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HOME POEM

1. Home's many Houses (allegro--joy)

Home is where the wind across the sea ripples
and blows my hair landward
and staring at the infinite sea
I remember why I cared and what and who
I loved on earth, so rare and wonder filled.
I know I am getting closer to my home
when sunlight warms my steps in that direction.
Some days I think there is a way to go
before I can hold you,
maybe just over the hill there
or maybe I will not return for some months
or maybe even further away.
But most days, when you hold my hand,
I am surrounded by the hush
of coral-colored pine needles,
soothed in a graceful grove of conifers
and a warm spring wind blows on my cheeks
and I remember best loved halcyon days
when I was surrounded by hundreds of birds
Ruby-Crowned and Golden-Crowned Kinglets,
deer, squirrels, insects
 and all my walking and flying companions,
and then,
aware of all these relations
 I know I have arrived.
Home is where deer have surrounded me and
Kinglets have walked on my feet
and Chickadees perched on my fingertips
and I have seen fish gather in phosphorescent waters
snow geese in gigantic flocks
and Owls, Robins, Woodpeckers and Redbirds
have surrounded the reflected river-forest
in my upturned eyes,
and the calm of belonging moves
throughout my body like a sunrise.

I go home wherever animals and birds gather in groups;
wherever Crows flock and roost,
and Vultures rest, where ducks dabble
and Swallows twitter,
where White Pelicans socialize,
with the big golden boats of their pouched mouths
or numerous Redbirds singing in a late winter tree
brighter red than the ruby tones of cherry violins .
When several Chorus Frogs sing spring
I want nothing more than a life
where we share avian intimacies,
a life where the secret light of the forest
dancing on your face
like a candle lit for me in your window
smiles my heart into peace.

Home is the way light rounds the Canada Goose egg---
colored with morning and stirred waters
a muted yellow fertile as wetlands in spring---
and the eggs cradled in Goose down
and curved to a warm fit
beneath the comfort of its mothers breast.

Home is the feel of life in my hands, your hands,
hands of leaves veined with translucent  sunlight,
feeling of water cupped from a glistening stream.
My hands and your hands:
my hands, full of moonlight and reaching
filled with the round, red fruit of being,
strawberry generosities---
held out to you like a love poem
and your hands accepting it---
or giving your own fruit---
odd and lovely as cucumbers or gourds
and we share our fruits together.

Home is the silk of spider webs---
threaded prisms hung between flower blossoms
like sunset in the convex lenses of my eyes
looking into the future
where the promised sanctuary of rainbows
will illuminate my Pacific dreams.

Home is the place that I left that I am returning to---
the place in my heart where the longing
for what matters is finally found---
and what matters is the hidden grain
of the wood in the growing tree,
or the way the orange fur on my cats face
seeks my affectionate hands,
his amber eyes purring with pleasure.
What matters is the way icicles hold twilight
or how the velvet of flower petals
softens on my fingertips---
or the little pine tree in our yard
shivers with joy when I spray it with water.
It is the way you test tomatoes to see if they are ripe
and how you do your hair and
put on your clothes in the morning.
It is the way Tufted Titmice fold their wings
and rest on a twig,
or how my bare feet feel,
standing next to blossoming wildflowers
my toes holding an earth I never want to leave.

What matters is the single blue cloud
that only one child notices
floating toward a rose colored sunset,
or a Jelly Fish no human will ever see
still drifting, like a breathing bell of silence
deep under the ocean.
What matters is the lonely old oak tree
that falls in the forest,
now food for the for the wry vivacity of the
Pileated Woodpecker.
What matters is Deer ears and Rhinoceros noses
and my old green pants,
and how squirrels flounce their tails
and ticklish Chimpanzees squirm and laugh with delight
wrestling in fallen leaves.

Home is the waterdrop on the leaf this morning
round as the world and with the whole dawn sky
reflected in the tiny silver globe.
Home is what the child cries for between the breasts.
It is the swollen fruit of roundness
holding the future in the pulp
and what the pregnant woman holds
when her hands cradle her growing belly.
It is the shape of hope in a birds nest
and eggs made of sky blue promises.

Home is what the orange feet and yellow eye
of the Green Heron is seeking in the wetland shallows
and home is why the Blue Heron stretches out its huge wings
and flies down river,
because the river goes there---
where fish hover silver in their silent world
and ducks and turtles bask on sun-warmed logs---
because home is along the way,
as it happens,
moments in the mist where the Kestrel hovers
moments where deer run through the forest
and the raccoon sits resting on a tree limb
and the seagull glides on white wings
with the sun-drunk sky the only roof
of an infinite house.

2.Homesick and Homeless (Adagio--sad)

Sometimes,
I am homesick for dark soils and green generosity,
homesick for the promises of walnuts and acorns,
for a history before humans started
staining the earth and sea with black oil---
oiled birds drowning in ruined rainbows.
I am homesick for roots that reach down under sorrow
under the roots of lost forests, dead lakes,
homesick for an unendangered world
released from the horrible depredations of the heartless---
the global plunder of insatiable aquisitors.
I am homesick for humans who have not abandoned tenderness,
homesick for red finches on pink cherry blossoms
and goldfinches golden and home on the goldenrod.
I am homesick for the dawn light on spring buds,
homesick for the green shoots of wildflowers
and I look for the new plants coming out of the loam
the regenerate ground of polypores and fungi
new growth fighting its way to a better way of being.

Home is where the small ones live
where tears fall on the forgotten.
Where sorrow remembers
the lost roots of childhood
and the homeless seek for memory
of what money has taken from them.
Home is where the homeless go in their minds
to escape the cold shoulder
and concrete wet with indifferent rain.
It is where the caged bird stops ripping out his feathers
and remembers free skies
and the prisoner, like the Birdman of Alcatraz,
flies free in his thoughts from the prison cell
gaining the wider wings of an innocent  horizon.
Home is the ragged edge of town,
where the coyote wanders through wind-blown litter
looking for the lost sage deserts
destroyed by dumb trucks and ranchers and
cattle from the wrong continent.

Home is what I bring to my sick and dying mother
cradling her in the lost house of my hands
still treating her as a person
when everyone else treats her
as a living corpse to be managed.
After the bank takes the house
and lawyers steal the things
and doctors take their minds with harmful drugs
home is what all the old women abused in "nursing homes"
cry for in the dark, where they lie neglected,
or sit strapped to wheel chairs,
no one listening to their cries for help,
and those they gave birth to
do not come to see them.
Home is what is forgotten
in the silent body of the silver haired old lady
covered with bed sores
face to the wall,
eyes staring, ignored by everyone.
How did such a warm, generous woman
have such hard-hearted, selfish children,
who never come to see her.

Home is what is denied by those
who hunt and abuse animals.
Home is cut down by the loggers,
paved over by highways.
slashed  to the stumps
the metal arrowhead sliced through the deer shoulder.
Home is what the cult of 'winning' and 'success'
kills with casinos dice---
abandons cans in alleyways---
exiles down highways of razors---
bloodies the forests,
drive flowers into wastelands 
and strangle hope with electric cords.
Home is what failed when you stopped caring.
Home is what wastes in the suburbs
where the empty postures
of the products of paradise
take on an alien life of their own
and strangle homes in perfect houses.

There were few days when my father
really came home.
My father died of his drive to succeed,
like Willy Loman in 'Death of a Salesman',
the final victim of his own con-game
and he bought a house
that only a runaway could live in.
I wish he could have given up his greed
and moved to the elemental town,
as I begged him to,
far from the manic-depression of the bottom line
and the outrage of corporate highways.
If only he had not chosen power over being human
and not sought the deceitful alloys
of inner circles and upper echelons ---
the metals that corrupt gentleness from within---
the rust in his heart would not have crumbled his life
and that last night could have been postponed
where the man whose eyes avoided me for years,
suddenly came home
and saw through the error of a cold heart,
and embraced me and told me he loved me
and then the next morning,
he died.

Home is the place where everyone prospers
but no one profits,
where mutuality matters more than money
and being better than others matters less
than being together.
It is where the sick seek comfort
in the sweetness of nurses,
and soothing hands do no harm,
and doctors give care without greed.
Home is where the Deer,
its lower leg shot off by a hunter,
lies down to nurse its  wound.
It is where the old Elephant lies down to die
the trunks of other Elephants touching it softly.
It is where the Bear with her baby beside her
stops in her tracks
and remembers the Blueberry patch
and turns to go that way.
It is why whales sing songs of pure feeling
that turn hundreds of miles of the ocean
into a sea-harp of liquid song.

Home is nowhere where a pathetic accountant
and his sterile calculations pollutes oceans
with a pen poisoned with numbers;
Home is nowhere where the banker's  thieving parsimony
leaves a paper trail of penury,
and one key stroke on a 'cost-benefit' computer,
leaves children and old people homeless.
Home is nowhere where misers clutch advantages
where the end justifies the meanness,
and corporate con-men
steal from sick old women
and call their theft 'compassion' and 'charity'.

Home is nowhere where nature is denied:
What nature creates, greed destroys;
what nature nurtures, greed impoverishes;
where nature engenders variety and diversity,
greed endangers species
with monopoly and mono-cultural tyranny;
what nature gives and sustains
capitalism undermines and negates.
"Intellectual property" is a lie against nature;
no one owns living things, mountains, rivers
clouds or ideas.

Home is not a mansion with a commanding view
or a penthouse perched high above nature
looking down on a despised and exploited world
its glass windows a death sentence for migrating birds.
Home is not the lie of TV opiates,
not flags or gods or the imperialism of the human
pandered through real estate brokers and
stock market casinos and developers of the "American Dream'---
which is not a dream but a nightmare
of multiplying methods and media,
unrestrained strategic greed,
cutting  global landscapes into dollar halves and quarters
and leaving a pastiche of ruined ecologies,
leeched soils, urban aliens, wandering poverty
and bird and animal bones smoking in the quarantined sand.

Home is this ocean blue, cloud-swirled globe
emerald forested and ice capped
and now imperiled by one selfish species
addicted to meat eating, over fishing,
denying its relation to the spectrum
of all the other species
now arrayed like a dying rainbow
fading over the slashed forests.


3.  Homecoming (crescendo)

I want to go home to where Crickets sing
and Toads go to breed under the moon
and where the swallows voice their "vite, vite, vite",
iridescent blue wings above their nest of babies.
I want to go home to where Redwoods stand
by the river where they stood countless eons.
I want to feel Maidenhair Ferns on my legs
and green Moss between my toes
and yellow flowers by the sea
smelling of salty distances
and tide pool intimacies.
I want to go home to where seaspray
splashes my face with colored jewels
and a lone seal watches my eyes
with the curious sadness of the unknown ocean.

I am getting closer to home when I realize that
even though I am dying, you still love me.
Im so much closer when the my baby girl
holds my finger as we cross the street.
Home is not just igloo, tepee, wickiup
bungalow, ranch or tree house.
Home is with those who increase the endangered
give a hand to  the weak,  a dollar to the poor,
support the sick and care for the old.
Calculators of bottom lines create homelessness.
Home is a place that lets back the outcastes
and brings exiles back to a feast across the border.
Home is a hand on the cheek of the neglected,
owls caring for their young,
the eyes of Mountain Sheep
looking down the steep cliffs
hearing the cries of rare Eagles.
Home surrounds the hovering hulk
of the Manatee and Dugong
floating in the shrinking wetland.
It is where migrating birds veer away from cities
and wild beings seek safety beyond the edge of fear.
Home offers hiding places for the hunted
and secret places for the plowed down seeds.
It sings on the border of clear cut forests
at the edge of decimated countries
where the burning map abolishes nationalities

Home is the politics of fragile leaves
the voice of the suppressed grasses
a concerto of unheard birds.
Home is the constituency of the threatened
hands of Cassowaries and Orangutans,
Minahs and Tamrarins, Wombats and Maras
fins of Hammerheads and Salmon
joined hands and fins and appendages
of all who are the weak and the weary.....
snakes and birds, beetles and chipmunks
coiling like a Celtic braid, round dancing the
around the hive and hum in spring mating circles.
Home is where I, too,
join hands with Raccoons and Chipmunks
and hold hands with Maple leaves and Eagles,
where the hands of the sick hold the paws of  Cats and Dogs
and the hand-like grasp of Polar Bears and Pumas, birds and
plants all hold together in a circle of
a life worth living.
Home is where the small share natural secrets
and tell us of a way to live without harm.
Home is the future of the ignored and the defeated
the resurgent promise of loving intimacy
the party of what is frail and personal
the lobby of those who love
that will take back the earth from those who do not care.



Home is somewhere, once, everywhere,
where nature's economy---
in opposition to the cruel cramp of capital---
thrives in a profligate excess of variety
that gives far more than it receives.
Home is a gratefulness for all that lives
that freely gives itself away.
Home is the love that heals you of greed,
the dear face that holds you for better or worse,
the grateful memory of all the years
that the beloved earth has sustained you.
Home is this sky, these birds, this tree,
these hands and faces.
Home is what you give away that increases you,
exact concern given to what is local and near,
the generosity of real life that banishes money
and allows endless varieties of mutual giving,
reciprocal offerings of unaccounted care,
in a love that rains down with millions of Maple seeds
spinning through the air like whirligigs and colored tops,
billions of Mayflies dancing at twilight,
and the spendthrift sea with each wave throwing itself
generously on the beach, and the freedom the forests
growing more fruit than enough for all,
and the great prairies and oceans of wildflowers and waves
and huge pods and herds of Whale and Buffalo
and Elephants, Gazelles, Duck Billed Platypus, beautiful multicolored
Weedy Sea Dragons, Chipmunks, Blue Belly Lizards
and all the many kinds of beings
unique to each island and biome and all the
seeds of life flying in excess, trillions of Diatoms and Plankton
Sea turtles and Eagles and Bats at twilight singing
inaudible songs, and the generous stars and suns
shinning down on an earth that lives to love and loves to give itself
freely,
without want of unusable profit or need of more than is needed.
Nature is an inexhaustibly various and infinite love poem
that the earth sings to itself in thanks for home and existence.





 

 

   

 

Copyright 2002 Mark Koslow. All Rights Reserved.