cuke the arts/writing

Spring Poems

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

despite ourselves.


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

obviously overlooked,

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

darkly grumbling

the ancient chant of compassionate embrace

that carefully guides my steps,

despite my unwitting unwillingness

to simply open my eyes.


They two

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

again: Life


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

--what’s new--nothing…really!

Down hill, crows swoop.

Far distant bay, blue sky.


flying ahead of light into Vegas

desert thick with mists

dusted peaks



meeting myself

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,

blue-haired caterpillars

walk this treacherous trail with me.

Don’t worry, caterpillars.