Friday, February 25, 2011

Every Morning

Because it's that kind of day ...

Every Morning I Try

to pronounce a divine name perfectly, knowing
I can’t really say its swallow-swing
or enunciate the syllables a mockingbird
loops in medleys, can’t whisper vowels

of an airplane’s rhyming trail.
Names like that must be repeated
as a flower lets pollen fly. I should mimic
the closed bud’s wise pause.

My human mouth can hardly shape
the million-zinnia alpha letter, let alone
the final plosive dazzle –
but I can hum the consonants
of this green-button day –

and add several bandaged overtones
to the morning-setting moon,
echo two doves speaking
to my dog, who rolls and rolls
on the name’s final Ah.
Since I cannot make that pure sound,

I will get down on the grass and roll with him,
then give the next being I meet
a courteous consonant
dangling an ocean vowel.

First appeared in The Cortland Review

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Twice As Much

I woke up feeling that today will allow a great deal of creative thought -- thanks to some mysterious force, the laws of which we haven't yet discovered. This poem, which originally appeared in Eclectic Journal, is my ode to those unknown, expansive forces.

Twice As Much Starlight

The universe, say surprised astronomers, has twice as much accumulated starlight as can be explained by all the known stars and galaxies. -- Newspaper article, 1998.

This can only mean
a hidden conflagration
burns in the cosmic whirl.
Where can it live, this occult fire --
not at the center
galaxies are escaping.
Not at the frontiers of space
where new suns are pioneered.
So where does the pure pulse
of light beat,
how does it race out of nowhere,
like a night light
the void itself switches on?
Leave it to science to find evidence
that deep in the spin
of atoms is a tiny sun, a heart
of radiance. Let the measuring mind
find the measureless through theoretical
mathematics, I only know
I have lived through days
when there is twice as much love
as people around me to explain it.