I Love You Like I Love the Ocean

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I love you
Like I love the ocean.
Not having been there
For nine years,
I ache for the sea.
I ache for you.

While I should forget
The sight of a breaker
Welling up on the horizon,
And the smell of salt spray,
The sound of water crashing on the shore,
I remember these things well.
Some black nights
I dream of them
And wake up trembling
With longing to be there.
It is the same with you.
Your voice,
Your eyes,
Haunt my dreams.

I love you
Like I love the ocean;
Even if I don’t see you or her again,
Both of you are
A part of my soul
And I will love you always.



Soul Song

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SOUL SONG (Chicken Soup, December 1996)

You are a dream in the night;
a memory from ancient times;
a vision from the future.
I have known you forever;
our souls have traveled the same paths
through eternal time
and endless places.
We have suffered together the flaming purgatories,
and side-by-side, we’ve been lifted
on the wings of  angels
to airy celestial spaces.
Together, we traveled along secret paths
That I feared to follow alone.
But after we have touched each other
through all infinity,
why have you left me
to walk alone
these paths, so simple and earthly?
Am I to believe you will
never hear my call?

Wedding Day

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WEDDING DAY  (Poets’ Review, 1994)

As on so many nights gone by,
clad in a lacy white gown, I trudge with dread
up stone steps to the door of a vine-covered church.
At the altar awaits a sandy-haired lawyer.
The last time, he was a doctor, or maybe an accountant,
but always respectable, sane, approved by my father.

Now, I feel the presence of the other one;
the dark, brooding one;
the rebel, artist, musician, poet.
And there, as I pass a secluded alcove,
shimmering candlelight reflects off his ebony locks.
I stop.  His eyes search mine;
we know each other’s meanings without speaking words.
I am of him, and he is of me.
I falter, but father whispers: hurry, people are waiting.
My tormented soul screams no!  I turn to run;
the crowd pushes me toward the altar.

I bolt upright in my bed, trembling,
then breathing,
oh … oh…
only a dream.

Time Passage

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I will be an ancient one, weathered and worn.
I’ll scratch a hoe around my tomato plants,
while the summer sun warms my bones.

I am an embryo, cradled in liquid
security and mother love,
a growing mass of pure potential.

I was twenty-five. I looked for love
and found a smooth-talking liar
who left me drowning in his wake.

I will be nineteen. Save the world.
End pollution. Bring the downtrodden to their feet.
Drop government to its knees. Peace on earth; goodwill to all.

I am fifty, still searching for what’s missing.  Hungry,
starving, craving to suck from life’s
marrow all that it might give me.

I will be seven. I’ll lie on my back in the damp grass
and lose myself in the wonder of the stars.

I was sixteen, holed-up in my room, lived in my books.

I was eighty-five when I traveled to the sea for the final time.

I am twelve, a tomboy dribbling a basketball around the driveway.

I will be thirty-three.  I was sixty-one.  I am forty-six.

I am dead.  I am born.  I am young.  I am old. I will be born again.

I am birth, death, and all between.

I am.

Yes, I am.

In God’s Name

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IN GOD’S NAME  (2009)

In the name of the Father
and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit,
we launch crusades to kill,
plunder, and rape.
In the name of Allah,
in the name of Yahweh,
we explode, hijack,terrorize and
drive people from their homes.
In the names of Mohammed, Thor, Jesus,
Zeus, Jupiter, and the Sungod,
we kill the infidels, burn the witches,
torture the heretics, shun the sinners,
condemn the atheists, the Pagans, the Protestants, the Jews,
the Catholics, the Hindus, the any-who-are-different-from -us,
and who are therefore not saved, not favored by the Almighty.
All the while we claim to be created in God’s image,
and profess that
God is love.



Sacred Trust

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SACRED TRUST (Lyrical Iowa, 1992)

My spirit has always been kin
to the fragile, the broken, the suffering.
I have known the gossamer touch of a butterfly
as it lit upon my hair.
A black cat, once kicked about the street by ruffian boys,
has curled up on my lap and purred.
I have been playfully nuzzled by a dappled pony
that had lived in terror of the whip.
And I have been blessed with the love
of a sad and lonely boy
who had known only pain and despair.
I hold sacred the trust
of the fragile, the broken, the suffering.