Pledge

We must do
everything better
than we did before,

devote our attention to
each word or glimmer
of sadness and of shame,
of sweetness and of fury,
and to all the holy voices.

Time to hold each stone
in our bare hands –
turn it over and over,
smell it, taste it
and feel the shape of it,

expose our skin to
the air of early morning,
let our fingers trace
the landscape
of the small hand
that walks beside us.

What revelation
in the boldness of a blue sky
and in the frost that gathers
at the edges of November
grass, where a deer,

still as the Buddha,
sits with eyes wide open
even as the season
turns to cold.

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Now and Again

There is no alternative
to falling in love with
the world each day

as the orange sun
peeks up from behind
the mountain,

and the moon settles
across the sky. This
is the last time

your morning skin
will feel this particular
sunshine, the last time

your heart will be
broken open just so.
Each morning lights

the invitation, and all
that’s left for you to do
is to notice.

Noticings

The moon is getting closer
and fuller, and so is
everything.  There is beauty

in the broken sugar bowl,
in the stacks
of dusty books,

dog eared
and leaning. Tree shadows
speckle moonlight

around the lawn
and so we gravitate to
the bright places.

The music is sweet.
Our legs go up
the mountain.  This river

runs on and on.
Water softens
the stone.

Three Black Crows

And the heavens empty
until there is nothing left
but bare sky

and the three black crows
who talk about
nothing, talk

about everything
on their way to the top
of the naked cottonwood,

and there they listen
to the last of the falling snow
as we go on

about our goings-on,
noticing not the opening
of clouds, nor quiet revelation

of sunlight – not noticing
that the entire world
has changed.