The eyes make magicians of us all
Enchanters ready with a wordless spell
If we would only take the time to look.
The eyes make magicians of us all
The dragon came at three o’clock
And carried away Sir Spearalot.
He cried to have the roles reversed
He knew it must be from a curse
In vain he fought against the scourge.
He knew that he was evil’s purge
And yet he could not take the reigns
And every action brought him pain.
And so Sir Spearalot did weep,
He thought of Eleanor in the keep
He knew she’d wait for him at eight
He thought she’d cry against the gate.
But though he pressed against the scales
It would not budge and he had failed.
Sir Spearalot took courage then
He would not die a weeping hen
But then the dragon squeezed him tight
And Spearalot wept despite his might.
For though in strength he was not matched
His emotional strength was barely hatched.
He knew the story would not end here
He was the chosen one, the bane of fear.
The dragon landed in his hidden lair
Sir Spearalot wished he was not there
His Golden sword was broken twain
His eyes were zigzagged with the strain
And when he saw the bloody hoard
He passed out with a might snore
I think you know how this story goes
Sir Spearalot is not preserved in prose
And so I will capture him here in rhyme
as a man who did not fight but whined.
Language splinters at the bottom of the barrel
Not in the interesting way, where new forms are made –
Broken pieces collected for a coastal collage
Or arranged into new shapes never seen before,
No the wood splinters, digs under fingernails,
Cuts the cuticle and won’t come out
There is no knife to cut the problem out.
The garden withers in the dead dry wood.
Let us stop digging wells in drained rain barrels.
The poetry of the earth is never dead
The cadence of the crickets will give way
To the slow percussion of falling leaves
And the soft whistling of the winds.
It’s rhymes are stacked in books
Waiting to be read as the sun sets
Or whispered among the pigeons
By a woman tossing bread to birds.
Yet in all the spinning of this ballroom waltz
The dancers stand up against the wall
Talking in loud voices, dissonant against the wind,
For though the world is poetry, nobody learns to read it.
I met a lonely traveler,
or so the poem went.
He came up from an antique land
just as the poem began.
But I’ve never seen a man of dust
whose beard could grow a tree
I’ve never asked him where he’s been
or what statues he has seen.
I have not seen the pyramids
or realms of flowing gold.
I have not swam the Hellespont
or walked the streets of Rome.
What I have are pines and grass
and mountains carved in my brain,
dragonflies and apple pie
and cats and squirrels and rain,
Streets of asphalt in desert lines
that define all that is straight,
simple rhymes and story time
and democratic states.
Thank God for that my place is mine
Its song is raw and fresh
This pot is full with brimming ink,
Its Hellespont is fresh.
I see the world in landscapes
It’s easier to map,
To chart the flow of a mountain range,
or sketch a river flow.
A forest is a simple word
for something more complex,
for there are groves, and hills, and lakes
unique as fingerprints.
Beneath a flat and simple plain
marked with little lines
is a hill where badgers dug their den
and a squirrel sits in a pine.
I like the world of abstract thought,
it’s easier to track
but to speak of love then love my friend
is to live beyond the map.
Do not fear silence
Fear the noise that drowns the ordering of the soul
Do not fear solitude
Fear the death of a man who never knew himself
Do not fear doubt
Fear a man who constructed knowledge without input
Do not fear fear,
Fear a life that is not driven towards truth.
Bright dawn of the morning
Curtained in splendor
with a simple polka dot pattern,
The mother who cooks eggs
With only ground pepper and cheese,
The simple two-toned robin
The grass which comes in one shade –
Fresh beauty for tired eyes
Wending their tired way
Through a waking world
where only they sleep.
The morning crests the hill
Light in the feathers of a dove
Sun between eyelashes
The morning resplendent
Diamonds in a drop of rain
Are you listening?
It is yelling in the darkness of the day.
Is it singing, Is it crying,
Will the silence have its way?
In the darkest of all moments,
As the day crawls out of sight
The chorus reads its essay
With chords of twinkling light.
All nature is discordant
As the sun succumbs to blight
But in this darkest twilight
Beauty has eclipsed the night.