In My Cave
In my cave I saw an oracle study the rocks and send a morning out to play atop the shingles of a gold city. I found myself at the market place looking into the eyes of a flower seller.
I leaned in too far and fell into a moss tabernacle where the queen was a green lily and the king a violet rose. Then kneeling to kiss their soil, I spilled through my lips and followed a bronzing brook toward a great hammering.
Just then a royal trout fell into step beside me. My voice said, "Sir fish I am beginning to parch. Perhaps a drip of your insight would unthirst me."
"Your parchment shall be your mirage andyour oasis," he silenced.
In time we heard the mist from a singing fountain and were expected to strum the spectrum we found effervescing at the center of each bit of mist. We noticed that of all the colors, not one was able to sound the same.
"Watch closely!" said the fish. To my amazement, he gathered the fountain into a feather pen and placed it in my hand. Then he knelt beneath a great parchment tree where I bundled him with the bark--to bring him here--though, when I open the bundle, only the wrappings remain.
Yet that place is not unreachable. I am there whenever the pen decides to sing.
SWEAT WITHOUT END
Several men coil into the hut. Its floor is earth, the odor holy.
Fiery rocks are brought on a metal shovel until the bit blisters.
The sun has singed my skin though Iam noticeably white beneath.
“For those of you who've never sweated
this is about all our people have left.
Almost everything else has been taken.”
Our fireman closes the flap and I, knifed to nothing by the quick dark,
expire into a greater mind to recognize that light of Red Nation that ignites
my insides is more alive than thought itself.
And there are details I cannot give. Meanings unsealed by the steam
I must not refine. Words I find myself singing I did not know before.
This is a place for pray-ers and I re-embrace the power of that medium.
This is sweat too intense too remember--except
the end of Red Cloud's confession:
“And sometimes i struggle grandfather
for I have been taught an Indian is first
an individual yet one who receives strength
from his nation people grandfather.
One who owes strength to his nation people.”
This is sweat—too intense to remember—except the edge of Mohawk's lament:
“And grandfather I pray for the whites
I hear they once had tribes grandfather.
They are now confused grandfather.”
Point Conception, 1978
we were once detained
like a formless puff
in god’s belly
if that’s true
we were as bored
as a one-syllable rhyme
if that’s true
surely our voice revolted
as one almost angry
almost ecstatic scream
if that’s true
somewhere in the fury we forgot
we are mother and midwife of matter:
its fetus its parasite its host
so let us wear the moment
like a baby’s skin
let us love like thunderstorms
in a cage
let us treat each tree
like an original cezanne
and for god’s sake
let us gaze out as god’s eyes
at this wounded world
made of one puff one note
one blessed flesh
I Cannot Begin
Let us Pray:
For the almost extinct cedars of Lebanon
for the dying Dead Sea
for the dead teeth in the Mississippi’s mouth
for the bleached-to-death Indonesian, Australian, Floridian, coral reefs
for the fifteen tons of dementia-inducing mercury spewed daily into the sky
for the crudity of Exxon Valdez and Deepwater Horizon for oil-spill sperm releases in every known sea
for factory farms where the dignity of cattle, pigs, and chickens is slaughtered for the cold-blooded pumps that thrust ever deeper into virgin aquifers
for the neutron bomb, the cluster bomb, and the bunker buster
for the unimaginable anguish in Rwanda, Myanmar, Syria, Yemen, Iraq
for Katusha rockets, helicopter gunships, and creative shrapnel
for the current reincarnations of Genghis, Pol Pot, Mussolini, and Milosevic
for mutually-assured destruction
for collateral despair
for land mines, strip mines, and uranium mines--same result
for mountaintop removal and fracking implants
for automatic weapons in the hands of the walking diseased
for radioactive bullets and widespread silencers
for recruiting children to kill for converting kids into kidnappers, prostitutes, and poachers
for the drive-by ejaculations of gangbangers
for ignoring the virus of poverty for the overweight salaries of those CEO’s who cannot stomach giving back
for unaffordable medicines
for congressmen who fondle healthcare like one of their aides
for the ongoing choking of the soul of indigenous peoples
for the vanished American buffalo and African elephant herds
for the at-risk jaguar, oscelot, cheetah, snow leopard, puma for the fading blue whale, black rhino, red panda, gray wolf
for the exponentially advancing deserts for every river which expires before it tastes its mouth
for the designer holes worn through the ozone blanket
for the weeping and gnashing polar ice for fractured glaciers on every continent
for the common origin of pesticides, pornography, and plutonium
for creative assassinations
for fake presidents injecting epilepsy into our Constitution
for catatonic topsoil
for the global success of hunger for shoving fish genes up the rectums of tomatoes
for holy men who preach roadside bombings and beheadings
for holy men who molest our sacred women and children
for holy men whose beliefs don’t even believe them
for failing to revere God in the natural world
for failing to recognize God in the face of the other
for failing to to discover Ourselves to be the practical stand-in for God
I cannot begin to express my sorrow