Beware of gnawing
the ideogram of nothingness:
Your teeth will crack. Swallow it whole, and you’ve a treasure
Beyond the hope of Buddha and the Mind. The east breeze
Fondles the horse’s ears:
how sweet the smell of plum.Karasumaru-Mitsuhiro (1579-1638) 1
The first night at the monastery,
a moth lit on my sleeve by firelight,
long after the first frost.
A short stick of incense burns
thirty minutes, fresh thread of pine
rising through the old pine of the hours.
Summer is trapped under the thin
glass on the brook, making
the sound of an emptying bottle.
Before the long silence,
the monks make a long soft rustling,
adjusting their robes.
“Pine” by Chase Twichell from The Snow Watcher published by Ontario Review Press. © 1998 by Chase Twichell.
The deer are safe now. Their tracks
are made of snow. The wind has dragged
its branches over their history.Chase Twichell
THIS LITTLE GLADE, REMEMBER
When lying beneath a ponderosa
pine, looking up through layers
of branches, mazes of leaf-spikes
and cones—contemplation grows
receptive to complexity,
the pleasant temptation of pine-
scented tangle. Sky as proposition
is willingly divided and spliced
into a thesis of weaves and hallows.
Name them something else
if you wish, but needled shadow
and substance are, in this hour,
an architecture of philosophy.
And a rising wind, called ”a rough
and bawdy wind“ by a rough and bawdy
voice, is that wind and that voice
transformed. The structure of words
sways and bends in the blow.
Looking away into the clear sky, expectation shifts. Vision becomes/ a welcome to guests
of crows in new/ dimensions who themselves become/ not only depth and horizon
in a circus/ of wings but old vision’s startling visitors.
Not soul alone, but soul consumed
by a single bee descending into the center
of a purple mountain lily is soul
to a soul suckled in sleep.
Earth and human together
form a unique being. A brief era
of immortality is lent to each
by the other. Move momentarily
now—with hovering granite cliff,
with sun-stripe flick of perhaps
vagrant shrew, with raised tack
of mightly larkspur—into this company.Pattiann Rogers
“This Little Glade, Remember” from Generations.
Copyright © 2004 by Pattiann Rogers.