Sunday, November 22, 2020

hidden behind the leaves

 

This is the 15th (of 81) installment of the prosepoem hidden behind the leaves. The first poem was published August 16, 2020. The four part narrative tells the story of Master Ko. 'Autumn' is the first part, and the seasons will provide a background theme for each subsequent installment.

fifteen

early snow, windows rimed with frost, small brazier alive with glowing coals, abbot's messenger sending me away as the axis tilts to solstice, sun standing still, darkness lingering, leaves fallen but forgiving, the wind that blows, the stinging sleet, the richman's sneer


Sunday, November 15, 2020

hidden behind the leaves

This is the 14th (of 81) installment of the prosepoem hidden behind the leaves. The first poem was published August 16, 2020. The four part narrative tells the story of Master Ko. 'Autumn' is the first part, and  the seasons will provide a background theme for each subsequent installment.


fourteen

grey predawn, stillness after night of heavy wind, kestrel winging from here to there, eaves to low limb, perched, how they hover with that keen eye, slightest movement catching, rodent lives in its stillness, dies with its busyness, sitting quietly on my rock, the kestrel alive within its stillness, the eyes alive and seeking, light bright off the yellow beak, blood pulsing, rock heavy and hard beneath me, he lifts with a thrust of talon and gone

Sunday, November 8, 2020

hidden behind the leaves

 

This is the 13th (of 81) installment of the prosepoem hidden behind the leaves. The first poem was published August 16, 2020. The four part narrative tells the story of Master Ko. 'Autumn' is the first part, and the seasons will provide a background theme for each subsequent installment.


thirteen

saffron, says mia, a shade, tints of yellow, of orange, from the crocus ... and my tattered robe, says master ko, holding out his arms, bobbing his head, turning, gift from friend, he adds, a frown wrinkling his brow, no longer with us he is, considering the leaves of autumn, but with us still, nodding, he is ... and the wrong color for you, says mia, buddhists here usually wrap themselves in black or grey, turning her head to question as the little man chuckles, and their busy minds hobbling from this to that, stumbling through their days, multi-tasking, says she, ritual rites and wongs, ha, says he, hairsplitting, quibbling and callousness, quietly now stepping along the needles and bits of stone embraced by the sweep of conifer limbs


photograph by m simoni

Sunday, November 1, 2020

hidden behind the leaves

 twelve

rice gruel alone in the refectory, late and alone, if cookie would thicken it a bit be like oatmeal ... but suggestions made again and again become sharp thorn in buttocks, no doubt that frowning rebuke and sullen silence saying loud ouch; and hers to come visit how long gone from there or here, how quickly gone, how quickly gone ... spoon poised over chipped brown bowl, door slam, if wishes were beggars, says master ko, horses would fly

Sunday, October 25, 2020

hidden behind the leaves

eleven

Mia sat at the small round table that was curiously scarred with cigarette burns. He was somewhere. Unlike him, she thought. She waited, shook her head at the lumpy straw mats in the corner, considered the staff leaning against the window casing, the cup on the shelf. Wind rustled the limbs of trees. Rain threatened. Tomorrow she would leave. It was no distance at all from here to there.

She turned to her notebook and took up the pencil. Tapping the pencil point absently on the table, she at last decided and wrote:

Between Pacific City on the Oregon coast and the Cape Meares lighthouse to the north is a narrow two lane blacktop road that serves both the locals and the tourists---the dairymen and the fishermen, the hiker and the bicyclist---by providing access to land and sea. At the same time, the road serves by giving definition to the land, a physical definition through its function as a line that takes the measure of the terrain as the lines on a contour map do, now rising, now falling, here looping, there straightening; and a transcendental definition through its function as a poetical metaphor that takes the measure of this geography as a poem takes the measure of an idea or theme.

The poem uses the collision of words, the separation of phrases, to express itself. The road finds its expression in the brown cows ruminating cud, in the rusted jetsam that once was truck, in the solitary chimney standing sentinel over the blackened rubble that once was house, in the red barn, the sand dunes and mats of salal, the towns of ramshackle and renovated that punctuate the road, in the estates of chime and glass, cottages with frayed lace curtains and unkempt lawns, the bright green rectangle of new laid turf, the stumps and deadfall littering clear-cut hillsides, the mongrel yapping at the end of its chain, a rock slide, a bent and twisted guardrail, the missing sign, the rock and sand, and, finally, in the lighthouse, barely visible through the evergreens, a revolving blip of light out on some final point of land that measures the waves steady thump and rumble.

The pencil lifted from the page. She peered through the open door of the hut. Sighed. Rustle of leaves. He was somewhere. Odd. She waited.



Sunday, October 18, 2020

hidden behind the leaves

 

ten

emptiness is your seat, stillness is your shelter, says master hongzhi, china man, that one; i am the boy that so enjoys invisibility, says me



photograph by M Simoni


Sunday, October 11, 2020

hidden behind the leaves

 

nine

walking in tsuruoka, sea air, but where I come from many places, mongrel dog, mother chinese, father japanese white boy, born on oahu make me sandwich islander, bit of baloney, onion, slice of bitter pickle, hold the mayo, all same as mahatma ghandi, all same as brigette bardot, all same as gary cooper, all same as pretty woman, what's her name, you understand? that 'where' whole lot easier than that 'who' ... who? barn owl sitting on dead limb ho ho ho sipping green tea

hidden behind the leaves