my project
is not a philosophy
as the philosophers have it
not an elaboration
audible only to the learned
inviting its own destruction
and endless recreation

though it stands
in a certain relation
to all of that
(as Shinran stands
in a certain relation
to the Mahayana)

my project
is to simplify
to find inherent
a non-philosophical philosophy
which the philosophers
will not even trouble
to ridicule

but which might have
for the ordinary person
or for myself
for whom the slippery heights
are unendurable
some property of redemption
where trees stand close
birds sing
and in damp and midgy air
rain threatens ....

I long to find myself
in an archaic humanity

having a primary relationship
not to some abstraction
of the city-bound
such as
"language", "culture", or "meaning-formation"

but to white clouds
and hints of blue
the damp air
and birds who fail to come
for the food I have put for them
here next to me
on an old table
lost in the woods
at which I like to sit
in the early hours
listening to the singing air
feeling soft ground under my feet
waiting (all unknowing)
for some power to move me
for the living day
to become endurable

yes   -   I read the philosophers
against my better judgment
and when I cannot help myself
and especially because
I love you so dearly
my friend
who are yourself a philosopher
so because in reading
I feel close
and because
some residue or subtlety or depth
is left precipitated
from what I read
in the unknowing ....

and now
a little bird is come
who eating a nut
means more to me
than all the consolations
of philosophy ....

the philosophy is the belonging
the psychology is the unknowing
the politics is the anarchy

-  there: I have spoken
and in this simple creed
I rest my bones

as I return
stirring leaves remind me
of deer rising up the brae
where midges dance in the heavy air
of sheep walking down into the glen
where changing air promises snow

of myself returning home
with no decision
in this that I am pleased to call "my mind"
as the body takes me
past a clematis
dripping syrup over the shed
past young men joking
on their way to school:

we can all agree
that the relationship between body and breakfast
is more fundamental
than that between body and language

for even the trees
have breakfast ....

24th May 2000

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