OCTOBER 25, 2018

Capital Springs

“Our Pure Land is not only the fragrant lotuses and bunches of chrysanthemums, but is also the mud which nourishes the roots of the lotus and the manure which nourishes the chrysanthemums.” –Hanh, from Touching the Earth



Little chance for Pure Land

from here behind the house windows

there it is, at the edges of city,

a little out there just off the highway–

    Get out, find a northern horse

             and pack the dog in back

Capital Springs, sodden marsh

        closed off, boardwalk

            carlots empty

the trailing of geese calls from a flood creek

a rise up out of the source of things

sun off the October grass

bright as moss

bright as the inside of stars


Let go of the leash

What’s behind you in the background

the sewage, the dump, asphalt living

the end of things, the beginning

Ahead through two inches of mud

we see only the black

fine velvet gloves of the geese heads

steadily swim along

the swollen creek which has no banks

they’re not going anywhere

later they swoop down onto the city park

just north where you live

at the bench

under old friend oak

you know where it all came from