Many years ago I watched my daughter and her ‘Anglo’ friend take their infant sons out for their first springtime. My daughter set her eight- or nine-month-old son on to a barely greening lawn.
I’m looking out the pickup truck’s window at Ambleside Beach and the ocean and the freighters – at the mothers tending to their children covered in sand and sugar and spit, at the blue sky and the mallard ducks and the Canada geese.
Streams evolve through a balance of forces. The bed shifts as it erodes one bank and dumps its remains on the other. It returns when its loops are cut off as the water finds a more direct route downhill.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
A black crow
Has settled himself
On a leafless tree,
Fall of an autumn day.
Under the bright moon,
A secret worm
Digs into a chestnut.
On a snowy morning,
In the cavernous interior of the Excalibur Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, there are ranks of gambling machines lined up like gaudy soldiers on parade, each one to a common design, though subtly different. They invite you to make a close inspection.