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Patricia Pruitt
WHITE SPACES 
 

1

He penetrates

the endless evening.

 

At last beyond (need)

he wants for nothing.

 

 

2

The hole worn in last year’s

yukata will not be mended

 

What of it?

Nothing will ever

end again.

 

 

3

Tangible and intangible

weave the fabric

of absence

 

No mind, no being

free to roam

the universe.

 

 

4

The weight in the heart—

a white camellia fallen

into a dark well.

 

Bones forever

Scattered.

 

 

5

Facing forward

penetrating the bone.

 

 

6

White days float away

into smoke rising from

the incense burner.

 

 

7

In one instant

a new tool for

measuring the days.

 

 

8

Learning to recognize

the footsteps of absence.

To wonder:

Where and when.

 

 

9

The day wears a hole in

the thin cotton of composure.

 

Nothing to do with the sea.

Over and over

it vanishes…

 

 

10

Close and distant

hover

in the evening dark.

 

 

11

A new moon peaks out

of the old darkness.

 

Sadness is a blunt thick wrap.

It cannot shatter the stars.

 

 

12

No sound of departure,

no in,

no out.

 

No day

no night.

No one’s here.

 

 

13.

Sighs, not footsteps

echo

in the genkan.

 

Do the birds sing or

make noise this morning?

Depends on the ears listening.

 

 

14

Birds fly up at sundown

on Harima-nada Sea.

The water is calm.

 

The day

annihilates itself

for nothing.

 

 

15

Nothing out of the ordinary

happens.

 

 

16

Even spring comes with its

cherry blossoms and purple iris.

 

Wordless, hands & eyes

speak.

 

 

17

Talk of necessary things,

pour a cup of tea.

 

Only darkness shows

through the night.

 

 

18

The hole into darkness has infinite

spaciousness.

 

Days and days of white flowers:

Friends come, letters,

the space remains white & empty.

 

 

19

Man to woman, father to son,

friend to friend.

Everything ends.

 

May butterflies

fly into the void.

 

 

20

Mute face suffering

into the dark.

 

Sitting in the father’s room, you know

and you don’t know.

 

 

21

Not to forget, not to wholly remember.

 

Pine trees stand in every season.

 

 

22

Close as a passing shiver in the pine bough.

 

 

23

Gone where?

 

What is ever ordinary?

Certainly not this.

 

 

24

Incense smoke wreathes

the white chrysanthemums

 

Folded away with his suits, his voice

his look.

 

 

25

The man in this photo—who

 is he smiling for?

 

 

26

The smallest object has earned

a new regard.

 

 

27

His few habits, the letter opener,

his favorite cup.

 

To carry all time forward in each moment,

Live in a house without walls.

 

 

28

Son and mother form

a double bond

with infinity.

 

 

29

In this morning’s rain

things melt in air.

 

 

30

Being you are here.

Not being he is here.

Patricia Pruitt

Among Patricia Pruitt’s many publications are Full Moon at Sunset: Selected Poems (Talisman House) Blue Line (Alyscamps Press) and Windows (Pressed Wafer).  She died in 2018 from ALS. Her husband Christopher Sawyer-Lauçanno is currently compiling her many uncollected poems for publication next year. “White Spaces” will appear in that edition.