I know my way to North River,
Trudging through the snow-covered
Stubbly cornfield to see and hear
Whose tiny footprints are in my backyard?
January thaw will reveal the Buddha nature—
The hazy sky spitting snow, mounds of snow on the sidewalk,
And the powdery pebbles around the edges of the river.
The Buddha-driven plow levels the view from here
To my box-like castle where I eat, sleep, play music, and write
Whose space I share with the invited and the uninvited.
Some stay a while, and others leave after a brief visit
Leaving their permanent imprints in my heart.
In my tiny space, I name things and rush the imposters to the door.
They come with me to the river, joyfully romping in the cold pool.
Buddha grins. I worry about the icy water.
I come home—the potted hibiscus starts to bud.
The woodstove holds red embers waiting for a log.
I share my little space letting the invited in,
And without knowing, I let the others slip in.
To my dismay, Buddha grins again at my cupped hands.
They have ample room to carry all my baggage.
Buddha nods this time.
Year of the Rabbit