Rhode Island was purchased by love


The last of the autumn thunderstorms
crashes through town,
hail & sleet coming down.
Quick whitecaps fleck the enormous

imperturbable Mississippi flood.
Bridge-work almost done,
the sturdy crane-&-pylon
men climb the sweat-&-blood

iron stairs up to the ridge
just one more time.
Labor is no crime –
titanic force poured to the edge

so that a featherweight robin redbreast
might perch atop a flange
of international orange
and warble good, better, best

into her indigo infinity.
Good will is balance, justice,
equanimity.  Who is
the man untouched by vanity,

cupidity?  I will hold him close
in my heart’s treasury,
for he alone is free.
Not price nor money could have purchased

Rhode Island; Rhode Island was purchased
by love.  Understand, Sophie,
this ocean mystery
of your first scallop-skipping space –


the star of Rhodos-Liberty
crowned with a ring of palms
sealed with a steady calm
handshake – confirming equity.

Guide of young Roger, ancient
Canonicus – father
& son : the grace to weather
every gale of greed, any fraudulent

unknotting of their pact of peace.
They step like lambkin twins
from a kayak circumference,
an almond eye, figuring Providence;

the planetary hearth of promise
knife-beaked Raven spied
beneath his southwest glide –
Cautantowwit to cedar wilderness

like monarch checkmating to Mexico.
Primordial Ragnarok
& other nightmares lock
the curse into a seeming cul-de-sac – so

your peace which passeth understanding
like a limping child’s sun-
yellow gyroscope, must turn
upright again – Ravenna plaything,

gather us into the river dance
drowning Man’s arrogance –
evergreen presences
surfing Ocean Stream (taut spring romance).


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