Poems | Peyton
added July 2007
meditating, I think
a simple heart is
a full heart. a simple mind
is an emptied mind
Shadow: Morning Prayer
— For Jenifer
Let this pearl, my heart, never gray.
I think too much. I rarely plan, unless
you count that perpetual quest to live
untrammeled by what has been or will be.
A thousand poems, most unknown,
have created this man, child alone.
Let this rare seed, my brain, forever sprout
with passion toward the pellucid sky.
Maybe it’s true I love no one but myself.
But in so many other souls I find so much
of what seems to be me. Then let our hearts,
our minds, always share, and treasure, this unity
within each of us.
T.S. Eliot And Wang Wei,
Conspiring In A Tent
Somewhere, perhaps in a room
but I hear a muffled clatter
of rushes caressing, consenting to
the gentle wind, women
come and go, smiling,
breathing. The silences of
their eyes twinkling.
Slim fingers touch together,
shape the air, sharing notions.
The moon is very bright
through my opened window,
I could write without
this other light.
Yet then the clouds close in
to transform their shine
from pearl to burgeoning gray.
Noises of small animals
talking and walking sift up
from below the wind. Perhaps
they sense that even with all these
sensations springing from the earth,
still I’m wrapped in solitude.
Visitors arrive to that adjoining
camp near the pine and ash.
They laugh loudly once,
as though I were not here.
as in the mountain’s embrace
and perhaps inspired
by this mountain they begin
to talk and sing of Michaelangelo.
’s premonition of purple dusk...
brilliant sunlight showers down
beyond the sharply-hewn skyscrapers’ glacial
tilts and slants, descending below the tempest
of pylons and turrets, temples and domes, splashing
onto the swaying pandemonium
of perimeters and paths. Pace by pace
brightness beats like slavish hope
upon the mortal shoulders of
the denizens below.
Dawn long since has scaled then plumbed
the precipice of cumulating urban disbelief
to light the scurrying and the scrambling,
and hazy intentions of city-folk (I am one),
hearts filled with farts and fantasy, as in
torrential overflow they spring or founder into their frays,
all out to meditate or prey upon this craggy day
—which in its sameness to the others
will cast it like no other.
Distances with moments interwoven, laced
with action, are parsed by our imaginations
compounded, —no, concerted. And these visions,
embroidery overembellished yet sublime,
together shall ultimately set the scene. Until
the moon will join those towers of ice and verse
we all constructed from out of the air then to leave
behind, almost like carrion scrap, for sleep,
and dreams of substantiality.
we all collaborate with the enemy
hell, we nuzzle
night and day we do his
dirty work, quietly zestfully
setting the traps in which we flounder about come
dawn like grasshoppers and red ants caught on sticky
calling for ghosts that might
love us where we ourselves fear
we’ve failed failed failed we all
collaborate with the enemy that’s
not so bad we all
(eyes a-slant, peering upper right) touch his loins, oh,
let’s shudder and acknowledge it now,
it’s a caress, baby, it’s a long kiss and the enemy, the enemy
loves us back loves us back into
the dark where
there are words we never speak learned
never to think, lest the enemy hear our poetry
Early On A Beautiful Day
Snowing on the moon too
You and I pull our boots up, jangly and stringy
with dozens of buckles and laces to confuse
the morning sky
The clouds up there know
they are transient, like hunted wolves in winter
or hearts uncertain they’ve yet found love, or
what they’ve found, restless even when spring
has long since wound into shimmering summer
We stride nimble and crisp into the storm together
These early winds seem thick and bitter and shrill enough
to sustain a host of prospering empires a-swarm
with designing ministers and diligent stewards
The lake is still frozen a haze crackles above it but we
see the other side and all its swirling black birds beguiled
and mesmerized by their own debates Their caws are brittle
They do not appear to notice us over here
hoofing along through the deep tracks of the path
but they might
This isn’t really a storm
Glowing and lighting your face blushed
from the wind, the green of your eyes seems to
reflect the colors hidden beneath the snow
The nation, it’s true, may not make it through
another season scurrying after wars and taxes and
medals and thieves Stumbling lightly on the trail
you reach across and grasp my arm again
It’s so cold out today I shiver
The heights of our mountain have become shrouded,
our destination concealed, but no matter,
this isn’t really a storm
I told my mother
I’d live at least a
hundred and twenty
years. Just think! Now I’m
almost halfway. Treads
Autumn along the
where a ghost dances.
Tell me, how do these
clear grey eyes shine so
sadly while still they
reflect all my joy?
II. And I Know This Is True
Traveling your long walk
of faith, dear friend, there’s
just one proposition
I have for you: there
is nothing like the
cha-cha. If it’s God
or truth you want to
see, do the cha-cha.
The world’s rhythm and
heart becomes yours. O
hear me, heed me now
— dance the wild cha-cha, mon cher,
and make yourself free.
Butterfly At Matrix Farm
There was a butterfly thirty years ago
I could not describe then in a poem.
It was alone and I was alone, so cool
in the sunlight of early morning.
It’s wings were white, and very small,
it fluttered above the tall grass by the
dirt path below the barn. No wind. No sound.
Even this I couldn’t say back then,
vital as it all seemed. Though if I had,
if I had, my mission still would scarcely have
begun. No matter how I tried,
I just couldn’t say the butterfly.
But I still see it, still by my side,
flitting through the lucid air, showing
me I was alive.
Funny -- the only word
we’ve got with more meanings than
"fuck" is – sorry – "God".
Probably "love" comes in third.
Then their senses all coalesce.
Came to light, grew, grew,
saw visions, there or not
Sound too, I became a
master of sound, there were
millions of masters
as I became my words,
all those words
and my heart transformed me,
my dear heart day by day
into a river, beautiful river
as the words fountained
forth, traveled onward
through the world, light
and liquid, liquid,
And all now return, the
river comes to the river,
gives to the river, sound
comes to you,
To Tu Fu
I never finished reading
your poem, forgive me.
I couldn’t because
in its midst I
kept pausing to
write my own.
The nation falls into ruin
as the economy continues to burgeon.
So potent the kraken-excelsior call of finance,
it shatters the spines of all who bear it.
You may strive to harm not a thing, fool-like-me, yet with
every move partake in our world’s demolition.
Be calm. This cannot be avoided. There will be other
worlds, other lives to come. Though never ours again.
The sun rises tomorrow, shrimp-hued, blazing,
swollen through the mists it will soon burn away.
The multitude, as they have always, will howl and
castigate the state, or other perceived rulers. But many
then, in heart’s utter disarray, take
revenge upon their closest friends
for societal travesties no one
ever truly comprehends.
Many souls will strain toward love – devastated,
distraught, or oblivious – as though this prayer
somehow might resolve the world into
one golden image of heroes risen forsaking lust.
Yet love is a perilous path which deceives.
It may distort as well as cure. Danger at every turn.
Others will remain indifferent, inert. It’s hard.
It’s hard. My despair would never pass
– and here is the mystery, cruel in its way –
my own despair would never pass
but for a joy I often can’t repress, and
whose shining source I cannot place.
Poem Of Love #999. The Truth.
Thus every love destroys, for this
is love's sure skill. So be it, the
soft flame that lures laying waste, for a time,
to weakness and strength alike.
Longing for love is like longing for life.
Each love exposes a consummate blend
of rapture with confinement, enshrined
--yet always something wild is loosed.
Many souls shall be love’s victims, inevitably,
unable to formulate or sustain it.
Yes, mutilations even, martyrs, and so on--
yet an impossible thing to leave, it seems.
Isn’t it always love that goes? If you
walked away, it was something else. Had to be.
And if you part (you may not), it is love that goes.
The last, you know -- love neither is nor has a map.
As is said too of the great River Loire,
love's sweetness and hazards alter daily:
no course can be cast in advance across
the untroubled heart of love.
It transforms: clarifies or deforms.
— September 1991
Five More Short Poems
how to not fight. Showed me new
ways to observe. But
I didn't figure it all
out ‘til after she was gone.
Hungry hearts eat lies.
Subterfuge, the will to believe,
then look! -- the world turns!
In every belief -- denial.
We hide as much as we seek.
I reached the peak
Of that mountain high
I had some questions
For the silver sky
The sky – it had
So much to say
Yet I learned not a thing
a thousand thousand
thousand nets the world has knit
in this one instant,
then in the next those nets transform
our newer needs to other nets
Love's a fantasy,
living work. Yet if you don't
work, the fantasy dies
I tried to emulate his honesty
the courage of his modesty
but every word I wrote
I saw my boast and cant
I sought to step like the garden rats
intently in need but so ready to flee
(like they understood they’d never be caught)
yet openly concealed in my every thought
— my vanity and headstrong glee
(like I feared otherwise I’d never be seen)
I prayed I might master
in the words I set down
the truth that was me
and the voice I’d found
but it always was clear I’d gathered
at best like some spring bouquet
the passing thoughts of other
fledglings and sages
(though perhaps a grain
of savvy lay in
my hope that this
still might suffice) and
I wanted to be
beautiful as you
yet the best I could do
was give thanks
with closed silent eyes
for the homeliness of my soul
and lay my pen quietly down
upon the paper