Love is present everywhere, 

in many different forms, 

not just bred for romance. 

Take a chance; 

hold your arms out 

towards the Universes! 

All will receive it. 

Only when one is  

ready & willing to receive, 

to give as well as take, 

to work & play hard, 

to surrender fully, 

to not fixate on false hopes 

& not press their luck 

on empty promises, 

when jokes become serious, 

when violence is recognized 

& eradicated, 

when the clueless gain understanding, 

when children remember their parents 

& to not blame or ridicule them, 

when parents see their children as people 

& to not blame or ridicule them, 

when the pedestals are destroyed, 

bubbles are burst, 

worldviews transformed, 

after digging out of inner abysses, 

setting fire to slave-ships of bad thoughts, 

taping over the vile voices one invents, 

casting themselves down, 

shooting themselves in the dark— 

when the love of self is alive & kicking, 

when the love of others is present, 

love is real, tangible, 

making the heart beat its dance. 

The sun is a hot bruise, 

lighting up the now cold bed 

where we once laid— 

Even though  

I will never tell you 

where I’ve been, 

I will wait forever  

for you to call out 

my name again 

as I search your name feverishly in the sky. 

Our names could have been entwined, 

sheltered from the jealous sun— 

but you disappeared  

without leaving behind any possible plans. 

I now lie in this bed, used. 

O gentle followers,

put down your heavy-laden, colorful bags

& sing songs, & say inspirational words

in your chosen place of worship.

Put down your heavy-laden, colorful bags!

Send forth good thoughts of generosity 

in your chosen place of worship.

Provide love & care for your family.

Send forth good thoughts of generosity 

& give to those who need.

Provide love & care for your family.

Try to do good this holiday season,

& give to those who need,

& sing songs, & say inspirational words.

Try to do good this holiday season,

O gentle followers!

Third time today,

uptown on Broadway,

I saw flocks of pigeons 

gearing up for an orgy,

but this time,

they crowded onto the roof

of the 96th Street 

Broadway Mall Community Center,

(its roof is still dripping),

gazing out, keeping warm,

heads bobbing in-time,

watching the ongoing traffic

as if their crowd was listening 

to the music of the city,

an invisible rock show.

Afterwords,

when the music died down,

they exited in droves,

wings cutting the sky

of the Upper West Side 

all at once,

shaking the heavens.

You want to forget all the things that they said, 

you want to forget all the things that they did. 

You want to forget all their treachery & sin, 

you want to forget all the times they tried to do you in.  

You want to forget all the hurt & the lies, 

you want to go through just one day without crying. 

You want to forget all the lying & cheating, 

you want to forget the sadness of all your grieving. 

You want to forget the love that did you wrong, 

you want to forget the times you were not strong. 

You want to forget the times you were cruel, 

you want to forget the classes you took in school. 

You want to forget your backtalk & your rage, 

you want to stuff your dark parts into a cage, 

or a box, & lock the sick things down with a key— 

Sure, you can, but it won’t be easy, 

because the Box of Pain will open again & again. 

We are not perfect; we try not to live in vain 

but mistakes & depression will rear their ugly head, 

& we often become helpless with dread— 

Can we be better? Can we follow the light? 

Can we say “Good night” to the night? 

Impossible! We were born flawed & slow, 

fallen feathers & leaves upon the snow. 

None of us is born without pain, 

our hearts beat wildly as a runaway train. 

We must deal with our own darkness as we go. 

Hopefully the madness of our minds won’t grow 

as they take apart our lives, sinew by sinew— As tears flow freely, green shoots spark from the ground, anew.

This is the time to extinguish fear. 

All teeth need to be cleaned,  

after digesting sugary sweets & coffee drinks.  

Dentists are not evil.  

All teeth need to be cleaned! 

“But my gums continue to bleed—” 

Dentists are not evil;  

they just want to help you  

“…but my gums continue to bleed,” 

you shake your head; your hands tremble. 

They just want to help you.  

It’s going to be okay.  

You shake your head; your hands tremble 

after digesting sugary sweets & coffee drinks. 

It’s going to be okay— 

This is the time to extinguish fear. 

Autumn rain hits hard and cold

outside the Temple, after the long taxi ride;

empty inside, but warm & inviting 

He forgot his umbrella,

his mom will be upset when

she finds out;

every man for himself 

We can’t forget this night,

apples dipped in honey,

toasting another sweet year

as we wipe away the rain 

hopefully, not to bring any more pain—

& the fevers

of sickness and loneliness 

are not wanted now,

the trees are still covered in green,

full of wet leaves,

still sweet-looking.