To be like that little wood duck
in the center of the large lake,
floating on lambent waves—such luck
to have freedom with which to make
a peaceful day of Summer’s calm
away from this dust-dreary room,
the water and sunshine a balm
to soothe the stubborn shades of gloom;
to paddle my feet without care
in limpid waters all one’s own,
not confined to this stagnant air
as I rest and mend broken bone…

The Tragic Miracle Of The Feminine

It is like the womb of the Madonna
besieged by a Roman soldier
and thereafter birthing Christ—
it is to take violence inward
and transform atrocity
into a miracle, the feminine miracle
of self-sacrifice against natural
life from violence,
and so, in the manner of his mother,
Jesus worked upon the savage earth
feminine miracles
with life rendered from violence,
love bleeding out from violence
as he took within him
the spiteful lance of Longinus
to birth life and love and mercy
upon a savage world,
accepting the whip and the
thorned crown
and accepting the cross;
not to save mankind from itself,
but to show the way
his mother knew
of terrible violence
and awful miracles,
for Mother is god
in the eyes of a son.

The Sword And The Sheath

In times of war I should like a viking
to fight on behalf of my beloved people,
but in times of peace Christ could be my king
to forbid blades beneath a beckoning steeple.

In times of vengeance I should like a knight
felling an evil man given to wicked acts,
but in times of justice I wish the right
to a lawyer and jury to hear out the facts.

In times of defense I want samurais
to stand as one, together, their katanas drawn,
but in times of calm we would be quite wise
to heed the Buddha with every rising dawn.

Know that I do not seek to draw a blade
from out its soothing, silent, sleepy sheath,
no more than I wish anyone be bade
to lay upon a coffin a funeral wreath.

Nor am I a man of contrary minds,
contradicting himself with his convenient turns.
Of necessities there are many kinds:
those of peace, war, mercy, and death, or so one learns.


I came at you
with my thick skull raised
as a shield
and my tongue unsheathed
as a ready sword,
yet you came to me
with a mouth full of flowers,
speaking peace as petals
fell at my feet
with each gentle word.
And when I screamed my war cry
you did but bow your head
and overpower me
with empty, upturned palms
whose stigmata bled
untouched by blade or thorn;
bleeding as if to say
“If you have wish of blood,
take of mine,
for in palming it
you may open the door
to Heaven on earth.”
And I took of that blood,
hand in hand with you,
and never have I
been able to hold sword or gun or
dagger again, but must let slip
all things
brandished in fist and fury.
Now only flowers reside there,
thorns in palms
and petals opening toward others
as yours opened toward me.