Michael G. Smith

Acceptance Low-hung cloudsflat light strewnover the lakesteam risingfrom cracksin the landscapeunseen beforeI unshackle my poemsfrom the wallsthe other artist’s artworks unmovedlike volcanic Hekla in hercloakher editorial suggestingimagine in summerfourteen-hundred cubic metersper secondof unrestrained waterfall off Gullfosseighty in winterthe icy windblown mistan advisoryto acceptlike the Zennistknows the blue flowerone petal shortinfinite in its shades A Bodhisattva-in-Training Contemplates Reciprocity Resident sparrows perch on the rusty rebar’sexposed ends of the home’s concrete pillars.They chatter. Street building endless, wherewill they find enough food for the charm?Theirs’ is no yammer of failure or success,only of the early apricot blossoms, the rain,sleet and snow dropped by a passing storm,and the robins’ return overnight expectedlike the long-married couple who wokeone morning to the spring in their footstepsquietly gone. Still there is compost to trowelinto the soil, furrows to hoe, seeds to water.Every morning they shuffle to their gardenwalled shoulder-high by bricks held togetherby hand-mixed mortar, and before beginningto dig in the deep earth built over the years,they pause to give thanks to the world turningwithout anyone pushing it. Formation Lightbrowning the wetlandsgraying the lakegreening the fútbol pitchbluing the schoolboy’s shirthow can it be saidsome thoughtsform half-formed? Michael G. Smith is a Zen Buddhist and a chemist. His poems have been published in many literary journals. His books include No Small Things; The Dippers Do Their Part, a collaboration with Laura Young of haibun and katagami from their Shotpouch Cabin residency; and Flip Flop, a collection of haiku co-written with Miriam Sagan. His poem Disturbance Theory. Glacier was selected to be photographed and displayed in Antarctica by the Antarctic Poetry Exhibition (https://www.antarcticpoetry.com/) in early 2021.