Guest Post, Michael G. Smith: Some Truths About This Night’s Sky

Some Truths About This Night’s Sky

 Photo of poet, Michael G. Smith at Shiprock, New Mexico by Susan J. Preston. Used with permission.
Photo of poet, Michael G. Smith at Shiprock, New Mexico by Susan J. Preston. Used with permission.

Anchor points

bright they have nothing to ask

and nothing to say


each blink blink twinkle

an axiom

to live life by


this swatch of sky

the same in Kathmandu

and oddly different


each starless speck

a handle-free teacup

reminding me


to drink only what is needed

beyond the cosmos

all filled to the brim


Orion’s sword in the dark

of the playful summer days

it will become



and steadying

these my wander years


that light shifted red

I stare at now

no longer



Author note: Hsueh Tou Ch’ung Hsien (980 – 1052) wrote “beyond the cosmos all (is) filled to the brim”. A Ch’an (Zen) master, he compiled a set of 100 kung an (koans, “public cases” of ancient events) that ultimately became The Blue Cliff Record.

Guest Blog Post, Maureen Alsop: Requiescat, Self-Portrayal at Samhai

Requiescat, Self-Portrayal at Samhain: Spiritisim is Annunciation, You Thought You Were An Opera Singer

You are engaging a meditation on your death. Perhaps you broke the law, but it was an old law, a lost aria, unenforced. You are held in the residue and ascetic disaffiliation. Sleep’s epitaph, your eyes guarded by sixpence, silvered shine of wolfhounds. At the feast, they set a place for you among the dead. Cold stars languish under your crane-skin dress. Hornet’s nest kept in your hair’s gust.  Inexplicable speech. Moth light over gray meadow. You taste the hum in the walls where mule stood over the glass riverbank.  Sparrow stasis. For each animal there is a trade. There is a wormhole upon the forehead, bonfire constellations, maggot conscience. You’d been walked between bonfire’s remains, the dappled throng. Through the small barn window you saw the blistered flank of the fur-licked cattle.

Belief in the body is attempted, form found without words, form given. Leaving the mind starts out as a little joke. Here, Spiritism is a woman riding a colt; the space toward which she is moving is an immeasurable dark. How did you think things would improve? She gives night the permission to erase the host. Your architectures had always been enough, and perfectly therein.