Transfiguration of a maze


To imitate Francis, or Guillem d’Orange;
not to turn from the world,
but my own greedy churl
to whom the world panders (strange

profit in dust).  In the sweet flame
of yearning day-lilies,
to glimpse a dew-sprung rose
labyrinth... Love’s beckoning game.

Transfiguration of a maze of sighs –
of Giuliana’s longing,
Henry Cat’s sad reckoning...
all those winding trails of Psyche,

Ariadne’s ingle eye.  The far Gate
shimmers there, in Frisco Bay;
an M, as of a catenary
smile suspended, doubles you (checkmate);

your azure horizon draws its line
between twin vanishing points,
like pillars of four pines
feathered to a target (mine).

The wellspring of the soul is as
a lodestone (from beyond
the Milky Way).  Fond
depths of Holy-Land – Eureka-adze

or axis of the earth.  Bee-mouth,
hinge of honey-door
where uncreated light pours
through... sunbeam, raying north & south.



Evocative river

                                    Eternity, O Eternity!  That is our business.

Evocative river, measuring
my time.  If I follow
upstream, to the shallow
infant burble of your beginning

– that rush of spring across bright
limestone, agate, flint –
I might catch a glint
of prism-diamond, rainbow sunlight

out of the meteor from whence
we flew.  I studied greatness
as a bookworm boy; was
wowed by those Prince Valiants

& Teddy Heroes who prevail
(magnanimous & brave)
in moldy Grendel-cave
& gory field (at bookshelf scale);

but not until childhood had passed
did someone jump from stone
canoe, whose doings shone
so implicate with goodness (massed

coordinate with commonweal)
as to rekindle in my mind
each uncreated end
within this flow, earthbound & actual –

as in an icon of the central soul.
Heart-pivot of earth-
planet – integral hearth –
blazing spark in a great oak-bole


of clay spheres darting from the fiery
kiln (original
Joie, ineffable).
Star of perfection (seal of history).

Heroes in graven books (sustained
by hungry scrivener-ravens).
Yet the remotest heaven’s
slope will be surveyed, garnered, gleaned

by unknown compadres (anonymous,
unheralded).  Servants
beyond themselves – tense
strings, bowed into major chords.

Two things of opposite nature seem
to depend on one another...
the bond of troth, of lover
& belov’d.  Roger’s granite door-beam

on the hillside sinks back into dusky
Rhodus billows.  Nigh
the steadfast stream, two shy
ephebes lay out a picnic blanky;

an early butterfly, black-gold,
skims toward the shore. 
You have hearkened to lore
of skalds who came before – old

poets’ conversation, overheard;
now the river moves
in your own heart – Love’s
glittering pulse, encouraging word.



Delirium tremendum


The heavy water of Ezra Pound
subsuming the human tale
to his querulous high-pitch creel,
transmuted suddenly into profound

perilous melody.  The charismatic
author, shaken by acidic
lye.  Rattled to quick
bones – John Berryman at sick

bay (delirium tremendum, guy)
shriven to the marrow.
The prof who would harrow
Hell must round up his own high

insolence.  But personality,
like poetry, is excess
on the History Express
a bit gratuitous (to a degree);

won’t fold logically into place
aboard the freight car
of any village explainer.
She’s obstinate.  You’re a disgrace.

Whence cometh all authority?
Thrones crumble, powers
tremble – the hour’s
getting late.  Some mild futurity

yodels an octave through a vise...
the bird’s a turtledove.
Love’s key to the sky-trove –
exalting the low, humbling the wise.



Green confetti for Bunny Rabbi


Morning sunlight on the riverbank.
Old bridge in the background.
Hubbub of human sound
gone quiet here – some time to think.

The ranks of cottonwoods draw shapes
in four dimensions – homesick
willows by Euphrates,
brooding vaults of shady Chartres,

cloisters clad with marigolds
on orange heights (Monte
Cassino) – where they
summon up papyrus scrolls

like hopeful honeybees, reviving
scribble-cribs in royal reels
of pearly Solomon’s seal –
fern, aloe, acacia... (ever-living

green confetti, for Easter Rabbi).
I pace these precincts with
a vagrant slouch, as if
I’d missed the point.  & then I see

you! – bright invincible
companion – always there
in your cloud-rocking chair
at End of Time, & trouble –

familiar storyteller, Indian Guide
whose hearth blazes from Southern
Cross to blue Vermilion – within
Love’s angled arc (smile-wide).



the cube of Everyman


The Big Sky we all inherited
glows in the subway light.
Glimpsed through the Reflector-
Net (right thro’ the Western Gate).

Like rays focused on a beam
in Apollinaire’s eye,
mass merged in energy
enough to die – you joined the stream

of unknown soldiers (Harry Poilu,
Joe Middleman) fusing
with bronze sea-gong
(tall, serpentine).  It boomed for you.

A copper coin, at the bottom of a well
with Choctaw profile, Roman
grin.  The cube of Everyman
only squint of salt – a dry seashell.

Roger the Seeker seeks his soul
in that upper air (a wind
so free).  Love pinned
him to the still-life door – oak bole

of union, preternatural;
a chrysos-oil in old
dry woods (cold
boughs, so late-imperial).

Gold thread, gold hair.  Apollinaire
smokes his last Calumet.
Salt breeze, dockyard, fishnet.
Doves in grey clouds disappear.



Venice - Rimini - Ravenna


The lattice-work of Ariadne,
barely (in my crepuscular
History Theatre) there.
The river flows on, over yonder –

Eridanos, Mississippi, Po –
moving past this osier
excellence of rare
dear Dr. Wise.  Minerva, Virgo?

Beatrice, Julie Littletree...
Maggie... Miriam
of Bethany, or Bethlehem...
limpid over hopscotch Sally

gallivanting crost her vaulting
Paradise of glimmering
frater Pantocrator (wing,
knave, to that sheepfold ceiling).

Meanwhile my double creeps along
like Ezra the Venetian
Blind, touching the stolen
Rimini passage with an aching

brow; beyond his haunts by the canal
& sibylline bone-staves
Franciscans hid in caves,
a living shepherd leaps the wall

(disguised by Ariadne’s woof).
These corridors are spongy
depths.  So take the plunge –
blue marble veins Vitale’s roof.



This old man goes rolling home


Sunlight glints in flash-of-gold
on blue-gray lashes, curling
sea around each green-
black pupil glancing from cold

Pontus-depths, like lacquered pearl.
Each soul hath such a wild
wee isle – immur├Ęd child
of even-star, whose raven whorl

beams out of everwhirr – bright
innocent prinkster, fleet-
footing the complete
spring-step, so shamrock-intricate;

Tara, Soissons, Iona know
how low she twirls, she droops
before her leaping swoops
a coign... Elijah – let her go!

Light-nimble Columba... thundery-
coot’red Geraldine... – fits
Geraldine, the crown fits
Geraldine!  In a wheel of clay

through the eye of time – in a ray
of light, through a feather-
full of waterfalls... there,
thereLook there!  A catenary

clover-span!  Four-folded spire,
planted on copper penny-
whistle... one milky-
black Eire-eye rose Paycock-fire!



Caw-caw of chi-rho


The caw of a solitary crow
tracks its own echo straight
through the sonic vanishing point.
Past fanfare of the here & now

through a pinhole in the iris of Osiris
or some other shadow
Everyking from long ago.
Some Isis Peirce-the-Veil, or Most

High Elephant from Nile-source
cradling Victoria
for Homo Sap (Erecta) 
kindly Melchizedek, primeval Spouse

offering his star-crossed bread & wine
beneath Polaris &
the Twin Cup-Bears
to lift each soul into his milky Sign.

I hear the rasping of an iron swing.
C-row... chi-rho...  Behold
a shepherd in his fold
of 99 lambkins!  The last king

looks out from bairn-cupola, a crown
of stars.  A gardener
in the graveyard.  Mary’s
pal, incognito (Son of Man).

A retina, streaked with a spectacle
of tears.  Psychopomp
beyond Caesar’s last trump.
Ocean-continuum... wry planet oracle.



Spooky distances (for 3.14159............).......)...


Hobo drowses in his Einstein field
of asphodel, spooky distances.
Life’s tender differences...
only mauve peonies on copper shield.

Irrational yearning for the earth
might be the shortest path
to Providence.  Wrath
of History’s a concave labyrinth –

your soul must wash a dusty planet
down Big Muddy, Hobo.
Rise from your bed of woe;
our Hero beckons from his granite

lintel toward the circling sun.
Path P (transcendental
for each chaste equal
guest of compassing compassion).

The one who went to live with Indians.
Blackstone, Yellow Sweeting
apple-man – his greeting
(like sweet Williams’ own) a Both-Hands

Welcome, Minnehaha flute 
ray of soul liberty,
loop of Easter Rabbi...
Hart, Malcolm, Giulietta’s route

bent (parallactic) toward the light.
A catenary smile
or Life-Saver will
thread sad grooves into a chariot.


Mississippi River, from Indian Mounds Park (St. Paul)


There's a whole in the bucket


When Joachim Fiore, hermit-monk
hidden in heel of Italy,
after many a fasting-day
frescoed his Fauve raptor-hawk

like a rainbow-feathered calumet
smoking the end of aeons...
When the dust returns
from whence it came (Osiris sunset-

raft, veering to purple bull’s-eye)
& bones of bearberry
revert to green hay
& Alma the Corn Maid heaves a sigh

for Land o’Lakes (their vanishing,
twinkling, hexagonal
bye-bye)... then shall we all
rise too, in a Sabbath playground swing

of the Pleiades – & wheel with Mama
Ursa Major, in a New
World Symphony (Ojibwa
Lullaby, scribbled on your way

from Minnehaha, Anthony).  Because
the whole in the silver bucket
is a river-song (Pawtuxet,
maybe) sweeter than ever was –

is your redemption-hymn, O Solomon.
Sheba the Buffalo Lady
knows it, as does Maggie
Galilee... The Eagle from the Oven-Sun.



Primeval Spring


They leave a track across time,
the sea-salt souls – faint
& delicate as painted
tracery of April birch-limb

shoots under a pale blue sky;
massive as meteoric
stone flung from the thick
of heaven (dark as a raven eye).

Unreadable profundum – yet
a trace of what they loved
remains (as in an alcove
names are tapped in cloudy granite

for a terse echo of foregone delight).
Then centripetal gravity
sheds all formality
& mutters from the depth of night

the soul’s original, L-mast
uprightness – earliness;
birchland of quietness,
in boreal Aurora dressed.

Blackstone & Williams, Edward Coke...
such men of merciful Law
& lawful Mercy... & I saw
the matrix of your Liberty – who spoke

with spokes of fire upon her brow.
Psyche, Persephone...
Cana, in Galilee...
primeval Spring, welling forever now.



Walk through the mirror


Bleak winter shades... crows in the trees
beak-gnashing, rasping (caw-
caw, hawk-hawk).  Low
Earth, rotund silentium (dregs, lees).

Stillness of still-life – Brown Decades
(hoist Peto).  The Just Man
imago is just a man –
barely there, through simple glades

of green.  Mirror Lakes liked him,
in Mendelssohn.  Only
an infinitely gently-shivery
Rabbi, Hiawatha Honeybear – bro Jim,

our lunky logos (penny-loafing).
Who bears it all, past
He- or She-Cat’s paste-
up Geryon-masque (a scary nothing).

This maze contains a minor tear.
& through a crevice there
one Ariadne hair
leads you to almond-gold rain-bear.

Earth seethes with ziggurats of fraud
& blind men lash themselves
to violence (selva
oscura mitts gorilla code);

but it shall not be so with thee.
Bunny hikes one eye
& looks for wheeling Eli
to come by (benevolent memory).



Moss-green idiom


These cottonwood sentinels beside the river
in the early March sunlight.
May their sense of being right
prevail, Persephone return (forever).

My draft of yearning whispers from
bare cave.  Slight air
of seashore lingers there,
like early dream of motherland.  Home

in a memory of pinewoods, tamarack;
Ravenna in a film
of moss-green idiom –
child-realm of Umbrian yak-yak,

Firenze burble-babble.  One gold hinge
arcs sheltering lintel
over intelligible
gate of Jubilee... & it is so arranged

we never leave the shining ring.
Like a rock of Magdala
muttering ephphatha
our bread & wine are splashed with brine,

salted with everlastingness;
my primitive fresco
roughly points to show
how everything begins to bless –

when Psyche lifts from waterfall
& Raven (with a flick
of wing) is suddenly quick
Turtledove (threshold within us all).