GREY, MILKY SKY IN MARCH
Grey, milky sky in March, less ashes than the whites
of someone’s eye. The sun without a yolk,
the day, the tabla rasa of a cloaking device
I’m effaced by like this blank page I stare at
until I can see through my third eye without
being in disguise, how sad it is most of our lives
are paper-mache masks of lies we’re dying
to believe in like crutches convinced
they’re the flying buttresses of medieval cathedrals.
And not the unfeathered wings of skeletal fledglings
that fell from the nest a long time ago,
naked, vulnerable, the post-mortem effect
of embryos with big flight plans gone awry,
winged horses that weren’t on the agendas of the wind
for that morning’s sky. For every angel
that falls from heaven, a demon rises from hell,
and it’s wonderful how the more spiritual among us
can disguise a helpless yell for help in the white noise
and crystal skulls whose silence is almost
a colour unto itself. And imagination is
a gravitational eye that can bend the light
anyway it wants, so no one sees in straight lines.
Void bound, eyeless, no profit staring into the abyss
hoping to see a quarry of star sapphires
suddenly appear before you diaphanously
like the Pleiades over the eyelashes of the tree line.
It’s hard to break bread above or below the salt
with a human that lives by signs alone.
Harder still to remain compassionately blind
to people who wear the bluebirds of happiness
like chips on their shoulders you have to hood and chain
your falcon to your wrist, to keep from knocking off
like the revelatory shock of meeting your mystic nemesis
like lightning on the road, or a Zen master
beating you out of the zendo with your own broom
after watching you sweep mirages like starmud
off the mirror everyday to keep it clean and open
as an orchid blooming in the shadow of an outhouse.
Better to mudwrestle with the angel in the way
that take a bath in your own grave to renew
the virginity of the moon in iridescent bubbles
that break like fuchsia fragrances of light in hyperspace
when they wink at blood in the water,
like watercolours of poppies in the rain
washed away down the gutters of the slums
like the echo of a gunshot that stains your meditation.
After Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle you can’t
experiment with life, you can only experience it
as a wavelength or a particle depending upon
whether you’re looking at it or not. The same eye
by which I see God is the eye by which she sees me
as Ruysbroeck said, unaware in the fourteenth century
of the quantum entanglement of gender, but just the same
I look at the stars and I can see the resemblance
of the mother of fires in the eyes of everyone I meet.
Even in the sleet weeping in the cracks of the sidewalk
they didn’t mean step on like their mother’s back
or the thresholds of sheep the shepherds of wolves
used to run through this town like clouds in a mud puddle
that soiled their golden fleece like sunspots on their radiance.
Even in the stretchmarks of the memory of rain on Mars,
even in the way the smooth sailing of your heartwood
sometimes knots up like a rock in your mindstream
or the pebble of the world bruises your heel
in your wing-tipped shoes, or a koan of a poem
you can’t get out of your gut like a haiku of bad sushi,
I see the likeness of desperate measures in the beauty
of the stars above the Parthenon, or the waterlilies
in the mystic gardens of the black Taj Mahal.
However immaculate your firefly of insight into the night is
your shining’s just a lamp in the hands of a nightwatchman
unlocking the gates of compassion from the inside out
like the wingspan of a dragon in an aviary of burning doves.