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
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: