Stuttering Boy

  • Posted on: 26 November 2015
  • By: Joe

Stuttering boy
stammers out the words
that are afraid to come out
never gets to say what's in his heart:

he never gets to say "I l-l-love you"
to the b-b-beautiful girl

the teenager stammers
looking for new words
to create a new reality
for his g-g-generation
trying to speak his own vision
for his own time
in b-b-broken words
a b-b-breakaway from the past

in the Bible
Moses stuttered when he saw the bush
rise into flame
and said:
"my g-g-god"
hu-hu-who are you?
and again before Pharoah
as he saw his rod turn into serpent:
"Let my p-p-people g-g-go"

with this stutter
he turned slavery into fredom

the poet continuously stutters
never knowing what words
are going to c-c-come next
from mouth or p-p-pen

the miraculous stutter transforming
vision into sound
feeling into words
voice into l-l-language

Searching (for Robert Bly)

  • Posted on: 26 November 2015
  • By: Joe

While others were searching for the Holy One
I came searching for you

you took me in and fed me
you accept me the way that I am

to you all my faults are a grain of sand
washed by the Ganges

to you all my pain is a drop of water
floating on the Pacific

what I offer you in return
is my love

and all I ask of you
is the thorn

that's been buried deeply
in your flesh

Sunrise In The West (for John Densmore)

  • Posted on: 26 November 2015
  • By: Joe

he appears in my dreams:
the sunlight of L.A.
a fast car roaring down the highway

he holds a pen
writes a book
makes a record
of an artist's life

he appears in a group of men
dancing in a circle to

the beat of his drum
tells a story
to the storyteller:
she begins to dance wildly
on stage
telling a story that
she doesn't yet know

the green he wears
is the green of the earth
the gold he carries
is the gold of the sun

he appears in my dreams
after my older brother has gone:
a new brother
a bond beyond blood

together we drive
up the high way
towards the sunrise
in the West

Song Of The Burnt Earth (for Stephen Kent)

  • Posted on: 26 November 2015
  • By: Joe


the song of the burnt earth
the sound of great trees and branches
the sound of wind through the trees

the song of the earth:
deep and resonant
breath deepening into the body
and rising out
circling up
filling the air
filling the wind

the song of the fiery Earth
a sound so low
only we can hear it
a sound so deep
only we can make

the song of the burnt earth:

a song so soft

only we can breathe it

Realm Of Possibilities

  • Posted on: 26 November 2015
  • By: Joe

at nine in the morning
outside an Oakland subway station
a young man sits at the bus stop
with a bottle in a
brown paper bag
drinks some wine
smiles at a dog running by

he asks me
if I'm a student on my way to school
with all these books in my hands
I say no, I'm an English teacher
he says, "oh, I liked English when I was in school
but I dropped out and went to the war
and never went back to school"

he offers me some wine
and asks me
"do you ever think about
the realm of possibilities?"
I stop, startled.
he says, "the realm of possibilities . . .
I think about it a lot.
all the different things we might be doing.
all the different people we could be.
my friends don't like it when I
talk about it.
they don't wanna hear it.
but I keep thinking about
the realm of possibilities . . . ."

Ever since that day I think of
I dream of a sea

and walking
                    into the 

suddenly surrounded by
waves               water           tide               roaring
          crashing           foam          rushing               water

diving into the

where I can

the realm