the reality of the sky-eyed child

i met a child on the road
that runs beside Parnassus

and we had conversations about all the animals
the way waters run downhill
and the way the sun plays with the moon

later that day a man came up the path
the man began to scream and stamp his feet
the man challenged the child
and called the child all manner of fowl and vile names

i tried to comfort the man
but he would have none of it
i put my hand on the man’s shoulder
and i saw that where the child stood there was a demon
i jumped away
and where the demon stood there was a fearful child

the man started toward the child and i hit the man
i did my best to deter the man but he got past me

the child picked up a stem of grass
and stuck the man

the man was grievously hurt
and he lay on the ground writhing

the child was very upset and crying

i shouted
“Why did this happen?
Why did he see you as a demon and i see you as a child?”

i did my best to tend the man’s wounds

the child came to us then
and lay his hand on the man’s head

the man drooped and i thought the child had killed him
but the man was asleep and dreaming
his breathing was regular and his face at peace

i looked into the sky-eyes of the child
i asked “Will he die?”
the child replied “Not today.”

there ensued a silence
not unlike the silence between the stars

again i asked
“Why do i see you as a child
and he saw you as a demon?”

the child sighed a sigh
centuries old
then said
“I am reality
and humans see me as they want me to be.”

and i wept
for my own stupidity and carelessness
but the child touched my arm and said
“You may not see me for all that I am
but you see me for the good I do.
Between you and him
I much prefer your interpretation.”

Days Go By

There was a time
So long ago
When I lifted a child’s hand
like a foreign thing
And looked on the World
Minus everything but Wonder

Days go by . . .
Agony and ecstasy
Accrue layer upon layer
Light and dark bands
sediment of sentiment
Days go by . . .

I lift a child’s hand
like a foreign thing
And see new skylines
in her eyes

poetry is always a lie ~ but this is a very good lie

under a moon the size of the sky
he said

never trust to poets
for poetic justice is neither just nor poetic
poets lie with liquid lips
their farewells are never fair
and their good-byes are seldom good

overlooking a sea the size of love
he raised his hand
and lifted the oceans from their bed
revealing all the secret treasures hidden in the seas

he said
i have cried a million tears
and all my tears have not made one inch of difference in the seas
he lowered the waters and set them to moving again

he pulled stars into his hands and twisted them into a diamond chip sparkled flower
an ever-opening flower
convoluting and growing from the center

he said
the flower can not sing
it can only be beautiful to us in this place
i would not have it so

and he set the stars free like lightning bugs
on a warm West Virginia night

she said
teach me

he said
if you could turn the sky backward
rewriting those moments when you were hurt
do you think you would be the victor?

she said
because there can be no victory
only pain and death

he said
if you could bind you wounds and grow tens arm
becoming a goddess
do you think you would be happy?

she said
because happiness is not a thing that can be wrestled
or bound
or even properly talked about

he said
if you could change the weather?
if you could grow gold in the palm of your hand?
if you could forget all your suffering
would you?

she said nothing

he returned the sky to exactly the way the sky is
he returned the earth and sea to exactly what the earth and sea are
as he twisted something in his hands
he said
this is a poem
this is a lie

she said
it looks like an arrow

he said
and it is only beautiful in flight
make a bow

she said
i can’t

he said nothing

she said
this isn’t fair
you ask me to change the weather
to grow gold in the palm of my hand
forget all my suffering

how can i do these things?

he said
you have always had the power
but you have chosen to hide it from yourself
until you were ready to transition

she said
teach me to transition

he said
i can’t
you must figure this out for yourself

she said
you are a bad teacher

he said

she said
you promised. . .

he said
i never promised anything

she said
why won’t you help me?

he said
i am helping you
if i were to be your armor
i would keep you from experiences you need
if i were to protect you from the rain
you’d become a desert
if i were to sing you sweet songs
you’d lose your place in the dance

he turned and the wind played with his clothing
the way a playful dog might
with a gesture he made a bow the shape of the night sky

he said
i can not give you love
nor children
nor courage
nor reasons for the way of things

she said
then what good are you?

he notched the poem that is an arrow
pulled it back on the bow let let it fly screaming into the belly of Nux

he let the bow slip form his hands
he laughed a snort then
held his hand out palm down
turned it over
in his hand is a piece of paper
this poem is written on it

he says
poetry is always a lie
but this is a very good lie

Speak to me

Speak to me
in words both dark and true
The function of Fire
the function of Rhyme

Speak of Love’s resilience
despite betrayal and spite
Of the human spirit surfacing
from depths deeper than faith
where leviathans swim
Of Order from Chaos
Life arising from the breast of Death

Speak of Hope
where there is no Light
Miraculous deeds worthy of gods
in times like these
New discoveries that lift the definition of human
like those of song and fire

The Escher Prophesies and the Starfire Children

In that distant
future day
The day of the Starfire Children
The Escher prophesies
will come to pass
As surely they must

The Phoenix Children
will arise from our ashes
to ripen anew
In a world gone Escher
Where their feet
turn into grasses
The grasses
become fish
The fish
become birds
And the birds
change into the darkness
between the stars
And the stars . . .

In that day
That avid
laser sharp day
will be acknowledged
as part of Everything
And everyone will come to know . . .
to treasure
Their part in the ecological tapestry dance
Of the ever opening Fractal Universe

A Father’s Prayer

My son opens his hand
And there is the most perfect acorn

We plant it
And he looks happy
then confused

‘Dad why are you planting a tree?’

‘It will make a nice shade
And beside oak trees and I go back . . . ‘

‘But Dad
You’ll be dead when this tree is full grown.’

Take a real hard look around
Go ahead . . .’
And he did

‘By that time you’ll have kids of your own
And I want you to remember to them
Exactly what this day was like.
I want you to plant with them
Because Grandpa Pennington used to say
We plant corn for the winter
But we plant trees for the children.’

Will there be trees then?’

‘Son they been saying that since I was a kid’

‘But what if . . .’

‘If there are no trees
It wont be because we didn’t plant this little guy.
No one knows the future son.
Grandpa used to say
“There are two kind of fool in the world
Those who predict the weather
And those who believe them.’

‘But the weather channel . . .’

‘Is sometimes wrong.
The Universe is an ever opening flower
And sure as there is life on those vents under the sea
As sure as there’s life in me
And you
There will always be something to discover.’

‘I miss Grandpa Dad . . .’

‘You never saw Grandpa . . .’

‘Sure I did Dad
I saw him when you was talking.’


Silent Undertaking

I have devoted my life
To the study of Silences
you thought it was words?)

While it may be true
That we are a speaking species
Every good playwright
Every good composer
Every good architect
knows the values of these silences

There are silences that can carve a volume
out of solid stone walls
Silences that can paint a room
In ambers or greys

There is the cold
aching of the silence between the stars

There are grey silences
The silence of the room
after the other has left
The silence of a room
where they will never come again

There are choking silences
when your mouth is so full of love
it can’t let your heart out
When there just aren’t
words enough . . .

And you would give anything
to break that silence

There are warm glowing silences
When you can sit back to back
and read the Sunday paper
And pass funnies . . .
Quiet laughing

There are silences
When you just look at the warm glow of her
And no words are necessary
As the presence of her fills your every sense