Steam Poem (You Heard Me, Punk)

Rain

You know how, when you’re on the first break from work you’ve had in years, and you relax some and refuse to call it unemployment, and you use your brain for nothing, and that’s good, and then you get several ideas for blog posts all at once, and you draft them all instead of finishing one, so you come off your break by ignoring them and posting a poem? Yeah, it’s like that.  Photo by me.

 

Steam

for PC and J O’D

 

The wise write the mind

can know the border

of thoughts, one to the next,

to the next, as eyes

can see when one drop

of water turns to steam.

 

My mind behaves precisely

like an empty urban corner.

Leaves scrapped to dust, and

stained empty paper cups

congeal and scatter, the wind

full of scratching.

 

Rain, whose freedom

the wise suggest

we should lean on,

I watch from home.

Under streetlights, seeding

a parking lot with more

tender shapes.

 

In the wall

over there, a pipe

becomes a vent

and then a slithering

line of steam, supple

ghost becoming dark

damp starlight on the street,

no longer even that.

As it happens,

branches reach toward

my window, close by

and clearly. How is it

the space they cross

evaporates unseen,

as if the distance

held anything at all?

 

 

 

“Hope is the thing with feathers”

birds

The Cambridge English Dictionary online defines a metaphor as “an expression that describes a person or object by referring to something that is considered to possess similar characteristics.”

A metaphor points at a connection perceived, one that, for someone, suddenly arose from the interconnectedness of Everything. The path of one raindrop down a pane of glass deserves noticing; there’s a limitless number out there, but this one is right here and now.

I read a metaphor I’d like to share here at the end of 2018. It’s by Buddhist teacher and leader Pema Chodron, from the book Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion, compiled and edited by Emily Hilburn Sell, published in 2003 by Shambhala.

Another image for maitri [loving-kindness] is that of a mother bird who protects and cares for her young… People sometimes ask, “Who am I in this image—the mother or the chick?” The answer is we’re both: both the loving mother and those ugly little chicks. It’s easy to identify with the babies—blind, raw, and desperate for attention. We are a poignant mixture of something that isn’t all that beautiful and yet is dearly loved. Whether this is our attitude toward ourselves or toward others, it is the key to learning how to love. We stay with ourselves and others when we’re screaming for food and have no feathers and also when we are more grown up and appealing by worldly standards.

Wishing Us Loving-kindness and Steadfastness, to and from each other. Wishing Us Well-Being, Freedom, Peace, and Creativity in 2019. Thank you.