looking out a window


I’m getting older, while the day’s
becoming lighter.  As
in Mary Gould’s last
watercolor (Bardsey Island, Wales) –

looking out a window from brown shade
of cave-like room, toward
April greensward.
Frail hand... pale grass, overlaid

with stone outcrop... old walls, old cross
(Romano-Celtic maze).
Delicate spring promise
from an ancient vault (Natasha’s

limping that way now, with me).
Her temple’s labyrinth –
sea-goddess, Amaranth –
only a sheep-door, west of Galilee;

only this frozen winterworld
all thatched with foot-
prints (near that ice-hut
where Henry’s burr-man hurled

like a cedar waxwing to mistaken ice).
Crabapple food for golden
beaks... spiritual gates, folding
for abject mortals (Minnesota nice)

into a paper bird from Paris, maybe –
Apollinaire’s turban
or Marianne’s tricorn
mayhap – dancing a crane-dance (starry


sacrifice) with shuttle-pagination.
Ariadne on the golden floor
rhyming with Morning Star
east of Cahokia – her crown of corn

lifting like Liberty (or Spirit
of St. Louis) for a
constellation (Columbia) –
gray-winged Jonah of an old planet

molting to Thunderbird out of the new.
Each Troy-town so will show
her Julia, Iulus, Juno –
or Sophie, prancing here and now

across the parapet of innocence
like dew upon the brow
of childhood’s rainbow –
O bright helm of human sentience!

Behold a Union, fused in fire & light
of soul-transfiguration –
people, ever-living, stony-bright!

You see that Gate as through an old
& shady window, in a bed-
sit somewhere (in the Hebrides?).
Old stones, light green, grass-emerald...

sprung out of the eternal vault
like Livingstone out of jungle,
where fiery spirits mingle
in a playful dance... – her statue, Walt!



quiet end of the year


At the quiet end of the year,
among the barn smells
a chilly infant wails –
a refugee.  Shepherds draw near.

He is king.  His mother is
queen.  His father is
a mule-driver (was,
anyway) – Vietnamese,

I think?  They live in Egypt now.
They’ve never seen Ghiberti’s
Gates of Paradise
that brazen lava overflow

to metamorphoses of fiery dream
and rock – sedimentary,
igneous, flickery...
roiling sun to spring, upstream;

they’ve never been to Providence
or heard the Rose Ensemble
whose violas tremble
with harmonious transience...

they live the poverty of innocence.
Light flickers in a manger.
Someone senses danger –
cows murmur, chickens grow tense...

enormous shadows of the monster-men
leer over flesh & blood.
It is the shadow of the rude
star burning in the last heaven


– the red star, bringing rectitude
out of the mild mien
of that child-man –
incarnate stony magnitude

heavy past sullen measurements
of every swollen tinpot
despot in his chariot.
Matrix of cosmic elements –

the figure of a man emerges,
burning in brazen tongs
and glossolalia of tongues
from every tribe.  Sea surges

multitudinous, incarnadine...
Ocean called universe
forging one verse
with arches (catenary, almondine).

So combers crested in a tower –
moonbright Witch’s Hat
tenting her desolate
oak-limbs (snowy owl’s bower).

Quetzalcoatl, brazen serpent,
lift each refugee of time
into your feathered rhyme
of flame.  Your flicker-tongue, sent

dancing into each soul’s paradigm –
the sparkling river, bent
back to its fundament;
Love’s cavern, salting every lime.



digging in the dirty green


The dirty green of the dollar bill.
Gardener George, earwigged
on one side (with a big
little Mona Lisa smile).

The eye over the pyramid (annuit
coeptis) on the other.
Levitating, mother!
Mammon, touching his limit –

a gilded pharaoh, forced to step
sideways (into the river-
sand).  Busy beaver
out of Illinois might be princeps

round here (nobody knows
til all the votes are counted).
We are all the Lord’s anointed
Preacher-Judge (siege perilous)

leers in the face of b-flat storm –
Cordelia, ascend
your throne, bend
everyone to teeming agape (love’s form).

The government shall be upon
his shoulder (right to left)
until the desolate bereft
& greedy soul relents – a human

Imogen emerges, lowly
& victorious.
Dancing the periplus
of Arg-Noah (144, aye-aye).



Traverse des Sioux


Down by the Minnesota River
choked with fertilizer –
shallow brown water of
Traverse des Sioux.  It was here

the white man stole the territory
with treaty signed in smoke
(fake handshake, mock
friendship).  We didn’t mean it – sorry.

Eleven years later (1862)
starved, dispossessed
the scar broke open (led
by blue, reluctant Little Crow).

Extermination of the buffalo
echoed the reservation
camp.  To build a nation
all these savages must go.

The lightweight arc of birch canoe
is like an eyebrow (wingbone
frame, sutured to one
Rose Island – lamp of Manitou).

We’re limping back to Providence.
The whole grotesquerie
of violence & perfidy
to be forgone (washed in the silence

of the sea).  Down Mississippi way
you feel a salty shell wash
through fingers... an eyelash
leach one tear, slowly.  Hey ey.



part of a panorama


You want to understand the metaphysical basis
of these innumerable poems-
après-poems.  Sherlock Holmes
might just as well (go home).  Faces

crowd the apparitions – bow
wet black petals
into wreath-portals;
Nile barge (or Venice funeral-scow).

Sometimes the dishwasher breaks down (just now).
Anton Gàg died young.
Paint fumes (bad lung) –
Bohemian lifestyle in New Ulm (& how

his seven kids survived, I dunno).
Painted Dakota braves
advance through dry sheaves
hungry for ground (1862)...

We’re part of a panorama, Melody;
some Mendelssohn concerto
swelling to tomorrow...
Nature renewed by grace (slow psalmody).

The flat river was calm today.
The bridge craned upward
in a mirror, downward.
Man & God in Maggie’s puffer, aye.

Aunt May (out of Glasgow) beset
my father (John Douglas)
with needless trials, alas;
the ship of faith already left the port.



we must carve a consensus


The Seekers gathered on the shore
of Providence River.
Canonicus (Indian giver)
steered them to festal hearth, & more.

Warm wholeness, understood by all.
We must carve a consensus
like log canoe, he says.
All flows from Manitou – not full

of vanity & pride, but like
a farmer in disguise –
gentle kenosis-
metamorphosis (Nokomis Lake).

The raging trickster flings flaming
orange bars into stream
burnt like a furnace-dream –
a grasping Minotaur, defaming

Imogen... moon-shadow (of the sun
of Man).  Eurydice,
Psyche...  Clover’s Henri,
en camouflage (homespun)...

Light on the river frames a simple
cloverleaf of spring.
Fond Pocahontas-swing
where fern unfurls (from ample

fiddlehead to wavy palm).
Whisper me back to you,
Morning.  The crown’s U-
turn rivets an oak bee-hum.



the ordinary Union

                 Eternity, O Eternity! That is our business.
                                                       – Roger Williams

She watches crows play in the sky
above her balcony.
Her dregs of memory
transmute to gaiety, give death the lie.

Cautantowwit was Raven-Lord
of Narragansetts.  Old
Canonicus told
Roger how dead souls were borne toward

Mexico, far off southwest...
Rog quilled it down.
That chief of great renown
was kind to him.  Knit wool is best

around head, limbs & heart
when winter ice descends.
I’m dreaming, friends.
One campfire (circling) is all my art.

The Red Wing river-clay is heavy,
as my mother knows.
O the harsh blows
that fall like thunder (Romeo, Julie)...

The body’s weight is catenary
Golden Gate (so
Jasper shows).  Blow,
Manitou... bring back the glory

of the ordinary Union.  It shall be
– when we return to Thee,
from sea to shining sea
uncommon good (benevolent Eternity).



11 million light-years from Rhode Island


They’ve found another habitable planet
just in time for Thanksgiving –
around Ross 128, winking
only 11 million light-

years from Rhode Island (quiet
little red dwarf, dreaming
on its milky way).  Wing
me back to Pilgrim days... what

legend for a habitable continent
will do, now that we seem
to have gone off the beam
as human beings?  Erect a tent

for native & for refugee?
Bring in the gratitude
we understand is owed?
Who will say grace for grace?  Who, me?

The source of wonder is a mystery.
Great Rio del Espiritu
begins as wellspring too –
the stream itself is but a simile

for that invisible soul-smile
we sense, walking along
(like an unearthly song
or ghost of melody).  That aisle

of poplars on a shoreline trail...
the morris dance we trod
beneath your dome of gold
sunlight, O angel of Emanu-El...


– as when Natasha’s limping stride
befriended one forlorn
poet.  Teacher, librarian...
Philology’s sweet sister-bride...

a soul-companion, by your side.
Flowers are immortal,
& tomorrow... is for all –
Love’s welling fountain will abide.

Autumn is in the air.  Ides
of November, by the iron
Eads Bridge.  Low sun,
harsh crows.  Temperature slides.

That legend of Thanksgiving Day
(tables for everyone,
Pilgrim & Indian)
echoes via dream-song roundelay –

Henry, Hobo – Hart, John Berryman –
Dante, at Ravenn –
Black Elk, Martin...
reeling in Psyche-Restoration;

bright Rhodos-Imogen of Liberty
harbored in moss-green
robes of copper sheen;
the rippling well of Lincoln penny

radiating hopeful trust (humility).
An arc out of river water
sparkles like dancing laughter –
morning dew splashing basilica (for free).



matrix of the capital


Charles L’Enfant painted a watercolor
panorama, 14 inches
by 7 feet long, which shows
the Continental Army by the Hudson River

at Verplanck’s Point (1782).
Its curator (Phil Mead)
once noticed what appeared
to be a mini-tepee notched in view –

looking vaguely familiar...
why?  That very canvas
tent (George Washington’s)
was standing in a nearby corner

of his own museum.  From tiny sketches
mighty plants may grow –
L’Enfant would later sow
the plans for D.C.’s marble stretches

(George’s tent of meeting thus
the matrix of the capital).
We are all infants, after all.
Whence comes this rolling wondrous

theatre in the round?  Each regiment
on the accompanying chart
plays its own part –
a seahorse anchor figuring Rhode Island

(Providence for African, Native 
American recruits).
Even Okean has roots –
one sign given, that we might live


like Jonah (which means turtledove)
descending, by enormous
& galactic routes
from lambent & egalitarian beehive

on high – the very cosmopolitan
& chaste kingdom of God –
chaste, as out of Novgorod
by way of Osip (Mandelstamian)...

Each local soul circles toward Providence
as moth toward firelight.
Only fly right
into the center of her blazing salience –

you’ll see the laws of city & country
meld to conformity
with that great mutuality
Martin proclaimed – God’s wakan charity.


This lonely river-path of Hobo
down the sky’s time-lapse
touches a key, perhaps.
His mother’s clay is rolling, so;

out of that gray whale’s brow of sadness
flows a solidarity
escried by Raven – see?
Au mer... À Mère I caw (southwest,

southwest)... Cautantowwit, or Noah’s
pilot, feeding crumbs...
deep distant drums
of Thunderbird.  Silence (Cahokia’s).



evening of the year


November is the evening of the year.
Peasants in Bruegel scenes,
old Hobo has-beens
cluster by each barnyard bonfire.

Smells of farm & mill & stream,
the salt of drying fish.
Legends of Gilgamesh,
Leviathan.  Earth’s drowsy dream

wherein these van der Weyden faces
peer, like wildflowers
(like elemental creatures).
Matrix of sky & sea places,

of perishable limestone prints
from whence a soul emerges
smiling... Demiurge’s
horsehair, flickering (Francesca’s hints).

Medieval bread & wine of things.
Cascade of bridges over
other bridges – river
washing under massive rings.

The solidarity of timebound
beasts, breathing together
under whip, rein, tether.
Muddy, between Arch & Mound

looms... pregnant with Spiritu.
What Piero knew,
Bruegel & Jasper too –
shade-palm, surrounding you


& me – stretching toward Pacific blue.
I layer watercolors so,
over crepuscular canoe
hid in Italian garage (one almond clue).

The limestone waterfalls in Rimini
like tears across a scallop-
sign.  The curtains drop,
the veil gives way... a human unity

of suffering is all our play.
Da Vinci, with tired hand
limns one command –
love one another, every day.

For we are one.  A multitude,
personified.  Benevolent
Ancient of Days bent
each into the mirror’s flood,

together – riverflow of heart-
veins from the earth
welling to fiery hearth –
lenticular sunset, plangent cloud-art.

So spinning from primordial rose
the golden maize of Chartres
guides you to its Artist...
Daedalus, not Minotaur; Grace

Ravlin, not some puppet-master
in the Kremlin.  Shadow
of Mona Lisa grin... you
rise before the fall (Easter).



hurrah for the green black & blue


Early cold air makes light more clear
toward Veteran’s Day.
Only whisper a ray
through the Mexican mirror, my hero (here

& now).  Who gave a last full measure
to the metronome of fate –
her solemn bell drones late
over these midnight hexagons (white hair

of graves).  Whisper it back to me,
quietly, quietly.  Dark
wake of Noah’s Cutty Sark,
trailing to Southern Cross, Black Sea.

Your raven circles to the end of speech.
These crumbs will be enough.
Twin shoulders lift the rough
yoke – walk a path to Ocean Beach.

A stone like diamond lost in Voronezh –
gray pebble, agate
hidden in the gate...
forged fate of Man as Uncle George

the Unknown Soldier... gardener
outside her smithy-cave,
their humus-world to save.
Come in.  These stones weather

Siberian winter – like Finnish sauna
finished in Hyperborea;
out of Lake Victoria
or Sydney, Australia (hurrah


for the green black & blue)... faint echo
out of Mexico,
where all the monarchs go.
The earth will be redeemed... but very slow.

Up the street from your view of heaven
in another neighborhood
hearts hard for good
pitch darkness toward Pacific Union –

money grooves & spectral hates
congeal in orange ogre-
hats... scared morgue-
hacks... guile of guppy hypocrites...

All politics is local, sez.
In Minneapolis
black is really less
skin in the game (the realtor biz);

up at the lake, the fishermen
cash in their walleyes;
hunters in disguise
carry the venison for Uncle Ben

(Rice Lake).  The joker’s going wild.
He’s up by White Bear –
FBI got there?
Over near Mound – which bullets?  Piled?

Dream songs must leave behind the fear,
greed, hate.  Earth clay is one,
& Manitou is
done (for today).  Help with the bier?



in the grave of the Griffin Warrior


A stone in the grave of the Griffin Warrior.
Lowly agate (rough
exterior).  What
unknown soldier, pebble on the shore

flung from what Cretan Argo-prow
lay crypted here?
His name’s no more.
Near-sighted magnifying glasses show

how microscopic serpent-threads
wound round the pommel
of a vanquished blade – whorl-
vortex of a maze from Hell (where heads

will roll).  The Minotaur is in
will see you now.  He’s you.
A stone makes hearty stew,
you know (a wilderness of sin).

The kilty boys are losers here,
for once – the codpiece wins,
his dagger thrusting in... so
war defines its atmosphere.

The agate labyrinth congeals,
like threads of matière
Bretagne.  Lodged somewhere
in the brain – with royal seals

& white election... Hamlet’s pause
(like Abraham’s)... the sword
held back by muttered word
to brand an emerald chimp’s impasse


with emblems of a lost accord.
‘Tis way of the world, alas –
each fence a sacrifice
for peace (a chain-link, scored

for Queequeg scar).  That little cap
of Mithras-happiness...
that victor’s haughty prance
over the bleeding bull (himself, mayhap)...

As if an intricate expensive ship
– Mayflower? Monitor? –
long-sunk to Black Sea floor
drifted to shore.  The salty lip

of Ocean whispered her afloat again.
The Norway of the year
gave way to Danish cheer
when Hamlet’s amulet (against the grain)

pressed echoes of a gentle man
into the oaken captain’s
table (so that crimson
icon sped a providential plan).

Ah, Psyche, lift your agate lamp!
& Ariadne, thread
my path... open the dead
tomb for your spider-tramp!

There is an agon for the soul
of man – relinquish force
or buy it with remorse.
You choose.  Sweep, safety net; seas, roll.



restoration will abolish dice


The calm oval of the bridge
floats in the stream
like bubble on a beam.
A fringe of green trees edge

the shoreline... memory of summer.
Water seeks its own
level.  Every stone
melts in its riverbed.  Your humor,

Hobo, settles into Ocean State
as silky Mississippi
seeps into the mighty
estuary of the Gulf (trompette

marine).  So your melodious
escapism is salted too,
with fire – there ain’t no
place that doesn’t see you, Mose.

Cradle him in your coracle
of creamy wisdom, Sophie –
let light from a tree
of galaxies be his menorah (Huck,

that is – Huck Finn).  Your soaring
arc (beside Cahokia)
hovers, a stealth utopia –
eagle-prong, heat-seeking

beak from heaven.  Like that rapt
golden raptor, diving
on rainbow wing
toward his vanishing point


(infinity) which Joachim (mulish
Franciscan hermit)
signed, Age of the Spirit...
Fusion of molten phoenix, starfish

turtledove... risen to dance
lightfooted on the grave
of death (one palm-wave
soothes her brow-circumference).

Only leave him his primitive wood-burnt
etching from Rhode Island.
Someone might understand
its clambit rhythm somehow – learnt

by beachcomber, drifted to sound
of sea-wash... steady laving
for pain... life-saving
Island Rose (from rocky ground).

The Word sings out of rosy shell chambers,
complex inflected folds,
ineffable.  She breaks molds
by clash of scalloping tambours –

beams smiling splendor in a glance;
beholds the Earth, clipped
into chains, gripped
by small potentates (from Bossy Manse)...

My hobo-map of Paradise
includes Newport (Jackie
& Jack wed, merrily);
my restoration will abolish dice.



Who killed Robin Redbreast?


Already the first snow saunters down
at dusk (All Saints’ Day).
Robins nibble cherry
crabapples; waxwings are flown.

Some gray squirrel (squirreled away
in Book Depository?)
broke the back of Sophie’s
jack o’lantern... strange display

splayed into Dia de los Muertes.
So Jeff the Fireman
crossed into a bar (man
overboard).  Barranca... Beatrice...

man who went to live with Indians.
Ghost dance, compadre;
Dennis Banks (hey ey
yo).  Eagle feathers in the grandstands

quoting LBJ, ironically (“treaties”).
Home, home on the range
(small fry).  My ange
d’or – in the abyss, like Cassiopeia’s

fireball.  Wax melted in the wings.
Hamlet, his father’s vortex
seal – lay off that, Tex.
Untouchable guitar strings

(hellhound on my trail).  The man’s
in jail.  A thin blue line
separates the whisper mine
from outer darkness (someone plans


ahead ahead).  Pumpkin or Trumpkin,
orange oak bolete...
mushroom cloud.  Yeti...
this is the forest primeval (again).

American robins gather by the fire.
In the Bruegel scene –
where the old women
stoke the blaze with bones (ire

smoke-signals, from Columba).
Globilized indifference
in a culture of comforts
soap bubbles... insubstantial... ah

King of Pumpkins!  How the wax melts!
My soul leans inward
toward your abject & absurd
reward, Coatlicue – so many wolf pelts!

In the bright snow of Siberia
the cold blue fire burns
through bronze lids.  Eyes
turn in your direction...  Selah,

my friend.  La vida es sueño.
Poetry = transcript.
Out of the drowsy crypt
she glances, see... muy bueno.

The double doves of the peacock dome
resolve the red & blue
to violet... so you
are Hagia Sophia (hippodrome).



hope is the anchor of the soul


The salty bread & wine of commonweal
is not a partisan domain;
it came before Abel & Cain,
magnanimous magma of the real.

Like these green palm-prints in a ring
my daughter planted on a square
of Grace’s linen, whirling there
like burning wings of seraphim (wheeling,

wheeling)... the Power of the universe
flames through a hearth-fire
(undermining empire
with compassionate adhesiveness).

I watched this morning as a lone
bald eagle, gliding quickly
in great catenary
arcs (like Guillem de Gellone

or Joachim, the hermit of Fiore)
mimed curvature of bridge
along that autumn ridge
like a daguerrotype from Civil War –

the process signifying Liberty
teeters twin wings
an unknown soldier brings
to bear (O turtledove of solidarity).

The downward angle of the bird
that signifies nekuia
& kenosis (ah,
bright wings!) so anchoring the word


she flies – & radiates upward (selah)
that Shekinah you heard
wailing in Ramah (sword
rotating every way)... hey ey

yo, Ma!  Your motherland the Earth
is calling you, Hobo.
Only primordial blue
clay, replicating Ocean birth

can shape the high ship of the whole.
Those human ribs, breathing
from Galilee to Sing-Sing
slip the galley through a needle –

bear Arcturus to the North Pole
via waltz of galaxies –
salve memories
of lost sailors, & reconcile them all.

Hope is the anchor of the soul.
Light seed, planted in soil
of churnagogue, still
twirling on your milky way... scroll

out your almond gospel alms,
Melchizedek... your ray
through aquiline papyrus
lens, through Gilead pine-balms.

The clay awaits your bread & wine.
The heart yearns for it,
through dry thicket
retina of Man – your sappy pine.