a merry caw-caw for Thanksgiving


We give thanks for life’s poetry
which arrives (unexpected)
through gates of neglected
farmyards.  For the spare mystery

of solitary lighthouses, beaming
steady wheel-spokes
(Rhode Island folks
know what we say, dreaming

sea-woven Narragansett night).
A merry caw-caw
semaphores her law
by roof-smoke... Raven’s last rite;

like Roy Van Doublegram – cross-eyed
matryoshka doll
(owl in a well) –
Hagia Sophia’s multiocular Argo-hide

(serpentine tesserae’s bronze
glint, like Quetzalcoatl
drifting up from Mexico).
For being lifted up to heaven’s

dome, by way of Providence
(O supernatural Grace).
Who is that Falcon-Ace
on Ibis-wing, speeding to silence?

Emily, Cordelia... be
with me now.  Will
must climb volcano-hill...
Love’s Istanbul (Turkey).



Ojo de Dios


The iconoclast in his canoe
oars his poetry
(defying gravity)
upstream.  I’m following you,

he murmurs, to the light
behind his back.  One
senses waves out of her tight

spring, jetting toward the Delta.
The prophet’s out of season,
Henry, mutters Jason
Bluejay (Hobo’s twin).  ‘Strooth, sirrah.

Fake saviors, antichrists will rise
like worms out of the mealy
rot, promising Envy
great Vengeance.  Where the body lies,

there vultures will assemble.
The Boar will tusk the Prince,
fill Earth with violence...
foundations of the planet tremble.

His canoe, the eye of Providence
(Ojo de Dios) whirrs
to emerald headwaters.
One pine, one fiddlehead give evidence –

your vernal J spirals intelligence
of love (bright quickness lost
& found).  Swift Holy Ghost
Rio pours restoration, recompense.


personae taking shape


On the high ridge of River Road
Henry seeks his throne –
little Sophie-chair (long gone
from her gazebo octagon). O Lord

Apollinaire of Poetry, what now?
Is the Great War ended?
Are the lads mended?
Have we entered the Third Aeon?  No,

not yet, vows Joachim (1132).
When Eagle molts
to Coulombee, & bolts
from heaven like a swallow blue...

the eye of Providence triangulates
over an Isis-pyramid
of West Branch clay – hid
from Cahokia to now, he states.

Hobo slumps closer to the river, sound
asleep.  He dreams of her,
who dreams of him – somewhere
over the Franklin Bridge (an Indian mound).

Henry, fragment of Osiris –
iris from Rhode Island –
sees her too.  Sand
curves through silent Providence...

soft glance of Magdalen, absorbing
mourning (wrung like tears,
like rain).  Those anxious piers...
Hart’s, John’s... frame her redeeming orb.



down by the River Road

Mpls. Star-Tribune, spring 1957

Hobo, out there in the wind & the rain
like a shattered King Lear.
An old-fashioned father.
Harmonica squeals – like brakes on a train.

Looks up toward the ridge, where Henry
mimes King of the Oak.
The Knot-King (royal joke).
Spidery threads cross buffoonery

with tacky mute muttering...
clay Eye-in-Hand
from Coatlicue-land.
Anne Boleyn territory (stuttering

terror).  He’s your 8th alter ego
this month, moony Earth –
been angry since birth.
Tsk, tsk.  Some boor’s addled Eddie, yo.

Divided-dividing, fibrillated
fibber... earthquake
salaud in pancake
make-up.  Henry?  Must be related.

Brothers, battling in his head
since Cain was able to kill –
equilibrium still
left out of the equation, love.  Sad!

There’s a buried man on the other side,
sire (near Pig’s Eye).  Emerald
green, her leaves unfold.
Big Muddy catfish will abide.


like a dream


Like a dream in the womb, in the mind of a maid
before all things were made.
Came naturally, she said
when the foundations of reality were laid.

Providence, burnished by smoky November.
Like a canoe on the edge
of the cataract of knowledge...
at Prospect Terrace.  You remember.

Roger Williams, sturdy son of man.
Dark grayish blue
Hope Diamond, you
whisper (below junk jewelry scams) your plan

for Providence.  Triangulated eye
over the Mammon-pyramid.
Re’s Eye, long hid
in our blind eye – to crucify,

Henry (in RI).  That woman in the wilderness
of last things (Chinese vase
still circuiting her stillness).
French, blue, Jeanne.  Fiery duress...

Only a child’s distress.  Cordelia.
Le coeur de Lear, de l’ear...
Coeur de Lion, here.
Skinny crane-bag (of ocean spray)...

St. Paul’s most blazing eloquence
out of heart’s Pig’s Eye.
South of the city –
Mississippi limestone (fossil evidence).



serene Cosmopolis


Imagination of the common good
gleams in the mind’s eye –
a gift from on high
to children of the neighborhood.

I remember Ellen Ryan, from Bridgeport
out of Holy Cross,
smoking under the asbestos
of the Henry Sharpe complex (fort)

off 95 – splitting Providence
just as in Bridgeport,
where her father (Mort,
the cop) & mother (Mary, since

deceased) instilled their sober sense
of ultimate innocence 
outwitting insolence
by grace (elusive fauna of experience).

Sheepish cabal of VISTA volunteers!
Bussed into Washington
to lobby Congressman
Boro Dolpawa (he’s “all ears”).

Chaste vision of the commonweal.
My strength in weakness
is perfected (witness,
black lamb rust-red wool).

Beyond transparent vanishings
serene Cosmopolis...
bright realm of kindness
radiating equilibrium (eternal things).



like variations on a theme


It was a first snow falling on your birthday, Alex
38 years ago.
Cesca’s labor so slow
& painful, there in Miriam Obstetrics

under the klieg lights & the surgeons
she took the C-section
at last (proud, stubborn
mother) while the soft newborn

stars sloped across the parking lot
in silent counterpoint.
The time was out of joint –
your father, too.  Every hamlet

screens its circular pilot plot
through every heart;
Henry left his hearth
to wander Cain-like into Camelot

(his Ars, his land of Nod).
The story is familiar.
Eros sparks war
for Adams unwilling to plow the meek sod,

buster.  Adonis was a narcissist.
Henry plucked his Clover
(tuneful Faustian lover)
& spun the wheel no heel resists –

the veils of Isis & Osiris (masonry,
mummified fire).
Venus, Morning Star
shone pallidly, across the whole country


a kind of Cairo-Poe magnet (wherever
you are).  Middle C
on the piano, tenderly
(Ravlin Princess, Ravel).  Life-saver

played out to Juliet, by Hart.
Like Bach, young Alex –
one sea-tempest X
along path P (where all the tempers start).

Grief comes in waves.  These little ripples
echo from the pangs
of Providence (where swings
a cosmic jewelry show).  Dilated pupils

merge in swarms of busy drones
(watch-birds for smoke-
signals).  Go for broke,
the Iago of the capital intones.

Unleash the dogs of war.  They hated
me without a cause...
Faust is no Santa Claus;
the raging boar will not be sated

‘til the last woman on earth
flees with her child
into that desert wild
nursing one lonely human birth.



on Veterans' Day


They walked on the beach on Veterans’ Day,
Henry & Alex, 11-
11. Father & son. 
A peaceful drone from the Pacific, hey

ey yo.  Henry, oh Henry, what
have you done?  Broken
the lawful bonds of Christen-
dom.  Limps toward Yehoshephat,

your son, your son (beneath milky
ocean spray).  Laborious
struggle to restore justice...
the father’s crimes his legacy.

Innocence precedes the chaste
memorials of same;
children entering the game
adore that grass, to which they haste.

Endicott ripped the Cross out of
the Union, Jack – inspired
by Rog Wms (hired
Ajax?).  Puritanical ab ovum

back in Topsfield (prior Zaccheus
Gould).  Desecrations
rule the day.  Someone’s
idea of revenge, rebellion... us?

The Narragansetts have a word
for youthful arrogance
(I forget).  Once
Henry walked another beach (Rhode


Island) lugging remorse (mule, dunce).
The heavy waves pounded.
Ocean-soul sounded.
Cordelia’s quipu-crown (silence).

The madness works itself out (&
might end, someday) –
the greedy Boar will slay
& slay, until his tiny orange hand

is stayed.  Complacent cows of Bashan
wallow on the slopes
of Washington (one hopes
Starbucks will runneth over, son)

until berserkers finish slaughtering
(but that was in another
coffeeshop – it wasn’t her).
Columbia keens for her offspring

in Ramada Inn, who are no more.
Henry Oakillas, huffy
Henry, O... what now?  I
do not know.  To the bridge?  Claymore?

More clay?  Sword shall pierce
your own soul, Mary.
The air, soft here – sea-
air (light of a sweet lightness).

The chaste beginnings of Thanksgiving
in the myth, in the dream...
on the shore, by beam
of some old canoe.  Hoping, hoping.



Election Restoration Day


Henry’s diary for a dying day
saunters into November.
After Wars to End All War
will Guillem find his smoky way?

Apollinaire in a Sikh turban
waits out the head wound.
Carried to the ground
from a Paris window (11/11).

Long way to Tipperary, Gil.
Grandpa in his macintosh
in Belgium rain... gosh,
long ago, Captain.  Farewell.

So long.  Today’s Election Day.
Are we of the electorate
yet?  Like a checkmate
in a game with yourself, aye –

Reds & Blues – rival brothers
in mired mirror war.
Each bears a torch
for her – the midnight soul mother,

those faces of benevolent fathers
children carry deep
into their forests of sleep.
Only the branding iron cauters

its contrary mosaics (through the Age
of Iron).  Black Elk
troubles the star-milk
with one royal touch (smoky sage-


brush sand mandala).  Soft, Selkie –
blue dolphin from Skye...
this mournful rage to die
sulks in the dark heart, MLK.

You must lift it from us, black lamb.
Forever & ever, light
candle through the night –
mass-vortex Gal of each I am, I am.

She smiles through waves, ineffable
Wisdom – heart’s foundation,
coracle of liberation.
She lifted Jonah (willing Abel)

into eye of hurricane –
the diamond matrix,
Everysoul’s six
ways – your dream song, Hen.

Her word burns like a fire in the Book
of Love, her Testament.
What Maggie meant
when she saw the young Nazir look

from the bright eyes of the gardener
& shouted, He is risen!
Out from your earth-borne
everlasting fire, world-fashioner!

So Morning Star whorls her self-sacrifice
& Guillaume flings another jest
& Henry’s safety net
swings sister-dove from rigor mortis.