He Does Not Worship The Stars

Throughout this last half-century
He fiercely loved astronomy;
The beauty of the stars, and all
The vast immensity involved

The deep expanse of outer space –
Next to the tiny human race –
Had helped him travel very far
Towards seeing just how small we are

With each brand new complexity,
Came thoughts of That which hung them;
He does not worship the stars
But he can see a Hand among them

I Knew Them When

I knew them when
The fields were gold,
And hours filled
With guiltlessness

I knew them on
Their wedding day:
In youth, with all
Its weightlessness —

I knew them in
The times before:
The sunset walks,
And reveries —

I knew them when
There was a them,
And more than tears

And memories

Drawing Spaces

He placed his heart
In drawing spaces;
Pen-and-ink caught places,
That held surprise,
As the world was
Through his eyes.

But the voice cutoff
Went silent,
Tears of sorrow,
Grieving violent,
For the eyes
Grown dim with cold,
That could not
Be bought or sold –

And now time
Sends dust and cover
O’er the one time
Friend, or lover,
Sketches left
On random paper,
That turn to vapor,

To the heart
That’s still bereft:
Naught but drawing spaces


7 Essences – 1

The first: in fall,
A gathering for fun;
Her newly single,
Gentle and aloof,

And I, a troubadour,
Or kind of sentry,
Who sang on balconies,
Or on the roof —

She was a moving spirit,
Born a dancer;
Though shy in life,
On stage she loved the eyes –

She spoke in tones so low
I had to lean in,
And found a feeling
Hard to recognize

For lacking much experience
To name it.
As did she, too, although
In different ways —

Of why two souls, so different,
Bind together,
Or just how fast it happens,


Painters Paint

At eight years old,
And lacking much like talent,
I look around the class
At other kids:

The girl beside me,
Tight black hair and brilliant,
Her future full
Of galleries and bids —

The teenage boy,
With parents always fighting,
Whose eyes burn blue
And in whose hand a brush

Turns into something
Almost like a weapon,
And on whom
Black haired girl has such a crush.

The twins, whose sharp
Intention marks their faces,
Each word the teacher says
A precious thing

To them, in their devotion to
Their training;
To labor rather than to
Dance, or sing —

The teacher: short,
Demure, and full of passion,
Her hands as small as mine,
But far more skilled

At making fruit and bottles
Look like something,
A vision caught, transfigured,
Then fulfilled.

All of us, like ants
Upon an anthill,
We did our jobs, our missions,
Sans complaint:

And though I wasn’t really one,
I know now,
The same way hearts keep beating,
Painters paint.