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Stephen Jones

READING BASHO

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!


LETTUCE SPINNER
                              — 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.