SPIDER IN THE DOORWAY
Spider in the doorway of a small aircraft
I’m holding my own like a furious flag against the wind
leaning backwards out of a small aircraft
wondering if I’ve got a parachute on.
Here we go again.
The baby bird dropped from the crow’s beak.
Eggs smashed like like young spring suns
that didn’t make the grade
their yellow haemmorages spread like laundry
to dry on the rocks below.
Some thief wrecked what it was trying to steal.
A waste of good birds.
Forensics of the absurd.
No one’s ever been convicted by the laws of nature.
The hawk walks.
It was a sanctioned hit.
Nature heard a rumour they were about to sing.
The worm turned
and they died with wild canaries in their mouths.
Falling from an airplane backwards
not knowing if you’ve got a parachute on
is the seed of a dandelion on the wind
wondering how it’s ever going to bloom
is a kid on a ten metre board
learning to trust the water
and the unearthliness of his first black flip.
It’s good to have a cherished delusion or two
come true every once and awhile.
Everybody’s got to leave their cozy little nest sometime
and learn to fly for themselves.
Daring said feathers
and falling took flight.
Or was it fright running from a dangerous appetite
to the end of a branch that let go of it like fruit
that made it take to the air?
There’s more compassion in wings
than there is claws.
but it’s hard to know if nature
is working under laws of its own origination
or if Lycurgus brought them back like wolves from
The Spartans slaughtered their helots once a year
to keep their numbers down.
And spring’s got blood running down its spear as well.
I’m trying to fall toward paradise.
As above so below
but sometimes I feel as if I’m plunging toward the planet
like a meteor about to embed itself in the earth
as a cornerstone of hell
with a nuclear winter for an afterlife.
Insane alchemists playing scrabble
with the genetics of the brain.
New life forms in a black spring
whose myths of origin
are someone else’s eulogy.
Life advances at its own expense.
It gets up in the morning
and puts its shoes on
the right one a cradle
the left a grave
and it walks that way between birth and death
down a long road it never takes twice.
And it never stops at the garden-gate
to ask where it’s going.
It keeps to itself like a stranger in passing
and takes its own advice.
It acts without faith or knowing
and everything that lives and dies
is its accomplice.
Robert Frost once wrote
you worship the great god of flow
by hanging on and letting go
and that’s o.k. if you’re an apple
but what if you’re a cloud or a bell
or a wishing well
or a man without a parachute
in the armpit of a plane
feeling the need for unlimited space
and a suspension of gravity
because he can’t walk upon the earth
without being crushed under his own bodyweight?
The poignancy of the absolute
cannot be diluted by a relative truth.
And you can’t hide behind a lie
like the eyepiece of a telescope
that got turned around in the womb
and call that aloof and indifferent
that you hold at arms length
as if deep space weren’t already in your face.
Been gone so long it looks like home to me.
But that doesn’t mean I’m the prodigal son.
Icarus could just as easily fall out of the sun
like the flightfeather of an eyelash
that mistook all that flapping for wings.
You never know when it comes to letting go
whether things are looking up
or bottoming out
and there’s no place on the ladder that’s secure.
But in between the rising and falling of things.
In between this thought moment and the next
that contradicts it
in between one heartbeat and another
in the womb of the great mother
it answers to like a tiny drum
echoing the pulse of her thunder
there’s a freedom of disbelief
that fills me with wonder
that when nature abhors a vacuum
it summons someone like me to fill it.
When the sky’s a bright vacancy
I’m the black mirror of the dark abundance
that comes like Johnny Appleseed to the clouds
and gets in their eyes
like the cinder of a dragon that makes it rain
only to be washed out by the tears
of resilvered mirrors
renewing their virginity.
I’m the emergency shadow on stand-by
that gets called out at all hours of the night
to substantiate the alibi about the whereabouts of the light.
Great oak trees from little acorns grow.
And every quiet little getaway
is the start of a another great escape from prison.
A break in the wall.
A crack in the egg.
A trail of concrete breadcrumbs
a blade of grass follows
like the only path to freedom
for a sword impaled in a stone
that has to pull itself out by its own bootstraps
to keep anybody from declaring themselves king
and taking matters into their own hands
like who lives
and who dies
and who stays at home and cries
and every now and again
in exotic instances like me
who flies from the chain like a missing link
that doesn’t want to be connected to anything
I’ve got more lightning in my roots
than boots on the ground.
I’m a starwalker.
I’m a night stalker
in the spirit’s lost and found.
It’s pleasant I agree
to watch how the happy apple falls
not far from the tree
and quote Shakespeare as an authority
that ripeness is all
but sometimes an apple’s
just a lump in your throat you can’t swallow
and screwing your courage to the sticking point
you jump to clear your voice
of old words that ring hollow.
You look your worst nightmare in the face
And for a few brief lifespans of light
on the way down
you’re a dragon
who stares the snake in the eye
until it’s Medusa that turns to stone.
You’re a visionary on a mission.
You’re the warrior minstrel of the forlorn hope.
You’re astral travelling in the ether
like a joy-jockey leaving vapour trails of stars
like extraterrestrial landing strips
on the Nazdac plateaus of the sunset
as you hover over your poor corpse
struggling on life support
to sustain its misery.
You can’t teach a bird
caught in the throat of the chimney to sing
by burning old loveletters addressed to the spring.
Any prophet who’s ever done time in a furnace
will tell you.
You need a phoenix for that.
It knows more about ashs than a crematorium.
Why go to the added expense
of a plot and a mahogany coffin
when you can fit whole aviaries of morning larks
and all their lyrics
into a reuseable urn?
O how the mighty have fallen.