Monday, 26 October 2020

Moral Crisis Working Online

It’s not what I want.  Not most of the time:
as I pull pants and socks from my suitcase, 
or plunk me down before a screen to “work.”
But a desire consumes a dream, and then,
it is. Something human under my shirt
comes undone.  Do I believe this is wrong?
Is the issue feeling guilty for "sin, "
or sin? My mind is weak with lack of faith. 
Ideals pulled from plinths, cast in bay-water:
such justice for old standards still assumes
a law which makes it justice enacted.
The thing’s dripping tin head snags on the dock.
Its toes dip the waves. Stand it up, baptized.
Return to the work tab. Send the emails.

Saturday, 22 August 2020

The Golden Spruce

 So you're the golden spruce by the river

    - spring water-foam rushing, 
    re-forming around you -
    its wet life inside you?

So a green meaning seems to surge 
up the edges of your life, and
the wind seems to whip its mist 
         in your branches?

            But how do you tell 
            the difference between
the river and the rain? between 
a concept conformed to a percept
and a percept conformed to a concept?

        Tottering in the night,
        there are wood chips
    and still desire 
        in the nearby eddy.

    Any wind of pride 
    will topple you.

Thursday, 30 July 2020

Stopping for Gas

A girl - aboriginal, beautiful -
she's sifting through the pump-side recycling,
gray sweater not covering her slim belly.
Don't look down. "Here, I have two more for you."
For a moment, you look me in the eye.
Is it embarrasment, fear or ill-health -
your trembling hand as you take my trash-gift?
"Thank you," you say. At least we spoke, saw each 
other. I insert a card, fill my tank
for five hundred times the price of two cans.
She's gone: slid out of sight for fear or shame
though Christ calls her blessed, cleaning up for us
the not-twice-thought-of discharge of our wealth
sticky with soda, or reeking with beer.

For My Student in Korea

A genius for joy in your voice, your eye,
in what you chose to say - made this impress:
months after parting ways, I had a dream.
You were here - I held you, struggling for breath, 
and walked dark streets, dialing numbers for aid
that wasn't there. Oh! How my home failed you!
I knelt desperate as your breath slowed and left,
pressing you at intervals to my chest.
I pray it is enough, in the woke world,
to keep you breathing "teacher" when we meet,
to resist those who lure you to resent
or wish for my failure because I'm white,
for I hope to see you again one day
my sister, as my better and my friend.

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Working in Wilderness, Lost in Thought

based on a painting by Kaylee Hall

Worker your world in the ground around you,
you pass through the bare-but-beast-bearing world
with windwaxed hair, and noonday on your arms,
with honey-scented beeswax on your boots.
Blackbear, bedded beyond the graperock heights,
you puff your hot breath in the morning frost,
begin your heavy blunder down-mountain
(led by your licking the honey-thick air),
and meet – “oh bother” – a mangy man’s-wolf.
“Be gone, you yappy musky bitey thing!”
you growl. “I’d like to lick that man’s honey.”
Bear, honey’s sweet, but you lust destruction,
like the man lost in only-his-own thought
defended by the perked ears of a friend.

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Tree Planter's Prayer

O God, be merciful to me, a most grievous sinner, for I farted and re-entered the truck pre-maturely.  I especially cry out to you because the girl I like opened her window as she struggled for breath.  Pure wind of the Spirit, bless her, for she is so discrete: a mere inch sufficed her to keep from suffocating on the stench that had exited my asshole.

Nevertheless, I thank you for the breakfast burrito.  It smelt so sweetly this morning; may it smell so sweetly again in her nostrils now.  Or if this is not your will, may she think of it no longer.  Cause her to remember instead the time I hit 3k with a bruised rib, or when I let her plant my creamy burn.

Grant this, I pray, in your mercy Lord. O and sorry for making everyone else breathe my fart as well.  Amen.

Saturday, 30 May 2020

Awake at Night in your Tent

The dome-wall glows a dull blue
with dim moon-shed cloudlight.
It crumples soft then grows taut
like the night’s polyester lung.
The gentle patter of rain tapping
makes mosquitos mull around
outside your protective mesh:
The world’s well, and you will sleep.

         Wait.

What caused that
little crinkle-burst?
Whose shadow’s
shadow passed
your blue wall?

        Was it fury
for the one you had forgiven
        still not content
to live where pain and anguish end?




Cf. The Eumenides, Aeschylus, 898-902.