Monday, November 17, 2008


The mind is a fallen angel

on April 14.  © All rights reserved 

A sun-fucked sea
its chalky soda crackling a slow saraband
steady there
at the shoreline, where the waves beat themselves dead
only to begin again in the pull and tinkle of shells

but you know this ...

so what can I tell you about the soul of the grass?
Green exalted to gold, green breathing green
dew, an abdication of moisture,
a blessing on morning feet. Grass, a servant apostle.

What wizard cants “All is connected,” 
is that you Basho?
from inside the white pine, your voice
the dry “chek” of the red-shouldered blackbird?
The marsh awakens to the fox

hungry for breakfast, a small murder
duly accepted. Brown field mouse,
a communion wafer to assuage night's hunger.

Bend your body down, sniff
where the loam breaks open with cruel birth. Dare
to touch its bitterness to your tongue.

Every idea must be picked up, run between fingers,
weighed, tasted, and finally crucified,
nailed to the splintered wood.

2. "Withness"

on April 16.  © All rights reserved 


The Quiet Animal of Thought 

How tender the pads of your paws 
and your eyes, teal pebbles,  
your beating heart breaks rhythm against mine.

Nocturnal beast with no burden 
save the fugue sung by the black dog's chorus and the poor monkey ripping 
at the buttons of its jacket trying 
to break free.  

Even when you rub your clover ears at the back of my neck, 
I never think of skinning you for your downy pelt 
despite the fine Love poem it might make.  

4. "Withness"

on April 17.  © All rights reserved 


The Animal of Magic Gives Lessons to Students  

translate the language of bird feet stamped 
in wet sand.  
Understand the impressions of trampled grass 
where the silver arrow called Coyote puts itself down  
to rest,  read bleached fish bones and owl pellets for spells -- 

when necessary breathe through ruffled gills that resemble  
the frilly underside of the deadly mushroom.  Save your easily crumbled 
symmetrical, powdered wings for emergencies,  yes, opening them is painful  
but necessary  
when speaking of the dying child.  

We are responsible for the centaur and sphinx.  In clouds  
you must uncover music,  
adagio a rainbow born in an aria, a thundercrack opera.  Pocket  
the tumbling hair of sunshine for a garland and stash away  
the sweetness, the iron-scented snow still far off ringing the moon  

and of the moon ---  

you must be silent until your eyes witness its unseen side where  
the mystery of Love is revealed.    

Jump through all five fire hoops to discourse with angels,  
to sup with the gods.    And bow when you meet Buddha, curved  
like an almond playing his cello.  Then rest yourself on Basho's silk pillows, 
close your eyes, this will take a while --- 
more than yesterday's  blue curve of morning  
well past the fugue and the ever-pecking robin.  
Feel in sympathy,      you must 
for the still bound and dancing monkey.

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