Grief Song

Each night I return
to my room on the third floor,
in the trees, the stars.

My room welcomes me.
All day your laughter ripples
in the shops, the streets,

reminding me. Now,
at home I get the message:
I am free to go.

Work Station

I love having Mt.
Hood on the horizon or
the Atlantic hard

by, I have copies
of Pound’s Cantos and Milton’s
Paradise Lost on

my shelves—-nothing
to compare with the unselfed
Creator’s reserve,

which as infinite
releases the wonder of
mountain, wave, poem.

Love’s Durance

Grief strips self-control.
I vomit a bit of meat
and it all comes back.

Her dire decline, her
vomiting. Grief surges. I
roll in viscous surf.

Lightheaded, I pray
to the patience of Being,
to our love’s let-be.

New Year’s Day

A sunny New Year’s
Day. Snow sinking in the grass.
Gutter’s guttural

song. The birds repeat
their real names over and over.
What’s new about it?

Ask again. God has
no more fitting way to get
out the word to be.

The New Normal

New Year’s Eve: last year
in statistics—-murder of
Jews, murder of blacks,

terror the new norm—-
tonight we stay home and read
something hopeful like

Tolstoy’s gospel of
the criminal one, slow sip
single malt, the long

finish God’s surplus.
To Issa! At New Years he’d
feel about normal.

Dialogue of an Aging Self

You say religion
means nothing to you. After
a long life, you live

in the watery
flux of the estuary—-
weeks of raw wet days.

Heaven and earth breathe
the same air. The finite whole
(your death) is enough.

You sense my power
in the absence at your end
of the rule of force.

And your kindness ex-
tends to the small ways I find
to show you my love.

Times Trans-shifting

This between-Xmas-
and-the-New-Year just seems vague.
Capital lays off

redundant workers,
Fascist police crack down on
revolting students

world wide. Politics
is opportunity. New
Year resolutions

include sorting through
my light verse. It may have some
value as history.