Friday, August 21, 2015

Recent Poetry

For Joseph Haydn
This chamber form that he perfected--
Four fiddlers’ brief fraternity--
Became for us an unexpected
Blessing of quaternity.
For every time a string quartet
Is played, the broken world is healed
A little. Let us not forget,
Then, him through whom this was revealed.

Farewell Spiel

Note: The below is a speech I wrote as a farewell, as the company I've worked for twenty-eight years prepared to move from Boston to Boulder, Colorado (without me--I'm staying to telecommute).  It may be of limited interest to those who don't know the company or my colleagues. I'm posting it as I just like to post things I write here to archive them.

A Pebble in My Shoe

There’s a case in the Japanese koan1 collection called Entangling Vines about a widow who supported the practice of a monk, setting up a hut for him on her property so that he could live there and do his holy work undisturbed. She provided him food and supplied his needs for twenty years, at which point she had an impulse to check the level of his realization: She instructed her beautiful young serving girl to linger a bit the next time she brought the monk his meal, to sit on his lap, embrace him, and see what happened. The girl did as she was told. Seated on the surprised monk’s lap with her arms around him, she asked provocatively, according the widow’s instructions, “What now?”
     The monk replied, poetically,

     An old tree grows on a cold rock in winter
     Nowhere is there any warmth