cuke the arts/writing
by Jerry Bolick
night rains secure
silence passes silence
spreading singular dripping breaths
to every waiting ear
the perennial pulse
Considering deeply of late of mystics and poets and other fools,
friends made whole of the turning toward,
all a part of the tradition sans tradition
of repeated participation;
indiscriminate love pouring forth perpetually, continuously finding
ourselves here, in its gleaming light
Issa tells it best,
the great matter and challenge
of Amida’s vow.
How many years have these poems sat on the shelf,
and where have I been?
Unfettered imagination, it’s about.
Grand dreams and greatness
just so much roughage
for the pure joy of release.
The most obvious
he turns his head ever so slightly
and finds he’s been sitting amidst
everything he’d ever need.
Dreaming my own stubbornness wakes me,
won’t let me return, taking me to the hilly streets
the ancient chant of compassionate embrace
that carefully guides my steps,
despite my unwitting unwillingness
to simply open my eyes.
Grey and high clouds. Cold works
the eucalyptus trees swift with the sway of straying attentions,
agitates the un-welcome weight of whispers of hearts that long,
of un-negotiated chasms of unquenchable care and concern.
Severed leaves float free, chilled currents
a comforting respite, momentary and empty of place.
A seductive scene
of salutary beauty
hovers just beyond reach.
"Let go to repair," it says.
I do. And it does.
The universal nature of Buddha
does its work with an irresistible pull
through the emptied field of uninterrupted faith,
quietude enough for all and every, source
of the only trust worthy of the word, given not earned
in the heart and mind settling
in the eternal now of the time and the place at hand.
When asked, we reply, Namuamidabutsu
Set-backs, fits and starts. Quitting
after returning. Starting over
We speak, of course, of collecting our attention, thinking
everything an extension of our intent, forgetting
to question origination.
Eyes recognize light, ears know music
and the nose draws
on familiar air.
Squirrels, where have you been?
The acacia has been so lonely.
Picking up the grandson after school
Down hill, crows swoop.
Far distant bay, blue sky.
flying ahead of light into Vegas
desert thick with mists
in the doorway
of this empty page
Red Rock Canyon Park, NV
resting at the rocky base of Turtle Head Peak
up from the desert floor
Blown free of their tents
in the newly budding bush,
walk this treacherous trail with me.
Don’t worry, caterpillars.