A poem I wrote for our MBSR course…
Dawn All Day
Our neighbors get a rooster,
an orange-faced thug at the new farm nextdoor.
The rooster crows each day at 6 a.m.
And any other random hour and minute I might seek quiet.
We lose sleep and patience, each of us.
My children want to start a coyote farm,
or to change the direction in which they practice archery.
We cannot put the rooster on ‘vibrate,’
an alarm no one set in this Right to Farm town.
I learn to breathe.
Mindfully, I notice the sensations
in my pinky toe and earlobe.
I watch my thoughts drifting
from my resume to the laundry to the itch in my earlobe,
which was imperceptible
two minutes ago when I tried to notice it.
Lying down, I scan each nerve,
sometimes without falling asleep.
I stand up and the cat is missing,
escaped to prowl the yard.
We search under every bush, finding him
under a bed, startled by a door slammed by the wind.
I was not practicing cat mindfulness, I tell my husband.
“It’s ok,” he says. “You were just being mindful of something else.”
I haven’t noticed the rooster in weeks,
his crowing just another wavelength.
I learn to sit in stillness.
With awareness, I listen to sounds
of the dog’s jingling collar,
the cat’s claws on our carpet,
the hawk that lives atop the dead tree out front.
I listen to the jingling thoughts that send my mind down tangents,
clawing at the fragile threads of my best microsecond of mindfulness
and I try to watch these thoughts like that hawk
But watching thoughts is like trying to towel off
while you’re swimming
In this quandary, the rooster crows.
bringing me back
To this moment,
Without judgment, he crows.
Without judgment, I am present,
listening closely, seeking his next call for my awareness.