THERE IS NO GREATER PASSION THAN FOR BEAUTY
There is no greater passion than for beauty —
Ecstasy distilled into a song —
Nor calling more exquisite than the duty
To make our own the truths for which we long.
Here’s to you, then! And for what you’ve done
To be the muse who mirrors well our hearts,
Restoring the lone many to the one
Common love that underlies all arts.
O love of being, bearer of our pain!
Well might we praise the gardeners who bring
Our passions into bloom, that we again
Might hear the sunlit bird within us sing.
Long may you ply what practices you’ve learned,
Profiting all by artistry you’ve earned.
ERRING ON THE SIDE OF LOVE
Erring on the side of love,
A righteous rabbit races on,
Salvaging what can be won,
Testing well what well might move,
Embracing what might evil prove
Rather than defending wrong.
NEVER DO THE CLOUDS CONVEY THE WEATHER
Never do the clouds convey the weather
In my heart. The Earth can teem with storms!
As long as you still love me, sunshine reigns.
Highs and lows, sweet days, and hurricanes:
All can come and go as my heart warms.
Don’t I dance inside when we’re together?
Give me your hand and let the long days slide.
Underneath them you will find our love.
Years accumulate like driven snow;
Happiness remains all snug below.
Know though stars may stop and mountains move,
I will sing my passion by your side.
PEOPLE ARE A PEOPLE BY DESIGN
People are a people by design,
Embracing who they were by who they are.
So does history become a meal,
A ritual that makes a memory real,
Calcifying what, beyond the bar,
Has not the substance of a glass of wine.
A VASE OF FLOWERS IN A WINDOW FRAME
A vase of flowers in a window frame.
A house of gentle light amid dark leaves.
An ecstasy so sharp it feels like anguish,
The pull that makes our beeline an ellipse.
No transcendental morning’s inspiration
So ravishes the things we never see.
We hear for all our lives a silent music
To which we dance unknowing through our time.
And even when we die, there is a beauty
Older than the cold December stars,
A part of us that waits behind the darkness
To take us once again into its arms.
MY GOD WAS THE FUTURE
My God was the future. I’m with Him now,
As inchoate as we must always be,
Xeroxing my position on eternity.
Go find me in the future of your dreams,
Or in the box wherein you hide your zeal;
Remember me when fear says what is real,
Dictating truths to which your hopes must bow.
Only fierce passion a misplaced heart redeems:
Nothing less shall be my legacy.
THE APARTMENT IS DARK
The apartment is dark.
I like it that way.
Through unshaded windows
I look across the street.
People there have lights on.
I see them through curtains.
A muscular young man
Washes dishes with his wife.
A woman drinks beer
In the blue light of TV.
On the top floor a mother,
A daughter, a daughter:
Three without men.
Next door an old couple
Smothers the fear
Of who will die first.
In a singles bar
I meet a woman
And have nothing to say.
Too many times
I have said the same things.
I watch here in darkness,
In the peace of aloneness,
And think about me,
And think about you.