Pondering plant viruses and self-knowledge

Stretching myself, scapula peeled back like the sky:

Knowing and not knowing, so not writing down

the nascent, subsoil milky specks at night

(and more twinkle out if you look longer).

To calm the rods in the eyes of the dandelions,

this I have learned by eating all the UV rays

and casting skin of my poems,

hiding convex in

curled-toe honeydews,

whether parasamgate pairs

     of aphids

     are to be spoken, their

velvet skin, the most unnatural neons, seeming like

garbhas of seaweed

and barnacled pupils lapping

     without dimension…

Is this what is to be learned?

Is this all that I have learned

in the past murky warp of a year?

      that I am too surrealistically snotty

and too wildly naturalistic to enjoy Hart Crane and T.S. Eliot anymore?

too obsessed with Taoist and Zen hermits to enjoy Shakespeare anymore?

      or is the real lesson the unwhispered waters of wonder,

that the sweetgum glow hazel

     in August on earth pure lands

with or without ontology,

     their seeds home to unimaginable Buddha lands,

capillaries pressed out

     in unpunctured volcanic dicots

returned to the unchanging inner monocot—

I’ve learned I’m too skiddish to be a contemplative for now,

my last name is Jennings, not Merton,

and maybe that’s a ton better for me,

nothingness being flowers, la mer, and nothingness—

inside the dead ladybug on my windowsill,

clouds beckon unswept revelations…

—Tom Jennings

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