RUBIES OF BLOOD RUNNING LIKE RUPTURED CHERRIES
Rubies of blood running like ruptured cherries
down my arms. The night swarms
like a feeding frenzy of junkies
all in for a little taste. The heat hangs
like something dangerous in the air
as if the atmosphere were on a short fuse
and you can feel the fangs of its potential bared.
Like a bear to berries, I come here for stars.
It’s a lair of sorts for wounded wolf hearts
gored by the moon, and it’s healing
to look upon the waters when you’re in pain.
There’s nothing undisciplined about the chaos here.
Everything just seems to fall into place
of its own accord without anyone having
to explain anything to the animated silence
about how it all works effortlessly
in an unintended harmony of living and dying.
The trees understand like an alphabet
that’s never gone out of use, what it means
when the wind skims through their leaves
like the synopsis for a serialized book of wisdom
with an ambivalent happy ending
that takes your breath away in awe.
And the waterlilies show their poems to the stars.
The serenity here could almost seem offensive
in its aloofness, as the genetics of random chance
get on with fate, and if you’re noticed at all,
it’s as a possible threat the beavers choose to ignore.
And the white-tailed deer cue off of them.
Not one of the wild irises clustered
like the indigo fires of the Pleiades
where the river slows down to pay homage in passing
to the decimated groves of the fallen birch
that lie like wrecked wharves in the water
the turtles and the frogs could sun themselves on
like happy freaks with no concern at all for their downfall.
Everything acceptable as a matter of course
with equanimity. A kind of impersonal poise
sustained even beyond death
in the way all living things
give themselves back to things as if
they were returning to the source of their own lives
to lavish the watershed with inexhaustible gifts.
Moonlight on the blades of silver swords
forged among the stars, surrendered
from a bridge between life and death
in a wordless tribute to the crossing of the river.
Or the unsayable insights of the rocks around here
that keep the epics of the glaciers
like enlightened haikus to themselves,
or a poet retreating into his solitude
to see if he can still remember all the names
of the stars that were the herbs and flowers
in the chalice of the ailing kingdom of his childhood
and if they still had the power to heal
what the man in me has left for the boy to feel.