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[Dogslandia] Sonnet #246

I heard some word that God won't give
a weight to you that you can't carry;
I don't believe it. With crap like this, be wary -
It's the thing that people say who give
A little more weight, a little more
Just one more piece, until the straw
Is made of heavy iron and they hem and haw
at you, blame you for your pain and sores;
A camel can't pass through the eye of a needle
Unless its crushed under the weight of god -
He smashes you down, with help from the Beadle
to smash you down more, more weight, more rod
cracked hard upon His errant child, God will wheedle
You can carry what I give. I know better. Be awed.

[Dogslandia] Sonnet #245

We call it a moment but it is all movement
We are always dancing to a song we might not hear
Of storms blowing through, of leaves curling up
Of insects cracking through their own shells
We call it a moment, this picture of movement
Held Still, smile for the camera, if you can hear
The click of light remembering how we lift up
And lift each other up get fat get then the shell
Of us is always changing, we are in movement
Pass between each others' hands and listen, hear
The way we sing for each other as we speak up
At a cosmic sky we point our children to the shell
Of earth and sky and claim dominion here as if a moment
As if a permanent domain, but we are in movement

[Dogslandia] Sonnet #243

"What was my face before I was born?"
My galaxy was neither born nor is it done
Swirling into some final dance of bright suns
Still, considering how these things are worn
At some point, yes, my galaxy was born
To answer the question, and think of the truth
A poppy seed, once, was stuck in a tooth
Inside the seed was everything, everything! Torn
Burst, busted, blown up, kablooey; Before this
My galaxy's face was a pressure plate
A condensed kineticism smashed into a hiss
But before this? Before this? Can I make
any sense of what was born before this?
And before that? Before all my shiver and quake?

[Dogslandia] Faith is a Fine Invention

We talk of god the way we talk of godfathers
I sinned against your amorphous will
It's my fault.
Really,
I am lucky and grateful you only hurt me to here
And decided against what I deserve
How kind you are to hurt me
To correct what you would deem unworthy

And the interest rate builds up
The points on this loan of life

We talk as if grace is a mercy upon the unworthy

If faith is a burning flame
If faith finds us in our hollow places
If faith cannot be negotiated or moved
If faith can be the one that moves

The icon of negotiation, of points accumulated
Of angels with their protection racket over prayers

Perhaps God walks like a devil, dresses sharp, takes payment weekly to protect
In prayers and coin

Or perhaps we speak the devils work upon ourselves
And call it heavens' kings

Instead consider fire in a hollow place
The light will fill us up
The shadows behind us on the walls are just the shape
Of us.

[Dogslandia] Sonnet #244

Alas the money runs away along the path
Where clever men set snares for money

And wicked men will club and take in wrath

And we all need the money, chase the money

We must follow and shout and grab

Money is a misty ghost with eight long legs

It moves like water through the labs

Where pipes arrange the faucets and plugs

But once upon the ground so swift

The money runs down hills and melts

Into the air itself, and seeps into the snowdrifts

We chase the money, grab for money, feeling felt

And dissipation auguries and screaming in the wind

Where did all the money run? We lost it all; money wins

[Dogslandia] Sestina #2

1:



“Spring is the prize of the birds that survived,” cackled grackles

The pigeons have no language like theirs, they coo and scratch

the first worms, the first seeds, the firsts of all the things fallen down

“We remember when the world was only ever spring,” say sparrows

“When every day bloomed and rained and never rested.” They sing

And give the music to the mockingbirds, who will always shout from memory



2:



This is how the birds will know what to do, what's in their shared memory:

(Except the clever pirate birds, the frigates and crows and rooks and
grackles)

But the way to think is the repetition of thinking, so what birds sing

is what they know, and Spring, immortal, ebullient, where the scratch

comes up to breathe with full bellies after so long hollow, so many sparrow

hearts that couldn't keep going, they fall but shared songs never go down



3:



“Once upon a time the world was always warm and wet,” sit down,

find a perch on the rock and listen to the music of collected memory

“Once upon a time, when the world was new, and so were the sparrows

We flew in a forest as thick as an ocean, before winter, before the grackle

Before the pigeon and possum and snake and cat, where every scratch

upon the ground was a fat nut of insect or nut of the flowers, we sing, we
sing



4:



“Trees of our memory, forest eternal, we learned to sing

By calling the way wind creaked and swelled until down

came the timbers and up came the cinders and scratch

all you like upon the burned ground, then cinders' memory

haunt us forever with the great smoke's ash echo. ” Laughter of grackle

Who listens beside this, wisest and wiliest, forgives all that's sparrow



5:



“The simple foragers of this world, the tiny sparrow

amuses and confuses itself when it tries to sing,”

Life is a moment, after all, and all is a struggle for grackles

Ascribing a reason to misery is placing courage down

Fight, bite, and grapple, live each day with memory

of the survivor's victory song, a hack laughter of scratch



6:



And the pigeons coo and dance while they scratch

the ground to live, waddle through the herd of sparrow

bob and weave and dance to coo of all their memory

of Spring, oh, Spring! Oh, Love! Oh, Green! Oh, Sing!

The oldest dance is the dance of ecstasy, come down

beloved, and lie in this fair field… The grackles



Envoi:



tackle the discarded and departed in all seasons, the grackles

on the power lines when spring storms sweep hunker down

Mudwise, black-eyes, bitter warrior kings, laugh but never sing

[Dogslandia] Sonnet #241

The absence of things is the greatness of things
The greatest war that ever was was never fought
The greatest fight that ever was was avoided
The greatest crime that ever was died in the mind that imagined it
The greatest poem ever written is a blank page
a single line moves down that page
Recreating this poem
requires
Only
I

[Dogslandia] Sonnet #242

Where is the patron saint of happiness, of things
and people never lost, of a health that blossoms
self and painless mornings and easy losses?
All our prayers to call away the sufferings
Seem to breed dependence on the Lord
As if this world of suffering is built to bleed us
Until we must cry out for grace to relieve us
And saints must help those tuggers on their cord.

Lord, grant us saints of happiness, of everyday
Get out of beds, of Morning coffee, whistled tunes,
And tousled hair late in the day, where we stay
Among the rushes, among the birdsongs, stay
Lord, grant us patron saints of all those lazy afternoons
Of peaceful copper sunsets, and brilliant early moons.

[Dogslandia] Sonnet #240

Everyone I know and love, and everything I need
Exists upon an eggshell, hung by a handshake
as light as a feather; sewn needle and thread
is some landscape cross-stitched at best, that bleeds

in mud patches and most of it is water what's left
is all weeds, a few parking lot moonscapes lean
a few cities together where we think there's hem and heft
Except a single breath could wash this eggshell clean

Of all we know of living things in all the darkness --

Bees dance to guide to flowers; we dance directions, too
But our maps are of interiors deep and warm and blessed
Let me guide you into darkness, where my darkness blooms

Let's work a dance to skylines dark and vast and yet unknown
Where eggshells upon eggshells can be reborn into our homes

[Dogslandia] Sonnet #239

Blackberries are roses. Don't let anyone forget.
Also apples and cherries are roses, the bloom
has the blush, the center familiar, the plum
is a rose, all of them showing their past

Say one is tall as a tree, or as small as a cane
Say the leaves are different, the climates
Say the histories dispute the details of the diets
And the nature of the frosts demand their changes

But, they are roses. See them bloom. The petals
blush as petals, and smell so sweet they fill a room
Every blossom is connected, though the meddle
of the men that came pretend to divvy up and fume
The details of the rosehips that they peddle --
Smell the peach upon the table, know it's bloom
is roses, all just roses: how sweets are made is settled.