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richard krech

richard krech was a friend of d.a. levy's, who published his first chapbook of poems, We Are On The Verge Of Ecstacy, in 1967. he lives in san francisco, where he is an attorney and social activist.


The Calamities of this World
are Not Here in this Garden

The carnage of war
in Beirut, Baghdad, Bombay
and now Haifa;

the suffering of earthquake victims
in Iran, Indonesia and India;

the calamities of the world
are not here in this garden.

Built out of time and space
and not much else
except Mary's vision and energy.

A time and space apart.
Watering the plants in the evening.
Tops of far away trees
waving in the breeze.
The stillness. The crickets.

[wind chime]

put down the pen



Between the Two Poles

Cool breezes from the garden
thru the open window

sounds of hammering and chain saws
from over the fences
with faint shouting in Spanish
[construction 2006]

Nearby the repeated
complicated mating song
of a bird whose name I do not know.

The Buddha in his place
leaves caressing the wind.

This reality
if I turn my head
away from the window
is no longer green and golden
cool and breezy
but a book-lined study
tribal rugs on the floor
w/ maps and broadsides on the walls
a door past the desk
and beyond the door
the table with the computer
the telephone
and on out
onto the street
into the world.



That Place Is Always Attainable

That place is always attainable.

filtering in thru curtains
after millions of miles
in the cold vacuum of space,

Here it looks warm and yellow
the blue of the sky
green trees beyond.

Industrial hum
occasional sounds of humans
or cars.

The ability
to find that place of calm
is essential,

Our rock spiraling rapidly
around the Sun
chasing tomorrow.



The Farmer and Vasabandhu

150 years ago in this place
under this exact sky
a farmer used a team of horses
to pull rocks from the ground
so he could plant his crops.

Now, we use ornamental rocks
imported into our garden
to shore up terraces
or divide visual areas.

The Buddha image
was never in the farmer's field
as it is in our garden,
but the enlightened gaze
looks down on both.


[Vasabandhu the Younger believed that the past, present and future all occurred at once; i.e. now.]


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