I was walking again
in the woods,
a yellow light
was sifting all I saw.
You work with what you are given,
the red clay of grief,
the black clay of stubbornness going on after.
Clay that tastes of care or carelessness,
clay that smells of the bottoms of rivers or dust.
In Sung China,
two monks friends for sixty years
watched the geese pass.
Where are they going?
It is a simple garment, this slipped-on world.
We wake into it daily - open eyes, braid hair -
a robe unfurled
in rose-silk flowering, then laid bare
The heart's reasons
even the hardest
its whip-marks and sadness
and must be forgiven.
Some stories last many centuries,
others only a moment.
All alter over that lifetime like beach-glass,
grow distant and more beautiful with salt.
Take the used-up heart like a pebble
and throw it far out.
As the house of a person
in age sometimes grows cluttered
with what is
too loved or too heavy to part with,
Today when persimmons ripen
Today when fox-kits come out of their den into snow
Today when the spotted egg releases its wren song