Braving the Wilds

Field Notes from the Suburban Jungle

Tag: Buddhism

Trompe L’oeil

Our image, bent and distorted – stuffed
into a convex mirror we purchased
on the Parisian streets of our adopted home –
is a funhouse version of ourselves propped

In a real-world museum, where art
and artifice harkened back to a
grammar school skill: landscape drawing
with a vanishing point, indoctrinating

The youngest students of life to pave
imagined paths to an invisible,
inconceivable possibility. Un oeil de sorcière,
the eye of the witch, sees us smaller than

We are, a necromancer’s attempt to
squeeze us all into an oval, molded frame.
We’ve missed so much obscured in shadows
at our feet, Grace hidden in all that we

Ignored at the curb. Truth is a near-sighted
vision, learn what one will,
prepare as one may, for which one feels
grateful rather than blessed. We are not small.

We are here, today, as ourselves,
ignoring regret and hope, remembering
that objects in the rear view
are larger than they appear.

The Myth of the Moirai

Revisionist historians have
nothing on this ninety-nine
million year-old insect, locked in
Burmese amber, whose

triangular head could
turn 180 degrees –
shattering our own ability
by a full right angle.

The great horned owl,
sagacious-eyed hunter,
evolved, can pivot its own
close to a full rotation:

looking back without
repent or regret,
forward with no expectation,
other than the next repast.

No Tolstoy parable could
illustrate the point better,
frozen in natural resin,
no underwriter, no physician.

Let the ink hold fast, for
all we have is now.

Bonne Nuit

The beat, which unruly hearts do break
in obscurity of night, for all time’s sake
the moon, who has robbed the day of light
tampers with shapes the eye does take;

thieves and lovers, in obscure dance,
twisting bodies on a blue-beamed trance;
curse the fool, our unruly sun,
arrived through curtains, sans chance

to burn the skin and squint the eye,
eclipse the dream and quiet a sigh;
for nothing dark is desolation.
Solid rock, in absentia, tried:

guilty of nothing but deflecting light
and mirrors Her love, with all its might.


For Alyce

Voices, indiscriminate, mingled with
The rushing water, white noise
Suggestions of unfinished conversations,
Whispered and bellowed
During this interminable day.

If I closed my eyes I could
Conjure the river in the Spring:
Unfiltered melted snow rushing
Next to an old Indian trail
Long since paved over,
Lavender on its banks, the oil
Of which perfumes a colicky baby’s bath.

Wash away the day, you say,
Crawl into bed with no hint
Of the dust that sticks
To your skin, that burdensome layer
Sent to the waterways with
The race of men who live
In its rapids.

The nights should pass as fast
As years with young children.
Slow the day and walk on the earth with dry feet
Sound, circum caput, no longer
Plagued like Macbeth, but
Reborn, unburdened, present
And able to rest.