It must have been the restless stars
shuddering in their nests a thousand years up
that crowed and cast me loose from sleep.
Sandals stuck to the frozen step.
Mind’s sprawl spins under a glaring moon
as the warm dream shatters in the absolute jaws
of winter. Cold, black, it bites off choice –
a wild sense explodes, hacks the cursed logs –
fumbles numb matches – the yes! miracle spurts
…onto girls, last year’s war and sport…
Old newspaper sails, billowing with flame,
bring me back home. The smoky world.
The stove croons, guts full of wood.
I suck a skinned knuckle, chew a handful of thoughts,
letting things melt with the rippling hours.
I must have gone soft wintering here.
A gaunt man dives through me, scouring the depths
for pearls to remind him of a distant sun.
From: Travels in the Middle Land, Dhamma Moon, 2013.