on the North Shore of the North Star state


Not far from Berryman’s Witch’s Hat
in Prospect Park, off Arthur Ave
Henry beholds spring showers lave
his plague-burnt Vale of Josaphat

(in Minneapolis).  It is a hard Lent
& shrunken plain to see –
April trundling mournfully
to graveyards.  Brash head bent,

hobo Henry Hal recounts his crimes
(near Purgatory Chasm,
in Newport).  Hopes a chrism
helps redeem his own end times

along Humility Way – the icy treason
of a lodestone heart.
His mother’s art
pierces also, beyond reason –

those 4 unsoldered quarters of clay tile
where Henry & Francesca swim
below a swirling rim
of Gooseberry Falls (old Ravlin file)

in the blithe innocence of marriage
unbetrayed… unmade,
not yet.  Like Longfellow glade,
or negative of Dante’s personal stage

(Circle of Lust) the two of us
will splash, forever smiling
in that riverine, beguiling
clay lost Paradise of faithfulness


& O the hubris of Superior Prince Hal!
To think he’d play the alpha male
to Berryman, beyond the pale –
snow-bent J. Beerust, in his dream-corral!

My clay ticks slowly on its glitter-wheel
toward kiln of Judgement Day.
But you might take another way,
Kidron – follow the foamy V of keel

into that Ocean River of the galaxies;
gaze up into the Royal Arch
where smile-canoe arcs
over candescent happiness... frees

hearts & souls into the wholeness
they were meant to seize!
That Charity of charities,
that source of every brimming goodness...

the grace of Miriam-consent (to give)...
true North Star of the Sea!
Friend Berryman would be
beside me here, in this infinitive

to live – an evergreen, emerald
eternity of growth –
an exponential for a moth
(or butterfly) to find – New World

born from the Old, as wings from chrysalis
when Spirit strokes like Thunder
through clay rings… & under
your rose aye of Providence (soft kiss).


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