like a dream


Like a dream in the womb, in the mind of a maid
before all things were made.
Came naturally, she said
when the foundations of reality were laid.

Providence, burnished by smoky November.
Like a canoe on the edge
of the cataract of knowledge...
at Prospect Terrace.  You remember.

Roger Williams, sturdy son of man.
Dark grayish blue
Hope Diamond, you
whisper (below junk jewelry scams) your plan

for Providence.  Triangulated eye
over the Mammon-pyramid.
Re’s Eye, long hid
in our blind eye – to crucify,

Henry (in RI).  That woman in the wilderness
of last things (Chinese vase
still circuiting her stillness).
French, blue, Jeanne.  Fiery duress...

Only a child’s distress.  Cordelia.
Le coeur de Lear, de l’ear...
Coeur de Lion, here.
Skinny crane-bag (of ocean spray)...

St. Paul’s most blazing eloquence
out of heart’s Pig’s Eye.
South of the city –
Mississippi limestone (fossil evidence).



serene Cosmopolis


Imagination of the common good
gleams in the mind’s eye –
a gift from on high
to children of the neighborhood.

I remember Ellen Ryan, from Bridgeport
out of Holy Cross,
smoking under the asbestos
of the Henry Sharpe complex (fort)

off 95 – splitting Providence
just as in Bridgeport,
where her father (Mort,
the cop) & mother (Mary, since

deceased) instilled their sober sense
of ultimate innocence 
outwitting insolence
by grace (elusive fauna of experience).

Sheepish cabal of VISTA volunteers!
Bussed into Washington
to lobby Congressman
Boro Dolpawa (he’s “all ears”).

Chaste vision of the commonweal.
My strength in weakness
is perfected (witness,
black lamb rust-red wool).

Beyond transparent vanishings
serene Cosmopolis...
bright realm of kindness
radiating equilibrium (eternal things).



like variations on a theme


It was a first snow falling on your birthday, Alex
38 years ago.
Cesca’s labor so slow
& painful, there in Miriam Obstetrics

under the klieg lights & the surgeons
she took the C-section
at last (proud, stubborn
mother) while the soft newborn

stars sloped across the parking lot
in silent counterpoint.
The time was out of joint –
your father, too.  Every hamlet

screens its circular pilot plot
through every heart;
Henry left his hearth
to wander Cain-like into Camelot

(his Ars, his land of Nod).
The story is familiar.
Eros sparks war
for Adams unwilling to plow the meek sod,

buster.  Adonis was a narcissist.
Henry plucked his Clover
(tuneful Faustian lover)
& spun the wheel no heel resists –

the veils of Isis & Osiris (masonry,
mummified fire).
Venus, Morning Star
shone pallidly, across the whole country


a kind of Cairo-Poe magnet (wherever
you are).  Middle C
on the piano, tenderly
(Ravlin Princess, Ravel).  Life-saver

played out to Juliet, by Hart.
Like Bach, young Alex –
one sea-tempest X
along path P (where all the tempers start).

Grief comes in waves.  These little ripples
echo from the pangs
of Providence (where swings
a cosmic jewelry show).  Dilated pupils

merge in swarms of busy drones
(watch-birds for smoke-
signals).  Go for broke,
the Iago of the capital intones.

Unleash the dogs of war.  They hated
me without a cause...
Faust is no Santa Claus;
the raging boar will not be sated

‘til the last woman on earth
flees with her child
into that desert wild
nursing one lonely human birth.



on Veterans' Day


They walked on the beach on Veterans’ Day,
Henry & Alex, 11-
11. Father & son. 
A peaceful drone from the Pacific, hey

ey yo.  Henry, oh Henry, what
have you done?  Broken
the lawful bonds of Christen-
dom.  Limps toward Yehoshephat,

your son, your son (beneath milky
ocean spray).  Laborious
struggle to restore justice...
the father’s crimes his legacy.

Innocence precedes the chaste
memorials of same;
children entering the game
adore that grass, to which they haste.

Endicott ripped the Cross out of
the Union, Jack – inspired
by Rog Wms (hired
Ajax?).  Puritanical ab ovum

back in Topsfield (prior Zaccheus
Gould).  Desecrations
rule the day.  Someone’s
idea of revenge, rebellion... us?

The Narragansetts have a word
for youthful arrogance
(I forget).  Once
Henry walked another beach (Rhode


Island) lugging remorse (mule, dunce).
The heavy waves pounded.
Ocean-soul sounded.
Cordelia’s quipu-crown (silence).

The madness works itself out (&
might end, someday) –
the greedy Boar will slay
& slay, until his tiny orange hand

is stayed.  Complacent cows of Bashan
wallow on the slopes
of Washington (one hopes
Starbucks will runneth over, son)

until berserkers finish slaughtering
(but that was in another
coffeeshop – it wasn’t her).
Columbia keens for her offspring

in Ramada Inn, who are no more.
Henry Oakillas, huffy
Henry, O... what now?  I
do not know.  To the bridge?  Claymore?

More clay?  Sword shall pierce
your own soul, Mary.
The air, soft here – sea-
air (light of a sweet lightness).

The chaste beginnings of Thanksgiving
in the myth, in the dream...
on the shore, by beam
of some old canoe.  Hoping, hoping.



Election Restoration Day


Henry’s diary for a dying day
saunters into November.
After Wars to End All War
will Guillem find his smoky way?

Apollinaire in a Sikh turban
waits out the head wound.
Carried to the ground
from a Paris window (11/11).

Long way to Tipperary, Gil.
Grandpa in his macintosh
in Belgium rain... gosh,
long ago, Captain.  Farewell.

So long.  Today’s Election Day.
Are we of the electorate
yet?  Like a checkmate
in a game with yourself, aye –

Reds & Blues – rival brothers
in mired mirror war.
Each bears a torch
for her – the midnight soul mother,

those faces of benevolent fathers
children carry deep
into their forests of sleep.
Only the branding iron cauters

its contrary mosaics (through the Age
of Iron).  Black Elk
troubles the star-milk
with one royal touch (smoky sage-


brush sand mandala).  Soft, Selkie –
blue dolphin from Skye...
this mournful rage to die
sulks in the dark heart, MLK.

You must lift it from us, black lamb.
Forever & ever, light
candle through the night –
mass-vortex Gal of each I am, I am.

She smiles through waves, ineffable
Wisdom – heart’s foundation,
coracle of liberation.
She lifted Jonah (willing Abel)

into eye of hurricane –
the diamond matrix,
Everysoul’s six
ways – your dream song, Hen.

Her word burns like a fire in the Book
of Love, her Testament.
What Maggie meant
when she saw the young Nazir look

from the bright eyes of the gardener
& shouted, He is risen!
Out from your earth-borne
everlasting fire, world-fashioner!

So Morning Star whorls her self-sacrifice
& Guillaume flings another jest
& Henry’s safety net
swings sister-dove from rigor mortis.



ballet russe


Along a cinder pathway
through November woods
Hobo, in one of his moods
murmurs a Mississippi lay.

Under his arm, his matryoshka
maiden – his mater within
mater, painted, wooden;
on his head, folded like Chippewa

canoe, an old felt hat
crimson as pileated
woodpecker.  Belated
prophet from Yehoshephat,

brown Mississippi of decision!
He mutters a woman’s name
under his breath (same
as under his arm) : Marion,

Miriam, Magdalen... Jessie,
Juliet... Beatrice, Jeanne...
Natasha... each one
enclosing the other (ballet

russe).  Sacre du Printemps.
1913, at end of May.
Pirouette, grand jeté...
Juliet, sans seine.  Lamps

are going out all over Europe.
Hobo yet knots his woolly
safety net – the glory
of the Lord, letter & envelope.



golden autumn of the codgers


A synthesis of reality
is the poet’s quarry –
the whole serene array
sweeping like wind over the sea.

Not that irritable reaching
after fact & reason
but a subtler conviction –
life’s laughing dolphin, breaching.

So lips’ continuum of air
sustains your sea-sounding,
reverberates in rounding
surf (os-scintillating there).

The light stems from another realm.
A gravity so dense
you’re pulled beyond sense
to transcend...  Owlish Athena’s helm

shines like an emerald acorn cap
out from that wilderness
of native lovingkindness
(Williams’ mayday just a maple tap).

The Ocean State is what we seek.
The Providence of Roger-
Seeker... golden codger
settled in his freedom, meek

and bold.  Like admirable Edward
Coke, who founded
justice vs. his confounded
king – a chaste equality (rood-hoard).