Inside The Tent

Inside the tent, before the siren
of seagulls and crows,
the world loses a little bit
of its sovereignty.

If only for a minute or two,
rolled like a napkin in a French
bistro and zoned out to the blithe,
unconditioned air, measuring
time by the breaths of a caving fly
and the meditations of dripping rain.

Beauty above. Beauty below.
With everything out of my breath.

The Sound of God

The sound of God
is a ripple in time,
a wave of gravity that
only humans can hear.

The sound of God is a
window into the universe,

and the flow of time—warped
by a black hole.

The sound of God,
born still and travelling.

What the Greeks Did Not Leave

Without books, the only stories
we would know are those told to us.

In front of a firepit. Before libraries.
Before knowledge of the whole was
impossible. Before we could be in
constant touch, there was only the yard.

That seeing place. That dancing place.
That scene we call play. Without records
and without printed words. Before the films
of our lives were frozen in the seventh art.

Spectacles brought into the living room.
The world’s biggest orchestra in your pocket.

Thousands of instruments grouped into families.

Tight as Bark Ripped From a Tree

I don’t know why
I became an atheist.

I have been told
that a car accident
isn’t a good enough reason.

So, to be honest, I don’t know…

But some nights I touch the Maker,
like the scent in my nostrils that
comes from the Cerulean flames of
an unkempt campfire on the beach.

Scorching and tight as bark
ripped from the skin of a tree.

What Breaks Us

Fake news tells us
that we are divided by
our politics. That’s a lie.

We are divided by chains

of mountains formed by
the folding of the earth’s crust.

Under extreme pressure,
race does not keep

us from understanding,
at least not the way erosion does.

The edges of eons rubbing each other;

the stroke of an earthquake on the elbow and
a volcanic eruption between the toes.

The Least Among Us Included

No more lists.
No more bans.
No more you are not allowed.

No more I get to decide.
It’s not right.

Everyone deserves help.
No more red flags.

No more barriers. Let’s open the doors
of perception. Of reality. Of love and hate.

Let’s do something radical.
Let’s say yes to everyone.

The least among us included.

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image: George Payne