With A Lion In My Cry

I come to you today

With a heron on my shoulder

With a jaguar in my eye

With a monkey in my laugh

With a lizard in my look

With a fish in every whisper, I come to you.


I come to you today

With a flower in my mouth

With a snake around my waist

With a cougar in my care

With a kitten in my touch

With a pig in every wish, I come to you.


I come to you today

With a rabbit in my leap

With a bull in my desire

With a leopard in my heart

With a lamb in my delight

With a lion in my cry, I come to you, I reach for you,


I reach for you and hold you dear

Until such time

As loving teaches us

How each of us must finally

Die. Then how we tremble, oh my darling,

How we blossom on that day.

How we gather all together.

How we mingle: How we fly!

Sailing into Oblivion

Whenever death decides to come

Then let her come as a noisy woman

Street wise     Opinionated     Fast talking

And brash enough     To carry me off

In a flood of foul language.


Or let her come as a lively and familiar friend

Wearing a smile and bearing in her hands

A bowl of ripe yellow peaches

Bleeding juices in the sun.


Or let her come as a singer of songs

A boy A girl

A troubadour A troublemaker

A maker of nothing

A game A toy.


Or let her come

As a maker of fine boats,

Like the poet Li-Po,

Who more than thirteen hundred years ago

Would write his verses out

On bits of paper,

Then shape the paper

Into tiny boats And set them on the water

Just to watch them

Float away.

The Art of War

When the planes came over

Cain was lying on his bed / half-asleep / unshaven

In the boarding house

You know the scene / I know you do / the movie set The seedy room in black and white

The sheets all wet from sweating bread

The TV on / the cigarette.


When the bombs began to fall

He was standing by the window

In the rockets red glare

And oh / the skies / amazing / blazing

Hey, you know the song / I know you do

The children dying / blah blah blah

The fields of wheat consumed by fire

The shadows blistered on the street.


But this is Cain / you understand? / the man himself

Is standing by the window

Staring down at burning children

Running through a storm of metal

Manufactured in a tongue

They never learned at school.

He suddenly remembers

How his younger brother Abel / fell beneath the blows Beside the bloody altar / on that awful day of sacrifice.

The sky is empty now and silent

Oh / but every mother knows

Tomorrow is another day of dying in the town.

Standing at the window / staring out

At body parts and bits of bone / the bloody stool

You know the scene / the President

And then of course / commercial breaks

When suddenly / the Son of Man /

His weary face / reflected in the window pane

He cries aloud: What have I done?

What have I done? he cries again. What have I done?

© Kos Kostmayer. All rights Reserved.

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