Tag Archives: birthday

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birthdays, too,
hold misunderstood questions
alongside bright smile greetings.

at the end of the day,
I stayed late at the Temple
to water Roshi’s flowers.

oceans of bright clouds,
oceans of solemn clouds.

The final couplet comes from the words of Dogen in our school’s translation of the Ninth Precept.

Beside Me (Happy Birthday)

It has been twenty of your birthdays
since I first saw you walking
in the afternoon light;

you slipped away for a time,

but later
we floated in the
midnight darkness of the lake,
timidly watched the sunrise
from granite steps.

This day bears little resemblance
outside the presence of you and I
and want of a breeze;
others in between are half-forgotten,
depending on photos in an album
to remind us —

yet still I see you walking

and wish you might come
to sit down beside me.