After Meditating On My Front Porch

I again realize that mindfulness is noticing
stillness, how the ink

on my paper has more than 
one color of black and feels

fluid as silk. And how the hard plastic wheels
of a stroller across the street,

scraps the gravel, making sounds
like crackling embers.

It’s noticing the stillness of a solitary pine needle 
pulsing in the sighing wind. An eternal thing 

that must be felt for its own sake. And
the acrobatic foraging of a squirrel 

jumping from limb to limb with
unhesitating spontaneity. That spring task

of bringing life again, or the neighbor’s Calico
slouching, preying, lifting each paw as a ninja

would around a corner, and how the sparrows ask
permission from the crows to sing their song, 

while above the houses, X-rays of naked oak branches-
like billions of neurons- scatter across a misty film of clouds. 

Mindfulness is noticing stillness, without malice, and all
the things I need to do now, reduced to their proper dimensions.

George Cassidy Payne is a poet from Rochester, NY. His work has been included in such publications as the Hazmat ReviewMoria Poetry JournalChronogram JournalAmpersand Literary ReviewThe Angle at St. John Fisher College, and 3:16 Journal. George’s blogs, essays and letters have appeared in USA TodayThe Wall Street JournalThe AtlanticHavana TimesSouth China Morning PostThe Buffalo News, and more. 

See all his poems on Tea House here.

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