Friday, July 29, 2011

He is a sordid little god,

unkempt,
stinking,
and unshaven,
spitting and scratching as
he shambles through streets ankle-deep in trash
and dog shit,
covered with scars
of uncertain origin,
and looking out at the world with yellowed crocodile eyes.
He is the god of unanswered prayers
and crumpled hopes, the god of
"oh well"
and "I'm sorry, we did all we could",
the god of drawing the knife up the river
(rather than across the stream),
the god of "I can't make it stop"
and "we're too late",
a semi-toothless carnival worker/rodeo clown/pimp of a god,
stubbing out lives
like cigarette butts,
and tearing dreams out of fools
like a slaughterhouse worker
gutting a pig carcass.
He's not all shiny and pretty like the one
that lives on Mt. Sinai,
but he gives as well as he gets,
and more often than not
he kicks his cousin's ass without even breathing hard.

Monday, June 20, 2011

They waltzed in cold embrace,

their forms slowly turning to ash
as they mechanically twirled around
the unseeing room, greyish-black
puffs
falling from them
like pieces of a dying glacier
collapsing  into the sea.
Their silence held unspoken
volumes,
the ashen visages of the dancers
remnants
of warmer times,
when what was hoped
still outweighed
what was known.
Their bodies slowly
broke apart
with each unheard shift
in rhythm,
the scorch marks
on the walls
the only evidence
now in view
of vanished times
and ancient lives.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The air itself was alive

and I looked with excited foreboding
as the trees bowed in unexpected homage
to the ancient master that was now
aloft above them.
The Presence glowed without light,
was felt without sensation, and
shouted without sound.
It hovered in front of me,
daring me to live,
and insisting that I speak,
with a command that was only mine
to know.
I stayed silent for seconds, minutes, years,
centuries, eons,
as all about me remained frozen
in deathly joy.
Then I broke the air itself, and said simply,
"Show me."
And I knew the unknowable.
And I became numbers
and dimension.
And I saw non-being
become being.
And I lived in the maelstrom of
stellar hellstorms,
and stood exultant in the middle of
the Sun,
and swirled walls of
galaxies with a casual gesture.
And all that was,
or had been,
or would be
thunder stormed by my transfixed sight
faster than light speed
and I lived all that had been lived
in any world.
And in that moment, and only
for that moment,
I was All.
Trembling, shivering in the
Antarctic  Present,
I then asked,
"Why?"
And every
shrieking horror
raped me, sneering as it did,
and all the idiot suffering
tore my face with
razors,
and every depth of pain
became mine
even as it was not mine.
And in unhinged, lunatic rage, I roared
at That Which Is
Fucking bastard!
Inaudible weeping filled my ears,
and unspoken words said,
There was no other way.
And I felt it take my hand
as if it had fallen to its knees
to ask of me that which it had
no right to ask.
I said finally,
"Will I remember?"
The night sky said,
No.
But I was at peace,
because I knew,
somehow,
as I was about to lose
all that I had experienced,
that such places as I had seen,
are,
and such times as I had witnessed,
were,
and
that He and I
were of the same body
after all.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The young one meanders on a journey

he can see only in part,
rising and falling in crazy-quilt fashion,
restless to be more,
if only he could know what more really was.
He is a strong, thin reed of sinew,
heart-breaking in his hopeless, aching desire
to heal the ancient scars of an indifferent world.
He burns with diamond-flash intensity,
fierce young man's desire
saturating his being.
He bursts with fiery rhythms
and raises his voice in songs
that lift up his intense, wounded soul
and wring it out like a dish rag.
A gentle, naive love
exultantly calls out
from the core of his being,
one that just wants to see
simple kindness replace the
blood-smeared brutality that leers at him, and one
that will keep the creeping bitterness that is coiling
around him at bay.
He wants to be a hero,
if only to reassure himself
that he is at least as good as the others.
The Old One looks from a safe distance as the young heart-man
teeters on the cliff's edge, so strong, so unsure, so brave, and so mad,
all at once.
The tired, cynical old one has seen the last
of his own boyish dreams
boiled away by the heat of blind reality,
and has begun to see
death's patiently waiting face taking shape. 
In the young hero-in-aspiration he sees
all that was best in himself, long ago,
before he opened his fingers and let it
trickle away.
He delights in the young one's
still-green, smiling exuberance,
even though the smile masks
darkened pathways of despair.
The Old One sees strength growing in counter-point
to his own body melting away, and a belief
in the possibility of change
where his has vanished.
The Old One throws ropes to the fledgling knight, 
because it makes the Old One feel
that he still counts, and because he knows
that when the uncertain, beautiful young one
finally rises to be the equal of the vision he has
for himself,
the sight of it will remind him
that joy is not just for
children, and that life still has its
occasional, battered triumphs.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

If I had prayed with her

in the garden while the others slept,
or joined her on that storm-clouded hill
as the one from Aramathea,
immersed in the ocean trench of his grief,
gently lowered the torn and bloodied corpse,
or if I had risen up in the middle
of the air as the joyous
SHOUT
echoed through skies witnessing
the coming of the Kingdom,
would she have
seen past my formless heart,
and kept me alive
longer?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The grief must come in silence,

so as not to arouse suspicion
or call attention to
your tiresome pathos
and
your faded drama queen sorrow.
Bypassers must be kept in the dark,
so there can be no audible sobs;
that's for children
and other people who are still
unconcerned
about
their image.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I imagine a day

when all of them are gathered
in some place fragrant with
sweet flowers,
and everything is finally revealed,
as we might show a child 
the person holding the strings
on the marionette.
And many of them will nod knowingly,
perhaps saying, "So THAT'S what that was",
and others will bend their heads down and weep
softly, the grayish terrors finally falling from
their shoulders with a clattering racket.
And some will stare in shocked disbelief,
as the world they drove themselves into
like a tent stake
crumbles beneath their feet. 
And others
will laugh gleefully as they watch the
pained expressions of those
who were so sure that the marionette
was a real boy.