So I Say to Myself

My dog and I have this in common:
when we are anxious, the sun helps.
Today we sit outside together,
nowhere to go, just here,
to smell and to feel and to listen.

You would not believe the noise!
A cafeteria-at-lunchtime din,
all the birds and their gossip,
so chatty, this hour.

I hear the wind before I feel it.
As it turns out, the trees gossip too,
only they in whispers
and sign language.
When I stop fearing so much
their power and height,
the way they sway and
I cannot command them to stop,
I see their movement is divine,
living—more like the water they hold
than the wood they are made of.
I can see their invisible spirits
with my naked eye.

My dog seems to notice nothing.
In all likelihood, he sees more than I do,
even as he closes his eyes.
I wonder what it's like to be him,
to know so much just by breathing.

I wonder what it’s like to be him,
to have never known a life so
busied with the traffic of ego,
of white noise, of supply and demand,
of perform or vanish.
I wonder what it’s like to be him,
to be here under a heated blanket of sun,
and to never wonder
how he might improve it.
He takes one of those deep dog sighs,
the sound of contentment,
manifest.

I wonder if somewhere in me,
I too hold a sigh like that.
I have nothing to lose by
hoping I do, by imagining
I might discover it if I
learn from the life around me.

My dog snores.
The birds, asking nothing of me,
keep on with their afternoon chit-chat.
The peach tree blossoms quietly
for no one and for everyone.

So I say to myself,
"Put down your pen.”
So I say to myself,
“Shhh. Just enjoy.”
So (briefly, but it’s a start)
I say to myself
nothing
at all.

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