Who hasn’t believed

May 12, 2016

Who hasn’t seen
the birds rise out
of the wings of a tree

and believed

they were leaves
flocking and flying
free toward the sea?

They are me

more than I
can be.


The bay windows

November 13, 2015

We’re so
to have our
vision both
and far

We’re looking
through bay
windows at
a beach we
can’t see
and saying
there’s no
ship coming
to port.

But with people
it’s not that
we can’t see
past the
bay windows
but we can’t
see what’s
in front of

The sky’s been drinking

October 14, 2014

The sky’s been drinking
and the chair’s been smoking
since you left the house.

I’m fine, but the poor peonies
ate a whole bag of Doritos
and half a pie and then barfed.

The sidewalk was so distraught
it played the banjo and cried
and the drunk twilight joined in.

So don’t blame me that
the dresser threw your shoes
in the recycling bin.

That smell is the chair and sky
and the peony barf–I was
just minding my business.

As I surveyed the sandy bay
behind my scouring scope I saw
a self and her self with the water
giving selves a long withdrawal.

What was lone alone was never
lonely (she’d been lonely lone
until her lone transformed her heavy
heart into a skipping-stone).

And so the self and her self lone
danced the sandy stones and day
into my wind and scouring scope
while I surveyed the sandy bay.

When it rains

September 23, 2014

When it rains my heart is long
and when it doesn’t
my heart longs for rain.

Come autumn and quench
the fires of August
that leave my heart in ash.

Come spring and melt
these frozen clouds
and restore the green lands.

Come sky and meet
the lusty earth
and conquer the divide.

When it rains my heart is long
and when it doesn’t rain
my heart longs for it.

Pick-up lines #1-3

September 19, 2014

Here’s some for the boys and their ladies. Good luck, gentlemen.

Your shoulders roll like
waves against the Dover rocks
that in time melt
the hardest stone.

Your smile is the wild field
where we will meet
beyond judgment, beyond regret,
on a path to the sunrise.

Your autumn eyes bite like
autumn winds when
they lure me to wander
into the cool wind and the
of wakeful evening lights.

Wandering, the sanctuary

September 16, 2014

I was led into the sanctuary by a wandering butterfly
to where the hills were set in low-relief against the vaulted sky
and the candle among the silhouetted pews
graced with lilies-of-the-valley and feverfew
where the congregations of the flies and lizards
sing hymns in harmonies and tongues and angels’ words.

In the woods there’s no proselytizing or preachers,
there are no dogmas, treatises or teachers,
instead there are mosquitoes, serpents, ants, and squirrels
to remind the wandering man that there are worlds
where worship is not an action, it’s a cycle:
birth, breath, worship, death, revival.

In the new garden

September 5, 2014

In the old garden, I was a man,
no more wolf than I was human,
I tended my plants and flocked my sheep.

But lately my mind has been wandering out
of my head and through the light-swept deserts
of collimated fibers and corrupted ideas.

In the new garden, my thoughts are lined up
to the rest, my heart is left untended
and I watch my body becoming an ape.

Is this what they called Nirvana, to leave
my body behind and my conscience lost
to the rest while I become the new dead?

To be subject to hell eternal and death
in the next life is cruel enough–
am I subject now to float alone

in the wasteland of what might once have been,
if not paradise, at least alive,
and decay having never been human at all?

The raindrop and the sea

August 29, 2014

A Bengali taxi driver told me I’m
a droplet, God’s the ocean, and I’m up
above, suspended, choosing whether I
would be subsumed into the swallowing sea.

As he dropped me off he told me how
to pray and when the prophets would return
and took my fare and tip and took the wind
like a leaf into the crowded forest

while I quivered, hanging to my branch,
my bag and shirt, apartment, car and couch.
Did I travel? Did I pray? Did I
seek the Prophet or the Buddha? No.

I sought the Lord the only way I knew:
in the crystal winds before the storm,
in silent pockets by the city streets,
in darkened gardens, just outside the streetlights.

I contemplated mirror pools, fountains
of government and corporate design,
the water fountain in the park, the toilet
in my bathroom, the shower at the shelter,

until at first the drops of rain I didn’t
notice wet my head became a sea
falling from the night, and then I heard
and understood the oracle at last:

Water’s water in clouds or sea or squall,
and a raindrop doesn’t choose to fall.

Were you leafing

August 26, 2014

Were you leafing while I was sprouting?

Where the sun and rain converged,
you were my shelter and my oppressor,
because of you I grew stunted and
because you were there I grew at all.

Was I your child or your brother?
Was I your friend or your wife?

Were you leafing while I was sprouting?

Would I have been you
if our places were reversed?

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