Thursday, March 13, 2014

On Not Knowing

photo: sharon auberle

On Not Knowing
by Jeffrey Johannes

When I was young, I watched
a Chinese monk brush characters
of red lacquer on a door
the color of spoiled plums;
no matter what his message,
I felt the impatience of not knowing
and something changed in my heart.

And here lies the struggle,
the uncertainty in wondering
if there is anything
more certain than losing my hat
when I leaned into sunset
sighting a humpback whale,
the weight of its bones
bearing hard to lee,
stunning in aptitude and joy,
its molecules speaking a language
I did not understand.

~ first published in Nimrod