‘We should be so anchored in that stillness of the ocean,
so much so that waves do not bother us.’
‘Avoid the bridge, he says.
We need all the poets.’
One last brilliant morning, and watch,
I become seagull.
Has poetry ever brought back a lover
except in dreams
Has it ever changed one heart
Have words ever mended
That is a job for Time.
My poems are songs for no-one, you see.
I sing them on a street corner
For the wind, for the rare passerby
There is no hat on the pavement,
You can keep your change.
Respectability will not keep you warm at night.
All these books, my house is made of them,
their wondrous stories
they are but paper and weight in the dark.
The sun kisses me and I fall asleep
in a room bathed in golden light
the sunsets are getting longer these days
– look at this cloudless sky, the heat of summer in January,
how can one not be happy?
That is not what I came for.
There are constellations on my skin
You will never see
Here is Ursa Major,
Yours was the final, absolute silence
Of deep space –
I was tethered
Night stars are beautiful to look at
But, oh, they cannot warm you
Diamonds are heartless
In the dark,
He speaks a tongue I do not understand.
During the day he absolves me.
When Life gives, take.
She is a miserly landlady, sometimes
And this is not a kind Winter.
When the thick walls of the city are besieged,
they absorb the injury of cannons,
fiery arrows, climbing soldiers.
To a point.
A fortress, like a ship, like a dam,
is still made by human hands.
Lo, the smallest breach and the tiniest rivulet
Bring down civilizations.
San Diego, January 2013