Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I plead for anything more beautiful

anything less lonely than I am tonight.

I plead to the darkness

like the new moon of a black pearl

that surrounds me like the irritant of a grain of sand

as if it could hear me from that far away.

Even among all these asteroids I’ve become

I plead to the collective unconscious

of the whole planet I used to be

to remember when we had weather and blue sky

and a jade green sea

all things ran down into

as if it could take back our tears

like rivers we wept on the mountain tops.

Even in the clamour of all this mental racket

to scare the ghosts away

I listen for the night bird that’s braver than autumn

like a lifeboat with feathers for oars that flies

like a message in a bottle that sings

of how the light still shines in the heart

of the darkest things

like a harvest moon behind a total eclipse

that passes

yes it will

because the spirit of what it came to say

is water

and water isn’t indelible.

Though I might feel like a firefly

in the bushido tradition of warrior dragons

even as the light is failing

and all that I’ve seen over a lifetime

of one insight after another

of being here to look at the stars

amounts to no more than the flaring

of a burnt match stick

bowing its head like a monk about to take his leave

of what he tried so hard to believe in

until his failure freed him from attainment

and he understood with brutal clarity

that all achievement is redundant

and we task ourselves for things

we already are in abundance

but lose sight of

the moment we start looking.

Despite having lived through all this

even so even so

I plead for a better mirage

in these deserts of the moon

than the one I’m drinking from tonight

out of the grail of my skull

as if even the passing illusion

of a compassionate life

were enough to green the ailing kingdom

buried in the sands of an hourglass

someone smashed against Devil’s Rock

like a beer bottle on Friday night

trying to get right out of it.

Even though the stone of the world

I lay my head down on every night

for a few hours of troubled sleep

gets harder and harder the more I dream

of a life more forgiveable than this one

where the spiders don’t weave their webs

like trick constellations

in the line of sight

of spotting telescopes

because they’ve taken up astronomy.

Where the angels can’t replace

the broken strings on their harps

with the spinal cords

on the electrical guitars of the demons

because they don’t share the same taste in music

one preferring music that wounds

and the other music that scars

though they’re both listening to the same thing.

Even though I’m still caught up

in this holy war of one with myself

where I’m always the infidel

that’s trying to drive Jerusalem out of me

like a bit of dust that got into my third eye

I’m trying to wash out

it makes me autumnally happy

though it hasn’t come yet

that I’ve held out this long

to be at real peace with myself

instead of a tentative truce

with a paranoid neighbour.

And even though I’m bound to lose

wrestling with life

like the angel in the way

and walk away with a limp

that would put Byron to shame

I’m not going to walk away

from my defeat weaker

than when I first came to it

debilitated by the promise of victory.

When God breaks her word to you

she expects you to get up on your own two feet

and stand upright on your own two legs

like the pillars of a portable temple to yourself

your hair will grow long enough along the way

to pull down one day

like an avalanche down a mountain

that’s had enough of itself

to get out of its own way

to level the playing field

and bend like the light

right over the last event horizon

into the estranged mysteries

of the spirit’s lost and found.

For every demon that jumps from heaven

an angel rises from hell.

On the wheel of birth and death

all opposites are reciprocally engendered.

One breath after another

we die into life.

We’re born out of death.

And even though this moment now

is always in the foreground

of the eternity that’s passing away behind us

into the blue aerial perspective of time

that it shares like a continuum

it has in common with space

like twins in the guest bedroom

at the back of the house

talking to themselves on the same wavelength

only they can understand

long after the lights go out.

Even though this much is so

I still plead like a seance sometimes

for the occasional echo to return like a bird

like the call of Canada geese crossing the moon

like a long caravan in the desert

like an affectionate word from the heart

of a distant lover

whose departure wasn’t irrevocable

even though the long silence

that has followed it ever since is.