Author: Ben Wolfe

prometheus, 2009

(for earth day)

maybe god
left us with an irresponsible babysitter

all those aeons of loving care
since we were only hydrogen

and then some rube of a teenage sub-god
gave us a glimpse of fire, as a joke
and we were gone

out of the cradle,
over the rail,

taking in the fall
from this 21st-story balcony

stretching it in time
calling it a lifetime

making believe
we were born to achieve

terminal velocity

— March 26,  2007 / April 2009


 Oversoul, by Alex Grey (detail)

i hope that i will someday see

(with apologies to ogden nash)

i hope that i will someday see
that every they becomes a we

indeed, unless the theys all fall
there’ll never be someday at all

— Oct. 23, 2008


Circle Limit IV

just a moment to move a bicycle

just a moment to move a bicycle
and the full miracle is revealed to me again

quiet body of a mouse,
two tiny perfect blooms

damp grass, still air
all of life and death

here in a few square inches
and with them

the realization that
this year, i

did not slow down
enough to watch the spring

— May 18, 2007


just a moment to move a bicycle

tell me where new days begin

tell me where new days begin ¿
in facing up, in facing in,

in shedding sanctity and sin
like outworn layers of skin

— April 30, 2005


tell me where new days begin
Marc Chagall, America Windows, Art Institute of Chicago, detail (photo: Ben Wolfe)

black hole man

he was a black hole man
an invisible centre
he was being not-there
holding things together

said ‘you know it takes nothing
to make things spin’
and i saw nothing
when i looked at him

now i’m a black hole man
’cause i couldn’t absorb it
’til i fell in the centre
of my own orbit

and there’s nothing the matter
no, nothing at all
and i’m circling round it
and i feel the call

and we are black hole men
in a world of matter
and we move together
though we seem to be scattered

and it’s up, down, strange, top
falling in will never stop

but if you can read rumi
while you think john bell
better look in a mirror
while you still can

before gravity fails
and you’re a black hole man

— Sept. 22, 2006


sumach leaves / arranged around a hole, by Andy Goldsworthy

home work

i love you, hannah wrote in symbols on a page
eye heart u
eye heart u
stopping only for the edge of the paper

here are my lines teacher
she said

all homework should be like that
i said

home work
work that brings you home

— Jan. 29, 2005



cat on my lap

      you are

     cat on my lap
    looking away
    finding the place
     in your wild dna
    that says you are free


— Feb. 27, 2005


cat on my lap