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Night | School | Wanting | Losing | Finding | Flying | Chance | On Foot | Turns | Confidence | New York | Favorite sequence


What could possibly be worth the
uptight insistence on dry pages of a book
when spring comes blowing,
all overhead and through me, fresh and cool,
skipping out of winter,
with still a tatter of chill
on its thin young shoulders,
giggling confident, delighted promises,
tumbling every tree and care and brilliant jumble of cloud
certainly giving no special attention
to those pages riffling amok in the breeze?

-- Spring 1990


It is sunset on planet Earth,
the one spot in the universe
where I feel at home

Its oranges and blues and melancholies,
beyond all counting,
stir me more subtly and deeply
than any lifeless stone,
thin red sands
or hot iron plains

The drum-beating and ritual cries,
mad drunken rantings and sober contemplations
of our small tribe
scattered on its brown soils --
these are all dear to me
and will surely become the sweeter
as wisdom ripens in me
and age pulls me closer
to the inevitable parting

Does one live or die in overwork?
As a young man
I am bound with thin tendrils of acquaintance
to my kind,
and hope that they will take root
and flower

Have you seen a storm in the desert?
It is apocalyptic,
a grey, massive benediction,
water, the most precious thing,
an obvious miracle,
unasked for
and vital

-- 1990


Do not stop, old man --
I wish only to sit and hear you speak
	I am but a mere acolyte,
	a towel-boy
	of the tongue of the centuries,
	the tools that pry open the dusty, fermented casks of reality
	and flick aside the trivial, daily task of carrying water
I do not even like you --
you are not me,
and I am less than I will be --
but I want what you have

I have seen Scorpio
high in the southern night,
a finely and delicately worked structure
stretching up to dizzying heights
more vast than all the tiny earth below
and a little man there lacking breath --
heights upon which a giant
might laugh

My hands wander lost and amok through the texts
in the old and new tongue,
barely tasting secrets that gorge my mind,
marvelous things
that I will not comprehend
unless my understanding multiplies
steadily upon itself

-- Spring 1991

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