the counting of blessing

                                              for Hoss


what seems unfair

is as perfect as everything else

the astrologer contends as rain begins

its winter incursions

                                      her words like

crossing hot scree

with blistered feet

                                   like

spikes against the tender

flesh of the soul

                                let go

let god she glares

& he's trying not to scream

screw your truisms

your "there is goodness

in everything"

                            if

poetry is a piercing through

a portal for what

might otherwise not impress the air

must we not invent

a surrender more keen

                                             but

despite himself

                              as if

the ramparts of the known

had hauled themselves

free of primeval origin

                                           as if gratitude

had already loosed its ontological

toxin

            he leans in



                                   later

after the rain

he travels north

                               hills

spill green & gold to the Pacific

glamor of spring

over desert's stoic

constant

                   but this is no mere

seasonal ardor

                             it's the shoals

of a dialectic that brooks

no equivocation

                                & time

is no longer on his side

                                            fifty

                                                      career

recanted

                   his next incarnation

as elusive as the blessing

he is to master

through want



                             winter

                                            a shiver

as he crossed

the San Joaquin

                                soul-cracking

emptiness

                      as if

the very concept of nothing

made nothing

inevitable

                     & slowly

                                        like the first

stars that pressed into evening

above a fading world

                                        something

came

             if there is beauty

it lives in the ache

to seek it out



                           let go

he dares this night

as sleep dissolves all construct

& there is nothing more keen

than silence

                         summon shadow

summon light

summon every terror I know

& I will submit



                               morning

opens his eyes yet again

to fingers of rain

beckoning soft & dense

through the jade plant's supplicant

leaves

               could this be the countenance

of a new world

                              & would he

recognize it if it were

                                         as he drifts

upward into himself he knows

sudden & somatic

that these five days have done

more than wash him

clean

             they have honed the edge of him

so he can no longer ignore

the weight of what sustains

                                                    bamboo

that quivers wind-riven

above his balcony

                                   sky in its pure

grey insanely radiant

glory

            the fierce devotion

of his pulse

                        & the astrologer

who at the end closed her eyes

released a ragged breath

wondered how much miracle

can one fool refuse