Looking for Truth

You can look in your books,
Old and new,
Of beginnings and births,
Journeys and exiles,
Looking for truth
In a burning bush,
Or hanging on a Roman tree.

Search the history of time
For big bangs and clouds of gas,
Using probability and fuzzy logic,
Rationality and intellect,
Dialectic and dialogue,
Searching for truth outside the cave
In the depth of a black hole;
In the cry of a baby universe.

You can look inside,
Examine the depths of your soul,
For compassion and humility,
Poetry and purpose,
Knowing the only thing
You can truly know,
Controlling the only thing
You can truly control,
Be present
In the only moment you have,
Looking for truth
Under an Indian fig tree,
With an Athenian gadfly;
Between the pages of an emperor’s journal.

You can look outside,
At starving children on the streets,
At parents slaving to survive,
Living in quiet desperation
At the pleasure of the oligarchs
In the castle on the hill,
500 yards from urine stained crack houses,
6 miles from Robert E. Lee’s hoouse
And the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Looking for truth
In the eyes of a stranger
Or the hand of a friend.




Rainbows (a tanka)


Why so many songs
About rainbows in the sky?
Are they promises
Not to kill us all again,
Or roads to the homes of the gods?


Photo found on WikiMedia Commons and is © Andrew Dunn, 27 September 2005 (Website: http://www.andrewdunnphoto.com/).

Tell Me What I Need to Know


Throne of gold up on high
The Ancient of Days sits
Appearing like a Son of Adam,
White woolly whiskers
Uncombed hair and dirty feet.

Winged creatures come and go,
Speaking to Him of the world below,
Thought, Memory, raven, crow,
Come tell me what I need to know

Noah sent a raven out from the Ark to find dry land;
There was none to be found, the rains washed it all away.
He fed on the rotting floating corps of an iron smelter,
Shat out an island for the dove to find and pissed a river.
At least that’s the story I heard from Utnapishtim’s raven
–I think his name was Neil
In a dream, while he dined on the rotted remains of a friend.

Ancient Allfather Asgard King,
One-eyed wandering Woden,
God of poets, inspiration and berserker rages,
Riding eight legged Sleipner across the rainbow,
A raven on either shoulder, whispering in his ears.

At dawn they fly away and go,
At dinner they report on the world below,
Thought, Memory, raven, crow,
Tell me what I need to know.



Inspired by the Daily Post‘s daily prompt: Ancient


Dust to Dust (for Simon Wiesenthal, 1908-2005 )


Caught in the sacrificial flames
That licked the heavens,
Burned but not burnt

Your brothers’ and sisters’ blood
Cries out to you from the ashes:
“Where is God,” they ask,
“Where is justice?”

The Lord answered:
Tempered in flame
a voice cried out from the wild,
“I am my brother’s keeper!”
Bearing the shield of righteousness;
wielding the sword of truth,
“Justice! Justice I shall pursue!”

A voice for the silenced.
A memory for the forgotten.
A promise to the wicked:
Judgment Day is at hand.

If I Forget Thee

Kneeling on the riverbank
Where the sand turns to mud
Droplets of saltwater
Mingle with the fresh.

Led away in chains
From the land of promise
To the land of our father’s father.

Muted lyres and flutes
Drop to the dust, useless and broken.
Garments rent above the heart.
Howls of despair fill the ears
Of uncircumcised jailers.

Memories of home
Burn like a branding iron,
Searing, Scorching;
Scarring us for all time.

But the light of that fire
Illuminates the path ahead of us,
Guiding us like a pillar of fire
In the wilderness.

Inspired by Psalm 137 and originally published in the Spring/Sumner 2002 issue of Omnibus, the University of South Florida’s literary journal.

Thoughts, Dreams and Reflections (For Allen Ginsberg)


I. Thoughts

I thought of you today, Allen Ginsberg,
As I often do when the howls from
Desolation Row enrapture my mind.
Rapid fired images stolen from
Dreams and nightmares of America.
Starving in the streets like
Hysterical angel headed hipsters
And raggedy vagabond doctors
Crouched in darkened doorways
Snarling, scratching at the
Constable’s carriage for
A scrap of bread.

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