White Waits

"A blank, unpainted space. It is considered one of the identifying characteristics of both Chinese and Japanese painting. Blank space is not simply unpainted areas; it is important to the composition of a painting and carries the same "weight" as the painted areas, often serving to set off or balance the painted motifs. As early as the 10c in China, ink landscape painters attempted to capture the spirit of the scenery around them; in their paintings blank space functioned as "spirit" ki 気." --JAANUS


Rather than put myself in the sky which is so
complete with blue and clouds, I make a space
in a line of people climbing a trail in the mountains.

All night I work on my thinking and waiting
until at dawn I see the iron clouds shift sunlight
and listen to the years changing my life with a laugh.

I say thank you to all the influences that a plant
like me goes on growing fearless as a daisy.
I need no robes, I wear baggy underpants in the morning.

By afternoon I am transformed by the light from my beard.
Some girls think I'm cute. At first I'm shy but soon
I take my wooden chair among a bench of kids from Waltham.

At night I fall in love with the first person to stop
his car. Because I am a well of love for my lady.
The drone of stars slowly changing places in the sky.

When I fall asleep by the river it is like I'm dead.
There it is. I use my coat for a pillow and lay my head
at the root of a tree. Shade my eyes from the sun. White waits.


Copyright 1985 & 2007 by Robert Ronnow.