Saturnalia

A pinprick in the starry curtain

Where light shone through

Like an incandescent blade
 

A spirit prowled on the edge of heaven

Snarling between bars

With an ancient and dark disquiet
 

Catching a corner of fabric in his teeth

The spirit pounded and tore

To remove it like carpet
 

The earth was thrown into convulsions

And violent swells shattered across the sky

So the terror of the spirit was felt by all
 

The infant light was upset from her cradle

And cast out like loose grain

Into a foreign corner of the field
 

Amid the mad universal drumming

She cried like an abandoned child

And twisted herself into the breathing soil
 

Her sisters danced around her in a circle

Leaping barefoot and shouting for the hour

The Undying Sleeper would come to reap
 

At the edge of night, the edgeless spirit

Put forth once more his shattered hand

And struck against the timpani of years

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The Sun Named Moon

I

Your name is divinity—eternal graven image

Of some dark god forgotten by man,

Forsaking any question why your journey began

You spin on the invisible rim of gravity, a presage

Of the oblivion that will return to swallow intention.

 

II

Your name is serenity—chasing the invisible tail

Of your own silent footsteps going before

And following behind; mountains of ocean gore

Spill on earth’s shore, staining the invisible trail

Of destruction left in your fearful rejection of stillness.

 

III

Your name is clarity—ever-shifting face

Of light tempered with darkness, an old broken

Mirror ever half-seen, half-unseen; the lesser token

Casts abroad its borrowed glow in place

Of greater light to strive against the stars.

 

IV

Your name is purity—clothed in the snowy white

Of sinews, scars, and skin already bled

By stony missiles thrust into your cratered bed,

Who naked every night is led in the sight

Of the great horned owl and the laughing jackal.

 

V

Your name is eternity—the orb orbits the orb

Orbits the Orb in praise of infinite space

And sings with wild impunity while dancing in place,

“Never dream of the arc that will absorb

Your own, no matter how red its fires shine.”

 

VI

Your name is fertility—a cold, colorless waste

Of marble dust and the namesake of monthly blood

Dried and pounded into chalk, filth, and black mud;

Womb of graven goddesses without a taste

Of air or the gentle touch of seeds in spring.

 

VII

Your name is mystery—slender and coquettish darling

Of earth, whose flesh too fond of fondling eyes

Remains too cheap to sell without disguise,

That dwindling shade you clutch about the scarring

Of your frame betrays your bones to the sun’s flame.

 

VIII

Your name is lunacy—the pale fleshy flavor

Of your lidless eyes is slave to hollow tongues

And thankless lips; pouring into withered lungs

Your purest white kisses, you waste the favor

Of each lunar dawn that weeps over your horizon.

 

IX

Your name is humanity—celestial oneness born

Of shattered terra, mangled and misshapen world

Perfect in form and symmetry: an infant curled

In the womb of space descends into the coming morn.

Of light and in light she sings and dreams that her name is—

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Berceuse

Butterflies

Night butterflies

Fold their wings and sing their lullabies

Plant themselves in fragrant grasses

Dewy drops on their eyelashes

Whisper to the world, “Goodnight.”

Rest their hands on dresses white

Close their eyes

 

Bird

Blue bird

Fold your weary wings without a word

Dream of sun and open sky

There you’ll fly

As you lie

Silent in your ocean bed

Made of lilies painted red

Don’t be heard

 

Butterflies

White butterflies

Fold their wings

And sleep

Never will you hear a sound

From their cradles underground

You won’t hear them - they’re not there

They’re floating in the morning air

They are flowers

Bright flowers

Little beams

Little gleams

Little dreams

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My children are the rain

My children are the rain

Watering this thirsty planet.

At the cry of the earth they leap up

And fly to dry places,

Cooling burning tongues

And wetting parched lips.

 

Their mother is the air

Who bears them from the sky

And like the wind moves on

With a kiss like empty glass.

 

Our embrace was an empty room.

Our passion, stillness.

Our children became the rain.

They beat against the glass

And fell trickling to the floor.

 

At the cry of the earth they were swept up

And carried to distant lands.

They are dashed against stones,

Lapped up by dogs, and

Collected in bowls for the sun to soak up

Like tears in an old man’s eye.

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