Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mountain, Plain

For One Single Impression

The mountain peak
dreams of love on grassy plains.
The acacia dreams of heaven.

A fading face
dreams of supple lines and lips.
The child seeks pain at seven.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Meeting Mr. Tennyson

Pulp museums, anachronisms—that’s what they are,
old soldiers dressed in fine leather jackets,
guarding knowledge and admitting access
to inquisitive index fingers worn a bit from life.

I don’t recall the volume number now—
I believe it was “Teapot to Utah”—
where I met Mr. Tennyson laboring at his desk,
hunched over, old, bearded, intense.

He was writing lines for In Memoriam,
one-hundred-and-thirty-three poems
for his friend Arthur Henry Hallam
who had faded early into senseless, seamless death.

The poet no longer understood God or life,
and his midnight poems were an encyclopedia
of sadness seduced, of grief, questions,
and occasionally a mustard seed of hope.

On cold nights when bony branches tap the windowpane,
death’s raw reminder, I read Mr. Tennyson’s encyclopedia.
My index finger runs across the troubled rhyme and verse
as the furnace down below goes quietly to sleep.

I do not feel so lonely in the presence of his words.
Someone was investing ink to clarify a mind besieged,
and that is comfort enough, a distant mercy
for my winter-frozen heart to seize and keep.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

When the World Goes Digital

You shall be in high definition, I suspect,
your beauty a Tibetan crystal,
clear and serene,
and only a thousand chanting monks
will have the saffron power
to make your third eye resonate.

Still, I hope you shall forgive me, love,
for what I, a farmer in some forgotten field, must do.
When the sun finds facets on your angled face,
I shall kiss the pixels of your eyes and cheeks
before stepping back in time
to a checkered shirt and denim jeans,
my proper time and place.

Monday, October 5, 2009


I think that somewhere, perhaps,
against all odds, as astronomical
as a metallic man in Vegas
giving me pocket change,

my double, a ghost
in a three-piece suit,
follows me as fastidiously as a butler.
I glimpse him from the corner of my eye,

and he is briefly there,
picking up paper I dropped
or making excuses for a clumsy run-in
I had with a pedestrian.

In short, he is picking up my mess,
the inevitable dregs fallen from my life
like scales fallen from the skin of Adam.
if I turn my head sharply,

looking long and hard,
he disappears. But that is the way it is, I suppose,
when one tries to glimpse
the minions of God.