. .  . A poem a day
                                    2 August 1999

   Ghostly guides from another Age,

   All the Traditions point to possible meaning,

   Dancing in the corners of visions,

   Glorious or gory, universal or so personal

   They mean anything only if you were there

   The day Aunt Fred dropped the jello and

   ...Never mind. Grasped too tightly,

   All the names turn brittle,

   Signify more and more about less and less

   Till, a tower of sand, dissolves like Babel,

   Leaving spiritual orphans, condemned to heterodox shame,

   As if stoned: incoherent in raw experience,

   To indicate what sense we can

   With names adrift as our lives,

   Closer to Chaos...no farther from

   A Truth beyond the coherence of names

   Coyote casts Runes in Japanese.

   Raven plays Heavy Metal in Mogadishu.

   How many gum drops must P'aila eat to

   Lose her teeth?....Babel, when coherence

   Becomes too isolated to communicate.

   Nostalgia for a common language of the soul

   Can no more resurrect dead spiritual forms,

   Derived from once-stable circumstance long since melted,

   Than parents dead on another planet

   Can tell us how to greet a living Spirit

   Whose waxing form as yet has no shared name.

   Borrowing mutilated pieces of Traditions,

   Fumbling and mumbling, spiritual orphans,

   We make what sense we can of inevitable experience.

more Uncle River poems  archives