Pond Song 4.50

Pond Song 4.50

The jolt puts us on edge on a tight rope, one side nothing, the other side exceeding life. G&B 249

ice necklace high tide__faceless nickle pond
last stop for the moon’s urge__capital’s fond

dream of creative destruction__nothing profits dooms
this place to be no place__underwater rooms

open as the tide goes out__out there silver threads
one tuxedo one gray__a pair of buffleheads


skies appear and roads



Reserved in the porosity is the pure trust, the pure yes. G&B 257


the pond at low tide__broken clouds bright puddles

a crow flies over slowly__a gull settles


down in black water__big oil behind

the rainbows at your feet__the heart resigns


returns to the void__across the shallows clouds

move beyond the shadows__skies appear and roads


Pond Song 4.48


Absolute absolving power is agapeic as power that gives the power to give. G&B 254



pond bottomless snow clouds__rain thickens white

and sticks on my face__shadowless absolving light


pale gyrations of silent gulls__widen as the winds build

over the slack gun-metal pond__empty and light-filled


at last I live by the river__the power I once had I’ve lost

bricks laid for the worst weather__after this tea and toast




Pond Song 4.47


Everything points to an affirmative giving of otherness as itself affirmative . . . G&B 254


the religious say just do it__runners in day-glo fleece

and shades crowd the path__no matter what brings peace


cut out against October glare__I see it through silver grass

the immobility of a great blue__mudflat’s glowing mass


this Sunday’s wild communion__this gift of otherness received

the heron’s awkward lift-off__more than one had believed




People say to you when you raise the possibility of doing something– say, getting pregnant, or drunk– just do it! I call these The Religious ( full of faith in all things). Then that thesis is developed in a series of examples: jogging, whatever brings you peace, just do it; then the poem takes a turn, the”it” is seen not in mobility/activity but in the heron ‘s immobility. So, just how do we do immobility? Meditation? Prayer?  The rest of the poem suggests a parody or subversion of conventional communion–or a reimagining of communion. But then “it” sort of explodes– the heron leaves the scene, awkwardly, thus freeing the observer from worshipping its perfect immobility.

And I would argue that this is a true version of communion and there’s real peace– again not soporific — in the more-ness envisioned in the last half line.


Pond Song 4.46


There is a nothingness that enters the “that it is at all,” and this is not a relative nothing marking a finite process of determinate becoming, for the whole of the process is streaked with the nothingness. God and the Between 250


wars abroad oblivion at home__platinum to ice blue

the pond under bright low clouds__nothingness runs through


it all the satin calms__the great blue’s bony take-

off out of yellowing grass__a small duck’s shiny wake


the pond brims with light__thumbprint of the Unequal

an oily slick of rainbow__great powers under its spell

Song Pond 4.45


Fix on the fixed and we forget the fluid original power . . .” G&B 261


seed time at the pond __ breeze in stiff grass

flicker of brown sparrows__forgotten as I pass


gulls pace pewter mudflats__cloudless sky shines through

border of asters hang on__late bees hang on that blue


splash in the shallows__a flash of emerald duck

upon a sinking brown one__I’ve had my share of luck


and disaster getting here__my country’s kingdom come

flags at half staff bells tolling__I take the way of the poem

Pond Song 4.44


The pure trust, the true “yes” lies buried deep in the determinations of finite life. G&B 259


high tide moving out __sparkling wave clouds

knife-headed cormorant__black cut-out implodes


goes the surface dazzle__the pattern set by the moon

bees blues in asters__crickets crystal tune


face of the Ur-yes__fading into sound

wind-rubbed maples sigh__leaves drift in the pond




Pond Song 4.43


We misunderstand God’s transcendence beyond the whole if we dualistically oppose it to divine immanence in the finite whole. G&B 259



half-human stench of mudflats__hot clouds late September

through the dark glitter peeps run__ time tells we remember


a different sea returns to the sea__above it all City Hall

sells earth and sky and water__flags snap smartly on the hill


crows feast on waste in silence__how they tell I cannot say

poor T’ao happy when writing__grasshoppers hop in the way




Pond Song 4.42

The unconditional activity of the divine is conditioned relative to the world as the creation of the unconditioned activity. God and the Between, 257

poverty at home war abroad__I watch the cormorant’s wake
an egret lands in the sparkle__bombs explode for terror’s sake

autumn light films the pond__a great blue stands tall
on one leg above its reflection__the news it seems is all

bad but for now no now__creation is relative
spartina sinks at high tide__no-mind present and active

Pond Song 4.41

God and world are two but not a dualistic dyad, and not moments of the One at home with itself. G&B 255


I walk to perfect desire__goldenrod stains the air

grasses bend seed-silvered__the emptiness of prayer


egrets hunchbacked in the wind__a bright spot and a gash

of bleak black bill__peace intense as a crash


the silence holds withholds__beholds some would say

the pond all bottom__meanders glitter away