Poem: God And The Jellyfish

jelly

We all need a room for doubt,
Somewhere to sweep all the piles
Of egregious mental shaving,
Daylight savings, the weeds creeping in
For the corruption of the whole,
Sending cracks between the mortar,
Slivers of death in veins of life,
Varicose and ready to bear fruit

Then consider the freshwater lobster,
The titanic blooms of aurelia,
The outskirts of sewage dumps,
And nuclear waste tracts,
We all need room for doubt,
Where we can breathe in
The plastic of the ocean,
And nurture the dying king’s gout

Because I remember when all was Ocean,
Looking at the world through sagittal lenses;
I remember when each shoal was a reflection of myself,
And each move of my silver fins was reflected en masse
Around me

Now, there is little self enough to split a shoal,
My brothers, oh my brothers,
Laying bloated and bulbous
On heaven’s surface

Then God had an inspiration:
Remembering the jellies,
The medusae, plankton, and ctenophores,
Thinking of medieval saints,
He remembered those haloes of the ocean,
These tentacled coronas,
Drifting and bioluminescent,
Blooming at the heart of the ocean

If people could only see their godliness,
The ‘God-In-Us,’
Then seagulls wouldn’t explode with microbeads,
And Izaak Walton wouldn’t retitle his work:
‘The Compleat Ende of Us,’

So, God spoke,
And the jellies danced to his music,
Their polyps burst with kisses of life,
He put them on beaches,
As membranes of the coastline,
He had them swarm nuclear submarines,
To starve all the people inside

He had old men sit on beaches,
Clutch tenderly at venomous tendrils,
Man and Jellyfish,
Hand in hand,
Just like The Songs of Old

But God was displeased:
No matter how he blossomed Ocean,
Pullulating her with dense corona explosions,
No one came, no one saw,
On one swam,
Little kids died on beaches,
But not enough to make people notice

But, if you can’t bring Mohammed to the Jellyfish,
Bring the Jellyfish to Mohammed,

So, we were all flooded,
Unheard of since the days of Noah,
On the New Earth,
There were no rulers,
Only Jellyfish as Gods,
Jellyfish as Archangels,
Jellyfish as a Communion of Saints,
To chant the Psaltery of Man

And then God,
In a fit of self-revelation,
Looked down at his body,
His mass of cilia and polyps,
And saw that it was Good

“So that I can be immanent,
And I’m In Us,
I will start the world anew,
Fashioning Man in Mine Own Image.”

And that is the story,
Of how a Jellyfish,
Became the very first Man

Poem: Interview With A Fox

fox spirit.jpg

“Why are you watching, little fox?
I’ve told you everything I know,
Up in the hills, where eagles cry,
Greenery is replaced by snow.

Why are you smiling, little fox –
Have I done something to make you laugh?
Your soul is not the written word,
But an indecipherable pictograph

Why are you panting, little fox –
Is it because I’ve removed my clothes?
Conifers are sashaying in the wind,
Secret desires deliver soft blows

Why am I bleeding, little fox?
I have no knowledge of such things,
Is pleasure the plug that opens pain;
Sorrow what makes the blue bird sing?

I’ll ask no more questions, little fox –
Like you, a smiling fox, I’ll be,
I’ll be the answer that never comes,
Grinning at people between the trees

 

Poem: Sky Warrior

Buzzard-taking-flight

Buzzard, not the smartest of birds,
Your intelligence is in your instinct,
The lust of your programming

Euclidean geomestrist – the sky’s tawny compass,
Hunter of circles,
Shaper of predation

Inside you is a leopard,
Feathered, yet unfrantic,
Space-stabbing cries,
A sky warrior’s dialect

You have read all the lexicons,
All the grammarians of hunger,
And many scholars still worship
The cold stupidity of your fortitude

A weaponized wing,
A crow-taunting thing,
A heart-chaffing nest
To catch the clarity of spring

 

Poem: The Horse

horse

The world behind the curtains:

That is my world – the domain wherein

I can be king, where else I would be but

A pauper – a man in the gutter reading

Out passages of Chaucer . . .

*

That is my world – yet so few ever see it,

Seeing only curtains – taking the hair of

The horse for the gallop of its heart

*

That horse could gallop along with my heart,

Its hooves trotting in time to the verses of my

Mind, stopping, nobly, humbly, before us,

*

That white blotch on its face – the last stain of

A sad eye that no longer sees – that longs to see,

But is forbidden sight by the sickness of its skull

*

That – that is the spot where I place my hand –

Where I receive and give knowledge – sending

Out and taking in parcels of love and empowerment,

The strangest of strange, war-wizened weapons, that

Only make their bearers feel weaker and weaker

*

I know what it is to be that horse,

To spend my days bathed – by great swathes of space amazed,

To be simple and sad –

Just a horse among horses

*

Then something happens.

A stranger creeps over a stile.

And the pattern of their legs meanders towards you,

And by the unhorsey beats of their horseness, you are

 Swiftly beguiled.

*

“Come!” you say, “I am wild and mild.

I am tame and tragic. I am patient and

Waiting, my hooves hardened by keratin,

And the jealous frustration of thunder.

I am all that you are, slender, unhorse-like

Things.

*

“I come to you for comfort,

Because comfort cannot be got from horses;

I come to you for understanding,

Because understanding is not shared among horses;

I come to you for wisdom,

Not because wisdom cannot be got among horses,

Because wisdom IS what a horse IS –

And, as every horse needs a rider,

So doth my wisdom need a non-horse to ride upon.

*

“But wisdom is pain,” continued the horse,

A tear falling from her face. “Have you not

Seen the saints cry? Have you not heard the

Wise men wailing? Have you not seen mothers

Confined in callousness, yet inside, as crumpled

And broken as the babes that came from them?

*

“This is why I came to you – why I humbly bow my

Head to you, and strive to let your fingers softly search

For the spirit of my soul; for, though we are divided,

Man and beast, and beastly man – your loneliness is

Still the same species as my own – the burden of wanting

To give out a gift everybody needs, but no one cares to

Receive.

*

“For wisdom is not just pain, but the weapon of love,

The dagger that seeks out the sagging point where it

Might carve itself a home.

*

“And, I can see your searching eye, strange, unhorse-like man.

Even as you stroke me, and we share a connection that transcends

Body and body, I can feel your mistrust – your awe of my power –

You are so afraid I could trample you to death with my hooves,

That you almost wish I would, just to get it out the way.

*

“From this I know you know how to love:

When you see an oncoming stampede, you do not run,

But lay down and open up your arms, and call out:

“TAKE ME AS I AM – FOR I AM NOT – I AM NOT AT ALL”

And even when the stampede somehow does not come,

And you suddenly find yourself whisked away to a desert

Plain, and see vultures swooping overhead, you do not flee,

But cry out in a Job-like strain: ‘I AM HERE – EAT OF ME AS

YOU CAN!’

*

“But no beaks come. No greedy, searching talons rend your

Waiting flesh, or carve grooves into that furniture of space

And time you call your skin. Nothing comes. Nothing symphonizes

Your last moments with the desperate flutter of its wings.

*

“And that is what love is: a sacrifice – an offering –

Not a gift given or taken, because it has no need

For giving and taking – that would be gain or loss –

Love can never diminish, though it be given and

Taken – because you cannot diminish what transcends

And underlies the very notion of diminishment.

*

“Can a river be said to give more because it’s banks

Are flooded? Can a volcano be said to make a donation

To the world when it vomits lava to harden into magma

From which new lands and continents will be formed?

*

“No. Because water will always be water,

Though it evaporate and dry up,

And lava will always be lava,

Though it harden into rock.

*

“So, love will eat up those who give themselves to it,

And to those that don’t, it will seek them out like a

Dangerous flood. But, whether love comes to you,

Or you to it, the outcome is the same – you will be

Burned and drowned. Drowned – but now as vast

As the immeasurable ocean. Burned – but now

Hardened into the hope of a seed-waiting new land.”

*

II.

We stood there in silence,

She in her hooves,

And we in our shoes.

*

We had to go soon,

And I could feel the sad tug

Of an aching bond about to be

Loosened.

*

I had given you my hands,

My small doses of love,

Now it was time for us to go,

And, with that thunderclap of

Envy, you returned to your sentinel –

Back to being a horse among horses,

Until that happy moment when someone

Creeps over your stile, perhaps to understand

You all over again.

*

III.

I can no sooner leave my field than you can, horse,

Unless farmers come to cart me away, and turn my

Idiosyncrasies into glue. For my life is my field, its

Demarcations and boundaries; and, I too, stand within

Its confines, just a being among beings, until that fleeting

Moment when someone reaches out their hand, and I can

Feel they understand – and I stand then in patient ferocity,

And drink in all that I can, because I know they will go soon,

And I will return to being misunderstood – a horseless,

Horseless man.

*

IV.

But it will not always be such.

One day I will build a home

Upon the making of such

Moments.

*

And I will be happy.

And my happiness will stride out,

Clumsy and sticky, like a newborn foal;

All that is inchoate and formless will be

As palpable and beautiful as a magical

Crystal.

*

And my house!

What a house!

*

I can see it.

I can feel its masonry growing upon me,

But I cannot yet describe it.

*

So, I can walk away from that field now with my friend,

Knowing that, as I leave behind timelessness to commit myself

To the future, I am somehow, magnificently, walking towards

My home:

*

The home where happiness will have its day,

And then have it all over again.

*

 

Poem: Dirge of the Dying Whale

whale

The whale rises up from the deep,

And, as he his lead to be moored

By The Cliffs of Dover, maybe then

I will understand why I am housed

Within this cave of cartilage – this

Floating stone of the surf; for now

My body grows heavy with the united

Scourges of despair and ignorance; it

Lies upon the beached sands, and counts

The harpoons in its back – one, two, three –

One lodged in the base of my spine; another

Making obeisance to the confused fortress of

My throat – the third and final piercing message

Planted as firmly as a flag in the back of my skull,

Where the rusted iron can equally commingle with

My thoughts, ever rusting, rusting, rusting . . .

And once unbound from this becalmed beast;

Once set free from the seat of this leviathan’s tonnage,

What will my homeless spirit do then? When my body,

Unsouled, is but ambergris and blubber, what will they

Build of me? Build me, sayest I, into a museum, and read

Each of my cells as books to craft a library, where you can

Source the traces of my thoughts in the broken circuitry of

Every scattered neuron

But, what you will find no more of is the unbagging

Of my notes; for the death of a whale is the death of

A song – and the death of my song is the breaking of

A cord which ties us to where we most want to

Belong

 *

My song belongs nowhere now;

It is lost and adrift as a broken raft,

A voyager sent to space in an

Unmanned craft

 *

As the whale lies there –

As I lie there –

Cleansing the oceans with the offering of my blood,

I attempt to sing out one last song – not a swan song –

But a whale song

I sing it,

And my mouth becomes its own maelstrom,

I sing it,

And the coasts reverberate with the sounds of a dying chasm,

I sing it,

And all the seaweed,

And the tides and rhythms of the hollows of the earth,

Find their voice in my threnodic whistle

 *

Because I do not just sing for myself,

But for the world – I sing for all those that

Cannot sing for themselves – I sing for

The disenfranchised, lonely, and oppressed,

For those submerged in deeper oceans, who

Will never get to dislodge those harpoons of

Pain which spear their chaotic chests

For these will I sing,

Until, mayhap, the tides come in again,

And my fins turn into wings

 

 

Poem: The Lion’s Roar

Majestic-Black-Lion

A lion

Acting like a lamb

Smiling with placidity

As he chews the hundreds

And slaughters the thousands

Sing me a lullaby

Oh, great tyrant!

And we’ll feast

On Corpses

On Diamonds

Until the fire runs out

Until the blood runs