I drafted this post, oh, in November I think but never finished it. Diana DoShin Johnson used these three poems in a dharma talk on one of her returns to El Paso / Las Cruces. We have them on hand. The poems have not grown older. I have. Bobby Kankin
A story is like water
that you heat for your bath.
It carries messages between the fire
and your skin. It lets them meet,
and it cleans you!
Very few can sit down
in the middle of the fire itself
like a salamander or Abraham.
We need intermediaries.
A feeling of fullness comes,
but usually it takes some bread
to bring it.
Beauty surrounds us,
but usually we need to be walking
in a garden to know it.
The body itself is a screen
to shield and partially reveal
the light that’s blazing
inside your presence.
Water, stories, the body,
all things we do, are mediums
that hide and show what’s hidden.
and enjoy this being washed
with a secret we sometimes know,
and then not.
el viento, las orillas del océano, las piedras,
sabiendo que seguirán, inmóviles o ardientes,
y yo fui descubriendo, nombrando todas las cosas:
Fue mi destino amar y despedirme.
the wind, ocean shores, stones,
knowing they will go on, inert or burning,
and I went discovering, naming all these things:
It was my destiny to love and say goodbye.
In Memory of Apollinaire “Polo” Valenzuela
The Birds Have Vanished
and now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me,
until only the mountain remains.
(Translation by Sam Hamill)