Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Three things are essential: great doubt, great faith, and great perseverance. --Zen saying

Look how much shorter the days are already:
hours of light slip from my hands
like tiny goldfish fleeing the whale-shark clouds
that plough the darkening skies. I've walked here before
in every season the heart has to offer.

Doubt. We are cusped between summer and autumn,
heat and rain. Leaves turn their faces
to the changing wind. Green chestnuts
scatter the sidewalks.

Faith. Jars of plum jam and blackberry jelly
line cellar shelves with the expectation
of bread to come. The peony dies back to the roots.

Perseverance. Rosebushes bloom
on and on. Cones fall from the Doug-firs. Fern jungles line
the trails on the furrowed face of Marquam Hill
as if just inventing vascularity.

I put away the window fan
and pull my sweaters from cold-storage. Winter looms over us
like the yawning mouth of Jonah's whale.
We slide into it like swallowed fish,
like golden hours.

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