Fear Of Partial Life

There is nothing to fear, except for death,
and dying, and never living. I want to
sing with the rare and common songbirds, to
smell the fragrant mountain flowers under the weeping moon,
to eat the rarest fruits and bury the seeds on strange hilltops;
I want to help those I can, and help those I cannot,
and play subtle tricks on myself above all others;
I want to scream at the ocean, and laugh at the ocean,
and half-ways drown myself in the washing-machine surf
to the giggles of friends and the chortles of seabirds.
I cannot live the life I was destined for. I am not an open book, nor an open
garbage bin – There is no knowledge gleaned from a glance at me,
no trace of me wafts towards the road.
I am closed, my soul half-buried,
waiting for the rest to become corpse,
waiting to be whole in the grave.


Growth, growth, how lovely, how impossible,
how idiotic to assume that growth can continue unimpeded.
Growth, growth, the sprout bursting from the cold earth,
how necessary for a time, but is the scythe
not as glorious as the weeds in its sweep?
Do the seed and the fire equally warm the earth? Growth, death,
both reflections in a mirror changed by the angle,
decline, the devastation of old things,
the wriggling swarm of new life,
the clarion call of changing seasons,
the frozen sap thawing for the bloom.
There is a time when the growth is long and horrid,
a time to cut and burn, to raze and salt and kill.


Plant the seed in the dust of years,
dust heaped high, flung from every minute’s shambling,
dust from the hands of children,
dust from the splintering Trireme’s charge,
dust collected from beneath the cushions of kings,
dust flung up from the marching redcoats,
dust from the low and high windowsills,
dust floating from a crumbling wall,
dust stolen from the cratered heavens,
dust between the pages of Whitman’s works, unread,
and dust from the few read pages.
Plant the seed in the dust of years,
for all things grow from dust.

Fruits of Our Labors

Two tall glasses of cheap brandy
A view above the catalpa tree,
Wild eyes and empty heads
Dreams of dreaming in our beds,
These are the fruits of our labors.

A man in Cali with three huge yachts,
Puts his toy workers in a concrete box,
Local wines that nobody can afford,
Sipped only by the rich and bored,
These are the fruits of our labors?

We had love when we had time,
Some prisons require no crime,
Some passions have an end in sight
If you want to leave, you’re surely right
These are the fruits of our labors.

Glory to the Things I’ve Known

I have known the drenching heat

Deep in clay-rich soil’s cracks

And fissures, the squeaking mice

Starving in their fallow fields, the bald-head

Vultures circling desiccated streambeds

To feast on bloated, popping bluegill.

I have known the quoggy springs,

The hungry mud gobbling boots,

And trees uprooted, swept away,

The world a river, the end downstream,

And all, all adrift in the swell

Liquids + Leaves

I drift as aimless as a leaf on the stream,
light as a whisper, gentle as a dream,
and darkly stirring shapes may break the water’s flow,
but as a lead, these shapes I will not know.

I fall as a blossom in the storm after the bloom,
slipping from a scanty stay in my sprightly room
I may be wheeling freely, through the thickly fragrant year,
but neither branch nor ground below are reason much to fear.


look up to the tattered flag,
the tarnished cross,
the buried ankh hanging on
corroded graves.

hear the ferocious warbling crows,
the tuneless hymns of nature,
praise the setting sun,
the rising,
the pulse of these voices.

I’ll scribble down their names
while you seek new voices.
just let someone,
tell us where to seek