gathers our wishes
to shine as billions of hopes
in the black sky,
forming paths of light
from our longings.
What set stars ablaze
set us afire as well,
born, as we were,
in nebula nurseries.
draw upward our gaze,
of planets grown full and massive,
dying yet deathless gaseous energy
we were released, transformed.
We have long forgotten
the super nova of numberless explosions,
how we floated on helium
settling as electrified dust sparking, fiery
Today my hometown music sets the groove for the dance soul sway joy drum beats saxophone shouts in this coffee shop.
I remember Chicago rhythm and blues how the projects loom over expressways the “El” clatters shakes the rattling windows of a tenement screeching to a scheduled stop from the eleventh floor, a five-year-old watches big-eyed as below cars speed downtown the refrain “Stand by me…” fills the air from somewhere near before the deafening roar of the train passes the boy I feel the faith not mine but unshakeable his brother waiting sitting on the stoop at noon job denied one more time.
In third grade Fred and Larvell were my friends. When I was ten Larvell's mother was shot. When I was twenty, Fred was shot in his bed.
In my car, Marvin Gaye sings “Makes me Wanna Holler, Throw up Both My Hands…” on the radio. I feel faith between the notes, love not mine, but from a distance, mine too as I drive to the South Side singing, weeping with Marvin to my job at the welfare warfare office.
“…love life in a form that is not your own and be indulgent toward those who are growing old, who are afraid of the aloneness that you trust…. and don’t expect any understanding; but believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance…”
“Make your ego porous. Will is of little importance, complaining is nothing, fame is nothing. Openness, patience, receptivity, solitude is everything.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
and its quietude
is a nightmare of isolation,
the opposite of love,
that an empty room
is not filled by their own body
only by others.
Some hide under crowd-cover
or run from themselves to another.
Solitude might be cherished
even more than a lover.
What else but solitude
nourishes your poems like rain on wildflowers,
grows your songs, flows your art?
opens to the vista beyond your confines,
returns you to yourself,
honors your silence,
makes space for your tears,
and a place to rest.
leaves room for your questions
is the dawn for your answers
reminds you of the warp and weave
connecting the universe,
the unconditional oneness.
What invites you to meditation,
brings you to your spirit,
leads you to prayer?
The mind runs like a train to a small town where the news is old. It travels to the same endlessly certain destination so you can live safely guarded
from the intrusion of possibilities undisturbed by questions.
your muscles clenched
You are puzzled
by how hard it is to bend,
to reach out or up
unaware of the bars in your jail cell like a fish, unaware of water.
In your narrow, airless room open the dusty curtain lift the window allow vistas to open where solutions like surprises rise up as flowers ready to bloom in the soil of spaciousness. Breathe. Stretch. Loosen your hands around your own neck. Unlock the prison cell. Step outdoors inhale at last deeply fresh mountain air at the start of a new day in a new place. Unfold yourself like a blanket on the grass.