Stray Thoughts

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Here by the water the only constant
is the wind, the waves behave as if they
couldn’t be bothered to make themselves known

against the rock. A fellow nearby looks intently
at The Gate while his beloved sits in silence,
chin in hand, waiting for the answer that should come

to her at any moment. This bench is dedicated to the
public service of a city councilman, who from this spot
shall look upon the Bay forever, contemplating the

shifting nature of the world he left behind.
This is the day I will record the argot of the shaman
preparing his evening magic by a low fire,

a squirrel rising up from a rocky windbreak,
the clatter of small drums,
the snap of kite tails and unintelligible

harmonies celebrating sunshine. Ballooned yachts
criss-cross the horizon, white sails whipping halyards
taut — a flock of gulls straddling the updrafts–

white wings, distant whitecaps, a white cotton
candy sky, a white dog passing,
the white socks of the walkers,

the white lace gown you wore last night,
the bed a Rohrschach in white.
The Buddha never shifts his gaze.


  1. Hi Gary. This is Betsy Hayes from high school. Kurt Hube told me of your blog some months ago, and I have been following. My son Rob lives in San Francisco. He told me Sunday night that last weekend he and Sabine went to Berkeley, walked around the shops and then down to the beach. I imagined it was those two you saw in “Stray Thoughts” I could see everything so clearly. Could it be that placing a loved one whom you miss dearly in the poem or story allows your mind to see it more clearly and interpret it more personally? Thank you.


    1. Hi Betsy. So kind of you to drop by and comment. Yes, it could have been yesterday that this was written, but the truth is it was written long ago. I returned to Durham from Asia a year ago and here I am–not likely to leave again for an extended period. Too bad we could not have a large gathering this year, but hope you are taking good care and staying well. Thank you for following. –G.


  2. “The Buddha never shifts his gaze” is informing my whole morning.

    This afternoon, I may break out “The Buddha never shifts his gays.”😛

    Loving you from all over the eternal spectrum,




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