BACKGROUND SADNESS. COSMIC HISS.
Background sadness. Cosmic hiss. Cool blitz of the rain.
Too late to do the fossils of the flowers any good. Grim air.
Morose silver-grey homogenous sky. Curds of colour.
Though the trees that have hung on to their leaves
like poets afraid to publish their works on the wind,
hoarding them like flakes of dried blood from previous passions,
remind me of the Library of Alexandria going up in rusty flames.
The drainage ditches are full, and the chandeliers
of the New England star clusters aren’t shining anymore.
This morning I’m the fragrance of smoke
in a bombed out city that’s eaten all its horses.
A drenched scarecrow without a function
wandering through a field of shattered cattle corn.
More smouldering than combustible. The earth
lays a poultice on my heart like green moss
on the skulls of the rocks. And the agony of healing
sometimes hurts worse than the original wound.
Dark starmud clings to my lily-white winged heels.
And though the arrows of my words have been
fledged by the sky like ospreys among songbirds,
I’m still flaking spear heads off the obsidian
of prolific new moons. And it’s hard to know
if I’m weeping like a candle that’s still burning in the rain
or crying long, slow, pungently languorous tears of resin
down the trunks of the dolorous pines.
Wet raw umber leaves stick to my boots
like decals on a guitar case of one night stands
like the lament of a bird moving from tree to tree
without understanding what it’s longing for.
Too many sundials past the equinox
in the season of the dead, I’m hauling
the blue stones of my emotions from distant quarries
as I walk these fallow fields like a crop circle
with notions of refounding Stonehenge here in Lanark County,
stacking pagan trilithons out of heritage Christian cemeteries
as I close the endless gates behind me, chain by chain,
so nothing gets out that isn’t meant to, except me
and the fox that’s stopped to eye me
from the far side of my field of view
that’s been abandoned to its own recourses
for the rest of the year in and year out.
I came for a casual walk, but I find myself
wary and prowling through a carnivorous solitude
like a drenched bush wolf in the middle of too much agriculture
and I’m many long wavelengths away from home.
There’s a brutal exactitude about a life that doesn’t love you
because you were born with fangs, even when
you lie down with the lamb to share vulnerabilities.
Some like it high above the timberline
where everything is as sublime as nightfall
on a good seeing night and the stars are so ferociously hot
they cauterize your eyes like focused fireflies of blue acetylene
so you never have to cry again quite the way you used to,
or if you do, your tears shatter like chandeliers of dry ice
and weeping glass. And then a black walnut tree
that’s been unfeathered by the wind like a snapping turtle says
the trouble with wild predators is they never
get down to the roots of things. Come the autumn
they’re still wandering homelessly in the shallows of life alone.
Too sad to argue, I nod my assent, and think to myself
so do your leaves, your blossoms, your seeds, your windfalls,
the burnt planets of your scattered solar systems
strewn at my feet like black cue balls that break for us all.
I allegorize the woods to humanize my lupine mythologems.
And then there are some. Siloes of dark abundance
standing in the starfields of an emotional famine
that have been living on nothing but the crumbs
of the forgivable shining of their former dreams.
Sometimes think I’m one of them as well, among
so many fortune-tellers reading the lifelines
of the open palms of the trees. But I don’t get fixed upon it
for fear the fireflies of insight I revelled in this summer
stop burning holes in my starmap that lets me see
clear through these obvious paradigms of the light
to the shapeshifting constellations of chaos on the other side
that unravel these monstrous myths of human origin
as quickly as they weave them out of nothing
so that in the end we’re always the beginning of something else.
And there’s a hidden compassion in all of that. Mercy
in the mobile protocols of passage that initiate us
into a deeper awareness of the pathos of our passions
emptying the urns of our hearts like the ashes
of the Canada geese flying high overhead above the clouds
that our pristine emptiness might be renewed again
by the yellow leaves we’re kicking through in the rain
like sodden flames strewn across the trail
beside the mindstream I’ve been following like the Tay
where the fleets of sulphur butterflies
timed to the weather reports of the dying flowers
have taken down their sails like the wings of old loveletters
to walk alone with the Alone without saying
anything short-sighted or humanly intrusive along the way.