Michael G. Smith  

All Things Unequal and at the Same Level


This life is a yoga
of unions,

a givingreceiving,

starlight tasting

canvas mooring
many paints.


The awakened state looks simple:
serve tea, drink tea.


Beyond the cherry wood table
reserved for tea,

for falcons and songbirds

and a vast acreage

for the lone

are true but not
a flawless true.


Suntali draws a picture
populated by blue suns
and purple trees as true

as a light wave’s e equals h nu,
rain in the desert, the response
helpis on the way.


I help myself by bathing
using a bucket and rag
for the multitudes
without clean water.

Without the fusion
of water.


Snow in the countryside,
fields beneath a hard freeze,
Arles’ apple blossoms
encased in buds,

seeking serenity,
Vincent paints sprigs
of almond in bloom.


Yoked to my puzzle
of separation
I turn
to the familiar name,

tú y yo,
te veo,

a sprig of blossomed plumb
in the water glass
and a book
open on the table.


Suntali’s attentiveness
to the puzzle
of the garden

draws me to the hollows
and protuberances
of its many pieces.



Silence, a Verb


In the work of silence
there is nothing to be

gained or possessed.
Silence, a verb, what

do I hope
to achieve

winging thoughts
across paper,

the path walking, too
beside the mountain.



Michael G. Smith is a chemist, whose poetry has been published in many journals. No Small Things was published by Tres Chicas Books in 2014. The Dippers Do Their Part, a collaboration with artist Laura Young of haibun and katagami from our Shotpouch Cabin residency sponsored by the Spring Creek Project, was published by Miriam’s Well in 2015.