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Just because poetry is dangerous in an age of disingenuousness. Some I've posted before, and one new one. For anyone wandering past who might get something from any one of them.

Triptych On Love

In a perfect world language and cadence
would be consciousness--a spaceship connecting us
to all the other suns;
music, prose, and verse, an aperture to universe;
art would be a paradox:
free and locked in a box;
kids would say things wide-eyed,
sometimes figuring how to grow old and wise,
and love would be a hand out,
little understood and rarely refused.


To think of eternity is to imagine
time to live every life ever lived.

To think of God is to know free will, fate,
and seeking shelter should go on forever--
that vanity and the vanities
needn’t ever leave:
apart of a wheel making the world go round.

To look into the eyes of a long-lasting love,
this time or the next,
is to know of it.


I am here many times, spectacle to the young,
and the heart it sees
isolation is only a symptom--
just not ready to receive fruit from
what has passed to the past.

Until it’s easy for all of us to see
that we’re a drop in a sea,
and remember all we’ve wanted to learn,
you’ll never know just how much you’re loved.

Ocean Of Stars
The view above on this clear night,
away from city light,
reveals the colossal affair:
that which our psyche receives
and streams through our being—
where when a lover holds a lover,
they hold in their arms
an ocean of stars
with a beating heart.


I liked it how
you said
God sits
on the tip
of my tongue,

and how God
has always been seen
as all the light
and all the dark,

and how what came
out of my mouth
could nurture or kill,
and the decision was
no one’s but mine.

And I liked it how you said
following my heart was a lot like
reading books you have to work
to understand:

how it’s tough at first,
but in sticking with it,
it gets easier to do;

and how eventually—eventually—
doing such sets your being
on a course to becoming a star,

a numinous orb
blazing away in the galaxy
of your choosing.

What Is It?

What is it to enter a tent
in order to view someone deformed
by their mother’s sorrow?

What is it to shrink and turn away
from someone tainted with the pain
of a dark memory?

What is it to snub the shopper
who obviously
does not have enough money
to replace the tattered accessory?

If form is an idea
found on the other side
of this foam,
what is shame and vanity
all entangled
throughout a day?

And the night,
and the city lights,
the critique
of stars.

Holiday Poem

It all comes down to the two emotions
of love and fear, everything originates from there.

And these two avenues we traverse between,
running through the number of faiths
that have haunted humanity,
imply there’s some kind of impeccable dream:
something inscrutable and meant to test
the justness of a being: someone set
within a universe never ceasing to transform.

Where comets hurtle through
the spiral of a galaxy,
and the moon can appear as a crescent
as we descend to the street,
and walk out into the bustle,
star players in the drama of potential.

Still Holding Out

It is an autumn afternoon like this,
when palms are drawn still in the calmness
before breezes out of the east arrive;
and the deepening gold shining off the fronds
against the mountainsides
of sage and chaparral,
all overlooking an ocean bay
mirror-flat and silver-blue,
that creates a balm of sublimity
over the sting of wistfulness,
while wondering about you,
and whether you exist at all.


There’s an animal with copper based blood,
whose epidermis flows with flashes,
flowered bursts, revealing the life within.

If man and woman is the synthesis
of every creature, a hierarchic piece
of every preceding age built from the bank
of an ancient river—a bridge
between spirit and nature—then maybe this
one is exemplar of the emotional
just behind the mask of everyday life;
a halo, afferent and efferent,
reticulated and coursing,
between the real and the dreams.

To Moses and a Poet

You were an imperfect hero,
now all the more credible
as a guide through these modern dilemmas
we find discrepancies in,
a pivotal man among the patriarchal,
attempting to lead us away from slavery;

a man rift with fits of violence,
prone to dissent without repent
to whatever it is needing us
to cradle consciousness;
fighting your way through its accouterments.

Marked with handicaps,
a reluctant savior born and castaway
only to be raised by royalty,
only to become a man of divided loyalties;
alienated, wrestling with a mythic persona
which never rests in peace—
a paragon who argued with God.

Within the inner conflict and terrible fear
you kept a dialogue going
and accomplished a change;
deforming your face and burning to tatters
such fine clothes in such a fire;
liberator and land-giver,
intercessor between the divine and us,
never allowing circumstance to dictate choice.


Oh that I would see the world,
that in seeing it so,
saves it from what it should not be.
For a rose, it’s form and fragrance,
does not exist to be damned,
its petals ripped
and dispersed to space:
so this earth should
turn in grace,
and the scent it holds
remain in its place.
Oh that I would see the world,
that in seeing it so,
saves it from what it should not be.

Go Through This

It’s all about moving mountains;
crisp jabs when your arms are tired;
budging a boulder when it seems so set.

And then, you have a dream with a cat—
a Siamese as a matter of fact.
You look up from this and see twins, with fins,
skating across ice chips of a galaxy
and think how much happier you’d be
if you didn’t have to go through this,
fighting your way to a kiss.


Cold, you curl up and shiver; blankets beside.
You wear wool under the summer sun.
You ride bareback backwards;
and lonely, love staring you in the face,
you walk away on your hands.


At times it appeared to be working,
fingering a braille of the imagination--
a language of intuition
scarcely to be explained
was a navigation of intangibility:
like manning a helm on a moonless night
over a unforgiving sea;
while everyone turned away as if you were crazy,
while you struggled with those tight doubts too.

But you stayed the course in case it was true
it was making a difference;
you carried it through--
had to choose risking the love of a muse
for saving a way of knowing;
steadfast, awaiting conclusive proof
you could dismiss the notion at last,
to rejoin the pursuit of all that’s natural,
away from a storm and dark sea
into the smooth arms of joy
and light in her eyes.

Ex Nihilo

When man and woman came
sweeping onto this shore
of consciousness,
the sun was high
and the ocean was as blue
as its sky;
the waters
deposited them there
still delirious
from the
birth of
out of nothing.

After Stafford

Woke up into a mild morning of open windows,
the equinox charged the air
as I walked naked across wood floors
from the bed to the toilet.

Been on probation most my life,
the rest condemned, so these
moments, the changing of the seasons,
count for a lot--peace you know.

Let the scent of the seasons stir memory,
let nostalgia for what might have been, glow.
No plans but an honest day's work,
just being here--this, the whole thing now.


Through your eyes, down to your heart,
and far upstream to where your self
sits before the lotus atop the waters
deep and serene, I know you're there,
as we all are, behind the gaze.

In meeting you, my desire lit
and I wondered if it's true
we should hold hands and kiss.

I do not want anything which isn't
meant to be, though I'd like to know
your journey, and share with you, mine;
to experience us in this tiny moment of time,
becoming God.

Originally posted to John De Herrera on Fri Jul 30, 2010 at 09:36 PM PDT.


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