Pond Song 3:50

There is no identity that is the measure of the original. G&B 271


steady hush in fresh oak leaves__far away traffic above

my head as I sit here thinking__there’s nothing I’m thinking of


but requires a new strange “is” __when I look up suddenly

the egret has left the pond__a tern twists away to the sea



Pond Song 3.49

It is in the depths of idiotic intimacy that the deepest drama of converse with the divine happens. G&B 261

South pond lit by high clouds__rustications of ocean breeze

light splinters as it passes__it takes an idle mind to seize

sweet nothings out of all this__such surplus of immediacy

out of many tall dry grasses__one bends under a chickadee

Pond Song 3.48

low tide and Spring haze__mudflat’s crumpled foil

dull sheen of meanders__think Meister Eckhart’s boil

in the confusion of that zero__after love love may recover

in the shine of empty shallows__white egrets leap and hover

Pond Song 3.47

There is always something more and other. G&B 271

bright houses upside down__at my feet soaking grasses array

off-white chemical scuds__at the outlet water marbles

clockwise and counterclockwise__gallaxies of whirlpools

high clouds in the breathless pond__shadow of wings away

the descending triplet rising__there’s always something more

and other to what happens__that song hangs in the air


Being that is no-being is most clearly evident in human being. G&B263

from the hill above the pond__go! starts a human race

splitting the air for charity__the pond empties in any case

the runners disappear for good__in the ribbed shallows light plays

a crow appears on a dry rock__irridescent black and stays

Pond Song 3.45

Valueless neutrality is impossible because there lives no such thing. G&B 25

in the absence of bombs__bombs the universal language

fricatives of a stiff wind__across the pond to the edge

through waist-high grasses__to the stone-hard rose hip

an earful a cut-out__a low-flying sky rip

of cormorant bends to the sun__in the absence of bombs

a shred of cloud is all__the other kingdom comes

Pond Song 3.44

Instead of driving forward out of lack to the end of wholeness, I dwell with the present in heed of its (huper)arche. G&B 142

darklight of tidal ripples__silky retreat to the sea

on new grass my old shadow__in the shallows pale algae

greed has poisoned earth’s water__this idyll betrays the land

Du Mu’s unforced words__poke my stick in the sand

Pond Song 3.43

What does the heart metaphorically name? G&B 143

a little snow at the edge__pond refreshed by the sea

a horizon of birdsong__can’t name them but I see

closer now to the edge__that snow is a dead gull

feathers fluttering whitely__the pond is nearly full

chuckle of ducks from the middle__in this emptiness more

than I understand happens__keen of gulls at the core

Pond Song 3.42

Aesthetic happening shows the enabling ethos as a togetherness of splendid beings. G&B 135

singularly unprepossessing__yet a perfect mirror for

bare tree and white steeple__upside down there’s more

to things this Easter morning__the pond low and calm

air warm on my arm__in the nose the sharp balm

of raw earth and ripe mud__in the light between slick

rocks and sleeping ducks__something ecstatic

Pond Song 3.41 (24.3.2013)

“ . . . every being, arising newly at the interface of creation, is the possibility of return to zero . . .” G&B 133

dazzle of hollow snow__silence broken by the idle

flap of flags over there__out here in the middle

of the pond shadows darken__glitter across at full

speed blaze and go dark__under one bobbing gull

POND SONG 3.40 (17 March 2013)

The light of finitude is outlined starkly against the backdrop of nothing. G&B 130

that sinking feeling mourning dove__ambient birdsong must be spring

clear skies cold wind __ I’m at the pond again the thing

is haiku much too much for me__low tide mud shines

no scintillates no glitters__I look for haiku signs

ice-sheathed cordgrass__in the shallows orange feet

of dabbling ducks maybe that__there’s nothing like the sweet

spot as a bufflehead rolls__just not there now

the nothing’s in the light itself__this double take this show

Pond Song 3.39

“It is an inexhaustibility of availability that can take patience for everything and its good and not be shaken in its being by waywardness . . .” G&B 302

the pond under broken skies__dusky heron over me

crunch of old snow underfoot__green of Canada Dry empty

silence swallows a gull’s yelp__whiff of rotting cord grass

nothing quite itself yet__this patience stays as I pass

the culvert to the sea__turbulence and some foam

down where it comes through__the sound of water home

Pond Song 3.38

Dwell with the ordinary, the unruly erupts, the extraordinary long dormant. G&B 265

doing nothing nothing thinking__westerlies scattering light snow

slowly rinsing my outer ear__the path dusted the tide low

cordgrass rusty water gray__dim clouds float in the shallows

a white gull rising plunging__mind’s idleness God’s prose


Pond Song 3.37

“ . . . instancy is related to constancy: the instance in which the eternal not only stands in, but stands with (con-stans), time.” G&B 294

south wind brings new snow__flakes freshen dirty drifts

blend with the pond’s blackness__touching my face what gifts

compassion is wonder’s root__ducks feed between snow banks

dabble in the pond festively__I hear Han Yu give thanks


On the border between, there is an opening of the finite between to what exceeds it.  G&B 8

back and forth empty spaces__white on white geometries

flakes stick in my stiff beard__no feeling beneath my knees

I make my way to the pond__gulls wingeing in sideways snow

Meng Chiao cursing slander__nobody hears him anyhow

his meditation X’s purity__black backs just visible

the gray of snow-stripped stone__calmly ten ducks dabble

old Meng listens hard__trees make a hollow sound

the old music changed one__it will live on underground


There is a plenitude more primal than lack, communicated in immanence itself. G&B 272

High snow circles the pond__ice islands over most of it

Crossed by shadows of gulls__this is where Wei would sit

staring into snow glare__to speak now would be rude

ducks bob where the tide churns__empty mind’s plenitude


Our transcending energies are in communication with an incognito source more ultimate than the abyssal self, as its source of self-transcending. G&B 176

No way to get here now__snow flakes still stop and go

scurry over the black pond__gulls swivel nothing below

crow echos far off crow__I run into Han Shan

you name it that weird laugh__flash of mallard green gone


There is oneness that may drown us, as much as oneness that floats us free. G&B 177

bricks block our river views __ new towers hide our sky

they’ve sold the people’s spaces__ice covers the pond where I

ramble in Tu Fu’s absence __ a seagull touches down

rising immediately away__the sea returns to town

under the ice which breaks__its silence and starts to float

lifted from below by fresh__salt water clearing its throat


The human exceeds the human because it is the indwelling of the transhuman. There is something divine about us but we are not the divine. G&B 272

glitter of wind-driven water__across the molten mudflat

an empty Starbuck cup skitters__your voice Li Po in that

our selves pure passages__there not there now there

whiter white of a bufflehead__where to now wanderer


Between nothing and God, there are deaths that let the ‘unborn infant’ be born. G&B 272.

crow calls lost in the drizzle __ South Mill Pond low

fog of a January warm spell__muddy ooze where snow

was styrofoam cups a cast-off bra__empty high tide’s detritus

What trifles humans are (Wang Wei)__gush of returning tide and yes

thrash and splash of ducks bathing__sunk in Wang Wei’s worn

serenities there’s all this silence__this breathing of the unborn


We are drawn to agapeic selving by this passing of the divine within us, and a passing that no longer makes it possible for us simply to be within ourselves. G&B 274

Spartina stalks outshine the snow__a thaw on Epiphany Sunday

ducks heads-down space the pond__ there’s something in the way

a young hen waits at the edge__ raising one long orange foot

to a spot needing attention__ high clouds open and shut


There is nothing empty about the nothing we have become. We are released to what is passing. G&B 340

such openings call you Xie__happenings of inner form

this town would box the ocean__you were here when last night’s storm

shaped snow down to the pond__snow clouds blow at my feet

and across glittering mudflats__by tide pools gulls repeat

unsayable things in the glare__ducks push through icy floes

into open water the moon moves__in Xie’s deep tracks I pause


The good beyond good and evil is this return to zero. G&B 335.

milky ice edges the pond__schooled in the economy of gunshots

a week of child funerals__ducks float in the sunspots

twig and stem twitch in the wind__again the United States at war

with itself O massacred innocents__solsticial sun rips across water

so near to Christmas so far__on the beach rose rose hips gleam

what ontological reserves__and each one a child’s scream


We carry the unborn into time even after we’ve been born to time. G&B 332

flakes still hard dry small__crows off crowing somewhere

sparrows find seeds on frozen ground__the mudflats slowly silver over

above the slate pond gulls twist about__I watch slackjawed and stung

awake it’s snowing harder now__the taste of nothing bites my tongue


Our image of God as absolute self-sufficiency makes our understanding falter before such excess of enjoyment, as always spilling over limits, as anarchic and wild pleasure. Pure being pleased: yes, yes, and yes again.” G&B 327

low clouds the sun’s thumb print __ grey pond creased with black

Advent bells cross the shallows__and the occasional quack

heel heel the local dogpark__Zhuangzi forget what you’ve heard

then we’ll talk about it__duck’s laughter the non-Word


The communicative “being beyond” is plurivocal. G&B 325

duotone pondscape__ice in the cord grass

steam off new snow__phosphorescent mass

mudflat’s halftone__between stalks birds flit

a car won’t start somewhere__if I just sit

here in the cold with Su__an exquisite blandness appears

a gull spirals down feet first__that splash delights the ears


“This idiocy of ‘being nothing’ is the paradoxical reversal in which absolving power opens the truth of transcendence as pure giving, pure en-abling letting, pure allowing as empowering.” G&B 320

dark sparkling wave clouds__expand across the pond

ducks sleep in deep stalks__an empty scouring sound

gives it all a bright edge__you Wang An-shi survived

being taken at your word__your poems uncontrived

and short fill the empty hour__chuckle of water on stone

crystal clear slap happy__for which you still atone


Seeking nothing at all: an idiotic seeking, an absolutely open willing of the good of the other. G&B 320 (rev.)

flat shine of the mudflats__sparkle of shallow meanders

nothing of the sky’s blue__of a contrail mere blurs

(that idiot Mei’s palate)__bright sun on the cold rocks

on the edge of the last pool__facing the wind, black ducks

(numbers declining you know)__some splash and some preen

there to prove nothing just be__they keep remarkably clean


“The return to zero can be an interface between us and the more original source(s) of creativity. . . . The artist who waits in woo knows something of this nothing . . . knows something of the breakthrough in which the energy of creation streams again.” William Desmond, Art, Origins, Otherness, 288

bright clouds smudge the pond __ neap tide on its way out

cord grass soaks at the edges__with a grey silent shout

leaps a deep-chested heron__clearing with slow beat

the film-thin lit interface__there wave and air meet

trailing long legs it sinks __(it’s a Li Shangyin thing)

into radiant reserve__I wait on its arising


Here we can grant a unity for self that is self-transcending and communicative in a radically relative sense, radically for the other in a love that reckons on no return to self. G&B 307

Echo in clear distances__ping of a tug charts

final miles of ocean__out on the pond sparks

sapphire and emerald__beyond the mallards lands

a cormorant, glistening__wings akimbo, it stands

perfectly still, beak raised__oblique to the horizon

Du Mu sips and sings__in distance beauty’s begun


Here we can grant a unity for self that is self-transcending and communicative in a radically relative sense, radically for the other in a love that reckons on no return to self.  G&B 307

Echo in clear distances__ping of a tug charts

final miles of ocean__out on the pond sparks

sapphire and emerald__beyond the mallards lands

a cormorant, glistening__wings akimbo, it stands

perfectly still, beak raised__oblique to the horizon

Du Mu sips and sings__in distance beauty’s begun


The impossible too muchness of transcendent absoluteness can be approached in a new poverty of spirit, porous in its relative nothingness to what is beyond it. G&B 305

shawl collar of thin clouds __ sheer blue above all that
hot sun

cold wind on the pond __ eastward waves crenellate

wind in the empty tree __ into the shadow of the oak

the calmed shallows __ swims a small black duck

Han Yu starts to sing __ instressed by the too much

of dark origin’s finesse __ with craft and a light touch


Suppose the constancy of the origin remains constant and in that sense impassable, but impassability is not now a non-reactiveness. It is the never spent reserve of being patient. G&B 302

peep calls cross the water __ mallards ride the neap tide

wet winds blow out to sea __ cloud lights on the pond hide

the constancy of its patience __ from spartina’s sodden fire

steps a great blue heron __ charcoal on the flowing there

old Meng Chiao at his dead end __ poems rise in his gorge

turn round the heron’s gone __ back in it and at large


The erotic God is wounded, is wet with desire as passing out of itself, on fire with transcending, tireless in wooing the beloved. GOD AND THE BETWEEN 302

this Sabbath these birds __ in place of politics

sparrows in the Spartina __ the cold sun licks

eleven peeps chittering __ two silent small

white egrets one heron __ headblade lifted tall

over the black glare __ almost invisible

Ying-Wu absolutely still __ heron croaks his say


One might say: This power to give being from nothing is that greater than which none can be thought. G&B 253

dark day light rain __ dim rattle and thump

the drying oak above __ through the wet the rump

white on the pond’s gray __ three falling peep notes

out over the mudflats __ recalling Tu Fu quotes

a cold time and hot war __ far from home friendly crow

empire self-destructing __ cormorants alert in the flow

being senses one poem __ other voices one peace

ducks sleep in the shallows __ out of nothing release


We come to know ourselves incontrovertibly, as having come to be, coming still to be, and still too passing away. G&B 285

The pond gilt-edged in Spartina __ surface corruscating light dark

cormorants beat the water on take off __ corkscrew away into the stark

blue of the wind-picked heavens __ crickets leap out of my way

back into flattened cordgrass __ scintillating songs for a day


The askesis takes one down into a togetherness that must be further purified, and the last release makes the self into a kind of nothing, not a nothing full of rancor before its own lack but a nothing that has emptied itself out of the self-clinging that blocks the passing of the divine through it. G&B 274

Cold clarity this Sabbath morning __ spaces between things sting

old eyes streaming in the wind __ heart opened by No-thing

take this idiot’s word for it __ between grass and pale stone finitude

shines on the back of a fly __ on thick swaying goldenrod

bees cling and in the distance __ molten mudflats and the white

of wings flare idling the mind __ the shallows full of light


The truth of solitude is that from the first we are always absolved from solitude. G&B 272

late bees trouble the beach rose __ cormorants skirt the pond

ducks bounce in the ebb tide __ a cold return but beyond

that this surplus clarity __ peeps busily turn about

in the shallows’ clear mirror __ the bottom not in doubt


Being that is no-being is most clearly evident with human being. G&B 263

ginko leaves tipped bronze __ Autumn’s touch broken clouds

pond light sinking slowly __ meanders appear mudflat roads

outside power’s labyrinth __ anarchists shot on sight

the world is not a problem __Sam’s dark words Xie’s light

vast image the inner pattern __ where way moves past the wrong

ducks dip gulls walk __ criss-crossed with cricket song


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