Early Snows

Winter’s long arms flung wide,
her fingertips chilling the close hours and
stretching past the blanched tomorrows –
we take her hand as a mother’s.

Let us linger and leer at yellow leaves,
shivering in accordance with the season.

Please, let us not remark on
how a part may die and drift away
while the remainder slumbers,
fed by dreams.

Gone Fauna

Leave me there in the wimblewillow grove
with my eyes torn out by the bald blue birds;
I ate my share of field, of stream,
and all is fair in meal and dream,
so leave me there til’ the meat is gone
and carried on by the thrice-tusked dogs,
until the flesh is thin and the bones shine through,
leave me there in the wimblewillow grove
so I may sleep easy in the bellies of beasts.

On Silent Days

You may have heard one silence
but you have not heard them all,
you may have heard the nothing of a peak
or the nothing of a valley,
the failure of a headphone or
the absence of birds,
you may have heard one silence but
you were not really listening,
inward-focused, intent and callous,
on the silence within your heart.

To Transcend The Ground We Pray Upon

Alone, in the upper air
with crowd below in transfixed stare
a silvered spear of sleeksome power
(so loud when first it shed the tower!)
crept the cumulonimbus highs
and was swallowed by the skies.

Who knows what thoughts were just then thunk
by astronauts, both deaf and drunk
supping, sipping on torment –
the lash and lager of such ascent .

Were they vulgar – were they base –
the first human thoughts in outer space?
Surely no history would repeat
that our first prayer had been “retreat!”,
or merely the moans and muffled mutters
of a heart that weakly sputters
grasping at means to end the climb,
craving a fall,
complete,
sublime.

Hoard

desks with three legs and
mounds of empty notebooks,
pens with rusted nibs and
clay hardened in the slab;
the piano works, too, sort of,
a few strings missing
the white keys stripped;
and all the plastic bags or
cardboard boxes you could need,
and we’ve skillet-lids by dozens,
though the pots and pans are
dinged and dented, we’ve
learned the truths of treasure and have
followed the precepts of glorious greed,
we have everything we need,
and riches, beyond.

He Did Not See The Redness Of Dawn

He did not see the redness of dawn,
did not smell the blood from
a night escaped by the dexterous and delirious,
did not notice the moon hung low and red-
that crimson light, known by night as
any Sailor’s Delight,
But he did not know this.

He did not care for the opening of flowers,
or know the cost of them,
did not cease to burn
all offerings,
and did not balm his burns,
seeing holiness in the pain;
He did not dream of anything beyond
being swallowed, whole and healthy,
in a pit of mud or amber,
to be preserved, perfectly:
no hunger, no fatigue,
to be perfectly static in the loving arms of
damp uncaring earth,
hoping to be uncovered and revived
when all was right in the world;
and so he remains,
dreaming deeply of dead dreams

Two Men In A Dungeon

In a dungeon,
deep,
dark,
two men reside;
two men apart

one man shrieks,
weeps, moans
and sits
chained to a clockwork throne
of slashing blades, of prickling pins,
of spikes, of saws, of metal fins –
any piece that harms and maims,
that plucks and pries
like spiders playing at their game
to change their prey before it dies;

and the other man,
he suffers too,
as daily he wakes beyond the walls,
and commutes the dreadful dampish halls;
to turn the crank that works the blades,
and bemoans the blister his work has made.

milk

bottle and glass of milk at home

pure white gallon,
plastic shell,
a drop of red in a blinding well,
silken-smooth and cheap as mud,
starve the calves.
ignore the blood.
sieve and filter,
refine and heat,
starve the world
raise cheap meat.
axe to timber
forest to field;
kill the screaming,
and the screams will yield.

Sisyphus

One must imagine the boulder,
gladdened
by centered praise
as it triumphs the crest.

Such a fine job it has done,
how deserved a spot it occupies;
and with what ease a being of
real, pure character
can accomplish such
leisurely ascension!

And so the boulder slips and rolls,
to resume the game,
to conquer the hill yet again

The Weight of Wings

And the Renaissance angels –
freed of wheels, appropriately-eyed and
lacking cool fires or speaking smoke –
These Renaissance angels,
freshly daubed in the shapes of
mild men and meek women,
the most radiant of the race,
with wide white wings and
the light of the Lord behind them,
these are the angels who
ache like us;
these are the angels who
leap through the heavens and
alight on peaks higher than Man may reach,
bent by the weight of their wings.