of the Small
Out on the brick
patio, the small get by. A pair of gray
doves murmur and strut.
They peck at nothing I can
the loose bricks, or under the asparagus
I have heard they are stupid
birds. Why say such a thing
about birds that mate for life?
So they are not the white
doves of the holy ghost
descending before the multitude.
When I walk, doves flutter
from palm fronds,
or bob like little old men, davening among
Doves, murmuring and turning,
a velvety taupe
along their supple necks, that delicate
They do not reach high like
the wild geese flying
south, or crook footed vultures soaring
on wide wings.
When I walk I say: left
foot, right foot. My eyes look
down at the ground. Wandering mind, returning.
This is the practice of
humility, even though my long hair
shimmers in wind, even though my dark glasses
dilated eyes. Left foot,
right foot. What would I want
besides all that I have? One insignificant
that the sauntering doves
not be thought stupid
with their long tails and mindless stroll.
At last everything in its place. The books
on oak shelves, alphabetized from alpha
to omega in their dust jackets.
Dog in the
moon groomed, cat purring
in dreams, a tiger. One husband after a
still faithful, the one gold ring.
One son on
his way out of the house
(music spinning on his turntable heart).
Two frail parents in their eighties --
years of divorce: reconciled.
Poems loop the earth, calling to the scribe,
On the stove
in the white kitchen a kettle
whistles, spitting water onto blue flames,
the brass glowing like red embers.
of perfection fleeting---a moment
of eyes closed, palms raised, body swaying.
Already entropy moves toward a state
of decay: loss
of the transmitted message.
Already the dead rise from their graves
and march toward a new life, tiny eggs
about to be
seeded. Lingam in the yoni,
lotus on the lily pad of the world, thick
in wet lake: the inevitable roots of decline.
No one believes me when I say I was born
on the day
of the daffodil parade, floats swaddled
in gold crowns,
and my mother almost named me for that flower.
This is apocryphal,
of course, even though I am here
telling you this story. Half a century has
trekking from Kathmandu through the Kosmos,
Seminary to the Green Tara Initiation,
opium dens and dusty
shops selling temple balls
and tankas, biker bars and mattresses with
rocks to enter a place of holy mystery
where algorithms lead, step by step, recursive,
to reveal the grandest of cosmological problems.
Not one thing
is blunder or muddle, I hear myself say.
How hard it is to shush the ecstasy of my
that wants to exalt, even as the world seems
to be saying
as the animals mutate and vanish. I say
in the secret language of the vanquished:
in lavender turbans thrust into a newfangled
earth, and yes,
here I stand
in all my imperfection, daft utopian saying
soon gods and goddesses rise to rebirth,
soon the world
will tremble with poets and sublime transmissions.