White Space Samadhi

I look down into the white
Blinding bright and filled with empty
The margins of endless gray 
Beyond that endless white

Anything could happen now
Anything could happen

I came out of the grocery store yesterday
And I realized I was suddenly alone
The only one for miles around
And the sky stretched forever and ever

Anything could happen now
Anything could happen

I didn’t want this much possibility
I didn’t want unlimited options
I didn’t want not to know what happens

Anything could happen now
Anything could happen

Pushed onto this endless white
Standing like an exclamation point
It’s me I don’t recognize

Anything could happen now
Anything could happen

Be the one who doesn’t know
Fall into that white space
Like a fool on fire

From Thoreau’s Journal, #15

The cuckoo reminds me of some silence
Sun is glowing in the fog
The snow is nearly all gone
And now another friendship ended

My nature overflows with secrets
I cannot confess to anyone
I live under an awful obligation
To be only what I seem to be

I am the nature of buried stone
It takes the summer sun to warm it
Give me to walk in the dogwood swamp
Just above the red house, beautiful as Satan

Going now to see the sun set
Will it go in clouds or a clear blue sky?
Winter breaking up within me
There is a season for everything 

- from various journal entries

From Thoreau’s Journal, #14

I knock on the earth for my friend.
I expect to meet him at every turn,
But no friend appears.
Perhaps none is dreaming of me.

I am tired of frivolous society,
Where silence is forever the most natural
      and the best manners.
I would walk on the deep waters,
But my companions only walk
      in shallows and puddles.

Two yards of politeness
Do not make society for me.
One complains I do not take his jokes.
I took them before he had done uttering them,
      and went my way.

- June 11, 1855

The Forest Beneath

There is a forest beneath the earth.
I should not say it lies in waiting.
Time does not enter into it.

Its roots ease through the moist dark,
Its limbs stretch through the soil and make no shade.
Oceans of trees and grasses, buried alive,
Living on shadows.

The surface is a concrete skin,
Vast and suffocating.
It is human-made, born of a fever
To harness the world like a mule.

Their fever forgets cracks in the surface.
Light seeps in like a weeping wound.
The threads of light touch the tips of leaves
In the hidden forest.

The grass and leaves beneath feel the now of the light.
No future fever pulses in their stems or trunks.
They simply take the intended action.

Tendrils of grasses and trees probe the cracks.
The forest begins arriving.
People will poison it, flay it, pave over it again.
It will keep arriving.

It will keep arriving
Until it arrives completely in a silent world,
Unaware of its own arrival
Or of that brief, delirious age of murder
Just before it arrived.

Some Nights

Some nights I am so tired.
I look at the page, all that white.
Inside of me, the same.
Even the echoes of others are gone.
Even the greatest of them: Eliot, Yeats, Dickinson, Shakespeare – 
Some nights it all just seems like a monkey’s trick.

I drag the words across.
They arrange themselves dutifully.
Some nights I am so tired.
Some nights this is just drudgery,
A mopping of the floor, a carrying out of trash.
Dumping shit into a shit container.
I’m arranging it to make it seem more profound than it is.
It’s not.
I’m not fooling anyone.

Some nights I am so tired.
It would be easier to just lie on the couch and read,
Or just listen to some music,
Let the real ones who have done the work
Do the work again.
Usually, the best thing I could do
Is not write another word.
Look around - plenty of words already.
More real poetry than time to read it all.
But still. 

Some nights I am so tired,
Committing fraud for no one.
Some nights I am so tired.
Some nights I am so tired.
The repetition is not helping things.
Now the dishwasher is beeping it’s done.
Even my dishwasher’s poem
Is more helpful than mine.

Looks like I’m turning my failures into fetish,
What I like to call “self-defecating humor.”
(I realize I’m not the first to say that.)
But oh, I was never the first.
The blinds are still open and it’s dark out.
Some nights I am so tired.
What can people see when they walk by in front?
A tired old man writing shit about himself,
Dumping it in the shit container.

Time to wrap this shit up.
Tomorrow will be different
Because it will be tomorrow. 
I will be different, too.
Maybe less tired. Maybe more so.
It’s hard to say. 
It’s always hard to say.