This poem was part of my MFA thesis back in the late 1980's. It has remained a favorite of mine and I think I should read it at readings more often. I haven't read it in public for years.
TASTING THE DIRT
Not speaking the language,
I spoke in another language.
Does it speak for the heart?
Does it speak for time?
Is this the part of morning?
Must we always question
With desire, unhinged and hanging
Like a hook into samsara?
Will we find a mouth
In touching the edges of our dreams,
Feeling them like cloth used
To wrap the body, used to stop
The weeping, used to carry us
From loving, somehow children
Again and able to understand everything?
Will we be able to stand here with one
Another, spinning through our lives,
Fire, a metaphor, our clothing, a metapohr,
The great halls of our hearts,
A metaphor, dancing this way,
Save us from other meaning,
From knowing our visions
As anything other than the singing
That they are, from the clumsy
Fabric we assemble to show
That we are the loved ones of time.
Yes, the night does come and
It is beautiful and the day too, we
Wear around us, weather, the
Reflection of all our emotions,
Clouds, our thoughts describing
The mystery of being here.
And yes, the sky is such a brilliant blue.
I shall know you forever.
There is no ground to stand that
Is not ourselves. There is no sound
That is not language. Not speaking
The language, I speak in this peculiar way,
So you may know I am among you.