Not So Recent

The Rogue Wave

for EE & JWP

it was the loud roar that made me lookup
from the sand, the tide line
and piles of kelp, stranded.
as I thought, it was a rogue,
so I turned and ran, I ran and ran.
but the rogue swept me up,
so I swam and swam,
I swam until the rogue, with his last push
pitched me on to the strand
and into the rest of my life.

2000

Early Morning Moon
Early Morning Moon

@ This Point

"You are th@, Shvetaketu, you are th@."
The Chandogya Upanishad

"Truth is my God."
Mahatma Gandhi

"And, th@'s the truth."
Edith Ann (Lily Tomlin)

@ this point on this sphere's surface,
@ the mid-point of infinite tangents in space,
@ the head of my contrail in time,
@ the offing on a horizon:
the natural universe dancing around it,
the sphere spinning like a dervish,
the stars are staring.
could I sit @ this point
mind in heart
heart in love
love in joy
without condition
without thought
@ one with th@

2016

The Practice of Folding Blankets

for the mind settled
by hours of meditation,
the wraps of warmth
maybe neatly deposed
in anticipation of
the next sitting.

1999

Early Morning Moon
Early Morning Moon

Collect Their Souls

they lay softly and sweetly

in the swamp and on the hill

covered in time and light layers of soil

And rotting leaves: the stuff of holy compost.

forgotten, lost, bodies uncollected,

sacrifices unsung, they lay

by the hundreds or thousands,

the residue of battles

and causes and ideas lost just as they,

like clouds scattered in the wind.

their nerves and bones and flesh

have grown green in lumps

of moss or grass in rain and snow.

Early Morning Moon

Grayness

for Forrest Read

 

slate tiles, deep gray

and sky-chipped,

offer themselves to

the weather on

top of a lecture hall.

minds in a skyscraper molt genius

like crated chickens stacked on a semi

leave feathers in the wind.

fetal, pale gray

and cancer-worn,

the teacher offers

his last self

to those who listen:

"I have spent my life

reading Pound.

there are worse ways

to spend one's life."

The Insatiable Maw

"Peace begins with the fork" -- a bumper sticker

not only by mouth

but by lifestyle

do we consume treasures of the earth:

animals, large and small,

green things from here and there,

tracts of land denuded and desolate,

bodies of water, spheres of air,

and bowels of earth mined and forgotten;

as if there were no end to the treasure,

and peoples' needs can be met

infinitely by finite things,

and our goal in life is to transform

biosphere into the trash heap and

consciousness into satiety.

Traces of Ash

the ashes of life we leave in our wake
can be nests of light and furrows for joy,
or beds of sorrow and rooms for disappointment,
corners of ignorance and caves of despair.

we leave trails of dead skin and wasted air
with our histories of love and journey,
days of trial, utility, sloth, and fun,
moments of terror, cruelty,
pleasure, compassion, and forgiveness.

the choices of life leave traces of ash.

1992

Early Morning Moon