I saw God die this morning,
A brilliant flash of red,
Weaned of attachment to
Branch of maple tree.
God floated for a moment
In the clearest breeze, then
Dropped to Earth, bleeding,
Crucified refinement of the flesh.
I saw God leap this morning—
Brilliant flash of rainbow fish
Diving deeply into shining lake.
I saw God black, in the insect
God leapt to devour….
Alive one instant, food the next—
Stomached by swimming beast,
Feeding God to God in such a soaring
Miracle, my blood chilled to weep.
I saw God last night,
After heavy rain had stopped,
Driving home, God hopped as frog
Trying to cross the street.
I almost squished God with my car!
Oh, God, poor little hopping God,
I nearly took your life in haste.
Now that I’m awake,
Skies are green; rain is blood—
God falls, swims, leaps, cries
Everywhere I look….
At bottom of the night,
In dark eyes of black dog
Rests God, wagging tail,
Content with simply being,
Lying beside my bed.
In the darkest night of years,
As restless sleep sweeps my soul
Toward brighter dreams,
I hear the call of angels
Singing deep and deeper in the night
Of light— endless, glorious light of love.
Out from the tomb, as if it were a star,
Burns endless flame, visible, radiant
It shines in valley and to mountaintop,
Holding all the world within its grasp;
Disperses doubt within a mist,
Sweet it passes from soul to soul,
Breath of mystery till dry dust
Turns back to life again, again,
Till all is joined in melody of song.
I see them walking there, these
Messengers that come at night,
Visitors from worlds eternal—
A sight so bold, so clear…
This gloomy globe of panting world
Passes as faint memory
After failing of the sun is gone.
All I know will fail, cannot last—
Except this glittering vision
Found inside the darkness
Of a dream: this lingering
World of souls walking in the radiant air
Whose light is filled with love.
Though I hear the song they sing,
I do not know the words,
Unknown, this language of the dream,
Yet even in my sleep I sense the theme—
A sight that burns beyond the coldest night,
An endless song of shining love.
Some feelings never let go,
Like the endless hunger for love—
A world, a universe I do not understand…
Lost as I am in longing, beyond control,
Beyond reason, in grasping touches, piercing
Defenses, overpowers senses… shameless, stimulating.
Only in those awful moments when I return to
Shadowy reality of the world I walk—
Enchantment fades: all that remains are
Painful desire and indescribable restlessness;
Emptiness without presence.
Doubts are a gust of wind compared to
Majestic storm that lies within, raging deep inside.
On outside, a crafted exterior,
A pretense of normalcy,
Indifferent to whispered breath of kisses.
Resisting tender arms embrace desperate hunger.
Even as I walk away, I cannot remove
My eyes. Thoughts turn and turn again to
Glance upon tender air, possessed by
Absurd conviction that everything is possible.
Filled with dreams and visions, even
Deserted streets of my life appear populated with
Expectation, anticipation, hope.
I walk out upon open plaza, notice flock of birds
Congregate in center of the square, covered with
Blanket of white feathers blowing in the breeze, silently.
Pigeons part to let me pass, without flying away.
I move forward, as pigeons break ranks in front,
Re-form behind as together, we hear peal of
Church bells tolling midnight hour. I pause,
Stranded in oceans of silvery. cooing birds, in midst of the
Most marvelous, magical night of my life—
Knowing this moment has been waiting for me
Since before I was born… this divine encounter,
This open heart of love that lingers into dark.
Sitting in the lushness of a sunlit afternoon,
I listen to sounds of splitting wood,
Anticipating holding off winter’s stormy cold with
Roaring fireplace and heavy sweaters.
It is a ruinous conclusion for the tree chopped down
Two years ago in midst of summer’s sun;
I heard the crack one early morning,
Saw turbulence of flashing ax swing through air,
Rising cloud of dust upon crescendo of the thump,
An empty space once occupied by stalwart tree.
It did not linger for storm or wind to bring it
Down to kiss the Earth, but waited, as a father should,
Till under weight of its own body,
Found the will of slashing man
All too much to bear alone. He had no
Dominion over gravity, yet used it well,
Watched it topple with no regret before
Hiding in the branches of the tree, then
Finally exhausted, moved on to rest a while.
Come winter, this aged, dry wood will blaze,
Warm bodies enlightened in the night as
Last charred act singes stars, becomes rising sparks,
Joins heaven with its dying embers sacrificed,
Welcomed to its final slumber, the body light, flickering
On fire, transitioned beyond all understanding,
Energy stored finally released, uprooted,
Forever consumed, unstable after years of stability,
Rising as in prayer, dancing within the pungent smoke,
Deeper than any naked eye could ever follow.
Morning sunlight platforms yellow
On the hills, shrugs off deeper green;
Dominion of summer fades to fall.
There is a chill of fear in the blue air…
Should I cheer the change of season on?
Demand an explanation on behalf of
Leaves waiting on branch for white kiss of
Frost before shrugging off to find
Purpose in dust, hang snug as they
Float on outside curve of river’s current?
I remind myself to comfort myself:
There is no waste in all of
Nature’s moving graces,
As I waste whatever life I have
Opening heart to greater promise.
Whatever the world gives,
The world shall take away…
If I were the hawk that soars
Above the lake and roof,
I’d bless terrain below, swoop,
Fall in love with life, with flight,
With landscapes when viewed from
High above, even as I prepare to
Snatch a mouse to feed, oblivious to
Precision of suffering, the killing
Hubris of my plunge, the panic…
The beauty lasting even in the dying.
Whatever the world gives,
The world shall take away.
As I age another year,
Tambourine’s discs within the spine
Creak and shiver to the bone.
Words on tongue begin to stutter,
Splitting as a wishbone cracks,
Mind foggy in polished morning air.
Aging shallow lungs mean no marathon
As I blow too many candles out
Upon red velvet cake made by
Friends who forgot velvet lines
Casket at the wake, not that ears are
Hearing so acutely to hear whooshing of
Approaching angel’s feathers
Coming at the setting of my sun.
The Holy Ghost still daily grants
Healing touch as words still come;
Idle mind still taps the devil’s dance;
Muscles still contract; eyes still see
Gliding hawk as I write this poem.
And if these same eyes still blink,
Watch this hawk soar to spring sowing—
Hallelujah, I will have survived
Winter’s death to mending spring,
Breathe again summer’s honey air,
Limber up my love for yet
Another passioned kiss for life.
They say that those who drink the Nile
Will return to drink again…
But only if the heart has broken
When opened in moonlit love.
Now I have never sailed the Nile,
Nor seen the splendor of the pharaohs’ tombs.
I’ve yet to see the ancient pyramids
In rising of full heart’s moon.
But with love my heart has opened,
Been broken more than once…
The riddle of that Sphinx has spoken;
Abundant tears have dropped to join the Nile.
No doubt I will return to walk
Egypt’s empty deserts yet again:
Subsist on dates, drink deeply of the Nile,
Swim in the flow of full heart’s love.