FROZEN CATTLE CORN IN THE EXHAUSTED FIELDS
Frozen cattle corn in the exhausted fields.
Scratching of blunt nibs on dry paper.
Ice on the inkwells.
A white eclipse of the new moon.
Wild geese rise
through timeless hierarchies of chaos.
The ashes of an unseen fire
that consumes without burning its dead.
Sky burials trying to find their wings.
Past the listless whips of the willows
through the abandoned iron gate
whose enlightenment was to stay open
I cross the precarious bridge
knowing there’s not another side
to the one I’m on.
The boards crack and groan.
I’m walking on a grave.
I stare down into the black night creek,
the sole companion of its flowing.
It’s clearing its throat of dead waterlilies
like the ageless pain of old loveletters
so it can sing again
without knowing who for.
Up through the dark pagodas
of the monkish cedars
to the top of the fox wary hill
to look out and away into space,
my eyes two fish swimming
through the silent infinities
of my own mindstream,
I look up humbled by recognition
but the stars have forgotten my name.
The small nebula of my breath
on the inanimate air
breaks into more intimate
constellations of light
and the moon glows on my ghost
as if it were remembering
from a great distance
when I was last alive.