one dusty pair of loafers


A cloudy day in June.  The silver-
green hearts of cottonwood
shape an eave of old
whispers overhead – over

Hobo’s sleepy crown.  He drifts
along the riverbank
like wind.  Who to thank
for this vagrant splendor?  Lifts

one eye to meet mauve milkweed
flowerets.  The milky
pod will land later.  He
recalls the King of Butterflies – his seed

of fire, smoking bloody thorns
out of the House of God.
Beyond Land of Nod
dawn twilight hovers between horns;

the Minotaur, hideout collapsed,
glances sideways now –
he’s facing you, Hobo.
Ennui & self-disgust snap

shut his labyrinthine face.
An intellectual
despair (material
forces define our fate) will place

disconsolate Ophelia
& lonely Juliet
upon the parapet
of Golden Gate.  Barefoot pariah-

poet joins them (leaves behind
one dusty pair of loafers).
Ice coats the Minotaur’s
sealed lips.  Hobo’s refined friend

Henry wavers on river-ridge.
He breathes deep.  Steadies
himself.  Watches eddies
spread calmly (from Stone Age).

A tiny flint, like mustard seed
planted its yellow point
in Henry’s mother-heart.
The soul is feminine, she said,

her clay says welcome to the plant.
A fishy pie plate


framed between what
look like Twin Cities’ restaurant

cartwheels?  Double helix, welded
with rows of keys... inside
a box of buffalo hide... ?
Disc-knot, or gyroscope... plaid

4-leaf clover in a Star of David
spun toward peace...
Frisbee (call the police)
or flying saucer?  Air-bridged

harbor, so she sang – a lightning
prism.  New Colossus
in the live-oak moss –
her beacon-hand.  Smiles, welcoming.

Grain of the laborers trains Henry’s
unison.  His ancient sigh
for Juliet-Eurydice
brings grey-eyed Emma Lazarus

out of a purple sea – her Liberty.
The seed of fire is Love
soul’s only treasure-trove;
find Her & you have found Me

too, murmured the grey ring-dove
whose cloudy wings unveil
a glinting copper seal –
bright penny from the King’s alcove

(of Lincoln logs & Memphis marble
made).  Now Henry sleeps
in Charley-oak – he keeps
the crown of Manitou arboreal

while Hobo swims down Milkweed River
branch to branch, & limb
to limb.  Says, Go find him
who seeks you in deep-end despair.

Love’s gyroscopic equilibrium
(from seed-beginning
to rose-blooming
end) is manifest Wisdom;

she dances like a cloverleaf
until you turn with her
into that Golden Door –
her almond Agape (undying life).



anyone know your knots?


The lowly starfish, neither fish
nor star.  Rather
fish out of water, or
spark from Ocean River.  Wish

upon which?  Empty choice, perhaps –
like this rickety cedar
gazebo door, spannered
over the void for mosquito apse

(fine Roman iron).  Door always open.
Natural Bridge – sublime,
like Jefferson’s government;
only supporting vault, for all men,

women, are created equal.
Contracted limestone
hieroglyph, whose one
whole marbleized body-spiral

corkscrewed like Nut – bolted
to high arch-campanile.
Mostly invisible.
An Arctic burg (igloo-solid).

The hollowness of raven-beak –
scars like tattoos for Cain;
Jonah from Spanish Main
become Columbian Mayflower (seek

& ye shall find Canonicus, O
jolly Roger).  Darkest
camera oscura (west
of black hole, near Tasmania)


filled with simple cave-sketches –
a wave-curve with a graphene
heart-keep (anyone
know your knots?) nyet – catches

hermaphrodite french wombat stray
(whom-batt to you) – punished,
burnished bronze, banished
by Moi (Great Man Two Hernee)

for coming naked from the sea
right into Nineveh
(some Who-She-Whooshee
mania).  Like Mirror Lakes, see –

glass bifocals, in Mendelssohn.
Reflective retina
bent through Ravenna
or shade-canoe of rusted iron

in Ferrara (almond mandala)
whose double curve
lets light swerve,
portable & potable.  Some farfalla

redbird’s bedrest (or robin’s nest)
you carry like pemmican
for Father Hennepin;
some amphora from Galilee (the best)

floats into harbor on a buoy
bobbing with airy Ariel
corked in oak barrel –
Jonah ex machina, sailor’s ahoy.



invisible Henry Church


A cup of sunlight floats across
the cedar octagon
of the gazebo.  June
leads summer nearer endlessness.

A squad of orange day-lilies
freckles the riverbank
where weedy Hobo sank
to the wheat.  His mother’s frieze

of blazing international neon
(banked by green hosta)
outshines them today.
These lily-petals arch a grain-

vault – great grey elevator
rounded with cloud-pillars,
where the safety-net was
knotted, finally – in memory

of J.  Shadow of a tacit planet –
moony-silver Saturn
waiting for the Golden
Age, maybe – foggy parapet

where earth meets sky (grey
overlapping waves
& clouds).  Dante’s grave’s
invisible, behind a clutter of gray

paint-pots, now – beneath a blur
of ink-wings over parchment
– where the bald eagle bent
his beak, pinned torn souls in tar


each to his or her last judgement.
Hobo looks up through grass
toward his own Ravenna’s
golden youth.  Incandescent cloud-sent

Tadzio, back from the ashes –
gesturing an orant Orient
from shore to shore.  Went
Jesus thus from Galilee, eyelashes

wet with tears (witnessed); so Henry
Tadpole Turtledove
breaches, scattering love
like baby spouting sperm whale (verily).

Invisible Henry Church is vagrant
as St. Franky’s mule –
flutters in a monarch school
through silver double dove-doors, bent

toward Mexico.  When that last Adam
lingers in a weed-garden
for Mary Magdalen,
she coos, Columbian, for him;

it is the beginning of the end.
An ancient raven hovers
over Hobo, bearing leftovers
(crumbs from a wedding).  Mend

your way, she caws.  Men do not know
how swift the river-flow,
how salt Gulf breezes blow.
Light winks from coral reefs below.



what you might believe

kids climbing oaks on Arthur Street, in Mendelssohn, ca. 1958 (by Mary Gould)


Childhood in Mendelssohn... my mother
helped us build an igloo.
Spiral parabola
of ice-blocks, framing up a doma

seamed so fine, snow-translucent –
its arctic arc an image
(Inuit bird-cage)
of the revolving deep blue firmament.

Complex reality’s concave enigma.
Mirror-image of
a winecup-face... dove-
Jonah diving from the ship – Mama!

– spewed out on shore by Moby Dick.
The Q in Queequeg, or
Coatlicue – the semaphore
of Joseph’s coat, turned inside-out (thick

darkness shrouding every mountain-top).
Fine rational weave
of what you might believe,
while dreaming (temple veil, torn up

from bottomlands to Memphis crown).
A knot in the cucumber twine,
Apollinaire in umber vine...
a fishnet made of golden fleece.  One

lifesaver-lead sinkers the weight
of the whole wide prairie –
like Cathedral Mary
or that flute-bone poet-fishbait


goes by name of Buried-Man’s Henry
– bright grandson of the late
star Morning Star, whose crate
floated Twin Cities to the Gulf (see,

Tommy, how the dead rise from the grave).
All 12 disciples died
by violence.  The Ghost plied
her woodcock back & forth, & wove

Ariadne’s safety-net (one grey thread
bent like accordion file
from Ocean vortex, mile
on mile).  Behold how us dead

rise from fleecy loam – your dream.
We dwell in a matrix-
creation – Beatrice
skips from Florence to the throne (beam,

Natasha, from your vault-chariot)
& Juliet will navigate
the high bar of the Gate
d’Orange (Pacific somersault).

The vertical of Dante’s Pole
balances Henry’s hobo-
equilibrium... so
the message in the oak bole

from the King of starry Heaven
sets a gyroscope
in motion – Henry’s hope
& Giuliana’s love (sweet corny leaven).



elephant fig tree


The grey matter beneath the gray dome
over the elephant’s
great brow.  Intelligent
murmur through muted horn, become

flute-sound of turtledove – a rose-
gray granite labyrinth
in miniature (by mouth
of elephant-gate) whose lid will close

this casket blossoming with images.
A concordance of old & new,
the synagogue-ecclesia
of you & me (through corny stages

of a mystery play).  Tall gnomon
of a totem pole (Raven
shadow in the grim ravine,
the wooden idol in its barren

cul-de-sac) points toward the sun.
It is Cautantowwit,
testing your trickster-wit,
lifting his twisty calumet (smoke, son).

Ineffable infinity of Manitou
embodied now – made
manifest in mode
of neighbor Nazarene, addressing you.

Come into my garden, urges he;
the Magdalen has found me,
so shall thee
her almond eye’s polarity


seeps Providential clarity
as clear as spring rain,
clear as tearsEnter
my garden, friendyou’ll see.

My Providence was like a field
where Hobo limped through
wildflowers, bumbled into
common day – let childhood yield

to manhood, womanhood – O bright
ripe liberty to keep
sweet civil peace (a steep
ascension to the morning light).

The message of the good grey elephant
is like an invitation,
then – to taste Creation
as a gift of vine & wheat... sent

from grey clouds like rain, or as
a green palm spokes its wheel
with light.  Let it reveal
itself – ultramarine, topaz,

gold, diamond.  In articulate shade
of elephant fig tree
cresting azure Sydney,
reckon the pattern starlight made –

an octahedral Southern Cross
lifts through your heart
transporting human light
to everlasting dwelling-place.



my circuit is circumference


Sunshine in June – one whole note
melts into the chord
of summer.  In the old
garden of Time, the poet’s boat

extends its shade toward evening twilight.
The golden ratio of the sunflower
stretches to the nth power
(its perihelion); clay speeds to insight,

cartwheeling uphill into angelic life –
that bright-gated City
whose anti-gravity
magnetic North amends all strife.

Through this fan-feathered diapason
of a planet, the limpid figure
of a limping friend, your
sister-dove (gray pebble, midnight sun);

her hazel eye takes in mortality
as a grave garden absorbs
the one whose goldfinch orb
will bend, in parallax fluidity

as rivers from Paradise stream forth
or a mustard seed
flares – life’s high meed
a sunny gyroscope (balanced from birth).

So the Messiah-bloom of Israel
like Joachim Fiore,
Henry Flower (ey
hey yo) anchors goodness to the Pole


Star, steadfast over midnight waters;
so Infinite Presence
arcs into salience
turtledoves & fiery matières

de Bretagne (Arthurian hide-&-seek
the Once & Future King
resolves, into a ring
of riven oaks & golden fleece).

The One Who Rose from the Dead
lives in our midst –
Who left his Holy Ghost
as marigold, to blaze undaunted

Hagia Sophia (with a million eyes);
American peacock (turkey?)
or Aramaic poppycock (see
how archaic our ways – how wise!) –

only Phoenix-Turtle comprehends
how from dream-song flame
Reality revolves the same
again... as when a potter bends

her starfish over azure sand
& lofting clay from seabed
into galactic Roundhead
Cavalier (old Charley-Horse le Grand)

curling himself into green honey-oak
until the lightning stroke
flashes – where thunder spoke
the wheel that spun Ezekiel (Rose-Boke).



Hobo's dream-sponge


The pearl shines at the bottom of the harbor
as a lamp glows in the darkness.
Color of St. Francis’
donkey (silver-grey, St. Thomas More).

Henry’s church is in the grey-scale too;
a weathered pebble, like
an unknown soldier (Psyche-
cloud, veiling the ocean’s blue).

Bright pennants of the jungle world
(green, orange, black) are
silky glass, refracting back
primary triplets of an orb unfurled –

gold sun, red clay, & midnight sea.
Her mouth is milky ivory
from Santa Giulia, in Brescia...
her parabolic harmony dovetails for me

into a grail from good grey Elephant
(whose queen is dark & comely
Africa).  So Henry’s comedy
plumbs bottomland; its hierophant

is Hobo in disguise, pearl-diving
from the Golden Gate;
his Beatrice-Juliet
is Orpheus-Eurydice – is every living

soul, sleeping to swim the wake
of Lake Victoria.
Birth-rite of Jonah –
rock-dove sparked for Zion’s sake


& all Creation’s sign of Noah.
Suddenly, like lightning
we are made – brightening
kids from adamant stone – Aloha,

planet-people!  Welcome to Providence!
A grey Rabbi heeds
my mumbling... new needles
green the stems of an immense

Jerusalem spear-flower... Juno
to Juneteenth, July to Jubilee,
the fallow air grows milky
& the Glory of the Lord will show

petals of pink & indigo
before too long.  Behold
the twin mirror-doors of bold
St. Thomas – he who was slow

to believe.  Now the dream-sponge
out of Resurrection Cemetery
sucks Lazarus like Henry
into a mystery play.  Plunge,

Cautantowwit-Raven, into the deep
Black Sea.  A Thunderbird
breaches your salty word
in spumy clouds of Neva-Sleep,

& Woodpecker hammers out Twin
Oak’s mandorla-canoe –
a Restoration Day, for you.
Casket of Lazarus – a milk-crate tin.



poem for Father's Day

John Gould rowing in Oxford, ca. 1995


Father’s Day.  Here’s a quiet hallway.
Grandpa’s twilit apartment
on Delaware Street.
Cozy, gemutlichkeit, OK.

Grandma’s old Revolutionary print
over the dining table.
George Washington & nimble
Lafayette – their filial détente

confirmed in pizzicato minuet.
Grandpa’s brass cannon
shell shines dans le coin
Et nous voilà, sieur Lafayette.

So the crimson seal in melting wax
like Hamlet’s father’s ring
purls out, expanding
into undiscovered final acts –

Pacific reconciliations, palm-
print circumferences...
the moss-green salience
of Liberty’s majestic calm.

The Son of Man looks to his father
as to an anchorage –
firm stay against dry rage,
banal amnesia, unruly weather;

history would lose its thread
& be estranged, without
a commonality of thought,
that human constancy – dead


center of the curly sprout
who springs up (fed
by seedy Shakespeare’s Head)
to brazen River of the Holy Spirit

(Father of Waters).  Before all times
the soul looks out in joy
upon a wide Creation Day
like mossy meadowlands – rhymes

with Honest Abraham in his
absinthe mandorla – bright
JFK & MLK – light-foot
Truth come marching in (this

copper seal of Peaceable Kingdom).
Light of fathers everywhere,
the milky dawn-lair
of the race, breathing soul freedom

like whisper of Lipsanothek
(cross-braced in elephant
ivory from distant
Brescia) – a life made perfect

sustenance.  So a little acorn
from William’s Catholic Oak
(in windy Providence) spoke
to me once, as father to son;

as a green man in emerald coat
smiles from a heart of sunny
gold, so dauntless – funny!
Lifting my heart to his coracle-boat.


John Gould, U.S. Navy, 1945


a flower for Bloomsday


Gray Hobo-bird faces a problem :
how to save his own long
featherweight fern song?
How to rewind a strung-out poem?

Effigies & icons flashing by
like ripples in his eye –
Burchfield, El Anatsui...
Hartley, Martin, Klimt... Johnny

Jasper... fond winter raven-
oeuil of Master Bruegel...
Pompey, in the empty well
of Yahweh, was befuddled – No One

There.  The clear plein air of Quaker
meeting house, of Shaker
chair.  The carpenter’s
simplicity of Philadelphian law-

oracles.  We hold these truths...
But Hobo’s murmuring his
Nil Reed Candace house;
his prairie wind blows wild (Ruth’s

trail through mazy corn, tracking
Boaz from Goshen-land).
With poem-in-a-can
in hand (his pemmican) & Red Wing

Thunderbird-Woodpecker perched
atop his hat, he moseys,
slouching, sea to sea;
aboard his polar bear canoe (birch-


light) he circulates a mystery –
where be this Henry Church
round whom leaf-sundials march?
Planted in Resurrection Cemetery?

Or hidden in a holm oak tree?
The painted whisper gallery
enshades invisibility.
Will he sleepwalk forever, Poetry?

The milkweed monarch fans meekness.
This moth is camouflaged
brown dust.  The sagebrush
rolls through red deserts, the cedars

pine for Juniper (slate-blue).
Time’s broom sweeps clean
but tiny seeds remain.
A microcosmic mustard-yellow

gyroscope (spun in Ravenna
backwater) balances
Galilee on Providence;
the bicycle with one duo-antenna

twirls its silver spokes into
a rose-wheel window.
Where did Harry go,
Hobo?  He’s hidden in Otranto

glass.  He’s riding Pegasus
into a cirque matrix –
cartwheeling carny tricks
as Henry Flower Wilderness.



Shakespearean marzipan


Behind fine axe-hewn basalt
of the Incan hive, an eye
like Aaron Siskind, maybe –
quick, delicate, alert.

Mortised ramparts of any state
mark its mandala-border;
stone blooms of order
warp twisters of love & hate.

Only this human heart of flesh
harbors invisible diamond –
petal-scent of almond,
marzipan snowstorm (baked fresh).

Imagine one simplified snowflake
in three dimensions, spinning
like a gyroscope (one wing,
one leg) after one thunder-shake

of glassy dome – Will’s trident, maybe
in a late romance (Blackfriar’s
globe).  King Henry sires
trouble for himself – falls into sea

pursued by Bear.  Near Normandy,
flagship goes down – she’s lost,
it seems – until at last
Hermione steps forth, sleepy...

La Paix (familial, civil, global)
breathes yet, to dance once more.
It was Sir Thomas More,
lapped in bearskin, at the North Pole


who played the bear, who played the fool;
who played Disoriented Lamb
bleating I am, I am,
who flit the snowflake (melting soul);

his mother (Everywoman, from
Mulberry Street) wept
for the shame; she slept,
& it was glory in the end.  Hum

flickers (pictures in a whisper gallery).
The cranium of Unknown
Soldier wears the crown.
Empires of high frozen sophistry

shudder beneath an infant’s smiling
gaze.  It’s not the wise
who find the way (surprise!)
but every lovey-dovey Sing-Sing

resident – repentant heart, meek
mule.  Chaste planetary
hearth, Psyche-egalité
bright thunder-akme... slant, oblique

world-pirouette... Hagia Sophia
in a peacock’s fan.  Tango,
barefoot kid’s fandango
under the sky-vaults in Ravenna –

light of my light & yours,
Waltz of Three Bears
by Mendelssohn.  Flares
Franciscan, by Pacific shores.



cottonwood sky


In the steep ravine shading the river
Hobo’s eyes follow
smooth limbs upward, so –
into a cloud of silver-green shimmer,

Columbian sky-nest
of cottonwoods.  His squint
moseys like scattered flint –
mishmash out of Ocean states

into some kind of Land o’ Lakes
matryoshka doll, or Land 
o’ Goshen Big Rock Candy
Mountain.  The poet is a sacred

fool (or cataleptic converter)
& every shepherd’s an
effete abomination,
just a bump under a bumpkin tower.

Hobo keeps an eye on Henry,
ambling up there
on River Road.  Air-
head royale, full of acorn honey,

soldering his Goshen stone
into a manic-hollered
coat of caustic red
Rhode Island rooster-throne –

a sharpened archaic Goshen point
left at Minnehaha
Falls by some Ojibwa
dream-boat.  The time is out of joint


he cries, with a Norwegian accent –
O Jessie, O Ophelia,
my little tree, Columbia!
Come tripping back unto the oak tent

once again, out of the Ocean foam!
Flip your big dive, big Dove,
into reverse – for love
of Yahweh, & of Manitou, & home

sweet home!  An infinite Intelligence
invisible as air,
kind as mon cher
Francesco, wise as Providence,

clear as the sky vaulting these gray
heart-leaves – our octave,
Henry, Hobo... wave
on wave, on wave (lithe sun-ray).

From the standpoint of ineffable Person
an infinite free Spirit
(older than Cautantowwit,
with all his Raven-wit) – a Someone

omnipresent, serving restoration
to a hurt creation – mercy
exudes like oak-tree honey-
gall.  Some smiling heart-shaped cotton-

wooden crossroad Livingstone –
green-gowned Sophia
traipsing Milky Way-a
Sarabande (one, two, three... one).



the melodeon of civil peace


This silver light-pull on the black pathway
like a miniature dragon or
sperm whale (grey Minotaur
immured in Ocean labyrinth)... Ariadne

dropped it here for me, maybe
(bowline from safety net
strung beneath Golden Gate,
or strand of hair turned silvery

along the wheel of time & gravity).
In him the root of the matter,
wrote Cotton Mather –
he meant that turbulent sectary,

mild Roger Williams.  An apple root
it was, the legend holds;
clasped in earth-folds,
his buried limbs became sweet fruit

(at Prospect Terrace, where his bones
were laid).  Sweet peace,
he called it; a release
into that harmony among distinctions

Roger christened Providence, & we
e pluribus unum
a spiritual freedom
planted in magnanimity;

a willingness to mingle tares
& wheat, so infant conscience
tried by experience
find its own starry stairs


& not by force, but gentleness
its ripening prepare
to climb past nightmare
to the melodeon of civil peace.

So gather up stray iris-strands,
Henry.  That self-same
moonlit trail (slim
path between wrath & Rhode Island’s

liberté) was Alighieri’s narrow way
between Imperium,
Ecclesia... low hum
of Jonah-Beatrice (out of the grey

cloud-surf of Ocean River).
Garden & wilderness,
Solomon’s shepherdess...
airy Sophia in Hopkins windhover...

O delicate light-threads, pendentive
on twin pillars, anges
d’orange...  Who arranges
your catenary smiles?  You dive

with her dive, you rise with her rise,
surfacing... Hail, Jonah!
Out of the whale, Jeanne-
Arc!  The mercy in your eyes

– wonder in ours!  A gold mandorla
where the twin points meet –
meld into one – & greet
the Union with green palm... Alleluiah!



it's not the actual statue


The poem curls out of the soil
of speech, an idiom
of natural freedom –
not the symbolic Rose (Étoile

du Nord) but the actual rambling
pink thorn-petals
pendulous stained glass
welds to parallactic lightning

(baptism of liquid fire).  These two,
the symbol & the thing
itself, twirl interlacing
through the June weather – like Hobo

& actual Providence, the scrappy
burg Rog Williams named.
Free habitation, framed
by metaphysical hope; happy

locution for Rhodos-location.  Only
an Ocean state of mind,
maybe – where you might find
your inner JFK, sailing toward Galilee;

only a craggy Catholic Oak
whose simple fortitude
cools tempers rude, &
opened ears when Blackstone spoke –

lifting his anima naturaliter christiana
to chant that common law
inheres in English & Ojibwa –
sponge of manna-Minnehaha


drifting like green Columbia
or cottonwood fluff –
adhesive, light enough
for grave thread-whispers (ahh...

I understand).  Radiant Naiad
à New York, lifting her torch
for Liberté... hopscotch
of bare feet round hummingbird

maze-vat... such were smoke signals
for a wide corn-dance –
pregnant sum-trance
of orbic humankind, out of deep wells

(perennial realtà).  It’s not the actual
statue, the actual state
but what they indicate
(A-frame of Lincoln-log) – rational

celebrations of Memorial Days...
Thanksgivings (4th
of July an afterthought
of fireflies)... myriad ways

a Union of republican consent
gathers (in common sense,
civility) at the tense
apex of divine intent –

buffalo tepee of Providence,
Manitou table
of justice; peaceable
kingdom, benevolent, immense.