Ecology of Atman

Were Heaven just a garden,
and life its soil, and we the seeds,
and death the sun, and dying spring,
where pneuma blooms perfume the air
lit upon by bodisattvas of the meadow,
then all we’ve really never known
is how we are so tended to.

Video links here

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Children of the Nephilim

There are some cattle in the meadow.
Gentle and content in their community, in their
simple rhythm of grazing and rearranging
large bodies in a tapestry of black
and brown and white.

Unhurried, mouths full of clover and
hooves wizened to the sloping fields
and rockier soil, they arrive
at a creek, lapping water, cooling
their broad tongues.

Interlopers have mingled
their scents with the cattle’s.
The aggressing odor casts a spell
of dullness, embeds complacence
so they don’t startle at the sound
of machinery.

Finished at the trough, the sweetness
of the corn reminds them
of violets in the spring grass
even as it roughs their tongues
and abrades their bellies.

But no one realizes, that shoulder
to shoulder in the paddock, waiting
as the tapestry unravels hide by hide,
they have learned to count.

Then enclosed in the shoot,
hope is wasted on the concrete floor—
rivers of it, as each witnesses
the awful devouring of even
his angels by insatiable gods.

Video Links here

Elephants

 

(for Blake)

Stories exchanged, details halting
from constricted throats, the air—
a somber pleurisy pierced by welcome
occasional laughter; we remember
our dead in this way.

Like elephants, we pick up the bones
and kiss them, handle them, feeling for
pocks and notches, their wounds and wornness.
We fold the remnants into our long memory
then in tender uncoiling, replace them
on the ground.

A gray procession
lumbers home; our giant tears
muddy the path.

 

Video link here

 

Published, February, 2016 in Timberline Review

 

 

In A World Without Cats

Mice proliferate, lay down the law.
Birds are arrogant, and take advantage.
Surfaces are hard and cold, we
know nothing of plush.

Upholsterers must learn other trades.
You have no proof of miraculous returns
from the brink of death, over and over
again, even up to nine times.

You cannot practice unconditional love
for someone who would kill you for food,
kill you for sport, take or leave you,
indifferent to the end.

You keep thinking someone is
at the door, wanting to come in,
but that’s impossible.

Your Mouth is a Wound, and That Fly is a Nurse

What keeps the flies
from nesting here?
Do they wait nearby, should
Mors dispatch?
How do they know
that you’re just asleep?
To them, does death
not look like this?

When that hour
overtakes you—
the smell of something
not alive will
waft by scores of
hungry vermin.
Defenseless, you
seem to sleep.

Insulted nevermore by this, nor
by the dirt thrown on your face; let
greedy maggots take their fill.
When flies are born,
the beetles come.

Video Poetry Screenings

I’m delighted to announce that some of my video poems will be screened abroad this fall and winter.
The Athens Video Poetry Festival (The Institute for Experimental Art) will screen “Speck of Sand,” “Surveillance,” and “Lot’s Wife” on December 19.
Three of my video poems have been shortlisted for the O’Bheal Video Poetry Festival at the IndieCork Film Festival, and will be screened October 10th. The selected videos: “Lot’s Wife,” “The Fields of Asphodel,” and “Memaloose Island.”