By Sandra Lindow: Trich Nhat Hanh on Tyler Avenue


 by Sandra Lindow

Trich Nhat Hanh on Tyler Avenue

Turning sunward out of the driveway,

 Miriam and I in Sunday best,

 Are swirled within a cloud

 Of dazzling gold and crimson leaves;

 I touch my daughter's hand and say,

 "Look at that tree, see how the sunlight

 Breaks into pieces and falls."

 And I am reminded how Master

 Thich Nhat Hanh describes papermaking‑‑

 Poets see paper as floating clouds:

 Without a cloud, there is no rain;

 Without the rain, there is no tree;

 Without a tree, you cannot make paper.

 So a cloud exists within each page,

 Each poem written on cloud and sun and wood,

 Each word, part of the earth,

 Each letter, part of the face of God.

-originally appeared in Wisconsin Poets Calendar 1995.