Fall 1990, Volume 7.2


Home Baked Bread

All the many words
and this simple taste
could never be one.
Truth is in the photograph,
she said, Those eyes, some
things you just can't change.
And she's right. No amount
of brown rice, not even six
asanas a day could ever fix this.
The blackbirds have eaten
every crumb I left behind.
Pass by, pass by, please
pass the bread, Susannah.
There's something still
I need to find.

Child's Play
We trust our schemes to the dark
as something determined to be pushes
through the skin of a new universe.
Before dawn already our child
will be curled beneath your heart
and like smoke in the chimney,
he rises crying, "Fire! Fire!"
into the night.

The only shepherds are in our hearts, and
we keep them there, piping away inside.
I admit, it was the oldest trick anyone can pull:
to always want more, to be in tune only
with the grasshopper's antic trill as he saws
the tightest solipsisms all summer long.
Surely identity must live in every closed room
where language, the door, waits barely ajar.
Listen to me now when still necessity may
guide our awkwardnesses, hands, and tongues.
In this stumbling can you hear
the piping inside?

The Bad Poet
does not know the sound
of his own voice. Alone
he hears someone call. At work
his desk is a battlefield and his
pen an advancing general. He pushes
on through a flood of routed troops
in full retreat. Every dawn
seems a birth too common to be told.