Blood Songs $15

I’m really not sure why this particular collection of my poems is called Blood Songs, the title it has had since beginning the first poem of the book written in October of 2000. Poetic inspiration has always been a puzzle, from first oracles or seers when pampas grasses were blowing and mastodons roamed, to our prize-winning poets in their university offices and writery nooks, suddenly flashing and scribbling, or brow-wrinkling and calling up from Freudian or Jungian, Buddhist or Sufi or every other possible depths, these fragile and resilient linguistic exhalations.

Poem Selection from Blood Songs

Winter Scene


(Note: Though this poem was written in 2001, amazingly it turns out to have been written the same date as tonight, January 7, during one of the coldest Polar Vortex chill blasts I’ve experienced, and certainly the coldest in many years in Philadelphia. With prayers for the indigent and God’s warmth on them…)

Cold winter night blue snow crust on the ground
colors bleached out to only a few from the usual spectrum

even multicolored things in black and white now
palladiums of xylophone ice cabinets in a near dimension suspended

just above ground level played on by angels using
devilish mallets to make long low echoing plongs of sound

reverberate among skeletal trees housing the few birds
left in their snow coats trying to snooze heads deeply

buried in wing-pits like tight
feather balls for a sport frozen in space the pitch

suddenly stopped in midair until spring thaw
when all will float freely in space again against

flittering green backdrops and uncoiling scarlet splashes and
a soft golden ubiquitous light even in the middle of the night

it seems with earth’s blood flow pulsing so
youthfully again through the vision screen

and everything again like a golden
ocean in motion with all its leaping arcs and arches

not like the
present suspended animation of the silvery ice-world held in the

center of planetary star-space like a single round teardrop frozen on its
sad descent to nowhere from no particular

origination to no clear destination but dear God’s good
pleasure through all His various weathers rapidly

shifting from hot to cold and
back again in our


1/7/2001 (from Blood Songs)

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Because he began as a baby and will end as an old man
because the rose has a stem and isn’t all the way rose
because the looming building casts a long shadow the squat
building a short
and we don’t really see the faces of insects the way
probably other insects see them
because there’s a quantum gulf between the
human world and the insect one
and probably a flea doesn’t appreciate the difference in
personality or spiritual quality between one
juicy arm and another in quite the same way
we do (although they may)
and because horses with wings are rare to the point of
impossible and flying ladders of shiny bronze that
take you to the higher heavens rung by rung
are more an apt metaphor than something you can
pick up at your local hardware store
and because even the highest mountains come at
last to a peak
and the deepest ocean rifts hit bottom after all
then we can begin to appreciate not only the
utterly complete pattern of things but also the
occasional breaks in the pattern as when for
example a building in a forest fire isn’t
burnt to the ground an elephant is
united with a boon companion after more than
thirty years apart in their respective
circuses or zoos and their trunks entwine in loving recognition
or a true cascade of purest love bursts in
cavalcades of purest splendor from seemingly the
marrow of our bones in a hot flood throughout the
entire system showing us the loveliest connections between
mouse and rainbow paper-weight and
train wreck door slam and baby born as the
whole cycle repeats itself in a new key enough to
shiver the deepest sleeper awake and the most
delicate moth to suddenly have the
courage of a tiger in sipping the most
inaccessible nectar

12/20/2000 (from Blood Songs)

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