A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself. D H Lawrence
First 37 years spent in solitary confinement
rolling dice carved from a finger bone
against this unforgiving wall.
Let out time to time
circling the prison yard.
No brain for science.
Forced by nature to relate everything to God.
Layers of imagined specialness
all very complicated.
Getting old now.
Falling back to what set this world in motion.
Whatever Love is
the only God I want to know.
Selfishness at the root of every body.
Take care of my own self first.
Fight for the last remaining breath.
All very tiresome in the end.
The body stores so much tension it can’t relax.
By the time it dies, its face belongs to someone else:
the man created by a tension held
when you came to my door, your arms were open
but I had climbed into a pine tree
high, higher up
scanning distances the color of cerulean frost
hoping to catch sight of my own eyes.
Maybe you called my name but I could not hear
for the mockingbirds.
When you left, even the crows left with you.
Even the blue jays are gone from my door step.
No one singing now.
There is no pain other than being here without you.
All other pains are rolled into that one.
Behind it all, an embrace, a smile, a welcome
At the right moment, I will not be afraid.
What is broken will be knitted back again by needles
I know this.
So interesting to hold the hand of the one I love
feel it as a woman’s hand grown old.
Also as a baby girl’s
a dry leaf, flow of air across the palm.
In the dark
can’t tell whose hand is whose.
We are all illegals here
all of us homeless with a hand out.
Help me cross the river, Friend
water streaming off my body red as blood.
Hold me one time in your arms and tell me I am
Once will be enough.
Being on time for God is important
being awake when he passes on his morning walk….
but luck has much to do with those who catch sight
No matter how diligent we are
we drift out of sleep just in time
to see the moon passing full across the window
I sympathize with your friend who shot himself in the head
but let’s not do that, just yet.
Fellow I knew hung himself.
A good man, you couldn’t miss the sweetness in him.
Battled depression for years. Fought it hand to hand.
End of a long relationship must have played a part
but the final blow
was the dean of the local college
where this man painted, cleaned, repaired walls.
Announced it was likely the school would have to close.
Went home, wrote some note to his children
hung himself for a friend to find.
Now it seems the dean was hasty.
The school won’t close after all. They say that school never closes.
How could it?
Hope is not essential.
Sometimes there is joy and ecstasy.
We feel a pointed participation with our Existence
as a person with plans unfolding.
Sometimes there is an ecstasy with no plan.
Just seeing the moon pass across the window is enough
to justify the universe.
Other times we are in pain
rolling in our bed sheets as a caterpillar spinning its cocoon
or taking a light nap
aware of what is happening around us but uninvolved
Either way, risen or set, the moon is there.
Not allowing ourselves to tunnel out of prison
not rolling our bones into a past or future
When we fall in love, it always happens where we are
not where we ought to be.
We look up, for no reason that we know, and there is Krishna.
Or in my case, there is Carol
or there is Krishna dressed as Carol or Carol dressed how Krishna would be dressed
if he were dressed as Carol.
I want to give back everything I have stolen from my self
calling it “mine”.
Lay it down on the counter, where I find myself
naked as moonlight in our kitchen
waiting for water to boil.