AFTER THE MOVIE, AFTER SKIING,
WAY AFTER THE SHERIFF DRIVES OFF,
WAITING AT NORTHTOWN, CLOSER TO THE POEM,
NEWS FROM THE NEW MOON
Just out of Naches
on to Highway 12 West,
it starts snowing hard
and the camera
is in the passenger seat
but I can’t stop
because there are skiers
behind me and the road,
the road, is already slick.
It is March!
I have my skis too
but 12 is always
an invitation to stop
and I have received
The lane for slow traffic
arrives like a gift from God
and I pull over
and have me two minutes
alone with that snow
before the sheriff pulls up
incredulous, calling me out
in that righteous voice
about this being a traffic lane
not the shoulder of the highway.
Can’t you see? Are you blind?
I walk back to the car
and find another place
where I take this walk
where trees are covered up
by falling snow.
This is the Naches River
just up from where it runs
into the Yakima.
I got all kinds of things
in my head besides skiing
Morning begins with the blues,
Van Morrison and John Lee Hooker
singing, Live to Suffer.
John Lee (always arriving in a woman’s voice),
called out by Van, Go see a doctor.
John Lee whispering back,
Milk, cream, alcohol.
John Lee singing, I can almost smell those TB sheets.
All of this at the kitchen table
with movie clips of a March snow storm
and misplaced photos of a pine tree in morning light.
My wife wants me to pick up bird seed
for finches at the Coop. Driving
down the avenue, a young man with a backpack
crosses the rail road tracks.
Coffee from Northtown
at a small black table for two,
me and the notebook, William Chittick’s
telling the story of Shams before he meets Rumi,
from his newly translated in my lifetime,
Autobiography of Shams-I Tabrizi:
Me and Rumi. He begins
before Shams meets Rumi—Mawlana,
that translates, Our Master,
where Shams says,
I came into this world to look around.
It is days after Brussels suicide bombers,
during the time of Islamic State fighters.
The terror network has killed
more than 160 people
in two of the continent’s capitals
in the past four months.
Republicans in America are going apeshit.
I try to tell Karen about Robert Bly
and Coleman Barks and William Chittick,
about Camille Kabir Helminski and the weeping others
gathered at the tomb of Hafiz.
24 March 2016
24 March 2016