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