Some mornings I sit on my porch and do nothing
but drink coffee and listen to squirrels chirp,
car brakes squeak, and bulldozers shatter a house.
But I can meditate back into that morning-porch body
in the middle of the day if I listen to my breath
until the greasy machines rattle to a halt.
You know the machines: one practices cleaning the house,
one makes invisible money, one makes love.
One machine splinters a warping wooden porch.
Now the bare ground of my body has a tremor
of caffeine underneath and the engines send up
the last blossoms of smoke over the rubble.
The University is one big Buddha. It’s fattening
into the neighborhood. It’s meditating everything
down into parking lots under quiet lamps.
This Buddha awakens in my direction. It wants
its fields empty. It wants to wake up with the engines
cold and still, the wreckage gone, the squirrels chirping.
I'm back to writing a poem every day, whether they stink or not.
- ► 2006 (144)