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Cora's Rainbow

She's not asking for gold.
If my pockets were full
I would empty them gladly.
But she doesn't ask for anything
That she can carry away.
She never objects to walking
Under grey casts that counterfeit night.
She enjoys the impression of rain
Dashing against the windows,
Or her upturned blushing face,
The deep tones of sated earth and stone
In restrained gleams of filtered light.
She excites at the snap
Of unchecked power
Across the dusky rooftops,
Welcomes the reemergence
Of birdsong and children
And signs of well-fed life.
And all she wants is that reminder
Of the continuity of familiar things,
The reassurance that we're still here
Tethered to a burning star,
And everything is going someplace
Where all the uncertainty will end.
She doesn't ask me for anything,
But a few well-meant
And thoughtfully placed words.
And the sky doesn't have to be blue,
As long as it's ready
With her rainbow.


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When I See It

I don’t believe in time.
There's much more world left;
So much more to learn,
And I don’t believe in time.
I believe in shadow birds flying
Through the green of mown grass
Under the squint-bright sun;
An ocean dappled with clouds
And the white sails of small boats
Crossing my shoulder;
A thousand dynamic blooms
That I can’t name, speaking
With voices of children
And laughing as they pass;
The reassuring chatter
Of great wooden beasts
That sermonize patience
And continuity.
But I don’t believe in time
Or the limits it implies.
I don’t believe in the failure
Of the manifest soul.
I don’t believe death will result
From the cessation of habits
That feed my blood,
Because I won't believe
In a future nothingness
That I can’t see from here.


I have to stop hurting my mother.
She does the best she knows how,
In that walled-in life she leads,
On that clockwise path she walks
On a tether to her fictive ideals.
We all have our ancestry,
Who set the stones of posterity
And hide from blame in their graves.
They cast their shadows
Long after they’re lost to the sun.
I would like to believe it’s no chore
To wriggle from under
The thumbs of the dead.
But I keep on hurting my mother,
Though she did the best she knew how.
I injure her with my distance,
And my dismissive lack of concern.
She bore three sons into this family
And half of us are gone.

Dawn in an Hour

Dawn is in an hour;
in a night.
A light on the long street
on the grey river,
on a long walk of broken clays.
It takes only a streetlight
to bare the sighs,
the yawn of dark alleys,
of quiet honesty;
the great peace
of telling without cause,
without want.
The arm stretches
and guides the body;
the body doubles its warmth.
Laughter snaps
against brick and glass,
and the eyes combine;
heart combines with heart.
And dawn is in the hour,
in the night.