Nancy: Ryokan, in his hut on a mountain, knew snow and isolation. We, in our cabin on a bay, live snow and wind not unlike his – two hundred years ago.
Days Of Disappearance
My abode is/ in winter seclusion/ on this white mountain in Echigo./
No trace of humans/ coming or going.
our tracks disappear as we make them
drifts are boulders
boulders are drifts
no one comes
bay floods the path freezes
Ryokan uses fewer words
more art than language
good fortune to live here
this cabin, this life
when Ryokan comes
Epigraph from Tanahashi Kazuaki, Sky Above, Great Wind: The Life and Poetry of Zen Master Ryokan (Shambala, 2012, p.150)
Alan: I wrote this last year. Today, a blizzard bears down on us, bringing high winds and up to two feet of snow. The crows that ride our skies are hiding.
Out Like A
Poor March! Are you enraged
that winter’s over, and no big storms?
Does the notion of global warming
frost you? Your lion chases
the frightened lamb to the end,
though last week they did lie down
together, peaceful as Quakers.
It was only a breather. Now
every tree tosses its electric mane
and all the air in Canada
leaps on us, over the border,
with a roar.