Wednesday, March 13, 2013



Comet in the west just after sunset
between the Great Square of Pegasus and Pisces,
breath on a windowpane, a smudge of light
as a warning, a blessing, a curse, the Ides of March,
a flightfeather releasing as many doves of meaning
as anyone cares to give it walking into the woods
along the packed-down wolf paths to see,
while there was still light, resolve in my legs,
if the red-winged blackbirds had returned yet.

What the river had been doing in my absence
that would help me take my mind off the world awhile
and forget there’s more pain in my laughter these days
than the joy of freedom from being me that used to
efface me with a smile that had travelled lightyears
from where it was born, a message to a man
who was still a child at heart, who could read
comets and smiles like keys to the indecipherable art
of bridging the gap between them like a unified field theory
of metaphors that could sing to the stars
as if there were a patina of meaning and beauty
that made everything glow with radiant significance
in the mystery of being alive in love with a muse
who traded the moccasins she’d walked a mile in
to know me, for a pair of winged heels, easier on her feet
than the long firewalks of thorns and stars in an ice storm
she used to have to take to follow me into exile barefoot.

Gone like a loveletter I once received in a dream
and set fire to like a poem I meant to keep
in the urn of my heart forever like a dragon
in a deep sleep of oblivion it never wanted
to wake up from disenchanted by the awareness
of what haunted it like the ghost of a lotus
at a seance of the sun. Gone those nights and days
that ran their course like the draconian serpent fire
of scarlet runners entwined around my spine
as if the axes of the earth were three poles in a garden.
Gone the long soporific nights with the cats and the dogs
brought in from the cold beside a woodstove you could trust
like a habitable planet orbiting Aldebaran in Taurus
before I had a vision in high definition of the Burgess Shale
in colour that made everything seem as vital
as the aspirations of Opabinia with its five eyes
and vacuum hose with claws in the brine seeps
of the Middle Cambrian taking the high, hard road
up the mountain that below might be as above.
Comets, smiles, the metaphors that unite them,
Pikaia gracilens at Pika Peak in Pisces, chordates
into backbones, fragile filaments, the spinal cords
of life, light and love, the hair of a star on the shoulders of night
like the sign of an ongoing love affair
with the depths and the heights of who we are to each other
highlights of the downtimes plunging
like angels and heretics, new moonrises
into the ageing dawns of the setting sun
between the eyelashes of the treelines beginning to sing
like red winged blackbirds on the dead branches
of seasoned guitars leafing into spring.


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