Shoring

Everyone dies here,
Everyone’s born here,
The animal body leaps in,
The water body leaps out,
Foam washes in and out,
Spirit laughs
In the face of the spray,
Spirit goes in naked,
A swimmer emerges
On another shore.

Power Outage

Better a blown transformer
Than the heart stopped loving.

Better a blown fuse
To a restless muse.

Bitter the burn
Only felt in the urn.

Better a grid failure
Than to evade Cupid’s arrow.

Better a power surge
Than to have no urge.

Behind all the darkness
Begins the undressing.

Better a blackout
Than to let passion die out.

Between these outages
The light of the sages.

Better downed power lines
Than to ageing, resign.

The night is electric,
The body dialectic.

It’ll be dark forever
And touch will be never.

The Creutzfeldt-Jacob Sonata

My brother’s dying mind
Applies another gauze over his eyes.
It’s as though my brother
Has become his own third person.
It’s as though these prions
Are cementing him in dying,
Folding exponentially
So he’s dead before demise,
As though his perception
Can’t understand
Sinking in his own sand.
Only music penetrates
Like a first religion
The dimmest regions
And grants a sense of self,
Stimulating him
To conduct with his hands,
Almost joyously, mindlessly,
Like a conductor of the damned.

First Light

The first summer oriole
Both color and choral.

The summer equinox
Redoubles the lake light.

A sun dog in the north
Melts the eye of ice.

Initial inches of rain
Produce more grain.

Foremost the waterways
Must have their say.

Primary to the present
The future having no forests.

Earlier to being right
Honesty has plain sight.

Latest to wake
A young garter snake.

A maiden dragonfly
Cuts close to eventide.

Pioneers to these places
New growth races.

The first river otters
Return to our waters.

Growing Wild

In fifteen minutes of walking
I’ve discovered purple loosestrife,
Virginia creepers, hemp agrimony,
Blue vervain, horseweed, goldenrod,
Giant ragweed, Queen Anne’s lace,
Water hyssop, and clematis…
If I keep walking down this path
I’ll discover all the names of the earth.
As at the beginning of life
As at the end of death,
I’ll take root in the sun,
I’ll turn green and grow wild.

Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes

“Hell is truth seen too late.”
Hobbes

The war of all against all, will it ever end?
Where does it come from, heaven or hell?
Everyone has some fear of the unknown
And the poverty of sense it promises,
We face it at the end of every day
And that’s no doubt the reason why.
Pity the living, or else a glutton be.
To shed blood makes us feel immortal,
It’s our revenge for being defenseless.

Waiting

Waiting moves through time like a room
You can’t remember entering or leaving.
In hospitals we meet our human family
But don’t recognize each other on the street.
Waiting is an evenly dispersed weight
Across furniture that never asked for pain.
Car trips were like waiting in motion
Between dreams of being somewhere else,
Waiting for parents to visit, for rain to end,
For school bells to sound, for church to be over.
The shadows of birds, like fish shadows,
Move smoothly on the surface of waiting
While undertows compensate for presence
Drawing time further out into timelessness.

Uvalde

Those children are reborn,
Their spirits can’t be killed.
It springs from their bodies
Like dolphins born of waves.
They enter the schoolhouse
Of the multiverse.
From sheets of magic paper
They cut out shining stars
And paste them into place.
Along sidewalks of shady oaks
Hand in hand they walk.
No harms can touch them.
Angels ring the school bells
That call them into class
And not a one will fail
Or be left behind by us again.

My Brother the Mechanic

I remember he dropped a new motor
In dad’s old car that paid the bills.
Don’t believe there was a vehicle
My brother didn’t have on the road again.

He’d make the parts that make the part
Or the tool required for unforeseen jobs.
He could add horsepower to the hour
And make day and night both hum.

Watching him work, sometimes helping,
The engine in its dimension whirring,
Time idled like a dream rolling forward.
No repair was beyond my brother’s repair.

The Cost of Writing

Shameful to carve a falcon in granite,
To cage swallows in starless stone,
To mummify crocodile and Nile perch
And bury them in the desert, sacrilege,
To imprison lions in mineral,
Predators trapped in pictographs,
Prey powerless to escape pursuit.
The cobra has no spit in sandstone,
The bee has neither sting nor honey,
The sacred ibis sinks into sediment
And vultures weigh a ton a piece.
Scavengers face their own erosion.
Baboons gaze at stonework sunrises.
Sparrows eat the last grains of light.
Figures of famine begin to fracture.
Cartoons of war crack at the core.
All this weighs humankind’s entelechy
Against the weight of a feather.