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Michael Carrino

Waiting For Summer in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont

 --I, Alvy, hope someday, someone is impressed that I lived in the Northeast Kingdom for some time.

                                                                                                  --journal entry  


Summer will be easy warm and azure blue

when it can arrive. It will 

drift through September, try to linger


into October, and only fall, along with each 

compelling, dying leaf. 

Another long, stone-gray winter, and again


one more lost spring, its possibility

vague in wet, slant 

memories, on nights like tonight, a night


cold and leery, a feral cat curled 

in a dim lit corner 

too long before dawn. I, Alvy, roam 


the house imagining Jake, once 

a friend, lingering  

at The Gap Pub and Grill in Westmore


near Lake Willoughby, where he spills 

clichéd angst, half-hearted 

regret, to no one in harsh closing time


light and then I find myself staring 

through my bedroom 

window, where I find nothing 


but night, must imagine boreal forest, 

moonlight, remember 

summer will be easy warm; azure blue


when it can arrive. Each languid day 

counted to allow 


summer to feel endless, counted 

slowly as if 


to slowly lull me 

away from one more memory.

Methods of Painting Waterfalls

--the brush stops but the spirit continues...

        -Wang Gai in The Mustard Seed Garden Manual



The ancients said  Take five days to place

water in the picture 


Wang Gai instructed artists to paint until 

close to hearing


sounds of water    to remember ping yuan 

perspective   how


artists must consider     it vital

Wang Wei wrote 


when one paints a waterfall it should be 

painted with some interruptions  


but no breaks    while all ideas 

must remain 


uninterrupted as one divine dragon 

partly hidden


among clouds, head and tail one 

natural connection      



                            I often read, lazing

on the rock wall


                           above the lake beach

have never seen 


                            a dragon    divine

or flawed as all of us



                             Much time long gone 

since I've seen or heard 

                             one waterfall   yet in reverie 

can hear its echo and roil

                             I cannot paint this lake 

by moonlight     dark 


                             cloud about to part 

and certainly not any waterfall     


                             yet in one calm silence 

I believe I might feel 


                             waterfall mist touch

no    caress 


my dry palms

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