For an Old Friend

i know being strong matters
when you laugh at yourself
saying what men say on TV
and women do the things
that women do

on your own now building rooms
your parent's strong floors
more like firm elastic rubber
than anything completely solid

saying other words than TV words
a weakness like thick walls
supporting this house's weight
exposed to the corrosive elements
of wind, earth and sun

i remember when you first emerged
before you chose the land to own
for your own soon erected edifice -
you came to me and said
i'm frightened

something i did not know then:
only i was in the fields, rolling
long mounds of wind-blown grass
as far as my eyes could see,
and flowers, bees, clouds
the night of a billion distant lights

you were in the forest's dark
thick columns like a maze
untamed life invisibly wriggiling
intricate ferns while nearly all
trees and directions looked the same

i may have failed you
constrained by blinding optimism
returning nothing but a hello my friend
for such a heart-felt gift
no, i know i failed you

i see the strong with their chests puffed out
purposefully moving from struggle to struggle
while the road inside continues with little
street signs popping up suddenly, startling
with fear and retreat to the puffed up paths
they continue forever on, moving so solidly...

i spoke of absolution earlier - this is mine:
despite everything that is
or vastness has become
you, just simply you
(nothing else)
are far more
than i could ever know

and this shattering
terrifies me

Forgive Me

i wish i could lie
the way you need me

i would turn dim gray so
easily rich green

the sounds of hammering on edges
pulling always would but soothe

lazy, greedy betrayals would be justified
by the rights of greater good

for my greater good is more
than just me, like selflessness

i wish i could
lie the way you need

i would build a perfect chair
on a slightly higher ground
well, ok, it would levitate
each approach being my road
to rule with silence or blessing

my beneficence would spread
eagerly gobbled by birdlings
and the bloated faces of liars

i would say: this is the way
things are

i wish i could lie the way
you need floating selflessly

if i could score my soul like a surgeon
i would erect a granite fortress
forged for containment, battles, thick lines
towers as strong as flesh

banners billowing above
the visible fields below
ripe in shining solidity
the first herald arriving
finding everything
has vanished

if i could lie the way
you need me to
i would
cut out half my beating chest
and leave it out for hungry worms
happily pithing the parts of my mind
so you can rest, easily within
i would excise any facet
placing weight on floating chairs
i would even don the garments
of hierophants to release you

but i am too selfish
for excuses

it is a paradox of the pedantic
that anything can be said
yet even so,
all things become us

and if that does not suffice,
let me say, whatever words might come,
i truly wish sometimes i could
shape all things to what you want
to see instead of what you do

just tell me, were i an actor speaking
the words of a pleasing voice
could i not lull you in
to deeper sleep?

and for this harder love,
please forgive me

No Voice of My Own

I understand you now:
Earth moves and turns
by the force of our hands

all around is mine
to choose and bend
as i will even
what is known within

nothing springs forth
that is not planted
by my seed or another's
and you will only see
through who prevails

no, forgive me, it is more:
i plow over all things
not fitting my course
to achieve what i need
without destroying anything
really
possibly pointless weeds
primitive algae in the sea

and what is plowed over
by just the way things are,
not wicked deeds done
through caring
protection for my family
i never chose this
some things are unplanted

no, forgive me, it's not
quite right, you see this --
this you will never see:
sometimes doubts seep
between deep iron spikes
then God bends down to firm me
my strength channeling his might
set right what challenges
mine and God's need

for i know he created nothing larger
than what sits neatly in rows
rows in the fields i sew
like grassy metal more than green
spires at distances I imagine
warm stone in every season
you see? He moves, for me

and why not? he said
he would always be there
this isn't me
i just don't understand why
he never speaks

impossible

seeing you stops my chest
and like a photograph of your face
writhed in physics
i protect myself with sabotage

scars gather moss
branches torn by wind
yet the soft whisker of your face
on mine says home so unlike
any fairy tale could mend

a mother wraps the child's head
in dreams singing far into tomorrow
while behind our heads so much compels
these dreams to artful law

so i fix the the physics of your face
in stone and fireworks and noise
i remember patterns and salivating bells
needs far greater than my own
a great flight of pristine pain
far into the morning

she felt a bee buzz in her brain
calling it love or family or need
the great chutes of cathedrals spiking
deep in the roots of trees

a photograph of you held, in physics
the machine of broken deeds
all at once held now, cheek to cheek
through leaves, moss smells, pine...

sharp as winter's fallen leaves
the dew mist upon your skin pierces
impossibly keen through this sabotage

how can i leave all in yet resist
the clear destruction of my surrender?

happiness

how do i watch you
run in great arcs
proclaiming happiness?

what disease moves you
to leap high in imaginings
sewing cloth from airy words
the warm arms of panic

how do i watch you
run in great arcs
telling me you hope i find
happiness like yours

from my pockets
i find old tinsel
shiney thin strands distorting all
the images of people near
they glimmer in a thousand lines
each face in each dangling
and glimmering in their happiness

a breeze and the movement of chaos
each reflection does a hula dance
all the faces you have seen grin
with true conviction

such happiness you run with
that great spanning arc of will
severing to edges the unbound truth
trying to grow within you

why obsess when the price is right
and little birds chirping for worms
drop squarely to the large round world?

how can i watch you run
in great arcs proclaiming
the silver of night is red?


ii.

dark gray clouds near black
cracks high evergreens sunlit brightly
the electrical release in atmosphere
heads and hearts move like bees