May all beings inhabit the earth with quiet gratitude

May all gratitude include the blessing of infinity

May infinity embrace us as a constant miracle

         begins its upward surge
                 toward winter freezing
people huddle together
              as the cold darkness
                           arrives earlier
shadows disappear almost as soon as they appear
                                     let us crouch by the fireplace
                                          searching for warmth
                                                    in the middle
                                                           past middle
we will find things of which to talk
                       we will find places
                                       best to touch
we will grow gazing from each other's eyes
                          as we slip slowly 'neath allourskin
                          as wind     howls on           snowcrust
we shall scream and scream
                        and scream 
snow thickens and you will know my lusty dream
                       i shall whisper it into each moment
                                                     of your mind 
i will hold each chamber of your heart
                            snow falls without a sound
silently i stroke the sinews of your soul
                                      we are safe in the arms of winter

 eyes wide open
         never close them
                     truly look.
                               almost nothing
             will miss your constant gaze

shadows floating across the ceiling
                            will return your vigil
                                        you    will be encased
                              in continuous dialogue
                             without   words

open eyes                              forbid sleep
          each night as death
          creeps around the door frame
               smile wave and whistle a vacant tune
          each night as mortality expects to hear your snore
                                                you dance a
                                                little tulip
centurions peer from Pluto's perimeter
whispers of long lavish halls holding legions of open-eyed scoffers
stationed in elegant chairs and beds
                                   solely to annoy death's scythe
              an engraved crystal vase                       
reflects sun rays
                                    as it gleams upon
a polished, wooden, round table 
     if      you   step         slowly, softly, soundlessly
                      past the vase
             you      can        see it
                                     if you walk quickly
                                     there is only empty
if you stop and open your heart
                              the vase will reflect inside your being
                                 transform you as a prism
                                     surrounded by air
                                                   filled with light
invisible flowers will shine
                       stems will tremble
                        you  will    m  elt into everywhere

how did she slip away so silently,
         her    bright,    clear,  dazzling
          fixed within the last, black wisps
         of          night?
           why would         she want to step so lightly,
                              her deep, azure look
floating upon early morning
                    sun streaks?
                    didn't she wait for
                    one more loving sigh
                         from each of us?
crying furiously
                in the face of separation,
                                      couldn't we leave together? 
exiting from an empty house
                 upon tender glances and stares?
                        in each room our hands reach out
                        to stroke your thick, silken hair
                   only to feel               your    absence
our long lovelitany mumbles beyondwords
              waits for the resurgence of your unique tender spirit


those are tears
   slowly moving down my cheeks
         falling upon
                  the beautiful carved box
                                       holding your ashes
                                     murmuring unrecognizable
         tapping upon the membrane of your soul
                 those are my tears
         grieving for the loss of your beauty
         pleading for one more time
                     to     run my fingers
                       through       your  exquisite coat
                       those are      our         tears
                              reaching    into the    shadows
                                hoping for    a    nudge  of permission
one more time for our eyes
         to  seek     each other

                 your silence has always
                 contained             so much magic
your               non    words are the absence
     of consonants  and   vowels
                          you are the proof of saying everything
                                                 with    nothing
            so many nights you held vigil
                                    within your beautiful eyes
                                   bringing me back to health
                                    with your powerful sky blue energy
you told me that you would wait for me and be my guide
                                 row my boat
                                          across the dreadful Styx
distract Charon with deafening mews and screeching 
you promised me that you
                     would guide me along the cliffs of Hades
until we reached the safe 
                       fields of evermore 
where i can sip vodka nectar
    you can dine on fish delicacies
                        where i can adore you endlessly
and you                         can teach me        silent
        i'm waiting here on the shore
        the breeze is growing cold
        sounds of monsters are
        i'm waiting for you
                i know you will return


looking for you inside the shadows
                           searching in dark corners
thinking that there is movement
trying to materialize you
                   as i sit at the dining room table
expecting your erect body and unmoving focus
                   to pierce through my sadness.
                           yet there is only stillness
            until i hear a soft whisper from your spirit voice:
"love has no color, no shape, no race, no religion; it belongs to 
every being; it belongs to no one. it can explode into a giant, as
it leaves the body of an ant. it can be invisible after filling the
sky with miracles. how can this be? it can and it can't.
           if you never take your soul from the flame"
                    love has no color
                    no shape, no race
                    no       religion
                it belongs to every being
                it can explode into a giant
              as it leaves the body of an ant
                    it can be invisible
                   after filling the sky
                   with          meteors
                      how can this be?
                    it can and it can't
      if you never take your soul from the center of the flame

[to Principessa Salome]

by the gentle pluck of strings
and the sweet air
             which blows through your beings
                                 you       shall be known
turning sadness into magic music
                         clog dancing upon each joyful moment
transforming ideals into blessed realities
                      you are seen as a gift to the universe
               eternity holds you
                   in its enormous hand 
                         never dropping the belief
                                                of your beauty
each amen modulates into a new beginning
                                       you are a double miracle
                                       spinning            as   one

  for P&K 
if you want to make
                an        apple       pie
   you don't pick any old apple
                     go to the farmers' market
                    choose three different apples
take them back to your car
sit quietly and slowly taste apple one
 is    i t the flavour of your pie dreams
                        savour apple two
 is    i t too tart
           too sweet
                    bite into apple number three
is it solid enough to become pie
                    is it the creation of all ages

if you want to have a friend
don't choose just anybody
smile during conversations
smell the value of words
                        choose three different people
cook a meal for number one
                notice the attention given to each bite
                    balance the sugar and salt level
beware of number two
quick and facile like a piece of
          overjammed, overbuttered toast
does number three stop eating from time to time
to chew your words
             to listen
                   really listen
is there truth in their energy
                   listen, look, lightly touch
serve each of them your apple pie
one of them might smile and say nothing
                  stomach to stomach
                     heart to heart
                     brain to brain
                     bite to bite
( for Mervyn )
i miss my voice
          how it would sleep inside
pretending not to be there
          until i hummed and
stroked short sounds
          on my breath
slowly stretched
          long vowels
whereupon it had to smile
          and awaken
                   just the two of us
in our living room

i long for the bravado sounds
           which bounced off
  of church windows and ceilings
               how it would circle
around the audience
                 choose a heart
                     sink inside
                     sit  in secret places
sometimes it would
                 ping pong from walls
                                laugh in my face
                                              resonate inside my head

i miss my voice
               i wonder where it went
               i used to think it belonged
                                    to me
until i realized it was
doing things i didn't recognize
                   it started swinging on branches
                               jumping in streams
singing songs i never learned
it left me a small shadow sound
              maybe i'll hear it again
                                    in someone else's singspace
              maybe            not
   when you are an old woman,
        sitting in your hand carved,        
    beautifully curved, oaken rocker;         
   reading cummings, blake
   seamus heaney and shakespeare,
               you will look past the gathering dust     
   in the late afternoon light,
     your long, soft, white, silken hair
             gleaming within your shining aura,
                smile and think of me
             drifting upon the longago ether,
                 look past the sunstream.        
              with your right hand                        
              wave to a nearby tree,                        
              wave into the soft breeze,               
     the tree waves back             
                     a thousand leaves.
     for that one         
     blessed moment.  
                we will touch in the now.

[ to Alyssa ]

the singer walked to center stage
in silence
when she took her first breath
she grew taller
she began the virtuoso aria
as though born for it
it glided forth with breathtaking ease
it was an olympic skater at high speed
when she reached the cabaletta
her vocal muscles stretched into beauty
the audience was drenched in magic sound

when she looked up she was stunned
the concert hall was empty
there was silence
she realized the music was inside
soaring songs were for her innermost self
she disappeared into
joyful tears

three balls and two strikes
the pitch was a high curve
he knew exactly
where it would cross the plate
when the bat and ball connected
sound filled the stadium
he was almost tempted to stand there forever
not run the bases
feel the moment
endlessly like a playback
he decided to walk the bases
when he stared into center field
he saw the disappearing ball
rounded second base
headed toward home
looked up
the stadium was endless and empty
the game was in space
flying was for his perfect body
he dissolved into vapour