This old battlefield is more than a place.
It is a face. It is grace.
No One Asks the Soldiers
When they’re dead,
they all look so familiar.
Songs and Letters, March 20, 2008
You are not happy. You want nothing more than to be happy. You are willing, even, to think you are happy, and to tell everyone how happy you are, even if you are not happy. But doing so makes you sad, and it saddens those whom you tell. Thinking you are happy, you are not happy. You are sad. You are sad, until, one day, a miracle happens, and you […]
Year by year, the neighbor’s irises have crept like a floral glacier across the narrow path I maintain between his yard and our garden. This spring, they were so heavy with blooms, I had to prop them up to keep them from smothering our young tomato plants. It was a beautiful sight — so beautiful that sometime in July, if I am still living, I will dig and divide those […]
Someday, perhaps, the unhappiest and most destructive of our kind will simply be loved by the rest of us into grace — caressed, as it were, by the whole human race. Now, look at the face. Look, and then ask yourself: Am I willing to love? Or am I above such tragic disgrace? And: If I am above, how came I to be so unlike the truth I proclaim — […]
When I see ignorance in a face, or anxiety, or arrogance, or fear,
I see the road that brought me here.
When I see compassion, grace, and love,
I see sweet rain on distant fields. I see where I was born.
When I see my fingers on the keys of this strange machine,
I see an entire species on the precipice of itself.
Less a Tightrope Walker
Less a tightrope walker or juggler, more a snowflake or butterfly.
And then, when you least expect it, a man, in a grave, at the end.
That’s when his bones dance without help from his skin.
Don’t think it sad. Be a friend. Look in.
And don’t think me mad, if that’s what I am.
Think me flower, or ball, or pin.
Think me weightless.
Yes. Think of me then.
Recently Banned Literature, January 12, 2017
In a dream last night, I was visited by one, or two, or three white-haired gentlemen I apparently should have known, but who were only vaguely familiar. They knew my name, but I did not know theirs. They seemed to be waiting for me to remember. Finally, I confessed I was at a loss, upon which one gave me a hint, a rather long and mystical-sounding title of a musical […]
It seems these older pieces are coming together in a way that makes them read as if they’re being written now, one giving rise to the next in a natural progression. I realize this is my impression. I don’t know if it strikes you that way. But I think this feeling is partly due to the pieces I am writing now — those which stand alone, and those which serve […]
You’ve just sailed into the harbor. This is your face. And this is the face of all who are glad you are here. Do you see she is a he is a we with a tear? To the Child So much strife, rooted in the idea of ownership — in the idea that “this land is your land, this land is my land.” But this land, this earth, this […]