Sonnet #234

To sing of miracles, let us sing the spiders’ song

This misty early spring, rains crystallize the webs

the architecture glistens like a crystal silk and strong

so strong to hold the weight of water; how did

these tiny minds build up to this from Darwin’s years?

Surrounded by such miracles we can’t even stop

to enjoy in all this rain, I sing of tiny spiders

how small their arms, how small their lot

Inventing in the corners of the world their dazzling

Made for no one, beauty for no sake at all

Despite eight eyes, they never admire the puzzling

shapes and countershapes that form their whole

The tremor in the web beneath their feet

is all they know, a tense vibrato of life and defeat


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Sonnet #233

For years, they’ve heard us all complain

About those kids, how they are doing things wrong

How they do not know anything, their songs

are not even music, and they’re lazy and complain

We have told them they are ruined by trophies

They do not deserve, in skills they’ll never master

Better than anyone that came before, We’re the faster

We’re the ones who know things, our stories

Are the best stories, we tell truths to them

and they ought to listen because we accept the dust

of how things are, we know we are all powerless, then

We say, nothing ever changes: If things get hard, all must

They’ve seen us howl, seen how we will not save them

It seems, now, instead, they have decided to save us

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Sonnet #232

Would you sacrifice your life for gas

station burritos? Someone did. They bled

with all their friends and lovers dead

And carved into pieces, saran-wrapped, passed

into machines; also every bean contained

the possibility of flowers, the hope of mothers

Every kernel, stalk of green, all other

pieces of this tepid slab had holiness

This is why to make food poorly is a sin:

Oh, Life! What did these beautiful ones die for?

If we must kill to live, let us honor those done in

Who gave their children for our children, nor

should we allow the hungers quotidian

to permit us to forget how death’s head roars

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Sonnet #231

As I live, I hide these nests inside my hair

Where songs are born, slip out, take wing

I try to say the growths are merely things

Long lost, leftovers of childhood. ignore the singing.

As I live and work, just mind gradiations,

Foraging patterns, all that stuff that spirits do

With all of us, passing through their iterations

As if they never stopped to hatch and grow anew

But autumn comes, and I see my leaves descend

And I, uncaring who may know or see

What’s been hidden until the wind rends

loose these dying papers, scattered leaves

These nests I hold, here, all of them are mine

I lift them up; I protect; the birds return in time

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The Truth About Microwaves

This is very simple, the new spying we do
Say you build microwaves. Every office has one.
Every kitchen. People tell the truth in kitchens.
Kitchens are honest.
Say you build microwaves.
You put a GPS in the microwave.
You put a small microphone in it.
You sit in some distant cubicle, under a bunker, and search out
You must be very careful how you do it
If you are caught, it could be a problem for you
But, still —

You turn on the microwave.

Say you are the country that builds all the microwaves
Your mountains are stripped to the bedrock for the building of them
Your rivers are the rivers of mercury
Your people live in cots, die in cots
They wear full-body suits with goggles for eyes
while they work
they work a long time

you turn on their microwaves

It doesn’t have to be microwaves
They build everything

At night, the technocrats sit up and listen to the world that exists
outside their factories
Where people have time to cook in their kitchens
Where people talk about their day, tell the truth about it
And you get to hear what it’s like
In offices where people have time to talk while they eat
In all the places that don’t build the microwaves
And people tell each other the truth

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Sonnet #230

Everything we see and everything we touch

Began as a dream in somebody’s head

All tools are imagined, all laws come from beds

where dreamers rise to wake their world as such

All the dreamers I know live out on the edge

They tread water in dreams, burn all their wax

They work twice as long, pay twice the tax

Every time the bills come due, all bets must have hedge

The state of the union where dreamers are poor

The state of the union where dreamers work late

The state of the union where delusions of grandeur

Are met with terror and mockery, hate

The state of the union where making art and poetry

Means fool’s uselessness, merit so hungry

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Sonnet #229

Who owns the poem and knows what it means —
Who writes the questions on the test —
Who chooses what is good and what is best —
And understands the truth inside the lean?
Oh star crossed letters, I do not know
Why ever would I stop to explain
When what I know is written plain
And never made much sense to me, so
Work it out upon a word, these little steps
Into the hills, walking round the mountains
Where the bird songs should be kept
And rainstorms come — Oh, star crossed mountains
Every step is lost and lost, inept
Others say what footprints planted claim

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Sonnet #228

At first, when we find life on other planets
We will ooh and aah and protect their wild
Better than we ever cherished our own child
This will not last, and then we will man it
This other world, we will choose to keep it kill
As it suits our plans, at first lip service to peace
the gingerly process of planting our flags and trees
Just a little, just to try, just to study, just this hill
For a while we will restrain ourselves
Then, in time, the lines between the worlds
Gets blurry, we take what’s there we sell
We push the wild into gardens, walled
Then wilderness of worlds will hurt each other
Where the escape of visitors spreads on either

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Sonnet #227

oh my pigeon heart where will you fly

When eggshell-colored skin cracks open bleeds
And shakes, and surgeons come for all they need
And my pigeon heart will leave me to die
And carry on a pulse in another’s chest
Will it be a monster or a man, will they love
One another as I have loved you, and move
Together when the dancing starts, try their best
Will the pigeon heart be soothed? And how long?
How many caverns can carry a heart, someday,
will organs pass down like a children’s song
Learned at cradles, returned to cradles to play
Another round, hearts passing down where wrongs
In air collect, but my pigeon heart is strong — it stays

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Sonnet #226

We are so careless with our wild and precious world

We live as if the size of us is endless horizons

As if there will always be another mountain

Another valley, another lake, new boys and girls

As joyful, as safe, as fulfilled and fulfilling

As if progress is measured by the gravity

of money, how it seems to magnetize more money

into heaping imaginary mountains unending

As if the imaginary mountain is greater than

The one that is blown apart, all waters polluted

We cannot eat the imaginary mountain

We cannot live beside these forests denuded

We cannot promise that there will be life again

So broadly this poem, beat it hard, prosecute it

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