The Summons

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
The child sees the flash of the ascending plane
Against the fading twilight he calls it a star
The mind reaches out, to the deep and the far
Enthralled by the heavens and called by its name.


The Forest Wall

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
From high across the meadow I see the wood
Straight like a faceless fortress-wall it stands
Though it be composed of a thousand strands
It beckons, silently, to the soul who could.


The Marylander

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Each of their gold-black heads burns bright in the sun
Along the highway they make a molten sea
Priceless perhaps, for they all grow for free
These weeds - our lords would uproot every one.
a postscript is here written:
Rudbeckia hirta, the Black-Eyed Susan, is the Maryland State Flower.


The Song of the Third Year

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
As we consider each ancient hill
And every tree on them, standing still
The wind that passes them just the same
The river so old it needs no name
The sea and all lakes that rest below
And the mountain peak, gripped in snow
We wonder if permanence is like them at all
If they were young, what would we call
Them then? But three years old
Would we believe, if we were told
That the days would soon give way to months?
For even God was a child once.
a postscript is here written:
"The earth lasts long and heaven abides -- what is the secret to their permanence? They do not live for themselves."

"To say that I love you is to say, 'you will never die.'"


Motor City

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
We were all in it just for the ride
Have you seen the bright cast signs
Every dream-banner that still lines
The strip, and the street on every side
An American graffiti we knew so well
That alone, however was its spell
A reminder that some dreams were real
Not any or all, but that hope was alive
That against hard truth some joy could thrive
That wealth was not simply to steal
That beauty existed not only in the eye
But our own then sought to make us lie
For words to make the real change
Act must follow where thought may be
Act consonant with true possibility
That possible must then re-arrange
Into the actual, not just the flashing wall;
Do now all the rough men haul
The bright neon and the lustrous chrome
That pride which was but made to share
For a moment unfurled our worldly care
Do these things now find a home
Or are they like trinkets cast aside..?
We were all in it just for the ride.


Heat Lightning

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
How short lived the summer's rage does seem
Gone one evening's roiling light display
No rain -- the air itself must sweat all day
And we laugh as midnight's marvels gleam.



it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
The jealous sun hangs heavy upon the day
Even the clouds are fain to give him mask
I paint, I mow the blades of brazen grass
Briefly now in the evening's half-lit shade.


The Rioters

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
In fury they shake the tower's base
With fist and voice and pistol grip
They riot in the shade, until it tip
And they meet the noontide, face to face.



it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
If it weren't that June's tears were spent
July gave more in mourning just the same
All grasses grow long in interminable rain
It is the summer of our discontent.


The Reading of the Books

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
The creak, creak of the rocking-chair
As you read aloud each exalted word
Does our daughter remember all she heard
Or is it just odd music to grace the air?


In Preparation

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
In the shadows of morning you sit
Sun not clambered so high as to loom
Cast a burnt-bright face into the drawing-room
Unsuffering you await the candle to be lit.


Before The Rain

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Before the rain, under a cotton sky
I find myself descending to the lightrail tracks
Underfoot I find what the Walnut tree lacks
Auspex, declare a song while the land is dry!


The Light of Evening

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
The fire in the west comes suddenly
A half hour spans its brilliant display
As it marks the splendor of the ending day
With all the dying suns in their glory.



it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
The sound of thunder in their ears
The rising colors in the night
The shock of sudden light
What each man standing hears
-- Is it a flash of memory?
A loud anthem for the free?
The drum is like in kind
A drive towards death and life
But held as sacred strife
For he must hold in his mind
His days as in a glass
For what purpose will they pass
And pass they will, unto death
Other peoples may defer
But such freedmen must be sure
To never waste their breath
And with courage charge the spears,
The sound of thunder in their ears.


The Mask Slips

it is addressed thusly:
A boding.
it reads:
The mask slips
And in between its rips
Is that an eye we see
Or what else could it be
A face that is not a face
Of the human but a trace
And it is gone in a blink
The mask's bright ink
Down the front it runs, runs
For these are surely Moloch's sons.
a postscript is here written:



it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
In the bright moment, transfixed
I cannot see how to make it real
Can I for but a moment steal
A freeze-frame that depicts
Each motion as a dream litany
Or must it now ape reality
Except poorly as a man watches
A home video, not a moving picture
Or a play or any literary fixture
And tempt brown for the swatches
And wonder where went the life
Or do we ride fiction as a knife
A long grind between fact and lie
A thread drawing flat lines closed
As a garment, but one that exposed
What was caught in my mind's eye
Let none of that artistry be nixed
In the bright moment, transfixed.