YOU’RE LIKE THIS WANDERING DAWN
for Layla on her way
You’re like this wandering dawn
thirty-five thousand feet above the Pacific
and I’m like this horizon
back here on the ground
at my desk in Perth
wondering if all that splendour
might ever stand in my doorway again.
I don’t think yesterday ever stops
or there’s ever an end of beginning
because everything includes everything
from the very start
like water coming down a mountain on the moon
whole in every part of its flowing
in the expanding here and now of its knowing
the entire sea of awareness
that fills all the cups of time
is contained in every drop
that spills over the brim of a human heart
that knows the journey is the whole of its destination.
We are most homeless on our own thresholds
just as we are crossing them
to go out into the night
like fireflies among the fixed stars.
And most vulnerable
when we take off space like skin
to show someone we love
there is no outside or in
no end or origin
no departure arrival or road
in the way we begin each other
like worlds we could live in
like birds in flight through the night.
And you could bring your own stars.
And I could be as wise as the seasons
and discover the whole earth
is the philosopher’s stone
and throw it through the mind-mirror
that makes love look for alibis and reasons
like small cracks around its eyes.
And birds would be the first words
of a sky that’s learning to talk.
And later you could teach it
to play the stars
as if the universe took the shape
of a beautifully made guitar
in the hands of a wistful siren
whose longing is the music of her solitude.
And I would come to you
like the afterlife of a tree you once loved
and whisper things to you
even the wind doesn’t know
when it opens its ears like leaves.
We could steal the moon
from each other’s window
like lovers and thieves
and get away with it all like joy
because no one believed we could.
You could be the sacred groves.
I could be the rebel wood.
You could wear the night for clothes
And I could stand there in my strangerhood
and let the flames fall from my body
like feathers from a phoenix
and burn so hot
you could see right through me.
Space is faster than light or thought
and space is the dark mother
that opens the gates to everything
in between the lines of an unsigned loveletter
that writes itself as you read.
I am the way I am
because you are the way you are
said the darkness to the star
the flower to the bee
the mountain to the sea.
You could be a mystic river
and I could be your reed.
You could be a fire-giver
and I could be your candle.
You could be a grail of rain
and I could be the search.
You could be a rose of pain
and I could be your church.
You could cry like a late-night violin
and I could be your Handel.
And that’s the way the world emerges
out of the emptiness of a boundless abyss
and love calls out like one voice with myriad echoes
you could be the furious dream
of the butterfly princess
who dreamed she woke up to a kiss
and thousands of miles away
here at my desk
I could be the bliss
of watching you rise in the morning.
You could be a comet
passing through the sunset.
And I could be the vapour trail
of your new-age prophet
and explain you like a message to the rest
any sign of your light
is proof to the fruitful
there are still cosmic eggs
that break like worlds
waiting to be born
that fly from a shaman’s nest
high among the stars
and a full moon in the apple-tree
whose passage is blessed
by a lone Druid
in a cathedral forest
struck by lightning
back here in Canada
like so many scars till spring.