Monday, March 31, 2014

There Will Be A Chorus

Refugees crying songs off-key,
spent birds in unhinged swarms;
some can hear,
few can grasp,
one or two or three, maybe,
amplified sound
a show of faith
that soon there will be a chorus
and a tune to which we might dance.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Bent, brooding and begging

In a shrouded long ago,
I asked a preacher, a Methodist,
if he really believed
in god. The question meant no outrage
and met none.

I did not say
fervently though you believe,
I do not understand your fervor.

Feverishly though you pray,
I do not understand your fever.

I do not understand this god of yours,
neither the shape of the thing,
nor its gender.

Neither do I understand its aspiration
for you or for us all.

I have no grip or grasp
on the universe in which it dwells,
nor why it lives there,
nor why it lives, at all.

I understand your faith has power
and stretches backward
a millennium, or more.

But I fear this is the weight
you drag behind and the cause that has you looking
to the day on which you finally will be weightless.

And he made no response to what
I did not say, but looked
the question do-you-know
of what or to whom you speak.

Ministers aside, consider,
the history of the rulers
and the ruled and why it matters now.

There are also the poems written
to draw nearer to you
and the ones rooted
in an inability to bridge
our mutual gap.

There is also the biography
of my solar-powered self
in every meaning of the term,

warm and heating up,
flaring and flaming,
sunning and indolent,
abiding the gloom,
outlasting the dark.

I am the rustle of the wind
and the sound of revolution,
the silence of defeat
and the rot at the heart of empire.
I am invention
and the means of installation.

I am the sun-dried husk,
the ruined dream,
the broken rampart,
the collapsing core,
the melancholy song,
the calloused, wracked and shackled,
the wicked wish,
the vengeful hand,
the dying.

I miss what I miss and whom.
Soon enough, I will be death
in every savage flake and pore.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Love to Babies

Nathan Night Rain,
you were an infant with
apple cheeks and patience.

Julie Anna,
you were a witch baby,
wise with foreknowledge.

And Brendan Isaac,
you were king baby
with windmill arms and bicycle legs,
wailing your loud strong music.

As Isaac brought joy
to Abraham and Sarah,
with a handful of weight,
with the heat of new beginning,
with the scent of everything to come,
so have you brought
gift after gift after gift

of Nate asleep on my heart,
warm weight waxing,
innocent of his fierce protector;

of Julie at midnight recalled,
fresh weight needing nothing
but that which was freely given;

of yourself,
urgent and new;

all of you, gift after gift after gift
to a father stirred and grateful
that the elements combined as you.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Walloped lifeside

In which the previously unimaginable 25-syllable (26?) Son-Ku is introduced:

Stupid with desire to be better,
desire to be higher.
Walloped lifeside.
This is good.

WARNING: Do not drive while using this rare poetic form. It may cause drowsiness.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

By This Pencil

Homage to W.S. Merwin

Even if it’s junk,
the pencil and the paper
make more of it than writing.

The fingertip feel, inside and out,
the face emerging, sketched and contoured,
the smiles and the guarded thoughts,

all the shaded expression, 
all the passion coming soon,
the forest canopy sprouted,

sudden and slightly scented,
wet as rain, warm as summer’s wind,
dark as night and here, by this pencil.