Ides of July


On this defunct St. Emperor Henry’s Day
the cavaliers of Christ broke down the walls
massacred the cityfolk, & found
the Holy Sepulchre.  & it was empty.
His midget kingdom was a bit of ground
6 ft. x 6.  Beneath Jo’s linen palls
that Body slept, 3 nights… then slipped away.

So Earth corrals the sun again (at mid-July).

Old Henry rotates his lugubrious clay
like cenotaph, or marble toy.  Through hells
of blinded crowds – mesmeric crown
for snobbish mobs, heartless autocracy –
deracinated tribes, bent for destruction.
So humankind spins round its Book of Kells
by fiddlehead bronze… on heaven’s way.



magnolia blooms


Again, the quiet of a cloudy day
in Minneapolis.  May Day
in quarantine.  This is the day
maidens in flowery garlands would ply

their threads around the blossoming May-
pole.  Hobo is not Falstaff, I say –
he is the King of May;
a blooming almond be his rod of sway.


Meanwhile, archaic Hen the Rain King
by circuitous path hath circled
back to River Road.
His early neighborhood – passing

his mother’s house, her father built
– that Master of Grain Elevators
(Ravlin, J.H.).  His crop rotator’s
resting now.  River-tongues will gather silt.

An old man hoists his memories
upon his back.  Their weight,
grown heavy, will grow light…
Grace is a salty providential breeze.

I hear the whisper of her crane-
bone flute – the drone
of one trompette marine…
Guillaume’s grande dame will rise again.


& I sense Osip’s revolving sisters,
melding gradually their
sarabande.  Rose flowers
share circumference (O lento tenderness).


I never want to leave this house.
Orioles sing in the forest
under their shade palimpsest…
(oaks’ rattling snare-susurrus).


A fresh breeze brings the May-month in.
The sisters ring their double wreath.
The young hawthorn on Fisher St.
is blooming pink.  The almond

in her dark eyes glows, her smile
of Sheba-Shekinah… the lady
of the Song of Songs (spry
tree of Galilee, in Rhody Isle).


The gawky prehistoric gingko
Granddad planted is
still there (at 1615).  Its
golden Memphis fans billow

in breezes off the Mississippi.
The asphodel, acacia…
the acorns greening, high
over the house… & now I see

her – cartwheeling across a field
like some sapling tornado!
Sophie or Pocahontas?  O
that Gravesend kid – her diamond shield

my royal seal!  Her acorn coracle
my Isis barge – her eye
my Argo’s midnight sky!
Across the Black Sea of a world-debacle

shining (congruent) one American ray –
my Henry-church, our 
Churnagogue… one flour-
cattedrale – out of spiritual clay!


Like simple San Fran in Frisco
he crost himself, at height
of orange Golden Gate –
where Juliet booked… O

her last, self-cancelled flight.  & Henry
built a rude crossroad
in old Rhode Eye.  Sold
on Roger’s fine distinction – worldly

profiting & holy soul-seeking be not
the same.  Yet they are wed
by law-abiding God
into a single providential knot –

that normative & innocent new world
as old as children underneath a tree
chanting together of a chaste reality
where Love is as the Ocean – pearled

in tides of light (beneath the moon,
beyond the moon).  This charity
stands like a tall pine tree,
from earthy root up to invisibility… one

Union of pure dream-substantiality;
good will, reflected in the hearts
of humankind – with all our arts
in-woven there (O graceful tapestry).


The little magnolia on River Road
by Granddad’s elegant abode
unleashed her winter load
of fluttery wings (Primavera mode).

Persephone, Eurydice go underground
& Beatrice to the sky…
a grain of wheat must die
so spring’s magnolia blooms abound.

May Day… the worker bees unite.
The earth itself is in labor
fired in the kiln of Evermore.
Communion loaves of clay ignite.

Everything spins in the green matrix.
Liberty & justice, equity
& equilibrium… an origami
fold of love & intellect – deep Genetrix

a whirl of fiery faery feet – Elohim
twirling on galactic rim
with ocarina Jonah-hum,
to glaze the grail-stone with her hymn.

Sophie was making rivers on the patio,
& found a black-brown woolly bear –
small furry embryonic caterpillar
searching for a leaf to call ground zero.

Henry was looking for an oak-bole too.
At end of May, at Pentecost,
on Dante’s birthday, JFK’s… lost
Restoration RI zone?  Hagia Sophia? – YOU.



on long feet


Calm evening at the end of April.
Wisdom of the ancients
unity of changing constants.
A continuum… a synthesis… a will

to find a meaning in the whole;
a portion of instinctive
gratitude – the urge to live
unfolding origami in the soul.

We dwell beneath an aegis of benevolent ideas
like clouds (reflecting sunlight,
bringing rain).  & everything
will be all right, my father said – his palm

over my flooding eyes.  This the providence
of sparrows & tall kings –
of all those feathered things
that soar so bravely into turbulence.

So then… who’s your imaginary friend,
Henry?  That loony Hobo
drifting from his local slough
down to the Gulf of Mexico?  Just a bend

in the river?  See thou, Hart says
touches a key, perhaps.
After the world-collapse
he’ll still be burbling his sabbath-sense;

planting a tender middle C
between Ocean & me
where clay & sea
are cleft at last, to rescue Thee 


– the clé to my ecclesia, Julie – 
a soft glissando pour l’église
from San Francisco to Louise
(grey Dolphy surfacing beside me).

& if reality is simply a supremely poetic idea
then the Imago of images
is like a seed of peacefulness –
a still point (painted on a bowl in Cahokia)

or that eye-in-hand Hobo held out to me
the wad of river-mud
Rabbi patterns for the blind
saying, Ephphatha… (gently, gently).

Everything has already been redeemed
& an orb rests in Hobo’s eye
with dewfall of memory
& earth-pangs for the not-yet-dreamed.

Everything rising with the soeur-coulombe
the sister-dove, the Jonah-Joan
the twin, O my beloved one
light Rabbi hopping through the gloom

on long feet   heading for the nest
on crest of wave
that vertical canoe-nave
pronged   at heart of Southern Cross

6 tracks of Black Elk diamond
ghost dance of Rio del
Espiritu   sprung up
for you & me   out of dis April pond



ice-breaking spring


This simple cup of Red Wing clay –
I thought it might be cracked.
A thick dark zigzag tracked
the rim.  Some dragon gone astray?

Quickening lightning, heavy thunder…
power of ice-breaking spring.
The bursting-forth of everything
in moss-green gold & violet splendor.

Or something darker, circuiting its wheel.
Cold-blooded Serpent, shattering
Anansi’s web (her glittering
fishnet, awash with dew)… to steal,

to kill.  Ouroboros-pelt of power
peeled from its fountain (O
omnipresent sweet communion
threaded like planetary Venus-flower).

The poet’s voice lurks with the refugees.
Exiled flint mirror, casting back
the shadow of one seamless lack
of liberty, justice – life’s guarantees.

It is a tool, a sharpened raven-knife
polished in Voronezh.
That river-town, at edge
of steppe.  O Evening Star, O sister-wife

The river sways its coppery smooth fan
from forest spring to Okeanos.  One
willowy limb of oaken
mast… grounding the flash where it began.



if I could gather all 9 muses


If I could gather all 9 muses
around the iron horseshoe
Hobo found along the shore…
a middle C stranded by silted rivers.

If I could loop a thread-corral
around the bullish history
of bardic poetry…
Whitman & Olson, the whole passel

of a thousand Pounds – a ton
of raw American aggression
packed in Julian tin can
of salmon absolute (O prodigal son).

You must bind up the strong man
if you would rob his house,
strums Shep Jesus –
the Son of Man opposes Czar Ivan

K. Trump (& all his lawless minions).
For Moses was an anti-
Pharaoh, & his text a fey
neutrino-trace – reversing their dominions

(anti-matter realms of fearful absence).
Their malice plays for keeps –
the quasi-Reagan creeps
who stigmatize Abe Lincoln’s conscience

of profound Union.  A government
of people, by & for people
whose penny is a steep
L-rectitude – the normative ligament


of every child of God (my soul to keep);
the stony fundament
that grounds each document
hedging the tyrant (as ye sow, shall reap). 

For this Hobo bent toward St. Louis,
where clays rotate
around an elder potentate;
the foolish king, whose power was on lease

to that familial mutuality
(the kinfolk circle
& the starry wheel)
Jesus displayed in his nativity.

Star of David, hidden in the clouds
like 4-leaf clover
in a rainbow cover –
ark or Argo of celestial crowds.

So history plays out as Tauromachia.
Watch Minotaur succumb
to Ariadne’s plumb,
Man lifted up beyond Monarchia;

that restoration of all things
the servant-son proclaimed,
chanting beside the famed
Magdala Stone (rose of sharing) –

when Clover twirls in Hobo’s fingertips
& Isis-eye looks from his palm;
when JFK comes home
& Venus blooms… & Sophie Coulombe skips.