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Tag Archives: poems

Let’s Burn Something Down Tonight

Let’s burn something down tonight.
Let’s find something old,
Something we used to think
We could not survive
Without, something significant. Let’s
Set it on fire.
An edifice we marveled at,
Something we looked up to,
Tall and strong, in
Admiration of power,
Importance, and potency.
Something we knew was forever,
Now, wondering
Why we ever thought
We couldn’t do without it?
Let’s burn it down.

Let’s set fire to something
That used to be the foundation of
Our being. Something
That would never occur to us
Could sink, erode,
Decay beneath us,
Leave our feet with no solid ground.
Something we built our entire lives on
But fell away. Let’s watch what’s built on it
List and lean,
Topple and crash by our own hand
Instead of the slow destruction of
Sand and rust.
We can be our own gods,
And end it with our own hands.
Let’s burn it down.

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Posted by on September 1, 2016 in philosophy, Poetry, Social

 

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Peacocks

When I think of peacocks
I think of you and
There are so many peacocks
Here. Their colors are
Everywhere. You are
Everywhere. Teal, turquoise, and
Azure surround me as
The color of you. Your eyes,
Electric blue, Blue –
The eyes on a feather,
Royal, The color of Sky and
Oceans of blue,
Sapphires of blue,
Everything your eyes see
Makes everything I see
Iridesce with,  flash with
You,  Now
Everything reminds me of peacocks.
When I think of peacocks
I think of you.

 

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2016 in Poetry

 

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When I Wake in the Morning

When I wake in the morning I want to do yoga.
When I wake in the morning I want to go for a walk.
When I wake in the morning I want to spin wildly.
When I wake in the morning I want to lay in bed and bless the day.
When I wake in the morning I want to wash in dew.
When I wake in the morning I want to make a slow breakfast.
When I wake in the morning I want to stretch.
When I wake in the morning I want to recall my dreams.
When I wake in the morning I want to do tai chi.
When I wake in the morning I want to run on the beach.
When I wake in the morning I want to sit and write.
When I wake in the morning I want to meditate.
When I wake in the morning I want to putter in the garden.
When I wake in the morning I want to do qigong.
When I wake in the morning I want to sing praise songs.
When I wake in the morning I want to greet the sun.
When I wake in the morning I want to be glad.

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2016 in Poetry, Social, Uncategorized

 

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Letter of Resignation

Letter of Resignation
(On my third reading of Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse)

 
Vasudeva,
Is it really necessary
We live in this hut together?

Isn’t it enough
I gave you my clothes
For the privilege of tending oar?

Can I only find myself
In the eternal now of the river
Always flowing, but never the same?

Must I sit under that tree
For an entire week to find myself?
After a week, I should have found my navel by now.

Must I sit there to
Defeat my demons? Afterall, they are
At my heels no matter where I happen to be.

The lotus
Grows from mud, I know,
But I want a bath and clean soft towels.

Why can’t I find myself
In a club somewhere,
Meditating in the beat and the groove?

What about the
Constant flow of people and machines,
The never-ending now of the ever-changing traffic?

Why can’t I
Subdue my demons
Over a great meal or between olive thighs?

I resign.
Besides, Vasudeva,
You snore horribly.

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2016 in Culture, philosophy, psychology, Religion

 

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Metric

If I had been brought up with the metric system
I could hold an orange in my hand
And tell you how much it weighs in kilograms.
But I was taught with pounds and feet
And I can tell you how much a whole bag of oranges weighs,
Just about,
Or look at a board and give you the measure of it.
But how many meters it is?
How much the orange weighs in kilograms?
I’m lost. Dumb.
Right in front of me,
Any guess as good as another.

Love, I think—
Love is measured in metrics,
Or some other unit.
I can look at it,
Heft it.
No matter.
Ask me how much I love you:
I cannot say.
I can only look at you,
Sigh,
And trust it can also be measured
In those sighs and desires, and hope
You do not ask.

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2016 in Poetry, Uncategorized

 

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In Response to William James and “The Will to Believe”

 

Sometimes one leaf
Will wave, oscillate.
A perfect repetition
again and again.
A dancing leaf machine,
Just the right shape,
Weight, tilt and wind—
Bent back by breeze,
Pulled forward by the
Spring of the stem
Twisted tight,
Bent back by breeze,
Twisted tight again—
Leaf and breeze in
Harmonious twist
And spring, twist
And spring, twist
And spring.

That can go on
As long as the breeze
Remains constant.
External forces,
Internal reactions,
Cause and effect.

Sometimes just one,
One leaf in an entire tree,
Waves. I imagine
It looks at the others
hanging still, and wonders
Why it is the only one
That has chosen to dance.

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2016 in philosophy, Poetry

 

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Halfway Through March

When I woke this morning, I was afraid I could not write. I felt it was gone. It, whatever that is, felt absent. But during the day’s discussion, in the three minutes between classes, in moments during planning, the topic of poets came up. I found the poem “We Bring Democracy To The Fish,” by Donald Hall. Don’t blame me for the way the title is capitalized – blame Donald. Anyway, he was Laureate until that poem was published. Then he was Poet Non Grata. He and the Dixie Chicks hung out together looking for work.

Distressed Haiku had this line: “I finished with April/halfway through March.”  His wife, the poet Jane Kenyon, had died in the month of April, 1995. That line. That one line. I have said that myself, nearly word for word. And I was writing again. But would I ever write of anything else?

I ask that, yet I have. I have. But, time and time again, I return to it. Why? Because one doesn’t go on. One doesn’t heal. One continues, with the wound. With the weight. One may be happy, one may be loved, and one may be content, one may have a wonderful life. I certainly do. But that is still there, because it is part of our lives. For those in this “club we’re in that I wouldn’t wish anyone to belong to,” as a friend of mine put it, one doesn’t go back to the old way of being, but creates a new normal around the space.

Everything is made of space. So, I guess, I’m still writing about everything. I guess.

 

Halfway Through March

It is second period.
I have been discussing
Poetry with Mr. Wolf.
Poets, appreciated but
Never paid well,
Never paid attention to,
Paid heed, respected,
Honored, yes: the Poets Laureate
Paid, at first, in wine.
Chaucer paid in
Gallons of wine.

Name bridges after them,
Put up markers roadside,
Have them inaugurate
The president, but don’t
Pay them enough to
Leave their teaching posts
So they can develop
Their craft without
Daily worries of bills due.

The discussion moved to
Donald Hall. One year only
He held his post.
He published
“We Bring Democracy To The Fish.”
So long and thanks for all that.

But now it is period three,
Donald Hall is in my brain,
So I am reading.
Students working,
Teacher reading, because
I can barely think
Anything else.

I didn’t know
He lost his wife.
Twenty-six years,
Cancer comes and
She goes.

I had always pictured him
Alone. Solitary, New Hampshire
Snow. Writing.

But he wrote of
Her leaving and
What was left,
He wondered if he
Would ever write of
Anything else.
Here, listen to his
Distressed Haiku:
“Will Hall ever write
lines that do anything
but whine and complain?”

Here is the Universal.
Here is the experience
Of the creative. Of those
Who take everything
Of their lives, of their
Surroundings,
Turn it into something

To understand.
Make the internal life
External, visible, palpable.
Make something with
No hands reach out,
Shake you, shock you,
Leave you thinking,
Understanding what you
Did not understand before.

Make the solitary
The common experience.
Remind me
I’m not the only one.

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2016 in Books, Culture, Education, philosophy, Poetry, psychology

 

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