Joseph Bottone








                                         Visiting Friends In The Back Country


Full moon western sky

the sea lit and the earth

body house lavish open window and door.




Leaning against ancient days

I admire the form of an oak tree

singing to all my relations.


Old mother braids

squatting tending fire, her antler tongs spark flame shards

up to starless sky.


Talk, listen.


Night creatures stir as we taste the summer draft

of sea breeze through flowering mountain gorge

hear distant faint harbor seals bark.




                                         Going Over


I would be a tree for your shade.

And if you came to me with language I could
decipher, what code would you use,

as when angels speak?
The quick-footed Hermes—
Is he still in your employ?

And if I am moved to distraction,
what cost to me.
What loss. And if I were not,

Paradise would burn brighter.
I'd be empty of all
but your attributes.

Holding dialogue with myself.
Yes, I say, yes.

And if my kisses were your feet, and
your feet my eyes,

I'd run to where the light is brightest, and
shatter into ten thousand gems.


I crawl into sleep
     imagining the Emerald City
living in my head

When the moon settles
     in dawn's ocean
I awake bewildered,
unaccustomed again to this world.  

We sing our songs, the songbirds sing:
"I heard a minstrel chant.
They sang me my heart's desire.
     I sang what they sang.
I was where they were
   and they were where I am"
—Fakhruddin 'Iraqi

I see light,  see myself. 
   A vague form
startles me 

   —in this strange land, the trees, the wind
and the singers of songs know better 
conspiring for the transfiguration of the earth.




Sometimes a tiger prowls the room
                         keeping its eye out for anything
       that moves.
A hunger gnaws
deep in its bones.

         Its paws resonate. With each step
a miasma of dust like a stain glows
where it prowls 
intent on grasping.

And when tiger-like mind
settles down, a cooing dove.

      Touch it, light streams.






                                           Book of Faces



One day in my dream of life

we will meet again

in the new land Serene.

I will ask your name

you will ask for mine.

Realising our tired names have lost their usefulness

I will call you Serendipitous, and I’ll be Coincide.

Ah friend, it appears

our souls have taken long to know the look of love.

Now we say to each other

                                    are not the views magnificent ?




Reading Aloud a Rumi Poem Before Breakfast



At the feast of the Friend

The raspberries danced with the silver spoon

The white tablecloth

Blinding as the sun eased over the piney hill.

No one could forget how lovely and wild

The roses looked at dawn

Naked beside the blissed out lilies.





                                         After Another


One after another

you’d think there would

be an end.


You’d think someone

would come along

and make a difference.


Tomorrow figments of daily news.

Yesterday revealed the skeleton

of a lost child.


Presently, I breathe

hold in my arms

my beloved, the air I breathe.








an Owl hooting


is that









©  joseph Bottone 2016      last revised August 2017