Sitting. Still. Mind wandering.
Thoughts come and go, space in-between.
Adjusting form, swishing cloth. A cough.
Stomach gurgling, like a trumpeting crane.
Spine straight, thumbs lightly touching.
Tires crunching gravel, muffled radio from within.
A raven croaks, “Good morning.
I am here. I am awake.”
I am all of this, suchness.
It is all me, ephemera.
Narrow chasms open to wide spaces.
The bell rings and I bow.
Sparkling waters speaking, a language their own
Bursting bubbles everywhere
Hearing sounds, not understanding words
Intertwining in meaning
Deepening redwoods, mossying alders
Graying jay, downying woodpecker
Spawning salmon, flowing water
Elk River, a winter day.
I love you more with each passing day
I don’t know what more to say.
Is there an way to convey
There is no place where we can stay?
So lets jump and romp and play
Or lie quiet and watch the branches sway.
Lets love and live as if this were our final day;
Which it very well may.
by David LaFever
Autumnal river flows
Slow and shallow, breathing
Golden light radiates.
Alder, willow, maple and cottonwood
Emerge out of its banks, skyward
Roots dipping downward, drinking.
We dip our tender feet in
Tentatively, tantalizingly, invigoratingly
Cold long known to salmon and steelhead.
Solar warmth radiates everywhere
From rock, tree and sky
Soon overtaken by cool, upriver wind.
Beginningless wind, always flowing
Deep in the Pacific a storm forming
Does the river know?
Nourishing rains carried on the wind
Dark storm clouds form and reform
Bringing salmon in their embrace.
We walk the riverbank, warm and cool
Lost in reverie, autumn river reverie.
Soft scratching way up
High in the canopy breeze
Ah, now I feel it!
Green needles dancing
On the wind, woodpecker call
Looking up, needles fall.
A lone needle falls
Dark red giants stand still.
Here are some poems that I wrote after participating in a weekend zen retreat that left me feeling settled, gathered, animated and awake: