BEGIN NOW. THE LIGHT WILL CHANGE
Begin now. The light will change. Get the rain started.
Let a few tears fall. Open the aviary of your heart
and let the doves and the nightbirds out, and if
liberation isn’t enough to sing about, celebrate
the next best thing, escape. Get out of here.
Isn’t there enough open space within
to include worlds within worlds begetting worlds?
Or has your mind become the slumlord
of a run-down tenement you converted
from that ark you built like a lifeboat for everyone
in the flood myth of a lava flow on the moon
before you bled out like a wounded fish
in the Sea of Tranquillity and decided
like a feeding frenzy it was a shark eat shark world,
everyone for themselves? Nature red in tooth and claw.
Every star in the sky aspires to shine like a starfish
washed up on the sentient shores of a pre-dawn awareness
like pilot lights of life navigating by the starmaps
of the fireflies. The sea has its constellations, too.
Drown if you must in the unanswerable sorrows
of the accidentally innocent fate of love in the world,
or go up in flames in Vietnam or an Arab souk
as if someone had just confiscated your cash register
like an officious autumn in the Adirondaks. Or a tax
on your eyes, how much you can see in the course of a life
from the bottom of the mountain up like a haiku,
or the dangerous lyric of a northern river with muscle and mind,
making its way to the sea like a savage waterclock
that knows it’s never going to turn out of time.
Paralysed by atrocity, our sensibilities trashed
like polluted loveletters of junkmail advertising
toxic food as the soul of joy and satisfaction,
indulgence, the suicidal compassion of despair,
desecration, the alternative aesthetic to no one
ever being there to show you how to empassion
your wonder into an insight humbled by awe
at the mystery and magnificence being here at all.
Madmen punching holes in the ozone
like the only lifeboat heading for an ice floe
calved by global warming like a glacier in the North Atlantic.
Paradigms the abstract ghosts of fossilized metaphors.
Logos instead of symbols that resonate like a seance
among the living and through perception
change the spin of atoms and rearrange galactic seastars
like the seeds of sunflowers opening like the eyelids
of a total eclipse. No one needs a prophetic skull
to see how horrifically surrealistic it all is. Even
the sacred clowns aren’t laughing like Zen masters anymore.
Ryokan gets home to his hut in the shedding woods
and this time the thief did steal the moon from his window.
What now? You fold your poems into paper airplanes
and let them blunt their noses like sparrows
on the false dawns in the windows of your stem cells?
You live in a crack in the wall, you excavate
a grave in the caldera of an inactive volcano
and hope the poppies and wheat that are left
of the crumbs of your dreaming grow better
where you’re buried like the Burgess Shale that’s come
of your starmud avalanching down like the asteroids
of a rockslide of headstones in a vandalized cemetery?