Frederick Wilbur

The Lint of It sabbe dhammā anattā. (All phenomena are without Self). Dhammapada #279 Lamb’s lint, lion lint; the slough of life is everywhere: feathers floating, snakes shedding,fogs thinning, spider silks no longer snare, become dew lint. Loom lint, laundry lint; the give and take of nakedness: faded fabric of favorite care, the gaudy gown ends in gray;everywhere is the literal of lint. Lovers’ lilting lusts are spiritual leftovers, star duststhat no desire can renew and the Self, like a candle snuffed, cannot praise lint. Language lint; letters are jots on paper which are the attempts of lint; silent spaces are doodled to depletion like subtractions of history, the never-found artefact. The River Itchen, Winchester, England From the stone bridge I toss a sprig of blueto see it swirl in reflections as Saxon kingsmust have done in their doubtful askings—can battle-blood Peace renew? With knotted hands, lovers swagger evening’s glow,but will some secret stranger them heart from heart,will forgiveness ever become a redeeming art?Do I know what they will come to know? And in the Buddhist craft of being, howare Alzheimer’s sufferers reborn,their senses, desires, attachments, tornfrom Time and Self? Are they enlightened now? In drunkenness, I have stumbled from Bishop’s Pubblinded by my younger brilliance.Can I dare dream of Great Alfred’s defiance,his sword held high to history’s dark scrub? My vision is lost in waters motionlessly movingwhere chance and choice conflatein a sudden knowing that ends churlish debate.Nothing upstream needs my proving. Samsara Bhikkus, this samsāra (cycle of rebirths) is without discoverable beginning [and] there is no end to suffering for those who wander, hindered by ignorance and craving. Buddha (Khandhasamyutta #99) Like the bird’s understanding of wind, wefly through the thickets of this worldas we search for the mind’s humble surety. The logical arguments of poetryare paper-thin, rippled and curledlike the bird’s understanding of wind. We confront beauty’s seductive plea,its blooms of promise unfurled;yet we search for the mind’s humble surety. Like an omen, a feather floats free,settles on a stump, gray and burledand like the bird’s understanding of wind, we follow the cursive loops of eternity:birth and death together knitted and purled.Yet we search for the mind’s humble surety. Indeed, by wisdom and dispassion weleave suffering to this world.Like the bird’s understanding of wind, weare sure of the mind’s humble surety. Frederick Wilbur has authored three books on architectural and decorative woodcarving, and a poetry collection, As Pus Floats the Splinter Out. His work has appeared in many print and on-line reviews including Shenandoah, Main Street Rag, the Comstock Review, The Dalhousie Review, Rise Up Review and Mojave River Review. He was awarded the Stephen Meats Award by Midwest Quarterly (2017). He is poetry editor for Streetlight Magazine.