Two Poems

Image: Rayn Roberts. CC-BY-SA 4.0

Winter Solstice

and when I came to the place
where the old oaks grow
I knew why men
had worshiped the tree
understanding older than the oak
grew in me,
for I had breathed in the belly of the stone
when stone was not

had grown in the core of the tree
before the thorn
of the wild rose tore me,
the leap of the hare
was in my feet, hornet wing
and hornet sting protected me
and when I sang, the raven’s call
floated from my beak–
the wisdom of the old ways is not lost,

but hidden

where water wears down rock
the hill hold, the puma slows
all things rest and are right

where the trees speak the light


It’s All Good


as fate would have it, as Issac would see
three Palestinian men
walked out of the future into the past
each would call his own.

As effect would cause, cause had an effect
only an uncle of Noah could pause,
the three came
as the world fell apart hell-bent on putting back
together again
they just couldn’t leave it alone.


one called his Dad on a phone:
“No one has any idea
what they’re doing down here

fracking into hades
setting off Quana quakes
uprooting trees in Gethsemane,
surely there’s some mistake,

then one deep Nazarene night
to save you and me
Jesus staggered out a virgin womb

… high on THC.


how’d he do that, how could he fake
treading water he’d make into wine
multiply bagels, cream cheese, lox
feeding countless poker players
giving sermons on a big soapbox
in the voice in Constantine’s cross:

“Time, time, time
see what’s become of me
while I look around
for my possibilities
I was so hard to please.”

little did the Emperor know
the battle had only begun
he never had any clothes,
that was great for everyone
just not the Jews–

now hear this
drink up, it’s closing time
the three were not the wise men
they were crooks, rebels
vandals and monks, imams
and right-wing rabbis
marlborough men on camels

But the Son of Man
had it right all along:

stubborn, stiff-necked fools
not a stone on a stone will remain,
yours is the home of the scorpion
Jerusalem, a burnt offering for Rome
It was not what the people wanted:



seeking a way to paradise, Zionists
bought stock in the Promised Land
“Come here, here, they said
Leaving the world just as they found it
brighter than Odilon’s paint
Clear as Hagar’s angel to Ishmael,
“I will make many nations of you.”
I will make murderous cities of you
for my people many more wars

The blade falls from Abraham’s hand


For what reason did Issac live on,

how was that savage act undone?
the love of father and son?
maybe God had nothing to do with it
old Abe
just came to his senses seeing

a rock, a club, a knife, a tank
bombs big enough
to wipe Eden away,
Artists, Scientists, Philosophers
waiting in the wings, watching
from crying rooms, a Darwinian drama
that cannot end well for anyone.


out of the dead sea scrolls
diamonds from the Sons of Light
out of our need the ideal spin
gods, gnomes, heroes, heroines

a fulfillment wish that never was
escape from death that cannot be

for the old swallows the new, the serpent
eats its own tail, Ourobouros
vomits food to the baby viper

The Great Mother shrugs us all off
Singing, “Goodie, goodie, goodie, good

It’s all so good indeed.

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