Alternate Paradises


….. all poems are of death
though some pretend 
not to mention it
dressed as they are 
in bright intentions
to make it moot, but they do
….. as if it can’t be helped since it looms
over every word no matter how light

….. no matter how life-filled poems are
they can’t resist death’s ballast

or throw it off to have their brilliant silk balloons,
suddenly free, disappear in clouds
to float over
 rain forests, sweet rivers,
wine dark seas, 
the snows of Kilimanjaro,
sun-stroked streams, lovers walking their banks in bliss,
day lilies, lupine, and coffee with you at six
as still earth sloughs its gloom and blue heaven
comes with sun creating a more gossamer moon
pallid in the light of life

……. if all poems blossom in the shade of death
it’s no mystery that we imagine an alternate paradise,
a place beyond of mythic respite
…… it’s no mystery that we tell tales of it to the young
who then might disregard this nearer truth:
this  the world offers a promise of a paradise
…….. only lovers may reach

Jim Culleny