Monday, July 27, 2015

Parzival's Valentine

There’s a red garnet stone
that sits on a golden ring
near the center of this story
catching your eye as you pass
the only remaining proof
a death happened here
a murder perhaps but it’s
all that remains of the body
of the first impulsive god
who got it all moving and flowing
until the music could manage
inventing itself on its own
slowly the blood built a heart
capable of love this red

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Hymn to Valentine

You have this wonderful gift
for rubbing my back
which as the songs says
I myself lack and for which
there are only poor replacements
we need to love something
or we can’t survive
the only difference being
those who do and those
who don’t just notice how
this whole abstraction
of roots and endless leaves
and sumptuous flowers
was just to push out
these pipsqueak seeds
on which the whole
wheelbarrow depends

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Political Valentine

When we finally decide
that greed is not only a sin
but a crime I know I go off
about this but I’m speaking
now to the future human beings
who will excavate these
exotic backyards for artifacts
of our dim age not dark
but shadowy and will find
this torn paper wrapped
in etheric light at the bottom
of a well this greeting from
a distant age of fearful
greed and sorry glory

Friday, July 24, 2015

Gnostic Valentine

Is there a treasury of darkness
the way there’s a treasury of light
or is granary a better word
a granary of darkness whose seeds
are saved for planting everywhere
while the treasury of light
which is of course the sun
works on every day in a diligent way
to raise those seeds to flowers
and colored shadows of the light
strained gem-like through the night
into moody plants and people
in the most painterly way

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Ineffable Valentine

If the myth of the gods is the truth
if in every age the gods
just put on new costumes
and dance attendance on our ignorance
if our science is laughable
if aliens came and no one noticed
them entering our nervous system
if they have already long
been operative in our choices
if all the stars are filled
with great unseen cultures
if we thought we were alone
when really we’re just
the rocky bottom layers
of ineffable worlds

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Descending Valentine

Take the light inside
the empty birdcage
feed the multitudes on that
curled and sleeping in the corner
swaying above the shore
flight still dreaming of itself
in the birthplace of wings
the sea’s lift pawing at your feet
the sky’s blue filling out your arms
until a dove descends and settles
on the waste of stones and gray
did you really think the holy ghost
would crumble did you really
think the spirit could decay

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

In the Land of the Living Who Die Valentine

You knew you were dead
when you saw the first vulture
but when the second and third
noisily arrived you began to stir
as after a deep sleep
during which you had
awakened many times
to eat something quickly
or relieve yourself or stare
out the window right
into the serious face
of a young fox you somehow
have befriended who also seems
to be considering your corpse
even more now it’s standing up
and walking toward him
full of jealous admiration
for his bravery even more
than his beautiful sheen

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Woman Clothed With the Sun Valentine

Some of our children are machines
through which we are slowly losing
our taste for the real like the helicopter
poised above the hibiscus flower
we seem to be losing awareness even
of the extreme vulnerability
of this whole physical contraption
including our own blood and bones
but that’s just what’s happening today
as it was when slaves
were still called slaves
and such a thing as freedom
could actually exist
the hibiscus is that new yellow-orange
the helicopter a perfect hummingbird blue

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Baptismal Valentine

That strangest day when I could see
what’s going on under the surface
even if I could catch it only for a glimmer
was proof enough to know there’s
no going back that strange day I
dedicated myself completely
to the unseen world to the things
hidden inside things
and to the holy falsity
of all outward show

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Poem Is Just a Moment Valentine

I get my coffee
and go outside
to wait for the storm
and though the sky
is really clear I’ve never
seen a storm that wasn’t
just around the corner
bells are going off everywhere
as the wind comes on
rolling the heat before it
and down the street
the bells of the ice cream truck
(what is that silly song)
follow the first fat drops
hitting the dust and pounding home
no lover was more perfect rain

Friday, July 17, 2015

For the Day Valentine

Sometimes the suspense
as the body winds down
can be killing but meanwhile
in the backyard and in sleep
the soul scrubs and caulks the hull
of the small fishing skiff
it will sail into the sea of stars
it sews closed the mainsail’s holes
and stows the frayed spinnaker
of the heart in its place under the bow
for the day the light will carry it
out to the dark harbors of the moon
to meet with old teachers and friends
to rest and get ready for the right night
to strike its final passage to the sun

Thursday, July 16, 2015

At Todo Santos Valentine

From this hill at the end of the world
you can see the beautiful coastline of death
slowly being eaten away by the bright white waves
and the unrelenting wind of some new kind of love
which just won’t give up
beating into sea-spray against the rocks
so children laugh and the whorled
faces of the native old women
are cinched in even tighter
by their smiles because they know
love makes you stand still
so it can rain down on you
its judgment its concern:
no no love more

Friday, July 10, 2015

Tightrope Days Valentine

Now that time’s wide berth
has narrowed to these tightrope days
I lean out over to peer down into the abyss
where any night might see the end
of the movie and I’ll still be sitting
here remarking on the rudeness
of so sudden strange and unresolved
a mystery posing as a documentary
a frequently misguided ruse
the contemporary cinematographer
misapplies to lived experience
but then I could only laugh at
several dragon-garbled captions
in the first black and white reels
and only now am I remembering
how I found myself running
to meet my mother who
turned out to be a streetcar
heading toward the sun

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Woven Valentine

Over the hill is death
I am over the hill       
so I am death or I am the blood
beating in the heart of the fox
living on the other side of the hill
these words too were once living things
roaming the world like blood or foxes
before they were taken up over the hill
pulled from the river by the cemetery
which broke into halves on either side
and started climbing the hill
even the heart is a kind of hill
up one side and down the other
so you can see how it’s all been woven
out of the words of a wiser will