Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Blood Moon Valentine

But how much of our freed time
Is taken up maintaining
The machines meant to free us
If we’re still terrified
Of silence and kindness
Of having time to talk together
About what's really going on
And what we might feel like
Doing about it
Of course the cold is cleverer
Than we are
Unburdened by conscience
And the poor perennial
As flowers still get mowed down
At harvest

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Brought Valentine

Taking a walk with beauty
Who is an old gray horse
Sketched on the cave of my brain
So I can recognize her anywhere
Her first sightings brought back
From the woods her first drawings
Brought home from school
See she says I didn’t forget
I remember you
An old horse draws me
Sketches me on the wall of days
As we stroll past
How many days since we first met
It was a bright gray dawn
And you were in your glory

Monday, January 29, 2018

Scientific Valentine

If the personal nature of all ideas
Cannot be erased by objective facts
The first idea was having ideas
And if there is a God then we’ve all been saved
Unless we would have it otherwise
The idea returns to being an idea
Humankind is a hypothesis of a god or gods
Supposing better ideas bring better bodies
In which the ideas can grow
Luminous with the life of stars
But will there ever come
A true human being
I mean one who deserves
And can explain
It all

What God of Love Valentine

What god of love would not
Have had to rescue us
What god of love
Would not have wanted us
To feel despondent or let down
Forget the temple always around us
In which his ministers
You’d think it was a hospital
Rush to tend to us
What god of love
Would not have thought it worth it
Despite the hatred to be had
To die the final death
What god of love
So glad

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Unheard Valentine

You’re not listening!
A mother yells to her son
Down the street on his bike
But the boy doesn’t hear her
Doesn’t want what he doesn’t like
Rides on through intersections
And over crowded bridges
Deftly picking his way
Through moving and parked cars
Pedestrians who pause to let him pass
Hoping to catch a little of his daring
To inspire their poor lives
All those in fear of dying
Beyond a mother’s call
He goes flying

Friday, January 26, 2018

Legless Dancing Valentine

Our joys are given to us
But our suffering is our own
Taken in trust
Of replacement of loans
The pain of ideas
With its flesh and blood
Undressing our bones
But joy is never alone
Haven’t you noticed its swagger
How it storms into a room
Safe after some dangerous adventure
And falls into your arms
How it takes you dancing
Though your legs are gone
How it carries you along

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Carved Valentine

The growing face of childhood
Incisive as the moon
Looks down
You can almost see the new-old souls
Drifting toward the earth
Like dandelion fluff
While the old-new souls are carried up
In the highs and lows
Of the weathers of heaven
I try to calibrate their numbers
For a given month and find
They chart a vortex in an ellipse
A little swirl in a stone
That betrays the mind
That carves this moon

Converted Valentine

Spending our nights in paradise as we do
How come we come back wounded
Salvaging morning’s light
Often I bring back paper-clips
And candy wrappers
To stuff my nest
Oddments meant to remind me
Of great unravelings
I soon forget
The rope eludes my hold
My wings still made of wax
Suddenly unfold
And yet I flew
That much I knew
Before I fell

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

In the Hallway Valentine

Why is Venus still sleeping
Why is Isis still veiled
Why are we still weeping at our age
As if we all weren’t trying to get into heaven
Either by spurning it
And struggling to have it here on earth
Or by pretending to be followers
Of the one god or another
Who turns out to be ourselves
The one who sleeps in the hallway
Almost certain of his ignorance
As he is of his pride
The one cast out
With only the light of his mind
With only the warmth of his heart

The Warbler Is No Liar Valentine

Every warbler contributes
To the perception
Of a spiritual world
Every machine attests to it
But the witnesses
Have all been quarantined
And liars given first place
Which troubles the warbler
Crying out for his mate
Not a bit he loves his fate
To sing and nest and sing no more
Never really from this world
He can be objective
Resourceful calm
Heading home

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

In Case Valentine

In case I don’t remember today
I’m writing it down
Writing is transfixed memory
That can be found again
Even if mouldering
About to burst into flame
You woke early
You kissed someone goodbye
You stood in the hallway making a list
Of things to get done
Cut your hair
Change the bed
Nothing memorable happened
You sat down
You were so happy

Monday, January 22, 2018

Capable Valentine

Bravery and panic all in the same day
What do you fear most
What you hate most
Attached to their approval or disapproval
And disapproving yourself for it
At the same time
If love arrives
Death must follow
Here where love is tested
Love that can only dignify itself
By what it loves by what
Is worthy of its enormity
Things like the sad truth
The nobility of its love for us
Making us capable of perfecting

As If Valentine

The serpent shadow of the tree I grew
Wraps around me
Its winter will
Light lodges between the branches
So I look out on a darkened world
The wind enhances
With strayings back and forth
Struggling under its embraces
As if it meant to choke and kill
As if I hadn’t seen its birds and buds
The sun climbing up its flank
The effervescence of its flowers
The serpent crushed and writhing
The photographs of love
Before and after

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Wall's Valentine

Take me or leave gods
Of my own devices
I sleep in your light
Give me back at least
My memory of dreams
The time before I knew you
Always had and always would
Love me before I worshipped you
Before we got separated lost
On one of Saturn’s moons
Or was it the day I found you
Leaning against a wall waiting for me
Before the moment I felt
Love rupture my heart
Take it or leave it gods

Friday, January 19, 2018

Passing Valentine

Ask John if Judy kept
Any of my work or is it all lost
The vast canvas of a day with her
She was passing through the world
And now the world passes through her
As happens to the so-called dead
Who go on living all around us
Doing whatever they can
To ameliorate our disabilities
Once having seen the sleeping god
Only silence will save us
But who can keep the secret
Thus the world is full
Of beauty and mad creatures
Who say they know what love is

Other’s Valentine

Content in our discontent
Saints to our sickness
Patient with our failures to a fault
Which a devil tries to sully
While an angel lifts the host of the sun
What can you do but come undone
Give up your gun and ghost
Surrender your barricades
Lift up your empty heart
If only for a second
Slip into the background of our lives
Into the shadows

Where the treasure waits
The gleaming face
Of the other

Cresting Valentine

The four stages of illumination
My narrow yard gets to celebrate
The new moon and the quarters
Never full in winter spring or fall
But in summer it overflows
We drown in torpor
The thing about sunlight
Is it’s never not present
Even at night it shines through the earth
Penetrating our sleep and deciding
What we will be tomorrow
We think we’re better than forests
That we can out-talk oceans and earthquakes
But every night the sun passes through us
Cresting its river of stars

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Extreme Valentine

The extremes go first
The hands and feet are whittled down
What they grasp is air and clouds
Where formally the electric company stood
And the rounded hill we called
Jupiter’s Temple with its gold roof-tiles
Ruined memories always under reconstruction
In an abandoned milk truck
With Cleopatra and Keats
One day you went down to the sea to swim
A single body alone in that great expanse
Where you could see your entire life
Back there glimmering
Not one grain of sand
But the whole shore line

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Owl-light’s Valentine

It was not the plastic owl
Melted into the roof by summers
That killed the orange tree
Or blasted the palm-tree into serpents
Or drew the four flower-spikes
Out of the thriving orchid
Or brought my books to me
Or tied my laces
And taught me how to skate
When we preferred tobogganing
That owl and I
A summer’s dream in a winter’s fall
We gasped our childhoods away
Unfinished things trudging home
Exhilarated and frozen

Invisible Valentine

Some clouds are quoting an ellipsis of stars
Just Orion belting one out
Last encore before the curtains closed
Research only proves the need
For further research winter for more winter
Every morning I look over the wall
Of flesh that separates us
Last night waking I saw the shape of my body
Outlined with a silvery light
Surrounding an empty space
If only I could show it to you
You would see yours was the same
We were being quoted
By the new moon of the heart
We were being written down

Monday, January 15, 2018

Blithe Valentine

Whatever the planets know
Of our arrival on this earth
There’s clearly a family resemblance
However circumstantial or anecdotal
The pleasure of the retrograde
The pain of going direct
We maintain a mercurial attitude
Even toward our own evolution
Our marriages and children

And taking what they offer
These cousins and uncles
Whose lives encourage us
With the burning out of their own
To go on even if blithely
Until nothing is known

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Homeward Valentine

I live in wait for words
Our true family and religion
Eventually they will bring us home
But first they must make us meek
For which archangels are needed
To try to make sense of the all
Into which they have placed us
Meanwhile we cut stones and trees
Building our cities out of their words
And then burning them down
While they try every language
They can think of
To bring some harmony to speech
A new verb
Or a kind word

Possible Valentine

Some of the leaves left on this tree
Look like hummingbirds nesting
And then a sharp squawk
A sound bigger than a bird lands
On the bright morning air
But no bird is visible
And nothing has moved from the fictitious
To the real leaves nothing stirs
The yard remains pictorial serene
While the sound of it circles round
The possibilities of its source
The intelligence of its intent

Maybe the sound spoke itself
That nothing but itself was meant
There was no bird or tree

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Grateful Valentine

I want to thank you
Forgotten soul
Old woman who helped me
Suddenly I remember you
That time in my life
Each person seemed like visiting
An ancient shrine
A renovated tomb
I stole some stones from
Unforgivably I feel
Yours was still a carnal life
Mine no life at all
By now you’ve reached the zenith
Of the after-death and know
What time and love are worth

Chaos-Adjacent Valentine

It’s the hummingbird’s emergency
A dash to a comma
That heals contingency
In the head of the writer are all other writers
The ones who drop the phone
And the ones who intend to
To find the flower of the thing
And suck its bitter honey
Its lovely irony our teacher
All writers live in the head of every writer
It has nothing to do with the quality of words
We love them anyway so much
We want to become them
As if words were the only hummingbird
A mortal could become

Friday, January 12, 2018

Its Valentine

How many lives do I have left
Today I lost another three
An invisible car I almost cleft
Another falling from a tree
The last just standing there
Watching the sunset’s glare
Did that dead leaf I kicked
Just scrape ‘I know’
It sounded like it
Spoke my language
That I am trying to die like it
I kicked it again
As if I lived to kick it
Kick it swiftly
Down the track

Thursday, January 11, 2018

When Valentine

Every mouthful of sunlight we breathe
Is codependent on us
Recognizing this
The cold sweats of the night
Continue in the fog of the morning
The glands the blood the nerves
Get married or divorced
Disease spreads from guilty hands
Only your pharmacist knows for sure
Someone comes to the door
Soliciting heaven and we dream
Together on the threshold for a second
Not even death can approach us
I tell him to come again tomorrow
When Jesus comes

Dandelion’s Valentine

The dandelion in winter
Is reflected in the snow
Of its flying falling hair
Populating fields and rivers
With houses and cars
The only relevant question on earth
‘Do you believe what just happened?’
Walks her dog up and down the street
Weeping and looking at no one
A theatrical despair
Runs around like a snowstorm
In the ball of her head
Her dog is all she’s got
I gave her 75 cents
All I had at the time

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

True Valentine

After fifty days of sun
A pouring cleansing rain
Dust becomes mud and fleshy
Leaves spread into action
Paintings if you can picture
That sort of metaphor
Entering a homeless mind
Houses slipping down hillsides
Sirens in the distance
But I write to you because it’s raining
Just to tell you it’s raining
It’s still raining finally
Not fiercely or randomly
But consistently and steadily
Like a true sadness or joy

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Still Valentine

I think not
That I am
But let me think of something
I could still be
That I could tell you about
And you could smile in agreement
We could talk about non-being
And his girlfriend being
Something to laugh about
And you could put your face
Close to mine still
And whisper their secret
How their love foundered and fell
How they’re stitching it
Back together again

Monday, January 8, 2018

Contemplation Is a Ravenous Thing Valentine

Two apples and a yellow-green banana
Can take me though an afternoon dream
Just contemplating them
Resting in their blue machine
Of a bowl still radiating
Back to the sun its favorite colors
Under which the flesh grows sweeter
All that pleasure for the seeds
To feast on and grow fatter
To think to ripen and survive
Is all they want or need
That love is their blue sky

And then to feed on them
As they look me in the eye

Red’s Valentine

The Christmas hibiscus goes on blooming
Past the flight and the circumcision
Still following the star
The baby is only a receptacle of light
That grows and ripens
While the mother sits for her portraits
Pondering death in her heart
Sealed from the child but not us
By love’s gaze
While in the background
The red hibiscus goes on blooming
Letting memory paint it too
As if a little of Christmas
Could be carried forward
Into every future new

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Twelfth Valentine

At the twelfth hour
On the twelfth night
We knelt before the light
Dressed as shepherds and kings
Angels and animals
All played by us adults
While the children watched
Applauding when the donkey entered
Recognizably their teacher
Who held a hoof to her lips
To quiet them
Gesturing toward the infant
Whose cries were just
Waking his mother
Our new baby brother

Epiphany Valentine

The uses of evil are one
To spur the various good
But the weight of love
Sitting on your chest
Like an old cat
Ready to spring
Deeper into inaction
A drowse that forms a ring
The seed of a new body
Taking its time to get here
To steal back the heart
From the animality of the world
We think we have a childhood
But it only watches and waits
Naked at the end too late

Thursday, January 4, 2018

The Relative Theory of Valentine

That these our streaming thoughts
Come from what the telescope reveals
Of black matter in the brain
Where the old alchemists and magicians
Work on in improved laboratories
Settling the latest arguments
With explosions of colorful gas
What is a black hole if not
The first heart
Pumped by its flow of stars
Where the old blood and the new
Run together and apart
One who speeds on to destruction
And one who ventures out into the wide sea
Sailing by the stars

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Little Valentine

When I visited the ancient library
Down the street in Ephesus
All the books had been checked out
Only the thin pamphlet of a boy
Standing on a fallen stone
Staring crowds where stairs had been
To the floors above in the air
Where the lost books were kept
Bearing the secret past
All we have is the shattered house
Where the first thoughts
Gathered together in a horde of feeling
So when you entered and sat
In the darkness of all that knowledge
A little light would be brought to you to read

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Lightening’s Valentine

The police tried to arrest my cat
For drunk-driving last night
Frantic from the fireworks
She drove right through a tree
Heading for the shred of hope
She had left in the shed
She changed her name to Lightening
And though she used to make it
On the streets she’s seen the Lord
As just another customer
When survival takes hold
She fights for her lives
Nine is never enough
When one is immortal
One lives to survive

Monday, January 1, 2018

Shocks Valentine

Make a list of all the shocks
You have known
Over the last year
Measure up your fear
In the midst of their undergoing
In the quick of crumbling
I needed a new pedestal
For my ‘Head of an Angel’
The shock of its topple
This and other shortfalls
Time will address in heaven
Make a list of all your earnings
The debts of gratitude
The repeated learnings
Only another year will ripen