False spring’s soft rain subsides to
snow flurries and icy winds
annihilate too-early growth; buds
blush and drop without blooms.
Raucous tempest buffets pairs of birds,
challenging them to seek safe
nesting sites for mating as sapphire
skies turn first opal then ebony.
* * *
Approaching death the higher castes
in feudal Japan entered religious
orders seeking to die as monks or nuns
expiated of sins from former lives.
Winter cleanses only what is no longer
fecund; that which would otherwise
fester, ferment, accumulate detritus.
Death exists as the herald of birth.
Heavy dewdrop depending from
the tip of the corn-leaf;
Snake-size or frog-size, enough
to water a single kernel.
Recalled that First Nation peoples
used to water corn
One cup per day only, per plant
in a droughted land.
Watching two lizards circling,
doing periodic pushups;
Perhaps a courtship ritual, with
discrepancy in size.
On second-thought – two males
squaring off for territory,
Choice . . . until interrupted by a
Do not start what cannot be finished.
Coastal Morning – Oregon
Dawn-Robins listening for worms
against waves’ percussive backbeat
hitting the jetty at Winchester Bay;
Lush grasses provide plentiful fodder
for shorebirds as fishing boats ply
their trade out through the channel,
Over the bar and through the surf-line,
as the Umpqua’s fresh water turns to
salt and seabirds escort the fleet west.
Silence is as much a sense
of touch as of sound –
less sense than sensation.
Dark shadows on snow,
vivid contrast to conifers
ranged against a slated sky;
dark emerald spires
puncturing crystalline air
with their bleeding twins
seeping sharply across a
scene of unbroken snow.
Having finished Edw. Abbott’s Flatland,
for the how many-eth time I don’t know,
I’m struck by several thoughts:
As indicated in the book, by analogy,
one can conceive of a fourth dimension –
a projection of a solid through space and/or time.
Buddhist thought regarding reincarnation
envisions this dimensionality as a
projection of human existence through time.
What comes after or beyond such a
transfiguration of extended humanness?
It should be the Nirvana of all-beingness
or ever-beingness; a fourth-dimensional concept.
It is not the soul set free, but the limited
three-dimensionality of human existence
given entrance to the fourth dimension –
space/time – or whatever it should be called.
A Buddhist view would be of a returning,
reincarnation, to the three-dimensionality of
the then present, but in an altered form –
progressional or regressional – in a
hierarchical system of sentient beings.
Ultimate transformation would be an altered state,
extended projection, of the current form of
sentient being through time or other medium.
There is, as well, a connection here to the Gaia Hypothesis
(an almost sentient, self-directed Earth) which I am not yet
able to apprehend fully, but which I would like to see.
Perhaps I just should meditate on such dimensionalities.
Richard D. Hartwell
When hate is in the seeds, you can only harvest weeds. Ernst Jünger, The Glass Bees
In joined hands there is hope; in a clenched fist, none. Victor Hugo, Toilers of the Sea
An eye for an eye only ends up making the world blind. Mohandas Gandhi, The Mahatma
Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school teacher (remember the hormonally-challenged?) living in Southern California. Like the Transcendentalists and William Blake, he believes that the instant contains eternity.