Thursday, March 7, 2013



Firefly, what are you looking for
in every corner of the third eye of the world?
Are you looking for the missing children
of another realm who fell into this one
through the trapdoor of a lullaby
enigmatically enciphered in totemistic code?
Are you the star someone was following
like a spark plug that leaked out of their dreams,
a swan in an oilspill? Were you unhappy
with the constellation you fell from
like one of the crown jewels from Corona Borealis,
or are you just a vagrant like me, one
of those aligned to wandering as the next place
to shine a little light on, your life like a lantern in hand,
wondering what’s been written under the leaves,
or under a bridge, that it takes a madman to understand
or it takes a whole tree to play the mystery of its cards
so far from its chest, when they’ll all be scattered to the wind
like ancient starmaps and waterlilies soon.

Insight, synteretic spark, semaphoric lighthouse,
blackout and ignition, which phase of you
shines more intensely, the light or the dark?
Do you just have the one good eye, or two?
It would take someone just as lost at sea in their awareness
to get their bearings from you, as it would
to consult the compass of a flower like a waterclock
because time, when it’s free, like light,
expands in all directions at once like tree rings
dilating the apples of their eyes in the rain,
surrounding the lore of their heartwood with growing pains.

Metaphor, glow worm, do you find what you seek,
are you a chandelier burning in the palace
of a mason jar after the last waltz has packed away its cellos,
a tear of the sun that shines at midnight
like a canary in an underground diamond mine
or do we share the same mind, one neuron in the net
reflecting the other, an effect of the optics of thought?
Intimate familiar, little prophet, rogue planet,
singularity at the bottom of a black hole,
are you looking at me, as I am you
like a thought on the outside, an underwater welder
trying to heal the damage done to the hull of the moon
crossing the Great Barrier Reef of the brain?

Wavelengths of water and light sway the river reeds,
silver the fallen limbs of the statuesque birch
that leaned out too far over the edge of the lake
to pluck the moon from the sky like an apricot.
I watch the cults and spiritual congregations of the fireflies
gather, shape and dissolve, each with its own flight path,
and I wonder if there’s a shape-shifting constellation
that would cover us all under the roof of the same sign
like a zodiac of homeless exiles we all had the keys to
but didn’t know where the locks were hidden
until we took off our starmaps like blindfolds.

No extinctions in the gentle meteor showers
of the fireflies, nor any discernible radiant,
for them or me or the universe, given
everyone embodies the whole of the Big Bang
in and of themselves, just as the New England asters do,
everyone shining for all their worth
through the translucency of their own space,
even when they’re trying to hide from their own eyes,
like daylilies at night, or the gold of full moons
under eyelids of ore, under the overturned lifeboats
of their beached hope chests that have nothing
to look forward to anymore that isn’t any further away
than the telescope they use on top of a cold mountain
to measure the wingspan of their dreams.
The light will out as if it couldn’t keep itself a secret
from the darkness it illuminates with its own flowering.




As much as I love the stars, I know
the spirit must seek its lost radiance
in the midst of the filth of this world,
even when its third eye is trying
to wash it off in tears it really means.
Under the half-closed eyelid
of the pine cone pagoda in oceanic meditation
is a fire-seed waiting for immolation
like an overdue urn about to give birth.
And do you see how the moon
feathers the waves with silver,
and the breathing waters so much
like the flesh of a woman undulating
under the caress of an unaccustomed hand
shines back like fish swimming through a starmap?

As above so below. Same with inside and outside.
Astrophysics is psychology. Noumena, phenomena.
Are you looking for a unified, field theory of your mind?
Study that small sacred syllable of a black ant
with the torn wing of a butterfly
under full sail in its mandible
it’s taking back to the heap
of a thriving passage tomb burial
like a high card it’s going to lay on the table
without intending to call anyone’s bluff.

The moon on the lake isn’t timed.
Death’s not too late. Life’s not too early.
Not all the flowers bloom at once
in a wave of mass hysteria at a sports stadium.
Time is as generous to the dandelion
as it is to the hyacinth or the rose.

When a total eclipse of the soul
can be as illuminating to a firefly
as the enlightenment of the full moon
can be to the mad at harvest time
and the night bird sings on the same branch
out of the same longing
as the mourning dove does
on the burgeoning bough,
how far must a wave look for the grail
before it realizes it’s swimming in it
and by virtue of it having never been lost or found,
like the universe you’re surrounded by
dipping its other wing in the cup you drink from
like blood from your own prophetic skull
or an elixir of love from the goblet of a black tulip,
as an antidote to falling into a cult of trances,
trying to teach rattlesnakes to ghost dance for rain
when everywhere you look as far as the eye can see,
nothing but the bleached bones of their vertebrae
crumbling like aqueducts across a sea of sand
looking for the holy hourglass to green it again?

When things are like this, why send
a caravan of mirages like thought-trains
on a pilgrimage for water on the moon?
Is a course correction more innocent
than its original direction or is it
just another change of heart on the part
of a weathervane that thinks linearly
it’s got its hand on the rudder of the wind?

Best thing to do in a storm
is let go of the wheel of birth and death
and either go down with the ship like a constellation,
or trust in a bubble-shaped universe you still might float
like a turbulent waterlily above the turmoil of it all,
anchored to the bottom like a key on a kite
to lure the lightning to your spinal cord
the way copulating snakes make their own caduceus,
twin wavelengths from the same inner matrix
ascending like helical thermals under a dove’s wings,
so that dragons are born of cosmic eggs
that know how to heal fire with fire
that can consume itself like life
without ever getting burnt out
even when autumn’s coming on
and you can begin to smell
the smoke and ashes on its breath.

Enlightenment the inspiration of the search,
the spirit returns to the candle in your hand,
to dance with the flame of life within you
on your own threshold, in your own doorway as you realize
like someone waking up from a dream
in their own bed, their head on a softer pillow
than they imagined a moonrock could be
at one sixth the gravity of earth, what
was there to aspire to that could possibly be
higher and wiser than a cloud circling a mountain
or down in the valley where the stars slum
once they get off the night shift, more compassionate
than a honey bee in the eye of a stargazer lily
smothering it in a rusty ochre dust storm of pollen
the way we prepared our dead when we lived in caves
to bloom like a hive when its spirit returns to matter
in its next incarnation as a gust of wildflowers on Mars.
Hawkweed and Indian paintbrush I would think.
And the unusual fruits and flowers that can sprout
from a windfall of intensely radiant meteor showers
flung out of the darkness by the hands of generous sowers
that were ploughing the moon for themselves
long before the ox of the mind showed up
like the blessing of a delusional dependency
that makes you think, gone to seed, you need it.
When the truth has always been mindful
and mindlessly green as the thorns and the leaves
of the locust trees in spring coming into blossom
as easily as the mindstream follows its own lead everywhere
with nothing but its own flowing for a navigator.

No gate, no lock, no pivot, no hinge, no waterclock
trying to put the fire of life out in a bucket brigade
of community-oriented arsonists, departure
never any further off the beaten path from home
than its arrival can be lead astray
by the shadow of the return journey
it casts behind it like the widening wake
of a waterbird’s wings unravelling
the flying carpet of the water that wove it
like wavelengths of the hidden harmonies
that are on your side like your eyes are
when you step out of the blazing house of life
once in a while, into the expansive solitude
of your own inimitably creative darkness,
without a candle, a firefly, a lightning strike
for a guide, and look up, just look up
in any direction you wish, and don’t pick any one
of the six thousand stars you can see
with the naked eye in the country,
no matter you don’t know their names
or myths of origin, or much about shepherd moons,
or what an antikythera is, then run around
looking for an underground circumpolar sage
to show you on a starmap where your shining is at
like the light of the star, though you cry
in bliss and sorrow, delusion and insight,
you can’t wash out of your own eye
anymore than you can Venus in the dawn
when you’re sitting on a mountain under a Bodhi tree
trying to attain the unattainable empty-handed
in the same breath that’s been giving it all away
for light years, inexhaustibly, like a flower-mouth
of enlightenment in everything you say or do,
the world in the creative wake of whatever medium
that’s shapeshifting into you like water into fish,
darkness into star, sky into a bird on the wing
in a homesick sunset, or the shining of the source
like the lantern in your hand you needlessly labour
at keeping lit to go look for it without realizing
it’s your own blazing that blinds you to the gift
of what the darkness arrays before you like candles and stars
and nocturnal waterlilies opening like a new moonrise
amazed by the occult mystery of the fire that burns
in the subliminal watersheds of your fathomless eyes.

In this boundless space, why should you be surprised
behind all the masks of God, her best disguise
when the hidden secret wished to be known
and she revealed herself, was your own face,
your eyes, your mouth, your ears, your voice alone
pouring the universe like the light of picture-music
into your own ears like the spirit of a word
that can’t be enlightened until it’s been heard by you.