Tuesday, May 4, 2010




Gray rain

but the trees

are teaching the stars how to break into leaves.

Good rain on the good earth.

Autumn’s a long passage.

Spring is full of thresholds.

Rainbow bridges in the distance

over urgent streams.

Everything’s in a rush to become something.

I thought I knew once

who I was supposed to be

but more and more it eludes me

like a future that’s already behind me.

I leave it to the world

to finish what I began

and include myself in the mystery

and try to carry on like a man

who looks at a star he won’t follow

through the branches of the burgeoning trees

as the history of who I am

now that I’m not anymore.

The less I am the more there is to be.

And one eye doesn’t get in the way of the other as much.

There is just this as it is

and what am I beholding

if I’m not looking upon myself as I am

in common with everything

that’s changing all around me

like a mind that can’t contain itself

in any fixed mode of being

anymore than the eye

can decide what it’s seeing.

Everything is burning with life in the rain

and change is the dangerous bliss

we feel when we cease to exist.

The trees might have fingerprints

graven into their bark

and you might accord them

an identity in the dark

and approve of their names

and let them pass as if you knew who they were

but that doesn’t make them

any less of a stranger than you are

or the clouds carry passports.

Praise be to the abundance of oblivion

and the cornucopias of blackholes

in the hearts of the galaxies

that keep wounding themselves into life

by falling on their own swords

like a knife that heals.

By day the light gives.

But at night

it steals.

And the mirror lives

and pours water over the eyes of the blind

and suddenly the stars can see again.

And the grape hyacinth is drunk on blue wine.

And I’m walking on water on the moon

even as the moon walks on my tears

without knowing which ones

flowed from the bells of my sorrows

and which overwhelmed me

like birds in the fountains of joy.

First I am a man.

And then I am a boy.

Spring takes itself for granted.

And autumn comes on with regrets.

But they both know

this is as good as it gets

and nothing’s missing

in the mind’s lost and found.

It’s just the way things get around

when you throw the world back in the water

like a life of your own

you gave up years ago

to be who you are now.

Praise be to the stars

that stop by the gate this late

to chat about gardens

and how to keep

the roots of the roses alive

when the ground hardens.

Even if you’re a demon in steep descent

or an angel rising from hell 

life has the power of a flower

and the genius of a universe

to turn falling into a calling

like planets and Canada geese.

You can walk out alone

into a wide open field at night like I do

and stand there under the stars

that have been staring at you since childhood

like someone they should keep an eye on

and say: This is me. This is who I am as I am

to the whole twinkling lot of them in self-defense

to uphold the savage dignity of the difference.

You can stand there in the vastness

of that one definitive thought

that goes on forever like a silence older than birds

and feel the sweet release of upending joy

trying to master its new freedom

when space morphs into a mouth for a moment

and says softly

o so softly

in a voice that’s been singed by compassion:


You’re not.