message

message

for jessica, who showed us all that gentle does not mean weak…

 

Message

we got your message in the morning

that she’d died the night before

on the other side of the world. tears

 

mixed with iceland’s rain. so cold

so very far away. Every one of us

is so very far away

 

© 2017 jafink/oldbones.newsnow.com/jfinkimages.com

 

None of Those Things

The Shambhala teachings speak of “effortless effort,” the quality of effort without struggle. I’ve never been very good at this myself – at one point in my career my nickname was “the bulldozer.”  But I’m workin’ on it…

This poem speaks to it as will a “Reflection” that I’ll publish soon.

sunset sky

sunset clouds

none of those things

there’s a voice in my head

that drives me to try,

always

to seek to change the shape

 

of the world, the insidious

insistence that simply living

within this life is

 

insufficient.

 

knee deep in the stream,

nothing I do seems to alter its course.

my hands grow numb

from holding back the water,

 

from trying to force it

back up the mountain.

 

we manufacture none of those things

that might actually

save us.

 

drop the sharp tools, the knives

the axes

and the snaggle-toothed saws.

the heart’s work is to stop

 

striving,

 

to attend

to this day completely,

to bear witness — come,

 

let’s find ourselves a hillside

and watch the gathering of the clouds.

 

the grass here is cool beneath our feet.

perhaps in the deep night

the waters will again begin to rise,

 

but for today,

ours is but to abide,

 

and await the coming of the rains.

 

 

©jafink/oldbones.newsnow.com

the heart of nothing

Image

near Danish flat, just past

yellow cat, the highway drops

from the hills, flattens

 

into an arrow

pointed straight at the heart

of nothing at all.

 

my father

was an Ohio farmboy, but always

loved the desert

 

would stand staring into it

for hours from the edge

of the motel

 

parking lot. all

that room—room enough for all

the dreams, all

 

the disappointment.

we buried his ashes in a small

square hole in a hillside

 

in ohio—

redwing blackbirds and endless

rows of corn.

 

up ahead, a storm

has gathered, blue tendrils of rain

reaching down

 

to stroke the desert

as if tomorrow has already

begun to cry

 

on our behalf

knowing as it must

all that lies ahead.

 

windows down,

I kill the lights and stomp

on the gas. fat drops

 

slap the windshield

while the wind tears at my hair.

I’m flying now

 

accelerating

into the black heart of the storm

spinning free

 

like an arrow

pointed straight at the heart

of nothing at all.

 

© Old Bones, New Snow/ JA Fink

Image