Nothing sadder than the soul of a clown in spring
or an old man sitting on a park bench alone
like a garden gate someone left open for good.
And deep underground I can feel the roots of the flowers
waiting for news of the weather
so they can decide what to wear
and which colour goes with another.
And I can’t look at the white chalices of the morning glory
whatever it’s tangled up in like a junkie
without seeing some kind of grail-quest going on
and I always want to say
Don’t look for it before it’s gone
but delusion too is a way of getting on with things
and what have I ever gone looking for
that wasn’t just as beautifully foolish?
God for example.
Or enough light
in an ice-storm of a woman
to survive the night
like a wooly mammoth
though it lasts twenty-five thousand years.
I keep trying to carve chandeliers out of glaciers
but everything just ends up in tears on the sea-floor.
Or the wind wants to give the waves a haircut.
But as my brother would say
That’s ok too
and expand his black laughter like space
to include everything wise or foolish
that wants to take its place inside the theater.
Existence is an occasion I dress for like a human.
And one size fits all.
So I assume everything lives as I do
even inanimate things like rocks and bones
as if we were all modes of the same intelligence
that excites us with insight
when the light strikes the water
and we all begin with no proof of anything
except somehow we’re all here alone together
rising and falling like waves
on the great night sea of awareness
that cradles us in its arms
like the full moon between opposites
and shines down on everything alike
purring with ancient lullabies of reality
and says in a voice even children don’t fear
You can trust the universe completely.
Even when the babies fall down
like blossoms torn from the fruit.
Even when the wind gusts up
like a dervish of stars in your face
with the moon like a dagger between his teeth
and his blood like a savage rose
and says There’s nothing to affirm or refute
but you should try dancing
for a change of direction
and spins off like a galaxy into deep space.
An echo perches on the branch above me
like a bird from a distant valley
feathered by the shadows of death
and asks me if I know how to live
and I let the green bough in my heart answer
poem after poem like plum blossoms
trying to be serious
God may have had the first word
but the last word will be up to us.