Today It will Be Gray

I left my little dog at home with a single light on, just enough to play with her dolls and bones.

I kiss her goodbye, then slip outside, beneath storm clouds that gathered in a tomb of stone above my head.

I feel the dreary sky’s presence, heavy and lasting.

Dawn will not raise the horizon today, and the lingering darkness cannot be chased away.

Not here.

Not this morning.

Today it will be gray.

My umbrella’s spindly arms shelter me from the drizzle, yet droplets nip my naked ankles, staining my red shoes darker, malignant.

Onto the bus that drives through the curling, black tunnel.

Off I go!

The fabric seats are bristly as a I sit, then slump.

The pinpoint of daylight at my back narrows, then disappears, and I am alone inside the tunnel amongst strangers and taillights.

A weak light.

My senses are overflowing with steel fences, cement, pavement and iron curbs.

I drift past the terminal with brown ceramic tiles and puffy faced crowds bumping and bristling at the mouth of the subway.

On this gray day everlasting, I’m here.

And I can think only of my dog and her light.

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Nirvana

Words have never been spoken 
inside this temple 
with a glass-domed ceiling 
where sunlight falls 
in an eddy 
onto the stone floors
of sprouting moss.

The damp air trembles 
and the columns
bend at the echo
of my footsteps.

Who are you? 
Why do you come?

Secrets reside here.

I remove my sandals 
and sit in the center 
where a blanket
and a rib cage
gather dust.

You are nothing but bones!
You will fall too!
Just like she who came before!

I close my eyes
and wait for
the monkeys
to stop chattering.

When the temple has settled
and the remains
have grown accustomed
to my presence,
I bask in the stillness.

It could take a lifetime,
or three,
to reach nirvana.

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Images of Me

I am not within the universe.

The universe is within me.

I am a great city that juts into opaque clouds at the mouth of the Hudson.

A cruise boat draws by, aiming for the sea, moving south where the waters have been warm since known memory.

I glimmer in its wake, panes of glass winking at passengers who wave their hands and snap pictures on their phones.

At this distance, I am beautiful.

There are no gum speckled sidewalks, festering trash with fat flies or candy wrappers that list in the halal breeze.

I am not ashamed.

I only reflect what I see.

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Transcend

I’m a puppet.

I dance and sing
when the strings are pulled.

I gesture and gossip
when my wooden jaw moves,
pulled by an invisible hand.

My existence is important
to those who walk with me,
yet I’m sorrowful for my smallness,
so I’ll tell you what I know.

I’m sung by the infinite string.

I’m directed by a shadow
that has many names,
all thinly veiled.

It’s an elastic syrup that
exists between our cells
and draws light into our eyes,
limited by rods and cones.

We can’t see the ancient god
who dances inside a golden wheel.

He turns like a Swiss watch,
the Vitruvian man, Alice and Atlas
of the Hadron Collider.

But sometimes my eyes can see
the strings as I sleep
in a sea of whales and sheep,
so I untie them in dreamtime.

And I’m free.

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