white clouds

7 January  –  a pome a day…

Driving for Home

Horsetail clouds brushing the shoulders
of pines more resemble egret feathers
spitcurled by wind.
So much is misnamed—
take the brown thrasher, that brash
thief with song like water on fire
that builds its nest in the desert smiles
of teddy bear cholla.
Swainson’s Hawk
sounds too butlerish for this heavy-taloned
philosopher of the plains, often mistaken
for a child hunched on a hungry fence post
watching for mice under the massive swivel
of sunflower heads.
What have I misnamed
today in my rush from car to class to office to
car, what essentials are missing? Poetry
grinned at me with her cracked teeth, held
out a slim hand but I didn’t have time
to offer lunch or ask her name.
Only now clouds claim me, the blades
of egret feathers waving frail
lacy question marks across
my windshield above the swarm of cars
driving for home.

— Pamela Uschuk (b1948)
Wild in the Plaza of Memory
WingsPress, San Antonio, Texas, 2012


The Colors of a Fallen Flower

One time entering life
Crying crying, laughing laughing,
Suddenly, seeing the colors of a fallen flower.
The traveling steps touched the eternal land.
This mountain, that river,
The soul of the white clouds
Became light and immense.

The poem “The Colors of a Fallen Flower” was my first poem written in English. It was written for my first Dharma talk about Zen in an American monastery.

— Thich Giac Thanh (1947-2001
Scattered Memories
Parallax Press, Berkeley, 2013

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7 January Feast-day for Family ancestor saints:

St Kentigerna (Caentigerna, Quentigerna) of Loch Lomond (-734), generation 43 aunt

St Aldric (Aldericus, Aldricus, Audry, Elric) of Le Mans (800-857), generation 39 uncle

St Reinold (Rainold, Reynold) of Cologne (-960), generation 36 uncle

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