NOLA Zazen

by Sven Davisson

The Zendo near our house in Maine
the sound of the han echoes off trees and hill
and large rock where Gato-Roshi’s ashes lie.

The songs of birds chattering and trilling to each other
the mournful coo-ah coo of a pair of doves
and the cutting craw of a crow
the lone doe siding her way silently
through the remnants of harvest
the resonant tonal croak of a bull frog in the pond
the strike of an early rising carpenter’s hammer.

Here, the morning framed
by the warning of heavy equipment backing up
the rhythm of a train behind the house
broken by the sharp sound of poorly lubricated iron
wheels’ screech on rail as it makes the turn
edging by the decommissioned naval station
the backhoe digging through gravel and river silt
repairing the gas lines beneath the street
the occasional siren from the substation
at the end of the next block
workers’ voices raised over the noise of machines
five horns of a tug in the canal
and the answering clanging bell
as the drawbridge goes up
a car with bad muffler and loose belt waiting.

Behind the sound of rock on steal,
the sounds of two birds singing
a dog barks
another answers
a feral rooster crows WAKE UP

New Orleans 10.6.15

Crescent Park, the Bywater, New Orleans
Crescent Park, the Bywater, New Orleans