A million faces is humanity
Noses shaped a thousand different ways,
Smiles cocked at forty-five different angles,
A million ears as odd as ears will always be,
A million eyes with patterns utterly unique,
A million quests behind those eyes,
A million lives lived in a search,
Or lived in denial of the search,
A million eyes closed at evening’s end,
A million souls more varied than a face
Wander even as their eyes are closed.
A million faces is humanity
The bees sip the last dregs of spring flowers
aged through the long summer to be drunk now
at the queen’s last revel before the snow.
No thoughts only the dance from their bowers,
caught in the air as the world takes its breath
before the vigil starts and we all wait
with lungs held against the cold morbid press,
a small ball, buzzing soft against our fate.
Hope is a ball of bees recalling joy
As it spun once – full-ripened leaves, dancers,
the taste of honey – these are not answers
to the white silence. They will seem as toys
when ice forms on the wrong side of our glass.
We clutch them as we wait for death to pass.
The candle cracked from side to side
Hard wax cut like a crystal sea
The flame is lit, the wick is set
And the sea lies liquid blue again
Like wax made hot with life’s great heat.
To look up at the close,
The sun burned to embers
Seared softly to pupils
Petals pressed to snow
Melted into ice prints
In this autumn-spring
Fire leaves float to earth
Ash sprinkled across peat
The peat burns like clouds
To look down is to look up
At the first planted seed
For the world sprouts to destruction
Seeds curling in smoke
Trees brushing this new dawn.
I went searching in the garden
For the friend who walked with me
The cricket called in the linden tree
But no voice called out for me
I saw a trail of flowers
Planted round the lime tree’s trunk
A butterfly left, but the branch had sunk
And could not rise again.
I limped out of the garden
The wind pushed at my back
I walked beneath the sun’s attack
No crickets sang for me.
Can we run from future-past,
From the black coal in your hand
That will have burned to ash,
From the seed that will have grown,
Determined as the tide
Too complex for discernment?
The world is filled with zebras
When you see in black and white
And it is a truly noble beast
When the moon hits its mane at night
But it is a great injustice
To the peacock’s noble plume,
To the songbird’s song of color,
And the tulip’s noble hue
It is a grave inequity
To ignore life’s little shades,
To try and paint a bird away,
Or to snuff a fiery mane.
When men begin to walk like geese,
And hate in ways that geese can not,
We try to say they are not men
Who love to hate those made like them.
We say they’re monsters, and its true
That all who spit because of skin
Own twisted and perverted hearts,
But Oh the horror of their deeds
Is that our hearts are born like theirs
And just as they have chosen hate
Our hearts could cling to something worse.
Time wends, or is it memory,
calling up the old street corner,
crossing paths I never thought to tread again.
Purpose is born at these crossroads
forged from memory
or knit together by the same force
that brought me to the same street lamp
at the close of a late October day.
Lights, muffled voices
The smell of hops floats at night
The night wind fells leaves