All the Stones In Me Are Birds

02D7B2C7-8981-441F-A926-9BB3BFB93F09The stone does not want.

I’ve left my longing on the shores
of a distant city

trading plastic for the eyes of a toad
clocks for purple twilight.

All the stones in me are birds.

Here, the avenues are all lined with feathers
and driftwood becomes me.

Do not be alarmed if I become a bird
and nest in your heart–
it was meant to be this way, you know.

All the stones in me are birds.

Forgive me, father, my hands weren’t meant for metal.

Yet a poet is not delicate like a machine, rusting; or granite, washing away
after a million years.

He endures like Phoenix
in the center of things.

When I launch at dawn
for high discourse with the pelicans in the storm
to trade pebbles and feathers

regard what’s left behind,
and take care the downy hatchlings,
they may need your galactic love—they have longings.

Flutter

9D56CFB2-72D3-4B8E-B1E5-18D5E1885956Question: To where are my veins flowing?

Question: Can I also lay on the cool grass, breathing? Not to stay alive, but to live.

Question: Who killed the heart of the world?

That’s a dead song, short and bitter.

Still the birds of my bones
blood heart feet gut groin flutter,
utterly without restraint,
light and large, like heron.

The birds know no shame.

Who can withstand them?

Not when darkness holds his mask
over the the face of the multitudes.

I name the stars after my birds flowing,
great ancestors-to-be.

I say, let them soar down the shafts of my veins,
unruly and improper, like dawn.

The limbs and lines of cottonwood leaves
are no less, no more
than my veins, my flutter
my precious birds–
who say yes and know where.

Start With a Frog

81ACCF7F-64B3-4D36-A6A4-A2D2DFBF1447Start with a frog. In the mud
by the shore the day begins.

In the sky by the hawk, inside the stones under water.

Whatever word they use to mean how morning’s light on low rapids…
—use it here.

Tell me, how did the day smile from each corner of its face?

But it was doing it with glee and fire.

Oh, if I were but a builder….
An altar at each place.

The thing about Now—no monuments serve better than presence. How to praise.

I opened my hands and found a sun—all the sand had poured out.

Along with all the sighs I’d been gathering since June
joining the other out breaths of an August flow.

And I swear I’m not a hoarder.
The mouse is not convinced.

Without trying I touched everything:

pampas grass and salmon
mustard and poison oak
more red than red alder leaves
Jupiter and all the whiskers
found me
all the flickers white-banded
and belling into the wind.

And of course those frogs
delicate and intrepid.

When I hitched my beautiful cloud to the river-chord
after all these eons,
finally,
finally! the heron believed me.

So, picking 730 blackberries to celebrate,
one for each moment of the morning,
I stained myself the deep color of joy.

I Have Been One Acquainted With the Flow

BAB8AC56-EE98-4E18-8034-4D7B7F1EB9F7.jpegFor Robert Frost (& his Acquainted With the Night)

I have been one acquainted with the flow.
With many rivers and their cousin creeks.
I have walked past the furthest city glow

After looking down long and lonely streets.
I walked right past the gateman doing rounds
Unwilling to explain my wayward feet.

I stood still when I heard the lovely sound
Leap through the hills and pierce my patient heart
To call me back to where the things unbound.

So towards the hills again I made my start
Listening for whatever the wind blows
Of the secret tunes of a river’s art

Proclaiming the place where I was to go.
I have been one acquainted with the flow.

It Nearly Floats Away

F01BF34E-F969-4699-B7FD-B653047C7DDDFrom the moon
the unfolded blue and white petaled blossoms
sink into the dark beyond
as quiet as a butterfly.

No cries are audible,
none at all.

The moon—
in its sovereign cold
safe from heat
of hatred daily burning
into flesh and hearts—is calm.

There are no flesh or hearts on the moon
and no fires can be seen.

The only war here is the homesickness for the war.

On the moon that familiar knot is weightless—you know the one.

It nearly floats away
to join the symphony of stars.

So in August’s drowsy simmer
in a moon-muffled world
one can almost pretend…

There must be a reason the moon sticks around.

In the East at Ease

DAC2D300-507B-4B29-94A5-5B2861A966A8Sitting on the West
In dithery all blossomed
She pluckered light in flantic whole
More round about than Chaucer

Barely goosed in gibbous garb
Her gosling eyes still shone
Coy as cat and slicker yet
She yearned her lover home

But in the East in full-boned ease
All gandery and glistened
Reclining brithe and skinkery
And beige to boot and free
The ottered man with plinket eyes, lay
Skin-gathered and complete.