Sunday, December 7, 2008



You can look out over your life like the sea

even in a dewdrop, just like the moon

in a single drop of water, in a tear,

in every bead of a broken rosary,

and you still really won’t know

what you’re looking at

from above and below

when you turn to go

and the light leaks out of that jewel

and the stars evaporate like mist in the morning.

The most intimate example of myself is me

so I lean back sometimes

and array the years like the wingspan

of the wheeling word

that hones its eyes like diamonds

and scans the abysmal realms that surround it

for any tree to land in

but it seems I was born before gravity

and what is most profound

when it is lived wholly

often makes the greatest fool of me.

What strikes me more and more frequently

as I grow older though

is how in the space of one breath

the clarity of the mystery

can reveal itself

like a feature on the face of God

and the next

the mystery of the clarity is us.

And the only lifeboats of hope

that are still afloat

on this starless nightslick of a sea

are my eyes like fish in the depths

and stars in the watchful skies.

But I haven’t looked for salvation in the seeing

and I’ve always been too much of a shapeshifter

to linger over constellations like plans

for the reform of my being.

Besides, enlightenment and delusion

might concede a slight difference

in the enticement of lures

but they both fish with the same hook

and the crescent moon is left dangling

in her own dead seas

like a queen that got bumped by a rook.

What have I learned?

I had to become a very sophisticated savage

to survive these visionary ordeals

that brain me like an ambush

when I stick to any path that isn’t my own walking.

And when you stop to listen to the toads along the way

it’s important not to let them talk you out of yourself

or take what they say too seriously.

Like the choir in a church I’m passing

late in the night

like a different fate

I walk by curiously.