Daily Archives: November 7, 2016

Wisdom Path

Originally posted 11/3/2012.  

When apocalypse comes,
it will come slowly.
God will not have sent it.  

It won’t have been sent at all.
It will just come of its own accord
on its own wisdom path.  

If asked, it will say, “I came to be here
because this path that opened before me
brought me here.”

The mountains at the edge of town 
will nod,
almost too slowly to notice.

The long hair of meadows 
will wave in assent. The rest of earth
will agree with it at once.  

Then, as it serenely kills us,
we will be forced to accept
the expertise that pushed for this — 

Wisdom itself seems bent
on using catastrophe to instruct
as we seem unable to learn

that we are not
and have never been
at the end of that path.

Leaf By Leaf

Election eve,
and leaf by leaf

it’s all coming down
outside. Next door
they’re raking leaves
into piles before
putting them
into the street for
collection, with a scratch
upon scratch of
metal teeth on 
worn asphalt and hard 
brush of the same
sweeping over
thin lawn: sounds
of ending and
of resignation to 
the hard work of 
coming winter. 

As for me, laboring
over a difficult task
indoors, stopping
to finish this poem 
surreptitiously, as if
someone was 
hovering over my shoulder?
I heard somewhere
that raking is bad
for the lawn and 
right or wrong, that suits me
fine. Permission to keep my head
in the sand of this work
a little longer. Living
according to
acceptable facts. Winter’s 
looming, getting here
maybe as early
as tomorrow night. I
will stay right here
for as long as I can
and do nothing urgently
needed, except 
perhaps this poem
is what is needed,
I tell myself
this is the most vital work
of the moment
even as we are buried,
leaf by leaf,
in the Fall.


If I had
years before today

into the hard
landscape of 
my greatest longing

and ended up as
anonymous bones
scattered along an arroyo

I would still be
better off than 
I am now. 

You don’t see
how that could be
possible. From within

your deep love
of life you
cannot see 

how such a blotting out
could be

Look at the sunset,
which will be over
soon.  Look at

the way it reds
and then purple-grays
the west-facing slopes,

then think of 
never seeing it again
except in memory:

think of how
lovely it was and
of how its beauty

only existed
as a result of
its vanishing.