Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Valentine Using Just Three Colors

I’m thinking of making a poem
Like a Jackson Pollack painting
With words just thrown down
 
Spasmodically spattered on the page
Thick impasto pesto pasta
All over your face
 
I’m thinking about all the things
We do with the body
Of a life’s work
 
The relentless patterns that emerge
In the midst of the courage
Of the impromptu
 
The wild moments
When you too were scattered
As if the words didn't matter

Monday, January 14, 2019

Interval Valentine

Only from the heights can we see
How deep the hole we’re in
And looking up from there
 
How close the clouds of stars
And what continues not careless
Beyond the airless dome
 
An ever-expanding wilderness
Filled with creatures and concepts
Longing for their names
 
But here at ground level
We must be the gap the interval
The connecting in-between
 
Necessary to all planetary life
The notch carved out
In which some tiny creature nestles

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Chiron’s Valentine

To tame the wild horse
That lives inside
I take him for a ride
 
And though we share a head
He is always riding me
No matter how I try
 
To take the reins
So bitter in the mouth
And beaten flanks
 
Not till we’re both exhausted
Broken on the ground
Will he be satisfied
 
Where we lie now
Wrapped in each other’s arms
Untamed unsanctified

Music-less Valentine

If I imagine the whole
Grand orchestra of the gods
Struggling to construct my soul
 
Under the baton of a branch
Or many branches swaying
Following the paths of the clouds
 
If I listen closely and hunch
In the underbrush of seeing
So tentative is their touch
 
I can feel how leaves retract
And the soul pulls back
From being in their hands
 
However beautiful their making
Free to be alone
In winter’s shaping

Friday, January 11, 2019

Scraggly Valentine

As on some old scraggly
Pomegranate tree of the ego
Hang a few remaining fruit
 
So past lives accumulate
And the leftovers fallen
Generate a kind of compost
 
Food for thoughts flown off
And a few last leaves
Fingered by a freeze
 
Its skin is crusty and barnacled
Its joints are ugly knots
I think it would be fragrant in a fire
 
But that’s just winter talking
Come May it fills with flowers
Makes another brave ascent

Glass Valentine

High in the trellis in the sun
There’s a glass dragonfly
With its lacey satin shadow
 
Almost gleaming like a cape
Swirling just behind it
Fashion is so ironic
 
As the figures of the sun
Come down the runway
The glass breeds another one of it
 
A dark woman pinned
Like a specimen
Ashen turning on a spit
 
But isn’t it just
The sun must take
Responsibility for both
 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Between Plan Valentine

Hovering around what happens
All that might have drifted down
As If is a mountain town
 
What instead would happen
Or what could have intervened
Between the avalanche and the tsunami
 
If you had been detained
Or caught the earlier train
What were you thinking
 
How often I ask that question
But the unscheduled present
Keeps showing up
 
The recovery of wonder
Slow and ponderous
As it wants

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Winter Waking Valentine

Exploring the cold expanse
On the empty half of my bed
With warm foot and hand
 
A light snow has fallen
Where you once appeared
Before I turned to sleep
 
With one thrust I lift
My body into that icy drift
And sink so deep
 
I can will your warmth again
Your body inching into mine
A frozen fire
 
Your mouth on my mouth
What a cocoon must feel
When it begins to crack

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Perhaps Valentine

Isn’t sanity perhaps
Just a little bit ahead of us
Or is it us a little bit behind
 
We catch up to what’s
Already gone like a reflection
Watching its reflection
 
Trail along like a husband
Or the shadow of a family-tree
Falling into the tossing sea
 
Behind us what’s before us
So we’re always about to grasp
What’s just passed
 
Incrementally through darkness
Into which a little light
Suffers to pull us forward perhaps

Struck Valentine

I took a dose too harsh
And fell on my arse
Even the dead were laughing
 
My audience the sun
I looked straight at it
Till it struck me dumb
 
But it’s only Tuesday
And when you get up
We’ll go to the store and eat
 
Every day I grow more stunned
With the world this world
Which is not the same as the earth
 
I want to tell you
When we have a minute
How they both are you to me

Monday, January 7, 2019

Metaphors Carry Someone Else Valentine

I try to translate everything
You tell me are you
Still there
 
Your intimate verbs just sounds
Yet lords of the languages
Appearing out of nowhere
 
It could be a train passing
Or sparrows fighting
Or love’s voice booming
 
You tell me what I’m thinking
Your words are what I say
Your thoughts come back as mine
 
Carefully I see you’re writing me down
On the hard parchment
Of your dreams

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Non-Epiphanous Valentine

Is nature morphing
Out of the posturing
Into the thoughtful
 
Are mornings maturing
Each one a little more comprehensive
And inclusive
 
Are the cold and the heat
Just the bitterness and the burning
Our ancestors have left us
 
Do we stand transfixed at stop-lights
Because we think
Nobody needs us
 
Is it the crowd that carries us across
Or are we swept along
By descending and ascending angels

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Eternal Valentine

In the heaven I propose
Everyone is humble
In their gold clothes
 
God the humblest of all
And everything’s reversed
From earth so the light
 
Comes pouring out from
Inside things and persons
So everything is visible
 
All the secrets all the loss
With the body out of the way
The clearly comprehended cost
 
Paid off so finally eternity
Can peer into each one’s eyes
With sympathy and peace

Friday, January 4, 2019

Above All Valentine

Even if greatness came upon you
You would not be great
It would still be your fate
 
To seize your smallness
And to cleave to little things
To question what is great
 
Greatness with its use-by date
Its puffed-up follies
And its hopes too late
 
When to be small is all
To be of no account
And to have longed to fall
 
To let this be your greatness
To have stood with what is small
To be no one above all

Numberless Valentine

If sleep is sent
To restore the flesh
Then what must death be for
 
Why not to refresh the feelings
With a long journey back
To forgotten friendships
 
Out beyond the crazy horoscopes
Of dreamed memories
And doomed scenarios
 
Deep into the dreamless sleep
Of a God from whom
There’s no way back
 
The final waking waiting
After numberless deaths
For a child’s warm hand

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Paean to Pain Valentine

To know that everyone
Is really in the pain you’re in
Though some don’t know it yet
 
Which is not to discount your pain
By universalizing it
When it’s our own pain
 
Which makes us unique
How it’s articulated or not
By some underlying sense
 
Of happiness the way a stone
Can be run through
With streaks of gold
 
Isn’t this our body
The dross in which the gold
Can feel the dross’s pain

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Red Finches Valentine

My small pagoda feeder
Hangs in the naked tree
Full of the songs to be
 
It sways when the red finches
And the streaked brown sparrows
Pull the seeds through its doors
 
First two or three come down
And soon another dozen more
Till fifty make a war
 
A fluttering frantic orchestra
Tuning up to a roar
Till they all take off at once
 
Leaving the naked tree more naked
With silence as if stunned
By some discovery

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

That Valentine

A thoughtful god
Would not have forgotten how
To bring imperfection to all things
 
A paradoxical god
Willing to work against
His own interests at times
 
This would seem his genius
To have the dead bring life
And the living bring death into the world
 
Not a scheme but an experience
Of wisdom falling to its knees
Shamed by senseless joy
 
The invention of the human
I mean who else
Could have come up with that