THE CLOUDS AND THE CROWS
The clouds and the crows
don’t walk the same roads I do
and the dust and the stars are journeys unto themselves
but we all share the same solitude
in a universe that’s going south.
There are things I wanted to be
with a happy brain and a good mouth
that had the spiritual life of a garden
and eras away on a distant island
I took up the pathless path of water
hoping it would follow the map of my roots
into unnamed flowers and stars.
It was easier to see way back then
that sight is a kind of love
and life is the briefest of bubbles
than it is now
the enigma of light
is caught like fireflies
in Mason jars and Hubbles
and the constellations are evicted
from their ancient faces
by the deathmasks of corporate logos.
As you grow you notice the windows
you once looked through
at the distant blue hills of your longing
are subtly turning into mirrors
and the heedless dice
you once threw against the walls
like moons and skulls
in spontaneous raptures of virtue and vice
are beginning to talk
in your voice
as if they had no choice.
there are as many lies
as there are truths
based upon the facts
and when people say they’re lost
and don’t trust the direction they’re headed in
it really means
they’re afraid of living themselves.
They’re terrified of their own rarity.
They’d rather be dead and secure in the darkness
than alive to the dangerous clarity
of following their mindstreams out of Eden
wherever they may lead
and whatever they may turn into
whether it be the ginger fountains of Salsabil
blooming in heaven
or the Styx Lethe Phlegathon of hell.
You can tell by the halo
around the black hole in their eyes
where the light goes in
and never comes out
that what used to be an iris
has lost its faith in rainbows
and nothing is well.
No manner of thing is well.
Even time gives up on them in disgust
at the lightyears it’s wasted on them
like flowers afraid of the Open
and leaves space to measure their lifespans
like event horizons
on the thresholds of tents in a desert.
there is no deluge.
No arks on Ararat.
Just components and bones.
When the mind forgets how to flow
the body sheds its blood like a rose
that’s forgotten how to dream
on the dark side of its eyelids
that its thorns are the swords of a solar matador
at war with the bull of the moon
not a memento mori
thrown by a lover
on the coffin lid
like a kiss that blunts its lips on stone.
But a rose is a rose is a hemorrhage.
The moon is gored by the solar sword
and the plenum void
pours forth its dark abundance
to feed the dog and scorpion alike.
It’s hard to look at the world for long
and still think of it as some kind of cosmic favour
some unknowable god did us in passing
but it’s one of the more
delusional graces of crazy wisdom
that even to be grateful for its mere presence
and whatever dark energy
insists on being us in it
is a compassionate form of self-respect.
Of according a dignity to existence
simply because it’s you.
This agony of being
we share with ants and Cepheid variables
with great trees broken by lightning on a hilltop
with the fossils of hummingbirds
with those who sit behind curtains
at undetectable angles
with no words for what they’re looking at.
With the maggot the snake and the rat.
With the anything that everything can be.
I’m grateful for the barking of dogs in the morning
and the history of life in the light of the stars that haven’t reached us yet.
I’m grateful for my fingertips my scars my broken bones.
I’m grateful for alarmist poppies and bruised violins
and small creatures burping in the sand through their blowholes
after every wave that washes over them.
I’m grateful for blue
and oscillatory electromagnetic fields at rest
and the lies that parents tell their children
to keep them from growing up too fast.
I want to say thank you for my voice
and the old Arab in the mosque
who taught it words were living creatures.
I want to say thank you for skulls and harps
and the fact that every thought
has an afterlife of its own
that’s as sure as inspiration.
And thank you for the secrets,
the paradoxes, the enigmas, the mysteries, the questions,
the insights and uncertainties.
Thank you for my emergence out of the random
like the spontaneous formations of thousands of birds
turning on the tilt of a feather.
Thank you for my grief, lust, rage and ignorance,
and these prophetic shades
that are in compliance with my senses.
I’m grateful for the gates.
And I’m grateful for the fences.
What is life?
What is death?
What am I?
Is it light or darkness to wonder?
Thank you for Jesus and Muhammad, Buddha and Brahma
and Silap Inua of the Inuit
that were engendered out of our suffering
like cool waterlilies out of the heat of our festering.
Thank-you for the clarity of smoke
and hiding what everyone is looking for
right out in the open.
Thank you for the seeing that engendered my eyes.
The hearing that shaped my ears.
The touching that wired the nerves in my skin
to the raindrop and the butterfly.
The saying that gave me a voice.
The feelings that ripened the green apple of my heart
so that sunset is sweeter than dawn
so I know to let go
is to live on.