Best Poems From
(04/23/52 - xxxx)
Delusion of One, A Lunar New Year Reprise
Born: Year of the Dragon.
Horoscope: 'Today's the lucky day.'
Luck, you say? O.K. Once. In a small town
on a snowy road, the scenery spinning round.
When it stopped you were pointing toward a good
place - Home. The message: Go back.
You can decide again to begin again
or stay warm there: Wombtown, population: 1.
No Lions Club or local Jaycees.
No chocolate bars and brooms for the blind.
Free room and board. It's kick and dream,
kick and dream and cleanliness more efficient
than a space suit. Talk about luck?
You're here aren't you? Don't say good or bad.
It's no accident the year's the Dragon's.
Chinese or no, the year has a tail long as a river.
Peel the scales behind the ears
you'll still roar for pain o roaring boy
spinning in the world, the recurring dream
of vortices whirling pink and red, a large
mouth with teeth spitting you into
an even muddier river. You'd fish it
if you could. More likely you'd dam it
at the source. The occasional catch is
more likely snag in undertow.
It's undertow that matters.
The real power's there.
Ask the undertow, you'll get answers.
Don't say need. The bottom's filled
with old cars, tin cans, bad seed.
All you'll ever want. Get lucky.
This is the day. The glass on the window's
steamed. Outside's a blur. What's that gone by
spinning with rustling wings, roaring like wind,
glint of mirrors hurling down? You'd swear
there was a splash. Something's pointing,
Dusk At Princeton Station
man on the platform
waits pressed against
rush as only
sun slants/the dark slides easily in
tree clusters red, yellow
tinged, early October, top
limb silver shine leans
downhill over-catches the
man leaning on a rail face
to late sun, worker, dirty,
pants torn, catches it
in the ear (so it appears)
he does not move, think,
fears what might occur
from such a limb
at this late hour
sun and shadow slide
away from each as I wait
the train here more mine
to outrun what is left
chase a horizon
toward gold then red to
Magic 10** never old or
worn as am I rush
rocked by track
lilt wheel tilt
a permanent one
hang some where
it is a song once
upon a star all
child's play now
the sway at day's end
shall not hold back
these tears for fear
of no press to return
but to sway
**Magic 10 is that name photographers use to describe
a quality of light past sunset but not yet fully dark
which is 'magic' to photograph as there is a visible
dark blue/black shine not seen at any other time.
for Wendell Berry
Such is meditation in deep country -
the careful parsing by the mouth of
fine white bones from equally white flesh,
the Mind both tongue and teeth discerning spur,
spitting into the hand what can
poke and choke, even kill a man,
such is stacked/displayed on the edge
of a paper plate sogged with grease,
the bottom breaking through;
'Careful of the bones, children.'
Learning not to bestially cram and devour,
advice for later living.
Such has served me well though
I have often choked when once
is too much and enough.
Enunciating Wonder - Krishna Tales
'Sleepy Bee, ' she called to him. 'Go, my Sleepy Bee, to the garden go and be sure to smell the jasmine there, touch gently the spices in trembling rows, fetch then some of them, chilies of many colors and I will prepare for you a dish as you wish. When the teacher makes you sleepy by noon reach then your fingers to your face, smell the spices there, remember the touch of smooth skinned chilies whispering of lingering liaisons to come, and you will brighten my Sleepy Bee.'
A chili omelet she would make, a side of yogurt to soothe the burn, and milk from the cow drawn before dawn's first udder swelled against the press of distant hills where even the Temple soundly sleeps so very full and pleased with itself. Mother, each morning as he stumbles, rubbing his eyes, into the garden, tells him,
You may shout if you wish to wake
the Temple for the cow cannot speak -
Wake up! Awake! Make haste!
Lord Indra comes! Prepare the wicks,
the incense sticks for His Holy Fire!
Hasten! Hurry! Quicken!
There beside Lord Indra's captured fire in the little grate her Bee awakens watching her slow movements, the slicing of chilies, the removal of seeds, the washing again of plump hands, the cracking of eggs, beating them with the whisk, spreading ghee upon the hot flat stone, the enchantment of liquid whites and yokes becoming firm, becoming food. She turns them in round rhythms as she rhythmically prays.
After eggs and chilies are eaten comes the rose oil poured upon his raven hair smoothly brushed back to reveal his shining face, his smile. She prepares him for school with kisses, his uniform freshly cleaned, ironed, smelling, too, of rose-flavored soap. Then off to school with a lunch, a string of chilies of all colors sewn together, sewn when he was still in a waking dream.
'The chilies may burn, ' he tells me, speaking slowly, enunciating each syllable, practicing through smiles, returning to my gaze. 'But not like the touch of my mother's hand. She is far away but I can feel her burning hands on me now.' He smiles. I stammer.
How can one enunciate such wonder?