Wednesday, April 10, 2013



Night. A whisper of rain. Peace in my heart.
A penny on the third eye of the hurricane
I’ve been trying to ride out all day without
having it throw me off like a big cat on its back.
Farewell, turmoil. I retract my claws
like quotation marks and crescent moons
around the silence of your name.
The fallen pine boughs of your broken wings.
Inspiration doesn’t trample on things
like flowers and stars. No more. No more
of those feelings that were meant to be as famous
as a Trojan horse to a poet grazing on the plains of war.

Eyes running down the windowpane in tears
as if they were teaching it to cry. Listen to the rain
deepen the silence like the roots of silly flowers
when you fire the voice coach
and teach them to paint watercolours.
It’s sad. But I add that poignancy to the light
like a fragrance of the moon to an apple orchard
and let it dream like wine in the dark
until I taste it again in the windfalls of late September
and in the retreating rosaries of grace leaving like birds.

For the moment I am the inclusive intimacy
of a passion that doesn’t scorn the fruit of its outcome.
I kiss my skull the same way I kiss the blossom.
Come life, come death. Two feet on the same path.
I don’t split hairs like the wishbone of the road I’m on
and not expect to lose my way back home
wherever that is now the astrolabe is blind and starless
and I drift like a paper lifeboat in a truce with the sea.
I should raise naval flags like spring flowers
to signal the relative victory of a few short hours
but the candles have already sent the message in flames
and the shadows have answered: message received.

No need of tomorrow and much less of yesterday
let the moment tend to the affairs of its own will
I’m an apostate event unbound from the stake
of the irreligious history of the world trying
to burnish lead into gold in the wrath of a volcano god
someone met on the way to the promised land
and asked to join the caravan at the wells in Median
to compound the absurdity of visionary matchbooks
that rained manna and vipers from the opposite eyes
of the mirage of an hourglass skinny-dipping in the desert
to renew the virginity of time like a sundial on the moon.
Rare revelation to the changelings of lust
released on the river like prophetic decoys in a false dawn
to lure the waterbirds into friendly fields of fire
as if to say you can come this far, no higher.

There’s never been a star named after a human
except for Cor Caroli, the heart of Charles the Second,
dimly under Alcor and Mizar, the horse and the rider,
under the handle of the Big Dipper I raise to the lips
of a mermaid in the desert like real water
to a true believer in the midst of delusion
just to hear her sing again on the rocks of longing
like a waterclock on a windowpane in the rain.
And I don’t want to tie her to the bowsprit of a shipwreck
that went down at the end of her song,
the whole town on board this leaking ark
and she’s the only one that’s crying into a lifeboat
like a woman with her face in her hands at the news.

Forty nights and forty days of rain in the spring,
the earth’s a hydrocephalic with water on the brain.
And the roads are cobbled with sloppy frogs,
and the darkness is dense with a wardrobe of sorrows
that hangs in the air like an era of hesitation
above the crystal slipper dancing shoes and rubber boots
in the pungent closets of the watershed
that waltzes them like rain on the Tay River
under chandeliers of light-footed starmud
in the abandoned ballrooms of the willows dancing
like gusts of air to the heritage harps
that shine like constellations in their high-strung hair.

A train howls like a wounded animal in the distance,
an iron horse. The nightwatchmen have gone out
like fireflies, but not the streetlamps that have stayed on
like starmaps in the rain to walk the drunks home
arm in arm, crying in their cups like watered down wine.
Nothing divine, earthly or infernal, the eye of time
no more vernal in the east where the moon rises
than eternal in the west where the sun sets,
I’m not playing solitaire in the rain with old regrets,
I’m at peace with the stars that are caught like civilians
between storm fronts, as their seeds get washed away
like flower bombs in a flashflood of shell-shocked rivulets
someone stepped on by mistake. And I’d rather keep
the worst of my war-stories to myself, than swap them
with the vets being strafed by the rain of ricochets
in the Legion’s parking lot where things are fought all over again
as their wives usher them to the passenger side of their cars.

Just the rain and me. As if we were born a moment ago.
And neither of us had anything to fight about.
And I was the bud of a wound that hadn’t started bleeding yet,
like a shrieking poppy or a stoic rose, and it
wasn’t the cure that washed all the blood off
like a paint rag of a sail in a Pacific sunset hemorrhaging at sea.
Just the rain and me. Doing what we both do best.
And all our labour effortless as tears in the eyes of the night.


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