A Political Map of the Poet’s Insides

It may not be visible,
so I’m telling you:
inside me there are countries
where free men and women roam,
love, speak their minds
and chant their songs

bordering others in which
every movement is circumscribed,
speech censored, the very order
too precarious to allow
uncertainty.

Each morning
I survey the map
in hopes that freedom
has begun to penetrate
thick borders
to places
where

the Messiah has not
yet Spoken.

Putting My Questions to the Trees

What are you, trees,
I ask you in
this intimate setting
of your home, the forest?

How can it be that here,
10 minutes from
the whizzing freeway,
my heart begins to tell
its armoured guards that they
can take a break,
my eyes begin to lose
their frozen stare, and dance
with all they see,
and I feel rooted, much
like you, spirit at rest?

If you’re but members of
the “vegetable kingdom,” why
do I feel a window
from God wide open
in your midst?

Are you deer with roots?
You’re quiet and gentle
like the deer, but I suspect

you’re a community of hermits,
Saints or Rishis
who camouflage yourselves
when my kind are around.

Ah, can I know what you are
before I know what I am?

Are both of us
more wonderful
than I’ve dreamed?

California Autumn Poem

Returning to my table
from across the courtyard,
I forgot what season it is!

Did the blush on
the closed magnolia blossoms
mean they were on
their way in or out?

The cool air might be
April or October,
six months’
amnesiac swing.

A pigeon landed
atop a decorative
pile of rough stones.

Side by side,
we wore proudly
our crowns of blue
eternity.

The Open Hand and the Closed Fist

The open hand said
to the closed fist:
“Try this!”

The closed fist
said: “Afraid.”

The open hand said,
“You’ll be part
of Everything!”
The closed fist replied,
“Inside my cave
I must yet cling.”

Open Hand:
“Are you clenched
in anger?”
Closed Fist:
“Deep down, it’s more
like hunger.”

The open hand implored,
“You’ll do yourself
damage if you hit!”
The fist replied,
“I’m not really aggressive.
For protection I do this.”

The open hand then said,
“I’m sad because
you’re blind. The lovely
world you cannot see.”
The closed fist answered,
“For right now,
my business is with me.”

The Open Hand: But oh—
If you could see as I—
and parallel the sky!”

The Closed Fist:
“My cavern is
my safety and
my need.
I’m like a buried,
deeply-dreaming seed.

Some day I’ll open
naturally.
Can you wait and see?

You are open now my friend,
but you were once
like me.”


image: -MRGT (Creative Commons BY-NC-SA)