Wednesday, November 14, 2012



When I’m alone
I want to be with someone,
and when I am with someone,
I’m twice as alone.
My unhappiness
is a snake-pit
I dangle my heart over
like a mouse by the tail
and when joy does show up,
a butterfly with resplendent wings,
it slowly adapts its palette
to the slag and soot and oilslicks
of the black orchard
shedding its petals everywhere
like micro-eclipses in hell.

And all the poems
I gathered like asters
from the autumn starfields,
all these skies that opened above me
as I walked down a long road alone
in darkness and light,
obedient to the wind and the shadows
that whispered move on, move on
beyond the journey and the arrival,
are merely a leaf,
a tattoo on the back
of a serpent of water
sliding downstream
like rain like mind in search of a course
that isn’t the cracked map
of last year’s desiccated creek bed.

My body is scarred, my heart
a voodoo doll
pierced by a thousand fangs
as it burns like a bee
in a rose of heretical fire
for refusing to turn my honey into venom
or conform to any magic but its own.

And there is no heaven
to appeal to as a last resort.
I endure what I endure
for the dignity
of my indefensible humanity,
knowing the pain
that sometimes turns my nerves
into stand-ins for the lightning
that keeps crackling my cosmic egg
like the paint of my last masterpiece,
also schools my blood like the wine
I pour out joyously
into the empty goblet of the mystery
whenever I host the moon.

Life is neither fair nor unfair
and the seeing, a vision, a poem
is always a bird
born and breaking free of your eyes
opening like a threshold
like a flower
like a crack of lightning,
like the world that hangs,
a veil of water,
from the ends of your eyelashes now.

Love is great, love is much, maybe all,
and the being here incomparable,
and the mystery always
whispering in a field beyond its own compass,
and the wind that tastes of birds,
and the light that tastes of flowers,
and the fountains of darkness
where God washes the stars off her face,
will always urge the extinguished branch
of an astonished pen
to blossom into a poet.

Are the dead any less creative
than the living?
If they don’t come from anywhere
how can you ask where they go?
If everything is the unborn energy
of a dancing god
with worlds in her blood
how can even a blade of grass perish?

This world, this life,
this ungraspable now of awareness
is the passion of a goddess, not a passing thought.

Beyond this riot of blessing and anathema,
this racket of loss and acquisition,
of birth and murder,
there is a silence
deeper than the space
between breaths,
an abyss without longing
that knows you from within
as the fire knows the flame,
or a woman,
the haste of her lover.

If you think you know something,
cast the thought down
as you would a venomous serpent
or let it strike;
even the poisons
can unspool you like wine
in this delirium of life.

And isn’t it more than could have been asked for
just to be here
under a sky
spun finer than the silk of diamonds,
breathing the stars in and out
like trees?

I have been silently and eloquently
stupefied by the wonder
all my life;
and urgently moved to explore
the great ocean of awareness
that intrigued me to experience myself
as the world,
I put to sea with a leaf for a sail.

We must become
more intimate with our vastness, learn
to listen to the whisper
that has always been us
in our own depths.

We have depleted our preludes of awe,
the spirit slags in the pit mines
of our complacent arrogance.
Our own creations
amaze and lull us away
from the sustaining abundance
of what was given spontaneously.

What do we know?
Why water?
Why stars?
Who is it that asks the question?

The fluid continuum of the mystery
is a waterclock
and every receptacle, an era.
And science can advance the shadows of life,
but the answers eventually fall like leaves
and no one knows how to account
for the stars that root in the duff.

What each of us sees
when we see deeper than blood
over the course of a lifetime
are the eyes of the goddess
when she looks at us.
What we are is our own creation,
curse and blessing alike.
You created heaven.
You created hell.
Experience is just the metal
shaped on the anvil of our hearts
into edges that kill like life,
the plough drawn from the stone,
not the sword,
or blades behind the door
that wound like serpents.

You can enlighten or eclipse
the iron in the ore
by pouring it
into a heart or a bullet.
You can make a nail
and build a house
or crucify a teacher.




The night’s a black hole of a begging bowl
that doesn’t know what to ask for anymore.
Shall I throw the new moon of another beginning in
like good coin of the realm, in passing,
or bite the bullet of a counterfeit eclipse
in the silver silo of the dark abundance
I’m trying to trigger into stars again
like apocalyptic insights going off in my brain?
The heavens roll like an old thirty-eight
I raise to my temple for old times’ sake.
But the gate I used to close behind me
in the high starfields to keep nothing in
is hanging on like a lapwing by one rusty hinge
to the wing and the prayer it’s dragging on the ground.

It’s getting a little late for suicide. The timing’s
overtaken the importance of the content.
And this close to the end, it would be a shame
not to see yourself out like friend in the doorway
saying farewell to yourself as you say in return
I’m glad you came to the stranger whose threshold
you crossed like a star in transit at zenith.
My pulse is still hammering swords of light out
on the anvil of my heart for me to fall upon,
but lately I’ve been bending them like horseshoes
to put them out of use and return them in tribute
to the water sylphs in the sacred pools of my mindstream.

Inspiration ages into crazy wisdom that still
doesn’t take its own advice but never fails to sing
in a voice worthy of a wolf or hermit thrush at moonrise.
I’ve been firewalking my way through this
long, dark, strange, radiant dream since I first
opened my eyes and the stars began to shine
but I’ve never lived the same thing twice.
Though the morning star falls like Lucifer
in the false dawn of enlightenment, the abyss
cannot be bridged by anyone’s trajectories
however high we ascend, how ever deep we plunge,
until we’re burning like maple leaves and shooting stars
in the second innocence of our return journey back to earth.

Fletched arrowheads of the sky, even the birds
falling short of the unattainable miss the mark
and return to the green boughs of their beginnings
just like the flight of these words in the sunset
as the night overwhelms us all unspeakably
with the proto-nostratic of the stars
like a mother-tongue of light that leaves nothing unsaid
in the autumn darkness fragrant with the decaying dream grammars
of the dead slipping their shadows like secret messages
under the door of the book we’re writing between us,
the beginningless prelude of the endless epilogue
of the memoir of the love life we had with Venus in Virgo
when the new moon was in the claws of sensuous Scorpio.
Big, red-hearted, archaic Antares
threshing the green wheat of Spica
as if the harvest had been achieved before the seed was planted.

Just because we die doesn’t mean that life
is finished with us like the draft of a manuscript
we threw into the bonfires of the maple trees
to inspire our ashes to rise out of the open urns of our firepits
like the feathers of a dragon enflamed by the wind
so our spirits could ride their own legends a breath
higher and closer to the stars every time we open our wings
to re-read the lyrics it took a lifetime to write in scars
like thorns in defence of the mystery of the black rose
we were happy to bleed for as if our blood had no other use
than the ink in the pens of these leafless woods
dreaming of new foliage in the spring returning
like the plumage of eagles to the lonely flight feathers
of their skeletal quills. Fossil constellations
in the darkness that whisper between the lines
of the alpha and omega of the life themes that once ran
like purple passages of the mindstream
that can still shed light on our afterlives in a book of shale
long before we had eyes to read what we were writing
like loveletters to ourselves on intimate terms
with the inconceivable solitude of this distant future
we’re all living now in celebration of yesterdays yet to come.