Soon I shall leave California

with flowers in my beard

and a knife in my heart

having heard some siren song

in those redwood groves

and empty beaches:

some song beyond the vast rollers

where only the giant seals surf,

some song like a humming

of a million bees

or a whale's plunge:

some undone kundalini

yet to find a tightrope

fit for walking.


Had I been reborn

among the grateful dead


I would be happier now

but instead

I have been remoulded

to a crystal heart

reflecting odd sunshines

healing only those who do not know

killing those zombie

aspects of the past

hanging like gaunt seabirds

rotting around my neck

making painful the sky

with old stars

among whom

this new comet sings.


Why now should the mocking bird

sing at night

tuning the soft silence

with a mellow flute

teasing my heart strings

with a mild refrain

reposeful yet

telling me of my pain ?

O quiet musician

voicing the doubts of lovers

take back your song :

leave the still night to do its work

in kindly yellow-eyed despairs,

those cold pianos

heard at great distances

along summer avenues

in quiet cities of the plain


A very long time ago