Hummingbird

But because truly, being here is so much;
because everything here
apparently needs us, this fleeting world,
which in some strange way
keeps calling to us. Us, the most fleeting of all.

Once for each thing. Just once; no more. And we too,
just once. And never again. But to have been
this once, completely, even if only once:
to have been at one with the earth,
seems beyond undoing.

Rainer Maria Rilke, from The Ninth Duino Elegy

*****

It hovered for two moments, even three.
No, not it … he, or she
came to greet us, greet you, greet me.
I could not name her, nor you him.
His wings blurred, her body delicate.
If he could smile … well, perhaps she did.

Perhaps not at us,
but at the child between us,
The child we planted,
root of you, root of me.
Two months old and nimbus gold,
a sapling born of longing,
to taste the sun’s wake,
to dance in the moon’s glow,
to flower in spring,
to lie like a lizard,
lazy thoughts that
fill the empty corners
of desert summer days,
to shed old skin in autumn,
dormant bones in frozen snows,
to be known and to know,
to be heard and to listen,
to love without regret,
to live if only once.

“Only once!” I heard
the hummingbird say,

then he turned,
and she flew away.

And Now You Know

And now you know
That I have thought, “Will you still love me?”
Once you have seen
my all-too-human frailty
and how I often feel
that this bag of bones and blood
is not worth the touch of your hand
and the parting of your lips
and the words that pour forth from them
like a life-giving river …

But it seems that you do
and now life without you
is unimaginable.

You and I

Starving for your ripeness,
the winepress of your lips,
the blood of your river,
the root of your tree,
the lost highways you traveled by,
the miles of imagined miles,
the shadow of a hungry hawk circling a dry summer day
in late July
carried by the carrion of days
,
heaped upon a pile
and counted like a pauper’s coins.

Stories from your lips
will fill my soul
as bread and water
to a dying man,
days alone
on the scorched desert sand,
torn savagely from his home.

The train head bellowed not once in the night,
so mourned it of your absence.

You and I,
the fountain of our delightful alchemy.
You: god-born naiad of Mount Helicon, come home
bearing August’s gladiolus.
I: shepherd to your flock
of antinomian desires.


Fun fact: Antinomianism is any view which rejects laws or legalism and is against moral, religious or social norms. The term has both religious and secular meanings. Outside of Christianity, the term is used in Buddhism and Hinduism, and denote transgressive aspects of Vajrayana and Hindu Tantra, which include sexual elements.

Dear and Far

Dear and far,
far have you flown,
flown to the East,
East and to the sea …

Stretched so thin are you and I,
phantoms disarranged on either side
of this veil of miles immeasured.

But still the still sky
is lit with your fires.
Not by some trick of conjuring,
do I force you into fullness,
to taste you, to pluck your ripeness
from the winding vine,
but by the wine of sheer and unsated
need.

By need do you flower–
fleshly petals, red-lipped stigma,
tongue of nectar.
Tend to my longing!
For gold is only copper
to your closeness.

I Studied Your Face

My eyes, waters warm of moonlight,
swept your face over, worn a sweetness smooth,
while you softly slept
through the hallowed night,
and I both laughed and wept.

Laughed for joy,
for longing wept,
your face I studied
as you slept.

Ocean bed, slow tide body
waves softly rolled and washed over mine,
fine sand crystals wet,
upon the cliff’s scalloped edge,
as I laughed and wept.

Your dune-white shoulder bare,
a hundred planted kisses,
preceded each I breathed the words, “I love you,”
all the while as you slept.
All the while I laughed and wept.

I Hear You

I hear you.
Do you hear me?
My lament and my devotion?
You are breathless and nocturnal
in a room next to mine.
Before the valley door towers the guard of Janus.
He divides our worlds two from one.

But I am an owl.
And I am a hawk.
And I am a bird of love.
I am a fire liminal.
No mask shall come between us.

You need not knock.
I am a sail against the western wind.
We are one heart, one face–
One winged love that does the gate unhinge.


Fun Facts: A liminal deity is a god or goddess in mythology who presides over thresholds, gates, or doorways; “a crosser of boundaries.”
A mask with two faces is called a Janus mask, after an ancient god who had two faces and who guarded over doorways.

I Will Cry For These Memories

I will cry for these memories–
and the flickering light that cast our dance in shadows.
How will you know me then?
By my eyes?
How will I know you then?
By your laughter?
How the hours chase each other like bees upon the flower.

I sought in the sky’s end
a star to guide me,
a spectral hand to offer mine.
A voice beckoned, “One does not equal one.
Turn this key’s secret to love’s chamber veiled.”

You who were hidden
as Ariel in the tree
then freed from your servitude–
evermore will I fly with thee.

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.