Along the stone-tipped buildings, glass reflects
The water ripples flowing near, where home’s
A memory uncorked and lost, complex
As photos seen in every road one roams.
Now winter’s worn the road some fifteen years,
The covered clouds are broken by the sun
And wind-whipped rain blows on till pathways clear
With breath blown in from cold where there is none.
Above looms fog that wafts up from the shrubs
Where herons gather in a game of chance
Along a path where holy men proceed to scrub
The frozen customs free in wartime dance.
For Boris and Miona
They find a garden lush with plum-air scents
As spring sun filters through the dew-dust leaves
And subtle sighs arise while fruit ferments,
For Eden enters Earth when minds conceive.
Within the garden deep an oak tree grows,
Preserving plum and fruit from sudden squalls
With roots that sink in soil where winds oppose,
To keep the flowers fresh as flurries fall.
Emerging from primordial chaos fair,
This Earth now holds the veins where plum wine flows:
The moon has shadowed me, like stillborn air
Along a country road, adrift in threads,
Behind a worn out wheel, the pedals bare,
As time leaves nothing here but cast off dead.
I share these words with clouds in wind-washed treads,
Where rock-strewn shores in riddled dreams belie
And time has spun in tight a spider’s web
Of figures etched in deep the dusk-drawn sky.
With this in mind I set aside my clothes,
Now freshly pressed for travels lost, to where
The door is shut and all my business goes—
The sun goes up and soars on to the end
For me to chase somewhere beyond, alone;
Today I’m here to rest and meet a friend,
By dawn I’m off to seek a shore unknown.
It’s been near fifteen years without a rest
And now it seems the noise and crowds increase;
I’ll leave it soon and go perhaps out west,
The burdens gently boxed and left back east.
A western wind is blowing, wild and free,
Across the mountains, streams, and golden plains;
I’ll walk a trail of clouds to where they flee,
Successive years of falling leaves, as gold-
Enameled flowers flitter out, around
The garden nook, with simple stories told
To fragrant crowds at play on dampened ground.
This time we sipped a cup of coffee cold
And spoke of speckled, thinning hair once brown;
A crow called out, as if a black-winged scold
That hits its mark and pulls us twisting down.
Through God we came from chaos to earth and skies,
And painted all that’s dark a color bright,
As child-like wonder shows through gleaming eyes
Living in the splendor of this city,
With all the wealth on short display;
Spring is blooming now, but some will pity
Summer’s heat and winter’s gray.
Leaves will fade in time to yellow from green,
Dried up too soon, and blown away,
Until the Arctic chill comes down unseen
In a season with its own decay.
Outside, in light, I feel the sun’s warm love,
And in the dark, a moonlit sigh;
Memories once buried, now brought above,
Like birds that fly the midnight sky.
There was an island, somewhere in the sea,
Where he sailed for miles away from any land,
Alone and guided by the stars he could see
To a distant shore on a narrow strand of sand.
Setting foot, he looked at a far off peak,
Eyes rising past a thousand ancient pines,
Through which he climbed past cliff and creek
Until at night he stopped to pray for signs.
He woke as the sun began to rise from the sea
And heard the birds come out in a choral song,
To sing a melody of when his heart was free
In Central Park the cherries begin to bloom
On a sun-drenched day when birds have left their notes
For us, intruders inside their sanctuary moats,
Unseen but heard in the shadows where the branches loom.
I walk a narrow path that’s filled with wood chips,
Fine grass and leaves enveloping the way,
Creeping past and among the gates on which they play
In the wind like the smiles on a thousand lips.
Deep within the trees there is a shelter
Where all the park unfolds its jagged edges
And there I rest in the mid-day swelter
Nothing is so dear, a noble warrior said,
Than glory bought by armor pierced in blood
Amid the cries of those who’ve fallen in mud—
For what is life if honor’s been left for dead?
Emaciated, poor, or stuck without life’s luck,
It’s to the bold and daring that the world goes;
Whether in women, war, or what ambition sows,
With courage alone we come up from the muck.
Some say the day-maker rises with the sun
As the lord of night shines down from the moon:
For all that’s fire, a life without water is none,