on a sandy sea floor sit stones —
once a city
who will find them?
what a pity,
someone dragged those stones into place,
nudging them into the shape of a temple,
a temple where fish now seek shade.
I heard the Buddha from the banks
of a river gently flowing.
Long before throngs swelled his ranks,
in the days of heaven knowing.
I sought the ferryman to cross,
to hear more than a faint mumble.
I felt missed words as a great loss,
and was made both mild and humble.
But, having missed that wise sermon,
my own truth I must determine.
Marched through the night
to keep day roads clear for troops,
Fascists sought to free themselves
of the ugly evidence of their crimes.
But sweeping the weary and woebegone
under the rug is not a rapid task,
and so a mile of murder
mass migrated towards the morn.
On mountain trails, the sound of running water
— burbling or rushing —
is a stalwart companion.
Even the rushing water, rushes lazily,
having surrendered to gravity.
Stagnation requiring an act of might —
a Herculean struggle against the flow —
that no drop can muster.
Should an unfortunate splash
spray a drop into a rocky pool,
time will insist it give itself to condensation.
All paths lead to the sea,
but no two paths are the same.
Then I’m ejected at the river bend.
Is this death, or stillness, I cannot tell?
It’s a timeless place of infinite space,
Until, ‘long comes the lap of a swell,
and the world moves once more.
Pile my sins up over that fire,
and singe the sins you find most soft.
Though I’ll not hop upon your pyre,
but sin the sin I sinned most oft.
Burn me like an old, wooden toy,
but I’ll spark to ignite your cuff.
For I’m no less the mischievous boy
then before my first skin sloughed.
And when your fire fades to embers,
glowing amid the cold, gray dust,
I hope you’re able to remember
what made your little fire combust.
T’was not me who engaged the flame,
for mine isn’t a dry kind of shame.
“We didn’t choose this place to rest our bones.
“Were we free, you’d elsewhere find our stones.
“Visit us, you must, in this eerie home,
“Just please don’t leave us here alone.”