Paloma

Cucurrucucu paloma
Cucurrucucu no llores
–Tomás Méndez

Don’t cry, Paloma, don’t cry
there is no beginning
and no ending
but one eternal
moment

unblessed, uncursed,
unaware of itself
just like you
at the edge of
consciousness

dreaming of stolen
worlds you never knew

Don’t cry, Paloma, don’t cry
everything passes
even the passing passes
until only a thing
that might be a memory

elusive, winking in
and out of existence
just like you
remains, or does it?

Don’t cry, Paloma, don’t cry,
it’s only your dream
from which you will
never wake.

Spring song

Spring is here
the sun rises early
and scoots across the sky
slowing only for high noon

Spring is here
the hawk patrols his highway
field mice scatter
songbirds bicker in the bushes

Spring is here
something – a flower, a tree –
pushes up through the
loose soil of a grave

Spring is here

A prayer for hard times

Thank you, Brother Moon,
for lighting our hearts
in the deepest night.

Thank you, Brother Moon,
for guiding the Sun
on its relentless arc.

Thank you, Brother Sun,
patient behind the rim of morning
awaiting your time to rise.

Thank you, Brother Sun,
for your terrible light
upon good and evil alike.

Thank you, Mother Earth,
for embracing the dead
we discard along with our dreams.

We children, both of
darkness and light.

Dangerous companions

A child finds himself wandering alone
In a forest, seeing a campfire and, drawn to it,

Finds dangerous companions, thinks,
What is it I am afraid they will take from me?

Not the place of my birth, or of my rearing,
Or the place from which my ancestors sought refuge

Not the things I’ve inherited –
Blue eyes, brown hair, big feet and a guilty conscience –

Or the illusion of permanence that is itself
The only permanent thing I know.

My life? Such a fragile thread!

You ask why I don’t write a poem

you ask why I don’t write a poem
about what’s coming down all around
us as we speak

what’s to say about a life in the wilderness?

but it’s not like I haven’t tried god knows I’ve given it
all I had, spent my quota of midnights
so many poems fluttering in the blowback
utterly panicked
rhymes scattered like shell casings
meter cleft in the borning
aground on the shoals of the dead

wanderers always think they have a home
beyond the vapor trail but you and I,
my weeping friend, know we’re already there
the time has come, my dear, for reckoning

‘tis the past and not the future beckoning
and so in this hour of false redemption
we offer thanks for a return
to mere abomination