Shine Virtuous Republic

This bright winter day
feels like Simone Weil’s prison.
Cars flow through the town

bright as numbers. In
the middle of the round-a-
bout leafless trees gleam

like sentries. Repub-
lic of Virtue! I bang my head
against your walls. Light

flows from outside us.
Patience! In the distance, Cold
Mountain. No walls there.

In this country, vir-
tue shines in powerful men.
This is our prison.

Monstrous on All Soul’s

I was aware all
night of the house. Windows wheezed
and doors banged in the

gale. Then this morning
the raw gleam of the grain where
the juniper broke

open. And all day
I feel weird, idiotic,
dreadful in my skin

though I say nothing.
On the walk home a fresh hole
where that tree reached out.


In the southern light
of Renaissance Italy
the monk Cusa heard

his brothers looking
at the same image looking
at him. The one Face

in the same space looked
both ways. Coincidentia

The invisible
Face shining in the mist of
faith. Science to him.

In the northern mist
of a New England Fall a
mix of copper and

tarnished silver. Klee:
art makes the invisible
visible. Whose Face?

Today’s Poetics

Think Tragedy:
our tyrant will suffer re-
versal of fortune.

Think lyric:
ourselves will suffer insights
into our poem,

the people’s chorus,
until that too implodes in
painful catharsis.

To Be Sung

Why pray? In God’s dark
you can imagine being,
including your own,

as something flowing
from nothing. Festive nothing,

source of song. Why poem? It
remains to be sung.

Finesse of Friends

A friend in your life
is a no-big-deal big deal,
return of the full

moon in the window.
Friendship leaves room for dark times.
Try turning lovers

into friends. Tyrants
make bad friends. A waste of your life.
The crumpled faces.

A friend makes light of
your desires, leaves you willing
to face the mirror.


Having been busy
all my life, I’m at loose ends
now and sleep too much.

The sound of my voice
puts me back to sleep. My best
days I do not preach

from experience but
hear something in the falling
rain and write a poem.