My T.V.

 

Grim-faced men with jowls

intone from the television their respect

for life, and morals and propriety.

"Are they talking to me?"

"Are you talking to me?"

as if I were living in some taxi-driver psychosis,

with talking t.v.'s directly linked to my moral in-box.

Pundits and stock-touts fill the screen with speculations,

sung with the weight of German Opera.

"Take this seriously," my t.v. announces, sotto voce.

"Fair & balanced, fair & balanced,"

I hear it as parrot talk, "Polly want a cracker?"

Sqwaaaaak, sqwaaaaak........

Some people are hugging on Maury Povich,

celebrating the deliverance of their 8 year-old daughter

from the street life.

Their saviors, disguised as drill instructors,

have frightened them into obedience, adjustment, and love.

The women of the Psychic Hot-line

are enlightening me and my wallet both.

They seem to enjoy their show, but with

no claims to "fairness or balance."

They are the country music of infomercials,

well-schooled in who is sleeping with whom,

and behind who's back.

They are all trapped in the picture tube,

like some photonic Plato's Cave

on a wall of t.v.'s at the electronic's store,

each little drama or speculative nuance

defines their grim reality.

But, still, it's just t.v. isn't it?

The play of light and sound and shadow

across space and time,

and when one wants, one can--

change the channel.

 

 

 

 

 

BEAUTY

 

"What is beauty?" my friend asked.

"I canít answer," I said.

My thoughts drifted off------

my friendís image appeared in my mind.

I thought of her long, flexible hands,

her fingers shaped just so,

and how her feet stretched gracefully,

resting on her high spongy shoes,

so high because she wants to be taller.

The whole shape and flow of her,

her long lines of energy and feeling,

mesh and focus and reflect upon themselves.

I thought of her hands again and

how she rubbed them with sweet-smelling lotion

and showed me her new French manicure.

There are worlds in her,

her hands have become atoms,

the atoms collapse into electrons,

the electrons burst into stars,

they shine like a lattice-work

of swirling colors, bright and subtle,

she flows through space

like a pathway to another dimension,

pulling her through time,

she stands suffused in light,

her essence shining, a supernova

of energy woven together,

she is a dance of love,

a melody of thought,

a joyful texture of tender feeling,

she is strong in her being,

she draws creative breath,

and renews herself in waking.

She expands through time,

her presence lights the way

with a joyful wit,

wrapped in a smile,

concealed in a mock-serious tone.

She is a distillation of many beauties,

but none can be defined.

"What is beauty?" my friend asked.

"I canít answer," I said.

 

 

 

 The Materialist

She is the kind who would nurse small birds,

whose heart takes flight in a childís smile,

and thrills at the chance to still anotherís pain.

You can see her soul in her eyes, bright, clear and soft,

she resonates to beautiful melodies and moves

in shapes that swirl forth and celebrate life.

"Iím very materialistic", she says,

looking at me with an ethereal grace

that silently mocks her words.

"I see", say I, but what I see

is not her words, but her music.

It flows forth from her in subtle colors,

here a bright spark of yellow,

there a powder blue cloud.

She is green with new growth,

even her darker shades sing

of vulnerability tempered by pain,

forged by time and disillusion,

she exacts control at a high price.

She is a materialist, she says.

I give her small gifts,

tokens of a natural affection between us,

simple material manifestations

that she is pleasantly in my awareness,

occupying a space surrounded by smiles,

she draws thoughts to her like small birds. 

She accepts my gift,

but suddenly questions the propriety.

I smile at her and ask, "Why?"

She smiles back and says, "I forgot."

But I donít forget,

I sense her tender heart,

and sharp, concerned mind.

I hear the music of her soul

and smile as she moves through time.

I see her insecurities, entwined

in a beauty that just escapes her view,

that just eludes the edges of her control.

She guards it with

the illusion of material desire,

but it flies out like those small birds.

Real beauty cannot be cloaked,

it escapes any shroud,

it is not material,

it is eternal.

And so is she.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AMERICAN DREAM 1971-76

I woke in the tear-drop morning

trying to shake

the dream from my eyes

for

in that beautiful misty dream

was

that freedom thing

America.

And when

my dream began to fade

I remembered

in the screaming morning sun

the creased khaki

and

gold braid with swagger sticks

welded into bayonets

and rifles

and bullets

tearing through bamboo impaled guts

dripping from yellow coolie hats

with golden spikes

and slanted

red

better dead

eyes

dropped from eagle-feathered airplane wings

swinging from sexy-nylon parachutes

black

with the burning children

throwing hand grenades

covered with chopsticks like candy-apple baseballs

and hot dogs and beer

wrenched from the stomach

thrown up

all over the general

who had everybody court-martialed for immorality

because

you see

he lost his money on the football game

while screwing his secretary in the orderly room

because she moaned

too loudly

tipping his wife

who

or is it whom to be correct

shot the general

for indeed the sexist pig

should die

by the hand of women's lib

and set them free

from the marching mothers to end war

who sent their sons

to kill the burning children

and burn the killing children

anyway

because the poll said

the people's will

was to make a bloody mess

and scorch the earth with

policy

and police the earth

so that

the peace

could be kept

in an urn

by the

altar

of the president

who made it perfectly clear

that

with our oil-hungry reaper

we would gather

and grind

our

human grist

bake our bread

of sand

grease

our palms

and profit

from

that misty dream

that

 

freedom thing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

As I Lay

 

Tonight, as I lay basking in the light;

the beauty of things entered my soul,

while my sweet love continued her battles,

her resilient will, the logic of her heart

struggling toward freedom from dark cynicism,

from earthly experience.

I sent her thoughts of love across the miles,

I basked in images of her golden beauty.

I reached for her in my soul,

saw the fine threads of her essence pulsating,

I entered her light, her struggle, her fine-laced beauty,

her ineffable being---I lay basking in the light.

"I loaf and invite my soul", wrote Whitman.

But my soul invites me, as I invite her,

embraced,

engulfed in the sumptuous logic of the heart.

In beauty beyond beauty,

beyond light,

beyond freedom.

Beyond everything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUNRISE

There is something so beautiful

and soft in her,

hard to contain,

it bursts from her laughter

in a warm glow,

as if her smile was a sunburst,

or the chords of sunrise

in the Alpine Symphony.

The bright colors surround her face,

Swirl gracefully,

and in the grace of the moment,

you can see her heart.

A familiar heart,

like an old friend in trouble,

calling me;

connected by invisible strands

across space and time.

Through the illusions of the moment,

I see her pain, and stretch out my hand.

Through tears of love, tears of strength,

tears of healing, I reach for her soul,

reach for what is so beautiful and soft in her.

I hold in my hand a sunrise,

my tears implore her,

reach out in the grace of the moment,

and

 

take it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We Met In The Cave

 

We met in the cave,

but she was always in the light,

she may not have known it,

but it was clear as the bright noon sun.

Abandoning her chains,

she walked from that cave naked;

and her light blocked out the sun.

She was present at her own birth,

she took flight without wings,

and soared high above the earth,

slowly, she began to know her natural element;

The chains of the cave lay broken in the shadows,

rotting, their dull metal barely reflecting

the dim light she once took for the sun.

Overhead, she floats on the wind,

borne aloft by the birth of her freedom,

the currents of her heart lighter than wings.

We met in the cave,

but joined hearts in the air,

took flight together,

and returned to earth, no more.

 

 

 

 

 

Flying Roller-Coasters

 

Flying home, the ground lumbered by,

an old green and brown pioneer womanís quilt

from 30,000 feet.

Out my window, I saw myself

the victor

in a World War II dogfight,

as my opponent's fighter flamed

toward the earth

in it's death dive.

It made such artful airy spirals

As it plunged toward the

quilted earth like a scene from "Hellcats of the Navy."

Transfixed, I imagined my opponent's final

dive, the heroism, the poetry of

being strapped into some flaming roller-coaster

launched

to a white-hot death

from 30,000 feet.

My opponents death is my

poetic triumph,

mine

a fiery tragedy.

We watch our brother

go down in flames

and

write poetry on his corpse.

Soon the plane will land.

I want off

this roller-coaster.