Sometimes Heart

Sometimes the heart is a coil of shadow
And a chain of light, an open wound
And drifting snow; sometimes we have
Each other, and sometimes we hold
Nothing but too little time and hunger.
I’ve been to sand and sea, to rivers dry
And overflown, fallen and flown in flesh
And the dream of the dawn that is coming.
Somehow, somehow I now stand here
Alone at a crossing like hangmen and
Scales, everyone blind, everyone wanting
And every cup empty, miraculous dust.

Letter to Myself

Remember when you miss the thrill of angry flight
That it is always winged by anger and followed by
A fall that has no end but being broken on the rocks.
Remember balance, the symmetries of affection,
And the small weights that lend you equilibrium.
Remember the deep cycles of discontent, drowning
On dry land in the open air, and take the burden
Of a life raft, irritating and inconvenient but buoyant
When you boat risks sinking and the rocks loom
Large and jagged as the night with its illusion of
Endless dark and final cold, predators all around.
You can learn to sleep again, and even dream.

Murrain

Fever fraying at the slender tether
Between me Earth, preying on me
Like a hungry vulture eviscerating
Little left of what I am, nearing zero.
The bridges I’d imagined are falling
Away in this burnt twilight, arcing
Spans resolving into motes of dust
And deep sighs of further resignation.
The end is always looming, sharp
And quick or dull and laborious as
A gradual loss of hope and retreat
Into memorial music all of shadows.
There are better ways to squander
Life than this, afraid to lie, to deny,
To believe in, to shield oneself, only
To be beaten by an inaginary sword.

Good I

The lone figure balanced on the horizon
Like a tightrope walker, sand filling his shoes,
Tide rising, knows that all is lost; surely
As there is a God, there can be no escape.
The past is a great wave rolling into tomorrow
And stations beyond, flattening future days
Like cigarette ash under a heavy heel.
Faith in the negative is always justified,
But today is still today, a moment before
The end of days, time enough for pleasures
Small even in number, but still bright sparks
Against the humdrum black of sure night.
Time enough to love, to be embraced,
To remember the best of times, gone
Or yet to come, confused and warm and good.

Sugar Sweet

Stop feeling sorry for yourself;
Always look on the bright side;
Jesus saves; things can only.
I feel sorry for everyone who
Hasn’t succeeded at forgetting.
Life is contingent, magicless,
A candle burning by an open
Window beneath a field of stars.
There are wolves in my heart.
We’re all innately good, but
It’s unreachable in a dark
Well of hunger and a dark
Night of fear, deep beyond
Any fathomable depth, lost.
I more than most could have
Been so many things, done
So much, but guided by decoys
Find myself outside all walls
In a trackless desert, alone,
Understanding all, knowing
None, able to do nothing at all.
Love burns, clouding eyes
And pushing us toward ruin
On the rocks, now or later,
Shipwrecks on the shore.
Hope they say, hope because
Hope is all there is, a flower
That can’t be eaten or held,
A beautiful image, sugar sweet.