Philosophy

A Time of Bees

All day my husband pounds on the upstairs porch.
Screeches and grunts of wood as the wall is opened
keep the whole house tormented. He is trying to reach
the bees, he is after bees. This is the climax, an end
to two summers of small operations with sprays and ladders.

Last June on the porch floor I found them dead,
a sprinkle of dusty bugs, and next day a still worse
death, until, like falling in love, bee-haunted,
I swept up bigger and bigger loads of some hatch,
I thought, sickened, and sickening me, from what origin?

A Panic That Can Still Come Upon Me

If today and today I am calling aloud

If I break into pieces of glitter on asphalt
bits of sun, the din

if tires whine on wet pavement
everything humming

If we find we are still in motion
and have arrived in Zeno’ s thought, like

if sunshine hits marble and the sea lights up
we might know we were loved, are loved
if flames and harvest, the enchanted plain

If our wishes are met with dirt
and thyme, thistle, oil,
heirloom, and basil

or the end result is worry, chaos
and if “I should know better”

Gravelly Run

I don’ t know somehow it seems sufficient
to see and hear whatever coming and going is,
losing the self to the victory
of stones and trees,
of bending sandpit lakes, crescent
round groves of dwarf pine:

for it is not so much to know the self
as to know it as it is known
by galaxy and cedar cone,
as if birth had never found it
and death could never end it:

Sylvia

Across a space peopled with stars I am
laughing while my sides ache for existence
it turns out is profound though the profound
because of time it turns out is an illusion
and all of this is infinitely improbable
given the space, for which I gratefully lie
in three feet of snow making a shallow grave
I would have called an angel otherwise and
think of my own rapturous escape from
living only as dust and dirt, little sister.

Kindness

When deeds splay before us
precious as gold & unused chances
stripped from the whine-bone,
we know the moment kindheartedness
walks in. Each praise be
echoes us back as the years uncount
themselves, eating salt. Though blood
first shaped us on the climbing wheel,
the human mind lit by the savanna’ s
ice star & thistle rose,
your knowing gaze enters a room
& opens the day,
saying we were made for fun.
Even the bedazzled brute knows
when sunlight falls through leaves

One Train May Hide Another

In a poem, one line may hide another line,
As at a crossing, one train may hide another train.
That is, if you are waiting to cross
The tracks, wait to do it for one moment at
Least after the first train is gone. And so when you read
Wait until you have read the next line —
Then it is safe to go on reading.
In a family one sister may conceal another,
So, when you are courting, it's best to have them all in view
Otherwise in coming to find one you may love another.
One father or one brother may hide the man,

Convenience Store Aquinas

7-Eleven’ s a misnomer, like “mind-
body” problem. They never close. The hyphen’ s

a dash of form. Sure, this mind-body’ s
a machine, if you want, plowing across town

to the steak house. American Spirit. Give us
the yellow pack. No matches? This dollar

fifty-nine Santa lighter, too. Big Grab bag
of Doritos. No, the “engine” is not

separate — it’ s part of the machine. Sure, paper’ s
good, container for recycling. Rain’ s no problem.

I eat the Doritos, smoke up — one for you?
The chips are part of my machine —

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Philosophy