Monday, January 7, 2013



I could always tell when your eyes had touched something.
The stars were dazzling through the tops
of the pagodas of the pine trees airing their wings
like totem poles carved into the features of moonlight
on the distant hillsides that swept up from the lake
in waves of stone that broke like an avalanche against the sky.

And by the number of miracles under your feet
as ancient as the wingspans of the stars
I knew all the paths you’d taken like the lifelines
in the palm of the alluvial deltas of my right hand
to make your way to the sea like a leaf with a flightplan
laid on the mindstream like a Nazca pictogram
as if you were waiting for the return of the plumed serpent
like the feathers of the highest weighed
on the scales of the lowest dancing on the balance beam
of the unitive life of a draconian oxymoron.

Per ardua ad astra, I couldn’t look at the starmaps
in your eyes without seeing the blueprints
of a successful paleolithic attempt at rocketry
celebrated by a fountain of fireworks like falling stars
that quickly exhausted my heart of myriad desires
trying to wish upon them all like meteor showers
in the Heavy Bombardment taking the shape of the earth
I was standing on like Stonehenge at the winter solstice
when you reached out and touched my skeleton
like spring in the bone-box of the vernal equinox.

And there were signs of a mysterious calligraphy
on the petals of the roses in your blood
I couldn’t see that directed the sweetness of life
like bees to your heart of hearts. I could never tell
for sure, if you were the spirit of life within me
or the runaway daughter of a wayward muse
that cherished your creative freedom above all else as I did
the inspiration that kept my fires burning long into the night,
trying to write odes to your beauty in evanescent alphabets
in cedar scented smoke from candelabras of driftwood
I burned like the bodies of the drowned that made it all the way
to this far shore on an enlightenment path of their own,
like overturned lifeboats rowing toward land like arthropods.

Sometimes I still wake up out of a deep sleep and think I hear
the clacking of the shells and crutches the sea
handed out like drafting compasses with knee joints for legs
so when they made a side-ways move they clicked their heels
and snapped their claws like the castanets of Spanish dancers
at a bullfight in one of the cratered arenas on the moon
where the shadows drive their dark swords into the hearts
of solar matadors that taunted them with the capes of red poppies
bleeding out in the sands of the gored hourglasses of the dead.

I could easily follow the echoes of your voice after you’d spoken
and left the rest to the silence to explain because
it never took any of your dream grammars long
to master me fluently whenever I tried to open my mouth
to say something when I realized immediately
my vocabulary of sacred syllables stuck in my throat
like tarpaper eclipses of creosote compared
to the inflammable starclusters of your astral eloquence.

You spoke in the tongues of flames that healed
the heretical sunspots on my heart by setting my body afire
and leaving me your spirit to follow suit
as if Joan of Arc had turned pole-dancing
into the religious art of two wavelengths
of healing serpent fire entwined around
the axis mundi of my spine and I were chalking
pool cues with the open chakras of my vertebrae
getting ready to put some English on the planets
in my solar system and take a long shot without sinking
the eight ball of my prophetic skull in the black holes
of the side pockets on the elemental table against the odds
of ever making it without a lot of luck and a kiss
from your risky lips like a chance I was willing to take.




And in that moment the stars come down to earth
and light up the lanterns of your cells
you’ll finally see that constellation of your self
so many of us have been born under
shining like eyes in your blood, your bones,
your tongue, your skin glowing with starmaps
like the holy books of the fireflies. You’ll
light up this whole night sea of sentience
with a vernal firestorm of essential insights
like the full moon conducting a seance
among the corals, a fertility rite of enlightenment
in which you repeatedly give birth to the universe
moment by moment, cosmic eggs in a halo of comets.

To love the earth in all its mutable variations
is to love the music of your own revelation
playing like a genius in a beauty pageant
with the spontaneous brilliance of billions
of miraculously catastrophic forms of life
with an appetite for adding flames to the fire
like leaves and petals and wings to a wildflower
until the elaborated order of things is a loveletter
chaos wrote in its own beautifully cursive hand.

Above everyone’s manger there’s a star
that becomes incarnate in humans
who go looking for themselves like three wise men,
or the trifecta of three wise women in their craft,
Alnitam, Alnilam, and Mintaka in the belt of Orion,
and Sirius updating the calendars of the Dogon
lower down in the southeast such that even those
lost in the deepest black holes a prophetic dreamer’s
ever been cast into, can’t help adding their light
to the darkness by following their own star
back to themselves, to find the light they’ve been given
to go by, was like the mind, like the lantern in their hand,
like the lostness they ever despaired of finding their way out of,
the illumination of their true destination all along.
The mountain was climbing the guide back up
the stairwells of its own elemental genome to the stars
like a child that can’t wait to slide down the bannisters again
or a sparrow hawk riding its own gleeful thermals
like the first star to appear in the sky like the eye
in the moodring of the peacock blue-green of the sunset.

Every time a species is effaced from the smile of the earth,
our own bodies are desecrated by the act
and in every one of our cells, lockets of the galaxies,
where the firmament places its highest hopes
close to our hearts, a star goes extinct, a candle goes out
that’s been burning for millions of years,
and the windows pull down the blinds like eyes in mourning.

The world is more collaboratively communal
than it is solitarily universal. First rule of thumb
in creating life out of its own cauldron, organize,
like starlings rising out of a birch grove.
First law of the heart in cherishing and sustaining it,
is to respect yourself enough to look after it
as if it were the changeling daughter of the new moon
placed in your care by the dark matrix of a passing eclipse
that let’s you in on the family secret the stars
have known all along, that every conception
of your heart and mind is blood of your blood,
flesh of your flesh, bone of your bone. And in your genes
the sacred syllables, relics and runes of your own fossil.

Add your life like lyrics to the cacophonous symphony
of the jungle music you hear going all around you
day and night, the ancient exhilaration of life
sword dancing with the stars to the dangerous riffs
of a predatory lead guitar hunting solo in the shadows
of a game of snakes and ladders that can see like dice in the dark.
Hone your instincts like the blade of the crescent moon
on the stone of your heart in a biochemical state of grace,
and don’t neglect to let your spirit break
like the new dawn of a lobster out of your body armour
or a dragonfly escaping into one sky after another
through the window casement the first night of its moulting.

Compassion is the visionary collagen of life
and imagination is its agent. Its metaphors
graft the trees and the sponges into lungs.
Can you hear the generations of nightbirds
in every single vowel of your voice? Do you know
they don’t sing just for themselves, but in the lament
and longing of their songs, you can hear the faint traces
of the lumbering bells of the dinosaurs bellowing
like the eidolons of carboniferous foghorns in the mist
off the coasts of consciousness? Sometimes
when I hear the bush wolves howling in the hills
I catch a note or two of a pack of killer whales
going deep to recover the black voice box of tetrapods
who preferred dancing in water to walking on land.
Compassion is the recognition of your identity in everything.
You wound the earth, an arrowhead sings in your rib cage.

Can you hear the demure laughter of the willows
walking like geishas along the shores of your mindstream
undoing the ribbons of the stars and waterlilies
to let them fall free from their hair to pale in the moonrise,
the memory of old lovers mingling in the living light
like the ghosts of the waterbirds returning to their shoals and inlets
like the bridge of a song, a waterclock of stars
between one stanza and the next life keeps coming back to
like the refrain of a melody line of the sea
it just couldn’t get out of its head like the reflection
of trillions of stars writing irradiant treble clefs
of the original sheet music in constellations high over head
like a five string quintet for the hymeneal cosmologists
while archaeologists achieve illumination
in the golden ratios of the life and death spirals
of the fossilized bass clefs of the equally alluring
mystery of the vocally earthbound children of the starmud
singing their hearts out like a choir off key as if
they grew by losing their balance against
a background of cosmic harmony so sweetly
that if rain could speak of what it’s like to fall upon
the fruits and flowers of the earth, it would sound very much
like the laughter and weeping of the ungrammatical stars.