• I remember Youth
    Pudgy faces in solemn frowns
    Kneeling, all in a row like toadstools
    Casting prayers to harsh angels
    Whispering to silent saints
    Reverent, brilliant light
    Pooling sacred and stained
    On the pale altar
    Chanting, preaching, Incense wafted
    Thick, sweet, choking, exotic
    They told us, in grave tones
    That the tendrils of smoke carried
    Our words to the Creator

    In the age of disillusionment
    I light incense
    Bright flare of flame
    Soft, somulent hush
    Of sandalwood and patchouli
    And I send my hopes, fervent, desperate
    Along the unraveling staircase
    Of shadows, winding, twisting, flowing, drifting
    The dark wisps rise,
    To where the birds dance and flit
    Like winged gems
    And I hope against sense
    That someone is listening