Near the Path


Zen Buddhists say that to lose yourself
is to find yourself in ten thousand places.

Perhaps they walked dogs.

To stroll along a trail with a beagle
is to get to see each place your dog wants to smell.
To see each place your dog wants to smell
is to notice details at the edge of the path and beyond.

You are there in softly unfurling ferns
and in tiny white flowers on tangled green stems.

You are there in clumps of furry moss growing on wrinkled bark
and in merganser ducks circling each other in the drainage pond.

You are there in a rotting stump nurturing a huckleberry bush
and in loose dirt being nosed from below by a mole.

You are there in a mound of fir needles covering an ant colony
and in new leaves of salmonberries feeling spring sun.

You are not in yourself.

You are lost.

Until you see your car again.



© 2009  Michael Yanega
26 March 2009







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