Oh My Word



Now I begin my opus.
All my life I've prepared for this.
 
I see it now, a poem of one Word,
A wild insouciant light-bearing Word
That thrills the heart of a gnat
 
And spins ten million suns
From the black hole of silence
On the tip of the tongue,
 
A Word that oscillates each atom,
Quickening the amygdala with hope
In the angry politician's reptilian brain, 

A Word so hot it shocks
that veiled lady Night
 
Into revealing starry algorithms
Of dance, at dawn her lavender
Fingers stroking the mist away;
 
Oh one sweet single-syllabled
Gong of impeccable magic,
Charged with the super-conductive
 
Quantum uncertainty of poetic justice,
So quietly and elegantly transforming 
Four horizons into on drop of honey:
 
Someone has spoken it!
Praise the murmurer.
____________
Hubble Photo: the stellar spire within M16, the Eagle Nebula

Only One Word

There is only one word. It begins
in the awe at the back of your throat
and ends in breathless pressed lips, closed eyes,
 
a single syllable containing every alphabet
and every language from infancy till death:
the lover’s sigh, precarious laughter on a cliff,  
 
the stunned gargle of soldier’s blood.
All other sounds are echoes, reverberations
in empty canyons of memory and hope.
 
If you would be a poet, keep trying
to pronounce it, even if it kills you.
Be like a thief fleeing from a royal garden,
 
attempting to breathe through a mouth
stuffed with stolen figs.
Even if the King runs after you, shouting,
 
"Wait, you're welcome here, our fruit is yours!"
keep fleeing into wild places
until you find the well of silence.
 
What sound is your breath making now?
Look in the blossoming weeds, each tiny
petal scribbled with a syllable of prayer!
 
Pause, part your lips.
Now drink….
This is the Beloved’s name.

Turn


If you knew that each breath
is a return to the garden
you would not live in exile.
The heart is awakened by means of the heart.

We only imagine that we need someone's touch.
That angel with a flaming sword
who stands guard at the entrance
is You, turned outward, scanning the shadows.

The Age of Information is over:
there are no facts.
This is the Age of Flavor and Aroma:
even the news of death can be given as a kiss.

Open all your gates,
welcome the weary pilgrims
back to where they started.
Chocolate, honey and wine don't grow on vines.

The transformation happens in darkness.
You must distil yourself
and ferment your secrets
in the cellar of aloneness.

You can tell when the vintage is finished
by the scent of longing.
Now turn, turn, and fashion your sweetness
in a hollow place.
______

You may listen to a reading of this poem HERE

Song of Fire



If Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed had known
That men would etch their song of fire into a book
They would never have opened their mouths.

Each word of scripture begins as a cry in your chest,
The sacred calligraphy of arteries and nerves.
You need no map to return to the wild places:
They are inside you.

Does blood exile its beating heart?
Your body is the garden where God walks
In the cool of the evening.
You have luscious vines.
Their entanglement is the dark story of love.

Your grapes are round and full.
The Lord crushes each one with his tongue.
Feed his thirst for you, that lost husband inside.

Scripture speaks of journeys,
Rivers, deserts and a mountain top,
But the landscape is you.
The milk and honeyed vintage
Are pressed from your marrow.

There's a valley between your nipples
Where the fountain of bewilderment is.
The New Moon signifies a radiant hollow
Under your breastbone.

Ferns brush the lips of the white tailed deer,
Berries fall, twigs meet the sky.
This simply means, all jaggedness resolves
Into awakened space
Through the naked branches of form.

Meet your lover there in aloneness.
Be both drum and dancer.
Find the voluptuous unseen core
Where even the most delicate orchid endures
A sexual yearning for its opposite.

The flesh and senses have never fallen.
Your breath trembles though them like wine in crystal.
Only the mind falls into this wanting...

The terrible fortress in your bones
Where you stored up all your sins
Might have been emptied into the ground
Of breathing
To nurture the root of a human flower.

Now is the time to go home
In a single inhalation
To the stunning silence of original wonder.
_________

You may listen to a reading of this poem HERE