Friday Poem

At Sea

……………talking with Perschke on the fantail. I ask him
“What time do you go on lookout?”
—“When the sun sets. But I can’t tell tonight, it’s
—” In Japan in the Buddhist temples they ring the evening
bell when it gets so dark you can’t see the lines in
your hand when you’re sitting in your room.”
—“Full length of up close?”
—“Full length I guess.”
—“Suppose you got a long arm. Maybe you’re late. Are the
windows open?”
—”Sometimes they’re closed.”
—”Can’t always ring it at the right time, huh?  What do
they ring it for anyway?”
—“Wake people up.”
—“But that’s in the evening.”
—“They ring it in the morning too.”

by Gary Snyder
from Earth House Hold
McClelland and Stewart, Ltd., 1969