Monday, July 25, 2011

selections from "Dreams and Visions" chapter of chapbook

To Travel Well

The importance of traveling
is to make nooks
of time with presence
compare and contrast
experience as time
folded into space
to put one’s stamp
upon a corner of strangeness
to greet the universe
to move with expansion
open a pocket of sensation
to then fall into a well
of sleep with the effort
of the spirit’s imperialism.

The Listening Time

Late in the night

is the listening time

the opening to possibility

deliberate nothing

dreams may come

rain may thunder

pound the roof

while in the un-do-

journeys in that other place

angels tend toward me

even in the waiting gap

just out of ear-shot

they dance throwing

bits of glimmer

thoughts of wholeness

through time’s tiny rip here

while I listen

in the noise

of simply living.

Oh Christmas Tree


Another time comes
dawning over mind
seeping from this weary soul
a Christmas yet to be
a magic to be sung
when just like this one
a Christmas tree will glimmer.


Dreaming this child and song
her lyrics are Shakespearean
the music is a salve
healing my wounded heart
and as the little child sang
the healing song I gathered
and in the distance
was the man
I once lived for
he watched me being healed
from the far horizon
the song transported me
so that I floated to the ground
as in a faint, as if slain
by some holiest of spirits.


When I pressed this pear
into my mouth and drank
I saw the Valley of Euphrates
murmuring as I reveled in it
“the Valley of Euphrates”
I didn’t know the garden of Eden
till now. I didn’t know fruit.
I didn’t know why Eve
could not resist till now
and why she was the stronger
to have given in the sooner
to taste is to know
the smell of God
to know love, to be human
and why on the first day of Christmas
the partridge sits there.

The Gift of the Hermit

I understand the hermit
the music of silence
heals the aching heart
to truly listen
is never to be lonely
but always to be lonesome.

Some senses become keen
hearing and sight
smell and knowing
touch fades from fuchsia
to midnight blue of night
passion shifts
until one feels inside
the smallest rustle
in the underbrush of Ethiopia
and the stillness of here.

But the hermit
does not ask fo pity
she knows this partial life
its grief has made her wise
take your portion
eat and drink it
for its own riches
nothing more
but especially nothing less
love grows bigger
every day
until you think
surely by now
you will burst
but there’s no limit to this growing
only your feet
feel lighter
half of you is here
and half is in heaven
where every day
they drink champagne
and eat chocolate
and never grow tired of it
it’s the inside that’s changed now.

In the end
if the gift is evolved
in silence and secret
in the perfection
of what is made
you must give it all away
but to the living and free
in exchange of flesh and spirit
move this big light out
and have show and tell
taking the dear dead with you
otherwise the gift will burn down
this hermitage
and all the music with it.


Jesus is pruning the trees
see how the branches shake
with every snip a tear
rolls down my face
time for a cleaning out
make way for the new
this passage is made painful
with every breath
inner time envisions
a galaxy of marbles
but blind to what this need is
until the monsters are slain
and the war is over
I exact this information
to love with patience the locked doors
secrets the heart keeps from itself.

Now the work is done

I have a freshly sweated face.

I Must Sing

Why do I live?

Because of the rings around Saturn.
Because the Welsh must sing.
Because of Fragonard and
the lady perpetually on a swing.
Because Mozart existed I exist;
he is the color of violets in the spring.
Live because of the eternal
nature of the sweet ring
of familiarity. I know you darling
angel light unashamed—bring
your joy to crack and melt
the dusty veil I held thin
around my soul. Mozart changed
the world and now I must sing.
How can I do otherwise honestly?
Through trials, journeys, despair, war
little birds and Mozart still sing
and I hear them better than before.


I’ve seen so many bridges
dreamed of ancient gatekeepers
a fluffy white dress
and dogs that fly me
through the gates to the big house

I’ve come from a far off land
an alien amongst you
somehow I’ve won your love

my wandering isn’t over though
and soon another bridge
will magically appear
when the river is too wide
to ford safely
first the bridge appears
then the river
and it’s time to cross
with my children and animals

a trumpet will sound ahead
the elephants will parade first
to announce our strangeness

and like a dream I had once
I will see more names
written on the wings of an angel

I will never forget you

but for now let’s toast
to the mystical tension

between order and freedom.

The Future

I want to give a pure call
deep and untainted

my life is veiled
its meaning shielded

I exist with history
personal and public
forever watching
in some ways I cannot
enter the ordinary
and the ticket-holder
may pass by me
at any time

there is no script

but suddenly an opening
I must go and see
have my bags packed

the roll of oceans
take me—and also
keep me back

and I don’t know
from what.