Fungi Propinquity [Free Verse]

two tender, little mushrooms
stand amid a mossy expanse

i'm moved by their intimate proximity

though i don't know it to be
anything other than a
random molecular fact,

and yet it speaks to me,
and i feel proximity & distance
all the more intensely

Temple on a Hill [Free Verse]

granite bubbled out of the jungle,
and - upon it - they built a temple

its walls were anchored into stone
until its walls were the hill,
and the hill was its walls

and no one could find one true point
at which one ended & the other began

was it built to be 
closer to the heavens,
or further from hell?

not by people for whom
heaven & hell
reside in the mind --
unattainable by velocity,
inescapable by distance --
constant traveling companions
only confronted head-on

maybe they wanted it to feel
permanent,
knowing even that granite
would crumble in due time

Future Imperfect [Free Verse]

skyscrapers rise & fall
storms hit & wither
waves crash & recede

nature neither blesses nor curses,
despite the constant counting 
of its boons & banes; 
its bonanzas & broken bones

one who can feel grateful 
in the face 
of ignorance & imperfection
is free 

one who feels suffering 
in the absence of perfect comfort
will never know freedom 

such a one as that 
imprisons himself
in a cycle of imagining 
& coveting 
a perfection that has 
never existed  

Train Rattled [Free Verse]

It's like sticking one's head
out the window of the southbound
night train.

A rushing thunder fills the ears --
almost deafening --
and that's before
the passing northbound train
shears past,

letting wail the whistle
in one long blow.

And (now) one is deaf,
but the cyclone eddies 
shake one's flesh
& 
rattle through one's bones 
so hard that one can 
whole body hear:
one's entire skeleton 
vibrating like those tiny
inner ear bones. 

It was dark before the
scintillant streams of strobing light
burned a void into one's picture place.

There's no smelling a thing
in that crossfire hurricane,

but one can taste big gulps
of train exhaust --
exhaust with a 
cotton candy consistency 
but foul tasting
to the last bite.


And then it is quiet
and dark
and peaceful,

and it's not clear whether
one is alive or dead,

and it's not clear whether 
one cares whether
 one is alive or dead.

Watchable Monsters [Free Verse]

They were written into 
the lives of ancients,

written into the oldest
stories,

carved into cave
& temple, alike.

These beasts terrorized
and defended --
sometimes both
at the same time.

Towering stacks of hours
were lost to the
beastly crunch of their teeth.

Early peoples tried 
feeding bleating creatures 
to these intermediate beasts --
these watchable monsters:

 one's too scary to chase,
but too still to run from.

But they were as relentless
in their non-hunger
as they were in inspiring
long chains of possibility.

Diamondless Diamonds [Free Verse]

Diamondless Diamonds?

Sounds like Daoist doublespeak
or 
a crazy Zen koan.

But, it's that which has
imaginary value,
but 
not real value.

Much of what human hands
reach for or produce
(& which human minds obsess upon)
are diamondless diamonds.

People stare at them 
with covetous eyes,

but when those eyes
saccade away
there's no reason to believe 
the diamondless diamond
still exists.

Eyes covet
what the mind knows
to have no particular worth.

Diamondless Diamonds
may change the world
for moments at a time,
but then are gone - 
and instantly forgotten.

Self-Aware World [Free Verse]

I am a witness 
for a self-aware world,

a world that's not just 
chunks of matter,
but an organism that dances
 matter into 
an entity that can know.

It can know truth
and fiction 
and the truth of fiction
and the fiction of truth.

It turns order into disorder,
but with knowledge salad
on the side.

I'm a compartmentalized agent
 of a super-organism that is 
beyond my capacity
to understand
or speculate the purpose of.

I am a lonely witness.

Strange & Alien Sky [Free Verse]

Looking out the car's rear window,
I saw a strange and alien sky,
and wondered where I was,

and whether I was still somewhere
that I would - elsewise - recognize,

and - if not - whether I could get back,
and whether I would want to go back.

I saw a strange and alien sky,
and did not look to see the ground.

Gunsmoke [Free Verse]

the acrid smell
of 
burnt gun-smoke
dulls
in the mind,
but not 
in the air

the brain tires of smelling it,
and so it fades,
but
it has nowhere to go --
not in this violent place
of dead & heavy air