My country is like the willow
envious of the sky piercing oak
unaware that the tall, stiff,
top-heavy and shallow rooted
oak, standing amidst the remains
of its kindred, pines for
the resilience of the willow
We’ve lost the will to listen,
instead expressing and expressing
without end, without impression
as if we were generators and not motors,
as if beams of reality flowed
brainless and wantless
toward – what? Tomorrow?
There is no tomorrow,
today only, in a false succession
of todays. How can there be
expression, alone and only?
There must first be an emptiness,
gradually filled with the stuff of galaxies,
or more remote still, of giant gas clouds
or invisible matter, so dark.
Like me, the day resembles an empty vessel,
empty of all that radiates outward,
all that intends malice or desire,
that winks a hundred wishes onward,
holding only God accountable,
leaving any sense behind,
out where there is no boundary,
where edge melts into center,
where all becomes nothing,
where stellar wind washes light
from the first Nothing screamed aloud,
down to the yearning of stars to be born,
to the thin layer of life
astride the cosmos.
After the rain
A sun-stranded worm
Like a question mark
Don’t push too hard for fidelity
because looking at a photograph
you really have no idea
what it felt like to be standing
just this side of that sky,
feet in the mud, those foot-sized
bricks framing your heart.
Avoid the light in polar places
and try to catch the drip, drip, drip
of reality disappearing just off-camera,
those eyes aged into history
while no one was looking.
When you dip roses, even roses
into the frail cold of liquid nitrogen,
“J’accuse!” they shout.
“M’amuse!” we shout back,
sometimes in anguish, sometimes despair,
as they lie shattered around us.