Sunday, June 30, 2013

Road to the Shrine

After breakfast
in the middle of all the things we have to do
and pieces of this puzzle we have to put back into place
my sister and I turned

taking the road under the gate
     guarded by the japanese cedar
             leading up to the shrine at the top of the hill

"Look for mushrooms," I said.
            a search I had started one month before
in a poem i never wrote
      but acted with all feverish sincerity
            this psychadelic treasure hunt
                    this conversation cycling between myself and the earth

God fell asleep in the cloudy morning
                     left his toes sticking out of the covers
        Hazelnut caps and stems that stain blue
The systems of mycelium that spread underground
all the while I was rushing past
        carrying only faith that they exist
until the day when we saw them pushing up
          past the carpet of grass and dew

a whispered word to each kami I passed that day
from the hill top to the little church in the valley
           where we heard
love is not a feeling but an aching of the will
that should always lead to action

In the evening we sat waiting for the rains to come again
I talked with my wife of the journeys
       these toenail clippings of God
could take me on
           Why I would go she could not understand
                 we opened our hearts and hurt
to see such difficulties between us
and pushed on
      questioning ourselves
                    our ideas of wholeness

deciding to leave the mushrooms alone
we left the room
to walk on our own
       I sat on the stoop of a pre-fab hut filled with junk where no one lived
         and kept conversation with the neighborly Sri Lankan mechanic
as the rain tapped at our shoulders through the cracked plastic roof
                          He said without a doubt
a world without beggars
is possible
     and of course we will have to do away with most boarders too

And I saw the tree
          the one that had waited all spring to put forth its leaves
now had the modest hangings of foliage
      no one leaf bigger than your eyelid
             and each one greener than the word of God

      sitting on the concrete
      with the other rain drops I heard
the liquid carbon slide
           up the grey trunk
                         and out on tender reaches of the farthest twigs where
it came forth to catch the sun

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