Page IX

Like the roses that you've cared for in my absence, my
              love for you continues to bloom

The blossoms bloom, the blossoms fall.
The seasons pass by.
Only my love for you remains the same.

I've stopped believing in tomorrow -
how scorching hot the mexican sun today

A fool and his foolish words
are never parted -
He can't separate the butter
from the milk.

After the autumn rain -
pumpkins bright orange in the wide green field

Is there something or other I need?
Ask that of the summer field
and the moon rising over it now.
They know my heart as well as anyone.

short summer night -
the laundry is almost dry
to the touch

O what heat!
the line of summer ants
stretches from dawn to dusk

San Joaquin valley heat -
towering clouds
pile up along the far mountain range

The one I love is with me now -
over all the world, the wind is stilled
and the oceans grow calm

evening cool -
after the heat of the day,
how bright the stars

the stone in the summer field
           upon which everyone sits -
cooling itself now under the afternoon maple

Heading to the east, I see the sun rise.
Heading to the west, I see it set.
The day passes just like that
when I am alone and sad.

Everything that comes my way I like to give thanks for
the more I give thanks the more I get
And so I ask of poetry every day another poem
something else to bow down to, to pray and give thanks to
like a god with whom I'm on a first name basis

A freezing rain comes from the north.
All the windows are shuttered.
We snuggle together beneath our blankets
and sleep near the blazing fire.
What do we care if the rains and sleet
fall ceaselessly day and night?

truth's razor-sharp look the blood trailing there
now is your own

after Ryokan

I have only to snap my fingers -
one two three months go by

When we were parting, you said
shyly, Do not forget me.
I can no more forget you
than I can forget how to breathe.

I wrote your name in the sand
and held back the waves that would wash it away
with only the strength of my love

Death leads you away
by the hand.
Death plays the tune,
all the creatures dance.

the enemy at your throat
is your own words
like a knife across it
every lie cuts deeper
only true words heal
that kind of wound

like the rose's petals that open one by one, so is my love
                           for you revealed

How many times do I have to see him
before he realizes that he is mine?
How many times will this one
rose bloom?

For weeks I was no longer
who I had been
This river of yours overflowing
into my stream bed

You burn away doubt
like a moth in its flame.
That fire in your eyes
that forges my steel.

Though I burn and burn for you, I know my heart
              will not be ash for nothing

I have been alone, waiting for an answer -
the woodpecker knocks on a distant tree

Along the coastal mountain range across
the bay it's raining -
In my heart too
the skies are gray and overcast

How at times I long to live
beyond the world of ideas and men
where things are just as they are
no more and no less

I come to rest in your arms -
this much the oceans know
and the stars move into position to foretell

Go tell the night, Put out
all those lights you've set
to light the way -
he hasn't come, he won't be coming

They say that this waking world is only a dream.
Then in my dreams I have seen the real world,
and taken you as my lover there these many nights.

starry night -
it rises out of the edge of the plain -
the glowing moon

His tongue is sharp,
it cuts this way and that.
If you know a place to hide,
get there in a hurry.

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