Monday, February 27, 2012

Unsuitable things - Snow falling on the houses of the common people. Moonlight shining into such houses is also a great shame.

Judging the world, discerning butterfly,
what is your aim?  How helpful can this be?
Making no move, you watch and sing and lie.
How can you wield those eyes that conquer me,
sharper than swords, and still refuse to see?
Would you forbid this river, when it floods,
even to touch the thirsty and the dry?
This is too much, but still you kiss the buds,
blind to the rot that's poisoning the tree.


Lovely, graceful vine
casually choking the tree--
to preserve the fruit,
we tear it up by the roots.
Which one deserves more to live?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Train from Chicago to St. Louis

Barren browns and grays
focus and blur and focus,
smeared on my window,
lifting the yellow grasses.
The sky is heavy
with pregnant bottoms of clouds;
the lingering snow's
ragged edges become mud.
I can never see--
I can never see it all--
there is far too much,
even in just one still shot,
and the world changes.
Still, I look out, panicking,
desperate to see,
hungry to take it all in
before it passes--
so I am suddenly stricken,
my face cut open,
overwhelmed by piercing joy,
when I realize
that it will all continue
every day that I have life.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Imprints of the holes
dug deep in my fingertips--
my hands shake too much
to write even my own name--
my mouth still open,
tongue ready to catch a taste
of that which lingered
a second too long aloft
and gave its secret away.