Sunday, August 20, 2017

Summer's Valentine

Summer used to be so recognizable
Sauntering down the twilit street
After her long work-day cleaning
Gutters and putting green
Smiles on Everything
So Everything would work out right
And she could just lie in the sun
Growing further and further
Upward and outward
Until the Perseid showers fall
And a few cold nights
Would bring her back
To our senses the scent
Of her descent
In the crisp light
A young girl asking you
If you want your receipt

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Eclipse Valentine

When the dark side of the moon
Faces the sun full on
And gives back all
The nights it suffered
On his behalf burning
In the coronal fire
Something about it
Touches everyone on earth
A grand canyon of the gods
Opens up some
Leap across some just stare
At the invisible damped down
With safety glasses and cold beer

Friday, August 18, 2017

Once Been Valentine

I see over time my little yard
Has taken on a slightly
Metaphysical patina
All the allegories I mean aloes
Bloomed and were gone
In just three days
And conscience I mean
The variegated Bishop’s Weed
Hints I might have killed
The orange tree which
Is dying from the center
Plants are moral creatures
After all like the mountains
Where they surprised us one spring
Hillsides full of blazing wildflowers
What we had once been
And would be again

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Lost Valentine

When the poem leaves me
Bites my ankle and walks away
I feel the aloneness it promised
Without the comfort of its love
I drift off like an oarless boat
Or one of those logs the waves
Finally throw up on the shore
From last week’s storm
I mean it no harm
Every morning I bring it
All the scraps I can carry
From the lost night-world
Though by the time I get here
There’s hardly a mouthful left
And that runny and unclear

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Thief’s Valentine

At first I had to
Steal from heaven
What could I do
I was starving
For a piece of bread
Would the master
Of the house not show
The mercy I would have
For him but when
I was caught
They let me in
Let me wash
The pots and pans
Let me fan
My embarrassed angel

Waiting Valentine (for Pam)

Of that divine heredity
The faces of the world
I can’t get over them
Except for one who always
Hidden in the crowd
Looks straight back at me
Then disappears my only
Sense it’s someone
From the future waiting
On the corner of Roncesvalles
And King Street from where
You could almost see the lake
Which is the first thing
I remember falling in love with

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Assumption Valentine

So pure she ascends
Bypassing purgatory altogether
Having made something of her flesh
She runs straight into the sun
Essentially all light
After a whole day
Of listening to the prodigy
Her child was becoming
Which every mother
Hopes for in however
Confused a way
Look she’d say
Doesn’t he have
His father's face

Monday, August 14, 2017

Safe Valentine

Think of the moon
As the rear-view mirror
On a speeding world
Where we can see a light
Increasing or decreasing
In the darkness behind us
Which assures us
We’re clearly being followed
And not just by the past
Glimmering like the empty road
Lit by one bulb between us
But then the light disappears
And for a while the darkness
Makes us feel we’re safe
As we drive on alone

New Moon Eclipse Valentine

In retrograde
Mercury stumbles
Over sleeping Mars
Gets smacked in the back
Of the head which makes
Venus laugh you know
The one that says you’re mine
Just wait till Saturn gets home
Our planets are always arguing
About us they think we don’t hear
When all along we’re doing
Whatever we want
Impossible thinking won’t
Betray us we feel
If we take it far enough

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Forgive Me Valentine

These days whenever I see
Another human being
I immediately want to be
Him or her if only for
A fleeting second
Or what feels like hours
Our eyes lock and unlock
As if opening a safe
Or the cage of a full-grown lion
Or once the tabernacle
Of a child where she kept
The life she would not live
Sometimes I plunge right in
And unnerve you
Life that is also mine

Soul Science Valentine

There’s the faith of the religious
And the religion of the scientist
But how be both
Skeptical and appreciative
Of our own research and memory
Stuck in the time when
Religion is science’s crazy
Girlfriend and science is
Religion’s abusive boyfriend
Which can only end
In self-forgiveness
Or despair or both
Better to despair
And be rescued
By a friend
Than love alone

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Legendary Valentine

Remember the time
Our dear earth was
Nothing but water
One giant drop
A tear or rain from
Another spring
We set about exploring
And so working to amend
Yesterday’s lost voyages
We forgot our own star’s
Future as a stone
Sunk in a cup of light
Passed from one hand
To another

Friday, August 11, 2017

Nostalgic Valentine

The first thing about writing
You notice is you chip off
A piece of darkness you detach
A shadow-form from
Its object where the light
Can’t get through
As if electrified and held there
But when the words left their home
In music and lived abroad
With gamblers and harlots
So the metaphor flows
Don’t think they weren’t
Often nostalgic and self-pitying
Long before they found
The good sense to return

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Apocalyptic Valentine

A day on which you see
Two hummingbirds
Sharing the same flower
A tree sleeping on your house
A strange stain on the patio
That looks like something
Mated with the urn
The garbage truck (it’s a Thursday
After all) smiting the alley
A sense of futility welling up
In an empty stomach
A day on which you see
All the people who brought you here
And who remain with you
Pleasantly and unpleasantly
Waiting to be recalled
The day you’ve been waiting
To thank and be forgiven by them all 

Middle’s Valentine

What freedom is to adults
What equality is to youth
Economics is to children
In our time we have reversed
The paradigm of Chartres
And Compostela the delusion
Of a prosperity separate
From everyone else
Like this morning opening brightly
Then quickly covered with heavy clouds
Because what the sun brings
Isn’t enough a stab
Of fear went through me
But I squelched it
The truth seldom lies
At the middle of things

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Floor’s Valentine

On the hottest days in the desert
The heat goes on like Moses
Not stopping for the night
But going up into the mountains
So there’s no escape but forward
Into a tremendous dreaminess
Washed by circulating fans
And palm trees in the darkness
Looking more and more
Like high fountains spilling
A starry elixir
That dries to a vapor
Before it can ever
Reach us here
On the desert floor

Valentine to a New (Yellow) Flower

In a way you could say them
Form and sound them out
The childhood of each word
The thing it pointed to
And the idea of yes
And no so simple to know
Something but can’t say it
Even if you have a mouthful
Your learning leaps
And bounds you
Into standing and hard trouble
Decisions over the adequacy
Of your balance
Becoming thematic
The pure music of words
Producing their effect
The music in which you sleep
Adapted to the depths
And heights of hiddenness

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Bright Valentine

Light of lights
Help me now
Graffiti on a cloud
Of freight cars
Shuffling by in moonlight
I never have my camera
At the right moment
At four in the morning
Memory and dream
Merge gradually into feeling
The train is lonely because
I couldn’t catch it
On the empty street
The moon and I get re-married

Monday, August 7, 2017

Tribute Valentine

Of course our relationship
With our angels is co-dependent
But mostly in a good way
Though once she had to let go
Of the bicycle before I said so
Though that was a long time ago
Still one of her greatest lessons
I had to teach myself everything
And she could only watch
And cheer and to think
Every day she would put down
A clean white tablecloth
As she still does
And say here beloved
Come and eat

Years and Beings Valentine

If all the religions proclaim
God’s brand name
Either none or all are equal
In that they all try to remember
A living spiritual world
That no longer seems to exist
Having forgotten so much
And what seemed obvious
To Buddha and the Greeks
They never spoke of explicitly
Were condemned when they did
But how believe in God today
Without having to experience
All the intervening years and beings
From us to him just to get to
The little cell of one self

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Taken Valentine

One lives one’s life in fear
Of being too poetic
Or not being poetic enough
Think of outer appearance
As a kind of pose
The world as model takes
Up there on the platform
Of being noticed in passing
The best artist leaves
His canvas blank
As truly expressive
Of the shock he took
At beauty’s hands

The Poem of Your Life Valentine

What life wanted for you
You did not want for life
So much repulsed you
And drove you into yourself
So it was hard to feel alive
Which is most of what life
Has to offer that exuberance
So when love turned
And actually spoke to you
As an equal and a friend
You knew your life
Had emptied into something
That would never end
However it goes on

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Working Valentine

To sit for another morning
With your cat and your coffee
Your last imaginary cigarette
And notice the world is awful
Riddled with miracles
Looking like yesterday
But it’s not it’s brought
A whole new set of miracles
And disasters even more
Skillfully interwoven to reveal
If anyone’s looking today
Another world at work
Just behind the shine
Trying to break through

Friday, August 4, 2017

Pluto Square Valentine

Seeing’s purpose
And pleasure
Is to get beyond
The personal but
In a personal way
The coincidence of
Poetry and philosophy
Dying on the same day
(fake news) (urban shade)
These are the arts of dying
And must periodically succumb
To their own magic spell
Die and start again with I
To keep it real 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Useful Valentine

At least get
Something useful
Done I keep
Telling myself
Keep trying
To imagine what
That really
Might be
In a larger
Morning a more
Commodious afternoon
So that when night
Crosses the yard
And enters the house
Ready to work its shift
Of dreams and nightmares
You at least can say
I fought I tried 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Reality Check Valentine

The cat is chasing a lizard
Run for the wall I yell
She’s already removed his tail
But I’m not that wizard
Who can save his life
As soon as he’s in pieces
She’s in peace the reward
Was in the victory perhaps
Not the spectacle of death
Now a doze under the hibiscus tree
Still cool from last night’s rain
For me only the words
Are real when I look up
It’s all Pissarro and Monet

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Music for August Valentine

As soon as we could
We ran out into the world
With no idea how the gods
Would come into our bodies
The way music enters
Instruments so the sense
Of being played depends
Entirely on the note struck
A wholly spiritual experience
At first which settles
Into major and minor tears
But in the beginning
There was only singing
One note held at a time
For billions and billions of years