Poetry – Hakomi
“Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.”
Poetry from the Hakomi Site
The poetry can be read with the music and interpreted as an abstract companion with the art. Each music composition, painting and poem is associated with one of the 24 chambers of a particular site, of which there are currently four that have been released. The one shown on this page is the Hakomi site. In the WingMakers.com website, in the art section, you can view the poetry and James’ notes related to the art and poetry in the Mixed Media Galleries. Nearly 100 paintings have been released from the four sites: Ancient Arrow in New Mexico; Hakomi near Cusco, Peru; Zyanya in Southern China; and Aadhya in central Australia. There are seven sites in total, spanning all seven continents. Jamala, the site found in Finland, will be the next site that is released.
A fire for You
On this, the shortest day of the year,
I have journeyed to the Great Plains
to build a fire for you.
The night air is cold like a cellar
cut from ancient stones.
But I found some wood among the deserted plains
buried under the grasses and dirt,
hidden away like leaves
that had become the soil.
After I cleaned the wood by hand—its dirt beneath
my nails and the fabric of my cloth
I sent a flame
combusted by the mere thought of you.
And the wood became fire.
There were hermit stars that gathered
overhead to keep me company.
Your spirit was there as well
amidst the fire’s flames.
We laughed at the deep meaning of the sky
and its spacious ways.
Marveling at the fl at mirror of the plain
that sends so little skyward,
like the hearts of children denied
a certain kind of love.
You played with spirits
when you were young among these fields.
You didn’t know their names then.
I was one.
Even without a name, or body,
I watched your gaze, unrelenting to the things
that beat between the
two mirrors of the sky and plain.
I believe it was here also
that you learned to speak with God.
Not in so many words as you’re now accustomed,
but I’m certain that God listened to your life
and gathered around your fire
for warmth and meaning.
In the deserted plains he found you set apart
from all things missing.
Dear spirit, I have held this vigil for so long,
tending fires whose purpose I have forgotten.
I think warmth was one.
Perhaps light was another.
Perhaps hope was the strongest of these.
If ever I find you around my fire,
built by hands
that know your final skin,
between the sheets of the sky and plain,
I will remember its purpose.
In barren fields
that have long been deserted by the hand of man
I will remember.
In the deepest eye of you
I will remember.
In the longest night of you
I will remember.
On this, the shortest day of the year,
I have journeyed to the Great Plains
to build a fire for you.
Who will find me
in the morning after
the winds rush over the barren body
that once held me like a tree a leaf?
Who will find me
when mercy, tired of smiling,
finally frowns in deep furrows of ancient skin?
Who will find me?
Will it be you?
Perhaps it will be a cold morning
with fresh prints of snow
and children laughing as they
lay down in the arms of angels.
Perhaps it will be a warm evening
when crickets play their music
to the stillness of waiting stars.
Perhaps it will be the light
that draws me away
or some sweet surrender that captures me
in its golden nets.
Who will find me
when I have left and cast
my line in new waters trickling
so near this ocean of sand?
Listen for me when I’m gone.
Listen for me in poems
that were formed with lips mindful of you.
You who will outlast me.
Who linger in the courage I could not find.
You can see me
in these words.
They are the lasting image.
Last night we talked for hours.
You cried in unstoppable sorrow,
while I felt a presence carve itself into me
source and savior of your dragging earth.
You feel so deeply,
your mind barely visible
staring ahead to what the heart already knows.
I see the distance you must heal.
I know your pacing heart bounded by corners
that have been rounded and smoothed
like a polished stone from endless waves.
For all I know you are me
in another body,
slots where spirits reach in
to throw the light
Prowling for crowns.
Are there ways to find your heart
I haven’t found?
You, I will swallow without tasting first.
I don’t care the color.
Nothing could warn me away.
Nothing could diminish my love.
And only if I utterly failed
in kinship would you banish me.
Last night, I know I was forgiven.
You gave me that gift unknowing.
I asked for forgiveness
and you said it was unneeded;
time shuffled everything anew
and it was its own
But I know everything not there
was felt by you and transformed.
It was given a new life, though inconspicuous,
it wove us together to a simple, white stone
lying on the ground that marks a spot of sorrow.
Beneath, our union, hallowed of tiny bones
beseech us to forgive ourselves
and lean upon our shoulders
in memory of love, not loss.
Blame settles on no one;
mysterious, it moves in the calculus
of God’s plan as though no one thought
to refigure the numbers three to two to one.
The shape stays below the stone.
We walk away,
knowing it will resettle
in our limbs
in our bones
in our hearts
in our minds
in our soul.
Nature of Angels
Midnight in the desert and all is well.
I told myself so and so it is,
or it is not,
I haven’t quite decided yet.
Never mind the coyotes’ howl or
the shrinking light.
Holiness claims my tired eyes
as I return the stare of stars.
They seem restless, but maybe they’re
just ink blots and I’m the one
who’s really restless.
There is something here that repeals me.
In its abundance I am absent.
So I shouted at the desert spirits,
tell me your secrets
or I will tell you my sorrows.
The spirits lined up quickly then.
I heard many voices become one
and it spoke to the leafless sky
as a tenant to earth.
We hold no secrets.
We are simply windows to your future.
Which is now and which is then
is the question we answer.
But you ask the question.
If there is a secret we hold
it is nothing emboldened by words
or we would commonly speak.
I turned to the voice,
what wisdom is there in that?
If words can’t express your secret wisdom,
then I am deaf and you are mute and we are blind.
At least I can speak my sorrows.
Again the wings fluttered
and the voices stirred
hoping the sorrow would not spill
like blood upon the desert.
But there were no more sounds
save the coyote and the owl.
And then a strange resolution suffused my sight.
I felt a presence like an enormous angel
carved of stone was placed behind me.
I couldn’t turn for fear its loss would spill my sorrow.
But the swelling presence was too powerful to ignore
so I turned around to confront it,
and there stood a trickster coyote
looking at me with glass eyes
painting my fire, sniffing my fear,
and drawing my sorrow away in intimacy.
And I understood the nature of angels.
Strike the flint that burns
a lonely world
and opens blessed lovers
to the golden grave of earth’s flame.
Listen to the incantation
of raindrops as they pass from gray clouds
to our mother’s doorstep.
Dreams of miracles yet to come
harbor in their watery husks.
Stand before this cage
splashed with beauty and stealth
and arranged with locks that have grown frail.
A simple breath
and all life is joined in the frontier.
Here is the masterpiece of creation
that has emerged from the unknown
in the depths of a silent Heart.
Here is the laughter sought
among rulers of death.
Here are the brilliant colors of rainbows
among the spilling reds that purge our flock.
Here is the hope of forever
among stone markers that stare through eyelids
released of time.
Here are the songs of endless voices
among the heartless dance of invisible power.
There is an evening bell that chimes
a melody so pure
even mountains weep
and angels lean to listen.
There is a murmur of hope that sweeps
aside the downcast eyes of hungry souls.
It is the fragrance of God
writing poems upon the deep blue sky
with pin-pricks of light and a sleepless moon.
It is the calling to souls
lost in the forest of a single world
to be cast, forged, and made ready
for the final dream.
I’ve set loose the guards that
stand before my door.
I’ve let cells collide in suicide
until they take me.
If there were stories left to tell
I would hear them.
Behind the waterfalls of channeled panic
spilling their prideful progeny
I can stay hidden in the noise.
Being invisible has its cameo rewards.
It also keeps visible the durable lifeform
murmuring beneath the wickedness.
This is truly the only creature I care to know,
with luminous ways of sweet generosity that suffers
in the untelling universe
of the unlistening ear.
When I am found out—after I am gone—
by a stranger’s heart whose drill bit
is not dulled by impersonation,
I will open eyes, peel away skin,
awaken the heart’s coma.
I will set aside the costumed figure
and redress the host
so its image can be seen in mirrors
I set forth with words bugged by God.
When these words are spoken,
another ear is listening on the other side
like lasers, their neutral light.
The common grave of courage holds us all
in the portal of singularity,
the God-trail of rebeginning.
Somehow, so seldom, words and images
thrust their meaning into heaven and conquer time.
But when they do,
they become the abracadabra
of the sacred moment.
The pantomime of the public’s deepest longing.
the improbable eyelid glances open,
the skin folds away,
and the heroic eye awakens and remains alert.
Afterwards, the words eat the flesh and leave behind
the indigestible bitterness.
The emotional corpse shed,
an insoluble loneliness.
The cast of separation.
I once wore an amulet
that guarded against the forceps of humanity.
It kept at bay the phalanx of wolves
that circled me like phantoms of Gethsemane.
Phantoms that even now
replay their mantra like conch shells.
Coaxing me to step out and join the earthly tribe.
To bare my sorrow’s spaciousness
like a cottonwood’s seed to the wind.
Now I listen and watch for signals.
To emerge a recluse squinting in ambivalence
inscribed to tell what has been held by locks.
It is all devised in the sheath of cable
that connects us to Culture.
The single, black strand that portrays us to God.
The DNA that commands our image
and guides our natural selection of jeans.
Are there whispers of songs flickering
in dark, ominous thunder?
Is there truly a sun behind this wall of monotone clouds
that beats a billion hammers of light?
There are small, fl at teeth that weep venom.
There is an inviolate clemency
in the eyes of executioners while their hands toil to kill.
But there is no explanation for
voyeur saints who grieve only with their eyes.
There is only one path to follow
when you connect your hand and eye
and release the phantoms.
This poem is a shadow of my heart
and my heart the shadow of my mind,
which is the shadow of my soul
the shadow of God.
God, a shadow of some unknown, unimaginable
cluster of intelligence where galaxies
are cellular in the universal body.
Are the shadows connected?
Can this vast, unknown cluster reach into this poem
and assemble words that couple at a holy junction?
It is the reason I write.
Though I cannot say this junction has ever
been found (at least by me).
It is more apparent that some unholy hand,
pale from darkness, reaches out and casts its sorrow.
Some lesser shadow or phantom
positions my hand in a lonely outpost
to claim some misplaced luminance.
The phantom strains to listen for songs as they whisper.
It coordinates with searching eyes.
It peels skin away to touch the soft fruit.
It welds shadows as one.
I dreamed that I found a ransom note
written in God’s own hand.
Written so small I could barely
read its message, which said:
“I have your soul, and unless you deliver—
in small, unmarked poems—
the sum of your sorrows, you will never
see it alive again.”
And so I write while something unknown is curling
around me, irresistible to my hand, yet unseen.
More phantoms from Gethsemane who honor
sorrow like professional confessors lost in their despair.
I can reach sunflowers the size of
moonbeams, but I cannot reach the sum of my sorrows.
They elude me like ignescent stars that fall nightly
outside my window.
My soul must be nervous.
The ransom is too much to pay
even for a poet who explores the black strand of Culture.
Years ago I found an
Impression—like snow angels—left in tall grass
by some animal, perhaps a deer or bear.
When I touched it I felt the warm presence of life,
not the cold radiation of crop circles.
This warm energy lingers only for a moment
but when it is touched it lasts forever.
And this is my fear:
that the sum of my sorrows will last forever
when it is touched, and even though my soul
is returned unharmed,
I will remember the cold radiation
and not the warm presence of life.
Now I weep when children sing
and burrow their warm presence into my heart.
Now I feel God adjourned by the
source of shadows.
Now I feel the pull of a bridle,
breaking me like a wild horse turned
I cannot fight the phantoms
or control them or turn them away.
They prod at me as if a lava stream should
continue on into the cold night air
and never tire of movement.
Never cease its search for the perfect place to be a sculpture.
An anonymous feature of the gray landscape.
If ever I find the sum of my sorrows
I hope it is at the bridgetower
where I can see both ways
before I cross over.
Where I can see forgeries like a crisp mirage
and throw off my bridle.
I will need to be wild when I face it.
I will need to look into its
unnameable light and unravel
all the shadows interlocked like paper dolls
and cut from a multiverse of experience.
To let them surround me
and in one resounding chorus
confer their epiphany so I
can hand over the ransom and reclaim my soul.
When all my sorrows are gathered round
in an unbroken ring I will stare them down.
Behind them waits a second ring,
larger still and far more powerful.
It is the ring of life’s warm presence
when sorrows have passed
underneath the shadows’ source
and transform like the dull chrysalis
that bears iridescent angels.
My son is two.
I watch him walk
like a drunken prince.
With his body bare I can see
his soul better.
His shoulder blades
gesture like vestiges of wings.
His features stenciled upon pale flesh
by hands that have been before me.
He so wants to be like me.
His every movement like a dusty mirror
or awkward shadow of a bird in flight.
Every sound an echo heard.
Every cell pregnant with my urges.
But my urge is to be like him.
To return to childhood’s safe embrace
and certain honor.
If I return to this place
I hope my eyes will look again upon his face
even until his blades are wings once more.
Until I have circled his creaturehood
and know every hidden cleft
where I have left my print indelible
unable to be consumed.
Until all that he is
is in me and our hands are clasped, forged,
entwined, in voiceless celebration.
Until we are alone like two leaves
high above a treeless landscape
never to land.
Sun walks the roof of the sky
with a turtle’s patience.
Circling endlessly amidst the black passage
of arrival and retreat.
Moon can shape shift
and puncture the confident darkness.
The weaker sister of sun
it bleeds light even as it dwindles
to a fissure of fluorescence.
Black sky like a monk’s hood draped
over stars with squinted eyes.
exiled to overspread
the dark lair of the zodiac.
This silent outback where
light is uprooted and cast aside
beats like a tired clock uneven.
It dreams of sunlight passing so
it can follow like a parasite.
Tired of meandering in absence it
wants to live the speed of light and feel its directness.
Wishing to stay alive in light years
and not some recumbent eternity.
Desiring the sharp pain of life
to the dull, numbing outskirts of ancient space.
Darkness follows light like a tireless
wind that pours over tumbleweeds.
But it always seems to outlast the people
if not the light.
Space is curved
so no elevator can slither to its stars.
Time is a spindle of the present
that spins the past and future away.
Energy is an imperishable force
so permanence can be felt.
Matter flings itself to the universe,
perfectly pitiless in its betrayal of soul.
You can only take away
what has been given you.
Have you not called the ravens the foulest of birds?
Is their matter and energy so different than ours?
Are we not under the same sky?
Is their blood not red?
Their mouth pink, too?
Molten thoughts, so hot they fuse space and time,
sing their prophecies of discontent.
Listen to their songs in the channels of air
that curl overhead like temporary tattoos
of light’s shimmering ways.
Am I merely a witness of the betrayal?
Where are you who are cast to see?
How have you been hidden from me?
Is there a splinter that carries you to the whole?
If I can speak your names
and take your hands so gentle you would not see me,
feeling only the warm passage of time
and the tremor of your spine moving you to weep.
Space is curved so I must bend.
Time is a spindle so I must resolve its center.
Energy, an imperishable force I must ride.
And matter, so pitiless I refuse to be betrayed.
So I stand naked to the coldest wind
and ask it to carve out
an island in my soul
in honor of you who stand beside me
Lonely, I live on this island
assured of one thing:
that of space, time, energy, and matter;
Yet when I think of you
in the cobwebbed corner,
hove led without wings
like a seed planted
beneath a dead tree stump,
I know you are watching
with new galaxies wild in your breast.
I know you are listening
to the lidded screams
smiling their awkward trust.
All I ask of you is to throw me
a rope sometimes
so I can feel the permanence
of your heart.
It’s all I need
in the face of nothing matters.
I have held a vigil for lucidity
out in the horizonless fields where nothing shines
but the light of my fire
and the silver disk of the endless night.
Suddenly, it’s clear that I’m alone in the wilderness
without human eyes to reach in to.
Alone with my treasure of sounds
in the pure silence of arrival.
Awake and Waiting
Child-like universe emerging from darkness,
you belong to others not I.
My home is elsewhere
beyond the sky
where light pollinates the fragile borders
and gathers the husk.
In the quiet of the desert floor
my shell lingers in the pallid dusk
of a starved garden.
What holds me to this wasteland
when others clamor for shadows
and resist the vital waters?
Where the ripening magnet
holds us blind.
kindling the presence of a timeless world
hunting for memories of a radiant love;
tune their hearts to the key of silence.
It is there I am waiting.
O’ Paradise shore
give me the heart to bear.
Give me the lamp that sings at night.
Give me the wings to strive against wind.
Give me the smile to translate life into light.
Time obliterates the human moment.
No one is absolved
while beauty burns to charred ash
too frail to last
too secret to call.
I will see clearly again
past lives coarsened by time’s reign.
My light will retake its wings;
its evergreen roots will embrace the sane earth
And this tiny fragment,
spinning in silence among giant orbs unseen
will resolve my soul and help me find
the one heart awake and waiting.
What is Found Here
What is found here
can never be formed of words.
Pure forces that mingle uncompared.
Like dreams unspoken when first awoken
by a sad light.
What is found here
can limp with one foot on the curb
and the other on the pavement
in some uneven gait
waiting to be hidden in laughter.
What is found here
can open the swift drifting of curtains
held in mountain winds
when long shadows tumble across like juries
of the night.
What is found here
can always be held in glistening eyes.
Turned by silence’s tool of patience.
Like feelings harbored for so long
the starward view has been lost.
Memory, like a root in darkness,
piercing light with its stem
has found me.
Ordering my world
like architecture of feelings
bound to you,
held for you as shields of hope.
In the dispersion of love,
has been our call
answered in the sweetest caress
two can share.
And you wonder if ecstasy will diminish us
like rain the sun or
wind the calm.
When we know one another
in the deepest channel of our hearts
we can only utter one word
cast from this stone’s mind: forever.
When winter calls my name
in the highest desert of light,
I will not despair because I know you
in the deepest channel of my heart
where I understand the word, forever.
Instantly healed by your caressing lips
that unmasks all that has tortured me.
The panting of mouths
tired but astir in passion’s flame
can only cease when I have entered you
I carry you in this flame,
emerald-colored from my dreams of you
beneath the trees within
where your beauty consumed the sun
and snared my soul so completely.
I cannot truly know you apart
from a throne.
Spirits made to shine beyond the din
of boorish poets
that strike flint below water and cry without passion.
I have known you forever
in lonely streets
and the thundered plain.
In wilted villages and cool mountain terraces.
I have watched all of you
torn open to me speaking like a river
that moves on forever.
And I have waited
like the greedy mouth of an ocean
drawing you nearer to my lips
so I can know you forever
as you empty into me abandoned of all fear.
Longing, when the eyelids open
upon the deepest stimulus held by your lips
and the amorous kiss becomes my orbit.
I ache and long to have you with me
so close our skin would melt together
like two candle wicks sharing wax.
I only know that what is of soul
is of longing and ache.
It delivers me to the edge,
the precipice where I look down
and see myself inextinguishable,
longing to be consumed by you.
And in that glittering place
let me stretch with your heart
at full speed, blind and intent.
Let me dwell in you
until I am so familiar with our union
that it becomes part of my eyes.
With memory full,
we can walk home,
in the permanence of longing.
So much a part of the other
that the other does not exist.
Song of Whales
Your voice lingers when it speaks
like rippling heat over desert floor.
It draws my heart and I find myself
leaning toward its source
as though I know it will take me
where you always are.
It draws me near to your breath—the spiracle that
holds the words of home.
It draws me to the blanket you hold
around your soul you so willingly share.
If you were to dive below the waters
where the whales sing their songs
into the gathering of deep currents
that pull our courage along,
channels that flow free of worldly levels,
you would find me there.
Listening to the voice I hear in you.
Feeding my heart in the waters of deep blindness
where currents flow
mindful of you and your spirited ways.
Sometimes I listen so perfectly
I hear your soft breath forming words
before they are found by you.
Before you can bring them from
the deep blindness to your heart.
I wish I could take your hand
and let it hold my heart
so you could see what I know of you.
So you could know
where we live where we always are.
And you could pull your blanket of words
around us and I could simply listen
to your voice
that honors words
like the songs of whales.
Through this night I have slept little.
My eyes, closed like shutters
with slats that remain open,
wait to invent dreams
of some charred reality.
I sense you, but no weight on my bed.
No shift or creaking other
than my own restlessness.
and released to the night
like a mantra slowly drowned in music.
Your presence grew with the music
devouring it in silence.
You came to me so clear
my senses aroused in electric storms of clarity.
The buzz of mercury lamps
alongside rutted roads,
shedding their weightless light.
In all of this waiting for you
no fortress or foxhole bears my name.
I lay on the Savannah
staring at the sun hoping against hope
it blinks before I do.
My wounded cells,
tiny temples of our mixture,
have weakened in your absence.
I can feel them wail in their miniature worlds.
My feet resist their numbness,
deny them their war.
As I lay here alone
waiting to be gathered into your arms,
I ask of you one thing,
remember me as this.
Remember me as one who loves you
Who pierces shells, armor, masks,
and everything protecting
your spirit in needless fervor.
Remember me as this.
As one who loves you unmatched
by the deepest channels
that have ever been forged.
Who will love you anywhere and always.
And if you look very closely at my love
you will not find an expiration date,
but instead, the word, imperishable.
One skin may hide another,
I remember this from a poem when I
launched a fire across a field of deadness.
At least, to me, it seemed dead.
I felt like a liberator of life force
renewing the blistered and dying grasses.
Actually, more weeds than grass,
but nonetheless, the flora had flat-lined.
I peeled back skin with holy flame
and brought everything to black again
as though I called the night to descend.
From blackness will arise a new skin
cresting green architecture from a fertile void.
As the flames spread their inviolable enchantment
I saw your face spreading across my mind.
Remember the fire we held?
I hoped it would unfurl a new skin
for us as well.
Forever it will roam inside me
invariant to all transformations and motions.
One person may hide another,
but behind you, love is molting a thicker skin
than I can see through.
No flame can touch its center.
No eyes can browse its memory.
I want nothing behind you in wait.
Seconds tick away like children growing
in between photographs.
I will not forget you in the changes.
Cursed with memory so fine
I can trace your palm.
I can inhale your sweet breath.
I can linger in your arms’ weight.
I can hear your exquisite voice
calibrate life with celestial precision.
One purpose may hide another.
I heard this as the fire died out
to reveal the scent of the wet earth
and growing things.
I could feel my love decompose
returning to the uninhabited realm
where it belongs.
Where all hearts belong when
love is lost, and the code of the mute,
coiled in fists that pound,
reveal the wisdom of another.
Facing another evening without you
I am torn from myself
in movements of clouds,
movements of earth spinning
like the sure movement of lava as it rolls to sea.
Yet when I arrive from my dream
you are still gone from me
twenty-three footsteps away;
a bouquet of the abyss.
When I look to the east I think of you
softly waiting for me
to chisel you from the matrix
with smooth hammer strokes
from my hands.
Freed of barren, untouched shoulders,
you can open your eyes again
flashing the iridescent animals,
valiant vibrations of your rich spirit.
Your picture is the centerpiece of my table
I stare at you in candlelight,
the windows behind, black in their immensity,
only enlarge you.
Making you more of what I miss.
At night I go among your body
to feel the presence of your heart beating
spun from another world.
You can feel me when this is done
though I am invisible in all ways to you, but one.
A reflection in the mirror.
Beneath your eyes
you see me dancing away the body.
Dancing away the mind.
Dancing away the incarnations
of my absence.
When I see your face I know you are half mine
separated by the utmost care to remember all of you.
When I undress my body I see that I am half yours
blurred by sudden flight that leaves
the eye wondering what angels carved in their hearts
to remind them so vividly of their home.
When I see your beauty I know you are half mine
never to be held in a polished mirror
knowing the faithful hunger of our soul.
When I watch your eyes I know they are half mine
tracing a trajectory where sensual virtue is the very spine of us.
When I hold your hand I know it is half mine
wintered in kinship, it circles tenderness
beneath the moon and well of water when the feast is done.
When I kiss your lips I know they are half mine
sent by God’s genealogy to uncover us
in the delicious cauldron of our united breath.
When I hear you cry I know your loneliness is half mine
so deep the interior that we are lost outside
yearning to give ourselves away
like a promise made before the asking.
And when I look to your past I know it is half mine
running to the chokecherry trees
invisible to the entire universe we found ourselves
laughing in sudden flight
eyeing the carved initials in our hearts.
Sparing the trees.
Chamber Twenty One
Language of Innocence
When a river is frozen,
underneath remains a current.
When the sky is absent of color
beneath the globe another world comes to light.
When my heart is alone
somewhere another heart beats my name
in code that only paradise can hear.
Is my heart deaf
or is there no one
who can speak the language of innocence?
Innocence, when words
suffer meaning and gallop away in its presence.
I have seen it.
I have loosened its secrets in the blushing skin
when upturned eyes witness its home
and never turn away.
And never turn away.
There is this world
of slumbering hearts and hollow love,
but it cannot carry me to daylight.
My craving is so different
and it can never be turned away.
Chamber Twenty Two
Angels must be confused by war.
Both sides praying for protection,
yet someone always gets hurt.
Someone cries so deep
they lose their watery state.
Angels must be confused by war.
Who can they help?
Who can they clarify?
Whose mercy do they cast to the merciless?
No modest scream can be heard.
No stainless pain can be felt.
All is clear to angels
except in war.
When I awoke to this truth
it was from a dream I had last night.
I saw two angels conversing in a field
of children’s spirits rising
like silver smoke.
The angels were fighting among themselves
about which side was right
and which was wrong.
Who started the conflict?
Suddenly, the angels stilled themselves
like a stalled pendulum,
and they shed their compassion
to the rising smoke
of souls who bore the watermark of war.
They turned to me with those eyes
from God’s library,
and all the pieces fallen
were raised in unison,
coupled like the breath
of flames in a holy furnace.
Nothing in war comes to destruction,
but the illusion of separateness.
I heard this spoken so clearly I could only
write it down like a forged signature.
I remember the compassion,
mountainous, proportioned for the universe.
I think a tiny fleck still sticks to me
like gossamer threads
from a spider’s web.
And now, when I think of war,
I flick these threads to the entire universe,
hoping they stick on others
as they did me.
Knitting angels and animals
to the filamental grace of compassion.
The reticulum of our skyward home.
Chamber Twenty Three
Waking this morning,
I remember you.
We were together last night
only a thin sheet of glass between us.
Your name was not clear.
I think I would recognize its sound,
but my lips are numb
and my tongue listless from the
climb to your mouth.
Your face was blurred as well,
yet, like a distant god
you took your heart and hand
and there arose within me
a separate being.
I think you were lonely once.
Your only desire, to be understood,
turned away by some vast shade
drawn by a wisdom
you had forgotten.
So you sang your songs
in quiet summons to God
hoping their ripples would return
and gather you up.
Brighten your veins
and bring you the unquenchable
kiss of my soul.
Drunken by a lonely name
you stagger forward
into my nights, into my dreams,
and now into my waking.
If I try to forget you
you will precede my now.
I would feel your loss
though I can’t say your name
or remember your face.
I would awaken some morning
and long to feel your skin upon mine
knowing not why.
Feeling the burn of our fire
so clearly that names and faces
bear no meaning
like a candle flicking its light to the
Chamber Twenty Four
Of beckoning places
I have never felt more lost.
Nothing invites me onward.
Nothing compels my mouth to speak.
In cave-like ignorance, resembling oblivion,
I am soulless in sleep.
Where are you, beloved?
Do you not think I wait for you?
Do you not understand the crystal heart?
Its facets like mirrors for the clouds
absent of nothing blue.
Invincible heaven with downcast eyes
and burning bullets of victory that peel through flesh
like a hungry ax,
why did you follow me?
I need an equal not a slayer.
I need a companion not a ruler.
I need love not commandments.
Of things forgotten
I have never been one.
God seems to find me even in the tumbleweed
when winds howl
and I become the wishbone in the hands
of good and evil.
Why do they seek me out?
What purpose do I serve
if I cannot become visible to you?
You know, when they put animals to sleep
children wait outside
as the needle settles the debt of pain and age.
The mother or father write a check and
sign their name twice that day.
They drop a watermark of tears.
They smile for their children
through clenched hearts beating
sideways like a pendulum
And I see all of this and more in myself.
A small animal whose debts are soon to be settled.
Children are already appearing outside
waiting for the smile of parents to reassure.
The signature and watermark
they never see.
Of winter sanctuary
I have found only you.
Though I wait for signals to draw me from the cold
into your fire
I know they will come
even though I fumble for my key.
Even though my heart is beheaded.
Even though I have only learned division.
I remember you
and the light above your door.