Friday, February 5, 2016

Held Valentine

I know I’m old
while you are always
getting younger
but still I would like
to lie down with you
to have you hold me
and for us to fall
asleep and dream
of our many lives
together and apart
what could be more
moving and amusing
and we get to revisit
all those galleries and fields

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Lenten Valentine

The crooked crucifixion
of the shadow of the tree
laid to rest but sprouting green
has come again among a sea
of cloudy faces and a sun
rising inside unseen
except the eyes two dawns
reveal and reverence
all they see outside
the broken tree
the perfect shadow
the field green and pure
as the body of Christ laid
in the tomb of the mind

Last Jaguar Valentine

Ghost jaguar
at a critical juncture
in your dramatic
wanderings having
failed to convince
the two-leggeds
you can never
be captured or
conserved being
wild and passing
easily between
the two worlds
following the stream
-bed your bright
shadow fled

Wolfram’s Valentine

There’s a magical fairy-tale quality
to his Parzival  behind which
we can find historical analogues
but Wolfram is giving us the soul’s
story not the physical history
in which evil is merely ignorance
of the soul’s origins in divinity
part of the suffering of the hero
entails having to fit himself into
patterns he himself had allowed
for others he had to lower himself
without falling into the kind of pact
with the devil others had struck
as the price of their freedom
since evil is the way we pay
for our freedom inasmuch as
real freedom must include it
and only thereby can love
come into the world it being the only
thing wise and powerful enough
to bring evil freely back to good

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Karmic Valentine

What happens is always
with precision and aplomb
partly to prevent something else
that could have happened
bringing even worse to come
doesn’t this seem even truer
when something terrible happens
to us and we see more clearly
how close to disaster we do get
except for a few lucky breaks
for which our angels get no credit
of course there are accidents
and things that happen for no reason
without which there would be no mystery
but all these things are baked in

Secret Valentine

In the sun-filled air
I can see you are
just a feather like me
animated by unrests
currents of will we call wind
in all its wild meanderings
and vague in-your-windows
(I couldn’t help myself)
which is the part you played
keeping me cosmic in orientation
with no clear nationality
no recognizable race
retaining our nomadic roots
disguised as motes in sunlight
so no one will notice
our transmutations

Monday, February 1, 2016

Cold and Clearing Valentine

Low 34 in February
in the desert who will
remember this when we
drive into Sioux Falls
foggy and snowing
which only glorifies the ugliness
of why people still
have so little
it casts a crystalline sheen
over the laziness of humanity
as a whole and this
after great men and great women
have come and gone
like snowfall after snowfall
and still spring won’t dawn

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Ars Poetica Valentine

I garden because
I can’t paint
but love colors
I paint because
I can’t write
but love words
I write because
I can’t garden
but love hoeing
it’s all for the viridian I need
like an extension
of my sense
of a past present
and possible self
along with those magenta
clouds of the first
light of morning
come to save my life

Sunny Valentine

Slowly the weight of heaven
hammers us back into the earth
the mineral world absconds
with the soul dragged down
felt but not seen where
the cold is coming from
OK it’s just winter guys
I have a plan to fix the future
which I will share with you
when you wish to become whole
the plant says to us humans
they don’t understand what’s
keeping us from becoming like them
creatures of light and strength
savants of the sun

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Heart’s Valentine

The heart’s religion
is a fantasy at first
a holy imaginary vision
soon corrupted by the earth
but for this love
it steps down into
darkness and fear
lives alone on the other
side of sentences with trees
friendly with the oppressed
and with the oppressor
swinging both ways
the heart’s science
is a mere theorem at first
until it becomes the heart’s art

There’s Valentine

What’s it like out there
at the edge of the known senses
to be welcomed in warmly
or to be coldly turned away
until we become convicted of matter
when nothing could be less real
we start to clutch at things
and make stuff up losing
all sincerity for sincerity or calm
but out there only one soul
is shared by many bodies
passing over the endless sand
and every night we go there
to be welcomed warmly
or coldly turned around

Friday, January 29, 2016

Connoisseur’s Valentine

A connoisseur of days
as against a mere critic
or art historian or buyer
with a good eye for bargains
is an enthusiast without getting
fanatical or over the top
about the gemstones that slide
through his fingers the still
mornings that should never
have been refinished cleaned
of their original luster
and value their signatures
blurred their dates erased
so taken is he by that one night
rediscovered hiding in the light

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Pharaonic Valentine

As if I was sticking around
I keep accumulating things
but who doesn’t want
a flashlight or a bracelet
it’s all a symbolic gesture
like a pharaoh’s preparations
for the real life after
when awake on the other side
we know and feel and act
but cannot see or touch
except through things left behind
drawers of clothes or old tools
for working in the garden
or a solitary mind

Mysteries Valentine

What draws us to the ocean
I recognized when I read
about Lucius falling asleep
on the beach under the first
full moon of spring
this was millennia ago
and in his tearful dream
the goddess Isis the darkness
with the sun on her forehead
crowned with nameless flowers
and snakes appeared to him
out of the sea the eternal
feminine with specific instructions
about how to eat the roses
and stay committed to me

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Love’s Valentine

You too are a language
I have learned to utter
haltingly and with a heavy
accent once you were just
a diphthong stranded on
the tip of my tongue where I
could taste traces of pine
and blackberry and murkier
parentage possibly myrrh
notes now in the rush
of music sounds meaningless
all the words are eaten
they say the thing
you’ve been running
from is death

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

World’s Valentine

The world can put a hole
in your happiness daily
though you sway in your hammock
and smell like a daisy
how you’re almost completely crazy
but just enough to show it
as a feature not a slug
while the pain goes on politely
a shark circling the surface
the world can slip a joke
into your mortification lately
though it’s cumbersome to feel adrift
it all seems so cleverly arranged
timely and apt
at least it has you rapt

Monday, January 25, 2016

Pitiful Valentine

The culminating and climactic movement
of the oratorio of your gaze
indelibly written on the air and waves
the diamond path of the sun on the snow
arrives at last here in the future
nothing more than what we willed
out of our old distracted thoughts
most of which remain submerged
like the huge dissatisfaction
all of us feel for our physical selves
the fallibility and disobedience
even to our pitiful pleading
this still unhappy marriage
of the spirit and the flesh
for whom divorce is death

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Ventured Valentine

Only a lined page
offers so many lost horizons
words rise out of the wonder
and we who are all happy
and unhappy with ourselves
venture out into the waves
of words and get tossed back
to the sandy silence of the shore
we have waves and waves to say
slowly moving the continents around
while all we really want is rest
not to move at all for a day or two
in some unspeakably blue bay
but what could be more improbable
than nothing left to say

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Blizzard of Sorrows Valentine

So you have to leave the world
with its freight trains packed with prisoners
with its dizzying staircases of lies and inaccuracies
stumbling and falling several flights on your own
as your stomach turns to stone
you have to leave the world alone
and just when you started to love it
for trying so hard to ignore you
and yet shower you with so much
beauty and sorrow you felt
perceived and held at times
by a comprehension wider fuller
deeper than the world
you leave could own

Friday, January 22, 2016

Lists Missing You On Them Valentine

I look forward to your call
I look out the window meanwhile
I go for a walk and pick up
a few things for supper
I write lists of things
that could have happened
but didn’t both the costs
and the benefits
I write lists of things
to do and cross them off
as I get them done
usually they’re so much
easier that I imagined
when I felt overwhelmed
just writing them all down