poems

 

I never thought I would
commit a poem,
even in self defense

but there I was
transgressing 
my unknown, guarded
expertly hidden places

a crime for certain
and as necessary as
Judas' betrayal
 

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a strange gift

on a sunny day
upon a dark frozen pond
content frog freezing and warmed

light is invisible
until it lands
and someone is there
to catch it

darkness is visible
as a missing light
like a hole in the
palm of a glove

and yet, god gives us god shaped holes
to fill our holes shaped like god
a strange gift
that satisfies and needs

 
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the sound of a bell not ringing

listening and hearing
are as different and
bound together as
fear and courage and
hopelessness and hope

the bell rings and
we listen to 
the bell ring and we
listen to the bell ring until
we are listening to the bell 
not ringing and we are hearing
the bell not ringing and we
hear without fear we no longer need
courage and without hopelessness we
no longer need hope and we strain to
hear the sound god makes -

the sound of a bell not ringing


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Dog

dog is dreaming
but I'm awake
being repeatedly kicked in the balls
as he runs in his sleep

sometimes, after he awakes
he'll run to the backdoor, I'm guessing
expecting to see what he was chasing
in his dreams

and sometimes, there will be
an unsuspecting squirrel or rabbit
making his dreams come true
when he flies out the door

I sit reading a book
somewhere between intense concentration and daydream
chasing the I don't know that I don't know
dog brings me a toy  “come chase me!”
and I am joyfully awake when I do

 

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Spring Denied, Spring Insisted

how shall I dare to name her;
whore, prostitute, escort, sex worker?
more likely, my beloved

what drove me there;
want, hunger, need, lust?
least likely love, but perhaps, love's shadow

we met once again in the imagination theater
I was sitting in an aisle seat
she walked up and sat on
the arm of my chair
barely clothed and beautiful, projecting radiance

I protested her intrusion, and denied knowing her
she insisted she knew me, and called me by name

I didn't take her hand and
lightly kiss her palm or
gently caress her cheek with
the back of my hand but
angrily grabbed her by the arm
and dragged her away

I'm reminded of this, watching the 
spring morning shadows on the window shade
me squirrels in the trees chasing she squirrels and catching them and
I'm right back in the imagination theater...

I can hear her yelling, “Do  you still not know what this is about?”
I don't and 
I do and 
again I'm lit on fire.
 

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wine/wine skins

the parable is
a new way to deliver
a fuller way of being/in
the world

a new container to
hold a new life
not determined by the past

a risky way
an unmapped path 
that leads to
an empty canvas

only living questions
only possibilities
life as
a creative act

openness
threshold of love
limitlessness of the mystery of being


“... when we talk about a new way of thinking, we are introducing a topic that cannot
be brought to the mind in our current way of thinking. So whatever you thought when
you read that phrase isn't it.”  - Speaking Being, Hyde and Kopp

 

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Now

now is when I
receive this moment
as a gift

I want to live
worthy of it
but I know I don't

I would give
such an unconditional gift
but know I'm unable

who gives such a gift
which could only be called love?

why give such a gift
for which there is no why?

love is
this moment
calling me
creating with me
a way to respond
to the gift
of this 
now

 

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fairy ring

naked, spread eagle
among autumn leaves, stone cold
encircled by a fairy ring*

a single ripple
set in motion by a touch
from a hidden life
like an angel
troubling the waters of
the healing pool

an unseen life made visible
when dead matter
is made living spirit

the same spirit that brought me here
naked, spread eagle
among autumn leaves, stone cold
encircled by a fairy ring

“The feeling remains,” wrote Teresa of Avila,” that
God is on the same journey, too.”

 

* A fungus starts growing underground from a single spore. The spore sprouts a tangle of tube-like threads, 
which spread out horizontally in all directions, like spokes radiating from the hub of a wheel, and produce 
mushrooms in a circle, a fairy ring, at certain times of the year.

 

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I made it, this time
(on the occasion of an ulcerative colitis flare-up)

two dishes broken
three days apart

falling up the stairs
and wrenching a thumb

vision too unfocused
to follow the
words
                      across
a           page
feelingthickasabrick

and again and again, aware of
balance lost, each time I launch
myself towards the  bathroom

too slowly or too quickly
will bring about “the undesired event”

a call of nature
groan of untimely season
water's sound reply*

 

*these last three lines are in the form
 of an obscure type of haiku; the ipoo.

 

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two haiku

our being occurs
in language and listening,
unsayable realm

          ***
you can't dance by maps
where your footsteps will go next
dancing, not knowing

 

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unmade haiku

slight rise past the woods
horizon's clear beckoning
here, unseen by trees

here, no ground to stand

here, no steps to take

here, sound finds silence

here, haiku unmade

 

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I try to live in darkness

I take a late night piss
by slight light, streetlight
that mists through the frosted glass window
stream tapping the sides of the bowl
trying to find water
a blind man with a cane

I peel a hard-cooked egg
in kitchen darkness
after the refrigerator seals in the light
crack peel feeling for bits of shell that stick and crunch
well rehearsed sightless salting over the sink
a blindfolded soldier disassembling a gun

I sit writing at a darkish desk
light barely sliding in from another room
grope and hope
squint and print
later, I'll find the words piling up and tripping each other
dancers in a discotheque blackout

I try to live in darkness
so when the shadows truly fall
I might not fear the loss 
of the small light I have
that even the memory of the light
should be enough to live by

 

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Stand

I heard - Stand
it rang through me
with the authority of
a six foot gong
maybe, I was dreaming

I didn't - Stand
I lie there wondering
what would happen if I did
a witness to angels passing by my window
or even a ringing clarity of purpose, might be

Stand – is the answer to my prayer

the everyday Greek words for
stand up and get up
later became the words for - Resurrection
perhaps, I wasn't dreaming but
I was  dead and brought back to life

you think I would have
noticed something like that
he who has ears to hear, let him hear