Monday, August 3, 2015

Pictures Then Music Comes Valentine

Words are merely music accelerated
into common sense for instruments
that can learn to play themselves
often the tones are honed by a certain
mountain range or upland pasture
but do you think you are bigger than language
which so far has evaded how many
thousands of attempts to hold it
to its words though I am comforted
that everything is being written down
even if by writing we mean typing
comforted that not a single handshake
is lost not a single embrace or kiss
in the land where languages are born

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Soen-sa’s Valentine

If we all go back to the same place
then what does it matter what we do here
unless each life is like the laying down
of a little silica a little carbon dust
each generation the necessary hardship
to achieve some future generation’s health
and we are all just cells in some enormous
archetypal human being’s body always
readying ourselves to be flushed out
by hordes of more worthy pioneers
who after their long sojourn in the heights
return calm and sober as stoned flowers
happy to take up their aim and position
in the ancient shrine of any infant’s eyes 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Millionth Life Valentine

Life is disappointing for the man
who seeing clearly life’s difficulties
refuses to accept his own stars
for these same hindrances
as a comfortable place to settle down
I have come this far to virtue
and now I must rest a while
even if I slide back a little
I explain to my double
what my double says to me
love is always in retrograde
turning back to rescue a blade of fescue
love is always in trouble
after which it continues to exist
in its shady bubble

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Morning Valentine

Or maybe all these dreamt years
the poem has been chasing me
trying to offer me a form
for my life’s iamb and trochee
a comprehensive theme or music
that begins when I appear onscreen
captured by the performance
of reality waiting in the background
revealing itself a day or two later
in memory’s reconstructed text
some words crossed out but not deleted
others added in an unknown hand
no cat to be seen

Midnight Valentine

The cat and I sit out
in the evening breeze
until it peters out
over the lake of darkness
he rests his chin
on my bare toes and tries
to sleep while I try
not to move so he gets
some peace but just
as we start to doze
he spots a lizard
bolts off after it
faithlessly like me
all these years
chasing the poem the
poem the poem

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

One Evening After Childhood Valentine

Remember our first forts
how we staked out the plains
of the eastern frontiers
and the kingdoms of the future
before the days of our slavery
ours was an abandoned milk-wagon
the horse-drawn kind
parked out back with a door
that slid back and forth
and real glass windows
remember how childhood progresses
on the basis of what’s left behind
everyone we knew had been molested
though no one knew it at the time
it all came out years later
it was the first war we had to fight
only to have our bodies betray us
and feel the snuffing of our light

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Pauline Valentine

The thing is lord
I do have a clue
I do know what to do
now that I own
the reason to discern
what I must learn
I balk and turn away
though somehow I’ve shown
the courage to risk my soul
for a few pleasures
of the heart and mind
the right temper
I still can’t find
to love you with my will
and give up mine

Tourmaline Valentine

A single car driving through the desert
an ant setting out across the yard
a jet humming through dark clouds
a white dog running to the gate
a dust cloud rising from the road
a small girl scribbling down notes
a stone slowly turning into a flower
a fear suddenly entering the blood
a yellow blossom living for today
a clearing emerging from tall trees
a soul ascending through souls descending
a body hung up for all to see
an ending made to go on
finally everything alters me

Monday, July 27, 2015

Parzival's Valentine

There’s a red garnet stone
that sits on a golden ring
near the center of this story
catching your eye as you pass
the only remaining proof
a death happened here
a murder perhaps but it’s
all that remains of the body
of the first impulsive god
who got it all moving and flowing
until the music could manage
inventing itself on its own
slowly the blood built a heart
capable of love this red

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Hymn to Valentine

You have this wonderful gift
for rubbing my back
which as the song says
I myself lack and for which
there are only poor replacements
we need to love something
or we can’t survive
the only difference being
those who do and those
who don’t just notice how
this whole abstraction
of roots and endless leaves
and sumptuous flowers
was just to push out
these pipsqueak seeds
on which the whole
wheelbarrow depends

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Political Valentine

When we finally decide
that greed is not only a sin
but a crime I know I go off
about this but I’m speaking
now to the future human beings
who will excavate these
exotic backyards for artifacts
of our dim age not dark
but shadowy and will find
this torn paper wrapped
in etheric light at the bottom
of a well this greeting from
a distant age of fearful
greed and sorry glory

Friday, July 24, 2015

Gnostic Valentine

Is there a treasury of darkness
the way there’s a treasury of light
or is granary a better word
a granary of darkness whose seeds
are saved for planting everywhere
while the treasury of light
which is of course the sun
works on every day in a diligent way
to raise those seeds to flowers
and colored shadows of the light
strained gem-like through the night
into moody plants and people
in the most painterly way

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Ineffable Valentine

If the myth of the gods is the truth
if in every age the gods
just put on new costumes
and dance attendance on our ignorance
if our science is laughable
if aliens came and no one noticed
them entering our nervous system
if they have already long
been operative in our choices
if all the stars are filled
with great unseen cultures
if we thought we were alone
when really we’re just
the rocky bottom layers
of ineffable worlds

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Descending Valentine

Take the light inside
the empty birdcage
feed the multitudes on that
curled and sleeping in the corner
swaying above the shore
flight still dreaming of itself
in the birthplace of wings
the sea’s lift pawing at your feet
the sky’s blue filling out your arms
until a dove descends and settles
on the waste of stones and gray
did you really think the holy ghost
would crumble did you really
think the spirit could decay

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

In the Land of the Living Who Die Valentine

You knew you were dead
when you saw the first vulture
but when the second and third
noisily arrived you began to stir
as after a deep sleep
during which you had
awakened many times
to eat something quickly
or relieve yourself or stare
out the window right
into the serious face
of a young fox you somehow
have befriended who also seems
to be considering your corpse
even more now it’s standing up
and walking toward him
full of jealous admiration
for his bravery even more
than his beautiful sheen

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Woman Clothed With the Sun Valentine

Some of our children are machines
through which we are slowly losing
our taste for the real like the helicopter
poised above the hibiscus flower
we seem to be losing awareness even
of the extreme vulnerability
of this whole physical contraption
including our own blood and bones
but that’s just what’s happening today
as it was when slaves
were still called slaves
and such a thing as freedom
could actually exist
the hibiscus is that new yellow-orange
the helicopter a perfect hummingbird blue