Thursday, December 28, 2017

Fire in a Snow-Globe

Inside a snow-globe an engine hums
like a hamster-wheel. Feed it,

it runs faster, pushes hard rattling air around
the globe, cracking ice like glass. Belts break,

flail loose, free ends spiral into monsters
we name: Katrina, Harvey, Maria.

Spun-off sparks kindle the Western States
while a polar front slashes ice and snow across Dixie
warmer, but more powerful

like that bear, still terrible in its dying
claws stretched to strike and kill.

We should have starved that machine.
We should have saved the bear.

Available! High-Voltage Lines, Knocking from Inside

Monday, December 11, 2017

Untitled: 12/11/2017

We search for grace notes. Someone saved a rabbit.
Twenty-nine horses burned to death in a stable.
How many homeless in Ventura County? Who will count
their bones?

Available! High-Voltage Lines, Knocking from Inside

Starvation Looks

like an old man in a filthy fur coat
shambling through emptiness

lead-heavy legs, skin sagging empty folds

collapse. Rest a while, then
one more effort—a trash can

maybe there’s a bit of food—

too decayed to swallow. Spittle
runs down his jaws

stumbling full of emptiness

black eyes stare


Available! High-Voltage Lines, Knocking from Inside

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Waiting for a Bus with Yunus Emre

All quotes from Yunus Emre, The Drop That Became the Sea, Kabir Helminski and Refik Algan transl.
Inspired by Billy Collins, "Shoveling Snow with Buddha"

The sun is up behind clouds. Damp leaves are stuck to the sidewalk.
Yunus says: Don’t dwell in images.
Each flower has a thousand ways it flirts with Truth.

The bus is late and my feet are cold, Yunus.
Who has time to be bored?
These sighs are love’s clothing.

I worry about the state of the world: what can one person do?
Even a weak falcon is a falcon still.
What blocked Solomon’s way was an ant.

Yunus, what’s the use of poetry anyway?
Let the deaf listen to the mute
a soul is needed to understand them both.

I never know if my poems are any good.
When you have brought the pearl to the surface
a jeweler is needed to know its worth.

I never know if my poems are true.
Some people get their share of revelations
and some people go deeper.

But what makes a really good poem?
We entered the house of realization. We witnessed
the body.

How do you want us to remember you, Yunus?
Let my poems be scattered.
May Yunus hop like a partridge.

Available! High-Voltage Lines, Knocking from Inside