Monday, September 30, 2013



Soft liberation going on underground
as if someone left the gate to my heart open
and the horses are grazing in sidereal pastures
and there’s no turmoil in the wind blowing
the leaves around burning off their idle energy.
Don’t know what it is. The stump of the candle
shedding the spirit of its flame, the way life
dreams at this station of my eyes like a firetower
on an autumn night, or just the stars celebrating
something that has ended well without my knowing.

Bliss in the freedom of this night to keep
its secrets to itself as the mystery deepens
in my blood like wine that’s been sleeping
a long time in a cool, dark place that smells
as if it’s been smothered in moss and now
it’s time to breathe easy under the stars
and marvel at all a human has to go through
to ripen into the second innocence of the return journey
when exile turns around, and almost without noticing
you’re no longer bound by the prodigality
of your homelessness firewalking the thresholds
of the burning ladder that let you down
from paradise, unscathed like the eye-witness
of a window you had to break to see out of.

New England asters blooming among
the apples in the hair-braided grass in a shaft
of morning light that shocked the beatitudes
out of you, as if something inconceivably remote
had just expressed itself in the intimate beauty
of the moment and you understood something
profound about life without knowing what it was,
but it didn’t matter because it would be with you
for the rest of your life and further if there’s
an eternity with wildflowers in it that can
fix your gaze on the radiance of being possessed
by your eyes like dark angels that arose
out your starmud, cloaked in light, hidden secrets
that let it be known to each of us in silence
they’re manifest in every breath they take away
in an ambush of wonder that’s less like prayer than play.

Maybe it’s perishing that mends our estranged childhoods
as a concession to the abyss at the end
of the passage up ahead that roars like a waterclock
plunging over a precipice, but for the moment,
I’m clear again as a boy in the Indian summer of my soul
and I’m appreciatively intrigued by my fascination
for the way all things are the way they are as if
I’d wholly forgotten what it is I used to compare them to,
long ago, do you remember, when our shadows
didn’t come forward like undertakers measuring us up
for our graves and we broke curfew under the moonrise
and all death ever meant to us was all it would ever mean?




Warm September morning. Autumn
preps the heart with the sweetness of death
there is in perishing, in the great shedding
as the wind stirs a flurry of leaves and I watch
the elm across the street turn yellow.
Blue soporific oblivion of Indian summer,
like the dust on grapes that haven’t
hemorrhaged yet or withered like the dugs
on a nursing dog trying to wean the winoes.

The aura of a beautiful sorrow, the pathos
of an ancient longing to follow the geese
the stars, the leaves, the wildflowers,
into a dreamless sleep at peace with its own
creative potential to wake up like a waterlily
in a sacred pool of its own tears, not far from here,
to the fact that all that has passed was just
a sad window we were looking at the world through.
Perennial farewells, the pulse of a backbeat
to the rhythm of life, the waterclock of the rose
flowing like a bloodstream over the rock of the heart
like a prophetic skull foreshadowing its own extinction.

The labour of a lifetime to live fruitively
cannot be appeased by the mere relief
of letting go of the heaviness of the windfall
like a bell in a steeple or a needle
on a long playing new moon on the gramophone
of the stars going round and round, white noise
in the ears of the darkness that thought it could hear
the surf of the ocean for a moment there but maybe not.
It’s the unconditional embrace of the earth
unjudgementally accepting the cradles and coffins
of our starmud like a black hole back into its shining
that makes you want to lay your head down
like a planet on the breast of the dark mother
and still the racket that bruises the silence
not just of your ears but your eyes as well,
the struggling and surviving to wonder
like a sceptic with a mystic doubt if it wasn’t
absurd in the first place to go looking for an insight
into the nature and tenure of life as if there were
some kind of spiritual lost and found
for the unclaimed unitive life of a blissful orphan.

Can you still your questions long enough
to hear the answer? The abyss roars with stars
and the doorbells sound like a carillon of wild columbine
on a mammoth bone from the last ice age
as if they were about to be killed off
like the first frost on the paisley windowpanes
Ophelia drowned in like a blue water hyacinth.
Come the bestial orgies in the nunneries of winter
trying to fight off the boredom and the curfew
of living under house arrest at the whim
of the indifferent inclemency of the weather.

Sweetness on the face of a day on earth that senses
the agon of the summer to live beyond its means
as a fundamental of growth is coming to an end
in a solar flare of sumac immolating itself
like the shamanistic death of a dragon sage,
the ashes of the dream wiser than the flames
of the daylilies it lets overwhelm it like a cremation
that goes on blossoming long after the fire’s past.


Sunday, September 29, 2013



By the light I have been given to go by,
I can see how homeless the journey truly is.
How provisional the shrines along the way like milestones
we stop to paint like the inside of our skulls
or the caves we first dwelled in with our dead
buried under fire and the numinosity of our picture music
impregnating the womb walls of a space made sacred by fear.
The darkness bears my secrets, and in the torchlight,
in carbon and red ochre, a diary of shamans
gored by defecating rhinos speared to death.

I have imagined my way into an understanding
that is a rite of passage into a space that is
a vast abyss of intelligence, a nothingness
that speaks through an intuitive grammar of things
as if a galaxy, a star, stone, tree, raindrop were each a thought,
a sign, a word, the syntax of a growing paradigm
of creative awareness that we’re completely alone
and lost at sea like fish on the moon crawling out of its tides
as if nothing bound us, not even detachment,
nor a god that exists as a confession of the way we do,
nor any medium we work in as reflection of our presence
labouring away at an unattainable world that won’t exist
until we do, and it’s 7 to 5 against anyone making it that far.

But what a joy to emerge out of our own nothingness
like a secret we’re letting ourselves in on,
making it up as we go along like a deportable myth of origin
we can adapt to our infinite beginnings
because for starters, it has none of its own.
We were born to express ourselves like apple trees.
We were born to see and be happy marvelling at the event.
To enjoy longing for things we were never missing
and be guided by wise men we never listen to
back to a silence that has nothing to say for itself
that we didn’t already know in the first place.
Everywhere is the threshold of the return journey.
Life is either an exile, or it stays at home like a follower.
Bless the enlightened apostates of the dangerous religion
that desecrates the mind by worshipping it.
Why make a chain out of your umbilical cord
and get your head wrapped around it like a noose
because you forgot meaning was an art
and not a way to take yourself way too seriously to heart?
Why go to war with your own mind
just to administer to the needs of the suffering
when you can paint a god in blood and ashes
and decultify yourself with the creative freedom
of your imagination deconstructing the fable of your belief
that it’s the being, not the becoming, that endures.
And you can do this without even knowing how to draw.
A starmap doesn’t shine. A blue print doesn’t open a door.
If you ask a crutch to do your walking for you,
it’s going to throw you away like a miracle
at the top of the stairs of Notre Dame de Coeur.
Better to be the sacred whore of a thousand profligate gods
than the unrepentant nun of one who shuts the world out,
like art for art’s sake, to revel in her own extinction
in a mystical connubium with an unregenerate imagination.

You can burn your gates and cages in a wild field if you like
for not being able to keep the flowers in, or keep the wind
from rioting with the leaves way past curfew,
but there was never any risk of being granted what you ask
because life is the unpredictable moon rise
that deepens the calendars with a renewed humility
towards the extraordinary mutability of time.
What have you ever been that baffled your imagination?
It isn’t reason that inspires us to become a stranger tomorrow
to the self we knew today. Genuine faith isn’t
an artificial life support system to keep something alive
that should have been allowed to die quietly away yesterday.
Millions upon millions of facts like a graveyard of skeleton keys
to a door we can’t find open within ourselves
as if we’d just stepped through it to be here where we live
deciphering the shapes of the clouds as if we lived in code.

Hide your secret deep enough if you want it to be known.
Walk alone as far as you can until you can’t
if you want the world to walk the rest of the way with you.
The white demon that knows heaven and hell experientially
mentors the senses in the spiritual subtleties of the black angel
that comes like the new moon of a third eye
to help the exegetes of light see further into the dark
by blowing their candles out like flowers.
All seekers are roads looking for a map to follow.
Preludes after the fact, that set out to look for their own endings.
Be a star. And keep your afterlife behind you
like the shadow of the last form you cast upon the earth.
Be an eye that doesn’t leave any room between the moon
and it’s reflection so that the substance of life is seeing
not that you’re a distinct and separate entity
that cosmically identifies with your exclusion
but that you’re wholly within easy reach of everything
that depends upon you for its existence. Just as every leaf
you let fall in the autumn like an adage of wisdom
about how you can know the world by its fruits
first came to the tree like a smile to your face
when you realized your imagination was
the inconceivable dynamic of a creative state of grace.




Sitting on the outdoor patio at O’Reilly’s
in a shady corner with the umbrella down
where they abide the smokers like lepers in an ashtray.
O, bad, bad. Say the purists whose way of life
is a diet. Pot of black coffee squatting like a guru
in the middle of the table, two beer for my buddy, Simon,
I’m anchored to my chair foursquare at the corner
of Gore and the Universe, watching the leaves
on the crab apple trees in the parking lot below
the heritage fire tower shed easily in the sunshine
like passing afterthoughts. Yellow eyelids.
Knowing there are not too many years left
I’ll be able to do this. Sit and watch. In the flesh.

The numbness and strain on the novellas
of the faces of a married couple shell-shocked
by the barrage of frontline circumstances
they’ve been under most of their adult lives
as if they had to bury their hearts just to survive
like something they’d come back to later,
Roadkill. A doe and buck. Ten points, no less.

The woman with a steel factory of thick, red hair
listening sexually to a career-oriented man
in a patchy beard he trims every Thursday
chat her up as she tries to recall the last burning bush
that left a rash on the inside of her thighs.
It’s good to see love still has its enthusiasts.

Almost nautical. The canal near. The heritage lamp.
I pull a pen out of the inside pocket of my leather jacket
that makes me look rougher than I actually am,
beautiful pen, peacock blue, with heft, like a sword,
or an oar I took for free when I last went
to pay part of my rent at the real estate office
across the street with the bricked-in windows
that look like the eyes of the blind. Impervious.

And I scribble on the brown envelope that scared me
at first, but only wanted to tell me how much
I would be getting on my old age pension
and guaranteed income supplement cheque
as if somehow I’d rounded all the bases
back to homeplate and now it was time to clean
my locker out and retire my number like a lottery ticket,
Normal’s even more surrealistic than spaced out is
because it’s not expected to be, my thought for the day.

Maybe that will become part of a poem later
as I wonder, looking out my apartment window,
how I ever ended up here, or why I’ve stayed
for the last thirty-three years other than cheap rent,
the company of trees, and long, long eras in which
to perfect my solitude like one of ten thousand lakes
around here that hasn’t been named yet
for some peculiarity of easy reference. Poet Lake.
Why not? I’ll be the first to drown my book in it.
Love lyrics to the fingerling water sylphs I’ll stock it with.

How many open doors of liberation have I had
to step through in the course of my life so far
to avoid being incarcerated by what I stepped into
like the new moon on the surface of the La Brea Tarpit
in the depths, or a soul into a body that was
confused by it like starmud and spiritual window putty?
How many tears have I beaded like a rosary of water
on oil, trying to make some sense of human sorrow,
compiling a zodiac of extinct species for a coffee-table
nobody ever opened? All my life I’ve stolen
poems from my poverty like a thief that gives back
tenfold. It’s a kind of poor boy pride I expect
but at least it’s mine and I’ll stand and I’ll fall by it,
moonrise and moonset, with no bitterness or regret,
few heralds at the entrance and no paid mourners at the exit.

Patinas of lustreless brass, old gold in the Bronze Age,
and scarlet letters like a sacred vowel of life
triple x-rated by the mythically-inflated hypocrites
at the auto de fe of the maples who’d rather
burn with desire in the house of life than
eat their own ashes out of the ethical gutter
of the hand of God washed in the blood of the lamb,
I watch the shadows of the leaves falling
against a wall of warm fieldstones giving
their heat up to the approaching night
like loaves of home-made bread cooling
on a windowsill it’s easy enough to mistake
for the threshold of a vagrant homelessness
I’ve laboured at like a road with no way back
to the security of the delusion I was going somewhere
when here, just as much as there, was where
it was at all along and will be, hallelujah, after I’m gone.



Saturday, September 28, 2013



A moment in the world, with no regret
I cancel the madness, the sadness, the hurt, the pain.
I cancel the thorns on the footpaths through
the labyrinths of the brain, I absolve the dragons
of the vows they took to protect the taboos
around the silver snake skins the moon shed
on the lake just before it went insane among
its secluded death masks. A nanosecond of peace
symbolically invoked against the gestures of darkness
calculating the odds of it ever happening
by a poet who lays his reason down
like the sacred syllable of an astrolabe in the grass
and shouts hallelujah at the stars until he’s got them
so well trained to the echoes of his voice
they spontaneously pour their best season of aged light
into the seashells and wine-cellars of his ears.

I short circuit the fuses and nerves
of the terrorist’s spinal cord wired to hatred
and say, brother, you can’t make a watergarden
of bloodshed in paradise by blowing up children
like waterlilies or trying to teach a snakepit
of downed powerlines to dance to the sound
of your Ousi or AK-47 like a flute. Making scar tissue
of the moon isn’t proof of the sincerity of your wound.
Allah is great. Not petty, clever, and cunning.
Yahweh made friends with a man from Uruk.
Eve was a starlit night in Ethiopia and the mother
of us all. Adam means the red man. Melanin
is a mood ring. Our flags are torn like blossoms
from a bough. O improbable cause just for once
take the barking dog off the short chain of your mind
and will, and let it run free in a wild starfield
while you lie down in paradise alive and well now
writing love lyrics for the roses in the valleys
you wander into without forgetting the name of God.

And you put down the rod. You the whip. You
the voice and the tongue that throws acid
in the eyes of your native language like a spitting cobra.
You the book that drank saliva out of another man’s mouth
to justify the public fountains piped from the sewers
of the Via Cloaca of political affairs. Get
real naked, as nude as the truth, and take a bath
in the stars for once to see what a little bit of dirt
you really are, compared to the creative radiance
of their magnificence. Take a few minutes off the clock
and throw them like flower seeds that glow
in the dark starmud of your soul on the dungheap
of your ambitions and taking root like a heart
in your body again, a blessing of change
that transforms you from the inside out,
watch them bloom like starclusters of New England asters
with astronomical aspirations undeterred
by the black dwarfs of yours that burn out
like a matchbook of solar flares along the return journey
of the looping lightyears of the humbler eras
of your second innocence better than the first
because you’ve overcome the worst in yourself
the better to receive it as a gift you didn’t
give yourself behind your back like a shadow
of what it’s supposed to be. Put down your arrogance.
Put down your deceit. How far can you get in life
anyway? Think of the 3.5 billion years
of upright walking on the earth it took put one footprint
down on the moon. Already standing on two good legs
like pillars of the public why do you reach out for
the crutch of a human who’s only got one
on their lunar lander and as much hope
as the nostalgic ghost of a child amputee?

I’ll reserve judgement for another day, but for now
put it on hold as if you had another more important
call to take from a nightbird you haven’t heard from
in a long time, trying to clarify your original longing
for something just as real, as it is sublime
whether you attain it or not, or die happily in the attempt,
as long as it takes for an electron to jump
the quantum gap between orbitals to release
a photon of insight, stop underwhelming yourself,
the rest of us, and the world. On the face of it
we’re all on the same side of seeing as our eyes are,
the same bank of being as our presence here is
listening to our mindstreams whisper lyrical suggestions
to the prophetic skulls of moonrocks caught in the flow
like glacial lockets of an underground ice age
dreaming of a day it might rain on the moon.

Un-noose the knot wrapped around your neck
like the umbilical cord of a premature birth.
Unloose the Circlet of the Western Fish
and throw them back in the water to swim away.
Kick the stool away like rabies from a mad moondog
and take it as the first sign of a parallel universe
that today’s not a good day to commit suicide,
to kill someone, to injure and maim, to bully the earth
because you’re in debt to your own self-worth.

One riff of picture-music. One gust of stars
in the dread locks of the willows, one sip of time
running like clear water down from the world mountain again,
that isn’t polluted by the oilslicks of our own reflections in it,
one moment of silence, to stop and remember your death
like a muse that comes every night to sleep on your grave
because you failed at everything she urged you to do
and you did, by losing and growing, losing and growing
against the angel in the way you never hesitated to take on.
One little mutant side-step of evolution off the beaten path
so there’s no road kill in the wake of the journey
that’s revealing your life to you like crows and crocuses
in the spring, self immolations of sumac in the fall
because you’ve finally found something worth dying for
that demands nothing less than everything of your life
all the time you’ve got it like a burning candle
to befriend the light by flowering a little. Vetch
in the quantumly entangled starfields, or Lady at the Gate
over by the abandoned pump on the moon
with the broken trigger of a waxing handle for leverage.




Sweet September fields sweep me away
with the stragglers among the wildflowers
when the woods are emanating the fragrance
of the collaborative solitude of life
and death smells like an old couch
that’s been left out in the rain, abandoned
like a barn. Or a coffin in no hurry
to bury itself. Scotch thistles, asters,
eggs and butter, all the chicory’s gone
and the Queen Anne’s Lace. I’m hitchhiking
out to Smokin’ Eagles as if I owned space
and time were its caretaker. Lord
of all the estates I survey in passing
from the back of a Ford pick-up truck.

My family thousands of miles away
I haven’t seen for years, my daughter
inexplicably alienated, my son, god knows
where, lovers and friends in the past
still hanging on the walls of my mind
like ashen renditions of the mystic visions
of the Neanderthals, or busty out of date calendars
with nineteen fifties sweater girl sex appeal,
or scenic autumns that never shed their leaves,

yet however culpable I might feel
because I’m shadowed by the arrogance
of thinking anything’s ever anyone’s fault,
I’m freer than I was yesterday, and I’m ageing
like a tree in an old growth forest that’s been
spiked by nails through its heartwood
to keep it from being clear cut down.

And though there’s a sense of integrity
about being alive I still feel I don’t deserve,
as the clouds speed by and everything
is imploding into a point it’s trying to make
I’m certain I’m never going to get,
but so be it, I’m not fleeing from anything
or being drawn by anything up ahead
like a siren on the rocks I was born to drown
in my attempt to rescue. Neither a vector
nor a locus. A man with an irrelevant name
and a poem in his pocket, watching the mustard
take over the fields nobody has any use for
anymore. As they return to what they were
originally dreaming before they woke up
green as wheat in an eternal recurrence of innocence.

I study the fractals of the uppermost branches
of the maples where they meet the sky
like rivers and axons flowing into a sea of light.
Fire, fire, fire, the dragons are rising from the pyres
of the aspen groves like low lying Chinese fog
intermingling with cosmically aspiring Hindu smoke.
Words burn in the heart like processional waterbirds
heading south, and then just as quickly put themselves out
like an Indian paintbrush mixing too much burnt sienna
in its cadmium orange. And though there’s a tinge,
a patina of sad blessing in the air that’s as ancient
as the earth itself, I’m borne by life like a torch
into the dark. I illuminate without leaving any sign
or indelible mark to say I was ever here that wasn’t
at least as perishable as the vetch or the cattails
in the drainage ditches alongside these sweet September fields.

Younger, you paint your life in oils, but as
you grow older you begin to realize life is
a watercolour in a backwash of tears that runs
like blood in the water under the bridge
whenever you cry with no regrets for the evanescence
of the lightyears you left still sleepwalking somewhere
where the river turns and the willows cut off all their hair
behind you, to show you the empty nests
and downy ghosts of the fledgling stars born of the dead.


Friday, September 27, 2013



And should it come time to speak of the sadness
that reaches fruition in the medicine bag of the heart,
don’t bring a teacher that can’t heal by singing and dancing
to the wounded discipline of a lost art that’s gone
into the sacred solitude of the secret suffering
that upholds the integrity of the silence in your eyes.
This is a seeing that has nothing to do with truth or lies
or the innovative causality of pain. Don’t speak
of its release as enlightenment or liberation,
as if you were uncaging doves from the ashes of your voice.
Don’t seek what has eluded you when you’re cloaked
in an eyeless night like the screening myth of a lonely alibi.

And should it come time to speak of the sadness
don’t humble the message at the expense of the medium you choose
to weep in when the hidden urges you into the open
like a dragonfly emerging from the hovel of a chrysalis
into a palace of air with the wingspan of your diaphanous windows
beaded in tears like the afterbirth of the rain
in the post-natal mirrors of your indefinable awareness of life
as the sweetest agony of sorrow transformed into bliss
you ever had to endure like the darkest night
of a sea change in the unforeseeable nature
of your inconceivable soul trying to emulate
the unknown likeness you shapeshift to accommodate
the arrival and departure of everything you’ve ever had to let go of
like summer stars, and waterbirds, and legendary ordeals of love
when the full moon so often filled the empty silos of your longing
with the unsuccessful harvests of hungry ghosts
that competed with the sparrows and the scarecrows
for the seeds of a garden the wind neglected to sow.

And should it come time to speak of the sadness
that saturates all human affairs in an aura of mourning
that hangs in the air like a mingling of swords and bells,
don’t pretend your life was a nuclear winter of unrelieved misery
when everyone knows if it weren’t for trying to cling to joy
or even the longing for it, you might have smiled your way
through everything like the cold stone of the moon.

Remember those thoughts that used to come
like snakeoil salesmen that greased their sinusoidal way
into your heart like coiled serpent fire that mesmerized you
like the blue bird of happiness on your own projections
until the promise wore thin, and all your ploys at joy
turned out to be nothing but the hucksterism of tapeworms?

And, then, as it sometimes happened more often in autumn
than spring, your heart soared like a guitar with a broken string
taking wing like a waterbird off your tears
until you burned out like a comet with an uplifting message
in a niche that was meant for candles with slower wicks?
That kept you hanging onto life like a burning box kite didn’t it?

And should it come time to speak of the sadness
like a sin of omission that overpowers us all eventually
because the best things we promised ourselves
were never unattainable and the joy we sought and fought
and laboured for, and did not find, was barely explainable
even to us who became experts in grinding mirages into lenses
to reveal where it might be hiding somewhere in the universe
right under our noses. Up close and as intimate as our eyes.




Won’t mean much if your eyes aren’t open in your blood.
If the stars can’t see you because you don’t know how
to read them poetry in the small cafes of your heart
accompanied by spoons and plates and broken goblets
of the cheap house wine that smash just like love affairs
dashing your skull against the rocks, hoping the mermaids come back.

If you can’t hear in the parking lot of a raucous industry
the colours of your emotions, you’re a deaf chameleon
and who could make you listen to what you can’t listen to
even if you had enough people who loved you around you
to want you to try to listen to your own tears when you cry?
Your ear on the same wavelength as a corrugated tin roof,
maybe you can see what I’m trying to say to you
if you close your eyes, and just listen to the rain without
trying too hard to make a big effortless effort to be
auditorily enlightened by the racket of your delusions.

I can’t remember when my life stopped being my own
and I went to bed one night, and I was as human as my toes are
and I awoke, I was merely the afterbirth of a visionary
I didn’t recognize, as my eyes were being igneously wrung
from a cope of dark ore like stars out of the distant hills.
Not a lot of self-respect from the beginning, maybe
it wasn’t that hard becoming everyone and everything else,
and I was a prime candidate for effacement
but when I looked into the mirror of my
ten inch, equatorially mounted, clock-driven, reflecting telescope
I used like a canning jar to capture and mount stars and fireflies
on a black velvet starmap, all I could see
was this abyss staring back at me that couldn’t say
where I’d gone, but the last I thought I heard
was that I got a job as a janitor in an hourglass
sweeping mirages out of a desert of private school stars.

I say what I see as it occurs to me spontaneously.
And I’m compelled to say it without hesitation
so the vision isn’t tainted by the colour of the jewel
it’s passing through, from one eye to the next, ad infinitum.
No light pollution in the shining, though there’s something
about the idea of purity that continues to appal me
because I never had so much against chaos from the beginning
and I sense a deep hatred of all that is soiled and flawed,
in which case, I’d rather be an outlaw than one of these monks
who disdain me because I can’t help seeing their discipline
as uncreatively redundant. Eventually, if they’re blessed,
all our faces are going to fall off by themselves
like the scabs of sunspots that healed the wounded light
like a wildflower shedding its petals like nurses’ caps
and deathmasks frozen like a moment in time meant
to last forever though we go on being estranged by them forever.

Uncanny transformations of the solid into the real.
Maybe it’s time to let the mindstream flow as it will
and let the burning bridges of our delusions cross us for a change
to get to the other side of a life that’s only got one bank
and it’s as clear as space, we’re not even standing on that.
Hang on. Let go. It’s just your hand opening and closing
like a door in a dream, and you’ll find your falling
just as fast as you ever were and if you were to ask your eyes
they couldn’t tell in this vastness whether your were falling up or down.

When you’ve dismantled all you’ve desired,
post neo-deconstructionism sets in like spiritual rigor mortis
and you can’t tell if you’re sleeping with the living or the dead
when you haven’t got your mask on. You can wear holes
in your shoes, and windows and carpets, pacing
like a waterclock of the heart in an hourglass of waiting
like a boy at the edge of the curb with his elbows on his knees
and his face in his glum hands, waiting for a parade
with sacred clowns throwing away free candies
like stars along the route of the mystic Milky Way.
Just be sure to keep your eyes open like a spring thaw
so the light can recognize you like the flower that brought it
to full illumination this time last year like a candle
that keeps blowing its petals out so you can see
the black matter of what you are not deeper
into the eyeless dark than you’ve ever bloomed before.