Not You-thanasia: I expire! So I take this statement personally. Thus I must be careful, clear, precise And shape well this first draft of heart's desire For fickle future guarantees Not one revision ere demise.
I love my life, and can't conceive What it could be like to lack for it. I plan to spend my last breath's force Struggling to draw just one breath more And my last heartbeat loving leave; But one can't love life unaware of it.
I require not movement, nor pain excised Nor sex, nor peace of sanity But consciousness. If paralyzed, I can still read and watch TV Listen to music and feel the sea Or taste an apple, or smell bread bake Remember, imagine, communicate Know, think, experience, learn, create.
If I'm in pain, do what you can To dull what you can without addling my brain; Permit me to bear the rest of it And if I'm brain-damaged or deranged - Even if living is dim or strange - Please help me to make the best of it.
But if rendered vegetal, ne'er to wake That's death, as I define the term. So don't feed a zombie on a tape Or respirate just to stymie worms. Just let my flesh wither when it's cored For it's of no further use to me. What others need, to them afford And powder the dross for sun or sea.
Pagans and Progress: The Invasion of Sanctuary
At the appointed place The brisk breeze tears onshore With a fine salt kiss And the sea sparkles like first romance. The sun sets smoothly: A golden plum leaching into azure pudding And - surprise! - a half-moon bows westward; A crisp white semisphere rising in the still-blue sky. The beach foliage is packed and not-quite-smooth But solid, like broccoli florets or coral on a reef. Yet a bowsprit part wends its brown way through Like a snail track through slime The yellow snail dozer asleep beside. Even here the roads are rolling.
The shining apple cities Beckon, and we, the Prodigals, drawn from the constant glow To a brighter brittler burning Renounce the genetic shackles of landed gentryhood And flee the heritage for the promise.
For the darker side, the apples Beckon too, and we, the Prodigals, drawn from sharecropping serfdoms To sparkling seas of prosperous possibility Disinherit the sweat-stained toil And the hand-to-mouth hopelessness And flee the wasteland for the promise.
But the bright bit is poisoned The promise unfulfilled. The pastel best and brightest Crisp suburbia's teflon surface While the darker shades among us Share, with stench and worms, the mouldering core.
Hope's mothwings bear us heedlessly To soul-engulfing Molochs; Our lemming strivings launch us thrashing Into inertial tides. From glow to singing pyre From grey to deeper darkness The downside of the tracks Tastes the apple's venomous slice As the uppercrust burns and is consumed.
Tradition flees to immolation Chaos to desolation And amidst the brutal frenzy The seed dies shelltrapped and unborn. Nothing changes. Except to decompose In black hole urban entropy.
Beast Machine was cranking at the Wild Child. Bammers, bouncing like a broke rack, were Careeening off each other's bumpers. A lone atom hung back from the random plasma Wanting to fill the hurly-burly spaces Release to chaos, but instead Sitting as the singer belted incoherencies. Was it too soon? He still limped, and Avoided bumping his left shoulder, though the Doctor said it was okay. He was Still tender, stiff and sore, felt frangible And missed his sling. He still avoided others' eyes, too And had nightmares about windshields Warm dark wetness underbrow, and snapping. The stitches were out now And the scars didn't look too bad, but He felt unhealed yet. His divorce had shattered him More deeply than the accident. How horribly people could hurt one another! But he knew that an unused arm Would wither, and a heart also. Swallowing his pain and fear, he forced the Beginnings of a smile, and after a long absence Once again entered the Dance.
To My Ex-Wife
Upon futher reflection I've discovered how amazingly gone you are. By means of your conspicuous absence You have become the vastest void in my empty universe. I am shorn of security Bereft of reference. Though (and this is how I lost you) When here, you blended seamlessly beneath my arm As solid as the firmament, and as taken for granted Now my heart cries out inconsolably To abrupt dread lonely nothingness.
Nobel Prize Acceptance Poem
Ladies and gentlemen of the hall Honoring hosts, I honor thee Seekers of subtle foundations all. This is what poetry means to me: In all honesty The finest songs 'twere ever sung Passed morning minds elusively Or flowered nights that sleep then plumbed Or burned by fiery garret walls Yesterday, or last century.
Poetry must be pure; Egoless or ego all And in the cleanest and the best That difference spans no width at all. We tremble when the lines are true; But when we tremble constantly We can be sure we misconstrue That what we crab is poetry. Our magick may be laid in reams In wildest sanest throes of dare Or polished fine, for years it seems When even God seems not to care And when we strongest strive 'Tis only silence settles there.
Muse...cannot be reduced To crass cliches' cacophony Or to kitsch puns' profligacy Or to twinned resonant syllables That terminate pointless lines. But when soul's sibilance strings our words And when our deepest hearts are stirred True poetry is heard.
Our rimes are us distilled Yet we are one of many there When muse decants our will. We sing pan-personal When we by miracle succeed And we pen poetry.
Perhaps the whole wide Universe Is striving now to know itself And we are the privileged part The Universal Seeing Eye Armed with life and with sentience.
If such be true Then life has meaning And we are ourselves Our reason to be.
Baybridge Nightfishing Epiphany
The two deep blues are split; The lower one moves with the neap tide. it is the still upper blue I attend to tonight. And it dawns on me As I bait a teetiny minnow How opposites attract, and how The smaller things are, and the larger The more they resemble each other. The world is like a cell And the starry light mites Circling a galactic center Are as electrons orbiting a nucleus. The stars twinkle with Brownian motion As I realize that, like quarks The Universe Itself possesses Charm And Strangeness.
The Gift of the Wise
The Sun and the Semen The Moon and the Blood The Quake and the Firestorm The Fire and the Flood The fear-fettered Soul By Self-Knowledge set free These are the Treasures I offer to Thee.
Each End is Beginning Each Darkness a Dawn Each Life is a Circle A Quest we're all on And for Loving Living Live Love is the Key; These are my Secrets I'll share them with Thee.
The Truth told by many But by few believed Is "Each Boon that's Granted Is Blessing Received." So Do As Thou Wilt Without Harm, and Be Free And in Certain Seasons Come Dancing with me.
Yes, under the Moon Bright By Flickering Firelight In Gaia's Great Garden Come Dancing with me.
Myth and Imagination
Muth, clotted creature of blood memory In Dreamtime where Snakes lie and Tygers be With Bearlike arms enfolds us from gone days And knights us Hunter, Scavenger or Prey.
Imagination...extrapolates The shifting glisten of a moonlit lake Towards spiral lines of silver butterflies Holding the moon to stymie hungry skies.
Life is a starving infant Crying unheard And Death...Death is the Whimper's cessation And the whimper magnified By stark contrast With the ensuing silence.
One would wish the whimper back. Despite the pain Triumph permeates the cry.
Synesthesia A symphony of textures Technicolor moans
Goddess, you come to me tonight as dream nymph. Not quite Jean Harlow, Monroe or a young Mae West But hair blond and breasts of cream You romp in silken scenes from silent movies That in the twenties Anais Nin might have made. Coquesttish even in your wantonness You arch and shrug and stretch - and tug - And touch me with electric fingers. Our nipples brush and harden. You wet my mouth with your moist kisses. Suddenly I am Lawrence of Arabia with horns And a moon shines on your brow As you draw me into the desert tent Through the film, and into you, my oasis. Veils fall and titters morph to moans As we roil rhythmically, in tune with inner tides. I awaken spent. And thank you, Goddess For your bestowal of succubic blessings.
Nothing ever changes. My life is hopeless, I am helpless, And things can only trend worse.
I turn the gas on in my rancid flat, Planning to breathe and die. But the cloying choke demands I rise and flee.
I must make an imminent decision, Or else endure more days of rending pain. So I ignite the pilot, And as the midnight clock chimes demise, I marvel at the loveliness of its blue-green flame Moments before the ending orange blossom.
I glance at the weapon Held in my hand As a way to avert my eyes From the horrid carnage I have wreaked. Thin wisps of smoke Issue from its cursed barrel. So shiny is the pistol! Shiny enough, I dismayingly discover, To present me with a Gunmetal reflection Of the bloody beloved body on the floor.
The dragon lady laid me on my side Then carefully she packed my long-stemmed pipe With finest opium, black and tarry strong And bade me chase the phantoms from my mind. I’d come here scarred by lovelorn pain, despair The one I loved had chosen a loathed other To lie beside instead of me as lover Inhale and dream, ‘tis better than reality I slump, dissolve and leave materiality.
I sink in silken tangles And feel her warmth between And revel in the wildness Of passion joy-redeemed
She thrills me with her writhing And blesses me with moans Our velvet cream comes rising: An ecstasy enthroned.