Two Poems

Dance Of Destruction
How many times have we twirled around,
Kali and Man, hand in hand
circling the worldwide burial ground
of this atomic wasteland?

Take just one among her many arms
and spin apace the countdown,
hastening to the shrieking alarms,
trammeling every town.

Ashes to ashes and dust to dust
and the world a barren place—
hers is a radioactive lust
and we court her arms’ race.

How so lovely her necklace of skulls
and how seductive her hips
as we dance like island cannibals
and kiss her entrancing lips.

Ah ha! To taste the dust on her tongue
is to taste the Holocaust
and to be one of many among
the M.A.D. men—those ever Lost.

The Hammer, The Nails, The Wood
How fitting that a carpenter’s son
should die by tools of the trade,
all of the houses now undone
for an empire by conquest made.

When they hammered the three long nails
did he see the distant days
or hear the far-off church bells
summoning flocks to sing his praise?

Did he see the world overtaken
with his hard words so softly spoken—
when he proclaimed himself forsaken
was it in seeing the covenant broken?

No doubt he heard them sing such songs
in adoration of their beloved Christ
while committing unapologetic wrongs
to forge a blood-soaked zeitgeist.

Perhaps he heard, above the cheers
of the Romans who mocked his pain,
the war cries through the future years
of those of a self-righteous reign.

How like those planks of rigid wood
his flocks would become in time—
unbending, hard, holding as best they could
cross-purposes and poor pantomime.

So did he receive a vision of life
as he died a carpenter’s death;
did he see pain, hypocrisy, strife—
was that the doubt in his final breath?

Sokushinbutsu

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Try reason instead of
resin;
try moving from your position of
embalmed stubbornness
and grow rather than
mummify
within this mountaintop shrine of
isolated ideology.
You are not a disciple of
Enlightenment,
but a squatter huddling around the sutra
of your own willful
Ignorance.
Changing your mind will not
kill you,
but to cease all intake
except your obstinate beliefs
will make you a lasting
monument
to undecayed
foolishness.
Repeat your mantra of
denial
over and over again
until you assume the silence of perfected
oneness
with your antiquated ideology
while the world moves on
without you.
You could step through the
torii gate
to see a new plane of awareness
but your eyes have been petrified
shut.
The way outward
has been closed
by the way inward.

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Upright Or Twisted

This vast field beneath the glorious Sun
is brimming with honey-sweet light
that glitters with soft fingertips on the tall, golden grass
that billows its head in a loving wind
like a Mass come to pray.
Few trees are scattered about this field’s face,
but these few trees are strong of branch, straight of trunk
and spread wide with canopies proudly dressed in summer leaves.
These few trees are courteous to one another
and do not war with distant neighbors;
not only because they cannot touch each other,
but because they do not have to.

There is a dark hollow beyond the field
which moans deep between a rolling hillock
and the swelling rise of an umbral knob.
The trees within its mouth are gnarled of branch,
twisted of trunk,
crowded for space,
and reach crookedly around each other with covetous intent
to steal the weak slivers of light offered by the negligent Sun.
They war with serpentine branches not because they want to kill,
but because they are naturally inclined to try to survive,
for not every tree is sprouted in golden fields,
nor is it to blame for where its seeds are planted.

Needless Storms, Needless Nightmares

Through the belly of the midnight storm,
like Jonah in the wallowing whale,
the world remained all aswarm
with rain and wind and biting hail.
The downpour fell heavy as if thrumming
like a blacksmith’s hammer upon the sword
held in Christ’s mouth, his Second Coming
among thunder and lightning—a wrathful lord.
Trees thrashed about in terror-blind mobs
as if to uproot themselves from the earth and go,
and black clouds shrouded behemoth knobs
while the Dragon’s wings deafened all below.
And among the fraying thunderhead
there floated ever after the Reapers,
phantoms wandering from bed to bed—
bad dreams visiting peaceful sleepers.

Not So Hard Pressed To Follow Suit

It is a steam-pressed sort of
Sunday morning,
the sun gliding low upon the
damp horizon
like a clothes-iron burning
the mists up from a
washed-out blue suit sky,
and the church bells ring
within the bright white steam
that deepens in the valley
while the fussy, prim flocks
crowd the purblind roads
and sit, stiff-collared, in the stuffy pews,
uncomfortable in their starched
creed,
hoping to keep their proper suits from
burning
in the
Devil’s laundromat;
whereas I lay out
relaxed,
naked to the skin in the nave
beneath your steepled legs,
lounging among wrinkled sheets,
sleeping in with you
while easy breezes billow
playfully against the
ghosts
on the laundry line,
knowing myself to be
folded neatly
in this cozy spread of
Heaven.

 

(Dedicated to my fiancee, Falon, with whom I wish to spend every such Sunday.)

Assumption

Frogs and toads gather
upon the onyx highway,
squatting in oily rainfall
with their heads raised skyward
and their eyes bulging wide with
unblinking expectation,
like kneeling believers
beseeching their
God
in ardent prayer.
They are a
Heaven’s Gate flock,
a
suicide cult
awaiting the Assumption
to come with
brightening haloes—
amphibious souls
caught between two worlds
and
awaiting the rending
radiance
of swiftly approaching
headlights
from out of unheeding darkness
into unheeding darkness,
an elusive scrawl of
meaninglessness
strewn
messily
along
the
way.