Little White Bird


white bird

 

We counted, huddled, precious hours
two lovers sheltered against springtime showers
‘Neath the down-stretched arms of a weeping willow
My arms your shelter, my lap your pillow

And there, like the myth of an ancient love
Carried upon the wings of a snow white dove
Sunlight breaking with the flutter of wings
From the little white bird who softly sings

We watched it flit with a delicate glee
From branch to branch and tree to tree
Against its soft wing nature pressed
The storm abates, the day is dressed

Beloved skies where imagination weeps
These our newfound white bird keeps
Beneath her wings, winds lifting higher
Chasing clouds for her hearts desire

Until she finds her true love rising
On thermal bands, her flight revising
The two-winged now as one together
Each wingbeat now in equal measure

And so do we, in love’s all knowing
Feel this precious love now growing
In awe we sigh, love’s prayer now heard
In the shadow of our little white bird

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My Pagoda


pagoda

 

In my next incarnation,
I will dwell in a house
with a roof that curls like a smile.
Nestled in a flush of empurpled trees
and luminous clouds -
paths winding up
the velvety-green mountains
and ninety-nine steps
upward to my teak-carved door.

Shivering, I will rise in the morning,
blow on my hands like coals,
and squat to make tea in the teapot.
Slowly, the aromatic leaves will fill my heart
like a cup, the tea swirling,
knowing more than I know.

In the room’s far corner,
an altar, a few flowers, incense.
Buddha smiling.

My visitors will carry bright offerings
But how little will be necessary!
Like a beggar’s bowl,
each day will be full and empty

 

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My Lover


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I’ve spent my nights in silent yearning
For a beautiful love that will not perish
And she who will soon come to me
In the time of soft plum-blossoms
When the air is full of songbirds singing
And the sky is a delicate caress;
She will come
With a mist of stars about her
And great beckoning plumes of smoke
Upon her leaping horses.
And she will bend suddenly and clasp me;
She will clutch me with fierce arms
And stab me with a kiss like a wound
That bleeds slowly.
But though she will hurt me at first
In her strong gladness
She will soon soothe me gently
And cast upon me an unbreakable sleep
Softly forever.

Awakening a Memory


I have walked a thousand country miles -
watched the falcons pirouette in the summer sky;
lunched upon bitter green apples and fermented mangoes
and napped beneath the hot luminous clock;
quenched my thirst with melodious silver spring water
and skipped stones across frozen lakes.

I’ve immortalized poets against the echoing granite walls of time.
In bare feet I danced in verdant green meadows
that carpet a bottomless valley;
traced my fingertips along the gnarled grooves
of a dying oak and bid it farewell.

I have bathed in babbling brooks that giggled at
my nakedness and dried myself in the wispy autumn winds.
Upon mountaintops, I have squeezed sunsets between
my forefinger and thumb and slowly opened them again to
the shimmering glow of a new moon.

I have slept beneath a canopy of universes and composed
my dreams against shimmering stars;
built wet sandcastles fit for kings on foreign shores
and fed them to the ravenous surf.

Beneath cascading waterfalls were written tumbling
verse, while angelfish nibbled at my dropped metaphors.
In the Mascarene Islands, I flew kites built from
forest reeds and raffia palms until they were swallowed
by drifting winter clouds.

The return to a new day awaits me, and a thousand more
miles beneath my feet before this life is drawn complete.
Awakening a memory, I close my eyes
and the colors of life’s possibilities explode beneath my lids.