Road Kill

In the season of squirrel suicide,
the leaves are a different color green;
the air takes on a cleaner taint
with just a smoky tinge of fear.
Jim says they are without volition,
responding to deep genetic desires;
yet, amid their hesitant stutter steps
they stop, and stare holding my eye
as if to say to us all: yes, it is time.
If they truly are without reason,
why then do they reverse themselves,
and seem to fling their soft bodies
with such spastic martyrdom
into my way and its destruction?

(Revised/reclaimed from memory, 1982/2015)

Opposed to Natural

Look at this piece of pottery, an
artifact—rare. a thing made by art,
an artificial product.  Artifex; (L.f. arti-
art + fex, -fec-em
maker, f. fac-ere
to make.) Artificer.
Artifice  :  the action of an artificer, the
making of anything
by art, construction, work-
manship.  Artificer  : one who makes
by art or skill.  Artificial :  made by
or resulting from art or artifice; contrived,
compassed, or brought about
by constructive skill, and not
spontaneously; not natural.
a. artificial in result as well as process.
This shard speaks in fragments.
Look inscribed here,
a language naturally.
And what does it say?

What dreams forced it onto clay?

(from “if this is a comedy, then why ain’t laughing,” 1993)

Two Poems from "My Book of Changes"



21.  Clarity Shimmers the Day

November 10,1995
Silence prevents
understanding,
concedes to chaos.
Speak!  Thunder rolls
sparking interest.  Lightning
disperses  night.
36.  Veiled Light
November 11, 1995
I work with my students,
alone, with no one to talk
and share.  I often desire
to work through the night.
Writing the dark, watching
the movement of stars.

from My Book of Changes, 1994-1995)