Lay down expectations like boards
Build you a bridge to inspiration
Hammer these down with nails of patience
Paint them in colors of inevitability and change.
Stand in doorways where the transition
Of forward & back will balance your brain.
Find my hand in the total darkness of eclipse
Pull me into that pregnant moment of emerging light
Frail is it may be
Enlivening all that ever was.
I find a west window of sunlight
Sit down, facing my back to it
As my neck warms and my hands,
I write poems
A tiny flag of incense curls
In the light
Music knits an afghan of sound
For a simply singular afternoon.
All I “should” be doing goes undone
In favor of these words flowing from this pen.
RIDING THE RAILS
May get me places,
But all journeys
Are made of expectations
When only the scenery changes
Is change enough?
My life seems a layby off the tracks.
(Twinned steel cutting the horizon, glistening.)
The habit of gifting
Is one to cultivate
I have been on the balance beam
Of gifting & receiving
While meditating on insufficiency’s
I have pierced these veils
Of unknown power sources
Skirting the edges of vortex
Many other times.
I have invited crucifixion
By my own emotions
And intransigence of purpose.
If all these beginnings
Lead to similar endings
Why even ask the questions?
I am the hapless beggar
In the Promised Land,
The starveling at the World Feast.
I have wandered the Lost & Found of life long enough…
Even when no Path appears,
I shoulder my pack,
I move on.
I am in Soul Rehab
Stripping walls of flocked paper strips
Snapping bowed valances to sweep velvet shreds
I tear at curling floorboards
A stale, sour smell of old wood
Rising from the sawdust cloud
I have no idea how to rebuild this!
I have only the belief I can.
The house groans, settles,
Creaks; obligingly dismantling itself
As windowsills tilt & slide
Down separating walls
I pull nails bare-fingered.
Standing, I push support beams
With strengthened shoulders,
Digging in my heels.
For all this determination,
There is no center to demolish.
Only a guess at what will bring
This structure down;
Only a hope it will not take me along.
In all this time of walking forever forward
Of wearing out shoes in differing directions
The compass whispers me to north & west
South & east
I do not heed these siren songs
I am a turtle with a rock upon its back
Thrusting forward my head, neck & finny legs.
Off to a rough start:
The bloodletting of loneliness
Collapsing my fluid body
To knots & gnarls
Tanned to roughened leather
A wrinkling purpose
Overlaid a pristine map.
“But,” I argue with the mirror,
“did I ever know? It was given to me:
‘Travel, stop, begin again’ over & over.”
These I did: a trio of begettings.
Would you have me make a list of my sins?
There are few enough to recall to my forgetting mind
I do remember toting buckets of them to
The confessional incinerator
Where sparks burst & flew
Dying is one of the best things I will do.
I don’t know how I know this…
Perhaps informed by intimate experience?
I am content to blossom as a rose,
Exploded of scent, explored for color
Curled & peeling petals taking
Flight for faraway –
Plucked to die, dreaming,
On a kitchen table,
Beheld with love each glance.
Not knowing how it knows this…
The chance to return
As a miracle on the Tree of Life.
But I say this not being in line for
Not really believing in death, per se
Remaining the nonbeliever, tho afloat in
A sea of total incrimination of
Evidence & experience
Responding to more of what I would not do:
I would not regret or mourn
I would be as fierce in death
As in death-defying life!
Cherished as the moment of breath
Breathed out after the intimacy
Of circling the heart
Form into formlessness
An eternity of time
To dip into life once again.
Momentary fulfillment &
The land that once rolled toward me
Traveling up & out-away
Once measured in steadying mileage
I am disengaged from movement
Bereft of directional impulse
Uneasily content to be part
Of a landscape
In favor of making landfall.
I would be bold before the Throne,
Demanding face-time with God,
A hug from Jesus,
A fig from Buddha’s Bodhi Tree
A tear from Guanyin
A knighthood with the sword of St. Germain
A high-five from Michael Archangel.
I would sleep for a thousand-thousand years
Each dream the petal of the rose
I would return in.