Love and Time
The moon spreads its light
over where her breath sounds,
between this bed, the still night
and the country of her dreams.
And all creation it seems
(like a mother to her breasts)
has drawn the night around, offering
forever this warmth between.
But I am moved by another
more distant ground, into which
these scenes will soon dissipate
and rearrange, and like our love
no longer appear or be exchanged.
And where this sheet spreads
luminous over our limbs entwined,
a garden may grow, a yard, echo
with a child’s delight, or tree
in some distant generation, sway
beneath a vault of moonlight. Still,
how perfect this moment, how serene.
(a sonnet in the old style)
Something rusts within the springs of this frame,
carving the brow’s time into deeper grain.
Something plagues the cures of a healing flame,
following hay-days with sorrow and pain.
Something deep in the joy of life devours,
concealed like a worm in an apple core.
Something that sucks the blossom from flowers,
spoiling perfection with a fatal flaw.
Something experienced beyond knowing,
that knowledge calls doubt, and ignorance, sin.
Something that decays within our growing,
whose door the deepest wisdom cannot spring:
that condemns all beauty to tragic form,
and for dying's sake - leads us to be born!
The Certainty of Knowing
I'd like the certainty
of knowing there's something
in the universe that
reaches out for me.
I'd like that comfort.
I'd like to know
that I'm not going to
fade into the darkness;
that my life is not
just a cosmic accident,
recycled matter, fate.
Where then, is the source of my tears?
Of all those journeys taken
that give substance
to my knowledge
and wisdom to my fears?
If the sky
is just an eternity
of space and stars,
this life a sentence,
and this body,
a prison without bars?
I look out upon the world,
feel my skin,
my blood coursing,
the light in my eyes,
my breath, out and in.
Watch With Me Now
"It's the great mystery of human life that old
grief passes gradually into quiet tender joy."
-- Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov, 1880)
I have loved few and have been loved
by less: understood, misunderstood,
cursed and blessed. I have watched
the ghosts of friends and family
withdraw quietly into their last breath.
What is the source of the light in our eyes?
The meaning of a kiss? These eulogies?
The tears and laughter that animate
the hours between birth and death?
Watch with me now, in this place
of affection and disaffection, where all
that's spoken is said: of a lover's vow,
broken or kept, a father's guiding hand
and the gentleness of a mother's caress.
Watch with me now, for tomorrow we
will be one with everything, meaning less.
So, let us together or apart, be joyful,
and with wisdom, neither curse nor bless.
The road stands out of time
and is what we all travel on
towards where we are going
from where we have been.
The road offers no guarantees,
allowing us to travel free,
not knowing how far we have
to go before we reach our stop.
The road winds and unwinds
around our bones and is marked
with significant milestones.
Things are born on the road,
are wounded, heal and die,
grow old, change hands,
are bought, sold, coveted,
discarded or given away.
And some, no matter how far
they travel are dissatisfied with
where they are and what is,
desiring what might have been.
Others would like to stand
forever in a beautiful place.
‘If only,’ they sigh, ‘ if only.’
And the road takes them
forward as they move back.
Others, filled with passion,
purpose and sensitivity, embrace
the new, and when it’s time
to go, leave with sadness
and an affectionate – adieu!
Poem in the Eye of Eternity
Subtle as a chiffon veil,
luscious as a ripened peach.
Sad as moonlight on a gravestone,
wild and groping as a lover’s kiss.
Enamoured against time’s erosion,
like music, like a marble obelisk.
Evoking a quiver of inspiration
or a silent swell of tears.
On a beach or by a stream,
in a hundred or ten thousand years.
Half-human, half-divine, passing through
her heart, like a breeze through a wind chime.