(for Jane, on her 50th)
Life's difficult path makes us travel
Between the weight of woes and insensate matter.
Upon reality's anvil spirits become gravel
While pressing cares many souls will shatter.
A maddening task, to navigate betwixt the two
And not merely survive, but truly live,
For too sane a view washes the colors flat,
Erasing the beauty that life would give.
The sparkling light in the cup of Bacchus
Reflects the wild awe of nature's secret.
To capture that ineffable mystery -- Impossible!
Yet dancers catch and release art and poetry.
So dance in the sea of troubles,
Splash folly in the face of care,
Laugh at the hammer of worry,
Soar joyfully into the air.
A love is needed not quite rational
To write, to draw, to love -- to create --
Poised between what might be and the actual,
Helping others move from gray to the infinite.
A natural madness is a delicate balance,
Neither overburden'd, nor oversane,
Seeking wonder at the borderlands,
Bringing home beauty back to us again.