Sunday, September 1, 2013



The sums of autumn, the dark abundance of windfalls
on the ageing bough, a man, or a bell, groaning
under the weight of itself to cast the burden of its ripeness
down like a heart that’s been tolling in the sunset
and moonrise long enough to return its starmud to the earth
tasting of the harvests and famines that made the best of it,
sunlight in the spring flashing its knives like sabres of rain
off cold tears running like the juice of bitter, green apples,
summer in the blood like wild poppies in mangers
of scarecrow hay where he lay down for a moment
on insignificant hillsides along the way and was nothing
but a small perturbance of the wind silking the green grass
along the banks of the river as if he were watergilding with silver,

and the absolute clarity of the winter nights when the stars
were ferocious and beautiful, the bright vacancy of space,
brutal and uncompromising as an ice-age predator
that’s overcome its fear of fire. Dark nights of the soul,
stupefied by shovelling out the urns of nocturnal ashes
in mourning like doves, by the spoonful, when the lovers
throw their bodies like dragons on the pyres of desire
to gratify their death wish to immolate themselves
like sunflowers in a corona of flames in full eclipse,
as if life were self-taught, but love was mentored by death.

No lunar calendar of prophetic skulls, no rosary
of the names of God in transit like habitable planets
that might take a stranger in, no abacus of gravestones
in a cemetery of pioneer farmers can account
for the sums of autumn that sweeten the succession of zeroes
on the wild grapevines that bleed wine and water
from their eyes, spiced according to the season
by lemon moons and the rusty cinnamon of star-gazer lilies
when the honey-bees are firewalking the plinths of their petals
and the sting has gone out of the sweetness of an old man,
the anger and the hatred, the suspicion and the doubt,
reptilian moments in the plumage of peacocks,
the search for God in the spiritual lost and found,
the search for self, voice, fate, love, wisdom,
the mystic carillons of the spirit drowned out
by a choir of wrecking balls in a demolition derby
of upscale decadence in a free for all of unconditional chaos.

Listening as he speaks to himself now, he liberates
aviaries of metaphors that once captivated his ear and eye
like the picture-music of nightbirds that suggested
like a whisper in a mirror he was this and that
as if he were born the shapeshifting changeling
of a copulative verb with no future tense of now to speak of
or subjunctive mood ring to bring the blood to his eyes
like the longer shadows and wavelengths on the sundials
of his timely existence. Blue hellos and red farewells,
coming both ways like the embrace of a passionate triste
in the middle of a burning bridge with the lifespan
of a secret love affair with fire and water cancelling
the sums of autumn in longing and lament. As if
you came down to the river with a bucket
to help put a mirage of fire in the house of life out
like the overturned cup of an empty heart
and you’ve been shooting for the moon with both eyes open
to the rush of love in the rapids of a waterclock ever since.

In the silence of time, eternities expire when the sun
stands still at midnight and to have known it
as you know your own shadow, if only once in a lifetime
is to go on shining like Aldebaran in the crowns
of the black walnut trees, sign, cipher and paradigm
of the mystery of the meaning of your oracular bones
so much like firesticks in the firepits of meteoric thrones.


No comments: