Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Dark Bird’s Valentine

I watched a small
Dark bird this morning
Nibbling on the bud
Of the new red hibiscus
And when I went later on
To take a look I found
A world of pale white
Opalescent creatures
Had penetrated
The curved-together
Still-unopened petals
Now I was caught for sure
Between the thriving creatures
The small bird feasted on
And the lost beauty of the flower
I still might save
And still might open

Sale Valentine

Early Valentine’s Day Alert
         Hearts For Sale

I love you completely
And co-dependently
But in a good way because
All love is spiritual
Or it couldn’t survive
All flesh puts it through
The deeper it goes
The wiser it grows
Come in and browse
The sale’s not past
We sell our souls
That love may last

Borrowed Valentine

Each moment is the Lord’s
I’ve only borrowed it
It’s 10:05 now and I have
Written it down here
He’ll want a receipt
When the sun passes
Out of sight of land
The Lord is always
Only the Lord

Fuller Valentine

We could not have thought of the gods
Back then or made them up as if
To reverse the obvious sequence
Can’t you see that
Though often we confuse them
With the so-called dead anymore
And struggle to re-imagine them
From scratch full of doubt
And a hidden hatred for them
Even as we search for signs
Of their continuing existence
They too have grown fuller
Meanwhile with more zest for life
Matured by sacrifice and valor

Monday, January 30, 2017

Huge Valentine

Can brotherhood be privatized
Did the monarchy settle for equality
Here in the west we either want
To turn everything into money
Or into an argument or a lottery
We think too much
Mostly about ourselves
Which is a good carried too far
But I thought that was the reason
Searching for the cure
They came to the foreigners' country
The squabbling smelly starving
Stolen children of Africa and Europe
And to the innate joy they took
In shared hard work done right
often under terrible conditions
Or none of this could have happened
All of us here in the most various
Landscape on earth in our time

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Flesh's Valentine

Flesh is trying
Some idea on
If you can wrap
Your bones around it
But if you force it
It will rip
Matter being
Merely spirit
That has shattered
Lightward a leaf
Lifts the tree
As if the sky was all
That mattered
Often I felt the wind
Was flattered

Marching Valentine

We march because
The trees wouldn’t
And the flowers couldn’t
Though they flew
From where they stood
Weren’t we at one time
The cedars of the earth
All our memories are of gods
Who coupled with our birth-
Mothers now pushing comic books
That strangely tell the truth
If you’ve learned to read it
We march with you in time
O children of the forest
Out of the trees we climb

Toiling Valentine

Think of the sun sometimes
Caught in the cage
Of my tiny yard
Pacing and searching hard
For some opening
In the walls it finally
Realizes it can leap
Are these planets here or plants
In the theatre of coincidence
Icarus blaming the sun
For his poor aerobatics
Sometimes I want it to be
My only friend the way
Its warm face merely reflects
The toiling constellations
In my tiny yard to me

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Shared Valentine

We shared a love
Of the natural world
But differed on the divine
He had his cultivated brew
I had my holy wine
We only met for a single time
Too young or too old
To speak as if
Renewing an old pact
Of honor or of love
Drawn to opposite
Perfections one below
And one above

Magic Valentine

I put my pad down in the sun
And like a body crosswise in a bier
On top I place my pen
My favorite dark blue one
I write you with white pages
Overlaid with hieroglyphic birds
Leaving or returning depending
On where you stand in the light
I love you sunshine you are
A dear person equally all night
We can feel you through the earth
Grandmother sunshine
God-mother summer or fall
Lie down on my small pages
And sleep my pen your all

A Boy’s Valentine

A couple dozen oranges still
Hang high in the lifeless tree
All the birds have gone into the sky
A stiff wind blew them away
Even the cat has deserted me
A boy on Lake Ontario’s shores I
Used to sit on cold windy days
Like these thinking up lines
And writing them down fast
Before my fingers froze
Years later little’s changed here I sit
In a cold wind scratching away
A scribe all my life I know
Still trying to say the way
The branch scrapes the window
The sun sweeps into the bay

Friday, January 27, 2017

Moving Valentine

Isn’t the plant the real photograph
Continually developing out of itself
A living series of still lifes
Into a film worth watching
Closely as it moves toward you
And critically as it turns away
From you all the while
Lifting you out of your life
Altogether into something other
So only slowly after
Can you remember yourself
As if you had been dreaming
The dream of the plant
As a picture a series of pictures
moving in the mind of a master

Silence Valentine

Maybe the gods are silent
Because they’re still working on
The ears to hear them with
Does it ever occur to you
That we might be like pre-literates
Staring half-afraid at the books
We once knew how to write
The world tries so hard to hide
What’s really going on
To keep us from either looking down
Into the depths of the darkness
Or up into the heights
From which we came
Like the man stripped and beaten
And thrown by the wayside
We keep enacting
And the one who comes to his aid

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Sky’s Valentine

The first bloom froze
That same night
Deceived by the light
In the warm day room
Its lips went black
Clutching the cold
Fingers of doom
Its heart flopped back
In its throat
Its pentagon smiled
Offering its coat
To the circular sky
It was just to hold you
That I hurried here
And hurried by

Scam-time Valentine

Someone calls me to a rally
Someone usually shillyshally
That the time has finally come
To beat the warning drum
The antithesis has arrived
After almost beating it again
The cancer has survived
And come back even stronger
Setting us back on our heels
To feel how terror feels
The future takes it in the balls
Or should I say the pussy
Which even to repeat
Brings one face to face
With the arrogance of evil
Now openly in the street

Past Emptiness Valentine

Emptiness isn’t enough
Nor the ten thousand things
Even illusion has some founding
In the false that rings true
But still something thinks through
It all to the searing end
And then sets out again
Over and over the cleared ground
But with renewed impatience
And another name
We must get through to it
Past our dead and dying thoughts
Merely meant to point the way
Into the present day

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Druid Valentine

In my druid past
In my new beginning
I bought a quiet house
And planned on thinning
The thoughts of years
In my idle innings
And yes I could lose a few
Days or weeks in the flow
Of tears and laughter
But there was something we were after
That was not ourselves
Nor just surviving the disaster
But something that survives itself
And lives on in everything
In my druid past
In my new beginning

Complaining Valentine

How many times have I
Sent you away dear god
Of my loneliness
Only to beg you back
Finally there are infrequent
Short bursts of weakness
And anger on your part
That still cause me distress
But it can’t be that complicated
Can it for you to be me
For you to come and stay
To make a home right here
And if you could try to be
A little more affectionate
That would make my day

The Fine Art of Evil Valentine

The fine art of evil
Is the crooked deal
As unread fairytales reveal
The art of distraction
Juggling what’s real
To a state of confusion
While it makes the steal
Kissing all the faces
And stabbing all the backs
Even the devil delivers
On his promises
But the cheat never lacks
An escape from the premises
Into the hands of the hacks

News Valentine

Sometimes I watch the late
Television news from the corner
Of the dark backyard
Through the large glass doors
Where I can see the faces clearly
And not hear a thing
But I can compare them to the stars
And wandering planets writing the law
Of change and I can make a choice
Between body language with
Its long deviation into voice
And the one word spoken
By the shining orbs of light
Silent in the noisy night

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Two Blades Valentine

Two blades of grass
With swords crossed stood
In the sunny meadow
Prepared to battle
For yonder wood
Long lain idle
One would live
To cross the thick
Morass of cattle
And creeping creek
To stand among the trillium
And prattle
One would hum
In the glistening snow
And rattle

One More Valentine

All those clouds
That died last year
All those birds
That never returned
The weight of a heart
Have lifted have met
On north mountain
And black mesa
The gods have come down again
Over the new sparrows and crows
Whispering alright alright
We’ll try again
Just one more year
Just one more rain

Child’s Valentine

So I argued with the angel
Who came to torture my temperament
Built up from old grievances
No longer doing us a favor
Our family has gotten so large
We’ve forgotten we’re related
That we played together as children
And fell in love with the smell
Of one another and the taste
A template of what could have followed
And the facsimile of what did
So I say to that angel pull
Me down as far as you will
As long as I can bring my child

Monday, January 23, 2017

Wish’s Valentine

Lose the drama
If you want to win
The war on error
The infatuation
With the movie
Of yourself
Catch it later
One rainy night
Above the ocean
Bring all the weight-
Lessness of years to bear
Slowly coming clear
When love came near

Earth’s Will Valentine

If you can gather from the will
Of the earth and what it
Could become a whiff
Of strength then take it
We are already so in debt
To the future what’s one
More world posing as earth
We’ll get there wavering
And calm as a statue
But a more deeply living thing
Dehisces from its stony mind
The thought of life
Life thinking itself
All the way to love

Ripe Valentine

When I looked up and around
It looked like a hummingbird
Was sitting there and singing
I couldn’t tell for sure I mean
I couldn’t really believe it
But couldn’t see any other
Thing in that bare tree
And I was under no delusions
When its spell of notes descended
On me like a ripe fruit
Of musing otherwise lost
To all posterity but me

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Blur’s Valentine

This cat and I must have
Some karma together not
Just from the past but
For the future she says
Though she’s just kidding
That she’d prefer to skip
The becoming human part
In the next evolution
And go right to something angelic
Where she could shed her claws
And not worry so much about
What every sound portends
I nod and purr
Our fate creeps toward us in a blur

Night’s Valentine

Is it not our human task
To get past
The beauty of the world
And of one another
The awfulness at times
Of our afflictions can
All this beauty be for this
To stand and take off its clothes
And yet we must get past it
Garment after garment
Of the lords of light
Must fall away
As we walk into
The final night

Windy Valentine

After a long run of rain
A cold sunny wind comes
To gobble it up again
But not without first
Polishing it to the sheen
Of a cherubim or throne
Some creature that is all
The emptiness of light
Filled with the joy of growing
Lifting from each ocean
A few drops and pouring
Them on the countries
Of the world then moving
Off as wind a sunny wind
That shows us to ourselves

Erin’s Valentine

Hey knock it off
My neighbor shouts
At his three-headed dog
Barking at every passer-by
Happy to escape a reckoning
And then a bee comes by
What are you doing here
In the middle of winter
Searching for the one flower
That survives like Gilgamesh
Did the immortal flower
Of his friend lost to death
Which turns out to be
Just another winter
Fields of melting snow
Through which spring always
Runs to our rescue

Friday, January 20, 2017

Even If Valentine

If weapons make us valuable
Some think our treasure lies in killing
And yet we must still love the spring
Even if it can’t fulfill
Its promises even if only a few
Of its ripe thoughts last until fall
We see what it intended after all
What it had in store for us
And really meant to do
Though only a little remains
Of the things it started with
When lonely it set out
From its virgin birth

Inaugural Valentine

If you think of reality as a teacher
Most days you’d rather not go to school
If it’s all about the diagnosis and fate
You’d rather go straight to the beach
If the body’s our whole heritage
Who's doing the actual thinking
That exposes this assumption
Of flesh and bones who
Was walking on an earth
Condensed from a sea of foliage
From a kind of nutrition
Of feelings into a quiet
Noose of love
Clearly seeking its freedom

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Still Pregnant Valentine

Painfully pregnant with rain
Delivered sunny side up
But caught in the cord
And struggling for air
How much do you want it
Earth haven’t you had enough
Of sun and rain and man
For one epoch from the beginning
Caught in an icy glare
A world built on dying
And doing whatever you can
To survive worry and war
Whose whole mission and dare
Is to see if love will fail
If kindness will be of no avail

Tendril’s Valentine

Now the vine anchors the trellis
As much as the trellis anchors the vine
They could have stood alone in time
But now they’re mortally entwined
If you will hold me I will bring
You flowers many leaves
And many flowers
If you climb my silver towers
I will teach you how to sing
My flower is no little thing
How tightly can you cling
To life and rise on tendril’s touch
Not even evening holds as much

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Angels Left Behind Valentine

Under the ancient holy
But simple rule
Of St. Hibiscus
Flowers like temples
Sprang up across
Asia Minor though
Some missionaries
Went the other way
To what we call Hawai’i
Among the first Atlanteans
To leave who only took with them
Their mother’s flower seeds
And their father’s beauty
As tokens of having seen
The angels left behind

Here Wherever That Is Valentine

Here in the abbey of one
In the abbey of the hibiscus
Which is not native to the Bahamas
But like everyone an immigrant
Where my sister is flying today
As we speak to lie in the sun
And go to the casino I’ll bet
While back at the abbey of one
We do laundry and clean toilets
We toil in the factory of one
Whatever else may be going on
In the abbey of the hibiscus
In the abbey of one

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Ride’s Valentine

Night with its open bloodstream
Of cars its venous blood-clots
And running wounds of cars
Upended and cast to the side
And we are the drive-by shooters
Of glances and curses and prayers
Just like the little memorials
Along the roads flimsy-looking
But with the Madonna standing
Guard over her plastic flowers
Praying for our safety
And hoping for a ride

Tree’s Valentine

One small tree produces
Just enough leaves to mulch
My six hibiscus plants
Leaves that are the tree’s theft
Restored to the earth while the air
And the bees get the blossoms
The water rising as sap
Or falling as rain
The warmth of light
The cold of darkness
Settling into every gap
Isn’t this called happiness
Isn’t this what you would have
For your own heart
And the tree didn’t even mention
Wind and birds and stars

Our Own Valentine

More and more I demand
The support of the dead
I mean I plead with them
To give me their guidance
Now I know they are there
And I’m no more afraid to speak
With them than when they
Were living in a body except
Now we speak more frankly
More comprehensively seeing
Everything differently
Because of it and yet
Just like here using
Our own eyes and ears

Easy Valentine

Now this is it
Chores done
Coffee steaming
In cold morning sun
Sleek as minnows
Bright contrails come
And go or spread
And compete with
Real clouds though both
Glow as if to show
The world the way
Easy as day and slow
As only a droplet
Can know

Monday, January 16, 2017

In Search of Valentine

Reincarnation is too embarrassing
And karma generally unpleasant
Requiring people change sides
In successive wars against their brothers
And sisters from another life
How carefully the wounds are dressed
Mended and made ready for the next
Trial by water trial by fire
And all in wandering search of
Our one true friend who fell
Into enemy hands but escaped
And is somewhere in hiding
Still living somewhere in this world