The Crack Those drowsy mornings, sun’s blaze in the eye, hot tinder in the mind, sleep’s narcotic fog a blot burst through – needle through gauze. Shrug the dark this thin light seems to say. Slough it off. Life wants one thing, as long as I keep snoring, just this one thing: sit up, breath: Awake. The Hemlock On Top Of Cape Meares Knotted like nerves, roots hang over the headland, fibers that idly drift over the Pacific’s incessant roll sloshing as winds, casual as Pollock, splotch rocks with rain. Stems which once sucked decay from dirt, burls which once sipped so richly up these wooden straws, now hollow with inner emptiness, are not burdened that one tomorrow or another they will slip sudden from this grass perch while claps applaud their teetering from grey clouds on high who bang loudly at their ineffable drop as though to boom: “This too is just so.” On Zen Retreat Fur clings, clumped old carpet. Specks flit, whir, stir again on shoulder bone. Green stalks poke cud. She munches, swish-tailed, fly shooing – Behind us on the hill the cement block monastery squats. I know from silence Buddha is not just there: He’s nudging cud, haunch-moist in pasture, making milk from meadow grass. David Melville lives in Portland, Oregon. Water-Stone Review's next issue and Rhino's next issue will feature his poetry. His work has been anthologized in the college text book, Listening To Poetry: An Introduction For Readers and Writers (2019), and published in journals such as Pilgrimage and The Timberline Review. For many years, he earned his living as a lawyer.