Friday, September 25, 2009

Raw Prayer

Turn your body to face your hatred now -
And meet your long campaign there -
On it beats and on and on.
What did you expect to learn by staying there?

March on then, climb, rise
To higher flatland - dry grass then far off shoreline -
Even higher, the earth on this path
Stays blood red, dry, cracked.

Please listen to me!

My prayer is for your opening.
Shout out the first word that comes
Make that the start of what you seek
And listen for the voice that answers -
What are the words whispered?
Do remembrances slice you?
Does the past pass through?

When your march reaches the coast
Remember the sugar loaf we crave and salt wind we kiss
Open onto the waves as they slam the cliffs
What rain do you expect?
How long can you last?

Face prospects and not the past in this moment!
I've heard of a place other than this one
Found that when the words escape
You may know only that you are lost.
Call it by the first name that comes

Ask, listen, ask again.
Consider the answer to be your first step.

September, 2006

Don't Tell Me

I made the shape of a small circle with my hands
And placed it to my chest.
Then, I turned to you.
My soul, I said, wears a red jacket
And will come to you from inside here.
You can call it and talk to it if you want.
It knows when and how to come back home.
Go ahead. Try it.

You let your eyes drift to my forehead,
Pulled be close with a tight, white-hand grip,
Then lifted my t-shirt
Tapping me three times in the center of my chest.
These are bones and this is skin and that’s the end.
No, it really works, I said
You said, I’m reading dear.
I paused.
Do you think that I am skin wrapping bones and no more?
Yes dear.

Standing two feet from you
I watched you read.
Yellow light made a ring on the pages of your book.
When two green butterflies
Tumbled airborne from behind my ears.
They flew to you and lit your hair with green and orange.
I had no advice to give you.
Out of love for you I said in my inside voice -

You will have to do the best you can
With what you have.

July 13, 2001


I could try calling out
And say that I want something I only suspect exists -
The vast simplicity of emptiness.

I could wish for the subtle strength
To cling to a trembling light without crushing it
In the palm of my sweating hand.

Could I even see the wish taking shape,
Floating on two wings, then four
Then a thousand - flying farther away.

But I am still standing
To notice what remains,
My hands curled into fists.

I hear the voices of countless wants
While I stand taking on a growing chorus of shouts.
Here, behind the noise, wanting brings nothing
But more of itself.

What if I could swallow sharp edges?
And what if, one time, the sharpness passed through?
Could you make that happen?
Lay your hands over my ears
And bring silence to this ceaseless sound?

I can feel you repeating the words with me
Today could be the day.
Today will be that day.

June, 2009


I can feel a second body inside mine
Maybe round or bent to sharp angles
But taking some palpable shape,
It occupies my body and makes my ribs ring.

Second, I feel the gloved hand
Wrapping around my heart, one finger, then another
The first question comes -
When? When?

You sit across the room struggling to stay awake
Smokey air slides in through open vents
You will be my shaman of this moment –
Do you know who has come?
Do you know how he got in?

Just this –
This small bit of an ask -
Please help me
Sit a bit closer and lean in -
Can you hear the smallest voice?
Asking, asking.

July 13, 2001

Secret Covenant

You and I stand, fingers interlocked
Eyes opened with the wonder of opposites

A question just there beyond speaking -
Showing itself in the way you squeeze my hand.

Now a picture comes to me
Of both of us standing before a split in God’s teeth,

Only a quickening rumble in my chest tells me
You have allowed me to feel all that you could.

Nothing that we’ve written,
Nothing we can say.

We stand tangled
The causes behind this awakening leaving no evidence.

July 26, 2001

To Alex

You, the brown haired boy playing with sticks
Dream them into people and change their names at will.
Stick men who walk where you tell them to
And speak in a language they and you know.

For this brotherhood of stick people,
Assume trust and a common set of motives.
It is your world to make as you please.

Then, when you roll your eyes up
Reloading from the candy in the top of your brain,
Bring your stick men to me.
I ask to be part of your tribe.

Work this union of image
And build it if you can my young friend.
Let sticks make your stories
Until their little voices no longer come
You will grow the hands to build and rebuild

Be that one to bring forth what our doubts deny.

July 16, 2001