You of little faith; this city is not dead —
it has only fallen asleep
watching television and playing video games,
after a decade-long sugar binge,
in a clearing cloud of indica,
it has nodded off.
I want to live here for a long time
I want to return to the rock fountain year after year to see its quartz grain revealed
I want to visit trees which I remember from hazy, decade-old memories.
I want to track my way through time by the masting of oaks and the seasons of spiders that clog the 44 bridge rails.
When I was young I saw seasons in manifold intricacy
forced into molds beginning at infancy
and were it not for the grace of God & Earth and their avatars
I would have lost the rhythm completely,
save the whispers from beneath the sidewalk
But thanks again to grace that surpasses understanding,
My instinct emerges intact like a root from under pavement,
slow and complete,
like new trunks from coppiced stumps.
But unlike trees, you see: I move.
You know that I may move you men who order sidewalks built
Who construct buildings for my kin to gather.
I am your lauded youth: A European man of only twenty-seven years with cash on hand and popular sensibilities who wears wool sweaters but doesn't go to Bethel, who has lived with you for long enough to grow a sense of courtesy.
You know that I am moving and you want me to stay.
So even though I must say "damn your narrow focus,"
I know the spotlight was manufactured so its locus
shines on those like those who made it.
I say this as a tinkering German, a shoester, a baker, a buyer, a shopper, a drinker of craft beers and coffee drinks, a wanderer with my wife enlivening your streets with our agreeable figures where you may be afraid to place yourself in comfort;
we are those bold souls whose vitality you so enjoy:
I want to be here for a long time, your fears relieved,
but I do not feel yet that you understand me
when trees are razed for subdivisions
when I am called "the new economy," "the new homebuyer," the thing of any flavor,
or when the old of which you may unfairly be ashamed is cleared away for some revolting neon new.
I will be no longer young soon; already I hear my voice's croning cracks; I do not fear old age
but now I become profoundly aware of my position as prince in which I sit only for a second more.
That which I Am is your coming King
and I know you yearn for Him; I see your vassalations.
Make way for the King indeed;
but remember that when He comes to Northern California,
His feet will hope to tread
on leaves of Oak, not dead
concrete. He will not shop and gawk and drinke beere like I do now
but He will teach His children the ways of Life
by gathering berries, watching the mice & swallows dart,
by measuring years by the weathering of bark,
by telling time by the colors of leaves and the plentitudes of food,
by watching the way death turns into life through a long sleep,
by being close enough to death to see it just as so,
never deceived by mere discomfort.
His children will know Truth & nothing else.
His children will see falsehood for its truth: death.
His children will never unlearn what they are:
wild love in animation.
Wild love in animation here to learn — to return —
to learn again by trial,
to give no foothold to denial or excess:
the way the trees do: from barenness
to verdancy to autumnal glory, then finally
to barenness in chilling winds
That come as wildly as the breath inside His children's bodies.
Make ready the way for the King Who makes holy even the refuse.
Make ready, make known, and He will come.
Look no longer at me once you have heard the words He told me;
I will grow vain and angry by your estimation,
and convinced these words are mine.
The King is here; the Promised Land is all around us.
Make way for Him to stay.
His way through here is flanked by Oaks.