Peter Schneider

Mountain Seat
the tripodal seated positionrecalls an Empire clockblack agate case and green facein the house in Long Beach
weird old gargoyle sephardim downstairs at sederand my ten year-old me wanderingthe guest rooms seeking quiet and alonenesseven a little mystery in the cool air betweenthe twin beds covered in brown satin quilts
in the twilight the other housesof brick white mortared Spanish tiled roofsand faux-Moorish balconies sit like seashellsin the presence of the oceanten year-old self always somewhere else
this clock which I now embody in zazen its dark bongmingling with the zither brush of taut stringson a companion clockin the form of a sailing shiplines stretching from my face to my knees
a tuneless dulcimera metallic taste like thirstiridescent motes before the eyes revive a souvenirgreen mother-of pearl pocket knife from the beach gift-shopcheap emblem of itself

Platform Sutra of the Second Storey
in central Vermont where I siton the second floor as a freshening breeze comes up to clear the headand preach nothing to two turkeysslowly bobbing across the field
I gradually become aware that I am locatedapproximately seven feet in from the windowsa raft of white purple clouds floats across the sensoriumcroquette shapes repeating the mounded hills
a sense that I could equally be out theresome twenty feet off the ground floatingover the turkeys for all they care
also that I could bethe grit in the sand bankof the brook sounding below the fieldor a trail of snail slime on a gray rocknot to mention the rust in a passing tail-pipe
just nowthe upper cavity of my skullseems much like this roomunder the eaves

Peter Schneider is a zen and T'ai Chi practitioner, poet and psychotherapist living and working in Brooklyn, NY and Rochester, VT.