Steven Riley: beggar's bowl

Spring '14 TOC

I walk this forest floor during a sudden snow.

Deep January’s wet black trees tightening about,

creaking like the timbers of an old ship,

sighing white veils of snow swaddling them.

Ahead, the patient eyes of a stag and doe;

breaking pace, I stand,              for a moment, silence.

Then, an aria of water streaming from its origin unknown.

There, a muscular outstretched branch urging me that way.


I am a beginner, grappling to maintain

a beginner’s mind. I search upward into dark skies framed

by intricate branches within an anointing snow.

I exhale, hissing like snowfall through evergreen.

The deer’s vigil attends me

Tears of grace are my alms.




Not Enough Night
Not Enough Night
© 2012 Naropa University