The Public Face of the Fireflies, 22

When we kiss each other,
with the formless masks we wear,
they rest on our private face,
to hide who’s really there.

Our lies and malice hide behind,
a smiling face carved out of wood.
A fake smile is placed, where once the face,
of an honest man once stood.

What could we ever even know,
about the complex creature man?
Who’s naked without that made up face,
and would rather wear a lying smile,
behind a phony air of grace,
when his frailty with a mask he can replace.

What could alike be said of the real
behind the mask—
animosity, confusion, and other human traits;
still clouded by a now evaporated past—
with a mask this face we can erase.

We hide the self behind blue curtains,
of civility and taste;
until nothing of the shadow’s past we could remind.
We must appear as shadows,
in a music box seen from space;
before like a song,
we right all wrongs,
smile and then rewind.

To cover up our human nature,
with a mask made out of glass,
for ourselves we make the good,
and for ourselves the bad,
to hide the animal in all of us, alas;
more hollow than the ringing of a silent echo could.

Oh, could our plastic kissing faces,
hide all of us behind—
before last year’s unpleasantness,
our present might remind?
Or could this porcelain mask today’s unease replace,
before we are forever trapped behind a porcelain face?

Could we helpless crawling creatures,
hear aloud the midnight sun—
before we’re washed away like chalk-lined phantoms on the floor?
With the mask undone our life’s no fun,
when ourselves we know no more.
But still we hide our eyes behind,
not the face with which we’re born,
but with a mask we’ve always worn.


The Hands, 2002

The first moment of our life,
dropped as a speck of sand—
from an hourglass over turned by
unknown hands.
Drop by drop the pebbles fall forever;
we are grains amidst the strands.

Not always was the dying world so bad;
not always did man speak of have and had.
They place their bets, collect their chips,
and laugh.
They laugh until they see the hands.

No one saw the pebble fall,
and no one wondered why,
the grain of sand,
from unknown hands,
looked at our blue dot passing by.

Earth shrinks in the distance,
as another dot to pass.
From nothing into something,
so runs the hourglass.

It keeps on dripping, drop by drop,
moments forever fall.
They never stop, and never stall;
just smile and watch them fall.

With one stack on another,
so many piles of sand.
They lay together in their dreams,
and far away hold hands.

Amongst Men, 2001

As hopeless as the moon is bright,
when not amongst the stars at night,
woeful as a day half gone—
halfway through her lonely song.

Solemn as the ocean deep—
amongst mere men at night like sheep,
a dying man is forgotten, cold;
that he was dying—no one told.

Amongst these men, these kings,
these queens—
we dance like things on puppet strings.

On a still sea falls the rain,
the drops of blue mystique—
fall softly onto Earth’s soft face,
into the Earth’s small creeks.

From the sky fall fireflies,
drop by drop into the sea—
reflected in pale midnight eyes,
drop by drop—infinity.

The Fisherman, 2000

No encore for the sun today,
it disappeared too soon.
But she’ll be back to shine again,
tomorrow afternoon.

If in the end to dust—
we’re turned to be,
and that eternal silent film,
we’re forced to see,
let Old Man Winter,
in his robe,
lead us into the sea.

Only silence lasts forever,
this in the end we’ll know.
The world will be a silent place,
when our globe runs out of snow,
and has no God to shake it.

Even our golden candle Sol,
no longer will stay lit.
Down the sweet sun comes,
to shine;
overhead it leaves a golden line.
A streak of light, to sleep she goes,
taking the spotlight off our show.

If we again into the sea descend,
and as a balance between the worlds suspend—
how little time to balance on the line,
before the fisherman rolls us in.

The Tower, 2000

Man runs forever in a gerbil wheel,
chasing cheese that isn’t real.
Piety, or so it seems,
is a self-fulfilling madman’s dream.
Piety, as some would say,
is the Tower of Babble in the way.

Whoever made the wise man made the fool,
and gave them equal pertinence and due.
Whoever made the candlelight,
made the oxen follow too—
another of the sun to lose.

Whoever made the force of love made hate,
with both of them to separate.
The conducting hands of angel choirs,
let Paradise be Lost.
The hands that gave us Mary’s Lamb,
made those who nailed him to the cross.

Whoever made the nighttime made the day,
and lay before us once a golden gate;
a golden gate between here and there,
to which all figures disappear.

Piety, it sometimes seems,
is a forever-recurring delusional dream.
Piety, the wise would say,
is the Tower of Babel still standing today.

The Things of Which They Are, 1999

Every man once lived has tasted ruin,
and now sleeps underground.
In philosophy, psychology, and pursuing,
I’ve received no peace of mind, or sound.

Rationality in this chaos,
inside me like a newborn star;
though in all my endeavors pursued  cause,
to never see the things of which they are,
and in my studies there has been no pause.

As a moth lost in a hurricane,
I have approached this life;
I beat myself against the glass,
of the window, seeing light—
a beacon outside amidst the night.

With that light upon me fading,
and a path of truth unsure,
still looking for that one safe haven,
where I might again be pure.

Natural Mystic, 1999

A deaf man sings though cannot hear,
like a blind man lost in long blank years.
I see a sick man in the cold,
in the mud and growing old.

An elephant with a lotus, sings,
to Maya lost in twilight dreams:
to you a son will come, fulfil,
and roll stray pebbles up the hill.

Do not indulge, he says, don’t feel.
Serenity and harmony—still,
do not be taunted, selfish heavens,
white doves, four horses, seals, and seven.

Candle sticks flicker in the night,
to and froing as they might.
revealing one seal, two seal, three seals,
all of them opened with a door.

Beyond, inside now, prying still,
as pebbles rolling down a hill.
Like moths burnt by manmade light,
as Icarus burnt at the height of his flight.

Good and evil, one situation—
the rest is just interpretation;
there is no moral litigation,
all good works are inclination.

Evasive will up to the light,
struggling through the dark of night,
like snow dissolving in one’s hand,
like an hourglass without sand!

From some he takes,
to others, give;
to some gives death,
while others live.

Our voice echoes down time’s hall—
transparent paintings line the wall.
In each we see the same man laugh,
a public face behind a mask.

And man is but a pyramid,
each moment but a stone.
Memories in veneer is hid,
and in completion carries on.

Through tall hills of thick green grass,
reflected by a sky of glass.
Orange, flutter butterflies,
admired by some childhood eyes.

Spin you clock, and take me home.
Tick tock tick tock; carry on.
Gone like God and all the rest,
shaken off as though a pest.

Perhaps within this supposition,
with no one listening there, around,
a solipsist dies out in the woods,
does anyone make a sound?

Running nowhere, like running still,
just as ink flows from a quill.
Time is always moving, and,
it drags us like a slave—
to nothingness so soothing,
forgotten in a grave.

With clouds comes the prophet,
will he our dreams fulfill?
And answer riddles, like our life?
Or will he tell us we were right?

Nothing to say, no voice his own,
laid out in rags, silent, alone.
Alone with words, and just his mind,
he watches clocks and cries for time.

Time around him slips away,
as midnight beheads yesterday—
and then itself is conquered too;
that’s all miss destiny seems to do.

The day from darkness, midnight too,
is the light from me to you;
it was arranged for you to see,
if you look long enough for me.
In all my wonder, anonymous,
not dogmatic, or pious;
neither intent on destruction or hate,
intent to let man write his own fate.

We fritter all our lives away,
with little left to do or say.
Without much left to see, to do,
tomorrow comes to take us too.

The dew of dawn, the tears of mourning,
out on the lawn under the storming.
Under the lightning, and the thunder,
creation is a madman’s blunder.

Why waste time to wonder?
An answer doesn’t solve a thing.
Not one bit of peace,
can a simple answer bring.

Water Bringer, 1998

Once in a dream, I found myself,
somewhere in ages past;
barefoot walking a dirt road,
around me cherry leaves drift fast.

I had no rank, but carried water,
to kings and clowns alike,
on my fountain head.
I could laugh at both.

In those woods, by myself,
drowsy under a tree,
I watched daylight fall from midnight’s shelf,
and shatter into light.

Not too far from where I dreamed,
ran a river like a snake.
Under Sol’s bright watchful eyes,
I walked the same path every day.

Somedays I would have to walk,
that old jug upon my head.
Singing in that wilderness,
while still asleep in bed.

Tomorrow, 1998

From here I see tomorrow,
and, behind me, yesterday;
in front of me, ten years,
and it’s not too far away.

There are only people here.
They come to me and say,
“Hello friend,” and, “How are you?”
Then they fade away.

There are only days and nights,
memories and things.
People sitting on their hands,
tight holding to their dreams.

They watch the carousel going by,
blurry faces wondering why—
distorted, twisted, smiling faces,
through rain and pain and snow.
in the garden dreams of paradise,
and hope they get to go.

The Unending Fountain, 1998

And time first started as the invisible hand,
first turned over the unending hourglass.
Drop by drop the moments fall forever.
Each second is a grain of sand.
The beginning sent the first grain,
that went falling through the sky,
and we all see the Earth like that,
as a blue dot passing by.

The beginning let loose the first grain,
of an hourglass that never runs out of sand.
Each golden second glitters as dust,
gathers on a windowpane.

Drop by drop the moments fall forever,
each as a grain of sand;
in an unending hourglass turned over,
by some giant unknown hands.
Each second sent in flight,
and it never stops.
As all the golden moments fall,
like see through misting rain as it drip-drops.
All of these grains we cling to,
as we fall beside the rest.

It keeps on dripping, on and on;
moments forever fall,
and we just tag along.
On top of one another steady piles the sand,
to fall and wither then stay still,
as more pours the hourglass.
We see the blue Earth in the distance,
as a blue dot when we pass.
The others we will land upon,
as our lonely flight comes to an end;
we land inside a golden pile,
and there find family and friends.

The beginning first let loose,
a grain of golden sand—
fell from an hourglass turned over,
by unknown see-through hands.
Each golden second glitters,
dust on the windowpane;
drop by drop the moments fall forever,
as each a grain of sand.
In an hourglass turned over,
by translucent see-through hands.
Golden like a sleepy dawn,
moments gather in the pile;
as they downward fall together,
they live and die and smile.

Living Answers, 1997

Living Answers, 1997

All our lives are living answers—
to prior questions asked;
from each springs a golden band,
to present from the past.

From cause to effect,
to here and cause again—
to every question where,
and every question when.

My father in his pickup truck,
called my mom and asked,
“would you like to take a ride?”
He called a quarter past.

Past eleven and she met him,
at the end of a lonely street.
Under a lonely streetlight,
for him her love to greet.

She climbed up in his truck,
and took hold of his hand.
He asked if she was ready.
She said “yes,” and they made me.

Alone, 1997

Indeed I’m mad, for I have seen,
not with my eyes, but in my dreams—
running alone under the sky,
with heaven above me flying by.

For who alone would scream in pain,
when he alone will scream in vain?
He alone in darkness sings,
denied those heavenly angel wings.

Along we walk in forests cold.
We laugh, we sing, and we grow old.

Until we find ourselves again,
where death and darkness we befriend.
Till peace we find in wayward song,
alone we’ll walk a road so long.

Alone as we walk it—on and on.

Until some day in falling rain,
alone at last without the pain.
Until we rest our worried heads,
warm and at home, alone in bed.

Divisions, 1996

Divisions, 1996

In soft brown sand, by the beach,
out of which a hand did reach;
after all the winds of life had blown,
to me who walked the dusty shore,
another from the sea was thrown.

They all will fail, though, like the sun,
forever turning, forever dumb;
forever one plus two plus one.

One plus two perhaps, and three,
divide and add up destiny.
Until it’s simple—
one plus two,
with no more left for man to do.

Like the planets, rising stars,
set along with great God Mars.
They pass by; in time, are lost;
another zero for the cause.

Their voices trail off like a birds,
obscured by sounds which mourn;
the birds come back to sing, to laugh,
to sing and laugh while it still lasts.

The Ballerina, 1995

Up in heav’n, when it rained,
the angels cried, and then they sang!
In the corridors of night, hell fire, and,
the haze,
one after another flutter helpless in the maze.

Foul circles with the turning sun, depart!
Flesh torn from a barren field, the start!
Settling on a shifting Earth,
for some madman’s sad rebirth.

For some sweet child’s new arrival,
for some wise man—a disciple,
for some beggar—pennies saved,
for some philosopher—the maze!

Twirling like a ballerina, on a metal rod so cold,
slipping with the shifting quicksand,
as the clocks turn into mold!
On an axis, flowing—even,
listen to the angels singing!

Metal wrought in fires hot,
until some savior he begot!
Melting with the hands of gold,
would’st thou in heav’n stop the cold?

Would’st thou in heav’n stop the storm?

Would’st thou in heav’n take the form?
Would’st thou in heav’n stop the clocks?
End those wretched ticks and tocks!

Spinning, still consuming, erasing all the numbered hands—
steady running, steady sinking, drowning in the sinking sand!
But in our world it all turns grey:
twilight, in morning, and today.

Like pebbles rolling down a hill,
back up a man will carry, still—
like a lighthouse in the rain,
with destiny the ball and chain!

Like the simple songs of life,
in A minor, C, or D,
we twirl on a little stand, to some sad melody.
Yet there she stays, and dare she spin—
this way, that way, back again!

Until the day her music stops,
when silence locks the music box,
on me and he and her and you,
the sun itself will slumber too.

To rise above some distant peak,
over oceans calm, and deep,
we’ll roll in a sky of glass,
like ants crawling through the grass.
Oh, so much for us unknown,
if only light upon it shone.
If though only we could see,
and hear buzzing like a bee.

So sing with the angels—up above,
and down below;
our dreams are fleeting, as a doves,
looking upon the show.
Tracing through the grass, with mud stains upon our hands,
until to God we yell, until to God demand!

From your indifference, come out now!
Save our world or show us how!
Sit not upon your throne of gold,
alone as even clocks grow old!

Descend upon us, with thy hands!
Save us from these sinking sands!
Save us from these stormy seas!
Alas, you have me on my knees!

In your soft approach, illumination,
golden hue,
down upon us, look you not, for you’re dissolving too!
Struggling through eternity, as
all the numbers fall,
ticking, tocking, wildly flying;
vertigo upon the wall!

Back and forth with us all day,
tonight, tomrorow, and today;
with little thought of men and sin,
tomorrow she will spin again.

The Garden, 1995

In a garden sad, she walks along,
sad as she might be;
with nothing but sad thoughts, alone—
before she ran into me.

I found her at the garden’s shore,
knelt over in the grass.
She said she’d like to walk some more,
and by me she went past.

Between tomatoes, cucumbers too,
which her linen fingers touch—
through flowers bright and gleaming blue,
to me she said this much:

“Beside me sit, for I can’t breathe.”
I knelt beside her, cold;
“Please stay with me; please do not leave.”
My hands around her hold.

“I’m going to die,” she said so sad.
Inside me something changed.
“Look with me to the sky, be glad,”
aloud I said, and plain.

In long nights alone I might recall,
her walking, slipping, falling, and,
waiting alone for someone to call,
just so she might understand.

In the dawn I walk beside her,
dodging insects in the dew;
together again events recur,
and we roll about so blue.

Rolling in that golden sand,
outside in the woods.
Still just trying to understand,
what isn’t understood.

With her small feet walking by,
my finger to her lips;
ourselves together may revive,
we touch our fingertips.

Together still inside the glass,
praying it won’t shatter;
together still the world floats past,
soon the glass won’t even matter.