Saturday, December 3, 2016

Secret Valentine

How can I make
Peace with the world
When the world is so
Beautifully sweet and
So terrifyingly evil
Except it was you
Who showed me
The cathedral at the
Bottom of the lake
And the fresco of St Anne
Salvaged from history
With her finger on her lips
Eyes wide with surprise
Noticing you noticing
Her Mary’s pregnant glow
And no man in sight
Just a dove in flight

Living Valentine

Even though we do come back
And live many separate lives in time
Each evolving our own mythologies
It’s the uniqueness of each life
That moves me the most to tears
Laughter and applause
That our I’s could live
In all these different bodies
And arrange to meet again
Even if not at first recognizing
One another but feeling
Reeled in to one another’s
Quite specific conflagration
Which only love endures

Friday, December 2, 2016

Vagabond's Valentine

Like the one spoon
In the drawer turned
Upside down you
Come back to me
To be turned around
As you once turned
Your head away abashed
By my love
That it could happen
The impossible
And yet that’s all that does
Now that we’ve exhausted
All the possible worlds

Dee’s Valentine

Had to get my glasses
And then the binoculars
And there it was the soul
Of the curve-billed thrasher
Atop the ailing orange tree
With his orange-red eye
I mean the song flowing
Out of the same mouth
He digs holes with I find
In my yard what could
He be wanting I wondered
Beetles worms my heart
And then he sang
Love that always
Give itself away

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Autumnal Valentine

The way stillness augurs death
Bees play into these rotting pomegranates
A small oval of sun crosses
An empty clearing in your thoughts
Such quiet and such commotion
Like lights switched on and off
The colder nights inspiring love
The sunny days filled with death
And your own as in a crowd
Among them in a foreign city
Miles away so you’re still safe
As long as you stay still
Or run as fast as you can
Every day a few blocks
So you’re not here
When he knocks

Advent Valentine

Naturally if you put
A blue sky together
With a yellow sun
You get the green
Of grass and trees
A green so hungry
For red it flows
Eventually at last
Into rivers of blood
Lifted into clouds
Of snow falling
Into darkness all
This for a child
Returning to a cave

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Against Knowledge Valentine

How much is aimed
Against knowledge
Who really wants
To know what’s
Really going on
And when years later
Another layer of truth
Emerges we’re astonished
And disgusted and think
It’s somebody else’s story
But what if we’ve constructed
A world where knowledge
Survives as a refugee
an illegal immigrant
Some fleeing soul
Kicked down so far
He’ll never come back

Enough Valentine

Pulled up out of darkness
But not enough to be light
Drawn up out of ugliness
But not enough to be beauty
Dragged up out of loneliness
But not enough to love
Shying away from evil
But not enough to be good
Risen up out of ice-fields
But not enough to be warmth
Curious enough to seek existence
But not enough to wake up
Weighed down by stupidity
But not enough to be brilliant
Painful enough to be recognized
But not skillful enough to be found

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

World’s Valentine

So hard to bring me
Into we to bring you
Into me but impossible
Not to if I stop to look
At you thinking so much
Of yourself as a reflection
Of this time and place
So this getting past oneself
Becomes an evolutionary bridge
Spanning the abyss of selfishness
And the rule of love in the world
Becomes our only practical alternative
Not just to preserve its body
But that its soul continue to live

Monday, November 28, 2016

When Valentine

When the most effective remedies
Are pushed aside as too audacious
Too radical too remote
When the capacity to rouse
The courage of others is squandered
On fine public speeches dramatically
Bemoaning what they passively condone
When the intelligence of empathy
Is converted into formal lies
And fundamental fairness is ignored
When judgment and critical reaction
Are preferred to honest discernment
Chastened by uncomfortable facts
When the smartest most likeable
Among us proves unworthy
Of the task an Uncle Tom

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Winter Garden Valentine

How much love
I’ve planted
In this garden
Love of labor
And early light
On new leaves
Never before seen
Except by me
As one has
With a lover
Days when not
A word passes
Between us
Just darkness
And light

Old Love’s Valentine

O wait for a second
I forgot I was dying
For a moment there
I forgot to die
As if dying noticed
But went on anyway
I caught up later
With him who is
Always waiting for me
To remember him
As if he was important
To me anymore
Because I loved
Him once

Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Third Beast Is Doubt

To the extent the world is largely
An exercise in not forgetting
What just happened it’s vital
You remember your point
In the whole conflagration
Scents carry we say they carry
The soul’s burning aspirations
Past the sweetness and sweat
Caught in clothes or odd places
To its specific yearning as a leaf
To rise to the heights of power
To undergo disintegration
As a conscious process
And return amazed
Amazing as a flower

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Second Beast Is Hate Valentine

Which someone said
Is not the opposite
Of love though it
Feels like that a lot
They sang it’s taught
And went on teaching
The opposite of hate
Is kindness which hate
Kicks in the teeth
On a regular basis
Until kindness becomes
Courage strategy endurance
To put hate in its place
A distraction and shameful
Waste of energy and space

The First Beast Is Fear Valentine

If there were no thoughts
In the world we could
Live like whales or egrets
And keep our great rituals
Of coming and going
But what are these ideas
No brain owns or even
Originates moving in
And around us if not seal
Of some superordinate
Non-material order
Which somehow doesn’t
Exist if we just don’t
Look over there

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Old Age Must Be Re-invented Valentine

I think as we get
Older we should be
More willing to give
Things away not less
We should dispossess
Ourselves and grow
More loving especially
Of the young wherever
We find them hidden
Even in our own veins
And acts of attention
As much as anywhere
If not full of wisdom
Then of mischief or grit
Of mystery or shit

Friday, November 18, 2016

Homeless in Heaven Valentine

Homeless in heaven
I wander the back
Streets and alleyways
Where the poor in spirit
Can deepen their virtue
But even there they
Stare and ask me
Why don’t you go back
To your own country
And chase me
From the precincts
Of their holy garbage
Which I was content
To feast on praising God

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Naïve Valentine

At five years I stood
Face to the cyclone fence
Watching the older kids
Playing at recess and
Then somehow enduring
The infinite sadness
Of the empty schoolyard
After they returned to class
My first memory of exile
And morbid envy but what
Did I know about true misery
At five I had only recently
Detached from the cosmos
One among millions of eggs
Great fish mother lay that year

Later Valentine

Alone on the remote island of death
The idea of rescue as distant as God
A cat playing with the wind
Leaping about and stopping abruptly
Her radar ears perking sharply
But you always wanted to live
By the sea even if you couldn’t
Pay the rent now you don’t have to
A life without a Friday cat
Or any other days or faces
The life of the wind in the yard
A conversational wind pausing
Like the breath of a passing god
And you are lifted across

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Your Gathering Presence Valentine

We work and we dream
But where is all this leading
The clues must be all around us
Collectively individually
Just as we were about to
Grow up at a certain
Peak of physical beauty
To relinquish our presence
On the earth in a foolish
Excess of arrogance
Drive humanity into a wall
And who left to tell the story
No one would believe except
As fairy tale or fable

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Our Father’s Valentine

Whenever we say that prayer
We know he is saying it with us
That we are repeating his words
In which he is living always
Whenever they are spoken
His voice remains in the words
As we remain in their speaking
Conscious there can be
No grander reminder
To remain watchful and grateful
Beside your brother and sister
Here on the precipice of evil
And remember our fathers and mothers
Their voices now visions
In the bread we eat