Norman Cristofoli
photo by Brenda Clews – March 2015 Poetry Salon

Thoughts At 20,000 Feet

Pythagoras my friend, hear me
Oh, that you would raise your calculations
above the clouds
Look down upon our world
like the Gods of Olympus
casting long shadows
of our ingenuity

A miracle you say
Yes, one that started with your thoughts
and grew upon other thoughts
until we captured the lightning of Zeus
and the chariot of Helios

Pythagoras, my friend
Oh that you could see the multitudes below
the transformation of the earth
into geometric shapes of farm and field
into spider webs of passage
and mountains of habitation

Would you marvel at our accomplishments
Would you look upon us as Gods
Or would you fear us
for we have conquered your Gods.

Karma #23

Brahma is my Sheppard, I shall not want
for lack of want, everything I shall have
for nothing is everything
in the communion of the spirit

Vishnu maketh me lie in pastures green
brothers in arms on blood stained ground
Shadows on the fields of Waterloo
the rolling hills of Gettysburg
and the forests of the Arden

Devi leadeth me to quiet waters
once a flood, now stilled by a covenant
and the promise of a wrathful deity
Vengeance is mine sayeth Lord Shiva

Krishna restoreth my soul
leading me to the path of Brahman
through Heaven’s Gate
into the halls of Valhalla
and the mountains of Nirvana

Yea, though I walk through the shadow of the city
I will fear no evil
for Hanuman is with me
His rod and staff protecteth me
in the darkened alleyways of mankind’s soul
and the corporate slums of his

Ganesh prepareth a feast of Last Suppers
a banquet laid before mine enemies
so that they may parish
in the poison of their Jnana

Lakshimi anointeth my head with beauty
My cup runneth over with the mantra of Moksha
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life
and I will dwell within Dharma forever


A Poet Must Die

(For Brandon)

A poet must die
standing on his soapbox
writing words of anger
frightening comfortable lives
insulting ignorant sensibilities

A poet must die
giving voice to the truth
credence to thought
courage in the quest
to answer his question

A poet must die
in the realm of judgment
forever living embedded
in the unconscious dreams
of lovers and anarchists

A poet must die
with fear in his soul
and war in his words
foreboding eternal sleep
and the agony of his vision

A poet must die . . .
and you must kill him
with the rusty blade of innocence
thrust deep into his heart

You must kill him
Lest he destroys your mediocrity
and this illusion you call life

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