6. Exhaling Sun and Rain


Watching the boys shoot

invisible hoops

under a blood red sky

the ending moment etched in DNA,

something like sadness

drops down over me

and muffles the shouts.

I walk away not saying a

thing.  Suddenly I want to buy

bright bananas, tropical objects

of profuse fertility, red

papayas and strong lemons.

I want to carry them,

bags of them, one in each arm, up

the wooden stairs to my lonely

apartment, sit at the window,

smell the sun and rain

outbreathing from the soft skins

slowly peel and eat

while the stars attempt

to outshine the reflected sun.




I will be sad to leave the dreams,

the leafy neighborhoods I’ve never

seen but live in after dark,

the great floods that seem to gush

from the ground.  I will miss

the flying floating demons I call up,

small demons to send on their way, even

the scary ones who’ve gone

soft like me over time.  I will miss the dream

of my daughter running

upstairs with her little

friends bending the basement

ceiling where I live, the great

adventure of following the wires

to see where they all end and what

switch enables what light, the ornate

structure full

of old sheet music and wind, the quest

for strange objects that melt

when you close in on them.  Where

do these collect, as real

in dimension

as the waking dream?  Do angels

now and again take us

down to let us visit these

beloveds during the darkness

that follows the dark?




A few leaves still on the tree

winter sunlight

clicking when the breeze comes.


The heart is green

like the withered field

after a week’s rain.


You came a far distance

to see me.

The rain has greened your legs.


We are here such a short time

yet we seek immortality.

How sad.


Clouds jitterbugging,

fast flyer catches insects.

Venus abides.




What happens to the singer who

won’t sing, the dancer

who won’t dance,

the diver who won’t dive?  The song

gets stuck in the throat,

the dance is frozen in sap,

the diver turns to stone.  If he plummets

it is not the pouring of nectar,

or the outpouring from spirit

birdsong-like or bee dance-like

but the grinding of rock on ice.  Granted

the spires of polished rock

the grains of sand blown across the plain

the canyon-sided river are beautiful but we

are only creatures of light

and cannot see such slow carvings.


For us the stars blaze out stories,

like dust fallen on groaning plates.

Our stories, our conquests, our suffering,

our being, they create our mass, our matter.

When we disappear

our monuments of iron and concrete

will outlast us by a century or two in the hard-

plated universe but if we sing, if we

dance, if we dive

into spirit,

our soft arcs





It is humbling to know

for all your skill

you are riding a wave

of emergence and escape

till you fall

into fertility.


You slipped only

that one time

and that was enough

to live your hour.




Fresh winter blows you out,

and you are forced to emerge to the world.

We say come, kiss our bellies,

we are the warm-hearted rainfish,

slick as butter and drifting your way.


The sunrise lays gold on cloud water,

not flashing through but still we are swirling,

above you, below you, we are the dark-backed,

we come to boil still drunk

from the night’s frenzied chase

of fuzzy lightning bugs with red

leather whiptails.


We are the rainfish finally reaching

earth.  We see in our fisheyes

your longing to leap clear

of the hard surface.




Your inner rhythm runs wild,

your threads unraveling

from the careful weave,

a line of sand blown away

like a mandala.


You’ve slipped again.

You tried to live your life

as a hero.


The strong current running under yards of sand,

comes to surface at your shiny place, trips you,

swallows your ankles knees stomach hands,

enters your mouth till suddenly all you have

is yourself as you really are.




The radio while driving through dusk,

the milky purple lightning

been triggered like floss

in the faraway

yea so one day wake up if

you do.  Look, ask yourself:

What am I supposed

to do about this wild light,

ride it heal it conquer it clean it

eat it or will I

simply watch

and let it live?




The sound of steel strings enters the ear

blows through the soul

of backdoor bluesman.

That sound, the torn edge

says your suffering is not

in vain.


As much as the words

as much as a poem

as much as your feeling sitting

versus your feeling running

enters the ear and blows through the soul


as much as the zenman’s zen, all his

suffering not in vain, all your

suffering not in vain

till you fidget and run back

till you tire or grow old

till you have no one left to circle about

or to wrap you up in silk

till you

at the moment of death

come rushing back, out of breath,

out of space, out

of personality, just you, who you

used to be

before you feared,

your suffering not in vain.


I am not saying it’s OK to watch

the horses run over the little children

and not protest, not try

to rein them in, not shout






The skin of my belly has blossomed

red across the mound like a cesarian

or disembowelment scar.  Birth, death –

something is agonizing in there.

I welcome the new being,

alien of 60 year gestation.


He will crawl up my gut, he will

enter my lungs,

he will shoot straight up out the top

of my skull

leaving plenty of blood and bone

which I will scrape up and bag.


Some will be eaten now.

Some will be frozen for later study.

Some will be fathered like a newborn.

In this way is created the necessary wound

that frees the alien

to his ancient star.




We are waiting for the darkest night

to see if we wake up

to see the sun from the other side

to see if it really was a dream

or something we read in a novel

to see who we really are

now that the curtain has fallen

and we have shed our feathers

and gone out to a bar

with our lovers as they really are.

We laughed and cried

the pride the hurt the fear

the shouting, it was all an act

and how great we are

at our craft.

Is anyone really out there?  We only sense

your presence, your hush, your slight

in-breath when we hear


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