The Spinning Planet


If I listened to mystics I would

Speak in contradictions. The opposite

Of fight is surrender. Not the clenched

Fist, but the open palm.


But that would mean listening to strangers.

Advancing into unknown terrain

On the advice of those who know less

Than a cluster of starlings crowding

Winter trees.


So far, nothing stops the sun.

The unending foam of ocean.

The brief lights that appear

Not as hope, but as promise


Of a fiery denoument.

Ask the Arawaks, nothing lasts.

Tell Sitting Bull to stand

& face West, Red Tomahawk too.

Look, in my neighbourhood there’s a truck


With this slogan written on the side:

The world would rather hug you than hurt you”

In the Arctic Ocean Killer Whales bump seals

From tiny islands of ice into the jaws of their pals.


I grew up next to a string of Motels

Cluttering the elbow of Highway 99.

The leaning cathedrals of women

& solemn arcs of men

Could not dissuade my trajectory.


I had to enter those rooms

& see the stardust

For myself.


The Mad Farmer in the Wilderness


            Going against men, I have heard at times a deep harmony

                Thrumming in the mixture, and when they ask me what

                I say I don’t know. It is not the only or the easiest

                Way to come to the truth, it is one way.

                                                                                -Wendell Berry


I can no longer stay here so I go.

I have taken the clocks & burned them.


I keep the bones of the Arawaks

Whittled to toothpicks.

Swatches of skin inked with verse.


Out here when I speak,

I am drowned out by the stream,

Shrieking birds & the deafening roar

Of leaves.


I have become use to my voice falling

On indifferent soil, my words

Not a watered commodity,

But chaff shook loose form the hull.


There is a riddle in the field.

It cannot be answered simply

Because the answer will not suffice.


I am diminished by the towering farms.

There is no room for the sun & the shade.

The maze of humanity winds

Into itself, we are turned back again

To where we have been.