Back Valley


When you arrived in Manoa,

damp from the rain,

there was a mist that had lowered,

a musty incense trapped in wood.

Listening for subtle instruction,

you go inward.

Everything is moved by hidden means,

heavy winds and a light that ushers in the void.

Sunset’s hot coals singed what’s left of resistance,

when clouds leave no footprints

walking Tantalus.

The shrouded prisms,

the ghostly veils that trace the ridge line.

From here there’s a well defined

form of a crouching tiger

set in stone musculature.

Protective walls form a sanctuary,

a garden of feng shui,

a perfect symmetry

that comes from being cradled on all sides.

The pulse of a reclining dragon

is tempered by the tortoise,

keeping the Chi in harmony,

until the phoenix lifts it

brightly south to sea.

The Moon is now balanced

above the ancestor’s branches,

seeming to emerge from the burnt out tree.

it appears stranded,

like an emaciated heart, waning.

Prying tears from deep recesses,

surging into streams of thought

to lay on the surfaces of runoff,

playing its role in the letting go.

All that is fixed in marble is a mirage,

a disguise over the loss of control.

All the dead end illusions

form a platform

from which to peer at the unknown.

All the debt and uncertainty

of being alone

burns brilliantly from this vantage point

back valley

where the sky is a conflagration

of all that came before.


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