The Herb Of Grace

Theology and Poetry, Politics and Prose

Immature Poets Borrow, Mature Poets Steal May 28, 2010

Filed under: poetry — Joel @ 6:36 am
we are walking through sullen fields
bright skies burning like crows in flame
searching with our fingers, clawing dirt
for orbs of time, wrapped in warm wool
because all the time in the world
is loose and ill managed
there must be some extra
around for the borrowing
but T.S. Eliot said, “immature poets borrow, mature poets steal”
so i’d steal the forgotten moments first
the ones marked by string around pinkies
no one would miss them
that string theory never worked
next i’d slide into bedrooms all over the world
give millionaires one less hour of sleep each
i’d have a doctor’s bag, and i’d slip each hour carefully in between the leather walls
then i’d go to cemeteries where the dead have been misburied
where the wrong relatives stoop over the wrong graves
we could all use a little less grief
so i pickpocket five or ten minutes from each one
then i’d go where i should have gone first
to the moments of mental numbness
on the bus
or in front of the dryer
or on a couch in front of reruns of Lost
i’d take all those, with greedy hands
with eyes not looking for forgiveness
after all this, i’d return
to my secret lair
where i stash the orbs of time
each a different size
a different color
into their various sorted bins, labeled appropriately
i would fill my clawfoot bath tub with steaming hot water
light a cigar
and wait for the morning
when i will begin to spend
an orb here
an orb there
to ease the pain of being

After The Monastery: Finding I Am Awake (A Poem) May 18, 2010

Filed under: poetry — Joel @ 7:57 pm
lay in the light
new born
breath forth
your first
all the fists
in every world
cannot break
these promises
my eye is on the inner landscapes
the twilight hills are commas
road blocks
on the way to delirious heights
my own mental ocean
rocks so quickly on its heels
back and forth
the bells swing
dew glistening
recline in the diving sun
reflect back to him
his own posture of mid-summer leisure
and then arch your back
as you spring from the board of your home-thought
and fling the meddlesome down through no-thought
back into presence
the savior of words
then mash up your power
crumple it up like high school paper
and leave it to be swept clean
by tides and brooms
and gargantuan tongues
who are all getting double-time
so don’t worry.
don’t worry about love
and its many angled faces
its scales of rainbows
and water piping through air
love can take care of its own.
Of its own cares, which are few,
love can sing every lullaby
and can bang every morning drum
so don’t worry about love
the lawsuit is pending
but its not strong.
the swimming stars are recalcitrant
calling back every opinion
back by the back way
the alley highway
the single lane way
I wonder what my last breathe will feel like,
if I think of it at all,
or if my mind will already be aiming
its thousand cannons
its fingers to the sky
never an accusation could I muster
never a foul trap could I construct
in the workshop of my soul
for You who give me life
You who gild life
You who make the rain fall.
I dream of faces I know
persons I share the time of days with
and this is strange
I am outside my skin
for the first time
and the society of men is gleaming
and is real
and stands in clouds of breathe
wandering in stillness
a hundred photographs
flipping into motion
held by invisible fingers

A Poem: In The Night August 10, 2008

Filed under: poetry — Joel @ 6:22 am
Tags: ,

In the night
I am alone.

I sweat through the days
so I can sit here,
like this,
finding you.