Night walk

I’ll walk to the cemetery tonight and find you

like we did in college

when phones were fat with squiggly tails

and I always hoped it was you

I’d start off up the hill above my dorm

soft jeans and sensible shoes

loud, blue parka

nothing at all in my pockets

through ushering pines and rotting wet

the still hour

neither day nor night

down that side street so thick with biology it buzzed

I’d break into the clearing where you’d find me

Take my hand

Smoke with the other

Grin at the moon in her misty wrap

Everyone sleeps so we can breathe, you’d say

We were never sad there

Headstone companions

Pretty names and numbers

We’d talk above their bones

and they’d lean into our campfire voices and sigh

The problem of evil

Isn’t it interesting how other animals don’t seem to feel sorry for themselves?

The loss of a child

Starvation

Bitter cold, brutal heat

They simply bow their heads and eat when it’s offered

And how we look so hard within domes and people, that which is offered so baldly in the wild

I wonder

People don’t really climb Everest for the view

God doesn’t want me loved safely behind locked doors

I think he wants us like Szpilman

That gorgeous Jewish pianist who scarcely survived the Warsaw Ghetto in the 1940’s

A desperate Lover of family, strangers

Bewildered with pitched eyebrows

Lame legs, wandering still

So that when we sit at our pianos at last

His drama swells in and out our bodies

like a lighthouse sweeping dark waters for crouching forms,

everyone aching to see and be seen

Divorce

The TV could be on in the other room

You’d be on your laptop half interested in everything, nothing

Anything but me

Our daughter would be somewhere here; absently, greedily eating illusions

And I’d be dying quietly,

no differently than I am now…

Except that now I get to walk the catacomb like a priestess

reading aloud

with Jack Gilbert in my hands

Rumi

Wendell Berry

Annie Dillard

And think maybe I’ll start a little fire in the backyard tonight with the new moon

I am an ocean

I am an ocean

full of dark things that never see light

My body covers the earth

and when the sun bears his touch

I remember how vast I really am

I could spend hours rolling my head side to side

trying to see all of myself

And that’s when you see me and remember yourself too

I am a Queen

A Mother

Reaching for my people

Retreating softly with the night

An abundant solitude

spread upon the dining table of the moon

My Hawk

I love the way she cries

Only does it when she needs to

She beats the sunrise to her totem overlooking the meadow

I try and catch her through binoculars, but what could be better than my naked eye

Then it occurs to me in this moment why I love her so much

She is what my soul wants to be right now

Thought clouds, one by one, passing by

But she is pure concentration

The weight of nothing but hunger on her shoulders

Not food, but sustenance

I might live my whole life trying to grasp the distinction

Buddha Nature

Nature’s ceaseless muscle

Pulls us

From these small hours

These dying bodies

Because the Truth is

Fires that start in space never stop spreading

Sunlight is touchable on a horse’s hip

A soft hand always heavies the eye

And we breathe through our hearts

Knowing the notes of a song we’ve never heard before

I was here

If I live to be a hundred,

I will be just as beautiful as I am now.

My sun heart will still rise before I do.

My moon mind will still gawk about the midnight of my bed quarters.

My star-fire blood will still warm the bow of infinity that is my flesh.

And my earth belly will still roar into the pregnant silence of all our wanting.

-photo credit, my beautiful sister, Stephanie Donovan-

Shapeshifter god

God shows himself in mysterious ways

Sometimes he’s Louis Armstrong on the radio on your way home from work

Sometimes he’s an owl-shaped tealight candle holder, small and gray

That way when you turn off all the bedroom lights

his face flickers in haunting shadow

Actually he’s a million different solitary birds

presenting to each of us one by one

And he sings too

Did you know that?

I actually read that somewhere…

That if indeed in the beginning was the Word

It was probably a sung word

Love letter from my brother

I saw this man wearing a sign today on 42nd street and he reminded me of you

how you would have Loved him

and all the people who never looked up

You’d say–

Maybe the guy behind him is texting his wife

can’t wait for Colorado

Maybe the fella to the right is meeting an old friend from California

Maybe the woman in the red blazer got off work early to spend time with her daughter

Then I thought–

what of all the people we encounter every day

how no one ever looks up anymore

just brushes of hand and commerce

For some strange reason it reminded me of that passage in the bible

that one where Jesus gets his feet washed

Made me want to read one where he washes a man’s face

I bet he did that

I bet he did that a lot

So I stopped and took this man’s picture for you

because we should remember how precious we are, right

And even if what we do matters to no one else but the ones we Love

Congratulations

Shouldn’t they be the ones moved by us most?

Faithfully,

Jack

Drop down

Leap from your structures

There are animals down there clinging to rock canvas as old as God

Leave the dishes

The clothes on the floor

The wine in the bottle

Your nocturnal predator needs her beauty sleep too

Open all the windows

Do you see it now?  I do

There’s a sun ball on your chest reflecting itself