Friday, April 28, 2017

Last Moments Valentine

When I woke up this morning
Gasping for air and covered in sweat
I felt like someone swept up
Onto a deserted island beach
Shipwrecked by a sudden storm
Apparently the only survivor
So quiet listening to the waves
Lapping in disbelief and loss
Of the whole world laying there
In the wet sand trying to remember
What those last moments were
Before heaven rejected me
Threw me out the door
Said I would have to suffer more

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Just So Valentine

Every day I go out to watch
The thin caterpillars fatten
Into Wall St. bankers
Feasting on the vine’s green leaves
Where the butterfly placed
Her pin-prick eggs one at a time
Now an army of ruin and devastation
Flaying even the stems
And killing their own source
Sweeps over them all
Just so they can curl up in their shrouds
Doze off behind their gauzy curtains
While some magic happens
And they wake as butterflies again

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Prepared Valentine

If as a child I had not dreamed
Of the goddess of goodness
If I had not been crazed
By sea stories and mysteries
And not been allowed to fester
Like a boil on my adolescent ass
All summer long
If I had not been woken up
By sight of you as if
Childhood had resumed
In the heart this time
Of an aging frame
Then I would not be here

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Some Valentine

Some flowers long to be birds
Some birds long to be thoughts
Some thoughts long to be held
By words that long to be forgotten
Some trees long to be wind
Some winds long to be sun
Some longings long to be done
With fickle days
And ignorant nights
And settle into satisfied
And gratified by rights
With whatever is
But I’m not one

Monday, April 24, 2017

Traveling Valentine

Space is negotiable
Time is fixed
Whether you’re a travel agent
Or an astrophysicist
Space is eternal
Time like a net
Stretched across it
Some get through
Some get caught
Space the gentlest lover
Time the better dancer
Space is love
Time is freedom
At least in the human kingdom

The Myth of the Chaste Tree and the Passion Vine Valentine

As love happens
They stood across
From one another
 
One planted
One imported
It was as though
 
A dove entered
Its branches singing
A smudged laudate
 
Could be made of it
But the vine was already
Covered with caterpillars
 
Eating her away
And the dove flew off
Pursued by her mate
 
But in the epilogue
The tree blooms blue
Is it shame or glory

And the vine
Fills with butterflies
Orange and dusky brown

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Or Not Valentine

The demands of each day
On the postures of prayer
Always seem smaller
Than we imagined them
Or what inspired them
As in the four nations
Of the seasons we observe
Individual destinies
Of color and form
Characteristic of each mood
Within a whole colony of leaves
But each season is just one more person
Who steps forward to be evaluated
And found worthy to carry the future
Across the finish line or not

Plant’s Valentine

A plant is like a painting because
It can only look out at you
But you can see in the eyes
Of the woman in this painting
That she knows something menacing
Is looming up behind her
And her eyes are pleading
With you a total stranger
Just out to see the paintings
To see that this is you
Your sister as the painting
Of a plant and you
Yourself behind her

Friday, April 21, 2017

Green Valentine

Father Death
And Brother Sun
I see together
What you have done
Making out of evil’s
Good and True
Better and Truer
Life rescued
And revived
By chosen love
And effort’s need
To find in all
You’re doing the one
Necessary deed

Here’s Valentine

Only here in this world
In a body in this world
Are we free to know
Our own thoughts
But only if we’re willing
To struggle through
To whatever they are
The things we chose
To think about here on earth
Because over there after death
Our thoughts will be handed to us
Out of the purest necessity
Our own will be taken away
The simplest logic will reign
Only here do we have the choice
When offered freedom to refrain

Thursday, April 20, 2017

U R Poetry Valentine

If poetry is making
Nothing happen that’s
Exactly where I want to be
If it just lies there on the page
Like a nude painting having
A now-forbidden cigarette
Waiting for the artist-hero to arrive
That’s just one version
The world has of me
But if poetry is a longing
To become the world
In some singular way
Using words like
Children jump on beds
Reckless and joyful
Then yes I would say

Ruling Valentine

If thinking is the youngest part of us
The baby of the family
Those years of initiation into barbarism
And self-sufficiency remember
While our feelings ran years ahead
Of their time and yet going back
Centuries were like a tall
Proud older sister who’s been
Watching us ‘f’ up for years
Trying to con or bully her
Though she keeps her hopes up for us
But up where when it’s all
Downhill from here
To the feet of the will
Who rules and rules
The will that must will to will

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Anatomy of a Pineapple Valentine

Did you begin as a poor cactus
And learn to be this succulent
Under a threatening demeanor
Perfect such confident sweetness
In which your seeds are embedded now
Like many-breasted Artemis
I remember from textbooks
As the Greeks sculpted her
She looked like she was wearing
Necklaces of pineapples
Rows and rows of them
With which she clearly meant
To save the world
If it would let her

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter Tuesday Valentine

If you hold every material thing
However beautiful however tragic
As the outcome of some considerable
Artistic labor on the part
Of skilled geometricians
Who are also surgical gardeners
Having invented water for healing
The gods go back that far
Finally you get to the will’s
Pure electric pulsing
Thoughtful as a cold spring
Or a cabbage in a field
You get to the bottom of your fate
And not a moment too late

Holy Saturday Valentine

The sun is aiming high
For where I’m sitting
It touches my forehead first
Seeping down over the right
Top corner of my face so
I can feel the tenderness
Under its awesome power
Coming up behind me
To create and to destroy
Which apparently now
It shares with us
Our sun of thinking
In the darkness of the brain
Struggling to retain
Some forgotten hillside
In some lost terrain

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Pond Valentine (for Kim)

Maybe the only setback
Is thinking there are setbacks
After all everything’s moving forward
Into another world even if
We have to circle back sometimes
Not wanting to leave
Anything important behind
And often having to relinquish unfound
The safety we were searching for
But the pattern moves us on
And we hurry to catch up
I think of ducklings I think
We are all ugly ducklings to the gods
I think they invented ponds
If we follow along

Holy Thursday Valentine

Probably undocumented workers
Laying concrete driveways where
The temporary and the permanent
Coalesce as they smooth the cement
To a woman’s softness left glittering
In the sun of another hot day
Though it’s all on the other side of a wall
And I can only hear it blindly
But I’ve watched it all before
The mixer truck sighs like a whale
After it’s all poured out
The workers laugh and whistle
As it almost topples over on them
The whoosh of the sea-like cement
As it rains down the trough
A prayer and a cry
Eternity passing by

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Meeting’s Valentine

My meeting with the reversal
Of all I was meaning
To do and become
Arrived when I looked
Into the full moon mirror
And could see what lay behind me
And what lies ahead
But whose corpse is the moon
Buried then exhumed
Over and over
Stalking the earth
One-eyed death
Always peering down
Vigilant over the hurrying herd

Monday, April 10, 2017

Overcoming Valentine

Night leaves its naked exclamation
Point leaning against the sky
Light floods the dream
Washing away towns and forests
To build underwater civilizations
So the rest can go on
But one time I remembered there
Something that could only have come
From this side of the mountain
Where we are even more asleep
Caught in the senses’ thrall
More fairy-tale than fact
Something that overcame the dream
For a few moments of clarity
So I could see the world
It came from gushing life
After which nothing
Was ever the same

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Passover Valentine

When the body went into the bread
Like a grave or a seed
Alone in the darkness without ceremony
First it found its way to the bodies
Of babies and children in mass graves
All over the world
Where it became that green wave
Coming to meet them
Weeds growing freely in schoolyards
And vast empty places
Only then could it go on
To enter the rest
Of the earth around it
To root itself and sprout

Palm Valentine

Stored or pending and then
Total final rejection
Is what this week’s about
Which often seems to be
Preceded by some jubilation
Though the signs say retrograde
And imbalance somehow
Always catching up
Always falling behind
Make up your mind
The feast is on the table
But then the table turns
Death eats its fill
What’s awful is his silence
Suffering the joy
Of his beautiful will