In civilized rooms,
rich executives wage secret money wars,
deal drugs for profits -- devils disguised by designer clothes
live elegant lives that keep the destitute unfed
and laboring in heat -- fountains of their sweat
fed to gun lords who want more and more
corpses of untimely death buried
in pieces under flowering trees
without eyes, hands, guitars or slippers.
Those who die tortured will scream in all our nightmare dreams
until brutes are bred into angels,
and prisons emptied of agonies,
workers undressed of shackles, until
puppet dictators lose their strings,
until sparrows sing like nightingales,
and fly like herons above the war for crumbs,
-- until I learn to love you with your unlike body,
your disposition imperfect as mine,
until then, death will go on wearing
the soldier's uniform of his illustrious career
-- a memorial salute masks his leer.
Like a bullfighter he carves
the mighty bull, to still the beast
with graceful cunning, his sleek
sword hidden in his silk cape.
His missiles poised in their silos
empty of grain, filled with fires of the final feast
he'll eat with his cavernous mouth, carnivorous teeth.
His muscular chin chews children, spits
their wasted bones into cinders, swallows
their budding bodies, and the honey of their
breath as it expires, drips blood as saliva from his lips,
a blistered grin. In his hand, he juggles
the blue and crystal ball full of swirling waters,
over a steel and concrete gravestone
where all our names are inscribed with Dante,
Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Lady Murasaki,
Emily Dickinson, Rembrandt, Madame Curie,
Einstein, Luther King, Chi'u Chin or Ghandi...
fading into dust beyond the last stupendous flash
of life urges into cocky deadly fireworks,
eternal winter, as names
and the word could become in the space of moments,
syllables to no one and nothing perceives
light or darkness, as you and I, love, caress
each others' eyes before we touch, hand on smile
But cold and silent of human song the planet could spin
unknown to anyone or anything --
fragile as our flesh which thrills with love's
impulse, electric touch of empathy's
mysterious imagery, waters flowing mind
which cannot dream "nothing" without thinking "zero"
as a perfect some-
thing of the algebraic kind.
There are those mornings
when the spirit stretches out of itself,
reaches up from the breast, radiates from the groin
beyond sex into song and sensual delight
to see light fall on leaves,
growing green glisten with animal sight
-- and the Romance of Photosynthesis begins
There are those afternoons
when knowing beyond saying christens; the body
with love for its own breath
and being breathes in harmony with leaves--
those evenings when the sunsets with red
and blue glory -- even over teeming cities
and glass windows blaze wondrous color,
though children rot in slum gutters
or drug themselves out of the pain
of all that's unfair or insane.
You've smelled the familiar wood, mud, fern aroma,
as red and gold leaves spread a cover over
dried grass and whispering wind on water sings
the stupid and stupendous music of creation,
of an awesome autumn milk-
weed bursts in silk
puffs of seeds and a water spider speeds
patterning the water mirroring your face
amidst scarlet fringes of a maple flecked with green,
serene skies utterly blue with the lies of our lives.
You've seen, heard, felt such awe and you, too,
have tried to speak the watery language of leaves.
as you grow older like me --
lichens blooming on the side of a dead tree.
So, sing a song of peace with me, please,
because death turns to beauty in the dying leaves
and moss is soft and inviting. Tell me, toll me,
please, listen with me to the leaves
aching with eyes and animal sighs
and cries for mercy in the fall from grace
to this quiet, quiet place.
There are still those days when peace reigns
in desire's mouth and nothing more is longed for
beyond the taste of color, music of hearts and lungs,
sigh of sun, wet of water, touch of the sea, sweet
juice squeezed on the tongue. Then
the body is possessed by light
until the pitcher of sleep fills with milk
poured into the moon and a song of sleep
glows in the throat -- giving night its breathy music,
as tortured beasts howl far off in city caverns,
cries from eyes where genitals are plucked flowers
crushed by sadistic curiosity, bled
into troubled sleep. The child
melted by synthetic doom shrieks.
A premeditated alchemic act devised
to sear human flesh, mutates the baby's body
into horror. Brilliantly, germs are bred in laboratories
to foul enemy armies with venereal disease; prostitutes lurk
on the edges of military bases which protect the rich
from the rich -- selling flesh like excrement.
We are all one human creature
bound by one earth
under one sun -- moon mutant nations where all children's
ears hear "Songs of Innocence,"
as corporational apes of toxic wastes
breathe alchemic greed bloated powers bigger
than all our tiny flesh made lives,
or little seeds of giant Sequoia trees,
most ancient living things of earth,
older than king's tombs, true cathedrals
of the blue Pacific as she rocks, swirling
melodies with the Atlantic's green currents,
currencies...rain songs, sounds swell wells,
lakes, faucets, brooks' runes, rivers' tunes,
mystic drafts of summer wetness, cool drink seeping
nearly all water of which we are made one human
bound by one wet planet
under one maddening moon,
under one arrogant sun,
under one pale watery moon,
bright thirsty sun.