Daily Archives: August 24, 2015

Corresponding With Herons And Sonny Rollins

Originally posted 2/23/2011.

Left the radio on
and fell asleep; 
woke before dawn
to Sonny Rollins.

So this is why
I corresponded all night
with herons!
I recall long letters
written in dark ink
on creamy paper
with quills lent to me
by green herons

and great blues.

No, that was
a dream, 
says the 

daylight — 

Sonny says,
who you gonna believe?
Sonny says

go back to sleep,
seek the herons’ counsel;
this argument will keep
as I play: first, a song to accompany
a deep wading into 
night’s marsh;

then, a song
to fly by.

 

Song To Sing In The Dark

When do you think the killing will stop?
By solider, by monster, by husband or cop?
The blood soaking everything, bottom to top;
When do you think the killing will stop?

When do you think they will let the poor be?
When will you and I get our chance to live free?
When will hungry folks eat and the strangled breathe free?
When do you think they will let the poor be?

When will the business of prison go broke?
When will the pipeline of slaves start to choke?
When will our sparks lead to smolder, then smoke?
When will the business of prison go broke?

When do we stand up and say it’s enough?
When will we swallow our fear and get rough?
It will never be easy, it will be always be tough —
If now’s not the moment, what will be enough?


The Routine

hungry at 6 AM
used to mean still drunk,
desperately seeking absorption

used to mean I’d overeaten

the day before 

now it just means
I’m on time for breakfast

now it means I’m in a 

routine

by which I mean I do this regularly 
and take some comfort from it 

I am astonished at the peace
in my once happily chaotic self

that routine creates but

before you of long order and gentle lives
gloat entirely about my assimilation into your ranks
understand that part of the routine

involves opening a finger
drawing my blood onto a strip
and staring at the subsequent appearance of a number
which tells me if my routine is saving me

and the only reason I follow it
and take joy from it
is the hope that on any given day
the routine will have cleared
enough death from me

that I can take a moment
of glorious disorder from it

and be my old self again