. . .

When the girl was young and prone
to the phraseology of nightmares

– the felicitous are furious –
her father never encouraged fenced-in sheep

but the vision of a white canvas.
She became the wolfish insomniac,

splashed blues, greens, and reds
of all the Earth upon it.

. . .

Some stones are for noting,
some stones are for keeping.

Some stones are for turning,
some stones are for giving.

A grown man wakes, blinking
diamonds into focus

with the dominions of dawn
blanketing the sundeck.

His break from ritual
is the delighted beckoning of bats:

some stones are for throwing.
And, blind as they are in one way,

they come flurrying in gongs:
winged song to surprise sunrise blue.

. . .

Dreamers celebrate the year’s first frost
with legions of snow angels

sleeping before the hours
pass in silent song and flake,

and disappear until we fall
to create their reawakening.

Policemen came in squads,
questioned our place and presence,

but no, we did not bend a knee
before them, and yes, this was our home,

our opus
to footprint.

. . .

We belong in the pristine,
you and I, she and he,

our summer philosophies
stating that industrial smokestacks

are storm-makers, that a poet can be so overcome
with illiteracy, mysticism, grief

his revelations come to him
surrendered in web-guarded caves,

or in nameless temples,
circling a pillar muttering every nothing

to every no one
who will listen.

. . .

A murder. A murmuration.
The sight of a male hummingbird

is a marvelous lyric,
its mate muted in browns.

If one foot stumbles,
the other will catch.

If one hand picks flame of the forest,
the other will palm water lilies.

Your body will not consume itself
if one half is dying.

Trust. Photosynthesize.

. . .

I know nothing of preservation
or chakras, but cynicism

has no hold here:
An old weeping willow

my mother planted
out of blooming joy

supports the arch
of my aging back.

Leaves divide sunlight into vertebrae.
Their nerves bring warmth to my skin.

It’s as if my spine can breathe
like a treasure chest whose latch

unlocks for the first time in twenty-four years.
A fawn flicks its left ear

and bolts. The stream floods
into a freshwater river:

swallowed in a daydream,
all my being trails

that animal
with compassion.


Published in Eunoia Review.

The Higher Language

From Graphite to Watercolors