There's a stink on the hands of the blood boys.
Nothing to be proud of, Jack. They'll give you
Two hands full of heartbreak with nothing in the middle.
They will come to kill you just to see what your face
Looks like when you die. Their footprints are all over
The place like rats in a dusty room. That's what they
Think you are pal, a dusty room.
Is there anyplace
We can be safe for a little while? I have this terrible
Need to hold you close to me without thinking of anything
But how pure a thing can be.
I can hear something
Crying in the other room. It isn't human. It does not know
Anything but blood and the noise of war, men standing there,
Killing one another as if all this were a play by Shakespeare.
I'll go get the children together. There is still a good chance
We can make it to the edge of the forest before their awful
Idea of God starts up its engine and starts burning everything.
The moon looked as if it had carved
A place for itself in the night's eye,
An aching yellow-blue, it nearly
Sighed across the sky.
We had gone down to the creek.
On nights like these the fish
Would pick up the bits of moonlight
That reached them and swallow it.
Their bodies glowed with the light
That poured through them.
The season found a reflected moon
In the water and shafts of moonlight
Rippled upon the spot
And made magic on the night.
And I am neighbor to this spot.
A light as clear as this,
I tell myself, and think
Of your face as you sleep,
Angels in your skin.
The stuff of dreams that calls
Heaven down into your body.
And the night is Queen
Anne's Lace and the whisper
Song of great things that never
Had a home on this sad earth,
But spoke the angel language
Silence articulates for us.
This is a holy place.
We are a holy place.
For all things must die
And are holy because of this.
The fish swim in circles of moonlight.
Ah, there is no death at all.
THE BLUE THAT SURROUNDS HER
In the morning, she visited me in a dream.
I could feel her take my hand.
I was fevered and could not recall
What she was wearing, but it was her.
There was something essential and immortal
In what she was telling me. A story I believe.
She brought bread. I ate of it and could feel
My bones begin to dissolve. There were wolves
Circling around my bed. She was playing a theorbo.
So this is where it will come to pass.
I will grow old here, knowing the streets;
I will forget her face. I will be looking at the sea.
The mirrors will collect their sparkling tales.
My company in the evening will be
This blue that surrounds her is one I do not recognize.
The song she sings is about a secret way of knowing.
I think I had a sword but somehow it didn't matter.
Whomever is writing this moves it out of his memory.
There is an astonishment that I am able to recall this event.
She becomes very white and begins to burn paper.
The present is singular. It is memory that sets up time.
You will be well. Dream on. Who is speaking?
I become able to see continental drift.
THE ECSTASY OF SHELTER
When the lights go out
I'm still waiting where the grass
Has turned to glass and the petals
Of the snow flowers are so different
From my world that I cannot
Recognize the night. I am above
Her body is so warm.
She touches me so perfectly
I become the room
The angels inhabit. Ah, still
They come. Your eyes, your lips,
My hands, a magic manifest
In that which is blessed,
In that which dwells in wonder.
Oh my love. I am the tree
And the branch and the leaves
And the sun upon the leaves.
I trek my way out of the muck,
Exclaiming that the waters I touch
Are full of serpents and the comrades
Death enjoys his ugly games with.
The lions too rise from the mud,
Red and fierce and tearing
At our flesh as if war and violence
Were the only language spoken here.
The ancient islands rise up,
Lift me up and I can see
You once again. Oh let them
Not come near this holy place
This is a radiant
Glory for such a small moment.
Do not let the threat
Of their foul words
Find us home.
Let us live upon the earth.
Such could be this kiss,
This flame, this pleasure.
Spinning up and down tubes,
Following the flying silver traveller,
The twisted roving, so newly yarn,
Will be plied and creeled,
Pulled through the combs and heddles
And just past the shuttle, become the treasure.
Starlight too is woven into the sky.
The cloth of heaven spun with
The cosmic dust that are our bones
And the fabric body binds our souls
To this universe of dancing carbon
Beings and cotillions of chemical
Extravagance, a drop of water
In the corner of an eye.
We array ourselves in cloth
Upon cloth. We too are looms.
Our ethereal thoughts
Carded, spinning, winding, unwinding
Weaving all the textures of our breath.
THE HOME TO HOME
A ring on a pool of bright water.
Make it tremble upon the air.
Tell me the sky is your singing,
I swear that I'll be there.
This is the home to home.
This is the spirit uncoiled.
This is the endless heart and face.
This is the golden child.
And for a bullet we may have come,
But we forget it all
And I would want no other's touch—
Not angels' silk, no one at all.
But bring me the white of heart smoke
And the red teeth of the fire
For I have known the love you give
And I shall know no other.