Bob Schwartz

Category: Poetry

Sono Ra (Agave and Rice)

Sono Ra (Agave and Rice)

Coyote awakes from a night
Of tequila and sake
Sits with his glass
It’s empty he says
All is empty
The desert runs out
To the Sea of Japan
I cannot swim he says
But I can fly

©

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Grist for the Mill

Grist for the Mill

This mill does not live
By wheat alone
Barley spelt corn
Amaranth rice
Welcome and ground
Wherever whoever
Cultivates and harvests
This mill is for all
Who bake cook and eat
And might be hungry

©

Wakers and Woken

Wakers and Woken

No hand shakes my cover
No voice whispers or insists
Some are wakers
Some are woken
The birds sages
And morning remind me
Of the chaos and order
Awaiting beside my bed
Sleep over

©

Eve

Eve

Here it is yesterday
There it is tomorrow next year
Here it is winter
There it will be summer yesterday
An imaginary line spins
Centrifugating billions
Into celebration contemplation
Sleep quiet or restless
The sun laughs
The stars abide

©

The Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted

The Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted

140 or 280
Follow or unfollow
Like or dislike
When you’ve done the fun house
The haunted house
The house of mirrors
Have you had any fun
Have you had only fun
End where you came in
Lost in the maze
Kept in the labyrinth
For the safety of the keepers
Don’t you ever want
To grab that saw
Fell the barriers
That block your view and your way
Don’t count characters
The revolution will not be tweeted

©

Light On

Gyokusei Jikihara, Ten Ox-Herding Pictures, 4. Catching the Bull

Light On

As I lay waking in bed
Listening to the Zen poem
Verses on the Faith Mind by Sengcan
The reader said
“The illustrator Gyokusei Jikihara, sensei,
is a Japanese master of calligraphy and nanga painting.
Still painting and teaching at the age of ninety-nine,
he will celebrate his one-hundredth birthday on August 1, 2004.”
Then the ceiling light came on spontaneously
Like a sun rising
With no one at the switch.
Sengcan died in 606.
Jikihara died in 2005.
If I live to be one hundred
I will remember this.
Sengcan says
“Don’t waste your time in arguments and discussion
attempting to grasp the ungraspable.”
I don’t think
I will

©

Wings

Wings

The weight of the world
And my self
Stoop my shoulders
The wings
Pull them back

©

First Fire

First Fire

In the desert
The first fire of winter
Comes late
A cold morning
A colder night
Sneaks up
Shivering you realize
Sun and season
Pass the job of heat to you
Ready or not

©

Añejo

 

Añejo

The desert is cool tonight
I rub the bottle of añejo
Coyote appears
I wish I say
To sleep under the half moon
When I wake
The sun will brighten the mountains
And warm the morning
So it will be coyote says
Now pour me a drink

©

Laura Nyro: Time and Love

Don’t let the devil fool you
Here comes a dove
Nothing cures like time and love

Sometime you’re going to want to catch up to the music of Laura Nyro, who, by the time she created her first three perfect albums between 1967 and 1969, was only 22. She created much more music, but died untimely in 1997, at 49.

There is a special place in my ears and heart for a number of women who write and sing, but in the special place in that place, in the holy of holies, is Laura. This morning, unsure of what would lift the unlifted and straighten the crooked, I played Time and Love, from the New York Tendaberry album.

So winter froze the river
And winter birds don’t sing
So winter makes you shiver
So time is gonna bring you spring

So he swears he’ll never marry
Says that cuddles are a curse
Just tell him plain
You’re on the next train
If love don’t get there first

Time and love
Everybody
Time and love
Nothing cures like
Time and love
Don’t let the devil fool you
Here comes a dove
Nothing cures like time and love

You been runnin’, you been ramblin’,
And you don’t know what to do
A holy golden wager says
That love will see you through

So Jesus was an angel
And mankind broke his wing
But Jesus gave his lifeline
So sacred bells could sing

Now a woman is a fighter
Gathered white or African
A woman
Is a woman is a woman inside
Has miracles for her man

Time and love
Everybody
Time and love
Nothing cures like
Time and love
Don’t let the devil fool you
Here comes a dove
Nothing cures like time and love