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Stephen Jones


The moon and sun are eternal travelers,
he says with a bow to Li Po.
Aren’t we all?
Even the recluse is a nomad,
wandering sun to sun, moon to moon.
The only choice is which path:
the wide and well-lit highway
to familiar fields,
or the dim, narrow road to the interior.
How brave the moon
to pass through deep shadows
with only the faint
pure light of reflection!

                              — For Jochim

Often, it’s the simplest things
that confound us most,
like putting away the lettuce spinner.
Washed, dried, reassembled,
ready for the cabinet shelf
I find it too tall for the space
but fail to see the obvious:
invert the lid and it will fit,
plunger nestled inside bowl.
Instead I press the plunger down
until the whole contraption
slides in place,
its innards spinning madly, pointlessly,
like random thoughts and blind passions;
spinning long after
I have closed the cabinet door.

The work of Stephen Jones has appeared in Abandon Automobile, a collection of Detroit poets published by Wayne State University Press; the Maxis Review, published by Marygrove College; Poet in the House, a collection published by Broadside Press; and the Detroit Sunday Journal.  Stephen is a teacher and journalist and a longtime member of the Detroit Zen Center.