Sunday, December 27, 2009

end-year sum-up poem

Delving around among the files I found
this one, never published, which seemed
to fit this time of the year.


We sad and beautiful animals, strange
the way we yearn for weather-change!

A solid performer earns his kiss
through hummingbird-brilliance, nonetheless

wanders night-mazes of sought-importance
to fearful dead-ends, dank alleys sensed

as breakthroughs, though only time occurs
in labyrinths without Minotaurs.

Oh, endlessly Venus tires of Mars,
old plans implode like black-holed stars,

ramblers at neighborhood windows feel longing
for what sounds like love-play within (such crowing!),

tsunami-spirits with hopeful faces
seek sprightlier riffs that mock to pieces

misery-mongers whose fig-leaf claim
damps the sweet hours with animal-shame.

(Often I've dreamt of an elevator
filled with dear friends gathered in forever

lifting at speed in an urge toward bliss,
in a reverence for passion and happiness).


Thursday, December 24, 2009

winter light

An old poem came to hand answering
a request for a sonnet, and since it's
of the solstice season....

for Nick and Eva Linfield

A dauntless taper on a Christmas tree
where apples hang with old world stars of straw
brings Mr. Frost to mind -- his blazonry --
for though the other wicks give up to smoke
this last grows strong as if to tease the law
we alter by, and challenging its gist
burns on and on: the flicker of a joke
in favor of presuming to persist.

No miracles seem likely in our day;
no dove-fire eloquence or shaken flow
of flame tongues. Some achieve a wry display
burning for meaning bravely as they go
out to the dark that waits beyond each door
as if to tell us what a light is for.


Friday, December 11, 2009

My Gosh, Haven't Been Here Since October

Thought I'd extend the notion of a strictly
"poetry" blog just a bit to allow for more
openness to associated chat.

For example, want to note that titles have
always appealed to me. I like to play
the name-it game for bands, books, babies.
Most recent idea for a new collection of poems
is FREEDOM AND THE NOW, probably too
portentious, pretentious to use, but still....

Sort of a Promised Land lilt of language.

Here's an old piece of mine, never published,
that seems to anticipate such a cover notion
for recent work.

after “The Jewel Mirror Samadhi”
by Ch’an Master Tung-shan Liang-chieh (Tozan Ryokai)

Because there is the base
there is house, cat, cow;
jeweled pedestals
fine clothing.

The stone woman offers up the dance;
the wooden man begins to sing.

Excitement, doubt—both pitfalls,
for nothing comes nor goes.
Path and traveler merging,
you are not it; it is actually you.

Hiding a heron in the moonlight;
filling a silver bowl with snow.

Yi with his archer’s skill
strikes home at hundreds of paces;
but arrow-heads meeting point-on? --
this lies beyond all targeting.

The stone woman offers up the dance;
the wooden man begins to sing.

This is the host within the host:
a tethered horse, secretly whirling,
ecstatic rat, outwardly calm.
You have it now, so keep it well.

Hiding a heron in the moonlight.
Filling a silver bowl with snow.