The heart has medieval
and pumps out
blotchy tapestries
of thrones
and forests
to prove fidelity

it can chew up
of stained glass
sending them
ringing into the blood
like a knight falling
from a turret

it never hesitates
it adores armor
it sustains the solemn beat
of the victor's horse
in the stone courtyard
of the vanquished

it is blind
and its burnt-out sockets stare
as in a starving face
at a dungeon window
yet it survives
the rack and the whip
only to kill itself
because the lady's body
is consumed
under another's hand

if allowed its own way
it will live for long periods
as an infant
yet it is also
the only one who can
locate the lost child
quicker than the wolves.


Reflections on Samson

Samson turned up in Brooklyn
wearing a skin-diver's
and looking Caribbean.

They thought he was sent
by Fidel
and frisked him and suggested
he stay
out of the harbor muck.

But he was accustomed
to nothing
in this new world where
he needed tasks
worthy of his strength and
so walked for hours
asking advice from
the pigeons.

After some months he located
a mother and father
in Canarsie who spoke to him
in sign language. He learned
to eat very awkwardly
with a fork
and was encouraged
by the children to play baseball
which he mastered, but found
it hard to control the speed
of his pitch. 

For a while he visited with 
Three girls – all small and pretty-
In the afternoons they would
Swim in the harbor
Leaping into the air 
occasionally like dolphins.

When they called him for the draft
In 1965, he refused
At first, but later saw the chance 
For heroism and served
As a nurse, carrying the wounded
Out of range, one or
Two under each arm.

Delilah was a rich girl 
who had problems. 
He went there often 
To hear the piano and 
argue with her father who
hated unions.

One day they bought him
a hat and a suit
and insisted he get his
hair cut.

After that he was never
the same. He woke up
tied to a desk, writing
articles for obscure
social science journals.

Of his several children
one was torn apart
by urges to be in two
Places at once, of the others
there is no clear record.