koi sidebar
koi sidebar

A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 10, Number 2, June 2016

Bill Gottlieb
Cobb, California, USA

One More Rainbow

. . . the Man Whose Whitest “Brightness” is, by Means of the Mandalic Prism of our Cosmic Shape, Appearing in His Own and sudden-colored Summary . . .

—from the Ruchira Avatara Gita, by Lord Da

On my birthday four years ago: a double rainbow, above oak in Santa Rosa. We saw it together, you and I, on the last day of March. The fall—two years after our Lord’s passing—brings a third round of cancer, an operation to remove the tumor. One year later, another tumor, then more. Two years later they claim and kill you. December of the year of the double rainbow: I make a pilgrimage and see arced over a reef near a receiving wharf a complete rainbow, like an entryway to perfect light. At his burial site—the “Brightness”—the Lord says to me, from inside life itself: Where I am dead, I am most alive . . .

in the dream
you become a rainbow
my tears
your prisms

You and I came here many times before you died, to this meadowy, vernal lake atop a mountain’s flat, where red-winged blackbirds on the crowns of reeds sing like kings for queens. It snowed today at the house’s three thousand feet but not below, and it felt as if you were flying down from heaven in one thousand perfect forms of water and light, you in the deep vapors of your watery Lord; you and the Lord, lovingly water and light, a world of white. I am happy today, Denise! Happy on my birthday, my first birthday without you in seventeen years, a dreaded day. His gifts are numerous—as snowflakes! And over the wide shallow lake, where ducks splash and laugh—and why not?—I see one more rainbow, and rain falls lightly as if from nowhere, the sky blue as a god, and grace is here. He is, surprisingly she. And my heart is soft and assured as water, bright with life.

on dark wings
iridescent black birds
sing of rainbows,
of spring
never leaving



| contents page | next tanka prose |

koi sidebar r
koi sidebar r