Sunday, July 15, 2018

Moving Valentine

One big fat dream
We keep swallowing
Catching our breath
 
Heading out in inspired directions
Returning with the proofs
Of wrongness lack of fit
 
Every day the sun lends us some
Of its abundant self-confidence
Urging us to get on with it
 
But when we see it all in time-lapse
The waterfall of stars rushing over us
The great ships angling in and out
 
We can almost see the child’s hand
That’s placing all the pieces
Carefully moving them all along

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Seen Valentine

What hard feelings I wonder
Does the mollusk remember
Around her nougat center
 
The single inner life of each mollusk
Is indivisible and inseparable
From her whole constitution
 
The alchemists claimed
It was Venus
Not to be intruded upon
 
And not to be neglected
The Platonists named her
Star of the sea
 
I think there is nothing
She has not seen
And still she returns

Friday, July 13, 2018

Lord’s Valentine

Heal thou us
Lord Hummingbird
That we may heal ourselves
 
I believe you have the glory
And the power to perform
A feat so minor
 
As the transformation of the world
What’s hard is humor
Though you must be a joke
 
Of the gods yourself
I like more when you sit still
The guardian of my garden
 
Just visible in the leafy tree
I planted years ago
Having fallen for you

Talking Valentine

When your speech descends
To babble and you don’t
Remember me anymore
 
Will we face a further friendship
Than we ever faced before
Will we cling together and hover
 
At the brink of something fuller
Which only the body can bestow
When you have left it
 
Just a body lying on a bed
And the final funny thing
In the end
 
Is that we just go on talking
All through the hard time
You were being born

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Partial Valentine

Restlessness in the heavens
The moon pulls up
Like a hearse
 
Between the sun and the earth
So even the air shivers
Seeing its black flowers
 
A picture of the planets
Running into one another again
On some dark street
 
While in the background
The windy dissipation
Of some bitter days
 
And then a warm embrace
But we must keep
To our separate ways

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Unavoidable Valentine

Having finally gotten to the mystery
Of our connection having crossed
The deserts of doubt the mountains of fear
 
Will we stand amazed in love
At all the unavoidable complications
We were free to foist upon ourselves
 
When it’s not really memory that counts
The perception of memories
By some rememberer
 
But the fact of a consciousness
That cannot be killed
And has a name
 
The mystery that finally
Connects us now
We’ve made it here

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Holding Valentine

Poetry is the broken thing
Holding its breath
Between lines
 
A harsh dictum
Or a frivolous ditty
A long love song on one note
 
A proclamation on a wall
About some coming event
You’d like to attend but
 
You’d rather hear a fiddle or a drum
The beginning and the middle
Without end
 
Poetry is the unspoken thing
Holding its breath
Between lives

July 10 Valentine

The rigor mortis idles in the afterbirth
Of this wrought child whose hands
Replace all other mornings
 
And whose fingers orchestrate
The long grass swaying she cannot see
Poppa play with me she says
 
Her gaze curved to the years
Of air and pleasure equally
What can I do I break down
 
In thirty years I have not seen
Such beauty in one place
Not even the still twilight
 
Which at times I love
More than human things
Rivals her still sleep

Monday, July 9, 2018

Something About the Eyes Valentine

When I first interviewed the gods
They just wanted to tell me stories
About the murders I half-started to believe
 
We had a friendly interrogatory time
Until I feel asleep mid-sentence
At the good part
 
Lulled by their dramatic voices
Something about the moon and stars
An eternity of ideas I left singing
 
They were so patronizing and wise
But my guilt grows impatient
With too much attention
 
Still they pursued me
Even in my dreams and made me
Look them in the eyes

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Afterwards Valentine

Thomas stands for shock
Judas and Peter for denial
The first long stages of grief
 
John for the graceful youth
Mark holds hands with Paul
Luke doctors us all
 
Mary and Martha
Argue all day long
Until the Baptist cries ‘Enough’
 
Jesus comes and goes
He lives alone now by the lake
Still goes fishing every spring
 
Mary’s like a ghost
Of her former self
For whom the children sing

Suicidal Valentine

I rescue a suicidal grasshopper
From the cat’s blue water bowl
So grateful he follows me around
 
I see he’s lost one of his jumping legs
Can only skitter across the floor
Though he’s kept his basic persistence
 
I wonder how he got into the bowl
As if some bomb propelled him there
Taking his leg as token
 
Some piecemeal resurrection
Of the leaping that brought him here
Surrendered at my feet
 
Only when love’s complete
Can it be happy
He still sings

Saturday, July 7, 2018

When the Sun Sits Down Valentine

We distinguished nose-pickers
With fly-paper brains
Descend on these northern towns
 
Eating up the beauty of the lakes
And of the green until it’s gone
And only the blue remains
 
Every summer for new
Generations to discover
Alone out ice-fishing
 
The dark blue that remains
Of these northern lakes
At the bottom of a hole
 
Serious as a soul-attack
You know the lake wants out
But spring is always tardy

Friday, July 6, 2018

Unwoken Valentine

The initiation we undergo
Every night in vivid dreams
And deepest darkness
 
For which the following day
Seems merely a distraction
A seductive diversion
 
From the true urgency
Of its inescapable implications
For our waking lives
 
Essentially we’re all dreamers
And the world is what
We’ve recovered so far from our dreams
 
Our sadness is about
Still not realizing
How much thought it takes to wake

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Storied Valentine

The what is any world
Or this one
The how is now
 
The who are taking place
But the why
Is nowhere to be found
 
As usual waiting
Until the last minute
To come to ground
 
The story wants to take over
But the words won’t let it
So they go their own ways
 
The story searching for the words
That deserve it
The words eking out their days

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Independence Valentine

Excellent day for business
The wise astrologer reports
What else is new
 
The amazed cat and I
Peruse the scopes
And watch the hummingbird fly
 
From flower to flower
From catastrophe to catastrophe
From hope to hope
 
Old enough to interpret
All the signs as mine
Even the hummer’s whirr
 
And to think it’s all a set-up
That we’ve planned it out ourselves
Down to the cat’s soft purr

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Intellectual Valentine

Maybe what I fear
About the idea of a concept
Is that it feels restrictive at first
 
That this bird has two names
Its given one
And its idea of the sky
 
The idea of flying
A weightless body
Moving quickly

From place to place
Never wholly depending
On the earth to provide
 
For all its needs
How far above must a concept fly
To reach its base

Monday, July 2, 2018

Done Valentine

A narrow window has the sun
To play and run
The moon is always watching
 
Its cat-like ways
Of creeping up its Cheshire
Grin some days
 
That that that it moans
When the sun
Only wants this
 
This old tree
Or this one kiss
Will satisfy
 
But the moon is always hovering nearby
Eager to devour the sun
With its said and done

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Pursued Valentine

Out of that most holy trinity
Of you and I and it
We have made a pile of shit
 
And plowed it back
Into the fields and clouds
The moon-laced clods of rain
 
For which we danced and prayed
The old gods flourishing green
Until we learned to be afraid
 
Of having gods and seeing them
As if they wanted to control us
Lock us up in conceptual cages
 
We saw ourselves as free
And therefore we ran away
It wasn’t them who chased us out

Saturday, June 30, 2018

On the Fifth Day Valentine

Humbled by my petty crimes
Of love and terror
By all I know
 
Chastened and laid bare
I take it back
The hurt I gave
 
My infant will
Accepts my searing thoughts
Like an adult grown after all
 
Past the vanity of self-annihilation
I tiptoed lightly not to wake you
Worry is no friend to love
 
Suddenly you turned in your sleep
And like a curtain collapsing
I could see what animates the world

Friday, June 29, 2018

Left Behind Valentine

If after life we look down
Upon the world from somewhere
All things are known
 
Which we can begin to understand
Trundling through the moods
Of passion and restraint
 
Our experience of the world
As over against our self
To the extent we had one
 
If after life we no longer
Put down the world on its pedestal
But cry for mercy
 
For the ones left behind
Only then are we fit
To return in time

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Borderline Valentine

To bring dreaming more into the day
And thinking more into the light
Of what happens at night
 
There must be a cogent explanation
When we are finally equipped
To ask the question hear the answers
 
Which like a good lawyer we expected
But were not prepared to deal with
So many murders
 
We reach for our glass of water
And calmly ask for a delay
The judge goes up in smoke
 
It’s like that kind of joke
Where you feel both amused
And pissed it’s still true

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Mnemonic Valentine

I find the world is a mnemonic device
For remembering former lives
And revising future strategies
 
This is what the plants do
They try hard to remember something
And then memorialize it
 
Remembering is a kind of longing
Where would we be
Without our longing
 
But one clear thought
Is trying to adhere
To so much will and feeling
 
It builds a kind of chaos
In the heart a whirling
Nest-like thing