sweaters.

Day’s radiance lifts my feet

I meet them in my walk 

The same path every morning whenever I can

As if I’m trying remember each column of trees,

Their abundant leaves and shades.

 

I often think of Camino de Compostela.

I hold with interest Appalachian Trail.

I hear the sounds of hot air balloons overhead

I better get going

Thoughts can escape

I can’t separate appearances and their contents

The dogs, fishermen, river and its tides

One doesn’t have to wonder where poems come from. 

 

The walk brings life to life.

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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.

Little miracles

It’s the stillness that we observe

Because we feel intolerance of waiting

We bounce like a ball, one silliness to another

Not unlike a series of romantic interludes

 

While rafting in white waters

We can be swept from one swirl to another

Racing the heart perilously close to scare

Before finding a sweet flow of comfort.

 

We fall silent once more

Attend to the present

Embracing the moment

We arrive at reality.

 

We mistake our will, it’s power, as savior to attainment

Once ignorant we discover achievement, knowledge

We forget limits to our powerful striving

Little miracles carry us over the last hurdle.

 

Every step carries a gift of gratitude

Every step an act of praise

Where all our bewilderment come from

Where we bring our final homage.

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Calamities, distant or vague

Bring tremors to the mind

Where do you want to be

When the sun goes down?

 

Can you be anywhere,

Ubiquitous like the sun?

But the mind though untrammeled

Can not occupy all spaces.

 

A fisherman bruised by absence of fish

Will pursue with ferocity

Any hints of trout presence

In whatever weather or distance.

 

He will not be deceived by color

Or pitch of whirling waters

Or exasperated by any sinking thought

The oars are focused, desire is steeled.

 

Does begin the intellectual incarnation

A reverence for beauty and truth

The universe forever expanding

I’m feverishly reaching for your hand.

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A day

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Quietly your self worth diminishes

like salt on a pavement

your voice loses its tone, forgotten.

Who will remember you?

A shadow in a system.

You cry. New tide comes,

covers the muddy river bank.

The white egret returns.

You survive another day.

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Note: Last week Mrs. Abstract and I and our two friends toured Andy Warhol’s art Exhibit at MOMA in San Francisco, California. Very interesting.

Books I’m currently reading: Moby Dick by Melville and Paris, 7 A.M. by Liza Wieland, a novel about a young Elizabeth Bishop.