Afternoon amid the ancient Sequoias, in reverie
beneath an arc of translucent green leaf canopy,
a young child daydreams at the edge of a brook,
entranced by the play of water-skimming spiders.
From the deeper pools, little multi-colored carp
rise languidly to feed on the crumbs of time . . .
How many seasons come and go, unnoticed?
Memories, soft ripples spreading over stillness,
lapping at the banks – nothing really changes,
though nothing ever stays the same.
Just so, in the space between each thought,
has anything ever happened?
Nearby, ripe and fragrant with summer’s nectar,
blackberries swell flamboyantly over an old deer path
winding its way down to the cool inviting stream.
Purple skins luxuriate in the sun’s generous warmth,
each bulging berry bursting in its own perfect time,
one after the other spilling their syrupy essence
in the same way everything eventually pours out
of its own skin, an offered gift from life to life.
Form and emptiness, emptiness and form —
two twining smoke vapors – spiral higher,
higher into a darker blue, while somewhere,
lovers embrace again after lifetimes apart;
a teacup spills from an old woman’s grasp;
a shocked thief in the midst of his crime
suddenly catches himself in a mirror;
and a young child sleepily looks up,
then slowly closes his eyes again,
lounging near a murmuring stream,
dreaming, dreaming, dreaming . . .