The Ripening

Those green medallions are gone now, 
They were golden underneath the whole time. They were
Made of light. Green hides the yellow; the greenness of the world
Hides the light. In and around every rock and tree and squirrel
Is a melody of singing—
This one “tree,” this one “rock,” this one “squirrel.” Song.

Green hides the yellow, and the yellow hides nothing. 
It is what it is. The fire of life is green’s lover
Hidden then revealed. Yellow reaches out, aches;
You ache back and reach in… lovers. 
That ol’ devil-song of sulphur tempts you in; that ol’
Doctrine of the Father tempts you out.          Sing!

In Autumn is the August of the Soul

for Wallace Stevens

 

In autumn, we see things 

as imminent:

 

A sudden loss, slipping away, a

falling into immanence—

as death leaves us bare 

and capable of new loves,

 

As Pan thrusts nakedness 

onto the unclothed, imminence

seeking immanence takes

hope away from sorrows—

 

We find out what we are: 

imminence begetting

immanence, unmarked 

by thoughts or prose. 

 

In autumn is the august 

of the soul: a sinking from

what was, what has been 

into immanence rich and bold. 

 

If You Had Fur

Great bears sleep

 inside the word body

 

That hollow place

 keeps them sleeping—

 

Let the bear speak.

 

   ❦

 

Imagine yourself

 in such a coat:

 

 Fur for arms,

 nose, wet and searching,

 claws and teeth for killing, or

 delicate pincers for collecting fruits,

 and digging, for roots

 for aromatics,

 for offerings.

 

Gathering dreams

 from under the earth.

 

Sweetgrass & Fire

She wouldn’t buy a braided bundle 

 built however rightly there;

would prefer to watch it garden grow,

 thinning, when Time would spare. 

 

She wouldn't tie the bottom or

 the top with common cord;

sooner with a shock of grass

 wetted by her lips—“Better

to wrap it with itself

 surely, in place of this.”

 

She wouldn’t let mine help her hold

 one end of the braid as she took;

the side of her foot was suitable, more— 

 the purity of her tone. 

 

She wouldn’t strike a match, for

 smoke to that green braid;

finer still is candle wax—’tis

 “Better to let the bumbling bees’

 yearnings fuel the flames.”

 

She spoke—when singing

 and then, without sound:

“These are the ways I long for Fire—

 This is how sweetgrass is bound."

 
 

Old Man Niwot

Here, in the west, our blood is built of snowmelt. Up here, 

feet of crystalline water lingers on through summer, sags down

into the catchment bases of cliffs, gathers wind-blown dust and orange fungus 

and occasionally animal fur. The sun's slow tumult across the southern sky

tears at the compacted granules, making them weep their bitter memories 

back into the earth. Trollius, globeflower, and Caltha, marsh marigold, 

and even Ranunculus adoneus—the buttercup of Adonis—

can be seen bursting through, proud of Winter’s longing.

 

“The White North is now sleeping 

through miles of dark soil.” I remember, walking 

 along Aspen Creek to the spring—la source— our life. 

“It feeds us. Is us. The water we drink becomes our blood,

 and Old Man Niwot, he blew it here."  Thank him, 

Thank him.

 

Obsidian Caelum

The sea-glimmer of Raven’s feathers

 captures your gaze— waves

bending light keep churning

 across a pinnate cloak.

 

“I will help you, but if you falter,

 your eyes will become food.”

 

                  Odin gave an eye for knowledge

                                without a second thought…

 

A gamble, but irresistible. 

 

                 Faust figured so, too.

                 

                      ❦❦❦

 

In absence of  mediation,

 we settle for a mediator.

Imminence— she’s shifty, 

 one needs a certain something

to contain her.

 

               A vessel of sorts. 

 

Ask a question first—

 Then, listen. 

          

 

The messages she sends

 digest your mind

into cross-wise thinking 

 of gale and tempest-storm;

into splintered

 polyphony of rot.

 

               Putrefacation is illumination. 

                         Why is that so difficult to grok?

 

Because Sun is warmth—

 we ache to merge,

forgetting our flesh burns.

                     

                      ❦❦❦

 

Raven caught fire while stealing 

 a coffer of light—

similar to Psyche, 

 who snatched a box of beauty

from the mistress of the underworld—

 so we (clothed in darkness)

could catch fish and gather food.

 

            A roller who bet his dice

                       on the redemption of human-kindness

 

A little homage now and then wouldn't hurt...

 

           No?

 

Watch your eyes. 

 
 

Poem in Four Parts

  1.

A few words well-written,

 cared for, 

developed and made real—

 are subtle currents that run 

through the river stones of our bones; 

 what our blood is made of.

  

  2.

Somewhere inside a very quiet place,

 gravity is pulling our bodies upwards

towards roots—

 the force of wild water 

captures the brilliance of sun,

 feeds it into the darkness of earth.

 

   3.

The love the soil has for the sky! 

 A blue so blue only blood could be more red!

The written lines of others fill my poems—

 I take no credit.

  

  4.

I awake each morning and fumble with images—

 “Ask them!” she says, 

“Have them show you the way

 down the long ocean-road.”