Those who cherished you
will be moved by your last poem,
its whispers of Kindness. Right Choices. Flow.
But moved most
not by any wisdom in its saying, no,
but by the feather in its cap, the natty
look of its signature clothing.
For we're fed by lilts and ambles, frets
and struts -- our Beloved's tilt of a finger,
the precious sense that her very soul
comes singing forth through her timbre'd voice;
that we would risk (the riskers among us)
death in the service of little things,
all the killer little things,
while the World lurches on with its horror and woe.
What was it like, the simple gaze
on Laura's face, age 12, as Petrarch
declared aloud that he'd remain
obsessed with her forever?
Tell me this
isn't what truly
Or Dido! Go figure. Guy sez Babe
I gotta take off, found Rome, the Gods
expect me to build that ultimate city,
man's work, forgive. "Enjoy, enjoy"
(I hear her say) "leave me, go
where you must, do what you must, I'll just
A life's line-of-action flares through the years
from nothing more than one bright glance.
Meanwhile each particular flake
in the beautiful congregation of snow
were it human in falling surely would cry
This body we carry, these words, our tweaks
of thought: small reason they'd each be honored
and yet what else will endlessly
Narrow the gap
between Wish & Silence
the ocean storms like an idiot captain
taste the salt
chip down the forests, unboil volcanoes,
empty the Great Lakes with a spoon.
My school friend, on converting to Rome:
"Somehow it seemed so ordinary."
What? said the priest, you thought you'd transcend
family and liturgy,
swift sprinkling: he entered
But the Ego always comes round for its bow,
will not accept exile, much less divestment,
maintains its claims to brags, counts
its grief-rights, grief its sustenance
along with grandeurs, possessions, achievements.
What if we named the Ego "Load
dung that blocks the path.
I think there's no way onward but through.
What if instead of Ego we called it
Will You be pacified?
I love you, boiling Self. Now,
will you sleep?
A Thick Book
for Carol DeCanio
The way you talk about books: chapter heads,
covers, colophons -- taken-care!
And the smell of a book, the feel of its paper,
the heft of the thing...and of course the fonts
(plus the note in the back about the fonts)
and the plot, metaphors — all those words!
I tell you it beats praising nightingales,
it’s almost as fine as cheering mail
to hear the way you go on about
“a thick book -- with pages in it!”
Two of the Many Ways
Abandon your laden train of camels,
abandon the world, the animal body,
Male, Female, slim for passage,
journey of sand through the hourglass.
Stride out naked through ultimate sunshine,
labels striped clean: Whiner, Lover,
accept the challenge, slip through the red-hot
needle's eye at soul-speed -- now!
Or try it this way (the "vastness way"):
squint as you view through the needle's-eye
the pure blue sky...pause, then -- QUICK --
remove the needle!