When the flower droops for sleep,
the cactus thirsts for a rainy day,
and the heat clogs the birds pipes,
even on these days the song floats on,
round the spines, and old desert flower.
The poignant wail of a funeral dirge
lilts and mingles with a spring
dance that hints at rain.
Twin melodies dissonant and working
towards greater harmonies
through the juxtaposition
of sky and sun
When the flower droops for sleep,
We launder with machines;
we weave with them too.
They bake bread, do our math,
and write out all our words.
Plunge your hands into life,
till wrists are caked with ink
and hands baked with flour.
It all scrubs off with soap.
This England!” Yes, but Oh this very world,
Which spins out time around the turning sun!
This time flowing through us yet rationed out
in thimbles, drop by drop, but every drop
sweeter and stronger than a cask of oak
aged wine, which floods our senses till our soul
is drunk with the world – its oceans, desert
cliffs cut out by water’s hands, jungles grown
thick with every sort of creeping rainbow,
nations rich with bridges, books, and boats
which sail down the river to the delta
and from there to the sea of twinkling stars,
of which there is but one blue speck spun out
by the great whirligig of time. A gem
set in the golden crown of heaven;
The sapphire earth set in the sea of time –
this Eden cracked and cracking still. Still on
through darkening night this gem shines on
and flowing free from the cracks of sapphire
is time, aged to sweet sorrow in this cracked cask.
The shadow of the flag flies
even at night the wind blows star-
light down to the troubled earth,
where the wind whistles in the dark,
and the fabric weathers the night breeze.
Dusk casts odd angles on the backs of heads
pressed as pixel thin as the newest screen
working the latest version of machine
churning to multiply their daily bread.
The angled rays diffuse off of the clouds
radiating out the sun’s dying heat
as clouds wrap round in a funeral shroud.
Which will soon vanish to a dirge-like beat
tapped on the keyboards, inside of the homes,
where life goes on despite this procession
which recurs every day in slow regression
down to night. But until that time, the gloaming
will burnish it all until it all glows
like the bud of a rose about to grow.
I believe life hinges on parking lots.
Reaching the pinnacle of Everest,
finding ourselves along the Amazon,
those places hold no traffic in our hearts
The mountains change us and then we return
to the world of concrete and parking lots.
Parking lots intersect us with neighbors,
at odd times, when we least want to be there.
They back into our lives aware or not
of the inconvenience they present. How
I park alongside you as your neighbor,
well, that will change our days more than mountains
One blank page to ink a day before it dries,
One page to close the sun’s journal cross the sky,
One page to wash the colors off the day,
One page to fill as drops of stars speckle the sheet,
and one page tomorrow as blank as this once was.
Here we come to the edge of reason
where the breakers crash against the cliffs
and the chorused gulls chant requiem
around the ruined wreck of our ship
Requiem aeterna dona eis
I see nothing eternal in this
shattered resting place washed by cruel song.
From the base of the cliff stones rise up,
so the sun grows dark and the sky hard
against our fearful state as gulls sing rest.
The gulls sing peace as the song goes on
and we scramble up the rocky shore
to hug the rocky precipice wall
and shelter from the crash of waves
which join the beat of the flying song
which now requests of the blackened sky
light no less eternal than the peace:
Lux aeterna luceat eis
The dark sky laughs and the panic soars,
Dona eis rings out as before.
The irony grates like rocks on skin,
as the song continues pleading on
yet in the bleakness of my heart I plead
Dona nobis pacem with the gulls.
Though the cliff and fear remain as before,
A light breaks through from a distant shore.
The backyard forest preacher
holds silent service on Sunday afternoons.
You who want wisdom go, wait, and listen.
Look for where his roots draw their strength,
drink, if you can, from the same spring,
observe his proportions,
note the scars that teem with life,
watch his gentle sway,
but above all go on a clear day
sit, wait, and listen.
Can you hear him speak in the silence?
Listen as he whispers to the wind.
The wind is a cruel teacher,
just as time is,
for the wind is time
moving through this world.
All who seek to grasp time
will hold tightly to the past.
Learn from the tree,
then go with the wind.
Hold easy conversation on the veranda.
Drink wine on a summer day,
before the breeze carries you on,
through a window to a desk.
Work there till dusk
when the wind will blow you ever on
till you reach your rest,
with nothing of your own
save the warm breeze bearing you home.
Enjoy the breeze blowing this second,
before it fades or blows all you own away.
Sit with this tree and learn wisdom
from the grand-sapling of the old pine.
You can only pray your children sit
wherever the wind blows this tree’s cones
and do the same.
Phrases turn to meet their twisting needs
Till like a spinning wobbling top
the meaning falls away.
This is the game at which we play
like children in the rain,
Who spin and laugh and spin again
why should they ever explain?
The gyre spins the ship around
in part because it can
To question it, to tame the wind
is beyond the scope of man.
The world it laughs with every wind;
it cries with every gull;
it spins with every lovers heart,
and with their children falls.
The very force that turns the world
is turning at us all