Saturday, September 5, 2009




Surfing the abyss,

calm in the turmoil of things

and my heart as free as a river

to pursue its own deranged clarities

downstream to wherever that leads

and even the bridges flow.

And if a smile comes to my lips

like a dove returning with no word of land,

remembering some odd moment

from the inside from years ago,

I kiss it on the head and let it go

like a message in a bottle of snow.

The moon has overtaken Jupiter

and a cold whip is mentoring the breeze

but the stars have not grown fierce

and it still astonishes me

how intimate and inwardly shining

you can become with things

that know nothing about you.

Good to be alone like this again

without a beginning or an end

without knowing a damn thing

except the wonder

of what it’s all about.

Sometimes the cool bliss

of beauty aware of itself.

Sometimes its inconsolable passage.

And then the times like now

when even the lowliest elements of my humanity

are enhanced by an emptiness without exclusion

and a great tenderness

settles over everything that lives

and nothing offends, and nothing forgives

and love everywhere masters its own discipline

and is free of grief and pain

not as ashes are free of the fire

or bad wine is poured from the cup

but as the genius of desire

that enflames them to grow

their own flowers

without pulling weeds from a grave

or losing their voice in the darkness

like a sundial

in the gardens of the dead

when night comes on without an explanation.

Just these epiphanies of life as it is

when no one is watching;

just this seeing without eyes

without light,

just these black beatitudes

in the unglazed mirrors of meaning

that never reflect upon themselves

by looking back.


















Fire’s the new evangelist

in the churches of the trees

that enflames them into new crusades

in the seasonal holy land

of temperate September

when no one really cares

in the fullness and beauty of life

to be summoned anywhere

that isn’t here now

like asters in the tall, warm grass,

and every glowing stone,

every thought

the Dome of the Rock

in a city of jewels

worthy of their eyes.

Things seem suspended

like particles of dust

in an elixir of light

that holds everything alike

in the folds of its nurturing pervasiveness

like a manger of honey and water

where anyone can lay their head.

And there’s hardly a distinction

that can be held up

like a blade of grass

between the living and the dead

as if they both remembered each other

like something that wasn’t said,

a tenderness left undone,

a secret shared so long

they both realize

like a sister

in the features of a brother

they are born of the same mother.

Time is the slow voice of space

articulating the changes

in a human face

like the shifting sands

of the rivers that fray

like the fragile threads

of what was once

the strong rope of a river

in the deltas around my eyes.

Space may be vague,

but time is very specific

in the way everything lives and dies

with every breath we take,

as if we were sloughing

the skin of a cosmic snake

like a world we’d outgrown like water

when a morning mist

unspools over the lake

that once received us like swords.