He is not Bach or John Florio
so no, I am not continually bursting with gratitude
for his being in the universe;
I am more than grateful though
he is part of this midsummer’s day dream
sitting on the edge of these November-gray flats,
seasonal, makeshift walkway
spannng the dappled stone beach –
Will I ever get used to it ?
What, he asks?
This reality just out of reach,
that… so far away from Princeton and Jay…
he is here beside me.
Well, maybe someday…
(he says he certainly hopes so)
but I don’t think I really want to.
The sea is amazing
and I’ve grown fond of amazement.
desire – much like hearty fellow feeling –
all well and good but please do keep in mind
that body heat can never transfer meaning
and no amout of candlelight and wine
can dim or drown the rampage of the ego
so face it please and skip the protestation –
no proferrings, however sweet, amigo
will fashion virtues out of exploitation.
how many weddings are no more than chartered
self-deception masked in compromise ?
and much romance is no less cheaply bartered
the coupling cushioned on a pack of lies.
damn it all to hell and double damn –
and when will folks admit a sham’s a sham.
Like a night of stars beyond –
born in my belly –
with no axis – beyond
the lines of language –
feeling – molten emotion –
shadows on the moonmind
buried in multi-mutable histories …
There is no Self –
apartness – apartitude –
island in isolation
in an impossible Void
There is only
Love – secret majesty –
in all its mirrorball
Like some royal ribbon
braided into the tress
down her back, down
the rolling valley & spine
of america – Misi-ziibi
great river of the Ojibwe.
Ô take me back to Bird Creek
where I was taught to speak
the tongues of my Shawnee
Cherokee people and the
Shoshone – the Snakes –
who have a great river too;
and the Sioux who took
their sturdy wooden boats
down the muddy waters
of the wide blue they called
Miss-ouri. Take me, take me
to the birches of Bird Creek
and we will etch our totems
with a bit of sharp bone in
a strip of bark, then lie together
in the dark, gazing at a field
of molten stars until dawn
arrives to garner them
He held her head in the crook
of his elbow, her hair spilling
over his arm like a silver stream –
some wayward ancient brook –
as she muttered things about
fitting the leaves to the pronouns
the falls to the faces and finally
sputtered endless thank yous
to the shining beam
of her declining years.
Forty miserable days
on a raw raging sea
no land in sight – by day or by night –
we’d watch but naught could we see,
three cut loose in a boat
barely more than a skiff
left to float to damnation
(not one whiff of salvation)
and what sins were ours
simply stealing some flowers
to offer the beauties who danced on the shore ;
Then, day forty-one
had barely begun
when an island was spied by Geoff Bailey;
before night had fallen
we’d managed to call in
and hearts were made whole
by one sweet ukelele
heart-healing ukeleles ?
(for a certain black belt in provocative prompts)
for an armful of lilac –
the market was crowded today –
I can’t cut our tree, you know,
just for a few days of flowers.
I put the bought ones in the blue vase,
the fat one, from Morocco,
and the house has been alive
in the scent of lilac for hours.
Sent you a letter,
with a photo of the irises & peonies ;
had a dream last night
that you were still here with me
that you offered to clean the stones
but I said lawn chair plus beer, please
so you stayed put – didn’t criticise
how badly I did the job – you just watched me –
your eyes filled with a love so real
I could feel it – plain as day
accross the garden – and awake?
this morning? I felt it still, except
half a world away.