It has the proper format, the proper power
of a noon sung psalm.
We children of the imploring when?
asked to ask, and ask again
what will a proud will never allow?
Watch a son of song with a kind face
ignite envy in stately men
who plan a calendar’d embrace
with ease-filled futures, and ill-kept vows.
The women heavy with canceled longing
have misplaced their perfect tears somehow--
still these plants make
a garden of themselves
and with the one true crown, crown.
For my father read me tales of elves,
laid in bed with me,
a father sent from eternity for me
who took off the shelves for me
pages flash-dipped in the real imaginary
the stuff hearts hold in books
with magic rings, wizards horrible
and beautiful things,
I have no lips to trace you with,
Just these words from screen to screen.
That I might glimpse such galaxies in you,
Scan the passages of this great mind
That holds us and all the hope-filled stars
In its confounding lines, your finite part
Startled by what mine might mean
To one like you, who keeps the old
Ways extant, by cradling the new,
Cleansing fire of our stubborn creed.
I can’t, I might, with half my hours spent,
Spend the other in your beauty’s tent
In some chosen, lovesick city, a crusade away…
For once, the reckoners were right--
The loving heart must doubly pay.
Fears find us.
Many wear watches
And pass out the time
Like poisoned candies
In a waiting room.
Not with sharp knives
In the dark places,
And never silently.
They notice you
On a bench
Or standing in line deciding
What to have for lunch.
They walk right up,
Hold out a hand
And introduce themselves,
And we always grab it and shake.
I was born again
From kite strings
And the blood of lumberjacks' lust for trees.
I stood before the faceless orchestra,
Sinister and divine,
The trumpets shining, the brass and brazen,
Cast a light into my eyes
And I was not a man
or a god
or a girl
or a swan
I was the conductor
Of a thousand reasons
To rain and to love
To catch fire the world
With sounds that had cowered in my soul
light lights burning light
! ! !
She loved Judas before he left
To serve our only Lord, Jesus.
She kissed the eyes closed, cried a tear
For each, cradled an unspoken fear
Among the ruins of their song,
Loved him before his great wrong,
Before he fell, fell to that sin
That God’s great goodness wished to win,
Although the shepherd bore him best,
That wretch who most needed blest.
She loved, with heart, heat, stone, the coarse
Caress of holy human force
Despite his constant woundedness.
Lord, how came again forgiveness?
But she loved as a human would,
With wicked want, a limping good,
And before Iscariot hanged
Himself she sang, and sang, and sang,
A mortal who revealed and laid
Her body where his body stayed.
And God watched as each Disciple stole
Their weeping from His demanding Goal,
For Jesus too loved Judas most
And from his Failure revealed The Holy Ghost.
The long golden garden party afternoon before the news arrives,
The actual appropriate dynamics of everything we compromise
With our delirious longing, all this is just the way of words
When they huddle, affecting happiness in herds.
Let them soften to the fact of the flow of your hair
And love’s favorite lie—“I’ll always be there”.
I always misspell separation when she’s near.
Tonight I’ll get it right, I fear.
Listen, I’m confused.
Did our souls just kiss?
And really, what is all this,
This endless talk of the All?
I know, I know.
I only accidentally call.
And accidents, like loves, are always over fast.
But look, have I shown you
The baubles in my little bauble bag?
In them we might last a life,
Share a pretty thing or two,
Delight in our favorite this or that
We arranged for you to show you you
And me, the I I secretly knew.
The black crow caws as the white raven sighs
Hello blue eyes! hello! over here!
Revealing one simple solid truth,
And a thousand perfect singing lies.
I’m not confused! I love us…but must go
Into the bauble you threw
In my little bauble bag,
The ever-growing bauble bag
Of me, and you.
Existence is a marvelous trap, and you know it,
In the back of the back of the line, feeling vaguely unsure.
Gosh, you think, I could really throw back a few,
When someone steals you by the arm and says, Sir,
You haven’t paid for your ticket, is that true?
And you wonder, for a moment, is that true?
And in the next moment she appears at your side, her,
Like rain on the perfect day for rain, after making love,
And you are both escorted to the double doors now, quietly, and you shove.
Nathan Woods, editor/overlord