The dharma at last


longdead in his dream the boys leap

                                    one by one over the cliff into the wild splash

                                                & the singing current—the tow pulling them


                                    down into green dark & silt where the sunken

                        trees fell & were pinned as well, great black

                                    branches looming up in the murk, fish tearing


                                                the guts of whitened & bloated corpses as

                                    their eyes stared, marbled spheres like moons

                        glowing in the dark.  by night, the water clears, the


                                    shadow moon reflects off the pale carcasses—

                                                & he is awake, panting, the moon shining

                                    thru his midnight window.  he hears the voices of


                        thousands singing & weeping as police line up

                                    & swat batons swat batons swat batons & march

                                                march march into the now-screaming singers,


                                    their ranks breaking—the one-eyed bard chanting

                        for calm—the ranks all fled, he left alone to sweat on

                                    a factory floor, in a madhouse swabbing urinals.  now


                                                the dreams are all moonlit, no destination

                                    & yet this weary traveler sings in his passing

                        steps, careless in the theatre of stars where the dead


                                    walk with him daily, nightly, old companions

                                                urging him to rest as even days grow darker,

                                    the news ever more ominous.  he must consider


                        the sleek craft of his final voyages, the turns in his

                                    last river, the song he will compose to take him

                                                beyond his last lay to sing in dreams where


                                    his companions fled, to learn to walk among

the living like a shadow in the daylight of

their certainties, waiting for them to leap at last.