The world is changed
by looking out your window
with wonder,

and next
by stepping out your
door with delight-

transfixed with mystery
and held, enraptured,
by the constancy

that holds you here.
It is changed by
the honest loving of it

without need or judgment.
To choose the eyes
to see with today-

kind or unkind,
gentle or angry or bitter
or even thoughtless?

What is there to see, really-
what choices reflected
in the panes that hold the view?

~D Gregory Smith


I hold my head up, barely-
with parades in it, it’s heavy.
I look at the world and know
that they’re all looking at me.
They are.
I’m important.
I have to be or there wouldn’t
be such a beautiful fucking parade,

At least today they’re looking.
They can’t really ignore the music
and the sweat, and the skin and the feathers.

Some bring their kids,
I automatically make way for strollers.
I notice lots of dogs, some very fancy.
I get tangled, briefly, in a sparkly leash
when a bulldog in a tutu
takes a turn for  a terrier.

There are beautiful, beautiful people.
Beauty, I know, a distraction from pain.
Smile, it’s your day!
They smile, on cue-
they really want to mean it.
There are old people- at least fortysomething.
It’s funny, they smile anyway.

Some stand back,
not really there, but they have to be.

And some, I know, are quietly holding
a heavy excuse to beat me with
(they practice on themselves, like I did).
But not today,
They’re outnumbered.

Is blue the sky, or the other way round?
Today, it doesn’t matter.
My eyes are clear
my back is straight,
my neck getting stronger
with every passing feathery float.

~ D Gregory Smith


Who do you find me to be?
Or, maybe I already understand the answer
without the questioning eyes you try
to love me with (bad sentence, are you judging?).

Where do I go for the truth?
Or, maybe you have found that place I know
to hide in when the Nazis threaten to take
my family,or, -did I do that again? Do you care?

What I know is this:
Your, mine- and maybe we can say our-
Vision catches the sparkle at exactly the
Same time and it’s done exactly right, right?

It happens regardless of grammar and syntax.
It just does. And maybe we can’t help
but grab at water and look for air
Despite knowing, but still wanting

To hold, to touch, to see, to taste
Not only with my senses but yours.
Because it’s fun and scary and senseless, maybe,
And that’s the only thing that works. Right?

~D Gregory Smith


Eden, dead.
Utopia, a dream.
Moment by moment
The slip into the future-
The banana peel of the now
Sends us landing on the butt of a cosmic joke.
This one, like all jokes,
Hiding truth in its funny sleeves.

There is no future.
This is the hidden truth.
The truth that is deflected-
Dismissed as evil,
As hopeless,
As ridiculous,
All lies.

There is no future.
It is sleight of hand.
It is the distraction
From this moment,
This breath
Which is absolute Truth.
And the future would have you miss it,
Damned to what never comes.

And working to make us miss
what will never come again,
The promise of the future leans seductively
In the doorway to nowhere-
Handsome and pretty and empty.
Watching lustily as we step closer.
Preciousness wasted,
Drop by drop,
Breath by unconscious breath,
Behind us.

~D Gregory Smith

I Dreamed A Dead Dream

I dreamed a dead dream.
They’re all dead, aren’t they?

Isn’t a dream a not-live thing
that seeks our attention,
that begs for our breath?
It needs these to spring,
as Athena did,
from the head of Zeus
(she arrived dressed for battle),
breathing, awake
and ready.
Or, even to come as Aphrodite,
floating gently on the foam of the sea.

My dead dream, devoid of color-
like the world in The Flood
became the gray and angry, hysterical sky.
Does it remember life
like a shade 
of the Underworld,
 unsure of itself ?
Or does it see the world,
perfect, and simply waits
with the pain,
waiting for whatever it needs
to make its own fascinating entrance?

Is my dead dream closer
every time it is dreamed-
closer, closer
no matter who dreams it?
Less lifeless, somehow
in being seen by me,
by you,
especially by you.
Do you remember that your
dream is dead-
that it needs you to live?

Or do you forget,
rubbing your sleepy eyes?

~D Gregory Smith


The way seems perfectly clear,
Laid out in front of me
And marked
And easy- except for the big trucks.
Those impersonal behemoths
Scatter snow as they roar past,
Blinding and harsh.

Now, in this little moment,
It’s not so clear,
Not marked, not easy-
Only white and loud.
Can I remember the path I just saw
For the instant it takes them to pass-
And stay on the road?

I wonder, and grip tighter,
Mind going to that place where
Everyone wears black and says
Nice things about me.
The seconds pass and I remain
On course, not dead,
But slightly less alive than my fears
For a moment longer.


Eyes- A Poem for the New Year

Not rotted or frozen, but alive,

sleepily living despite the layer of snow.

Something there,



and eyes are blind to it- deny it even,

and live the desperation, hating that there is no green,

refusing to look at the evidence under the snow.

The sages know.

They know white contains green in its spectrum,

and theirs are the faces that smile in the cold

with the pleasant secret of knowing that there is no secret-

only eyes that choose to see wonder,

that love to look for green,

especially in a cold, white world.

~D Gregory Smith

Eve, 2009

The Eve of a new year,

the beginning of the second decade of the millennium,

and the world is still caught up in war-

war on this, war on that.

Casual war, once limited to Fridays,

slipped the dress code and no one noticed.

We play at defense of ill-conceived principles

with plastic-coated guns,

covering greed with noble words and forgetting,

forgetting- or pretending not to know

that suffering is the result

not the cause.

Forgetting the loss of heart that happens in direct assault,

seeing the narcissistic flexing of principles

as necessary,

not the vanity it is.

Forgetting that the enemy is defense.

Forgetting that war is the cheapest of cheap shots.


the kind the alcoholic craves-

temporary, carefully rationalized and delusional-

the mark of the descent into dipsomanic madness.

The self-justified drunkenness,

the pretending not to know,

despite the evidence that glistens and smells on clothes and floor.

Violence breeds violence, leaves scars, prevents healing,

slaps the soul violently into chains,

leaving the heart in tatters,

incapable of compassion,

at least for a while.

Sometimes a very long while.

The virus of winning is epidemic now,

infecting everyone-

even the weakest host has the delusion

that it is right,

and that gives it the right

to rob

to kill

to rape

to convert

to taunt

to lie

to pollute

to enslave

all in the name of a fever that was never quite purged-

even in Eden.



In this moment I give up anger.

I may take it up again- maybe soon,

but not now.

The noise distracts

and my heart is too weak

to hold us both right now.

Maybe when there’s quiet,

maybe then.

When anger can be held

in trembling, strong hands.

Seen with kindness,

heard as data,

powerful- but not a danger.

Maybe then,

but not now.



White and blue and gray
is my part of the planet
moving towards solstice.
the white is so bright it hurts
and the blue so cold it burns.
The gray is just gray
especially on the day
that the weather turns
and seems to look backwards.
Am I the only one to notice
and quickly retreat,
not wishing to depress myself
for weeks at a time-
the time the gray
can last on my part of the planet?
Or do we all notice and differ
in degrees of hurt and burn and gray?
It must be that way
or all would suffer
the same sentence-
never leaving the house or,
in the end,
never seeing or feeling the
competence of the neighbor,
the husband, the friend
through the gray of the day
on our part of the planet.