Monday, October 10, 2005


i have witnessed
the jagged cliffs of sedona
open wide
like a leprous hand
and reach upward
to a burning sky
and i have seen there
the moon's brooding face
like the face of g-d
and i have wept there
i have died there
and lived again
in haggard shadow

i have drank
from the waters of babylon
a jewish man
an arab man
a free man
a slave man
a saint
a prophet
crucified and resurrected

i have stood
at the wind blown doors
of empty temples
heard the cries
of mulahs priests rabbis
from floor to ceiling
i have seen their ghosts
like limp rags
sat in the silence
of their vestiges

i have seen the fear
in soldiers' eyes
and looked away
and i have seen it
in the stiffness of their stride
i have felt their courage
their conviction
i have wept with them
and for them
at their gravesides
i have stood silent there
with their families
been in their hallowed homes
touched their cherished things
i have drank their whiskey and wine
listened to their stories
told by women who loved them
and i have sat where the tide
rolls heavy
the sky electric
glad to be free of them
glad to be alone at last
in the wondrous bliss of nothingness

i have seen the man who cannot hear
the man who cannot speak
the blind man the madman
the prisoner of his birth
i have read about them
in all the holy books
the expiation that is their suffering
the exquisite blessings
that await them
in the distant arms of g-d

i have shouted at it
laughed at it
from the rooftops of flood waters
drank it away with port wine
fled from it with mahler whitman
like solomon
i have written of it
from the ruins of night
only to sit
spent on my throne
in the early light of dawn

and i have stood
upon their parapets
amid their spears and arrows
raging like a madman
only to sit dumb
upon the smoldering fields
where their fallen lay
and then flee to the forest
thick with fallen leaves
a breathless fugitive
my bonfire
striving with the darkness
flashing like neon
across my hoary face


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