Friday, August 31, 2007


Somewhere a child is crying

All night the rain

Steps passing

Los desparacidos, the vanished

Heart in time of birds:

My son grown taller leans against the wind

Las madres, the mothers,

walk their circle of question

Und du, mein kind, wo bist du?

White scarf

in a woman’s hand

Will this shield you

from the wind, the firestorm

Voices in the night

J’ai faim, j’ai faim, j’ai faim

Hungry one, can you suckle the stars

Yes, at night with their dark mouths

Yes they come

with the words I do not know

& bring stone & their tears

and in Africa sing before dying

and in America sing before dying

and in Argentina, Biafra, Sudan: bleeding

Heart in time of birds:

yes, each month my harmless blood passes

between my legs

feeds the apple trees, the roses

But what of the mothers, walking

I saw him die, it was a long death

(her child of twelve) I saw him die

it was a long death

(her son bleeding) I saw

Yes, at night. I do not know the language

My child sleeps

in a rainbow blanket

Today I bought white freesias

Honey & pepper with their hearts-of-gold

& put them in water

safe from the wind.

I have a bowl of milk, a mirror

a white scarf, a paper of salt:

small things of the world:

the child turns in his sleep.

Small hands, of flowers

My lover says they do not smell of funerals

An old poem; it did come after night after night of waking with words in foreign languages in my mind and needing to speak out on all this. The countries may change, the sorrow doesn't. This was printed in kayak back in the day; George Hitchcock's wonderful surreal poetry magazine in which you never knew what odd collage might face your poem.

Monday, August 27, 2007


When the mustard bloomed

crayoning our wet hillsides

I thought I’d see you

you who walked out so long ago

one step into the drunken traffic

metal & flesh slammed together

a famous story

I couldn’t make sense of

whiskey burning my unkissed mouth

Love, here’s the delayed letter

full of marriage & longing

& escapades of small children

bright flowers moving

with each exhaled breath

on another morning in the summer

of the exit of paradise

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

At the Barrier

The languages are hard to translate

as we stand at the barrier

We know house, leaf, bed

We have learned the names we give

each other’s children, how to call them

home out of the dark sky

lit up all night with falling stars

When your daughter says

you are leaving, she gives me this

small rose of cloth & wire

for luck & memory

I slice open the bread & melon

We speak our careful idiom

in which the tongues of sorrow

are replaced: salt, bread, water

Here are her sandals

Don’t tell me forever.

Listen, even the stars fall

at last home to each other