In the echoing valley of spirits tonight,
I’ve heard the call for all who’ve discovered
how little they really know, to come and gather
at the tavern of their lingering presumptions.
Before we even embark on that journey
there is a welcoming party in full swing,
already celebrating our timely arrival
with a feast of extreme unction.
If I lived the truths which I espouse,
I’d order another round for the house.
From the bottomless depth
of my chronic confusion, I’m here
to account for my remaining illusions.
In the reluctant sobriety of dispassion,
I’ve been shown how far I’ve yet to go
to reach the place I never left.
Now that is true compassion!
Just so, distinctions between the mighty
and the mediocre are rendered
insignificant by time.
They all share one common destiny,
a destiny of dust at the outcome
of each story line.
Because the impersonal union
between the majestic grandeur of time
and the stark beauty of endless space seems
so long-enduring, death is meant to sooth us
with its smiling embrace, but we’ve lost
our sense of grateful appreciation
and stumble blindly about –
just missing the moistening ardor
of heaven’s lips upon our face.
The Wine Bearer, laughing, claps his hands
as another patron’s head thumps down.
There but for the grace of a helpful thorn
I’d be lost in the wine and maybe drowned.
Tonight I’ll sleep alone, at peace,
with nothing above my shoulders
but the mountain air’s waft.
Bury what’s left
in the meadow at dawn –
a blade of grass, my epitaph.