of poetic genius—his postcard
portrayal of a plaid-shirt-Jesus tacked up
beside Bukowski hugging a whore.
On my desk is the emptied half-pint of Paddy,
Jimbo’s “Irish Rebel Jar of the Cosmic Eternity,”
stuffed with dirt, peat, twigs, grass, Yeats,
sand, & whiskey—life blood of the old
sod—cozied up to anAtlanticcoast clam shell—
mementos all from vagabond friends
like the photo of the swan beating his wings
standing on the Duck Farm pond.
This day, too, is a gift: two inches of fresh
snow silencing our post-Easter spring.
A white tail doe nibbles pussy willows in the yard.
I shrug soreness from my shoulders, note
wrinkles in the mirror, gray hair
in my beard. Isn’t it weird to be here
(the longer you’re here) & aware
you won’t be here much longer?
I found the rock sitting on my windowsill
thirty years ago up Pebble Creek,
kept it because it looked like a brain (actually half—
one hemisphere): porous, lobed
& pitted. I notice a piece of quartz embedded
in the cortex—reminding me
of Tony’s tumor. Rumor has it
Death is lurking for this sweet-hearted
lad who is a kid & a man & a husband &
a dad . . . goddamn-it-all-to-Hell anyway.
I scan the rock, turn it slowly
in my hands. All I see is stone:
hard, rough, mysterious—like cancer.
Life is a distraction on death row.
Am I missing something . . . besides faith?
Is there a lesson, some healing secret
or Grail buried deep underground? Don’t ask me.
Christ promises all will be revealed,
so we’ll see . . . with the sleeper’s closed eyes . . .
if we’re more than forgotten dreams.