Archive | October 2013

All Hallow’s

near miss…

There could be no summer child.
Something arrives and takes root
which I cannot bear.
The heron haunts a diminishing water
and the world has turned
to fool’s gold.
Wind’s unsettled
as the dry grass.
And I too am shaken,
scarred and bent as the crone.
Dearest, it has grown too late.

Stumble into weeds and woods.
Too soon for size,
too soon for bone,
and for blood besides my own,
give it up
to the green man’s winter.

We make ourselves vulnerable,
sickened and lessened —
but the predators can feel
a holy rite
in the deep, wild way,
and pass us by.

And we will give up
every precious thing.
But maybe we will see you
in dreams

Truest

Who am I to say don’t?
The bluebird is truest —
the only friend to seek through darkness —
a greeting,
and a blessing,
as if to sing or share this falling.

And we lessen with the days.
Hold it back.
Let it move deep
to gather where it hurts.
We keep it back,
and we keep it back.

And when we come upon
this frozen water,
it cracks the foundation.
So we let it.
And it’s silly to cry about it,
but maybe this salt
will melt the ice.

And I am done
with one-sided and with reaching,
only to draw up this empty bucket.
Now is the time
for turning,
truest,
or else we must risk
some final dissipation.

And do the trees know
their sleep is only for a season?
In their shadows,
I fold my arms and legs,
cover myself with patchwork leaves,
watch as the frost melts and rises,
melts and rises,
higher each time.

And I sleep on it,
and sleep on it,
and sleep until
dreaming is unbearable —
licking my wounds,
with one ear to the winter birds,
waiting for some ray of sun.

Silence

If I were going to write tonight,
I would look for the words to describe her pretty feet —
like golden shells in the summer sand.

But I have nothing to say.

And if I were going to write tonight,
I would find the words to explain how a heart can drop to see such things —
a hand on a knee, or two on my hips, reflected.

But I have nothing to say.

And if I were going to write tonight,
I might search for the words to explain how this waiting is an eternity, and how you don’t try but break my heart anyway, and how this wanting grows raucous and rampant —
echoing like a bell ’round a hollowed-out soul like mine.

But I have nothing to say.

And if I were going to write tonight,
I would look for the right way to explain these secrets we hold in darkness, and how I wish it might be easy to drop these hooks and let fly, let loose, let go into this abandonment of judgment —
but without making myself smaller in your eyes.

But I have nothing to say.

And if I were going to write tonight,
I would try to find words to explain how these tender, delicate seedlings that always sprout new and golden-green from black soil are a birthing we must hold close to before they drift into seed and wind —
seedlings weak as words, and sharp as eyes, and dancing like hands, and fragile as friendship.

But I have nothing to say.

Permission

We haunt the dark with strange permissions —
adding names to the book of debt.
And we would not erase these stories
that expand a man to something more
than a hard, cold ring.

It is hard to fathom:
Here is a world that does not know
these secrets of our deviance —
in dream
or in truth.

And which of you fallen angels
walks among us,
whispering ‘all shall be well.’
Some day will come an end to this wanting,
and what then?

It is a strange alchemy
that transforms the breaking day-to-day
to word and music.
Is it enough?
Enough to live on?

He’s steered us down
this dark road.
Unfamiliar lips and eyes
press against us on all sides.
The map is a foreign tongue.

And so we seek
the simplest translation —
always, still,
searching for the right direction
to lead us into sunlight.

Dropped

A single night offers
this whole new category
of thought —
something to work over.

Seek the songs,
the stories that point
toward the right reactions —
and struck dumb,
I am full of
question.

She puts his hands,
his mouth and body
in a box —
treasures to save for hollow days.

Then she swallows up the keys.

Where is the box
to save against
my own?

I am about the fogged morning —
the waking and making of daylight,
however clouded.

In the pines outside
the open window,
a lone owl calls.
And there is none to answer back.

Greener

So now there is this name.
This time.
This point on the map.

A hundred years ago,
I sat in strange porchlight
and we talked on what if,
but I never had it in me.

And now there is this name.
This time.
This point on the map.

And if I were less outside,
would the blade be sharper?
I’ve grown slow as bone
in what should be tearful time.

Because now there is this name.
This time.
This point on the map.

I rub dust into my palms
and bury my face.
Kick the green and brown walnuts
down the trail.
Crumble yellow coneflower seeds
and inhale the spice they breathe.
Hide myself in bluestem and indiangrass.

But still there is this name.
This time.
This point on the map.

And maybe I’m like that goldfinch
that I held in cupped hands.
Maybe all I need is some perch
where I can recover
and gather my wings for flight.

Away from this name.
This time.
This point on the map.

For now,
I am a jar full of water
collecting sunlight again.
And his words are drops of oil
that fall into the jar —

Oil that is this name.
This time.
This point on the map.