I’m still caught on teeth, those yellow jagged teeth
surrounded by liver-lips drawn up and back
in such a snarl (or is it a sneer?),
such a scream (or is it a moan?)…those teeth broken
from chewing on that Stone.
You’ve been infected with Ginsberg disease
and you howl at Allen-moons for no reason at all
(No, I don’t say there’s no reason that you howl,
I said you howl for no reason), and that is why
you snarl and sneer, scream and moan
and gnash your teeth on Living Stone.One
And me, writhing there and twisting, twixt your chewing jaws?
How does my blood taste? Like pusillanimous payback?
Like silver times 30? Like bright copper pennies
that make no sense…or something different?
Like strawberries in summer, cranberries in winter,
grapes in autumn…flowers in Spring?
Alas, you do not see those chosen chains that hold me there,
left wrist shackled, right hand extended,
left hand open in laughter, right wrist bound in life..
for there is room—and reason—for life and laughter…
and this you have not noticed, in your imitation howl,
in your false heroic snarl, your wild and bulging eyes
fixed ever on the chains you think hold me in jail
but are those bonds against which you strain and flail!Two
Even in the air besotted by your breath,
your breath befouled by hurt and haunted by revenge,
there is Joy beneath that pain, a presence that is Present,
a winsome invitation all around us constantly that beckons
“Come participate, in spite of buried questions, be honest in conclusions
and philosophies you claim explain the past, present and future.”
You chained in pain, me in pain and chained, and rooted
by choices to remain…deep rooted, ever-grounded
in joy, in life, in laughter, wonder-imagination
as a child who can be startled by the One I’m looking for…
…and I stumble there, across it, flickering on rainbows,
on the razor’s edge and caught between the past and future…
and then it disappears as present becomes Brilliant Present
and then fades…into the next one (the next present into Present
it’s apparent as a parent and it’s hidden to a child),
this stark stripping of the clothes of coming future,
this discarding of the grave-cloth of the past.Three
There is Wonder in this world, there is Laughter hidden here
deep within the very marrow of the dry bones long laid tender
in the ground to decompose, it remains, it ever-lingers
in the beauty, in the humor, in the unexpected joy,
in the child at play enraptured and delighted in each breath!
And it has a source, origin! Just as we do, there is meaning
to these fickle days that bob and weave
from logic unto laughter and then back again to wonder!
It’s the Image…and your railings and your rantings can’t deface it!
It will ever-shine so clearly, silver-startling against sunset!
It is resident inside you and it calls out to beginnings
in a loving Present maker who gives us immortal worth
in the image…in the image…in the Word become the Image…Four
You are haunted by what’s happened, I am haunted by what’s coming!
You are chained by your distortions, I am chained by this great Hope
that if we lay our burdens by the streams of Babylon,
by waters dark with mystery, with nothing left to gain or lose
then merriment will come again, hauntingly…to waken us
and we will play again, at last, and make merry our hearts alive.
And so we come to where we started,
gnashing teeth and heroes chained
and villains caught on points of light
and the central Player in the drama,
Resurrected Son of God, fully human fully God,
and the ringing Invitation sounding in our desolation!Five
We can set each other free, I set you free, you set me,
if we take the invitation of the Author of our story
and live full in our encounters, present in the desolation
drinking of the consolation that our present becomes Present
and the Gift is greater than the bitter rancid agony
of hope deferred and love-sick hearts.
And that door on which we knock? It will someday open for us,
swing wide and receive us Inside…Inside…where we will be Present…
So please come back from those fevered flights of fancy so infected
by the greatest poison ever known, the venom of a fallen Self…
seek and play, find and live, and be noble in the giving
of ourselves to one another new in every radiant dawn.