In a World

Isn’t it strange
to be in a world,
especially this one?

I’m in the world
with its terrible events
though I never dreamed
there could be plague again
but also waterfalls
that no one ever sees.

You’re in the world
with its beautiful elephants
so you never dreamed
there could be all this anger still
and also people who
almost never dream.

Isn’t it strange
to be human forever,
especially weeping?

J. Kyle Kimberlin
Creative Commons Licensed

‘You are a little soul carrying about a corpse, as Epictetus used to say.’

Marcus Aurelius

Fleeting Matters

Speeding arrow, sharp and narrow
What a lot of fleeting matters you have spurned. [1]

We arrive at the time and place
that we think is most real,
most bright and keen,
most worthy of outrage
in all the long distance
that the Earth has come.

Surely these terrors
will matter to history
and our angst will ring
through the years.

We’ve been deceived.
Vision only goes so far and all
that matters must remain.
The soul stirs behind a curtain
in conversation with the dead.
The spirit moves upon the waters
where we sleep.

J. Kyle Kimberlin

Creative Commons Licensed

[1] St Stephen, The Grateful Dead

Fuzzy Consolations

We are all powerless against the force of disorder, the sheer chaos, of a universe fleeing the scene of its own creation. But at least we have dogs.

That’s just a brief note copied from last night’s journal entry. And it’s funny: that looks so much more formidable handwritten in that little notebook. It’s half a page! Looks more profound too. But such is the writing life. Sometimes you think you’ve caught a dragon by the tail, but it’s just a hummingbird with other flowers on her mind.

The Voice of the Choir

In mind of Mother’s Day, here’s an old poem about the incredible depth of emotion in which a family swims. How long can you tred water? I think the poem has some good, sincere intensity. But it needs to be rewritten. Maybe I’ll take another crack at the imagery, one of these days.

This is from my book Finding Oakland. It’s out of print but you can have it in PDF by clicking the Creative menu, above.


In the few cold minutes
since my death
I have seen my people
going by. Now I understand
returning home
and remaining away.
We fished orange salmon
from a bridge arched in pain
and rose at three to watch
the moon in the shadow
of the earth.

My mother and father
sleep in their armchairs
and rise up singing hymns.
The sharp November air
has taken the house
the grass is gray
and the birds are gone.
No hope of rain and no

My only brother
his face to the window
is singing
to the miles and the time
behind and forgotten
the words we must say
so we don’t give up.
His words rise like clouds
with thunder and trembling
becoming San Francisco rain.

The birds which are gone
had wings of wet lapis
and the voice of the choir
of heaven. But even I, who was
dead, know the true cost:
the quiet lost, the fear
of telephones, or light
beneath a door. All we can do
is love, hold fast, let go.

Creative Commons Licensed
Published 1992.
Changed just a little, 2015

Tiny Kites

These are my words.

You can see how each lines up

behind another and they wait

like tiny kites to be lifted by the wind.

But they can’t fly. I think

it’s possible they are nervous,

shocked by the fall to earth.

So they lie among shreds

of paperbark in the long grass,

strangely happy, just glad

to see that you are near.


Creative Commons License
Tiny Kites by Kyle Kimberlin is licensed
under a 
Creative Commons Attribution-
NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License