The Cloud of Unknowing


Photo: Victoria Slotto

Photo: Victoria Slotto

The Cloud of Unknowing
a Haibun

Today, strong gusts of wind pummel the desert floor, while on the Santa Rosa mountains ominous clouds hang low, seemingly reluctant to bring much-needed rain to our thirsty valley. In spite of drought, stalwart wild flowers, yellow and lavender, push through the crusty desert floor, clothing our world in swaths of color.

The old man sits on his patio across the way from me, bundled in a bright red lap robe. The fragrance of his pipe wafts my way and I recall the hours we used to sit and muse on life’s mysteries while nursed his tobacco habit and stroked the burled wood cradled in the palm of his hand. “I’ve seen a lot,” he would say, “and I know very little. I’m willing to wait to understand it all.”

Confusion clouds his mind these days, but when he sees me those eyes still twinkle and he throws me a kiss. I catch it, and toss one of my own back to him. I suppose that he’s closer to piercing through the darkness and unwrapping the mysteries the rest of us still grapple with.

cloud-covered mountain
even at the summit
we can’t always see clearly

Today we are pleased to have Lynn hosting Poetics at dVerse. She asks us to climb to the summit of the mountain for inspiration. I’m fortunate to live my life surrounded by majestic mountains. Thank you, Lynn. Please join us. 

 

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22 thoughts on “The Cloud of Unknowing

  1. 5h2o says:

    So much to think over here. My mind went to this book — https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cloud_of_Unknowing, linking in case it is new to you.

    Such a beautiful poem!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Glenn Buttkus says:

    I used to work out of Palm Springs, so I’m hip to your locale. Yes, this is one of your best haibuns, & I love how a haiku always sparkles at the end of them, like a star on a holiday tree; stunning, personal, touching; yup–nice work, thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A stunning write, Victoria! Wisdom does show itself in the mountain’s mist!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mary says:

    Oh, this is so touching and poignant, Victoria. He is a wise man; perhaps more wisdom comes as one is closer to piercing the darkness!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. kelvin s.m. says:

    “I’ve seen a lot, and I know very little. I’m willing to wait to understand it all.”—this is like my kind of words to live by today, Victoria. Truly, we can only take & give so much in this one precious life. Hello there… hello from the other side… it’s been a while (again). 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Anna says:

    Beautifully imagined and realized, Victoria. As other have said the wisdom in this poem makes it a gem.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I really like this piece. Filled with such wisdom and you painted great images with your words.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. vronlacroix says:

    So elegantly written, full of colourful gems.

    Like

  9. annell4 says:

    Such a lovely peice…and there will always be things we do not know…..

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Such wisdom, beauty and emotion…I love the wrapping and unwrapping throughout and the earth clothed in color in the beginning. Beautiful, Victoria.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Yes a lot of wisdom in these words…beautiful to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. kim881 says:

    A heavenly haibun, Victoria 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’d love to see the place that inspired this, and meet the pipe-smoking man.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I love the imagery of wild flowers , yellow and lavender growing despite of lack of rain. Your story about the old man, s spiritual journey and insights intrigue me.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Bodhirose says:

    It’s amazing to me that flowers can bloom in abundance under such dry conditions. I love your portrayal of your neighbor who may be nearing the dimension of greater understanding. I hope he finds it.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Grace says:

    What a beautiful panoramic scene you have Victoria ~ I enjoyed the conversation with the old man and his patience to wait for understanding to come ~ Perhaps it will when we accept our own mortality ~

    Liked by 1 person

  17. lynn__ says:

    What an endearing character in your neighborhood…blown kisses and the patience of waiting to understand it all! Lovely haibun in the shadow of your mountains…thanks, Victoria.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. moon child says:

    Oh, that title is to die for! This is a wonderful piece, Victoria. I tend to favor this section, myself:

    “In spite of drought, stalwart wild flowers, yellow and lavender, push through the crusty desert floor, clothing our world in swaths of color.

    The old man sits on his patio across the way from me, bundled in a bright red lap robe. The fragrance of his pipe wafts my way and I recall the hours we used”

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Sanaa Rizvi says:

    Beautifully wise 🙂

    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

    Liked by 1 person

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