Thursday, April 17, 2014

Maundy Valentine

We had to give up
on roses and morning
glory sweet William
and the pale plumeria
and settle for nasturtiums
poppies and hollyhocks
we had to give up
on fear useful but
wearing and shame
refined into caring
and settle for living
close to one another
often in silence
often not caring
we had to give up
on love to come
to actual sharing

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pear's Valentine

I ate a pear
I dared
the peach I
could not reach
it wasn’t hard
it was sweet
and soft
the greed we see
is a cognitive
failure the
artificiality of
an intelligence
that cannot
invent a pear
or imagine
a heart

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Apocalyptic Valentine

The shadows of the bees
fall along the wall
flitting among the shadows
of the flowering trees
if you look up you
can see the bees themselves
moving among the flowers
and the still-forming leaves
the rivets holding everything
together carefully as a child
holds a flower a red moon
holds the glow of every
sunrise on the earth
for one night one day

Monday, April 14, 2014

Blessing Valentine

Each day distils
the day before it
before it can move on
even if only intermittently
move on to the next
semi-eternal moment
recapitulates by a strange
alchemy we call memory it’s
morning who picks and choses
even if only randomly
betraying some intent
even if what we call
memory is all we’ve got
to sort through is another
pensive thought even if
whatever our eyes fall on
we bless even as we’re cursed

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Repeat Valentine

Sooner or later you
have to cut your toenails
when they start to stab
through your socks is
often a red flag a bad sign
but how can you complain
about the magic yellow carpet
of fallen Palo Verde flowers
under the Palo Verde tree
the bark is green as asphodel
but the bloom is blazing yellow
and in the late afternoon
when the sun is setting
at the end of the street
that last light flows through them
there on the ground
so they bloom a second time 
but now no earthly thing

Friday, April 11, 2014

Petals Valentine

Red petals fill the birdbath
the prickly asparagus ferns
are sprinkled with them
the walk needs sweeping
still there are petals falling
carried in on shoes and heads
night and day and tiny
pomegranates falling
rejected by the tree
come down still wrapped
in their petals how many
are rejected how many
petals light the path
or are they his blood
his breath

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Biblical Valentine

People can be fooled
much faster than enlightened

you could be a holy fool
but then you’d be enlightened
or you could be a simple fool
just like everyone unenlightened
or you could be mostly a fool
with some small parts enlightened
but that sounds like childhood
or old age both unstable both
often frightened and given to babble
enlightenment implies a certain
fearless calm not from always
knowing what will happen
but from being one’s own bible

It Was Never About the Valentine It Was Always About the Heart Valentine

I gave the flies my shoes
and now they want my feet
I gave my body its lust
and now it wants me dust
(the thing about couplets
is they become quintuplets)
it was never about poetry
it was always about the poem
(those who write poetry
are condemned to read it)
it was never about the body
it was always about the lust
it was always about the movement
it was never about the dust

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Grail Valentine

The body frays first
at the neck and wrists
at the ankles and the knees
long before the spirit’s garment
of broken certitudes relieves the soul
of trying anymore to dress the truth with
further nakedness of what was meant
is meant and will be meant someday
all to strengthen the sad argument
of obliterating time and remind us
how the body is built up around
certain contradictory ideas that
the heart is not all there at first
but forms itself into a whole
out of two opposing flows
of blood into a tiny grail 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Excuses Valentine

I was just trying to get
my kit and caboodle
together take a shit
(excuse the vernacular)
and move on as the moon
directs us change yourself
you sonofabitch (which only
I can call myself thanks)
I mean I was trying
to cross the abyss
of life step over
this puddle of light
into something spectacular
the new origin of all things
the final spring

Monday, April 7, 2014

Meditative Valentine

I imagine the gods
sitting around a table
Monday morning meditation
and today’s task
is to imagine the gods
immediately above them
who radiate grace down
on them out of their own
flesh and blood (so to speak)
but quietly without
hurry or drama
the way the cells
of a flower deepen
into color or one hand
folds into another’s

Sunday, April 6, 2014

In Expectation of Spring Valentine

If you cut them back
they only bloom again
how many of us can
say that and yet
isn’t that exactly
what we all do I mean
who won’t do spring
who won’t stretch
out a tendril or two
to some passing sun
and bid it stay just
a little longer each
new day I mean
do you really believe
life can be diminished
or prolonged that it won’t
just push death aside
and bloom again

Saturday, April 5, 2014

More Last Valentine

Beside the last word
on the last page
of the last book
there’s a semicolon
with an asterisk
shining above it
but no footnote
to explain why
you were paranoid
about cockroaches
or loved harbors
or stayed with me
that night in Eleusis
all these things
that only exist
in the first words
on the first page
of the first book
of the invisible
country of Greece

Friday, April 4, 2014

Children's Valentine

The difficult thing about evil
is that it’s always so incredible
that someone would do that
that we would do that
and as with death or loss
we can’t believe it at first
we turn away from the worst
and evil knows we’ll deny it
we’ll prefer to ignore the proof
like children anywhere
all the children of Auschwitz
wanted to hear
was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
they knew the witch was real
they knew how the story ends
they knew how the ending feels

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Hidden Valentine

An old email full of hate
and vitriol against a friend
I found scrolling down
into the coal-mine of the past
too late I noticed the date
years ago I thought was today
reading the old integuments
arguments I mean to say
the last time I saw something beautiful
I could see that it was dying
I mean from the earth
don’t you too want to take
that long inward journey
past the duty house of death
into that hidden beauty