Three Poems by Michael Collins

My corpse has awoken from its crusade
in the other world of myth and dream,
where I failed to subject gods and beings
to whatever tenuous totalidoxy

I thought I was seeking. To verify
You exist. I suppose this is all for the best.
Infallible ideas tend to lead to holy wars,
which would end poorly, me having no army.

I imagine I wouldn’t like it either
if You were so busy developing
more comprehensive Michaelologies
you withheld this delicate rain –

The world I journeyed toward returns,
the earth a cradle made of water.
Delight of the souleye the only knowledge.
If You aren’t present, neither is the cosmos.

Harbor Mandala

.                                             i have come to you harbor
.                                             this morning after a nightmare
.                                             has absconded only its anxious
.                                            wake still within me

beyond the shoreside minnows                       demanding I apprehend
below the gulls perched on buoys                   an amorphous dream
the small boat trolling depthward                   subject it to reason
to beg for what it cannot see                          force it to signify something

.                                             your surface a canvas
.                                             where the cloud muted sun
.                                             paints abstract patterns
.                                             of deep blues shaded with greys

whatever i thought i was                                 i could have come empty
going to see was not this                                 handed silently greeted
wind brushing across                                      an old friend opened
your skin creating visions                                my eyes invited you into my soul

.                                             ducks float napping silently
                                            in the oak shade i wander by
.                                             my sandals quacking with
.                                             each step on my way home

The tiny harbor ripples            did not begin               when I happened

upon them.  The breeze           breezing them towards            me does not symbolize

any Spirit uniting        us.  Ducks cluster,       scatter, squawking      like ducks.  This is not

a performance                                     for my eyes; I’m a human                   being, taken

on a stroll by               his soul through his                 soul as each of these

souls lives its image                 solely for this tethered            pleasure: being.  I’ve finished

losing the world          I thought I controlled,                        and the tiny flecks

of light on wavelets,               where dawn and                     haven face one another,

remind me you speak              in visions, promising               prayers harmonize deeper

than soliloquies, even                          as the water-                sparks’ patternless dancing

duets its endpoints,                 lineless pictograms, strange                 succorous listening

to a language sung      in figures, one             I no longer have                      to master.

About the Poet
Michael Collins’ poems have received Pushcart Prize nominations and appeared in more than 40 journals and magazines, including Grist, Kenning Journal, Pank, and Smartish Pace. His first chapbook, How to Sing when People Cut off your Head and Leave it Floating in the Water, won the Exact Change Press Chapbook Contest in 2014. A full-length collection, Psalmandala, was published later that year. Another chapbook, Harbor Mandala, is forthcoming in July of 2015. Visit for more