"Occasionally I'll wake with a new attitude. I'll discover a new fragrance coming through the window or from the pile of old books on the nightstand or from the bed sheets recently washed by a quiet stranger still adjusting to her own independence. And then I'll question my own freedom and discover that my dreams have been indentured by change and I've embraced a new choice as though it were a long aspired goal finally reached. By nightfall I will remember what I've lost and realize that my independence was at some point compromised by a lifetime of worry, doubt and ignorance. Experience is my last reward; and time will make from it another memory that I will tuck away inside me until the dream is over and I awake to another day tapping at my window."

a meditation at dusk

the bay breezes through my room,
and a pen rolls across the bureau
so, so slowly
while a note glides lightly, gently
to the foot of my bed.
green springs trickle through the bamboo
knocking against the porch
as though it were wrapped in a pillow.

the bright night illuminates;
and just beyond the tide's reaching touch
the dunes bow softly into the hillside.
jasmine and willow sway above the pond
where a turtle—
high priest of this garden,
rests like me on a ripple
of circumspection:
a meditation, a prayer
a thought not born into speech.

a toad bellows low in the reed beds,
fireflies linger in the air;
and a dandelion ascends
as some do in September
rising into the dark light.
the fat yellow moon pulls his eyelids down,
the warm silver ghost cups me in her hands;
bliss dripping like dew from her fingers
and I succumb to her relentless serenity—
the unsparing comfort of sedation.

the cadence of the clock,
like footsteps on the bare floor
taps out a beat—
the pulse of nature, of some divinity
nesting somewhere near;
a mass for the living
blessed in its subjectivity,
mercy and compassion.

a spanish guitar floats its voices here
from a terrace down the hill,
as if it were a memory
unplugged from the dissonance of age
coming humbly, joyfully home—
all of life's perfections
distilled to its finest hour
is now.

the wind loosens the drapes
unfolding like wings in the doorway
as the humble turtle hums
and a leaf drifts by
so, so slowly...