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)
What good is a day?
What kind of day is it?
When loons on the lake wake you
calling your name in the early morn
after the Screech Owl kept you awake
all the long night before?
What good is a day?
What kind of day is it?
When the forest breeze
avoids disturbing the mist
gathered at the shore
and when you look closely
at the tree’s breath you see Beings
looking back at you
from milky air?
You want to follow them
but you also want breakfast
and – whispering – the visions tell you
that they have food
that will feed you
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.
“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.”
Watery wind battered our serene and wondrous landscape.
Fury, darkness, and destruction
were waged upon our bucolic home
as the world we had come to trust rose against us
and the lovely trees and friendly stones turned into weapons
and death came to our neighborhood through raging waters.
In the morning, in the quiet after the hurricane
a tiny buzzing like a bee outside the window,
a flash of a ruby throat
and neon body hovering in the air.
A hummingbird, all of an inch long,
appeared at the feeder,
his biggest need being for breakfast
and a quick trip to a neighboring Petunia blossom.
Where I wondered did he go for refuge in the storm?
How did he manage to live through the nightmare
that destroyed those much larger than himself?
And I think about the children who are battered,
deserted and denied –
where do they go for warmth and hope and loving hugs and safety?
They have, I hope, as does the hummingbird at my window
hearts born resilient
tempered in the fires of loss
and transformed by the power of truth.