Postquam Humanus

This won’t do; this won’t last.
This war of all against all.
Treat others badly, the bad returns.
Treat the earth badly, earth has last say.
Hate the human races, dream your many faces.
Convinced of your politics, think again.
Laws fall silent in a silent state.
Convinced of your beliefs, believe in freedom
To keep from being fanatic in belief.
This won’t do; this won’t last.
This war of all against all.
What human future, without a human past.

Mariposa Requiem

for Raúl Hernández Romero
and Homero Gómez González

Who needs a mariposa when we value
Profits over Beauty and Nature.
Why not kill all butterflies,
Grind them under our boots
Into gravity’s deepest grave.
We can’t let them pass through Purgatory.

Let’s declare a mariposa massacre,
Burn them in ovens– as they’re also God’s chosen.
Who needs a butterfly when we can pin them
Under glass and say
They were the anthologists of love,
Messengers between magic realms, flying flowers,
Living souls, sun leaves, wind riders,
They who sipped at the waters of Paradise.

I cross the Great Lakes to bring back
Your names, Raúl and Homero…,
They can’t kill the mariposa in us,
Soaring is tattooed on our souls.
We blossom into being, over and over,
To keep this earth from being Hell.

August Evening Without Religion

With earth in its summer orbit
Evening is day’s vast heaven,
The fabric of the air so thin
Night can’t darken its face,
But lets starlight shine through,
The moon unearth its shadow,
Clear as its own lunar mornings
Brightness transcends night.
To such heavenly expansion
In comparison night seems void,
With God, or empty universe,
With our damned unreason,
Night seems void this evening
In the features of our animal faces.

One Pure Note

for Eva Cassidy

Too pure a voice for this life
God’s child and Angel chorister
Deep bride of song
Painter of soul imagery
Spirit inspirited
Death’s half-step and pause
Old child of beauty
Heart translator
Music’s incarnation
With vocal cords
Absolute pitch and blend
Back phrasing from Paradise

Homero Gómez González

Today you are a murdered butterfly,
Like flower petals in the wind,
Each one falling to earth like something rare.

Today you are a murdered butterfly,
Your scales are like gold dust.
Black rain in black hearts.

Today you are a murdered butterfly.
Even Malverde is unmasked
By what the butterfly can see:

Twelve thousand suns and moons.
Twelve thousand skies and forests
And twelve thousand murderers…

Today you are a murdered butterfly,
Your migration will take you far
Beyond the fallen earth, Homero.

Chaosmosis

Dear friends, I have been diagnosed
With Chaosmosis—
My mind can take no more chaos.
I am saturated with the world.
Symptoms include
Feeling infected with the coronavirus,
Your plane has been shot down,
Your helicopter crashed into a hill,
You have cancer and a parasite
Created by chaos eroding the margins
Of just feeling alive,
And the earth in global crisis,
Collapsing to our selfish ignoring.
So far there are no treatments
For Chaosmosis,
Except for symptomatic drugs,
Drugs that leaves you numb,
With a gaze like a flame
Or like an endless wave in space.
Image of the imageless, like an impact crater.

Song of the Earth

All our different languages
Yet trees, grasses and stones
Have the same vocabulary;
Blowing snow and mountain pines
Express a shared language;
Cresting waves and rippling dunes
Breathe the same breath in speech.
All our different languages
You’d think the earth
Could have translated hate
Into the music of a wild meadow,
And washed away any semblance
In the waves of our lakes…
You’d think we at least
Could have picked up a few
Beach stones and memorized
Each other’s faces without words.