Monthly Archives: August 2016

Sonnet #60

The world is known through sense and wit

For wits must make the sense of worlds
When all the fragments of the real swirl
into our neurology, there’s so much data to it
Most of what we must believe is true
Is part of stories about who we are
Where we are going, why it must bear
remembered ways of being, somehow new,
Tell the best of stories about the truth
Tell the most amazing stories to each other
Talk of a universal love, a vibrating tooth
at the birth of the universe, how brothers
and sisters walk in peace to go to voting booths
And seek the sacred symbols from fathers and mothers
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Sonnet #59

Before there was the highway there were trains

That cut a bloody path across the continent
Conestoga wagons like ships across the plains
Trailed campfires, carcasses, and gravemark indents
Before the wagon was the precious pony ridden
Ride out into the black and naked mountains
Where before the horse was only moccasins
Naked feet, and cougar paws — dinosaur remains
Before there were the dinosaurs, the rivers ran
Amphibious creatures crawled and jumped aground
Before the frogs and mudskippers, no man
had ever come this way before, no other sound
Drive your highways if you must to meet him
But no highway keeps the centuries — wheels spin

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Sonnet #58

The greatest mystery of pomegranates

When is the fruit come ripe for picking?
For months they hang like planets
Red and crowned and thickening, thickening
Blooms remembered, they were fairy dresses
Red for the queen, yellow for the sun
After the party, the ripeness of caresses
The swelling weight pulls branches down
Is she done? Is she ever going to be done?
Can I be so bold as to pluck a sweet fruit?
Wait until autumn, she says, my fruit will come
When my leaves give up their last refute
I know, once cracked, she’s kin to fairy toads
The way the eggs all bunch, and burst at goad

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Sonnet #57

Lost dogs, lost dogs, they don’t know how to go on
For what’s use of dogs alone upon the boulevard
Perhaps upon a time they were wolves in packs, strong
Imagine their surprise to be alone, to stand it hard

I knew a woman once so lost in debt and pain
She stepped into a sidewalk, raised a thumb and left
She said it was her calling to travel and abstain
From all the futures all her debt was built to heft

Abandoned ones, they are too heartbroken to why discern
They walk the streets and forests to return what’s lost
Aged five years in five months, her skin was burned
Leave out a bowl of clean, safe water, and the cost

of it all was counted against all abandonments
Walk tough from the houses, set loose all the hounds

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Sonnet #56

We will all die; before we do, let’s eat
and act like we belong together at
the table in the restaurant, we seem to’ve sat
among a crowd of strangers, while the seat
was kept unsat upon for only us, so dine
on every morsel that arrives from the back
And drink all the wine ’til we’ve emptied the rack
We will all die; before we do, recline
into the moonlight, capture meanbeams, laughing
at the hideous faces that look down from on high
The squinting of stars, the clouds chafing
Wait for the sunrise at least once on a beach, sigh
waves, dance to their sigh, stay awake, baffling
all reason, together tonight, for we will all die.

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Sonnet #55

I imagine brains are malleable things that grow

Into whatever shape we make of them, like muscles
twist and swell if exercised, and hearts clear through
or clench, depending on how we live. We wrestle
in knots where what we do is who we are
Eventually; what we feel is the way we know.
A thousand years from now, the deer will stare
into the television screens. They took our town
The sturdy doors, the walls and fences warped
Their hooves and backs into a bent up shape
They breed to barricades, training fawns, and sharp
The preening antlers rise above the frame of ape
The boundaries we build ourselves will hold
Any brain to come behind to share our mold

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Sonnet #54

…and how I suffer, Lord? You say I do
not know the meaning of the term
My belly full, my bed so soft, I go
to doctors when I’m hurt.
                                         I squirm
inside my jaw, my neurons twist, my heart
beats black and feels like void, but no
I do not suffer. It is passing, merely part
Of what we mean to make our soul Your boat
And contemplate the mysteries You make
Of what we’re told to want in life
And what we’re told that it will take
And how these twins are liars, laughing strife
And so, I do not think I feel much pain
It’s only summer storms, some mud, wet stains

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Sonnet #53

For days it rained, the dragon flower pushed
out from the vine, a swelling dress of feathers
Fire tinged the edges, red and yellow, better
watch it grow, the bloom will burst all rushed.
It only sings an evening, bursting tresses
Scenting out a perfume for the night moths
The long tongues of petal, stamen, wroth
at us for daring dragon blooms with our caresses
The fleeting beauty of the dragon, one night
It sinks and rots away and swells the egg

The mayflies come in spring and fly three nights
They spent so much of life trapped dirt and beg
To swim into the sky to chase the light
And fall a burned out husk, a shell, a peg

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Sonnet #52

How strange it must be to be a citrus tree
So far from the mountains of Korea and China
Where they say the species came to be
The trees don’t hold to a mecca or medina
They don’t pass stories down, face east
And remember the hills, the community,
There are no immigrant stories, no beasts
That haunt their mythologies, just seeds
That know enough to grow, they grip the ground
And wherever they land, they lack familiars
The song of the flower, the roots spreading mounds
All known companions sought, unfound, no conciliars
No single prophet risen to speak of mountains
lost trees awake in orchard rows like muted islands

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Sonnet #51

The Word of God is silence, can you hear it?

It is the hum of blood, a windless day, a buzz
below the threshold of the ear, because
all the movement and the heat, how we sit
on the back porch, listen as the late summer
sun that’s beating down the trees and bodies
All of it’s a shivering echo of a threnody
Sung when every piece of star was smaller
Than the eyes that search out for the source;
After that word spoken, what need for prophets
There are flowers in the fields, blood laughters, 
songs in twilight among all gardens, and what of it?
Can’t silence also have a volume rising hoarse
these ripples of a silent shout, strain to hear it?

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