arise, iris


An iris opened on the first morning
in June.  Like a Byzantine
empress, rich purple &
gold – her petals butterfly wings

or flying buttresses at Chartres.
In the mirror of her eye
a spark of fiery beauty
keeps us tethered from the start

to time & clay & gravity.
What we know of day
stems from the way
her lullaby enclosed Night Sea

with human shores.  So poetry,
say Anna, Nicolai,
Osip; the warm akme
glows like a sun-hearth, humanly;

so that we feel at home on earth,
where all our rights & dignity
are cherished – held inalienably
near, defended, justified – their worth

continually savored by our freedom.
This the bright consensus
won by Athens once,
& by Jerusalem – that liberty of Rome

as well, as well-water.  Oasis
of mild light & shade,
Athena-keel for well-made
coracle – pilot’s compass


through confounding waves – hardy braid
Arachne spun for us
to cross Pontus Axeinos
(Lethe too, returning from the dead).

Those immense majestic figs
haunting a promontory
in Pacific Sydney
guard the Observatory – wisdom’s pegs

around a mounted, tented hologram
of Southern Cross.  Diamond
of floating light – almond
icosahedron – luminous emblem

of the 6-way star Black Elk beheld
on prairie underneath wide sky

           *           *

invisible Manitou we travel by
all night, to where bridge-rivets weld

phenomena to Thanksgiving.
Kind circuit of a whisper-
dome, thy Presence clear
& sure Love-blessings bring!

That ghost dance out of Resurrection
Cimetiรจre – when Buried
Man became unburied
after three days in the ocean-

chest of earth – concluded with a sail
due north, to Ocean
River, where it all began;
& now, like Jonah out of mother whale


or like Carlotta out of Vertigo
a little charley-horse
tightened its muscle-force
around the oaken knee of Sampo

(read : Humanity) amid thick shade
of English oaks (Fig-
Newton Township – dig?).
An acorn Lincoln-logos made

branched into spine & ribs & mast; 
the human rights of Edward
Coke transmuted seaward
in good Williams’ boat; at last

the courageous limb bore fruit – Soul
Liberty.  Where Alighieri
drew the line, we
carry on – our freedom’s in the whole

Thanksgiving Bowl of civil rights.
You cannot chain the wind
of smiling Manitou, nor bind
Creation with your rabid fights,

O fanatic unseasoned fools!
Free mind like lightning
(your dead branches blasting)
lifts just Jonah with her Golden Rule

& adds the pearl of high Sophia
Jesus chanted, Francis
planted... holy kiss
of cosmic Union – azure everlasting Gaia.


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