I Had Probed the Dark Sky

I had probed the dark sky
for words for you
and there were none–
starlings flown to valleys verdent
and yet unexplored.
Such is the coin of eloquence
bequeathed me
that it cannot unriddle
the contours of your face,
or your body sleeping,
sloping like lazy summer hills–
or to play the pitch and timber

of your breath
adrift upon your undulant dreams.

My love, the sun does rise–
my music subdued.


Fun Fact: All the European Starlings in North America descended from 100 birds set loose in New York’s Central Park in the early 1890s intentionally released by a group of people who wanted America to have all the birds that Shakespeare ever mentioned.

… yet another gem you had gifted me.

Before Reading Any Bit of News

(repeat the following)

The world is headed toward something.
Catastrophe? Maybe not.
Perhaps all the good people of the world
will turn it all around. Perhaps.

But you remember something.
Whether catastrophe or turning-it-all-around
no matter what you do
will ultimately make no difference as to the outcome.
That’s just how truly insignificant you are.
Whether you do all the right things
or you do all the wrong things
or, what is most likely, somewhere in between,
what will happen will happen
just like it will happen
if you had never been born.

So, take heart, my young friend!
And love the people you know.
What’s true for you is true for them.
Love is what makes the unbearable bearable–
what eases the pain of ceaseless foreboding.

Yes, even that would be enough, hallowed love!
Such a gift as that may not be repaid.
But further still, in love is beauty born.
Love the people you know
and fill them with your soul-flower
that blossoms in your naval
in a forever spring.

Then you may smile and say,
“I did all I could.”
And all the souls of those that died before you
will lift you up as their champion.

I First Saw You Play a Violin

I first saw you play a violin
like a cattail on a virgin wind.

You were only an outline then.

Tracing clouds with your eyes
only later did I see,
and petals with a brush–
moons of marble and filigree.

A thrush then sang
our shared revelation
and a sun swept hillock–
our shared embrace.

Read me all your stories,
and tell me all your dreams.
I am an island on your foam.
Name me all your flowers
growing wild on my shores.

I Thought the Night’s Solitude Over

I thought the night’s solitude over,
on the forest’s edge where only I can go.
I proffered my question to angels, towering above the trees,
more ancient than our gods,
some sinister, some kind.
My question was answered only by questions
that turn in and upon themselves
into something irreducible.

But my visions sometimes tear the fabric of that last horizon.

I thought the night’s solitude over,
but you caught up with me,
and overtook my fervid unknowing.

So I sit and think and taste your rainwater,
the air washed of its dusty day.
The rain has stopped, but I taste your breeze-fallen drops–
Each one a cherished memory.

I string them all like lights
over a promenade by a slow-flowing river,
so that I may walk its length in your golden glow.

Have I not strung these lights before?
Have I ever not known you?
How I wish one day to bare you my soul,
its childlike nakedness,
so that you may see that its like your own.

The Days Are Filled with You

The days are filled with you; the night, too.
ever-growing, my vines grow into you.
Taut against your blossoms, over your valleys,
I caress you like a fog, water against your leaves.
I am dancing in my blindness, caring not where I turn–
if I fall, I fall into you.

I am filled with your stories, your gestures,
the lilt of your voice, your trembling,
your garden riches. What a summer day would be
without a walk among your flowers?

I catch your breath from even this untold distance,
and roll it on my tongue; I see you dreaming
in an untold hour; the night is quiet and still,
so my heart may travel, winged, searching.
I find your sleeping face and it fills the midnight sky.
I fly into it and my feathers scatter into stars.

You are an alchemy.
Your skin is flecked with gold.
You are the words that flow out of me.
You are a great falls. You are the redwoods
that lap up the rain.

This Sun

This sun, this moon,
this moss-covered womb
from which love awakes.

To know you now,
(Why not then? But still … now!)
The butterflies have multiplied.
I catch them with your net–

cupped hands, night of your gossamer stars,
in which all the creatures sleep–
their breasts peacefully heave,
as so does my heart,
as so does the smile I wrought on your face,
from horizon to horizon bowed–
wide valley with my soul-river running through it.

Mistress City

Mistress city
my fingers trace
your long highways–
soft as Persian carpets.
Your spires lure
your lamps conspire
your thousand eyes
glitter behind neon and fogged glass–
each an eager conversation–
hushed whispers that leap like young gazelles,
whipping up a tempest of longing on the hot savanna.
What lion would favor the Sultan’s banquet to your fevered flesh?

All the World Is in Your Eye

All the world is in your eye
that bends like a reed;
the wind–your brush,
the canvas–seed.

With what strokes the world is made
the downy moon, the sun inlaid,
and fields of lemon freckled jade.

And ‘though I’m fearless,
and dance among the dying days,
in you, I’m seen–
your pastels, ring’d–
such joy and solace for my westering heart!