part I

(in People's Park)

A slight figure, running in the soft damp grass of People's Park
It was the 60's.
Turned upside down into the 90's,
His feet slightly off the ground,
a dancer? a sense of clown laughing,
in gentle body language,
practitioner of marital arts?
journey-bound for Buddhism
a sweet bluish ray of sunlight
brushing his face, a figure
in pastels
floating, yet real,
not canvas
he said, hi! shyly.
Then, like a child: "'I published the Oracle!"
(No, I didn't know, though my hair
was long down my back, I
wasn't that hip! And I was 'in music')
excited he added, "and I'm having it bound into
a large book, only $100.00," Every issue!"
He was a truly happy man.
He had to tell someone,

Our talk was brief, then
saying goodbye,
we probably knew
that one day
we would read together
as poets do .
As butterflies hover over flowers,
poets gather to sip the nectar of camaraderie.

Part 2


I know that I'll look closely
at every
I see,
Just in case,
a familiar shyness,looking upward
I can't know for sure,
more, perhaps, when I see a butterfly
proud of it's artwork,
proud of its colors and the spread of its wings
and the knowledge, how high it flew
and how far

Part 3

Are you flying, now, from Galaxy to Galaxy
or are you waiting for us?
we who are earthbound,
sometimes sad, sometimes happy, even
Go! leave us, be free,
and be assured
we carry your loving spirit
as a baton to pass on
to the next runner
and the next, and the next,
your gentle love
we'll carry
as a baton, passed on
to the next runner,
and the next
in this human race
this incomprehensible,
incredible ecstasy
of life

Part 4

Some only look on the outside looking out
For instance,

Once a woman who was a dunce said to me,
the Fiji Islanders 'have no culture'
(because all they know is magic,
secrets of the Universe
that's ALL THEY KNOW!)

Part 5

Babies understand, and young children
not yet that far removed from the source,
the pulsation, vibrations which
sing a song of SPIRIT and the
moon's magic, and the sun's ability to paint sunrises,
time after time
coming together at one moment
when we look not directly,
but through the slits of our eyes,
not vertically, or horizontally
but surreptitiously for the REAL STUFF.
The SIMPLE STUFF that children know.
Man before he was born wasn't he nonliving?:
a small child said, taking the hand of his dying father.
what is the difference, before birth and after death?
primitive tribes tell us
round the campfire stories
of before birth and after death circuitous

Part 6

My neighbor said once,
no scientist ever has been able to answer,
this: What is 'Behind the eyes' or in ancient ways:
Who is it, who is looking?

Part 7

A child, however,
does not bother with details,
he is the kite, flying high, he is
the triplet in a song,
he is the red/green leaf
of a tree
that kept him from the rain
he knows
he is part of the sky,
he touches it, then
walks toward the mountain
knowing he'll be received,
and when he lies
on new mown grass
he's there,
he's one with the one in all,
with the fresh sweet smell
and the soft holding pattern
of new mown grass.

For Allen Cohen
(c) 2004 Dorothy Jesse Beagle  Dorothy Jesse Beagle website
Dorothy Jesse Beagle runs the Whole Note poetry series every 2nd & 4th
Tuesday 7 pm at the Beanery, 2925 College (near Ashby), Berkeley.
Allen Cohen Tributes and Memories