tanka

tanka--
small songs I sing
to join
my voice to other voices
hidden in the grass

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Quantum Dreams


Waiting for rain at two a.m.—
not these paltry, separate drops
pinging one-by-one on the metal roof,
but the sleeve of heaven
sluicing away whole days of dust.

Longing for rain at three a.m.—
instead thoughts come,
pinging against the skull—
no clear distinction
between observer and observed
the act of looking
changes that which is.

Peek into the void
and a quantum particle pings
out of its dreamy, wavy state
into the hard reality of time and space.
(Does it manifest, perhaps,
in the eye of a goose,
or in some feathered tentacle
waving in the sea?)

So the mind that watches
alters what is real.
Can mind-states, then, move matter?
The faith, say, of a Mother Teresa—
bone-hard faith with feathers
like a flight of birds—
can it cause Way to open?

Write down these thoughts
in darkness.  Use a quantum-quill
dipped in invisible ink.
Show no-one.
Rain begins at last.       

Anatomy & Etymology 1:4, November 2011

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lord God of Bread Dough



Pray to the lord god
of bread dough
that your life rise
like a new loaf
to be eaten warm
with plenty of butter,
salt or sweet.

Pray to the lord god
of bread dough
that when words
with tiny wings
on their shoulders
flutter like strange angels
out of the night air,
you have pockets
full of bread crumbs
to lure them
onto the white page.

Pray to the lord god
of bread dough
that you never
be caught listening
to the left side
of your brain
when the right side
is trying to tell you
something
known only to the yeast.

Pray to the lord god
of bread dough
that you stop needing
and start kneading
until your life
is firm and elastic
and does not stick
to anything at all.

Praise to the lord god
of bread dough
for unseen bubbles
that leaven this eternal flatness
into the delectable
multiplicity of forms.
Savor every crust.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Shawl of Stone


 
Deep beneath the solid pavement, sense this spinning ball of stone.
From the spine of distant mountains, hear the silent call of stone.

Somewhere past Orion’s belt, across the corner of the eye,
Out of nothing into darkness, burns the briefest fall of stone.

Is winter coming to a close?  Walk the fallow, frost-heaved fields—
This heart where scattered shards lie broken.  Build up the crumbling wall of stone.

Take one pebble, round and flat, skip it on the silver river.
See how many ripples echo, echo from so small a stone.

Well for water, hearth for flame, arch for passage, slate for name.
Lantern light on grave and bone:  a sacred circle, all of stone.

Camellia petals at her feet, a Jenny-wren’s nest in her hair,
Who watches from the wildwood’s edge, with heart of magma, shawl of stone?

 The Ghazal Page Stone Radif Challenge issue, 2009

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Cipher

Braille lines on a dry leaf,
a scribbled epigram of ice,
the roots of trees in boldface underground,
and the doe’s bones—

knobs and facets written in the snow,
the lovely long articulation of the spine
hugging the dear earth—
a closing parenthesis.

But snow keeps falling,
each new flake
a word unspoken,
soft against the tongue.