Watch Night


A satellite streaks past Ultima Thule
at the rim, beyond Pluto.
Starlight, emitted long ago
marks the limit of what we know, Julie.

You took it to the limit, too –
plummeting on his birthday
into San Francisco Bay.
The scar on my heart stays blue.

A lifeline in my palm... tracing
your twirling halcyon-
descent.  Eccentric swan-
dives of deflected passion swing

the human pendulum to no return –
so you became my silent
witness to an absent
safety net (grave spirit-urn).

In a backyard garden, in Montrose Park
(on Avon Place, off R Street)
a weathered zodiac (fleet
beam for sailing time) still makes its mark.

The evening sun at vernal equinox
touching its circumference
sends streaming photons
in array, toward Washington’s matrix –

that sleepy apple tree, the founder’s
fault (first gentleman
surveyor’s lie-of-land).
& will our prime star, speaking, founder


backward, under night-sea sand?
The morning star, the pole
star’s mate – your sister-soul –
whose flickers lead our sarabande?

Hobo lumbers after Henry’s shade,
lugging the telescopes.
Who drowns their hopes
might lift them up again.  Maid

Marion, or Liberty, Virgo-Columbia
(the various nicknames
for Jonah-dove)... dream’s
figurehead for Watch Night... hallelujah!

Ice gathers on the Mississippi.
River-flow & starlight
comprehend Time’s might,
rewind the spring, recall the sea –

Pacific now, beyond the redwood tree;
beyond eld oak grove
where an infant strove
with Roundheads... & a maypole (merrily)

spun feet toward Pentecost;
beyond Sons of Liberty
into a whorled Equality
wrapt, spindled on a lambent ghost –

that quipu-knot, that safety net,
that weaver-coracle
from Galilee.  Slight miracle-
Thunderwren... walking on water, Juliet.


Idea of Order at Port-au-Prince


The mysteries of the tree of life
wafted in pine-scent,
loon-call.  Where she went?
My tiny Haitian house (Hiram Abiff?)

flattened into iron, painted
sea-coral (for joy).
That illegible toy
Advent ball of light – Levite,

anointed by black sun (yellow-
black Torah).  Sister-
dove?  Little tree
of Jessie, O (hidden willow-

canoe of Providence).  Chip
off the sloop Francesca
(pale arte povera,
woven from raven-ink on quipu

stone).  These are the quadrants
of my quatrain train
with a hey, ho, the wind
& the rain (Earth birth-bangs, pants).

You will carry Ariadne’s Crown,
Cordelia – innocence
to crystalline prescience
at perihelion of night (black noon).

Palladium of cornbelt Maggy –
out of Byzantium
into some quonset dome
of little Rhody (heart’s domain).



under the sign of the Virgin


Herod the Great is out hunting tonight
to make himself great again.
History, all over.  Hen
clucks in pigpen.  Overhead, bright

Star of Stars yet hovers (esoteric,
weightless).  Invisible world
of worlds to come – squirreled
away in a barn (near Bethlehem, Pa).

Maximus, transfixed by history,
his writing hand severed,
still corresponded
with his nephew (far end of Black Sea).

Hen’s fishing for sense, like Hobo
the limp lamprey (curled
on the riverbank).  Churl?
Fisher King?  Overhead – Virgo.

Not the Twins, but something like.
Twin sitters.  Throned
drones, long retired
from hive (72 bricks of...).

Not trying to be obscure here,
that f’sure.  Innocence
dances through the universe
unfathomed on our faithless sphere.

On her Milky Way.  Here Grace Ravlin
sketches a summer evening
at Mt. Vernon – fingering
the treasure map (Pennsylvanian)


tracing a quiet constellation
echoed on the ground.
Her wisdom is profound
through purity.  Just perfection

mirrored in frame of Providence;
sunlit warmth of hearth
stirring Pig’s Eye from death
to life (St. Paul to Minneapolis).

The artist makes an eye with fingertips
at edge of scabbard.
Clue to labyrinth.  Slips

into Gloucester (blind man’s buff)
to paint twin boats
nestled in soft coats
of emerald.  Grace is enough.

Ceres, under Sirius... sparrows,
hysterica passio...
madness of Angelo
or any other tyrannos

threatening an alien child
(warped in labyrinth
of jealousy).  Absinthe,
minted at Fort Knox – wild

wrath of slighted boar (the king’s
own Fury).  Here’s the church,
here’s the steeple – open
the door... (where the sea-choir sings).


Grace Ravlin, Overlooking George Washington's Garden, 1922


wee bauble of Providence


Mark Twain, pilot, plummets
to the river-depths.
Hobo-poet steps
Twin Cities morris-dance (let’s

follow him).  The deep dive
of the mystery of each
child – landed on a beach
in Egypt, or in Bethlehem (I’ve

got a certain kid in mind).  Already
requiem in Alexandria
(the library).  Memento mori.
Osiris?  Full of bookworms, Henry.

A Master Mason?  Hire ‘im.
11.32 ft/sec...
– wait a sec – ham
radio?  In RI?  The signal’s dim.

Garfield died 23.5 degrees
off Library pedestal.
So we meet the eternal –
a starry Book Depository (seas

rising... queasy feeling) charms
the assassin into travesty
(sick temper, see).
O westward course of life’s alarms!

I don’t know where we’re going, Hobo
Henry wails.  An infant
Providence is born.  Want
mangy truth?  Frail monarch is a rainbow.



White Buffalo will dance


That men invented the entire horoscope
looking up at the silken knots
of stars – their slow thoughts
tracing remote ellipses with a rope

on sand.  That the soul configures
these pantomimes of fate,
explaining (Bantu or Sanskrit)
why the king had to die, the princess

dance upon her own grave, once.
Ironies of the old men,
& that sybil-crone
left with her grieving remonstrance.

My mother painted an oil of early spring
in Hopkins, 1960s –
solitary white house
over brune & barren slopes, folding

down to Mirror Lake, a few leafless trees
& the soaring robin’s-egg sky
in its firmament of high
stratus (midwestern hopefulness).

With Virgo ascendant over his plantation
Washington will walk the garden,
taste the measureless serene –
the unfinished pyramid of the nation

soaked in honeydew tears of Evening Star.
Yet White Buffalo will dance
on prairie grass... her light
lance touch the forehead of the War.


petit songe du solstice


The soaring voices of the Rose Ensemble
filled the cavernous wooden vault
of St. Mary’s with green light
on solstice night.  Meek humble

faces in a crowd become limestone
architecture of high song –
a van der Weyden throng,
a Bruegel mass planting a cornerstone.

When the tender light falls first
& softly on the muddy fringe
of some new edifice... strange
dewy glinting, where the stone burst

from whale-mouth of the earth
(Jonah-Persephone’s deep
crypt, where ages keep)
with fluttery breath of infant birth.

Jonah... Osiris... buried Man...
little Nutcracker King
solving his Sphinx thing,
finally.  Sibylline Isis (Belgian)

murmuring – I am that which was
& is & ever shall be;
no mortal has ever
lifted the veil which covers me.  Cuz,

tell Henry : Rex Pacificus
has found his mate
beyond the Golden Gate –
Magdalen, her gardener (Jesus).



winter river


Driving through wintry Iowa
in the rain (at the end
of autumn).  Mottled bend
of browns & grays... the tall silo

lost in a sea of plowed soil;
Theophilus, with his lonesome
boat (Grandpa’s handsome
grain elevator).  Fruits of toil –

pyramid for wheat-rain
in a grain-ear (last
trump, sounding).  Blast
of train-horn... all over again?

The hearth-stone flares like a bald eagle
lost on the road (between
La Porte City &
Davenport).  Feathered angle

set upon shoulders.  Nobody.
Just a Memphis priest,
Melchizedek... last
shall be first (least greatest, boy).

They laid the foundation stone
like Chartres rock.
Under the most black
dirt they could find (the Masons, son) –

on 15th April, 1791
(two generation
before Abe Lincoln).
Hearth-blaze in corner (soldered one).



& know the place for the first time


The mystery of the Incas, how
they filed those giant stones
at the top of mountains
into close-fitting knots (above, below).

The slim knife-edge, the penetration.
On behalf of balance,
lamb-tethered violence...
one must die, for the sake of the nation.

Something about moss-covered stone,
arctic lichen.  Colors
on a rough-hewn wall (yours,
mine).  Collage of blood & bone.

Memory, mother of muses
lead me back to your
stone milk-splashed door.
Ancient well-bench (sea-roses).

The eunuchs of the kingdom come
& go... their simple habit
underneath the gibbet
simply to repeat the sacred OM.

Alpha, Omega.  History unwinds.
He’s humble, sheepish
as a goat – Ish-
mael, or Solomon.  Pay him no mind.

The one thing that happened, historically
was that an innocent nobody
became king for a day.
Steep heart, remind me... let us pray.



guarding the garden

painting by Phoebe Gould (ca. 1992?)

Half-moon tonight, like a silver flask
of molten lava.  On this date
George Washington was translate
(1799).  Here’s his life-mask :

fine profile.  Merging in white clay,
like a peaceful moon.
Landlord, when all’s said & done.
Valley Forger, sensing Californ-i-ay

in the green corn of his plantation
garden.  Grace Ravlin
etched that evening scene –
sweet Virgo in Virginia (dawning nation).

The myth rides with the Indian.
Scars limbs of slaves.
Everyone behaves.
A raven-crumb plummets into ocean.

Something’s lugged back, out of clay...
the lunar wilderness.
Innocence, blessedness –
Sophia twirling in the calm of day.

Like young Hal emerging from a golden egg
(his father’s legacy).
Attainted crown, see –
buried bones in Resurrection (Pig’s

Eye) Cemetery.  Across the river,
on Lakota Bluff.
Two swordsit is enough.
Gesthemane is haunted, Indian-giver.



with pigeon feathers for stone walls


As in one of those primitive
Sienese masters,
a pained St. Francis
fits inside a pastel arch.  Give

me your poor, your huddled masses
yearning to breathe free...
Over there stands Liberty
vaunting her mural crown (tresses

awash beneath W.P.A. murals).
Sister to Columbia,
with pigeon feathers for stone walls.

They’re tripping a Troy-town maze
around the cave entrance;
priming some freelance
to buzz the Republic’s toxic haze.

Where Everyman is king
no man is king.
To the sheep he’ll cling,
to the underside of everything.

Like the span of a soft retina
in Providence, RI.
Like the women nearby
when they crucified the guy, selah.

Man or woman, brother, sister...
hearken to the wind.
Spring breeze, unwind –
a breath of renaissance, tongue-twister.



north of Pig's Eye


Giuliana opens a pottery shop
in Red Desert (the film).
Destination of the earth –
Slim Pickens, Strange Love (stop!).

The mystery of desolation.
Calcified lava
Under the Volcano.
Monarchs, Mexico (extinction).

Henry’s buried north of Pig’s Eye
inside an Erica-tree.
Come back for you & me,
someday.  Maybe.  I don’t know why.

He’s Osiris, in a hoary
Hobo boot.  Isis
is us.  She’s
barely there (yesterday’s story).

Somebody’s Mom no doubt, planted
in Cahokia clay (naturally).
The river is a lonesome bee,
rolling honey-balls out of decay (putrid!).

Henry strays onto mountain, in the sun
shouting, we’re Everyone!
Lightning jets down
lighting whole plateau (goodbye, platoon).

In the heart of the burble-stream
strikes a vein, in the ore.
Honey bleeds from lava dream.



Pearl Harbor Day


Prospero, home in Milan,
dozes in winter sun.
Hobo, on the run,
hands Henry his drownèd plan.

Pearl Harbor Day.  His Juliet,
her father-love unmet,
unmatched, flings it
(on his birthday) off the Golden Gate.

Incest breeds in the wounded psyche
trapped in regression-mirrors.
Henry’s his own father’s
worst enemy (Knight to Queen 3).

Hal speeds to Falstaff’s hideaway.
Idleness debauchery
& trickery will be
his refuge from a father’s eye.

So Henry runs to poetry –
where Hobo rules the sleepy
riverbank, all lotus-weedy
with papyrus-infancy

(Atlantis-libraries of Alexandria).
He seeks his sweet cousin
for soul reunion – one
shady psyche for another ghost.  Selah!

Prospero!  You’ve gone all cranky
& explicit now.  Don’t drown
your book just yet, man –
Henry threads a maze of hanky-panky.

Full fathom five   thy father lies
these are pearls   his eyes
the moon-tide hurls  (sailors
sleep beneath waves, where firelight dies)

The flame in the heart surges, or is
deflected into shallows.
Juliet of the swallows
flittering at dusk... Henry’s paralysis...

shady pining for the sister-dove
Orpheus, Eurydice
Alighieri, Beatrice
Ray by Nile, yearning for Eye of love...

Hobo’s intellect of mother-wit
tangential, tacit


star, Cautantowwit
Raven-shade of Narragansett

Buried god Osiris, burdened Berryman
weeps on his barbed-wire fence
of psychic violence.
Angry sons are on the march again,

the envious ones – misled by signs
of fraught deflected love;
the Dragon’s treasure-trove,
the Minotaur’s deceit (threadlines,

snarled cul-de-sacs of self-defeat).
Manxmen of tyranny –
their island fantasy
a sunken travesty (Narcissus-fleet).

I remember your weaver’s baton
in Providence, Francesca.
The shuttle flying (rock-a-
bye, baby) to shape a golden woolen

poncho – gift for a San Francisco
poet (from Rhode Island).
Like a wand in your hand,
unspoken, felt – taking flight so

from one heart to another, at
speed of light – what
equilibrium you wrought
there!  Or an image of it –

warm, wearable, at human scale.
From the heart, the earth
shines – ruby hearth,
or emerald (blue-cloudy pearl).

The mystery of Providence
is as a rose in flower,
full of people-power –
origami of experience

unfolded in a safety-net
concordance –
each fold in silence
married to the others – what

complete rose blossoming!
joy of a grateful Abel,
poncho-whorled into a golden ring!



Meditation on a funeral


Soft muted early winter light
outside the National
Cathedral.  Great whorl
of reds & blues, at dazzling height

O rose window, still glowing bright.
The honor guard (Marines,
Army, Navy) forms lines
like intricate toy soldiers (boy’s delight) –

maneuvering, in wonderful coordination
powerful precision
beneath the boom of cannon,
brass band’s hopeful invocation.

The dignitaries have assembled.
Paired front aisles unveil
in allegorical detail
old icons of authority (kings trembled

once, when they beheld such signs 
of a succession crisis).
On the right, witness
the mourning son & heir – thin lines

of tears streak from his hawk’s eye,
flank his aquiline profile,
his anxious beak.  Meanwhile,
on his left, an accidental guy –

the crown-usurper (with a face
like a disgruntled frog).
Even Sully the dog
got more headlines than such disgrace,

the preacher said (speaking in tongues).
Haunted, defunct princes,
princesses acquiesce...
the fatal, dominant thug belongs


to us.  Chief executive,
or executioner?
Headsman (for our
gentler Republic)?  How can we live

in a democracy, ruled by despot?
We cannot.  Our choice
is clear, as once we faced
when Lincoln gave it voice – the violet

is trodden underfoot by hate.
What’s at the root
of all our discontent?
Man’s thirst for domination, set

in place since his umbilical was cut;
rage at the shrinking womb.
Like Jonah’s boat-turned-tomb
of alien Leviathan, the doors of Night

close, flooding, overhead... the child’s
unconscious & primordial
nightmare (abyssal
mystery).  Note each tyrant’s wild

psycho-disgust... the fluttering hands,
the flickering deceit
– detached from all sweet
reconciliations, lawful bonds.

The flag-draped casket of the patriarch
squares with the glowing rose
window.  Still hearth glows,
somehow – Wisdom’s scintillating ark.



OSIRIS-REx & the Bennu-bird


Quiet in the wintry Capitol.
Where father & son, in
the flag-draped coffin,
on the wooden catafalque, are still.

Where son (& father too)
sheds tears.  Innocence
belies its marble semblance.
Upright humility.  High over you,

at night, by day, Polaris glows;
not flags, but shrouded
origins – Bennu-bird
or Horus-ray (Icarus was

here); your ghostlier, spectral
interpretations – secret
resource identifications...
regal, lithic harbors, for a grail

of springy asteroids (boing
boing).  All that Libertà
of space, Lauretta
(almond muse, lithe dancing

branch of J) – inheritance
of every heaven-child
out of a kinder, gentler
Cosmopolis (to come).  Lance

of St. George or of Shakespeare
aiming magnetically toward
immovable light-word
beyond all temporary tyrants, here


on earth – ever-bright abode
reflected in the clear
Rio Espiritu Santo (where
we return, to be reborn, for good).

O muse of Jonah, in the maelstrom
of the Minotaur... your words
of the sea, rocking OSIRIS
toward... immaculate portals of home!

Your mild ray beaming from the prow
a living microcosm,
shining through the storm
of blinding dread – they do not know!

Mandorla of the sister-dove
whose realm impends
beyond dead-ends
of Minotaur & twin-taboo... from above

your Dioscuri plant twin oaks,
whose lightning breaks
the chains Time makes –
prophets of the Thunder-spokes!

& from that gemstone casket
of the six directions,
whence four streams dance
breathing through each human heart

innocence & charity join hands
with strength & fortitude
& courage – score a prelude
for a planetful of promised lands.



from light snow-years


Snow tumbles into Minneapolis.
Twin Cities.  Meanwhile
the InSight capsule
settles onto Mars – whose promise

is to probe beneath the surface,
appraise the molten core
of our God of War
(riddle of the Minotaur).  Space

beckons insight down path P
toward planet X
our dream of PAX
curled inside violence (a middle C

unrolling from the Lake of Galilee).
O Beast from Ocean,
dread Leviathan –
a void between two notes... blank lee

of the abyss!  The infant’s misery –
missing her heartbeat
once, with her complete
Oneness... whorled... into infinity?

Where Martian drones attack Queen Bea
(just being Bea, around
a crater in the Netherlands)
by orders of omnipotent Pharaoh

whose eye is like a palindrome
(kayak in garage)
from old (Ionic age)
Emordnilap – our catenary home


a long-suspended violet bloom
breathes hope, & yearning
for some answering
anemone (your cypripedium

reginae).  Orange-azure M-bridge
for an owlman... almond
OMO... woman-bond
of wisdom... dancing G-bride...

light between J-pillars, Okean-trees!
Out of the twomb
you spiraling come,
@tlantis – Jewel of July, high C of seas!

A copper ring from Palestine
incised with simple krater
& the name, PILATE
recalls the one whose sign

for “heart” breathes from the swing
of time (your twin, Julie).
Rose, rowing from the key
called PAX, which passeth understanding –

yet from each ordinary tent
of refugees, each family,
once forced to flee
from the mad king (sad infant

Minotaur), will come to bear
a normal world again –
out of the dream of man
& woman (breezes flowering the air).



Morning to Evening Star


Blindly, Hobo inches toward
the Keys.  In Florida.
Toward the delta,
in Louisiana.  His handy old

eye-in-hand in hand (light
portable fire-drill).
Ply all your skill,
Hobo.  Hi huraru ra’a,

Hi awari ra’a.  A muddy ray
from cold Atlantic
like some frantic
foundering Santa Maria

threads yarns toward that western
Garden of Evening Star.
Across his eyelid, sure –
like Sire Henry, in his baby coffin

(six weeks encrypted with Guillain-Barré).
Hi huraru ra’a,
Hi awari ra’a.
Autumn leaves of disenchanted

authors, sighing in their libraries...
(the Roger Williams version,
for piano).  Dispersion
through each mental prison (Henry’s,

yours).  Dread of ocean void
spirals up from deep
Le-Hev-Hev keep 
Coatlicue (the cut-up) is annoyed


& threatens Everyman – her sheep
is black & bloody red!
Nana, you might be dead
before you know it.  Go to sleep.

The dream song reconfigures all
within its top-spin
in your heart-garden.
Your father was a gentleman narwhal;

your son was dancing on the shore
of Circle Lake, in Midway
Mirror-Land (in Galilee).
The crucifixion of the Evening Star

will not unveil her night-reality.
Observe this family
photograph, Henry.
Miss Padgett’s ancient book quarry –

the massive double-panes of glass,
a mandorla for owlish
Actaeons (Horus,
searching for Columbia?  Atlas,

looking for the moon?)  Nana,
dancing Sophie calls me.
Grandpa.  Hiawatha
had a friend, Hart Ibis Artemis – yah...

yawning from the deep, Jonah.
You must become the dove
still dancing, love –
spun from the heart of things.  Selah.