“Essence” is a Phony Word

 Bodhisattvas in empty earth

       but never really—up past wormy holy

underworld—to mind without walls

       innate in

empty eggshell

      already hatched

and having nothing,

       solar cumulus columnar, wordlessness,


of speechless symphonic grasses,

    their aquaporins precisely 


    voidfabric, whole waterfall canyons

of watery veins

         ambivalent of apical self-natures

or idea outside of valent electrons

         pulsing the stillness of

froggy hollow waters, sky delicately wrapped

in the gaps of cells

        and so vesicles veritably gloved suchly,

a voyagerless return—

the drunken idiotboat

with harpsichord of splinters

lapping tongues underneath the

other shore—

and salamander sidles up to frog

in the hills of unchanging 

         untreaded tadpole evolutions and asks:

“why did the dinosaurs come from 

           the pangea west?”  and frog says:

“I will tell you”

           and before frog can say a word

           frog is eaten by swallowbird

and the eye of unfathomed essence

is consummated and 

        frog reappears—

and bodhisattva’s flowers are resplendored

and get stepped on by accident,

the sky still pervading everything,

clouds pointing at your own head

and the head of the knobby rhythmic 

knees of herons with tapestries

of lulling pine-smell forest history

within them, forgotten and unrealized,

taped with words and

extinguished by extant is-ness

      and its soft



—Tom Jennings

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