Which is an Eye or a Bowl, a Dream


Which is an Eye or a Bowl, a Dream

Or well-placed mirror in a sunburnt room, shivering through shifted
images: that hand, blackened and stout, opened like a dark peony;
the tattooed chin; shovel and torch; hook and owl. You say no one
chooses one fist over another, that bread’s rise completes its cycle
and begins anew, pressed flat and rounded. Take this heart and seal
its chambers. Note the anterior descent. Compression, lesion. Plaque.
Consequence. And your friend, who slept, never to awaken. Lying
in that strange bed, you taste salt, acknowledge change, whisper
to no one: audible house…audible tree, knowing that time’s limit
remains unclear. The air swirls and you accept this new light.


Note: “Audible house…audible tree” is from Jane Hirshfield’s “Not Moving Even One Step,” from The Lives of the Heart.


6 thoughts on “Which is an Eye or a Bowl, a Dream

  1. If wee let panic run wild, COVID-19 might be what triggers humanity on this planet to behave like the bread: complete its rising, flatten, begin anew. Spooky how this poem fits the right-now even though written well ahead of COVID-19! Ever an optimist, I muse about how this will all look in the rear view mirror … as again humanity’s confidence that we are in control begins its next rising … though the right-now feels pressed flat.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll let the younger ones evolve into their own sense of control … I’ve been around long enough to know I’m NOT, never was even when I thought I was … today’s youth will make jokes about COVID-19 10 years from now … that virus that got us out of school but we were stuck at home with our parents …
        (UT has extended Spring Break a second week … during which faculty are to figure out how to offer coursework online and “distance” people within physical class space.)
        If I end up quarantined, at least I have umeboshi on hand – my original Amazon order finally showed up 2 days ago – via London – luscious, even more so than the ones I got locally – and w/o the red food coloring.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Butler University has also extended Spring Break, as, I imagine, others have done. I don’t know how transitioning to online coursework can or will work. Poorly, I would imagine, in many cases. But at least they’re trying. Ah, your Amazon umeboshi! I need to visit my local Japanese grocery, as I’m running low on some of my pantry staples.

          Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.