I get lost while looking for your house
I did not see the sign until I turned around
You opened the door and came out smiling.
Foray in the forest to forage
for mushrooms after the rain
I may pass the hermit’s shelter
partially hidden in the circle of trees
Nobody has seen him
he seems to be invisible
The birds know where he lives
in his imperceptible presence.
If I see him I want to ask him
how he listens to silence,
to voice of solitude
Are they silent thoughts?
The hermit laughs
like a mountain brook
lively and clear.
He is bald and has a white beard.
He smiles like your best friend.
I did not go away
Yet I was far away from you
Away from your house
Away from the light
That comes from your window
Away like rain in a drought
I want to return
Knock on your door
Visit your garden
Sit on the bench under the oak tree
I will bring a book with empty pages
I will wait for you.
Thursday gathers the morning hours
The sea only steps away from the window
The rain stops.
“The hour is striking so close above me,
so clear and sharp,
that all my senses ring with it.
I feel it now: there’s a power in me
to grasp and give shape to my world.
I know that nothing has ever been real
without my beholding it.
All becoming has needed me.
My looking ripens things
and they come toward me, to meet and be met.”
-Rainer Maria Rilke
from Rilke’s Book of Hours translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy
What does a blind man see all day?
A goldfish goes around and around a fish bowl
looking for the ocean
Salmon return upstream to spawn
I wonder where you are,
what you are doing
in a universe of connecting stories
I yearn for your intelligent insights,
“the universe reflecting on itself”.
What are possessions
Because she is deaf she uses her hand-voice
Words she can’t hear but she can see
Every word is a poem
Every word she loves
Love can create a wreckage
Indifference cuts affection
Imagine glacier breaking
A sound she can not hear
Her hands can voice the catastrophe
Your eyes can paint the scene
We don’t have to hurry or have everything
To live forever
Sometimes we don’t have to be heard
Or be seen.
Absence can assert a presence
Asking herself abstract questions.
The world is silent around her
The balance of life and death
Purity of a winter, the sky dazzles
Millions of twinkling lights
Past, present, future, indistinguishable.
Oblique longings of yellow and red pedalboats
green hills, blackbirds with red shoulders
pink blouse and black shirt
are not the end but a beginning
of Wednesday’s wanderings
Come before nature change her mind.
The winter tree blooming with birds
The birds praising the sun
An old man and I sitting on a bench
watching the river flows.