Days Before Rumi Died
(for the harvest Moon
collective, in memory of Fielding Dawson)
could travel around the world
sending you postcards:
people are not as free
as you, either,
the law does not allow postcards.
could call you from across the country:
I had a dream! You
were in it!
but there is no phone line
a bank of cells
just the telegram of a sixth sense
precisely in the present
the Aymara natives of Lake Titicaca
for whom the moment
of sundown is always
five o'clock, there's no time
egos, yours or mine
they are luxuries in a prison
five o'clock, the sun in going down.
in the best sense
you stretch out to embrace a word:
more than a sound, the thing itself
love reverberating with all the tremors
one in prison presents a poem stoop shouldered
the rectitude of truth
romance flies out the window, the
in the emissary
from a distant place
in the lost tribesman from a human
a workshop of diligent hammers
we send up
have been caught from far away
gulp down freedom
like a cat with a canary in our stomach,
suspicious of smiles
look at us perplexed:
is that sound coming from?
open mic poems celebrate
what few in the life outside allow,
like denizens of a Twilight Zone
we hop back and forth across
What is that singing in your belly?
demand. What is that singing?
Because they don't know
can't tell them
Just a telegram, we say,
singing telegram from our next of kin.
Eastern C.F., Napanoch, NY