A Gathering of Ten

Et Ignotas Animum Dimittit In Artes
- Ovid

I. In my room
Staring at the scraps of my nails
For two thousand years.

II. Playing guitar on the porch:
Evening approaching.
Notice of one black feather...

III. There in the Boathouse.
Remembering his face,
The bones that were in it.

IV. Repeating the prayer.
Listening to the voice:
A stone in my mouth.

V. The Lake of Ice
And out long discussions
Over turnings.

VI. And fallings of the Goddamned Ox
Every Goddamned time
It rode us back home.

VII. In the fire then
At the Hankao Pass:
Being broken.

VIII. Fishing, like thinking.
There in the night:
The one that got away.

IX. Singing suicidal notes,
One black feather
Turning through space.

X. In a tree:
Nine birds waiting...
Not for water....

I use no magic to extend my life.
- Kakuan, from the Ox-Herding Series

With a deep bow to Kakuan, who drew them first.

January 1995