Saturday, April 21, 2018

Returned Valentine

We’re still young kids to history
When there have already been
So many boys and girls on the earth
 
You’d think by now
We’d have learned to grow up
More successfully into one another
 
That we’d see we’re not the same
But hold everything in trust
So nothing is unimportant
 
But incomplete in different ways
And sick with the same longing
And pride in need of healing
 
You’d think the sun would have returned
To the earth by now
So the earth could begin to glow

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Looking Valentine

It is what it is
It is what it isn’t
You decide
 
Praying is kneeling at the door
In gratitude for what
One has already received
 
But meditation is knocking
And entering
Learning to be at home
 
As much as with the dead
As with the living
Seeing what angels see
 
When they look at us
With their endless compassion
And patient impatience

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Pentecostal Valentine

The long melodrama of materialism
Struggling not to be re-dreamed
By another morning
 
By the holy spirit of morning
So solemn and discrete
Setting every twig on fire
 
What language are you speaking
Proprietary and patronizing
Dim music of the spheres
 
As if morning didn’t own us
As if the sun wasn’t our first step
Into these bodies of flesh and blood
 
Fresh with new ideas old despairs
Out of those other worlds
Of dreaming light

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Green and Brown Valentine

Half of this leaf is green
Half is dry and brown
Coming and going
 
Coming to the earth
And going from the earth
The two kinds of debt
 
What one loans from the other
Paid back with double interest
For death and the freedom to grow
 
On the green half I write my name
On the brown half I scratch it out
I pay as much as I can
 
Rich as the earth is
Poor as the earth is
Coming and going

Monday, April 16, 2018

Perfect Valentine

Perfect perfect
I hear my neighbor cry
To his wife
 
In the early morning
Off to work their wheels
Kiss softly down the alley
 
I feel like five
Watching through the fence
The school kid’s recess
 
I did and didn’t
Want to join them
Something always held me back
 
The perfect hush
Humming in the school yard
When they had all gone in

When For You Valentine

I feel the rage
I feel the joy
I keep moving
 
Writhing in pain
Or shaking with laughter
I keep moving
 
Sometimes it looks like swimming
Sometimes it looks like drowning
I keep moving up and down
 
But when for you I stopped moving
I became something permanent
In your seeing me
 
I took on solidity and form
A dancing body wrapped around
An immovable heart

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Perfect Valentine

Perfect perfect
I hear my neighbor cry
To his wife
 
In the early morning
Off to work their wheels
Kiss softly down the alley
 
I feel at five
Watching through the fence
The school kids' recess
 
I did and didn’t
Want to join them
Something always held me back

This perfect hush
Humming in the school yard
When they had all gone in

Friday, April 13, 2018

Warned Valentine

The little Verdin
Humiliates the cat
However we get trapped
 
In some fiction
We keep wrangling
Out of it
 
The tortured truth
Always seems to master
Its evasions strategically
 
Placing its king and pawn
Back in alignment
With the little Verdin
 
While the cat watches and waits
For it all to come together
In its warning song

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Licked Valentine

Two butterflies fell
To the ground together
I couldn’t tell
 
If fighting or mating
Or if one was licking
The other clean
 
The way horses do
Getting it to stand and breath
Still wet from its emergence
 
Letting it absorb
The whole idea of flight
And that the wind is up today
 
That it must loiter here in the dirt
Until its wings
Say when

Wounded Valentine

If you fold over the map
Of how far we’ve come
You have the future half
 
I think therefore
God exists
But now I must construct him
 
Out of little strands of dirt
And many beatings
Received calmly
 
He is a true garden
Of wounds
That bleed bluish flowers
 
Human flowers
That must go on
To breed a God

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Destiny Valentine

The sweet destiny of planet earth
Is right before our eyes
Only here does resurrection
 
Finally get to happen
But who would believe
Such a simple premise
 
The constant rushing to a grave
To find nothing in it
But overwhelming loss
 
Faithless spring’s young gardener
As if we peered
Into another world
 
But we can’t believe our eyes
When a child is born
We must put our hands in its side

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Found (On the Street) Valentine

Thanks for the update. 
I thought she was yours. 
Why not get one to train?
It would be fun.
I have a stray cat
who's adopted me,
but stays outdoors,
which is good. 
She'll sit on my lap
and let me pet her
but that's all. 
Let me know what
you hear from Paul. 
Stay well. 

Days Valentine

In the night Somehow
I skipped a day
But woke not knowing it
 
It often feels like I slept through
The day before this one
And the one before that
 
As if the days forgot their names
And became self-supporting entities
Drifting off to better jobs
 
What use I was to others
Say the days
I have yet to discover
 
How can we not
Go forth
To flower

Monday, April 9, 2018

Pages Valentine

Later down in the letter
I wanted to write you
Would feel so much better
 
Some remembered peace
Would come back to you
As if from a new world
 
Or some exciting uncertainty
Would make you drop
The letter to the floor
 
The pause for tears
And wry recriminations
Following the truth around
 
Until you pick the pages up
So many pages now
They overflow the house

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Spiritual Valentine

The mystery of the appearance
Of substance on the earth
When all the other planets are spiritual
 
Beings that seem to dance
Around in some familial way
Hovering or distancing
 
Something you could rub
Between your fingers
A god’s earwax tossed
 
Assuming sentience and pith
The molecule grew
Into a miniscule
 
Until everything in the world
Proves some sacrifice was made
By them back then to make us

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Two Valentines

Through two glass walls
I can just see the statue’s face
The palm leaves are stabbing
 
Resting on its Ionic pedestal
Between two potted desert roses
Thinking its no-thought
 
Its eyes unfocused
A twelve year old boy or girl
I’m never sure
 
But there are scalloped wings
Coming out of the sides of its head
So it doesn’t matter anymore
 
By what lover or horror
It was transfixed
Or in what hour

New Valentine

That the world seems not right or fair
This perfect morning contravenes
With a wedding and a feast
 
People line up to see
The high meadows filled with wildflowers
And thrust their hands in the wounds
 
Where creeks are running again
And the lacy waterfalls astonish
With their fierce joys
 
To have seen what your new body
Looks like briefly seems enough
Fragrance to go on
 
That the earth turns right and fair
Even if the world
Seems not to care

Friday, April 6, 2018

Parental Valentine

Come morning light
I assign my selves their serious tasks
Only so many pirouettes
 
Only so many spiraling missteps
And still there’s sweeping
Up to do
 
I’m a strict mother –
To my curious
Not bad children
 
But bad like courage
Still nascent in them
Agents of truth
 
So I must be a good mother
All the goodness for nothing
My children owe me

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Unavailable Valentine

Most of the time since you didn’t ask
I feel incompetent/out of control
Or in some truce with myself
 
I sit down on the couch
At the grave wonderment
How I must feel of myself
 
Something know something
And do this forever
The unraveling I feel of myself
 
Then Unavailable phoned
Leaving of course a message
To call back immediately
 
I certainly didn’t get up
Off that couch
To reply good-bye

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Rolling Valentine

The rolling bumblebee returns
Through the brain of the air
Looking to dig a hole
 
In some dead branch
Or artery that dared
And faltered but lives on
 
Impervious to winter
She leaves a little pile of sawdust
Fallen from a great height
 
On the ground below
Through light so still
It makes you sleepy
 
How can she take
So little to make
A new beginning

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Too Early Valentine

Wash the windows
It’s already summer
The flowers drop off in the heat
 
But wait for me
The pomegranate tree
Insists on tagging along
 
My homesick cat
Must be dreaming of Matisse
To be so nice at my feet
 
The whole yard
Gets ready to go shopping
Or for a long walk
 
Abandoning spring
Even the cool mornings
The still-innocent nights

Monday, April 2, 2018

A Day After Easter Valentine

My best and only friend
I have had several this time
I was blessed
 
For a frightened boy
I have tried to stay adventurous
On shore and in the air
 
And now the curious effect
Of the body fading while
The soul is just coming to life
 
But this might be the final capsize
Too far out to be rescued
Weeks clinging to the bottom of the boat
 
If you’re reading this note
The stars have already
Taken me back

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Blooming Valentine

Everything blooms
Even hatred sooner or later
Has its flower
 
The ovaries split open
In a flush
Of wild children
 
Something happens
That wouldn’t
In the wrong time
 
In the land of nod and strike
The slap returning to your face
Out of a blue midnight
 
Why worry about it
It all seems to speak
Of symmetry and grace

Long Valentine

Hepatica Crocus Ajuga
These were once heroes’ names
In the world before this one
 
Remnants of the planet Spring
Before the invaders from Winter came
With their long moons and guns
 
Survivors of an elite guard
Of fierce and handsome fighters
Gold and silver in their shirts
 
Emissaries of the Emperor Sun
Who worshipped no one but himself
And the son and daughter at his side
 
How long that planet ruled
Before its fullness died
In a few flowers

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Preparatory Valentine

Not for long
Could I keep pen and paper
In different corners of the room
 
They were bound to wrestle
And I their helpless referee
Sprawled on the kitchen floor
 
Trying to float
Some rap lullaby
To distract them
 
But it was always a pitched battle
The paper ripped and fetal
The pen scratched out
 
A lull would follow
Slowly the paper unravel
The pen prepare to tell all

Monday, March 26, 2018

Raving Valentine

Even the green bird
In the greening tree
Could have saved me
 
But this was prior to the time
I knew that I was losing
My mind full of the birds
 
Of undocumented worlds
Difficult forests
Of unintelligible words
 
Just beginning to green
Just starting to dream
Of the green bird
 
But this was prior to the time
I knew I needed saving
That I was raving

Faithful Valentine

Certainly it’s always
Feeling a little lonely
To restart and restore
 
But who would have thought
Of excruciating pain
Or crucifixion as a way
 
To re-program the earth
To bring back the old song
There is no death
 
Even despite all this suffering
The flesh is still a glorious thing
To be on the earth
 
How much it can bear
The body
The metaphor body

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Spring Valentine

When I saw
The will to swirl
In the branches
 
I stopped pruning
It was the same in me
I let go wild
 
Or wilder than
It needed to
To bloom
 
The flowers come first
Like a lost courage
Fully recovered
 
Leaves are only afterthoughts
A kind of nostalgia
For spring

Friday, March 23, 2018

Even Valentine

It so happens
It happens so
So it happens
 
I don’t know where you’re going
Angel mine
But I know you can get me there
 
Even when I’m lying in the sun
Out behind the agave
Waiting for the vultures to arrive
 
Wondering if they
Can hear the sirens and the clouds
Slip by providing random cover
 
Even when I try to talk you
Into some new escapade
I know your mind is made

Equinoctial Valentine

What my dreams teach me
That my consciousness
Is a moveable feast
 
And shifts every season
According to some inner calendar
Pursuing its own rhythm and signs
 
That it turns like a little sun
Casting its furtive light
On hidden scenes
 
Of another life I’m almost living
Or once lived forgive me
My contradictory sins
 
Some mornings I wake up dead
Amazed by the sheer force
Of resurrection

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Valentine’s Gender

What is your gender
Asked some woman on voicemail
Not trying to sell me anything
 
But with a sharp Gestapo tone
Filling out the application forms
For my eventual arrest
 
We will keep leaving messages like this
We already know you will delete
Until you inevitably call us back
 
With your admissions and complaints
Your rage and sniveling
Quelled into submission
 
Until you identify yourself
Your age and gender and time of death
So we know you’re not lying

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Retrograde Valentine

A back-door connection
To hell and heaven
A human mind
 
A secret passageway
That opens at the threshold
Of a deja-vu down the street
 
Pursued by a friendly fury
What’s so confusing
How clear it all has been
 
Looking back to find
No one’s been following you
But someone who looks like you
 
Escape from heaven
And you were only going out
For milk and bread

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Early Valentine

Still too early
For the passion flowers
A bee comes knocking
 
After their long journeys
To the center of the earth
The trees are pushed back up
 
In their communion clothes
Green and pink
As a new religion
 
A parade to the sky temple
For the pedestrians below
Who hardly feel the knife go
 
Through them as they’re pruned
And fashioned to the fence
And forced to swoon

Monday, March 19, 2018

Stray Valentine

A stray cat came
And ate all her food
While we sat and listened
 
Crunch-crunch-crunch
He was evidently hungry
We just sat and listened
 
Until the bowl was empty
And he slowly waltzed away
Barely noticing us
 
Or maybe night had come
When we were barely listening
And you who hear everything
 
Had fallen asleep and I
Who had wanted to write something
Didn’t

Between Valentine

To feel our breath
Will be determinative
Of a new world
 
That what’s signed on the air
Our throats are forming
Into a new language
 
More immediate and affective
With a refined sense
For subtle gradations
 
Of timbre and moral
A more angelic tone
In which the meaning is caught
 
In the sound of the breathing
In the first breath
Or in all the others in between

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Last Valentine

Children playing late
One last daylily
Joins the chorus
 
Last refuge
Of the dying
A haiku put to work
 
At last I stood
On the sonnet of my life
One line too many
 
The first who were made last
Even they
Won’t be left behind

Called in
Complaining
As if it wasn't home

When Valentine

When everyone walked everywhere
Except for those who were carried
In arms or by human wheels
 
Or were married to chariots
Or dragged along after them
When thieves were crucified
 
Either to the right or wrong
When women were stoned for adultery
As if they had done it alone
 
When the virgins of Delphi
Still sang in riddles
The thoughts of the gods
 
When time was still harnessed
To the wagons of fate
And the sun went down

Doves Valentine

Two gray doves
Sunning in the grass
One stretches out its wing for more
 
Only Sherlock Holmes or Lt. Colombo
Would notice the one clean book
I slipped back on its dusty shelf
 
But what has that to do
With the afternoon’s homicide
Or the gray doves sunning
 
The one about two odd men
Who keep running into one another
In the oddest place their whole lives
 
Their long train ride back
From the cities of the future
Buried in the stories of the past

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Web’s Valentine

The spider-web you left
To find your way out
To the infinitely distant
 
The knots of what you caught
Scattered bundles of supplies
For the far journey
 
How you were strung along
The strait paths of memory
That turned up empty
 
Not to recall
How you were rescued
Dragged back into your boat of threads
 
Become unglued
Little parachute
Of hope