Invisibility

So this is what we can be:
a star so faint
as to be only
peripherally visible,
and transitory as moonlight
caught in an icicle.
None can take the care
to see —
so small and shrinking
to this pale point of light,
then blinking —
a remote pulse that fades
and disappears
with the night.

Hoar Frost

I still see the evidence of my passing,
nine days gone now.
But we are ephemeral as hoar frost on the trees at false dawn.
And there is no permanence —
just this splitting and reforming.

I want to demand an understanding,
but in these depths of winter,
moments of truth or beauty are fleeting.
We try to catch on and hold them,
but they melt in the rising sun and let us go.

Three woodpeckers —
all the robins flocked in the hollow.
Things that are always and never the same.

We can barely comprehend it,
how we move in this place —
our scale so skewed —
where all is a fraction of a fraction.

Our small constancies.
The nothingness of it all
when we see the hoar frost.

Vishuddha

We make a feast
of the most bitter truths,
and sacrifice the voice
to beautiful lies.

And only the sun,
bright but weak
in its splintered wintry arc,
can discern and balance the scales.

Naked skin pebbles
in the frozen wind —
we stand on the low rise,
surrounded by unbent prairie grass.

And here there is no escaping
that dissonant voice
that follows
and has always followed.

We are always out before it,
but know deep,
where the truth churns the lie,
some day it must overtake us.

Drop

Was this one last warmth
before snow covered your bones?
Or have you found shelter
in simple?

Either way,
we howl with wind that plays the trees.
They stand in black and white lines
we learn to see between.
And we howl again
because we are not gone yet.

Like water,
you seek the path of least resistance,
downward and downward,
forgetful of freezing
that slows progress to glacial.

But you know where to find us.
We still make this habit
of endurance.
And the embers glow fitful,
drawing us in.

And there never are answers —
just a turning into wind,
a walking into snow,
and movement,
whether glacial or sudden.

Slowly

Our blood thickens and slows
as color is taken up and away
by November’s wind.
Again,
we learn endurance,
with tears that freeze
in silver lines
on skin that can’t hold heat.
But we still turn in
to face it.

A dissipating fog of breath —
who knows where it is?
Who knows where it goes?
Let it,
and mark its slow progress
on the map.
Somewhere on this skin,
you also find home.
And I want to spill,
but slowly and unfrozen.
There is no safety
in this silence.

Touch

Do not know
if I was wrong
or am.
You’re such an engaging purpose,
but I forget how
to take up the cause.

Before I skip it away,
turn this stone in my hand —
its rough and smooth
sides and edges,
hours into years —
and despite the progress of erosion,
we end the same —
afraid to touch
or be touched.

Suspension

Can we let this minute be —
without what’s done?
Or what’s to become?

Surrender one breath
to the suspension of time.

And because nothing stays with us,
and because nothing ever goes —
we are easy with it.
It is well
and you are never here,
but always presence —
my lover of a different stripe.

How we have been transported!

Ascent or descent —
let me touch you now,
then.

We can rise or fall into it.

And breathe.
And breathe.

…breathe…