Sparks off the Main Strike $20

In all the poems of a poet’s work there’s the impulse to get to the bottom of things, to the original energy pulse, the first cause as it manifests in the present tense, the spark off the main strike. As always, the title came to me first, and the poems followed, some faithful some astray from the theme, but always rebounding back again to resonate with that original strike, in these scattered sparks.

Poem Selection from Sparks off the Main Strike

As If a Windsock

As if a windsock could tell
which way the spirit is blowing

or a cascade know the exact configuration of
all its falling drops

Just as no statistician can exactly
track where each of us is going

and where our jumpy thoughts will
take us to the interior or to the edge

where smoke rises like corkscrewing
cypresses into a blue bloated sky

and nothing is exactly as it seems

But who has God’s true optical gauge?

The leap of wild beasts across a
narrow divide

or an electric shot of lightning that
seems to jag horizontally low to the ground

or a sudden silence in a room full of
people might go some distance

to explaining what it is that so
dazzles and intrigues us onward

in spite of the herds of stubborn mules
crossing our path

or our narrow escapes from flash
floods and fire into relatively

normal deliriums where at least the
bobbing faces at our sides and afloat all

around us are angelic in shape
and earnest in their general demeanor

Too much chatter Pipe down! and
too much silence I can’t hear you!

To much death crowded with
to much life Back off a little please!

Go easy on all those seemingly
indiscriminate inclusions

and let some sparrows go from

falling and catch some of the
falling sparrows in the sweet

benevolence of your hands

A supreme certainty slides up the
straws from all our liquid refreshments

while a supreme indifference looks on the
least of us with tears in its eyes

and none of us goes home alone at
last without at least a

companionable zebra or two or
the shadow of guidance visibly

up ahead who waits for us through every

and around the bend from every
unforeseen disaster

1/3/2009 (from Sparks Off the Main Strike)

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There’s a chair that whoever sits in it
becomes less proud

Grocery bags tumble their contents
out on the ground

Buildings reflect more sunlight

There’s a doorway that whoever stands in it
becomes more transparent

God’s Light shines through

The rooms we go from and the rooms we
go to are the same

full of illuminated furniture and
wise beings and intelligent conversation

And whoever goes through that door
leaves all concern for this world


And whoever enters our rooms after
going through that door

has nothing but light in their hearts
put there from the beginning of time

which shines everywhere

5/27/08 (from Sparks Off the Main Strike)

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