Monthly Archive: August 2017

variations on dreaming

let’s first assume
that all is a dream
unfolding throughout
the truth in between

you’ve had them before
and you’ll have them again
you exist evermore
but never again

this does not mean
that dreams are not true
but if you feel a lost place
you may soon have a clue

you’re but part of the world
you help open, seeing
yet there’s another deep grace
that will always be freeing

it’s offered right now
if you let go and take it
but first you must know
that surrender is naked

all the forwards and backs
that spread out through time
all the unbounded space
that helps you combine

yet love’s never done
as it flows in through being
each now keeps expanding
and merges agreeing

3 Ladies on a Rock

One hangs on for dear life
while her granddaughter smiles,
and the one in the middle
just carries the miles.

They move through the mesas
and all of our dreams;
they smooth out the spaces
and cover the seams.

We would never know it
but just for one thing:
they’re the ones who give birth
to our world every spring.

Paint the Clouds

Can I paint the clouds
with all that we’ve lost
as I ride the roads
to Santa Fe?

The billowing mist
lightens the frost
as the evening grows
out into the day.

The distance reveals
no way across
as our dreaming shows
what we must pay.

The sun will shine
to show us who’s boss
as the darkness goes
now into the fray.

Yet our waking time
has its own cost
like a yellow rose
that will then decay.

If we embrace the joy
of this paradox
we can surrender our woes
so they don’t replay.

And when we approach
the equinox
the splendor that glows
will show us the way.

artiste

she was an artist
of prickly pears
who sculpted caresses
whenever we cared

we liked how she dresses
but were caught unprepared
when she let down her tresses
of locks, golden-haired

she cleaned up our messes
when those of us dared
to drop all our stresses
as if we were not scared

we each had to learn
that less is not paired
with guesses unfounded
and feelings unaired

both our no’s and our yes’s
have never compared
with that which still blesses
all that we’ve shared

she showed us a truth
which just can’t be declared
that largesse is ongoing
if joy in not spared

so we’re hoping our best is
enough to get squared
with the peace she expresses
as our path is repaired

peaches under a pyramid

we found ourselves whispering about them,
the soft yellow fuzz on their ripening skin
smelling like fresh, rippling sunshine
that made our mouths long with hunger

we wanted to caress their curves with our breath
stroke their flesh with our fingers
we wanted to kiss their scent with our lips
but we couldn’t

the magnetic alignment
of the Queen’s chamber
prevented anything but adulation

oh, but we did so worship the delicious fruit!

manna from the leavens of desire
sweet clarity from the womb of plenty

our genes were calling out to us,
our yearning was emptying us all
of cravenness and despair

draining into the pyramid
and reflecting back
through precise angles
of transformation

slowly,
without any pretense,
our ears opened
like doorways
to another land

our tongues licked the taste
of another place and time
where we ourselves
had not yet been dreamed

we lay ourselves down
around the base
like children camping
around a fire

and
one by one
we each closed our eyes
and sighed

smelling the essence
of redemption

Earthy Taste

Most mornings,
he liked the earthy taste
of pu-erh tea
on the back of his throat
already warm before the sun
had even risen.

Looking back across the days,
he saw the springs they drank from,
the different waters that moved
through being.

Waving and churning,
as still as peace,
sometimes as cool as azure ice,
or steaming hot, evaporating
before their very eyes.

He no longer spoke,
but his attention was clear.

“Will you melt with me, beloved?”
he seemed to be asking.
“Though I have no coin left
in this kingdom?”

“Will you remind me of my name,
when all that’s left
is simple breath,
brewed-out leaves,
and a shaky gaze
out across the stars?”

He took another sip and,
with a still-steady hand,
pointed at the sun
emerging from the earth
like birth.

dearer

Donald snagged his dreams on the seams
holding this whole shit show together
—just walls of plasmic cells resonating
with particles smaller than molecules
and waves larger than galaxies.

All that seemed to stand between him
and yet another face in the mirror,
in the same place, yet no clearer,
was a probable path
that even he was loathe to take.

His “me” was becoming untangled, you see,
and not the money, the women, the sheer power
of his new position
mattered in the slightest anymore.

Like the rest of us, he rowed
the shifting waves of
imagination, feeling, and belief.

His “I” had been dearer to him
than anything else
but now was becoming translucent,
like the wings of a hummingbird
beating too fast and hard to see.

He no longer found much pleasure
in almost anything,
almost as if he’d used the last
of it attending to the
endless decision scenarios
that stalked him every
waking moment of his day.

Oh, how he longed for that which
he could hardly even remember,
now that gold was cheap,
law was virtually his,
and there was no way to truly win
any of the multiple battles that he
constantly waged.

His alarm came on with song:

“Don’t pull your love out on me baby
If you do then I think that maybe
I’ll just lay me down and cry for a hundred years…”*

But, before he could even manage
to lick his lips to the grooving beat,
a loud knocking on his door
banished the moment,
and he opened his eyes.

*Don’t Pull Your Love: Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds, 1971.

Beautiful Pearl

beautiful Pearl
came into this world
clean as they come
nothing undone

she started quite small
just a wail and a squall
and she grew and she grew
into something new

she knew how to sing
but she wanted one thing
and she needed it soon:
her very own tune

so as a young girl
our beautiful Pearl
would steal every song
there was no right or wrong

when her childhood was done
there were no songs unsung
and in a moment bereft
she got up and left

the West Coast was near
that’s why she went there
she couldn’t refrain
pulling into her brain

all the great bits
silver bullets and hits
until she had them all
under her thrall

yet still she searched on
till they were all gone
she hadn’t found what she sought
or at least that’s what she thought

so she wandered again
to where she hadn’t been
and gathered more tunes
to read them like runes

until on her last day
in her beautiful way
she continued to long
and thus gave us her song

wi-fi

they have these things there
that you can point at other things
to make them do all kinds of different things

you’ve probably seen them

asking their speakers
buttons and bleepers
pads and controls
emboldened retrievers

they have wires there
high in the sky
thought into being by Nikola Tesla
before most of them had even been born
well before the phones
and the drones

like neurons
connected by
vast synapses
somewhat careworn

not really wires
but something more akin to not-wires
plus an apparently arbitrary second element
to make it sound like hi-fi
which had once been very popular
but was, as time marched on,
otherwise forgotten there

there was an actress
who somehow got access
on a thing called a station
that was named SYFY
a neologo-ism from the term sci-fi
which, in itself, was
short for science fiction

and therein lay the friction

it was an origins story
minus the glory

the actress had to get a part
but, though she really knew her art,

her heart wasn’t totally in
back then
that sometimes happened there

they’d almost wake up from the
dream they were having
and start to question a few things,
fundamental things that began to dissolve
when they were looked at too closely

to keep things as clear as mud
the holy host used the vested power
to dissolve time behind them,
so that they couldn’t look back,
and to cloud time before them,
so neither could they really go forward
without surrendering their most closely held
rigid dream routines

and, oh, woe betide those who tried,
because always, ever always
more conflict and struggle would arise

to batter their attention
like a loud alarm going off
“hear me! see me!”
with red lights flashing
and screens of separation from which
the still-beholden could never escape

unless they could scrape
together enough to make
a gesture of being
so freeing
all suddenly became one

she thought she could do it

if anyone could, she could
because she knew she was that good

it didn’t matter how badly written
the story was
(and this one had some doozies to contend with)
she knew she could make it work

she’d played schizophrenics
debutantes
once a war queen of the jungle
hookers
businesswomen
spies

this was no different
except she’d be up against a sacred ghost
who could undo time
like lies

easy peasy it would not be
but nothing worthwhile ever was

and she found
when she woke and opened her eyes
a rhyming tv advertisement
to greet her

“if you’re in the hot sun, overfed,
they’ll be picking up your bones
when you’re dead,

“so if you want wetter weather
you had best be eating better
and ignore all those cravings yet ahead”

it was the same privatized national campaign for
{cricket flour or seaweed mash or enhanced bottled water
…fill in the day’s most profitable blank}
that funded the job, the part she was up for
at the station

she wished it could be turned off
its vibration
but wi-fi prevailed and the artful meme spread
connecting the tiny islands of the mind
to its relentless, ridiculous chime

that they no longer even heard clearly
the white noise of the messages
just a do-run run run smorgasbord
of chatter that no longer mattered
as they crawled through their lives

she pointed a thing at another thing
and clicked

thus, it was time for the new day

release us

release us, please
say the bees
and the whales
who tell tales
as they beach themselves
belly up
on the sand in the oil
breach their glands
in the soil
while the bees
leave the trees
and the birds
hear our words
that mean nothing
to them
as they fly
and they swim