One day hiking we came to Wood Duck Pond
and there we saw an older gentleman
sitting in a chair
eating his lunch and watching
just looking ….. and looking
He might have been a Buddha
He sat so still
But there were no ducks
on the pond
or in the air or on the shore.
He was gazing at the stumps and logs
and surface scum
unbothered by mosquitoes
or deer flies
Froth on the water
reeds growing by the edges
stumps rotting in the lagoon
and not a duck to be seen….
Didn’t bother him.
I asked him why he sat there.
He said he watched for ducks
and whatever else might come by
maybe a heron, “it doesn’t matter”.
He just sat and watched, looking.
Not wanting to disturb him further
we whispered good wishes for his watching
and walked quietly onto the wood’s path
where we saw butterflies and snake skins –
but still no ducks –
although I found myself also watching.
A lake on a mountain
open to the sky
……… (the lake has given calmness to the crater)
receiving what comes
……… (it is deep enough to hold all)
A feather falls in front
of the full moon
……… (a gift from the crows who call between the peaks)
Still waters receive its touch
……… (a lover’s touch on quiet skin)
Clouds touch earth
as she lies next to the face of spirit.
……… (in the mist, the lover’s breath)
All the World is an Asana
We are petals on a flower practicing our yoga
This body is no longer strong or agile.
Dormancy has become her favorite posture
her light is not free but stored
She craves a change of asana.
Maples awaken in the distance with spring growth of swaying red buds
Birds and bugs fly and wiggle
stream currents flow
all moving beings in their unique
flowing, growing, flying and wiggling asanas.
Rocks still and sturdy in their unperturbed poses
the sun in fiery, shining warrior stance
and the moon in golden silent savasana –
They gaze at us and dream that all the world
has moved into the asana of loving.
Did you hear the wind last night
howling up the creek
whistling in the snowy, twig shaped shadows
of January’s full moon?
Did you see the moon
last blustering night
brazenly brightening the deep sky
dark of clouds?
One time, when the gale quieted
and all sound was frozen silent
I slipped outside in time to see
a Screech Owl fly stage front shrieking
“Wild, wild everything is wild!
Everything is wild!”
The wind rose again as I huddled under a tree
It pushed me through a tunnel
into the reckless freedom of space and adventure,
shattering the stale sameness
that orbits everyday life.
It sang a new way into being and then,
returned me to my bed, freshened,
where the barking spirit of Coyote
stalked my sleep
and dreams dripped into an awakened life.
I walked the labyrinth with your hand in my pocket
and your voice on my shoulder.
Your shoes walked with me
and we saw that there are barriers in life
and you can jump them sometimes if you want,
but if you do you find yourself someplace
you were supposed to be earlier or later
but not now.
The smoothest way in or out is to follow the path
without leaping the stones, though you know you can,
until you reach the center
where the way of return is not what you think
and is unrecognizable, although it mirrors the way in.
If you don’t follow the path you could be lost in the maze.
I heard your voice say
“It takes a lot of patience, but
what else are we here to do, except follow the path to its end
where it begins again, notice what’s in our way
one foot, then the other
breathing, opening, paying attention.”
I say “I’m so happy to have you on this path with me, so glad you return when I call you, and wistful when you go.”
Tell me a truth”, I say to you
“Tell me what you’ve learned over there after you finished the labyrinth.”
“Things just are” you reply. “Just look and enjoy, there is nothing else to know.”
“You are sky and you are beautiful
You are trees, birds, soil
Your name is Water and Stone
Grasses speak in whispers when they hear your voice
Wind howls with anticipation of your approach
You are the maiden of darkness
wearing the wise moon on your head
and wrapped in magical starlight.
You are sky and you are beautiful.”