Know and be known?
Oh lordy, is this another abstraction I have to deal with?
Give me the concreteness
of happiness landing
on the neighbouring roof
and staying until it wants to leave.
Now there's an image to conjure with.
But "know and be known"?
Be known by whom?
Give a subject to that second part?
In that way, they will know you.
And in that way, you will know.
The only way to know is to keep sensing
the objects of your senses.
Smell the air around:
lilies of the valley
the friendly farts of your bed-partner
the promise implicit in the aroma of dying yeast cells
when the bread's in the oven
the nuzzled newborn
Hear what strikes the ear:
a cement mixer (putty-putty)
the traffic's roar or hum (depending on distance),
the intricacy of a string quartet
the high whine of a bluegrass classic
Taste what's there to taste:
the baby's little fingers clutching yours
corn from the garden
the bitter fizz of a crisp lager
the melting chew of the slow-cooked oxtail
fat snowflakes falling on your tongue
See what you see:
ice-mountains lining the curb, taking up the parking spaces
ecstatic audiences after a concert
solemn babies pushed in prams
plush grass in the park
poking crocuses testing the air after a long winter
the familiar face of the beloved
Touch what you touch:
a rough towel rub after bathing
the silk of a polished quartz crystal
the give of the skin being soothed with lotion
the uncompromising tread of the maple tree's bark
Keep sensing, and by the end, you will know.