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Michael Sowder – I

Kellen in My Lap, Eight Months Old  





In a circle of lamplight I’m reading once

again Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind.


Playing the keys of my fingers, arranging,

rearranging them, you find


new patterns and melodies. When you woke

crying in four o’clock darkness,


startled by a nightmare or some sudden pain,

we came out to here where I could work


and you could play. What is satori? asks Susuki.

The bottom of a pail broken through.  Coyote, mountain lion


walk the hills above our house where darkness

holds its wing above the valley. Only Orion


brightens the January snow, he and a light across

the valley—a single yellow windowpane.


Here in our circle of lamp light, the joy you find

in my fingers a monk tries hard to explain.