The French Generals

Whenever Jesus appears at the murky well,
I am there with my five hundred husbands.
It takes Jesus all day to mention their names.

The growing soul longs for mastery, but
The small men inside pull it into misery.
It is the nature of shame to have many children.

Earth's name is “Abundance of Desires. “ The serpent
Sends out his split tongue and waves it
In the air scented with so many dark Napoleons.

A general ends his life in a small cottage
With damp sheets and useless French franc notes;
He keeps his plans of attack under the mattress.

I have said' o the serpent: “This is your house.”
I bring in newspapers to make his nest cozy.
It's the nature of wanting to have many wives.

Sturdy rafters in lifejackets are pulled down
Till their toes touch the bottom of the Rogue River.
Wherever there is water there is someone drowning.