Animosity

I believe you are not happy
I believe you have gone to the edges of yourself, and
   what is in the centre is anyone's guess: nothing -- 
   that is one answer
   -- or, nothing much
I believe peace, disappointed in you,
   has long left your side
I believe loneliness is your most faithful companion
I believe connection is never a game
   you can play without stumbling
I believe fake riches are as woeful
   as the people they seduce
I believe you are a fugitive 
   of reality
I believe distractions and delusion are staples
   in your daily diet
I believe at dawn you cannot face yourself
   in the shaving mirror
I believe at night you lie down none the wiser
   and unassuaged
Superficial, Synthetic, Scared

Alpha

The rouge of leaves and trees
so voluptuous
as if this autumn the first autumn

The wind blows
making gathers on the lake
this day the first day

A pair of green birds
so happy and so in love
lift off a bough

soaring toward the sky
everywhere orange, blue, green,
red, purple, yellow all at once

This sunset the first sunset

Cyclamen

This morning
the sun strokes me with the back of his fingers

and I open --
a spread of folds,
blushing pink
-- and all day butterflies land on me

burrowing through curves and creases
into my deepest universe
as they lust after the sweet juice, then
carry away with them,

in their quest for world domination,
and all day
with the playful wind
like a candle flame at dusk

I curl and lean
my slender body of stem
that holds
all that wetness and adventure

gently and softly. So,
here I am:
un-shy, unclosed, honest. And
you? Do you love yourself?

Do you embrace your simple life
and its impulses
to be untamed and sublime for a while
before nothingness keeps its due appointment?

Metta

Today at daybreak walking on the footpath
the air brisk upon my face, first

across the quiet road, down the avenue
stepping on young-autumn leaves,

past a cat on a roof, then round a corner
I gaze forth toward the sky. The moon --

wide, generous, exuberant, so large
and so low I could touch it, like a window

opened in the dark expanse to reveal
your face. I pause

in this moment of my strides, and 
I say a prayer of gratitude, of

affection, and good wishes:

May you be happy, may you be free from fear
May you be healthy, may you be safe

Street Person

He bends and places a bottle of booze
On the ground. Dirty pants sag
To expose a white, resigned bum.

He sits his fat body down.
When I come back round the same corner
A woman drops a coin

Into his blackened hands. The alcohol is
Half-drunk. "Spare change?" he looks up,
Not at me

But into the distance beyond,
His eyes, red, with vague rage.
I move away, ashamed

But frightened, and his voice
Retreats, before being swallowed up
In another draught of memory and pain.

Film review: Nomadland

“I am house-less, not home-less,” says the main character near the beginning of the film, in response to a well-meaning probe. The notion that one’s home is something you carry with you — and in this case, metaphysically and literally — shapes the transcendental heart of Nomadland, a serenely visceral work based on a novel by Jessica Bruder.

Set in post-Global-Financial-Crisis America, this third feature by Chloe Zhao records Fern’s (Frances McDormand) induction into and experience of an itinerant life. With the demise of her husband, and the town in which they lived, the stoical, middle-aged former teacher decides to be a van-dwelling working nomad, as she sets off criss-crossing the harsh, arid landscape of the United States. It is a choice that invests its tenability not only on one’s health but that of the vehicle.

While sustaining this lifestyle through odd jobs, Fern finds friendships that lead her to a community of simpatico people at an annual gathering organised by Bob Wells, the famous wayfarer whose writings and Youtube channel have inspired thousands. Amongst the cast of non-professional performers who are genuine nomads (the magnificent Linda May and Swankie, and the charismatic Wells) is the other fictional role, Dave (David Strathairn), with whom Fern contemplates a deeper connection, in a gentle scenario that acutely depicts the conflict between complex bonds we forge with others and with ourselves.

Beautifully photographed by Joshua James Richards, Nomadland is a movie that discovers enormous humanity in bleak, washed-out colours and inhospitable contours — a tender, unflinching inquiry into the real world by a formidably talented actor.

Creation

Is there any question the carpet of
leaves on the grass, on
the path has heaps to teach us about

spiritual generosity? Would you ever doubt
the great, beautiful elm senses your presence
from vibrations you make in the air?

I walk like this each morning,
around the reserve, across the bridge,
over the lake, feeling my heart open from her clasp,

thinking: if I do not see this again
I would surely die. And look! how the magpie
cracks the darkness and tears up the sky -- as if

last night he had dreamed of blazing
his own path, and is now
determined to make it real

Song

Six o'clock, upon rising,
You put the music on:

Meditative beats, spiritual mantras,
Classical tunes.

It is not to fill the space;
There are voices of crickets,

Early taxis, the whistling wind.
Even the resident bird has woken up

To take its place at the corner
Of the parapet. No --

You put the music on because
Your mind is already busy crowding the day

With this and that, and the melody
Weaving its way about the hour is

The soul, with her patient nudging,
Calling out to you

To sit in her gentle presence
While the air outside quietly sheds its satin darkness.

You know she is always there,
Loving you more than  anything else

In the world. A tireless guardian, again
And again, bringing you back to

Your sacred truth.

Leaf

I read between the lines of my heart
While a red leaf floats like whisper upon my lap.
And is there any more clarity than before?
Only more conflict, more questions, more uncertainties.
Nothing like the delicate truth of trees, through time.
Dense, tedious heart, too many layers, too many possibilities.
Tome of inanity, I turn back the cover and close you up.
Leaf, teach me, teach me
To change colour, then just fall.

Morning

At Alexandra Gardens the fog hangs
like drapes from blushing trees.
I walk into its folds. I breathe
in a long time. It smells of
stone, stillness, mystery. It draws
deep into my belly, spreading
the bones. Letting go, I hear them
whisper:
Who was that? in her 
luxurious dress of silk