on long feet


Calm evening at the end of April.
Wisdom of the ancients
unity of changing constants.
A continuum… a synthesis… a will

to find a meaning in the whole;
a portion of instinctive
gratitude – the urge to live
unfolding origami in the soul.

We dwell beneath an aegis of benevolent ideas
like clouds (reflecting sunlight,
bringing rain).  & everything
will be all right, my father said – his palm

over my flooding eyes.  This the providence
of sparrows & tall kings –
of all those feathered things
that soar so bravely into turbulence.

So then… who’s your imaginary friend,
Henry?  That loony Hobo
drifting from his local slough
down to the Gulf of Mexico?  Just a bend

in the river?  See thou, Hart says
touches a key, perhaps.
After the world-collapse
he’ll still be burbling his sabbath-sense;

planting a tender middle C
between Ocean & me
where clay & sea
are cleft at last, to rescue Thee 


– the clé to my ecclesia, Julie – 
a soft glissando pour l’église
from San Francisco to Louise
(grey Dolphy surfacing beside me).

& if reality is simply a supremely poetic idea
then the Imago of images
is like a seed of peacefulness –
a still point (painted on a bowl in Cahokia)

or that eye-in-hand Hobo held out to me
the wad of river-mud
Rabbi patterns for the blind
saying, Ephphatha… (gently, gently).

Everything has already been redeemed
& an orb rests in Hobo’s eye
with dewfall of memory
& earth-pangs for the not-yet-dreamed.

Everything rising with the soeur-coulombe
the sister-dove, the Jonah-Joan
the twin, O my beloved one
light Rabbi hopping through the gloom

on long feet   heading for the nest
on crest of wave
that vertical canoe-nave
pronged   at heart of Southern Cross

6 tracks of Black Elk diamond
ghost dance of Rio del
Espiritu   sprung up
for you & me   out of dis April pond



ice-breaking spring


This simple cup of Red Wing clay –
I thought it might be cracked.
A thick dark zigzag tracked
the rim.  Some dragon gone astray?

Quickening lightning, heavy thunder…
power of ice-breaking spring.
The bursting-forth of everything
in moss-green gold & violet splendor.

Or something darker, circuiting its wheel.
Cold-blooded Serpent, shattering
Anansi’s web (her glittering
fishnet, awash with dew)… to steal,

to kill.  Ouroboros-pelt of power
peeled from its fountain (O
omnipresent sweet communion
threaded like planetary Venus-flower).

The poet’s voice lurks with the refugees.
Exiled flint mirror, casting back
the shadow of one seamless lack
of liberty, justice – life’s guarantees.

It is a tool, a sharpened raven-knife
polished in Voronezh.
That river-town, at edge
of steppe.  O Evening Star, O sister-wife

The river sways its coppery smooth fan
from forest spring to Okeanos.  One
willowy limb of oaken
mast… grounding the flash where it began.



if I could gather all 9 muses


If I could gather all 9 muses
around the iron horseshoe
Hobo found along the shore…
a middle C stranded by silted rivers.

If I could loop a thread-corral
around the bullish history
of bardic poetry…
Whitman & Olson, the whole passel

of a thousand Pounds – a ton
of raw American aggression
packed in Julian tin can
of salmon absolute (O prodigal son).

You must bind up the strong man
if you would rob his house,
strums Shep Jesus –
the Son of Man opposes Czar Ivan

K. Trump (& all his lawless minions).
For Moses was an anti-
Pharaoh, & his text a fey
neutrino-trace – reversing their dominions

(anti-matter realms of fearful absence).
Their malice plays for keeps –
the quasi-Reagan creeps
who stigmatize Abe Lincoln’s conscience

of profound Union.  A government
of people, by & for people
whose penny is a steep
L-rectitude – the normative ligament


of every child of God (my soul to keep);
the stony fundament
that grounds each document
hedging the tyrant (as ye sow, shall reap). 

For this Hobo bent toward St. Louis,
where clays rotate
around an elder potentate;
the foolish king, whose power was on lease

to that familial mutuality
(the kinfolk circle
& the starry wheel)
Jesus displayed in his nativity.

Star of David, hidden in the clouds
like 4-leaf clover
in a rainbow cover –
ark or Argo of celestial crowds.

So history plays out as Tauromachia.
Watch Minotaur succumb
to Ariadne’s plumb,
Man lifted up beyond Monarchia;

that restoration of all things
the servant-son proclaimed,
chanting beside the famed
Magdala Stone (rose of sharing) –

when Clover twirls in Hobo’s fingertips
& Isis-eye looks from his palm;
when JFK comes home
& Venus blooms… & Sophie Coulombe skips.



through Narragansett smokehole


A peaceful evening in late April
the trees barely budding
in mild light   while brooding
darkness rings   the besieged people

& this dissonance of visible   invisible
an indivisible fire   smoldering
criminals & saints   revealing
callous inhumanity    with humble

solidarity   courageous   all-compassionate
& in my flimsy gazebo
octagonal coracle or   Argo
with Sophie’s wind-chime   over the gate

delicate oak-leaf butter-knife design
tingling in the calm air   O
here in my Ariadne-lair   where
a Chartres J coils  toward her Eschaton

& my whisper follows Cautantowwit
through Narragansett smokehole 
southwest, southwest   while a soul-
hart sails back   to her monarch nest –

that circling square dance of Ocean beams
where the spirit of Jessie Ophelia
& Juliet Ravlin   abide in Thee   &
Eternity, O Eternity! cries Roger Williams

& you lift your agate lamp, Psyche
like a fiddlehead   in Holy-Land
& the soeur-coulombe of the Son
of Man   swerves   with a shining eye



set to sound


Henry was just an American poet,
not well-known, born
in Minneapolis… a plain-
speaking, ordinary place, a cold spot

on the planet.  He had his talents
& his quirks – his great
advantages, pensive disquiet,
the serious focus of his mind, his diffidence…

but none of these things mattered in the end.
Poetry is neither marketplace
nor museum.  It is a simple space
for flighty conversation, set to sound;

a fatal stage, a public theater
where fantasy rings true –
YHWH appears to you
disguised as sister, holy fool, butler…

anything but king (or slave-herder).
King David plucked his harp,
made his obeisance sharp
& clear – YHWH is holier

than I, or any man on earth.
Henry drew back the curtain.
In his poem, all was done –
la vida es sueño… from Fort Worth

to Dallas is but a short drive.
Righteous ones must die
until the message (IN RI) bears
fruit – honey flows from her beehive.


Georges Rouault, The Old King


mountain crossroad


As the flashy plumage of the peacocks
contrasts with the somber wall
of a hunchbacked cathedral… so
the worldly chit-chat of the literati mocks

the stark lofty simplicity
of a mountain crossroad –
where a mule bites goad
with gritted teeth (stubborn humility).

& I think of those high stony passes
of Armenia tonight
as I foot my way, right
back to bright horseplay of Itasca

primavera springs.  Up there, young
Ojibwe (generation after
generation) took the fast
of separation from the world (a brave-sprung

discipline) – & he awoke & found it truth.
So (as I inch toward the close
of my rheumy, 8-years’
rêve-glose) I want to emulate that youth

& drink the clear spring water, sing my fast
manifest the rabbit frame
these longish footprints form…
untwist my Huckleberry ruse at last.

Tell me what is a human soul & spirit
& you will say what I mean.
What they have always been
a knot of everlasting life, the whit-


sun wedding of the nodding twain.
Theseus, AriadneAdam,
Eve… – til Jesus came
& lifted every limb to Paradise (again).

All’s figures.  Here’s a 4-leaf clover;
twirl it between your fingers.
See where Hobo lingers,
lost in his maze… only a cavernous nave

overhead (synagogue of Always-There).
Can you conceptualize
the structure of the Bible?  Is
your mind glazed yet, by the seven spare

sparks of Pentecost?  Has the Spirit
settled upon you as a dove
& vaulted you to eaves of love?
This is the salt that fires each aspirant

& burns away the dross around the urn –
kindling Dante, Roger Williams –
forging those adamant amalgams
melding heaven-earth, sacred-profane…

prophetic copper work of Providence.
For the covenant of God
with Man is happy seed-
grain of the common good – equivalence

of Golden Rule & last commitment;
liberty from tyranny
is predicated on glory… high
Jubilee of restoration (in a dreamer’s tent).