It Is Not Here on Earth What I Am Seeking

I don’t know what I am seeking
In the cool night
rivers and birds
a sensuous lip
a rainbow of dreams
past waterfalls
the ruins of cities appear and fade in front of me
awkward man
he dresses and clowns
seeking love and shelter in criminal ways

I want to rip off the mask of the sniveling lip
from a want that runs
from an abstract pose
from a lie

Luriechikungunya_lg_tweaked_400

I can’t get chikungunya because it’s called chikungunya, watercolor on paper, 2014, by John Lurie

This reality lies deep in the ground
or high in the sky
it is not here on earth what I am seeking
it is not in speeches or books
or in the heat of bedrooms or palaces or parties
it is not the dried heart or dead conscience of our age
it is somewhere that a child knows and is forgotten
it is an eye of a dog ravaged in streets
or in an open smile of a baker or shoemaker
it is by the fireside of rivers where men share bread and songs
that take my heart
and leave me limp and wobbly
drunk on eyes and feet and faces of the multitudes
I must travel to some far-off place
where rivers flow
and stars dance
where children bring garlands of love
and emeralds to the soft breeze of heaven
where prisons are not known
it is not here on earth what I am seeking
scavenged and torn bleeding from wars
and greed and shameless murders
let me just weep for the beauty I see and walk alone
to whatever dream and heaven I seek
then I will die with swans in the river
and send my love to strangers and friends
this poetry I breathe which is life and my heart
and to you who seek the unknown
I send you love and the rivers

–Jack Micheline

Sensitive Skin 12 available here in PDF format here for just $4.95, or get the full-color print version via Amazon and select bookstores.