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Ohm, by Rosalind Kaplan (Delaware County/Main Line Workshop)

Meditation: don’t think
Empty mind, clear head
Clear but empty head,
your mother used to say
before the big final exam
(You never listened)

Don’t you get it yet? That you
can’t clear your head?
Words intrude and
the debris of your day enters your sleep
You dream about your mother
on the night of the day you
didn’t think you were thinking of her

You wake up with shards of memory
sticking into your temples
You think you have a headache
but aspirin can’t cure
what you wish you didn’t know

So you try to think about nothing
Just to do, or be
Be what? Be Zen
Be blank, a slate erased
Except that’s not what you are

You, you think about
what it means to think
and the cycle starts
The whirring in your head gets louder
The phone rings, your nerves jump like fish
so fast you might have imagined them

Try to quiet it again
Empty it out, shake your empty head
Try to make it behave
You’ll see how empty it’s not