Monday, April 20, 2009



Writing into the void,

trying to outreach my own words

like Canada geese returning in the spring,

witching for new constellations

under a bell of holy water

the colour of my own third eye

that might make me cry again

like someone newly come

to an old adversity

whose history is written on the rocks

that tel the hearts of the glacially numb,

I recall my past like an old superstition

that no longer believes in me,

knowing there’s no more to the present

than just this carrying away into the carrying away

that is in all things and everywhere the same in all its changes

like water in a well that dreams it’s running.

I listen to the nightstream

as if it were a voice

I had almost forgotten

this far from home,

and I want to reach out

and touch the face of God

as intimately as skin,

but I get lost in the labyrinths

of my own fingerprints

looking for traces of myself

at a crime scene

where I can’t tell

if I’m the victim or the perpetrator

or the scream that edged the knife

that killed me into life.

A man among angels

is a kite among birds

with no one at the other end.

Strange words but resonant

with the unseen tuning fork

of the childhood demon

that grew into whatever I am.

Things just keep coming back to me

like eggs in a nest

that made it through the winter

watching the stars like weak magicians

trying to hatch snow,

but whatever I write

I am never the first to speak

and though my eyes are ripe with visions

I am never enlightened by what it is they seek.

When I was at university

sight was a kind of love

but now that I’ve been thoroughly unschooled

by the tutors of the untutored truth

that unbound me like a boat from the sea

to grow into the island I might be

if I flowed along with the waves,

I seem to depend more upon

a kind of mindlessness to direct me

as if this blindness were just another eye of the light

I have learned to go by like a firely

whose darkness is deeper than night.

And I have been the white cane

of the lighthouse on the rock

that tried to walk on water

like a red sky in the morning

that didn’t take its own warning,

and come down like a mountain into a valley

to fill the ditch my aspiration had dug for me.

But life’s a graverobber

that doesn’t respect death

and my corpse began to sprout

and the dead branch bloomed

and I realized that no matter

how many times I died

my rebirth wasn’t elective

and my grave would always be empty.

There is a voice

beyond what I can hear,

a voice within a voice

like a dark mirror behind the light

that whispers to everyone in their own idiom

so intimately that everyone’s voice

fits them like a face

they stop looking at

and begin to listen to.

The clarity of the mirror

is devoid of a self

so you can see

the profundity of the emptiness

when it’s a bell

or a mermaid casting a spell like a tide

over the undulant sea-swell.

In these depths every echo is motherless

and you must listen with your eyes

and see with your ears

if you want to realize

the original picture-music of the nightstream

that runs like a starless grammar

through everything you can and cannot say.

The silence isn’t just a lack of words.

The darkness isn’t diminished

by its abstention from light.

The white mirror reflects the blossom.

The black mirror, the root.

Truth is bound to the stake of its own heresy

as expression is to identity

and you cannot unsay either

from the straightjackets of their affinity

to set your voice free

from the chrysalis

of their themes and dreams,

turn lead into gold

in the vastness of this hermetic womb

until you spread the maps

you inch along to

like wings

to dry in the midnight sun

of the illuminated dragonfly

that emerges from a bright eclipse within.

You can circumnavigate every single drop

in this infinite ocean of knowing

as if each were an eye of yours;

you can search for years

for things that would bring a window to tears

and ink new tatoos

on both sides of the moon

that keeps flipping through itself like a journal

with a page torn out

and attune every word to the night

as if every string of the guitar in your throat

were keyed to the light

in waves of insight

that wash over you like a shore.

But even a spark is blazing to the blind

whose seeing has realized

there’s nothing to lose,

nothing to find

in the lost and found of their knowing.

Centered in all directions

a true star doesn’t shine to see where it’s going.