Poem – Black Swan

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Emerging from the
prairie and the ancient oak roots.

numb, cold, senses fall away, the threads
loosen, bonds stretched,
there is light out there, somewhere,
but here, where I stand, the shadows
gather and meander in tight patterns
around my feet and over my head, into
the canopy, and cold infiltrates
each layer and as time passes
senses are driven further away.

until nothing is felt and nothing
is “real” surrounding the mind and moment.

is this, now, pure existence or
remnants of my ancestors experience –
the experiential spiraling forever into
the glass funnel, sands fall into
the black river.

did I pass the test
with limited knowledge of non-dualism?

black open waters release steam
at first light, sheets of ice
break free with slow steady movements
water we see expands seeking
earth as the chasm increases
and there is less stability
less sureness, the bastion we once
sought shrinks to a point and
the point vanishes, we are
left with ourselves standing
in the middle of open black waters.

Pungent wet air, the
evening came swift
before tired eyes, late
January and ice moves apart
water rising,
frozen landscape sighs
then becomes still –
early spring emerges
silent from tall grass
and over the canopies.

I see the black swan flying
across the river above
the trees, and in the instant
before it falls into the open
cold waters, I awake and wonder.

Weeks later the dream continues
the black swan falls into the river
but I do not hear anything.

Complete silence until I awake.

Black open waters hide the black swan
returning home.

I watch smoke emitted from stacks
and the shadows they carry

against the deep blue January sky
and I feel sad and anxious.

fluid movements, the expansion
of internal heat into the open.

daylight hours pass, melting snow
and the remnants gather before dawn

and the city retains a beauty of
muddled and muted colors.

I see from the bridge deck
crossing the rail yard

three large round lights cutting
a triangular path through thick air.

When the evening traffic trails off
into a background hum

I hear the distant train
and sense the coming rain

snow melts in the evening
awaken to morning fog.

spring’s first scent is moist
and biting, clawing its way

to hidden memories
lifting them to the surface.

I hear the train through
the black night

across darkened fields
across wet concrete

the first brief thaw
an event we cling to hope

that this winter
this suffocating winter

is slowly losing its grip
and the black swan may fly.

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