Archive | May 2013


See the sun’s shape
behind the cloud.
I relish words
not meant for me.
A sunbow,
and air wet and green —
all this pulse and breath
used to mean something,
but can no longer penetrate
these layered shadows
and gray sediment
in which I have hidden
my self.

And I want out again —
but have forgotten the way.
My navigator
has grown careless
and inattentive.
He worships the tools
but forgets their meaning.
And he does not see
or mind
others’ depths.

But I know,
there is some purpose
to this sinking.
And I know,
somewhere above,
there is dry land
where I can plant
my feet again.
If I could but
that no help comes
from expected quarters.
If I could but
grasp this green air
like a rope,
and pull myself
hand over hand,
inch by inch,
back out
from the darkening deep.



It speaks of need.
My eyes unseen,
rove beyond the glass.

It wants
and still it wants,
and leaves me wanting.

I pass
the ninth spring
unknown and unknown.

Green reaches
as I pass through weeds,
take up lily of the valley.

Drink in
the fleeting sweet,
how we’ve become so alien to it.

But I cannot
do this work.
Blood grows bitter in my breast —

the blue veins
gather and throb.
And still, I cannot do this work.

Because this ninth spring wants.
And this ninth spring needs.
And it is weight beyond measure.

And I’m not sure
I can do
this work anymore.


Who can bear
the always ending
noise and air
of spring?

Give me coldest cold,
the lowest lows of winter —
a point to be endured —
a point from which to rise —

I was listening
to that fivedollar song,
rain falling through the window,
feeling more or less cheerful than I ought.

These mornings —
a lovely lonely
on purpose
meeting the dawn.

We sit
in a rising gray light,
wait for seeds to wake
and break their bonds.

And facing
the neverending judgement
in the crowd,
this green company is so good.


She brings the cup,
makes herself irresistible
in ways I never could master.
Time’s crumbling cathedrals
make us wary
of the dangers
of misplaced faith.

And who is to choose
which communion
is most holy?

You kneel at the rail —
drink from the golden cup.

You kneel at her bed —
drink from the golden hips.

The holy blood and flesh,
the sacred cunt —
what tyrannical god
could ever demand a choice?

And how could you do otherwise
in the face of their
grim and misleading authority,
but listen to the deep-voiced
mystic wind and world —
and let it lead you
to right?

In the ninth place

Day approaches.
And dirt
smells sweet
so we seek
to sink.

Bury my mouth
that my words
might be silent.

Bury my heart
that it might remain

Bury my hands
that they might
not mend.

Bury my wisdom
that I might
not know.

We no longer bother
with a counting
of years.

Let them roll
deep beneath the dirt
down to the bedrock below.

No turning back.
Not now.

And I am sorry
that it goes too slow.

And I am sorry
that it goes so fast.


A snake in the path,
we keep to the weeds,
and the old orchard’s awake.
We grow drunk as blossoms
take to the breeze.

And the pipers
line up to play
and make their claims.
The sun lays everything bare,
making it harder to hide.

My heart is a seed —
a volunteer —
and you are
a damn fine gardener.
And maybe you like a surprise.

I’m down and running
under the new green grass.
On my knees to make pay
in the new green grass.
There’s no other sweet left to sell.

And they come with scythes,
the grim choir of pipers.
You cultivate a shadow
in which I might hide —
but they wait it out.

It shortens, and they begin.
Collect a bone.
Collect a bundle of nerves.
Collect vessels full of blood.
Collect my sunblind eyes.

Still, the hidden root goes deep,
and we master the alchemy
of wind, water and light
to bring forth from it
something stronger than before.


She said it was toxic —
a lonely brew,
poison and the unreal,
unbound and in danger
from the upward current —
and already I owe
such a debt of days.

There is
no amount of blood
can save me
from myself.
Bottle it
and put it in a box —
with all I can’t discard.
Add it to
everything dropped
all along the way.

How we make do
with this diminishing
is a mystery —
an erosion
that carries away
but reveals
layered remnants,
four decades’ worth.

Today I want
neither her words
nor her bitter medicines.
We operate
without a diagnosis —
feel the feeling
then cut it loose.
Send it off
with those bottles
of blood.

When the sun comes back
it will burn off
what’s amiss.
And you and I,
we can ride out
all intermittent darkness.
Like these days,
like these dreams,
it will pass.