Tag Archives: windows

Earnest Offering

I’ve gone through half an eraser;
there’s some danger I might believe
that the thoughts I used to have
were better,

the way they made images
when captured in my notebook.
So much more evasive now,
I struggle to evaluate their worth.

The night insects, though,
make their earnest offering
through open August windows —
calling and calling.

But it is all just noise —
I sit distracted

by the tears
my son couldn’t show me
when we argued this afternoon,

by the cars outside
moving too quickly down the hill.

Advertisement

4:14 Home

Reading the master’s commentary strikes fear
I might not pass the koan
were it presented again,

so I look up from the text.

Scenery passes quickly
outside the window,
gathered collections and discarded remnants.

The train passes the same sights,
running on tracks
just twenty feet to the north
of the morning’s run —

only the light is different.

Streaked and Spotted

The kitchen window is streaked and spotted
on the outside from months-gone
summer rains.

The air has since turned frigid;
small birds flit & dance on the barren bush
just beyond the sill.

Inside, I stand resting
in the sun that streams through
just above the old porcelain sink.

The dishes are finished
and last wisps of steam rise;
the children are occupied with holiday gifts

as I forget for a moment
everything isn’t all right.

Another notebook fragment from December finally coalesces.

Keep Me Company

Winter’s early cold has gathered
steam against the windows,
softening the lights’ reflection.

Standing in the doorway,
I strain above the hum of the dryer
to hear my son
as he narrates his play by whisper
in the old claw foot bathtub.

I should be helping him,
but he hasn’t noticed me there,
and the teacup is warm in my hands.

Finally he stills and calls to me — Dad?
I thought you were going to keep me company?

Of course I am.
Of course I am.

Despite What the Buddha Tells Me

Perhaps I will try one more time
to run away from my dissatisfaction,

despite what the Buddha tells me.

I’d like to linger just a bit longer
at the breakfast table
amid striped pyjamas and cereal crumbs;
replace the broken panes of glass
in the porch and attic windows
to hold back the winter chill —

to sit
and leave space for two breaths
instead of one.

At the Small Table

When I catalogue my regrets
at the end of the day,
I won’t include the moments we spent sitting
at the small table in the living room.

The old-fashioned fire whistle,
remnant of summoning volunteers
across the town,
punctured our long silence —

you picked up your head only briefly
from the sea-blue magic marker
before returning to your work,
tongue pressed in concentration
against your cheek.

We laughed gently about
a pair of dogs we could see
through the window
and across the street
jostling in the slanted afternoon sun.

You asked me not to leave —
yet there was never any chance;
my movement only a reach to the floor
for the morning’s leftover mug and a
sip of luke-warm coffee.

Sitting in Fold-Up Chairs

Sitting in fold-up chairs
behind the old brick municipal center
that once was an elementary school —

where paint is chipping from windows and
a cluster of two-by-fours and plywood
leans awkwardly against the battered dumpster —

we sip coffee from styrofoam cups and
watch our lives run,
exhorting our children with shouts
through an early autumn breeze,
as if the result of the game
meant more than a Saturday morning.

The first leaves flutter to the ground
out of a cobalt sky
as we turn momentarily
away from the field
toward idle conversation.

Summer Evening Wandering

Company is coming,
so I wander from room to room
putting things in proper places.

The night air is finally cool
as it drifts through the children’s windows —
I find reasons
to return magazines,
makeshift duct-tape wallets;
to drop off bracelets,
baby food jars filled with water and glitter.

I linger in each room,
the dim and waning light
shadowing small bodies as they sleep,
then turn toward the hallway
and the softness of an old
incandescent bulb
we can’t let go of
shining on the maple floor.