Friday, April 07, 2006


Beauty is my work:
to labor in spirit, letting life spill into words
which might move your mind
in ways that release that light
I'm love-drunk for: the light of the truest you,
all wet with wonder--fresh I mean--
a wise and wild child shining
through the intricate maze
of your soul; through your eyes,
all awake and wanting nothing but love
and loving; peering out your face,
beautiful with joy like the sun,
innocent as a breeze,
or calm with repose, like a rose,
soft and sleepy on a summer's day.


When we rejoice
with a child's complete joy
and pour forth our wonderment
in praise
we forget the miserable ones.
It is not possible to do otherwise.
So, we must keep to the rhythm
of ecstasy and compassion:
the first, like rain-slicked petals
slipping into a silky sea;
the second, a gleam of light
squeezed out of dark, hot
visceral organs--love's ooze--
pure in the melt down
of self,
ashamed of its frivolities--
though free
to drink nakedly of whimsy
and forget again.


A poem is a new friend
that was an old lover you'd forgotten.
It is written to be companionable:
even if it jerks you upside down!
It's a spurt and a spout,
a prink and a dazzle—
moistness in your pants.
Or, barking dark in God's light!
a ribbon of silky smoke
unwrinkling in the sky;
a spacious place to pass into:
like a opening soul...
or lithe wind hidden in a stone.
It's a room without walls
and a ceiling of spattered stars.
It's a slow excretion of color in your mind
as the universe in you sings.
It's your own primal voice speaking
from a simple flame of empty silence—
the naked Christ.
Enter a poem's heart with your heart.
When you come to its wordy doors,
throw yourself open!

I was feeling down
about the state of my life
when I read an Oliver poem
about barely breathing and thinking
you were alive...
So I went out naked into
a winter's grouse of wolf-wind
and raised my arms up silently
towards the silent moon
and all the stars that praised you
and surrendered open again
as the wind whirlabouted
to bristle my hair and prickle my skin.
Then I turned back indoors
to my cluttered little workshop
which was suddenly a warm and welcome nest,
and brimming with thankfulness
knew I was alive.