Poetry for the Curious across the Religious Spectrum
Dreamsongs II

     {from Dreamsongs}




Was this Christmas?  The Noel novel, “passing strange,”

Mutter and muzzle flashes of eight inch

Howitzers on the firing range.


Above the placement my lover, thus far Platonic,

Leaning against the fender

Of a 3-quarter-ton—darkly handsome, Byronic.


He’s feasting on his comparative youth, my age.

The gingerbread in his grip

And teeth as 6th Artillery expends its rage.


Jacobs, a Jew and Warrant Officer, has provided

This welcome passage into night,

From Muller, the chef—and the cake is right,


“Just right for the boys on the 0 2 hundred shift.”

I am mesmerized by the scent

Of nitro on the wind when the wind shifts.


Here, on a cot, I am edging into dotage, 67.

There is little of my past

I’d care to repeat; this dream is leavened


By anticipation, another shift, another duty,

And Kevin, 19, my sad

Awakening to his flesh and beauty.


Elsbeth . . . Johanna?  Certainly unawares—

I kiss her image

To an imaginary awakening.  Chief Jacobs swears.


“Christ, it should have been launched at 1:23.

There’s rain coming up;

This night’s like fucking spring—over there, see?”


The rocket flares out like a 1000-fold barrage,

A lengthened flash of light

And sound that stills the rest.  It is urge,


Prolonged blast, an arch against the black.

We recoil at the message,

Bending figurative and literally slightly back.


“What a fucking sight for Christmas,” Jacobs budges.

I am lost in speculation

Regarding Kevin and the night HE judges.





That very Sunday (and all the days WERE Sunday),

The cottage (it is 1969)

On the Kettle Moraine,

And it is a thousand Sundays since the “windowpane” dissolved.

I am and feel no pain.


The air has had the first chill of autumn, but here in the sun,

I FEEL the sun through overcast

And now direct.

On thighs and belly, as I lie on grass,

A dream so vivid


I know it dream and could easily awake,

But dream on for dream’s sake,

And for the blades,

Face down now on the merciful earth, soil of my very soul.

Just shy of 30,


I am ancient here in the infinite press and waning

Of my youth,

Full of its

Miracle, a BILLION earths addressing

Body’s truth.


There is laughter from the house—Johanna endures

HER dream perhaps.

We are still in lapse,

And lapse

Will have us


As the world crowds in,


With my madness hours off.

THERE— my daughter’s treble by the barn!

And with my heightened senses,


With his ball of yarn?


Nothing WILL return—my dream

Has ended.  The strain is not to weep, but to endure,

Another month,

A week.

A year.


Forgive the rancor and the weak.

There—at 3 AM there are suggestions of my raised hand

Against the granular

Wall, and though

I slept


I have not slept the night.


On the floor beyond my cot is MAITREYA,

Bright crimson print,

Lamp black uterus in spin—

And though the vision fades

And I am 67,


I cannot claim to have known no large soul, nor heaven,

Nor to have never felt.


Am consumed by some arduous journey from the roseate

Night toward morning.


I sense a WARMING on the same high hill.