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Teresa Williams

Cloud Sound

 

The rains have washed the air.

All the birds have quieted away.

 

I wait with the trees, listening.

A lonely sound falls out of a cloud.  

 

It has the color of a willow in snow.

It tastes like sadness a thousand years old.

 

I hear my name filling up with dusk.

All the blue shades are crying.

 

I offer a question made of sunlight

made of why; the sky cracks with jade.

 

In this sound the sun is jasmine.

All the birds have quieted away.

 

 

The Path Off the Path

 

For some, the paths get in the way

of finding the way.

 

Effort is the road. Street signs govern

every speed and destination. 

Wild sage waves from the open country,

its sweet green scent, an urgent call—

misplaced attention.

 

The student asks Master Zhaung,

“How do I find the free and easy wandering?”

 

While the teacher laughs

a lizard slithers by, sits on a rock.

She knows better than to listen for his answer.

 

In the sky, the color is rebel.

 

 

White

 

I thought Blue was my color.

Sadness and eternity, longing for perfection.

But for now, I don’t get to choose—white has chosen me.

Da Vinci praises white as the mother

of all colors.  “The first of all single colors is white.”

He claims that no other colors can be seen

without it.  I suspect he was blinded by too much white.

Like I am, now, looking out the window:

white sky, white fog, white frost

the white cries of geese falling out of the clouds.

I wish I were speaking about white

as the color of hope or renewal,

like that feeling you get

when you see a lily or a rose bursting out of green.

And I don’t think I’m talking about white

as a metaphor for death,

like skeletons or vast fields of nothingness.

What does it mean to see so much whiteness?

At first, I was afraid of the question.  Then

I read Basho, 17th century Japan. 

He suggests the color white as “universal loneliness.”

That’s it.

 

                        In the wind

                  a cloud breaks apart

                        …drifting

 

 

A poet, translator, and psychotherapist, Teresa loves the way inner and outer landscapes come together with the bridge of beautiful language. Her poetry has been featured on-line with Red Ravine and Vericuetos. She has a chapbook of translated poems, Tailor Shop: Threads by the Uruguayan poet, Laura Cesarco Eglin, Finishing Line Press.