the Ids of March

                                the fallow air grows milky

The Rio shines in quietness,
mottled by fading ice.
Cato the Woodpecker is
prince of cottonwoods – his highness

tock-tocks like Railsplitter toward
the taproot of Twin Cities’
canker sores.  He’s
whittling his wooden law – a word

scrimshawn against all takers,
all Caesars of commonweal,
in the court of last appeal –
galactic axle of the makers.

Is this a holiday?  The soothsayer’s
a dreamer (pass, tense).
Cinna lost his innocence
mangled among conspirators –

murdering for liberty (the mob
took it another way).
Is this a holiday?
The Ids are on the march – to Nob

Hill, where nabobs are on fire
amid their books.  Moses
threw tomes into a rose-
bush (ruby thorn in rabid empire)

& King David warped his harp
with smooth rushes & grass –
his humble plant shall pass
anthills of Tyre, the minnow tarp


of Lucifer – the arrogant hare
shall slip behind the turtle
& the dove shall hurtle
like a hummingbird (plum everywhere).

The sea wind washes the shoreline;
she lifts my face toward
her calm sunlight.  The sword
shall pierce your own heart, Minute Man,

little island seeker after Liberty –
her candle glimmers, copper-
green, where grasshopper
& ant both anchor.  Charity

of Chartres, Maid of Orleans,
Spirit of St. Louis
circling toward Paris,
read us what soul freedom means –

infinite mercy & joy
lifting the universe
from snowy ovoidness
into a Shakespeare play –

late Mississippian romance
only the first people
have beheld.  Quadruple
diamond, sapphire expanse,

arc of a Southern Cross above
refulgent rose island –
we expiate... to understand
your ever-brimming streams of Love.


pileated woodpecker

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