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Showing posts from April, 2007

Artless Blue Benches

I’m rearranging the sidewalk
With my mind,
In the dawn-like spaces
Of magic hour light.
Behind me is a sea,
In front of me a street,
And if I had to dive into one,
I’m not sure which
Would leave me colder.
Hawks are circling
High above me,
Dipping their wings
And soothing their brilliant bellies
In the wavering daylight
Of the second bright day of spring,
Hours decaying
Like empty shells on the sea bed.
Passersby crash like waves
Against the stretching maple shadows.
I’m afraid to tell them
That they won’t ever die.
No one wants to know
That there is nothing to dread.
Ask them and they’ll lie,
And then you’ll know.
I’m beginning to think
That I’m imagining that tree.
That crow would have me believe
I’m crazy.
But I don’t even see it anymore.
I can’t tell what I’m recognizing,
Something familiar
In the shades of green
Against brown walls
And white wisps of atmosphere,
The leftover gold leaves
Under my boots;
Not just a season or a place,
But something akin
To the elusive lost sense of home.


This was paradise,
Tramping lazily on island time
Among dark-skinned islanders
In their slow-motion routines,
Their bright garments
And glaring indifference
Rioting in the sun.
We rolled over sun-dappled hills,
Climbing through villages
Sheathed in a silence more profound
Than a true void of sound,
Emphatically illustrated
By the occasional peep
Of mysterious life.
From the hotel patio where I took my meals,
I could watch, framed between pillars,
Swimmers thrashing in threes,
Sailboats drifting into the horseshoe cove,
Green hills like tattered velvet encrusted
With red and blue rooftop jewels,
Blue mountains with white halos,
Like prehistoric volcanoes demanding
The demonstrative payment of flesh.
Up the road, a stream passed
Through the timber, toward the ocean,
Sharing the shade with a veiled dining hall,
Wrapped by a white porch and emanating
Its own joyous sounds and aromas
To bedevil the wood.
Up that road
And past those trees
And over that stream,
We climbed boulders by the hissing sands,
Laughed and dodged p…

Day and Light

The sky was in a beautiful mood today,
Admitting just enough light
To embellish the faces
Of these aged wise men,
Women sashaying on heels,
The bright, boisterous youth
In seminal moments of growth,
And all the beautiful immortals
Inhabiting this silver-toned city.
It’s astounding how much
I love these people.
Among them I breathe only
The smaller atoms
From the viscous blue air,
Those grains of living bliss.
Their presence doubles the volume
Of my thumping heart,
Eases the stubborn pain
In my old leaden head,
By means of the quiet
Of their thoughtful steps,
Temperate laughter,
Smiling chatter of worlds
With no mad, elusive truths.
The sky understands them.
Leaning over their unwavering verve,
It faces no demands
To let the sun shine full.
As long as I can walk
In the light of these people,
The sky doesn’t have to be blue for me.

Stop Moving

I thought about the bearded man
Who sits on the sidewalk
Bathing himself
In imaginary basins.
Swaying and chanting
In dark, tattered clothes;
Are we better off than he,
Or has he learned
What so many of us
Never seek to learn?
I see a family
Dragging toward buses
Monstrous green cases
Stuffed with some objects
They figure they own.
They huff and strain
And lean into the effort.
And I’m walking behind them
And it’s so obvious to me
That their possessions
Possess them;
Their belief in ownership
A delusion they strain under
Like a boat moored
On a windy day;
Rightfully-owned burdens
Anchoring them in place,
Depriving them of direction,
When they should be yearning
To float free.
So are we better off
Than that bearded man,
Chattering alone
In words I don’t know?
Maybe he’s not in the misery
That we lament for him.
Maybe he’s enlightened
Instead of crazy,
A guru on his mountaintop,
Exchanging answers
In the Akasha,
While down here
Shuffling in my ignorance,
I hear nothing but the voices
Of the anchored masses,
And the echo of my own …