the law is not a sword


A timid April tiptoes toward
her Spring.  Gun-gray sky,
leaf-brown river.  Hobo’s eye
moseys from earth to heaven (&

backward, again).  Raven loops
his knotty diagram,
figures 8 a.m.
some eats (thin scraps he scoops

betwixt instinctual communal hates
of squawky flocks, nations).
Noah’s inflammations
Eli salts – warns, Don’t be late.

Fuming smoke signals just
add to his unease.
Alighieri aims to please –
his bones rest in Franciscan dust,

his narrow beak angles from spark
to spark.  Hearth-embers
flicker out drear winters of
scalding be-ice.  Imperial dark

is splintered by gold threads of light –
lamb-thin graphene ravels
the cave-mouth – mangy hovels
hearken to trompette marine (slight

return).  Apollinaire or Orpheus,
shepherds in New Orleans,
Ravenna... rustic scenes.
Under an overpass (U.S.


or Rus) refugees convene,
lean farmers share
their plows... while everywhere
stones ricochet like bayonets (mean

answers mean, unkind unkind).
The law is not a sword;
it is a binding word
uniting variable humankind

proceeds from love, & so returns –
one warm traveling lamp
from isolated camp to camp
where Roger & Canonicus trade yarns

& Edward Elk defends each Everyone
upon egalitarian
thread-frame (one golden
safety net for all the wobbly children

of sweet Manitou).  Cautantowwit
whispers a Narragansett
name over each hamlet-
nest in Providence.  Let’s eat.

The gathering of crumbs, wild grapes
& hobos has begun.
Mississippi sun
beams west, southwest... Pacific shapes

crest arcs of rainbow (orange, indigo,
azure & rose)... an Ocean
State anchors her span –
Hope’s incarnation (Jonah show).


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