DEDICATIONS, PLEDGES, COMMITMENTS. For the past. For my own path. For surprises. For mistakes that worked so well. For tomorrow if I'm there. For the next real thing. Then for carrying it all through whatever is necessary. For following the little god who speaks only to me. --William Stafford

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Gull

The Gull 

Light and lacking focus
but committed to air

the gull
is blown south,
steered by a north wind away
from whatever is fixed.

Who can understand
the truth of it
but someone arbitrarily reborn
in a stranger's nest?

Who can understand
the exhilaration of feathers
above all the graffiti 
of civilation,

like a soul glimpsed,
leaving the body done?

Friday, November 09, 2012

For the Holy Spirit Loves the Rat

For the Holy Spirit Loves the Rat

Praise be to the rat at her birth
in the dim rain of the sewer, her lungs filled
at the first roll of the dice, with the Good Wind
of God, the Holy Spirit.

Jubilate, from Him will she learn
to run for her life from the cat's long teeth
and the owl's claws.  Jubilate, she will await
the Good News of her own small teeth.

And her own small eye beholds
what she cannot say, and her small ear
makes music of noise.  In the everlasting
geometric light of winter, or

in the slow, flawless light of summer,
the Holy Word of the God who loves her
leads her on the path of crumbs
into the pastures of garbage,

where she becomes Vermin,
who, if she cannot live, in His absence
can always die.  Beseiged,  she will venture
onto the decks of capsized ships, will flee

with no notion of the dark water downstairs,
nor of the wire cages upstairs, where she lends
her precious flesh to the microbes and vaccines
of Science.

At Judgement she will be blameless,
for her sweet trust in the Promise
that if any of us do,
she will live forever.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

To a fisherman in a small boat:

To a fisherman in a small boat:

Old French fisherman's prayer:  O God, Thy sea is so great,
                                                     and my boat is so small.  

no wayward nets
     where sea-gulled winds sing
     darkling in the glassed-off sky,
     where muffled oar-blades pull and wane
          across ice-netted waters

of familiar sun
     the shadows grow
     in silence from damp-caved dooms
     that cannot feel the dripping cold
          nor hear the sodden safety

of the bells.

In Mary's Web

In Mary's Web

The spout of every tide
from green weathers
speaks of shafts of ships
with lost sailors
where the sea rings
in the spinning stars
in Mary's Web

And voices unbidden
of ghosts under capes
suck water
and bubble
and echo again

O receiver
of sailor's bones
run down lost shores
and weather in the shell
until this myth
of silver seabirds
tilt's the Oracle's
spent hammer

After the Close Woven Touch

After the Close Woven Touch

After the close woven touch,
thorn and velvet tongue-tapping
spindrift night,
after the firm dove-tailing of nerves,
gunner, crack-shot, shell and ball
bridging the half-way halves,
 the seeded flesh finds
the inhaling womb.

galleries of man-shaped boys
kicking a bellyful of heels.
roll, grasp, leap toward the burst light,
tear through thickets of bent bone
and drowned dark, crush
and wane in the cruel, sweet and endless
forever, and empty
in the capsized bed.

the salt and watery boys,
riding the shipwrecked waves

Candle Behind the Eyes

Candle Behind the Eyes

The candle behind the eyes
lights, hanging fire bright as tears
that spin of waters where the salt gushes wide
down in their sunny tracks,
down in their seas.

The starved candle burns the bolts,
the fire at the lock consumes
the anchored, frozen, stone-set stare.
Alone and naked in strange waters,
summon out of the sea a lantern, a bell,

and a high, wild harbor.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012



This morning
the defenseless eye of a calf
catches my eye
through the bars of
the slaughtering pen:
Help me.  

At noon
the bruised doe floats dreamlike
across the Honda's hood        
like a constellation floats
across the sky at midnight.  Her eye
looking grievously
into mine  is the eye of
the Archer looking into the
dark heart of the galaxy, seeing
the End of Time.  Help me. 

In our bed
my old cat purrs softly
in the bend of my body,
the sound coming
from some plaintive internal tunnel.
Her eyes are cancers.
They have shaved her to the skin.
Her sad pink body gives off
a kind of light.
She shudders with the explosions
of her own sound, claws working,
heart beating.  The wave of it
climbs and then plunges her
into cat dreams.  She sleeps.

In the dark of night, we sleep
my cat and I, our heads together,
filled with winged things:

          angels and archangels,
          white cabbage moths,
          and slow, incautious sparrows.  

This is another story.

Although the moon
shows no trace of them,
they still exist somewhere in
the memory
of the universe.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Blueprint of a Swimmer

Blueprint of a Swimmer

Divers and keepers of lights and swimmers in solitary waters
                     are lonely folks, I think,
        familiar with crabs, anemones, and annelids.

               They do not fear the inky Kraken,
                nor lumpish dead-men's-fingers,
                nor the stings of the ballooning man-of-war,
                remembering, perhaps how they
                snuggled in liquid shelters
                of underwater cradles far from shore:

                up from curved secluded beaches,
                loosening minute grains of sand,
                        alive and water-borne,
                           carried on a swell
                  that never touched Gibraltar
                    or the shores of Labrador,
        penetrating whiplike the single spilling shell 
                         of a solitary swimmer
                            charting currents,
                              mapping flows 
                    fringing gulfs of smaller seas
         (of brain and blood, of mouth and tongue)
                  that never touched Nantucket   
                      nor the Gulf of Mexico.

Divers and keepers of lights and swimmers in solitary waters
                        are curious folks, I think,
       familiar with urchins, drifting jellyfish, and foam.

                 They measure origins beyond the quay:
                 the primal swimmer's tumbling rush
                 as on the crest of some great wave,
                 like otter, and like lion, out to sea.



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Prize

The Prize

"But life, life
the living think,
is the prize." 

        --Maryan Paxton

Groucho knew the secret word.  It came
dangling from the rafters on the tail
of a rubber chicken.  And God knows
the Word, made gooseflesh, when He said:
Let there be light, that astounding spark
continually challenged by darkness.
It is hidden in the whisper of saltwaves
licking the edges of seashores the world over,
inhabited by protozoa, all fringe and propellers
spinning, and in the whimper of the dog

that stays by his master's grave.
It is audible in every note of Mozart, and on
the heavymetal strings of Iron Maiden.
Every bailed-out Wall Street billionaire
carries it home folded in the pages
of his Late Edition.  It is known to every bum
waiting in the soup lines in Detroit and LA,
by the slowest and the least alert, and by the quickest
and the most vigilant, by the seed triumphant
in the loam of every species, and it is indeed

the prize.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I Deliver a Sermon to Myself

I Deliver a Sermon to Myself

Beloved:  Sit here.  Have a cuppa.  Throw off your shoes
and be comfortable.  Be still, and I will tell you
secrets.  In God's house are many mansions,
and many closets wherein our souls are hung
like greatcoats, female and male, spotted, striped,  

or feathered.  In them, our many pockets store miracles, 
spill answers stitched with strings of light.
In this pocket, find the advice your mother gave you.
You cannot look upon it without hearing
her voice.  This is where lost things are found:

your father's eyeglasses, your brother's hair,
and all dropped stitches are gathered.
In this pocket, find a handful of earth.
In this, miracles, where cancers are turned
into roses, and lesions become pearls.

These are the things that connect us, one miracle
threaded through the keyhole at a time.
In God's kitchens are endless cupboards
filled with loaves and fishes for your delight, and
His table is spread with manna enough

to feed all things, both men and beasts.  Come 
and dine!  Come trade your curses for blessings!
Did you not know that there are rams
in every thicket?  Did you think
you are not loved?


Friday, September 28, 2012

The Departed and the Unborn

The Departed and the Unborn

Beautiful, in their cloaks of light,
their hair a gauzy filament of
spider webs, they pull me out
of this room by my hand to that place
where the holy becomes art, and knowing God
is eternal life.

They cover my shut eyes with coins.
They make a necklace of my teeth,
and like the Bathers at Asnieres, made only
of dots of pure grace,  like points
in a Seurat, they oblige the eye and mind
of the beholder into a lexicon of wholeness.

They are wise as serpents,  harmless as doves
Do they have ears? Yes, but they are stopped
with clouds.  Their lips move.  They say
nothing to me.  Their eyes are sewn shut.
Oh, you departed, you unborn, tell me
your names again, for I have forgotten.

JED  9-29-12

Friday, August 31, 2012


The moon, of course, is always
 there -- day moon, but it's still there; behind the clouds but
it's still there.
                            --Richard Siken

She is going deaf,
 one part of growing old,
heavy as a sigh.
It's always there, a dim figure
like the moon, absent at noon
but nevertheless, always there.
At night it lays itself down with her,
runs into the pillowed darkness
under her ear, a ringing of bells
that fills an absence of sound.
It is something from her aging brain, filling
the enormous void, woven like a bright thread
through her sleep, like ripples from
a thrown rock in a pool of water.
Some part of it is music, sometimes
a string quartet playing a high c-sharp,
other times the reedy whine of a clarinet.
Quieted by day, it sinks like the stone ghost
of the moon, meandering at the edges
of light, but still there,
always there.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

God Can Weep

God Can Weep

Because we have opened our mouths
and they are not filled, and we have, from
Grandpa's Dentist, a gorgeous smile, and did not
have to pay twenty thousand dollars for it, and because
we can't afford not to hear, yet our ears
are dull of hearing 

we have foresworn ourselves, and by our oaths
have brought death

and because Syrian warplanes leveled
a poor neighborhood, burying scores of people,
among them women and children, under piles
of rubble, a hell was prepared for them,
and the killings took place under a late spring sun,
and the people who tried to remove the bodies
were shot,

all flesh is in his hands, and he will do
as seemeth him good. 

And in Mexico, students pondered
their next step, to build
a human fence.

The mountains did not flee before them,
and the rivers turned not from their course,

and the economic recovery is the weakest
since WWII, the consumers are feeble and exhausted,
and their pay checks are shrinking, and they are broke
and nearly homeless, and

Enoch went forth among the people
and cried with a loud voice, and all men
were offended because of him, and said:
there is a strange thing in the land, a wild man
hath come among us

and anti-nuclear critics are crying that executives
on the board that regulates radioactive waste is akin
to having the fox guard the henhouse,

(a wild man hath come among us)!  And the Lord
has cursed the land with much heat, and the barrenness 
shall go forth forever.

Of course, there is Global Warming, the melting
of icebergs, the rise of oceans, the withering of corn,
and the price tag for wildfires has hit $50M.
Does it matter?  Does it matter?  Does it matter?
Does any of this matter?  Do you have any
of the following symptoms?  No Woman
Should Have To Suffer The Way You Do.
Why haven't we been told, generation upon generation?

It came to pass that the God of heaven
looked upon the residue of the people, and
he wept; and shed forth tears as the rain
upon the mountains.  Were it possible
to number the particles of the earth, yea,
millions of earths like this, it would not be
a beginning to the number of thy creations
from eternity to eternity.  How is it
thou canst weep?

In their son's room, they found a sandwich bag
full of oxycodone and acetaminophen pills.  The problem
is now more deadly than car crashes. You can read
all about it in the papers:  Our beloved, our dearly beloved
brother, uncle, friend, passed away at his home, died
as a result of being stubborn and "stirring the pot"
for six decades, died, and the garden's been watered,
the lawns are mowed, and dad's gone fishing.  His ashes
will be placed in Wise River, Montana, at the flumes.
I have passed life's greatest test and I'm home again,
after a long and valiant struggle....

Enoch knew, and wept, and stretched forth
his arms, and his heart swelled wide
as eternity; and all eternity shook.

There will be a viewing.

Teach your children.  Amen.

--Deseret News, August 15, 2012
   Moses  6-7


Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Be Water

Be Water

I teach my sighs to lengthen into songs,
Yet, like a tree, endure the shift of things.
--Theodore Roethke

among things invisible
yet seen, water
is but one thing invisible,
but real,
taking the shape
of everything it touches:
cups and pools, barrels, throats,
fishbowls, seabeds....

you cannot imagine it,
even in sleep, when dreaming
gives a shape and color,
a weight to ghosts
that have not color nor shape
nor any measurable mass
but a mind gone wild.

can you imagine:  what becomes
the field and the tree, yet is neither
field nor tree?  What fills the pot
that boils the rice,
yet is neither pot nor grain
is a shape-shifter
that might as easily
itself, take on
the body of the cup,
the blood of the dreamer.

even science, in all its halls
and universities, measuring velocity,
weighing mass, discerning temperature
(all things as invisible themselves
but real as curiosity or love, as courage,
wind, or breath)
cannot tell how a thing invisible,
of no describable boundaries, remains
itself, unseen as a spirit
in a mirror, assuming the face
of everything.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Sola Gratia,

for I wrote it with disappearing ink,
and afterwards
I could not read what I had written.
And it was as if a great cloud
had drifted over the place
where you laid me,
and the skin from my body
flew like flags
from your fingertips,

for this is what I remember
as if it happened yesterday.
This is what I remember:
that gravity is a sad thing, a thing
that is always holding other things down,

is a cloud that drifts
both inside and outside our brains
like thoughts,  that might be
real, until you think to observe them,
and they disappear at once,
and at once the Word
that is God begins to appear
and disappear like something else
that might be real.
Sola gratia.

Sola gratia.
We bathe ourselves in Holy Water
and it becomes our flesh, we drink of it
and it becomes our blood.

Once we were sparks
blown apart
by a tornado, a solar cyclone
of smoke and ashes,
the stardust of our own creation,
and every wave of every particle
that we are remains in this world
forever, and those electromagnetically
charged particles, every vibration
 will go on forever

 (but which may, in fact,
be as near to us as
our own skin).
We crave forgiveness as if it were a drug, we
need to be fixed,
like old bicycles or broken lawnmowers,
mi perdoni, mi perdoni, mi perdoni,

all of us falling like dominoes, 
men, trees, and animals, all
swallowed down the Black Throat
at the center of every galaxy

to become, ultimately, angels,
each in our own light
stored in tiny coded Planckian bits
of precisely coded information
waiting on the boundaries of grace
to be reconstructed
as stars, planets, and people.

I think I remember now
that what I wrote was a prayer,
or something like a prayer:
mi benedicta, 

for we are risen, and rising,
and whole again, risen from the abyssal
plains and muddy sea beds
like Phoenix, the salt of the earth
clinging to our wet backs
and shining.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Finding Grace at Waikiki

Male and female,
a rib, a little dust.
I almost can not tell
the sound of your sleeping breath
from the sound the surf makes,
wave upon wave, outside our door.

A rib, a little dust, a lone gull on the beach,
and I know again, as i have known before,
that this bird and every bird
will someday lay his feathers down
in some secret place,  as will
the beachcomber who every morning
greets the sun with thanks, lay down
his rubber sandals, leaving
his ephemeral footprints on the shore,
as will the Ohio banker sipping coffee
by the pool, and the little Japanese girls,
who with joyful cries, chase the gull to flight:

every single one of us now breathing
in and out this fine salt air
of early morning
someday will lay ourselves down
in our own secret place.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Night Traveler

Night Traveler

Something happens that
unravels me from myself, unties me,
sets me free.  I do not, in fact,
sleep.  I fly.

REM is absent, my brain alert.
My dream body lifts, and falls
with each breath.

Inhale.  Exhale.  

Beneath me in darkening pastures
flatulent cows chew and belch and fart.
Highways flow with automobile lights rushing
like red and white cells through arteries.
I fly over the rooftops of cities, I leave
this world I love behind.  I fly
until there is nothing but air.

Inhale.  Exhale. 

When the sun has set, stars appear
on my left and on my right, above me,
below me, and I pass a boundary.
On the other side, I am the only thing moving,
and the sun is just another star.

One Story

One Story

In our bed
my old cat purrs softly
in the bend of my body,
the sound coming
from some plaintive internal tunnel.
Her eyes are cancers.
They have shaved her to the skin.
Her sad pink body gives off
a kind of light.
She shudders with the explosions
of her own sound, claws working,
heart beating.  The wave of it
climbs and then plunges her
into cat-dreams.

In the white shimmer
of early morning we sleep,
my cat and I,
our heads together, filled
with winged things:

     slow, incautious sparrows,
     cabbage white moths,
     and archangels.

This is one story.
I hate knowing the ending.

Friday, June 08, 2012



My stone 
 Sleeps in the cradle
Of my hands
Drinking my fire
My stone grows hair
In wonderful curls
Down its mossy back
It loves the ice
That breaks me
More than it loves me
It sings of bare feet
Of blackbirds dying
Of the cracking of heaven
My stone knows black and white
Was there at the hour
Of my birth
My stone knows my name
Understands cemeteries
Knows grief
Talks to God



I am from light, yes, a spark
from the Great Intelligent Light
that set the universe afire,
from love, both spirit and matter, yes,
and from the green living body
of the earth:  oceans and saltgrass,
rain and roots.  I am from amoeba,
invertebrate to vertebrate,
from Lucy.

I am from Ephraim, from ancient Celts
breathing haze rising from peat bogs.
I am from tassled cornfields in Cornwall.
from the fires and peppered spices
of Spain, from El Cid.
I am from salt miners on salt barges of Cheshire,
I am from their empty bellies, and of
the porridge and buttermilk that filled them.

I am from sailing ships and steamboats.
I am from children walking behind handcarts
crossing the vast American prarie.
I am from their frozen feet wrapped in
gunnysacks, from weary feet dancing polkas or
Fylde waltzes and Virginia reels.  I am from
fiddles and string bands.
I am sego lily and lumpy dick and
bread 'n with it, from white salamanders
and the Three Nephites, and funeral potatoes.

I am from gold miners and lumberjacks.
I am from red-headed women.
I am white beans and pot roast,
macaroni and cheese.
I am from books, from the  undying omniscience
of Wordsworth and Keats, from Burns and
Steinbeck and Bradbury,  I am from pleasure
and pain.  I am paper and ink,  and a perfect
brightness of hope.  I am from wings.

Monday, June 04, 2012

A Kinship with Water

A Kinship with Water

"If the millions of women who haul water
 for long distances had a faucet by their door,
 whole societies could be transformed."
                   -- Tina Rosenberg

There are poems that tell us how water rises
as mist, and returns again to rivers and rooftops
as music, or as a white calligraphy of snow.

Shapeshifter, water  fills our glassware
and our gutters alike, disguising itself as birds,
or dogs, or elephants and tigers drinking

from the same shallow pool.  It manifests
as boys on a soccer field, as coffee in cups,
in wadis and in gardens.

There are words that say: sweet water,
bad water, holy water, words that whisper of
water flowing into baptismal fonts, where our sins

 float away like fat turds, or where hidden water
 runs under cities in sewers, or as ice-sheets
 melting at 0.7 millimeters per year, warming

the currents of our rising oceans.
Are we not, ourselves, made of water,
our cells swollen and wet, our blood

a red tide that follows the moon, knowing
kinship with  desert women hauling water
long distances, thirsting, measuring, each drop?

jed 6-2-12

Monday, May 21, 2012

My Brother's Blindness

My Brother's Blindness

"When I consider how my light is spent..."
                            --John Milton, On His Blindness

I think of that first morning
when you wake blind,
that one short moment, a split-
second that will linger for years,
and everything in me softens to tears.
I see how my closed eyelids are a wash
of moving color,
and lose focus.
Although the sun still rises,
the splintered stars still come out, and
each night street lamps are lit,
this world will never again be
a place you can visit.
You will be patient.  Like Milton,
you will only stand and wait.
Wherever you are now, even though
you've stepped away from your body,
a ghost of yourself, I hope
in some other galaxy, in another
dimension,  you may yet see
the light of other suns, other stars,
illuminating everything.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Earth as Body

The Earth As Body

More than stone and mortar will be found
in the process of excavation, retrieval of evidence,
and recovery: a restoration of loss—

    a half-cent piece, a toy dog, a hinge,
    buttons of many shapes and colors,
    a hair-pin, a glove, a shoe...
from top to bottom, from known to unknown.

    a wall, a bone needle, a horn spoon,
    a hatchet, a fish hook, ground water.
 When all this detritus of hunger, thirst, lust, pulse,
and breath is squeezed out, wrestled away, evaporated,
and finally re-invented, once all the grubbing's
done, what's the prize?  New obsessions:

    the rare stillness, the perfect freedom,
    the lighted window. Life.

            —Joyce Ellen Davis

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

To Catch a Young Moon

To Catch a Young Moon

"If you live in Northern might
 be able to catch an exceedingly young lunar crescent..."
 -- EarthSky, April 22, 2012

The almanac portends weather, seed-time and harvest,
and all phases of the moon like a book of poetry.
But there will be no catching of a young moon.
Time counts.  And the moon never looks away.

Night after night after night in its never-looking-away,
its not-so-young face is counterfeit in all earth's mirrors.
It was matched on the waves of ancient seas, before
the swarming ammonites perished, before
the herds of hadrosaurs were lost.  It was there
in the dew of Cretaceous forests, when mammoths
roamed the grasslands of Colorado.
Its dry seas were reflected upon the farther shores
of the Colosseum, in the drowning eyes of
Naiumachiari in their sinking battleships,
and in the dream-blinded eyes of Jeanne d'Arc
crying Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.

The same moon.  The same moon broken in the
moving ripples of Bull Run.  The same moon
luminous as a spotlight over the naked bodies
of a million Jews who died in ditches, with their
eyes open.  The same moon caught in the sleepless
eyes of lovers, lustrous on their naked shoulders
and thighs, their long limbs touching.  The same moon
flashing on their smiles.  The band plays,
Pink Floyd breathes: If your head explodes
with dark forebodings I'll see you on the dark side 
of the moon. Their lips whisper in it's fettered light,
Jesus.  Jesus.  Jesus.

JED 5-1-12

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

the wonderful syncopated robot pig

is born in the basement, birthed
of brother allred's restless dreams

his pig iron heart opens wide
when his master calls

the great man who framed him
moves him forward

with a wave of his thumb
the merest flick of a switch

he waits for the electric circuit
that completes him

some invisible beam of joy
he stirs, lurches, shuffles

and spins, his shoulders and
hind quarters of fasteners

sockets and set-screws
gyrate and whine and his fine

metal bones begin to meander
with an electric grace

in a semblance of life itself
here boy, brother allred calls

come! and the pig comes
knowing in the marrow of his

riveted bones that of all the rare
creatures brother allred has made

with all their bright voltaic
tesla bolts and ball-bearings

brother allred loves him best
and deep in his soul of

threaded gauges and clamps
he knows that he will dwell

in the tender mercies of
his maker forever and forever



Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Unraveling the Magic

Unraveling the Magic: Lift, Drag, & Gravity

"There are books that describe all this
and they are useless" ~ Adrienne Rich

Do fish dream of safety in numbers,
a synchronized clockwork?
Do they sleep, eyes wide,
moving in a telepathy of group soul?
In their fishy dreams, do they always
elude the shark in his oblivious hunger,
his machine of death, turning
in their shoals and shadows,
a watery chorus line recital of
swim left now, swim right, lift, drag,
repeat, repeat, repeat?

And those black swarms of birds
we watched on video, turning over
olive groves in early autumn evenings,
wave upon wave, casting
their dark nets now left, now right,
expanding and contracting, diving into
some place of knowing,
loving one another, their gregarious chatter
loud enough to drive kings mad.

We dream of dark matter, of the knowing silence
of fishes. We dream of flight. Then we thank God,
measuring our maneuvers and aerobics against
what there is, and why there is anything,
saying, Imagine that!

Om mani padme hmm


Friday, March 09, 2012

The Clock of the Long Now

The Clock of the Long Now

"Time is what clocks measure." ~ A. Einstein

" what keeps everything from happening at once." ~ Ray Cummings

but there are those who'd have you believe
everything does happen at once,
that time is incarnate and of one substance, Divine Trinity,
Past, Present, and Future, Maker
of all things visible and invisible.
The world grows old by a series of geologic
accretion of facts. Time is a cyclical event
powered by gravity.

The scripture of numbers is large,
the seconds and minutes adding up to years,
to thousands of years, ticking away like
frames in a film strip, and what you must remember
always, is what you have left behind.

What you learn is holy. It is bread and sleep. It will rise like dough
to wonder, as if its words were stored
like names in a mountain vault, kept dry, accessible
for ten thousand years, waiting to be called forth
like Lazarus, each by his own ineffable tag.

And that thing you must remember from dreams
each millenium when the cuckoo (the last great voice)
calls, is this: the little boat you came in on;
the river becoming a sea; the undertow; the taste
of salt on your tongue; the sweet ache
of that apple, the soft fruit that fell
into your still-young throat as knowledge,

it's seeds and skins (what you must leave behind)
discarded with your uninhabited and mostly irreducible
mortal bones. Remember:


.JED 3-9-12

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Behold the Jumping Spider


"Come into my parlor," said the spider...

Knowing how these things happen, she
drops a lifeline, and carpets the bare floor
of her parlor with a fine gauze
of her own making. Sometimes,

she lies in wait all morning for
her breakfast, the bacon and eggs,
the warm croissants and jam of flies.
Knowing these things must happen

before the dusty zodiacal light of dusk,
the flies forgive her broken promise
of a quick death. She is so beautiful,
with her eight hydraulic limbs, her colors,

her droll little four-eyed face,
her chelicerae, as she leaps forward
and forward into one long
anointed circle of being.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012



So it was, the fallen
Samael, from the dark fringe of heaven
would have eaten the moon for lunch, like a leg of lamb,
with a side dish of stars, but for the holy
army of its queen Asariel, who rules it.

Deep in the river of battlement, she spread her
banners in a bright sheet of splendor across
its deep gutters and ditches.
Asariel, the watchdog, before Samael
with his sassy lips watering for just one more
bite, and another, and still one last morsel,

told himself so everyone's a critic now, saying
it would've tasted like ragweed.

And soon invited the seven sisters
of the Pleaides to feast with him for dinner
upon the the sun's warm brew.

words: fringe, moon, leg, loud, river, sheet, critic, ragweed, dinner, lunch

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Grace is

the night that is light upon us
the world that is spared
the firstborn of everything

the sum of specified order
flawless in every moment
the excellence and beauty of chance

the immanent reconciliation
of power and glory
the bitter experience

the urgent agenda of the elements
and the four forces of nature
the hiding place

the nearness of green pastures
the unified field
the flute by itself

the holiness of wild things
the short list of mortal entitlements
the humane door of sleep

a pardoned death

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Old Oranges

Old Oranges

And so it was

on a Sunday before sunrise
with the moon in the Lion's House,
the Maker of Moons watched the world,
told a story: In the beginning
were old oranges
round as moons, thick skins waxy and pitted
as the thick hides of pigs
that squeal and roll among
acorns and table scraps,
curled peelings of potatoes
bread ends
and carrot tops --
soft, decaying moons,
secondaries, rolling
like the nine moons of Saturn,
the twelve moons of Jupiter,
the two moons of Mars,
in the beneficent slops
where their primaries, the pigs
did paw and root.

And they saw
that it was good.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Saint Francis Preaches to the Rats

for they are the fastidious Brotherhood
of Long-tailed Rodents of the genus Rattus.
He gathers them in a social equivalent
of Congregation. He speaks

but words do not matter. He leaves them
a simple message of breathing: Noble Brothers,
Blessed Sisters, you Nation of Rats,
Give thanks.

And he walks among them, touching
their heads and their tails
with his tunic. He leaves them
his testimony of fallibility, commitment,

and co-operative behavior.
He asks nothing for his sermon. In return
they give him nothing.
On occasion they look back upon

their vulnerable selves
with no clue what is going on but
a wish: escape and a quick lunch
of malt from the miller's bags.

For the Holy Spirit Loves the Rat

About Me

My photo
1. In dreams I am often young and thin with long blond hair. 2. In real life I am no longer young, or thin, or blonde. 3. My back hurts. 4. I hate to sleep alone. (Fortunately I don't have to!) 5. My great grandfather had 2 wives at once. 6. I wish I had more self-discipline. (I was once fired from a teaching position in a private school because they said I was "too unstructured and undisciplined." --Who, me??? Naaaahhh....) 7. I do not blame my parents for this. Once, at a parent-teacher conference, the teacher told me my little boy was "spacey." We ALL are, I told her. The whole fan damily is spacey. She thought I was kidding. I wasn't. 8. I used to travel with a theater reperatory company. My parents weren't happy about this. 9. My mother was afraid that I would run off and paint flowers on my cheeks and live in a commune, and grow vegetables. I once smoked pot. ONE TIME. 10. I don't drink or smoke. (Or swear, much. Well, I drink milk, and water, and orange juice, and stuff. Cocoa. I love Pepsi.) 11. Most of my friends are invisible. 12. I am a poet and a writer. All of my writing on these pages is copyrighted. Borrowing (without acknowledgment) is a sin.