i walked from my dream
            through tall brilliant grasses
i walked from my dream
            into the place where we lie

the whole universe is here    disappears
when the waters come again

we are no longer separate centers
            we are as naked as the mystery of night
as a small body
            at the bottom of well

where the heart both narrows
            and opens
and my last breath will die
            nowhere else but here


it is delicious to be long away
from the face closed in a rose
it is delicious to reject the mansions
entrusted to never forget
it is delicious to wear the pure robe
in which god knelt down
to embrace a childhood     open to death

we need these desires     
the full moon
feeds on


the warmth in my blood is a lifetime of knives
quarrels with the moon, magnificent
the warmth in my blood is a delight

though i have doubts    i weigh and decide about other’s lives
no idea of existence puts color in my cheeks
this blood has some light from the birth of the sky:

those in the towers    left behind
the ocean parted from its farthest shore
beneath a pearl of light that failed to march with time


the day comes when the shadows throw down their dancers
            and a bell rising to the wind spins out of one’s life

how long is a lifetime in the labyrinth raised by death
            how long is a dream to the sleepers who lose their way

around the spark of night gather those who know existence
            where next in the web will i become


the sun of this day bleeds to death
            for the lives no man thinks of

snow fall across the mountains of the moon
            as moist and steamy as the newly dead

and there begins a silence
            that reaches so deep   it answers itself


i would rise to you    crows and black vultures
and lie on the shores of your air, if i could

i want tides to wade through me until i am the frail and unfinished poet
i want to write down the flaws of the sycamore

who is it i hear crying in the silence of strange bodies
who is it i hear weeping in the places you have been

there is a shadow across the vision i was close to once
when the horizon between worlds had been crossed


a poem that holds its breath    is how one grows
the tiny ground one stands on
that could be a grave


wakefulness returns    with the inrush of air into kingdoms starved of light
wakefulness returns    with rain-filled apples reaching for the hands of god
wakefulness returns    when the face you could not grasp rises from its seed

wakefulness restored


i died as a child
in a light that was missing
in a light held by tunnels
toward a birth left behind

toward the cold and the silence
stretched out and waiting
am i rising or falling

i lived as a child
by a dark hole in the wind
the wind of huge trees
in the roots of the corn

toward the silence and the cold
stretched out and waiting
i am falling and rising


i still feel the weight of the hand
lifting stones from the waves
setting waves on the scale
when we were children in the world
and the darkness seething
round each candle-lit face
was heavy with hope


i hear wings
uncertain if they know delight—
black sounds calling across the lake of the eye

in the meadow of the eye
i tremble without moving
in dreams that feel like snow

and while the true eye
that asks for nothing
keeps watch beneath the moss
i cool the ashes of my wounds
in dew
from the source


birth is the hunger
one eats alone
—and a poor red cardinal
as broken as the sea
            without a song
            maybe wingless
is the only seed given
to the child


heron    blue
from the cave of the moon
to the dimensions of winter stillness
naked path of grace

that leaves one lost in the sky


a way of life that is too narrow
fits me
the way white thirst matches
                                                holes in the sky
the way death
            and the not yet real
mingle equally within the living body


the light sinks down in mud
            now darkness can open new doors
now the secret horizons i saw as a child shall return


i am the shipwreck under sail
           searching for her darkness
or the pearl you discover when drowning
            caught in a dream outside himself


there was no one near to help
                                               he believed
           the dark under the oak was an orphan
                                               was a broken seed
there could be no rising from


a precarious life climbs up inside you
           a black butterfly    in the heart's incense
                        dark and delicate tendrils of wine


simple fall and crystalline
intricate machines of vanished moments
the outside of silence ::


a small light can attract the darkness
mouth of sighs    breath of hearts


through a dark hole in the wind
                                   falls the dust that becomes song—
             sighs that have known being human


the naked eye is a question for the moon—
           extinguished    alone    dressed in white bone


the tiny bones of what i have not been
           are like sycamores without fear
or a girl who is happier than the moon


the rose within the rose    is what i hold in the deep of my hand


then i woke with the sun on the backs of wild geese
            as the branches of day were spreading


what is the sound of an island of night    in a sea it cannot name


coming home at twilight falls away    and i am aware of the wings that hold us down


in the perfect darkness of what is to become    is there a name for the mother of dawn


will the landscape of the last dawn arrive gently    in the mirror of a voyage without end


my black years fall around me, blood of the night    a body without sky without stars


with my ear on the ground i am singing to this     what dies in a man when he lives


in pockets of darkness forgotten to the world    may your dissolving have its way


for all of those who are hidden from you    draw near to the dark and listen


you went looking for your voice at sunrise    
          silence growing brighter and
the pleasure of death to go through


before there is nature    when the world is half spoken    in whom shall the secret lie


an emanation from the lost and the mists    and the nothing i am doing comes to unrest


there is an ancient animal breath in the night    that is night that is refuge    that is mine


strange fires seek their deep    as the milk that surrenders her breast


the sea scent of heaven and of who will awaken there    when at last i disappear


in a world of other seas    will an older darkness still lift the waves


the faces i have never seen before, and the faces we wear    not to lose each other


who would alter the root of light    but the stars must first die out

...or to lose your way in the darkness    swelling with tomorrow's death    ?


in the dark life i've just finished    a single light is left on


and yet who has noticed how the one left behind becomes the final light


how near to what my heart has done is the warmth of the stranger's mouth


who will guide us through the days ahead    is to live newly awakened

the sleeper under the pine remembers what is young    the dark that steps out at dawn


the way the last walk hurries grass    is where the ash of the rose will fall