June 2017

The Poetry of Zen
the Zen of Poetry

With Dan Gerber
Saturday, July 1, 2017

Dan Gerber is one of our premier poets and a longtime practitioner of Zen.  Dan’s most recent book, Sailing through Cassiopeia, won the 2013 Book of the year Award in Poetry from The Society of Midland Authors. Trying To Catch The Horses received Foreword Magazine’s 1999 Gold Medal Book of the Year Award in poetry, and A Primer on Parallel Lives won a 2008 Michigan Notable Book Award.  Dan’s work has appeared in The Nation, The New Yorker, Poetry, The Georgia Review, Narrative, and in numerous anthologies.  He has published six earlier collections of poems, including A Last Bridge Home: New and Selected Poems, three novels, most recently, A Voice from the River; Grass Fires, a collection of short stories, and a book on the Indianapolis 500. His work has been selected for Best American Poetry, and been nominated for three Pushcart Prizes. Dan received The Michigan Author Award in 1992 and The Mark Twain Award in 2001.  A volume of his selected essays, A Second Life, published in 2001, was a finalist for Best Nonfiction Book of the Year Published by an Independent or University Press. He and his wife, Debbie, live in the Santa Ynez Valley on California’s Central Coast. His upcoming book is Particles: New & Selected Poems

July 1, 9:30-1:00
2012 Chapala St.
Reading and discussion with Dan Gerber.
Zazen and optional dokusan (practice-related meeting) with Joseph Bobrow.
By donation.
Registration required: Contact Larry at
You may attend the entire time or come just for the presentation by Dan Gerber (Please arrive by 9:15 or,
if only attending the talk, by 10:45)
Reading and discussion with Dan Gerber.

by Dan Gerber

The reason you do not clearly understand the time being is that you think of time only as passing.
              —Dogen (1200–1253)

We must endure our thoughts all night, until
The bright obvious stands motionless in cold.

              —Wallace Stevens, “Man Carrying Thing”

Winter Solstice—the sun
stopped for a moment—
can you feel its light stretching—
as it shrugs off its migration
and turns back north toward the pole?

* * *

On this rock, just the right
distance from the nearest star,
sheltered by Jupiter and kept in season
by the steadying moon,
being moves through my body
like clouds, arriving in one shape,
drifting off as another.
I don’t remember being born,
only the great dog
whose fur I clung to
before the first day of school.
Memory accounts
for space, not time.
It records the quality and angle
of light, the keen, metallic scent of wind
through porch screens—the wailing
as it rises—the warmth and texture of air—
the weather and sometimes
whether or not it was a Tuesday,
but never how long it lasted—or
how many years ago—only
how it felt—alone in that moment.
And the sound of waves breaking.
We see time past as Euclidian—moments
of solitude with no date affixed—
long afternoons of childhood in no time at all,
without knowing that
because of the moment—now in memory—
you will always be seven in that place.
Our solitude—being alone
with the one you knew there—
our loneliness—being there
without him.
Two billion seconds of life
now, on a planet only
four and a half billion years
old—and every atom on loan
to it much older than that.


Contact Information
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