The Return of My Miniature Zen Garden

Today, it was on my desk again:

The small, square Zen garden,
Three rakes and a brush,
Sugar-white sand laced
With miniature tumbleweeds of
Dust and lint;

The garden had lived for months
In a colleague's cubicle:
While i was gone,
The garden was neglected.

The sand furrowed its brows;
The smooth stones sulked in their
Nests of sand and and gathering dust.

It is home again,
And again, my desk is a desert.
And now i will rake the garden
And pluck the lint from its new rows,
And then

The scratching of the miniature rake
Against bottom of the earthenware tray
Will drown out the silicon hum of the
Hard drive

Will obscure the blinking of the
Message light

Will remand the petty interruptions
Back to their cubed spaces:

Now, i will rake;
Now, i will be folded
Into a small, square universe
Of order and

--Mr. Gobley


What the snowplows leave behind

What the snowplows leave behind
Is gray and leaden.

Pure when peeled, the snow is sullied
By the passage of time and vehicles;
It becomes a sulking armature
Over lampposts and hydrants,
A cream-pie in the face
Of the world.

Then it hardens;
Then it is gone.

The plowed snow
Reminds me of my own
Fevered delusions
And personal melodramas:
Billions of little deceptions,
Grains of fiction,

Become a wall,
Become a shell,
Become water,
Become, in the end,


Just now they are jagged and gray,
But in time, they will flow downstream;

Perhaps someone will drink them
And be nourished.

In the gray of this season,
They seem almost to boast.

Soon enough,
The plow and the salt-spreader
Will cover them over with another layer;

Soon after that, perhaps,
i will remember them fondly
For what they really were:

Billions of little stories,
Waiting patiently to be told.

--Mr. Gobley