POETRY

THE WAY WE LOVE  
   
Infinity’s pastries we are  
Buttery layered lovers of God  
Some crunchy, some bittersweet  
All of us nutty in our embrace  
   
The Divine’s sweet tooth propels us Towards  
Imploring: Bite in!  
Use both hands!  
Lick your plate.  
   
Now is no time to diet  
Nor for reducing the fat in your secret-recipes  
Love large!  
Love as only You can.  
   
Drench yourself in honey  
Roll around in the violets  
Scoop yourself up with a sugar-coated spoon  
And serve.  
We are all hungry for the taste only you can give.  
   
Please! Do not worry about the crumbs you might leave  
In your lover’s beard  
Or if your batter is free of lumps.  
There is no time to waste!  
There is no right way to kiss  
All lips open the Beloved’s door.  
   
“This is how I love” whispers your tongue  
So why not open wide and belt it out?  
The trees are already humming along  
Shamelessly draping their embrace  
Over the earth for all these years  
And what do you think those insects buzz on about?  
Stirred as they are by the sun’s sweaty song  
   
Or the waxy gardenias  
Luxuriating in their own luscious scent  
Listen: This is the way I love.  
This is the way,  
Love.


I'D RATHER GO BLIND 
- for Allen

I don't want to lose my blindness, a dear friend says to me.
I'm seeing baby faces in everyone I meet
Precious little love lights shining through my haze of clarity

No, I don't want to lose my blindness, I hear him say to me
As I begin my rainy drive home alone
Turning my eyes down low so as not to see
The man shuffling his way homeless down the street

Oh this daily blindness, this shift of reality
Can keep us safe in bondage or soften boundaries
A rush of God Bless! or a held breath silence
Creates the world between you and me.

No, I don't want to lose my blindness, the moon she says to me
I'm turning bright this fearless love light so you can truly see
The deep down magic, the molecular madness
Our hidden unity.

For this global blindness, this mistaken reality
Can keep us fear frozen or melted tenderly
A reach of sweetness or a push away,
What does your heart wish to say?

No. I don't want to lose my blindness, this mysterious yes yes
That keeps us shining bright.
Oh no, I don't want to lose my blindness, this secret kindness
That keeps us close tonight. 
 

WINTER BREAKS
  
Winter breaks 
And my heart too 
  
Soft and tender shoots 
Bursting, thirsting towards the shining 
And even the snow delights in the melting 
Of this meeting 
  
While inside 
The mountains sigh 
As their winter coat is lifted 
And their silent song is carried 
By the birds once more 
  
The river smooths her gown 
For the heron’s landing 
And we are all folded in 
The silence of her silvery charms 
Content in our yearning 
  
Easy to be 
Gathering mossy poems 
To nest in quiet branches 
Gentle and safe 
Like the arms of a sweet-lipped lover 
  
Spring calls.
 

A NEW APPROACH

Some people pull on it gently
This rope to heaven
Others hoist themselves right up
Neverminding the burning
These days I just stare at it
And hope to start a fire that way.

Remaining earthbound here
I think I need a new approach.

 

FIGHTING LIONS WITH FEATHERS 

How to Keep It All Together in “Times Like These” 
The only way I know is to not. 

Rather, to let it all go. Let the heart break over and over 

To reveal that it can never truly be broken. 
Let the soul fall down, dig deep 

To unearth the shards of fear, of shame, of doubt, of fury 

And then invite the world wholly in 
Invite the world to melt in 

To finally and holy dissolve in 

To the sweet amber core of our heart’s treasure 
Where we are all one. 
Hold me gentle, hold me close, won’t you?


HAIKUS FOR JANUARY

Ice breaks off branches 
My beautiful boy vomits 
Work remains undone 
 

Icy bamboo bows 
Smoke caresses frozen sky 
The cat’s paw twitches 


One narcissus blooms 
Searching stacks for Taj Mahal 
Keeping hope alive 
 

Silky dresses hide 
Snowy tracks hint of robins 
Wool socks must be found 
 

Wind cracks icy leaves 
Sea turtles somewhere swim free 
The liquor store, closed

 

LOVE LANTERNS
  
So delicate we all are 
These great big soul-lights in paper thin bodies 
  
Little lanterns of love 
Burning ourselves out 
Getting knocked over by the wind 
Soaked in the rain 
Staying lit as long we can 
  
Arising with that great ah! of the heart 
The catch in the breath  
From somewhere beyond 
Magic is shining out of unexpected places 
  
Grumpy faces 
Rippling ducks 
Worm-fed robins 
Rosemary branches dusted with liminal blue buds 
  
Not sure yet if it is comic or tragic 
These storied lives we lead 
That is the real joke, so they say 
Believing we started our own flame 
Chose our colors 
Could do it better 
  
Than this magic light show  
This festival of dreams 
This tender glow 
We call life.

GREEN WIND MAPLE SONG 

Unseen music unfolds my heart 
Embarrassed to be seen 
So still 

I remain embraced
By spring's secret song 
It rains.

THIS BLOSSOMING YES

So I’ll throw open the windows
To dream of you. 
Nothing to hide. 
No way to inside,
This bursting, this twinkling, this knowing

All April new, yet older than the truths in my head
Those webs spun of possibilities
To assure me, as I lean on a shimmer, that I won’t fall forever 
And now I think becomes I know and I see how I never knew before 
Because it is not about clarity of sight or checking of lists 

It is about this blossoming yes, 
That vines in and out of doors and tumbles down walls 
That fills the air with its everlasting lushness 
Paying no mind to words or fences 
Kissing the dirt with its petals 

And lusting after the rain.

ONE DAY

One day she left it all. 
For the mere scent of a gardenia. 

No man attached.
No plan attached. 

She just up and left.
For her body could no longer bear 
Winter or 
Stockings 
Or the all too infrequent and oddly jagged dance of the Western world. 

Even lilac wine could not keep her here. 
No. 

Thick air 
Unabashedly seeped in perfume and sweat and dirt.
Air too full to move. 
Her body 
Her soul 
Her life 
Required this. 

What will become of her?
One day.

THE ROSES -by Mary Oliver 

"All afternoon I have been walking over the dunes, hurrying from one thick raft of wrinkled salt roses to another, leaning down close to their dark or pale petals, red as blood or white as snow. And now I am beginning to breathe slowly and evenly – the way a hunted animal breathes, finally, when it has galloped and galloped – when it is wrung dry, but at last, is far away, so the panic begins to drain from the chest, from the wonderful legs, from the exhausted mind. 

Oh sweetness, pure and simple, may I join you? 

I lie down next to them, on the sand. But to tell what happens next, truly 

I need some help. 

Will somebody or something please start to sing?” 

 

SECRETS OF ROSES (Yes, Mary! ) - by Shelly Rudolph 

To vine and sweet soft in the wind 
That is all that is needed, here beneath the sky 
Touching sand to fingers, elements breathing 
Clearly clearly through. 

Roses undoing my strings, my straps, my bridle. 
An unbridled woman finally breathing, honestly sweating 
Singing the secrets of roses 
Out loud. 

The petals hear the call and shimmer out with their brightest bow 
Loving the show, the attention, 
The sun cannot resist and joins on in, 
Coaxing an even tastier fragrance out 
While underneath we tingle and blush from his advances 

Chests pounding from deep within 
Singing the secrets of roses 
Out loud. 

Unbridled women finally breathing, finally singing the songs of roses. 
Wild roses. Wild roses. Wild roses.

TRUTH BE TOLD

Today I find myself, lost. 

Searching for faith 
Pawing through my bags of promise
Searching for tricks 
To tame the mind, to soothe the soul but 

Truth Be Told 
I just want to lose it all 
I just want to dance all night and drink too much
And fall in loose inappropriate love 
Again and again and again. 

Yes. I just want to lose it all 

Because Keeping It Together is much too hard 
And how can it be so hard?
When I should/could be blessing every moment
That I am free to walk my own self down
This great good luck garden path. 

Yes oh yes. I know what I should know. 

I know the foolishness of squandering any - every moment of This. 
I know the shame of drowning in a sea of my own making.
I know by heart the story of the mermaid who forgets to swim. 

And yet, and yet.. 

Today I find myself sinking. 
I find myself, Lost.
Grasping for my Mary Poppins remedies
But they ain't working no more, no mo' 

I just want. 
I just want to lose it all 
At the hands of an over-perfumed, over-endowed languid lover
Who knows how to lead.
 

TO SAY OR NOT TO SAY (THAT IS THE QUESTION)

The words behind (pull me close, take it off, let us steal away)
The smile 
The words beneath (why do you, why don't you)
The questioning pause of my hands 

To fly or not to fly 
To hold or not to hold 
To lie or to lay it
All the way down 

To be the I behind l 
The words the smile 
The questions the flight the trials 

Well, that is the end of the question.
 
The Lesson: The Stillness 
Still us 
Yes, let it
Let it 
Steal us all away

FULL MOON FAILURE

Feeling like a big ol' zero in the sky 
Yes. A full moon failure lights my way, shining bright on down
As life goes on by 
Me, with empty hands that show for nothing
but debt foolish dreams might have beens
spun out soul sonnets that lead nowhere
even though I Know that there is no where to go.

Yes. I know that I should know.
I know that I should now.
But I am not now-ing.

I am lamenting, I am spinning 
With the moon 
A big ol' 
Zero, she and I.
 

THE OTHER SIDE! (SAYS THE CAT IN THE HAT)

The other side
Is inside, is outside 
Is nowhere to hide 
Breath-ful alive
The other side is love 
Is you!

The Longing the ache the failure road takes us there
In the most momentous tiniest nowhere leap 

Suddenly 

On the other side 
Rest in peace 
Now! before the body is broken 

You are what you seek
We all "know" it's true 
We do we do 
Go through the full moon failure
to the other side and
Now
Speak that sweet moon language
True.

SIGN PAINTERS
  
Poets, saints and sages, for all their glory, are merely sign painters. 
“Always Open,” “Never Closed,” “Welcome,” they write. 
  
Their styles may differ  - Kabir scribbles with neon and sends arrows flashing, 
While St. Francis prefers a delicate sepia tone, 
e.e. cummings can be found pasting together scraps from the yard 
While Rumi is out front drunk on wine, drawing circles in the sand. 
  
Still, the call, the direction, the invitation remains the same. 
  
And no matter how many signs one deciphers 
Or how dazzling they appear, aglow in the night, after a very long drive, 
They will never give you the nourishment or rest that you hunger for. 
  
For that you must go inside.