A Passion

the be held and to behold / are an initiation / this is how it begins / if we are / at a beginning / something must also be / ending / this is the end of eyes / this is the start / of sight //

i wept alone in the garden / beside the guava tree / the olives of gethsemane / were far from me now / but the dark night was the same / the others caviled / just beyond the hedge / trading pleasantries and judgments / i could see their bodies / moving but they were deep / in sleep / i prayed i prayed i / prayed / i prayed into the black bowl of stars overhead / what is it to be on this earth? //

i could have walked / the whole journey on my knees / spilling blood no longer alarms me / haven’t i been conditioned / to fall down / before the mighty? haven’t i been taught to call myself weak? / the earth-bound enthusiasm of the crowds has died / down and the streets are empty now / and i go lovingly into such doom / as only i can / must shoulder //

in the bed in outer sunset / no one saw / his eyes were closed / my eyes were closed / neither of us knew the color / of the monstrosity until later / i was laid / out torn / through / abandoned / on the hill / i rushed into a tomb of my own making / for years my body / made appearances / on the other side / but always went back to the grave / no one saw / not even me // i’m getting another chance / now to make the ascent / to embrace the execution / this time out of love / out of free surrender / to place a placard above my battered body that reads / this suffering is not – who i am – but who – i am – is someone who accepts – this suffering //

that one tried to wash his hands of me / that one kept pouring fresh water in the basin / that one tried to mount the case against me / that one tried to trap me with floral-scented questions and flaunted the protocols / my preaching my teaching my message my love / unreceivable / that one wonders whether to believe me / that one is still trying to rile the crowd / assemble the rabble / break my bastion-body / that one is telling everyone to go home / that one can’t be convinced to walk away / those ones will one day / have to reckon with / their misplaced desires / for now they have done their job / well because i no longer / want to go to sleep / and now those ones watch me fall / to my knees / and remind me that my legs aren’t / broken / i decline the terms of the game / and play until / i decide / it is finished//

you’ve never seen / love like this before / you’ve never seen power / refuse to dominate / you’ve never had to look into the well / the chalice / the jug / the fountain / and find such latent evil / where living water / should be / you’ve never dared believe that nothing / was the answer / that emptiness was the solution / that getting it right could hurt / you’ve never been asked to raise you eyes beyond the dust / but here / i am / on the hill / and you can’t look away / listen to me refuse / those small consolations / agonize / pray a prayer you / can hardly imagine / forgive them // only the sleep-walking malice missionaries / and soul-shattered beloveds / remain which one / are you //

for the stories / he was willing to tell / about the least / among us the woman / at the well / the overlooked outcast / for the hands / he laid on this blistered breasts / and blood-forsaken feet / and corrupt but contrite souls / for the wounds he was willing to kiss / for the love made visible in his eyes / they have come to kill him / he wept / and then said yes // for the stories / i am willing to tell / about the great chain of being / and the seeds that belong to rocks / for the hearts i have gathered / at the gate of enchantment / for the hate i refuse / to ingest for the battle i fight / without a single weapon / for the dreams / in which we say yes / and mean it / they have come / to kill me / so i weep too / and then say yes //

if someone must be blamed / blame me / if someone must be mocked / mock me / if someone must be eliminated / eliminate me / this is how / i prayed my prayer / is being answered / i choose / this death / for what it is / the end of a lie / the birth of my first / freedom //

Journey to the Heart of Gaia
You are a Mountain — Blessing for my father on his 93rd birthday