DAYLILIES

201-
Another silent dawn.
Deviations from the circular bird-baths.
Undetected noises from the untried scepters.

The unhurried fires behind the eyes
of the Tao followers.

The bones of the universe
crackling from their memories.
Clouds passing over weather written words.
Just another forest of pagan origins
that begins in the middle of a Germanic city
that has its deviations.

202-
Sophist portals
 on the eight state borders of Missouri
 leading in all directions.

The periwinkles in many tiers
 facing the great rivers of progress
without shutting their eyes
to a crumbling Anubis
obsessed over the shadowy dead
and their grip on the world's gold.

The forbearance of the people
who cannot return to their ancestral tombs
 without being tested
by the many make-shift memorials
that call out in the night with
ghostly sounds.

203-
Remember or forget whatever you wish to.

Life is arbitrary except for death.

Even if you are a cautious person,
you can never become a stone or
have your soul measured by the wind or
made unfit by the Earth's dissonance.

Whatever quiet achieved might not be enough
to give you peace of mind.

Instead you must learn to live with your emptiness
before stepping out in the beyond
for a final reckoning.


204-

Bongos, loud voices and rants.

It takes a rainstorm to drive the crazies
off the East Village streets.

While the haunted live alone
 in squalor

and dine on Hot Pockets, and
never think about death.


During the 'dog days of summer,'
the playful kids cool off
by opening the hydrants,

which in turn
washes off the dog shit from the curbs.


But no matter what happens in this circus-like neighborhood
of effortless trickery, verbal elasticity and brass rings,
there's always a gleam

coming from the storefront windows
as the conservative Polish immigrants, bikers, and stoner residents
somehow co-exist by not making contact with each other.


205-
I can't sing anymore
under this poplar tree,

whose branches
always are so still.

Only in my dreams
can I see the majestic mountains
I once imagined would exist for me
if I led a good life.

When it rains
I want to get stoned,
to laugh at myself in the dark,
to listen to Chopin
and to call out to the gods
that all religions
run into the ocean
its followers will drown in
if they go out too far.

206-
I dread winters more than I should.
The gray skies depress me.
All I see above and below are nations
distorted by corruption.

When I noticed how bright the full moon was,
I imagined how my heart would burst with joy
if that was really me walking so fast on the trail
to the top of Mount Mansfield.

207-
So What if I can't see tonight the stars
in the cloudy sky

or the nearby hills in the thick mist

or my way home in the darkness.

Yesterday I could sing and dance and play.

Even if the red wine was spilling over the deep sea,
I could have walked over it if I knew what I know today.


208-
I can see myself
in the clear light
of my dreams,

while in my garden
all the red roses
have died and

the wind is so strong
it rips fiercely across
the heart of my house
making such a racket
I can't hear what I think
I'm supposed to.

209-
Apprehension is the dark root in my heart
whose flowers resemble a boat that never
can get out of the water without sticking
to the mud on the heels of the sea's basin.

Haloed in meds, the captain's puppy voyage
was amid the Islamic chants from the remote African ports
and from the uncaged parrots sounding off
on the trees outside of Abyssinia,
with the echoes bouncing off
the coastal rooftops at dusk
with a sense of immediacy
for the compensating Moors,
who lived a desert life for a thousand years
without sounding like Abraham.

I remember that I'm one of the lucky ones who stood with a prayer shawl
wrapped around my shoulders, under the yew trees in ancient times,
and waited there alone until I heard my number called by the tribal elders,
who were the authors of what realities were not fit to be said.


210-
The inferences are not as good logging
in the river beds as are they for the aspen forests
that breath into the canyon bases and carry
on their backs with ease the newborn
of the Old World.

The jaded horn-beams of Europe rest on the
sapphire street corners of urban life
and learn to smoke their leaves
behind the corporate glass doors,
where the hired dancing girls are enticed
to lift their veils and pledge themselves
to work, play and obedience.

If you tram your way down a spiral path
to the bottom of the Caspian Sea, you will find
the noon sun as damning as the unspoken dreams
you once had in Utica, that woke you up
when you already passed your destination spot.
 

211-
The quiet encroachments
between day and night
hide a childhood of dreams
that never stop growing.
 
The lonely mountain peak
is where an unseen
Milarepa dines on nettles.

Along the sea coast
is where the fishermen
return in the evenings
to their villages
with their
catch of the day.

212-
How finely the shadows pour out of
the marble fox-headed fountain spouts
in the center of big cities.

How desultory are the people
who never learn
that unmitigated vengeance
will never satisfy the insatiable.

The truth draws pictures for us 
that are clear only if we want them to be.

At one time I thought everything in the city
would be real if it felt hot when I touched it.

In the 1960s I died in my own dreams
with those who sang folk songs
about only having one year
to find themselves before
it became too late
to avoid the inevitability
of just doing nothing.


213-
What becomes tantamount
is the knowledge of ham rods
on things we dig up
from under the crocus.

The amber posts we carefully
inch away from on the road
is the sweet Georgia rain that
turns things away from the traffic
to concern itself instead with the illegals
seeking sanctuary here.

Money cannot buy happiness
for the inert.

Outer space is never enough of the world
for the restless to discover peace in.

History has no gardens to nurture
the dates for those who forget everything
and must study themselves regularly
to remember how much they've grown.

Only time will lead the inferences
that will catch all our reflections
that bounce off the tree tops
in bird song deliveries and
will tap into the mood swings
each generation has been through.

214-
Hermes had no island
to sink his teeth in
when things ran afoul.

Because the sun of the Aegean Sea
moves to its own beat,
no outsiders follow it
without losing sight
of their journey.

On the island of Ios
I fell in love with the blue skies,
the white sands and the sultry
black-haired women
who never noticed me.

On the mainland,
during the noisiest seasons,
firecrackers would light up the sky
with a false beauty
and the modern-day pirates
would steal from those who thought
they could get away with profiting
greatly from the truth.

When I got serious about the dolphins,
a local artist painted pictures of me
that were seeped in absolute darkness,
that nevertheless opened up
the visions I never could see in the daylight.

215-
I could never be sure
if I heard correctly
the unrepeatable word
heard in the wind
when I was young and was unable
to slide through the abyss
of my generation.

When the white clouds rose
further above than usual

and the peasants in the valley
dressed themselves
in the rough cloth of the mountains,
the places that roared the loudest
in their celebrations
became my world.

But in a bloody storm of extractions,
all the trees of my world stopped rustling
while the orbits of the sun
kept bringing back the dead
with its nurturing music and
inscrutable eternal messages.

216-
He searched
most of his life
for a past
that vanished
the moment
he no longer
understood
how old
he became.

He griped
how difficult
it was for him
to memorize
Russian history
without living through
the country's
long winters.

When he read Tolstoy
the same fears he had
of living until he was too old
haunted him with memories
of never finding a love that stings
as much as the truth does.

He realized
that he would only
become more gleeful
the more ignorant
he became that
he was more removed
from all cities than ever before
and would no more
find another Jerusalem
to pray in its temple.

217-

On our island
we could touch ourselves
and feel our breaths stiffen
when they came upon the dead,
whose songs were getting more round
and whose eyes were filling up
with dark emptiness.

When the summer rain fell,
the flowers became gentler
and the thoughts of the old people
became softer and the world,
whose silence once led us
on paths where everything began,
surprised us by holding us in its arms
even when it rained harder.

218-
In the summer,
the river turns green
under the shade trees.

The men who used to come here
and sit by the bank to talk baseball
are no longer alive.

I still come by and sit alone,
thinking about all
that's missing in my life.

What once kept me occupied
is barely a memory.
What love was left behind
now hardly matters.

I no longer see clearly
in the daylight
what I think I lost for good
and I don't think any meditation exercise
or any good fortune will change that.

219-
You found the right word
to take the glass roots
out of the night,

with the world reading from its
own emptiness in the passing hours

and the bulging tree stumps
adrift in the leafy canals
that locked hands together
to keep intact all the measurables
like thistle, flagstones and grain.

220-
What matters is nothing.
The earth is a wound that
opens and shuts. It holds
the silence that hides in it
everything else that's lost.

221-
Consolation in the gorges
of redness, where the gravel
has its sore eyes
on the farsighted-world
of distances.

A world of granules I followed
in the bell lights, on the slopes,
where the thorns ripped
into the silt to become part
of the trails for the shrubs
to sleep on,
while the day worshipers
ring out the stones
built on the baptisms
of such transient fortunes
with the new memory banks
of falling crystals.

222-
One more identity slash
of nobody who comes back
through the panel of lines
with melting snow
on their hands,

to only walk
on the back end
of the summit

to hear the airfall
from the travelers

pressing forward

with the nightpacks
at their backs.

223-
The gates of a nation
have closed on tomorrow's
deliveries.

A foreign tongue sneaks
into your heart forever
as a song with secrets
that cast shadows
over the ground
that summons
you back
to your roots.

If you stagger
into the night
looking for words
Jacob must have said
when he lost his staff,
you'll find above you
the same stars
that fell into the rivers
as by-products of rust,
of sedge and of chariots
reserved for the dead
in their long journeys.

224-
The June wine clocks.
The cycles for distillation.

The hands that feed in the wood.

225-

White tree notes
pulled by the roots.

Integrated circles
facing East.

A hand on the plastic
bubble.
An opinion
for the green map.

Running more grass
over the top
of a hill.
 

2
26-
In the desert theaters
 nobody saw the bloody paths
 taken through the heart chambers.

Nobody could find
where the golden silence
was buried.

Nobody dared take back
 the hours
when the new world
 let go of its old skin.

227-
Stones made in images of
what's lost
keep falling off mountains.

Obsolescence undressed in human fickleness breathes
in only so much foulness
before shutting down its despair.

These swell summer moments
 of returning everything
 I wrapped around my orange shrouds
when living in Kasa Devi eons ago,
 has become my tsunami
I run into when
not afraid of being myself again.


228-
A breeze of absolution
runs its cool fingers
over a deflated city,

where an ordinary man,
in a Panama hat,
walks the downtown streets
on Sunday,
unashamed to be alone
with nothing to do.

During an unexpected downpour
atonal music pours out
from the cracks in the doorways
of the bohemian residents,
and from the river boats,
off in the distance,
the sound of movement clashes
with anything Mozart might
have played if not haunted
by his genius.

229-
If I could sing.
If I could believe everything is not rational.
If I could stop reaching for what's not mine.

If my angels could teach me
to fly, I would no longer
be in this world.

230-

Today's beans and rice
tastes like the hands
of a heretic,
who was sequestered for life
in the back room
of a broken-down dream house,
where he found a new life
when he held onto the dear sun
with all his strength
and vowed to never forget
happiness is whenever
he reaches another fork in the road.

231-

The forgotten pulse in the clouds.
The sleepy voices coming from over the stone walls.
The jungle voices slowly choking its followers to death.

By the old river of salvation,
the Asian women in saffron robes
 emerge from yesterday's traditions
to speak softly to the fierce gods
about changing faces in the stillness
or to perish in the dust

231-

The forgotten pulse in the clouds.
The sleepy voices coming from over the stone walls.
The jungle voices slowly choking its followers to death.

By the old river of salvation,
the Asian women in saffron robes
 emerge from yesterday's traditions
to speak softly to the fierce gods
about changing faces in the stillness
or to perish in the dust.

232-
Everything gorse.
The pink lights
of fall.

The salutations spun
in the watery hours
of hell.