Hearing voices like a Poem


33

Why Read Poetry

I have translated voices
To the ends of beauty

I have known intimately
Such wild abandon of soul

I cannot translate that
Spirituality transcends poetry
That I have experienced
I read poetry to get glimmers
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Because at times I have stopped
To look through the rain
For the wished for words
The wished for loves

The intimacy we are nomads for
I read poetry because the lady
Next to me on the bus
Is reading a book of poetry

And I wanted to know her
It all starts innocently enough
I read poetry because I know
That in the space between poems
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I will be looking in life for
The symbolism of her pages
A manticore muse I never find
The imagination of faery and ocean

And an intuition of whim
That undresses all other pleasures
By comparison of how superficial they are
The enjoyment of the spirit

I cannot translate that
But I can pretend.

Ode to Centuries


49

Sleep thou in the bosom
Of thy tender comrades
And if the world
Did not give you a true friend

Sleep in the divine-open
Where the stars speak with you
While the living water
Knows your name

And the moonlight glimmer
Satisfied the dreaming in you
Sleep thou in the bosom
Of the whispers of mortals
For a day will come
When you will be immortal.

The heart was created to speak, you tell me


19

The heart was created to speak, you tell me

Being close to you is like
A monsoon of words
A translation from Arabic
Into the light of your signature
Meditation, these faded eyes

Know you, recognize
The idealism, of being nine-teen again
You who give blue alms
To the broken horizon in me?
A penny of a star?

A volume for spiritual food?
Being close to you is like
A monsoon of words
Is this twilight constitutional?
That I would wish to hear you

Speak, gentle, softly, as if
I could relish the bird-voice
Of your girlish philosophy
With your breasts to the wind?
With your throat to the cosmos?
Whispering of atoms and immortality?

Anticipation of that Moment


70
(Ode to Mark Strand)

Poets love death, for that’s their existential
Crisis, the juice that makes them write
The immortal point of heavens
And the final Dream of laughter

I am not thinking of death
For Death thinks of me
I am not standing alone
For being alone is my script

To observe a world as lonely as this?
And point to dying as an epiphany
For mortality is a leafless change
Youth too short, those city of souls

Too transient! I no longer yearn
For the great plaza of life, or the various
Temptations that one might find in existence
It’s all fair and well, O’ let is all be done soon

I love mystery and as such, I’m looking
Forward to the journey that is death
Though one thing I dislike, this waltz in
Delirium, I will no longer be able to write!