Saturday, January 19, 2013



After you leave, a bell
deeper than the sea strikes once
and my blood thinks it’s a ghost of fire
and tries to evaporate; gusts
of the most graceful emotions,
eloquent clarities of the heart,
shake me free of myself
like leaves and petals and pages,
the tender radiance of nightskies,
and I am astounded in the openness
of an embrace without limits,
of boundary stones being hurled delinquently
through the windows of ice-age mirrors
that have wept so long and slowly
over the silver river locked in chains.

How easy in this solitude
to declare myself to you,
to undo the delusions and the fears,
to flip through the chapters of the onion,
take off this last layer of skin,
and shed the final masks of snow
in the warming recollection of your presence,
in the way your beauty exhilarates me
then thrusts me like a torch into a deep silence,
and my heart sets out by itself toward you
scintillant everywhere, gold
flowing out of the dark ore,
as if the moon rinsed out its own reflection,
the legend of a secret constellation
behind the vital starmap of fireflies
that makes me want to shine for you so intensely
in this dark doorway of pain and passage
that the light hurts with the poignancy
of its longing to fall like a key
from the spirit’s lost and found
upon your planet;
to open gardens that have no word
for fence or gate,
to bridge your streams
with the pillars and roots of inspired stars.

My heart sets out for you all by itself
like a lantern on a road
that unspools with arrival at every step.
After you leave I am possessed of the will
of an anvil and a forge
to become a chalice for you, a sword,
an axle and a plough, a strong bolt
against the miscreance of battering circumstance.

I raise your reflection to my lips
like a cup from a watershed of wine
and in every single sip
swallow an ocean like a potion
from the tears of the moon,
knowing how dangerous it could be
to miss you, to become
an addict of your light at the first taste,
to wait for eras for the return of the dawn
that unravels even now like mystic lightning through my veins.

No more than the sun from the vine,
the moon from the dreaming apple
the stars from the ripening vowel of the apricot,
could any torn net woven of knotted lifelines
undo the vision you have already mingled
like a night rose of fragrant fire in my blood,
not to drift again alone
like an empty boat
ferrying the corpse of the ferryman
through the fog to a cold shore
now that I’ve been washed up on your island
like the voice of a salvaged star in a bottle,
a frenzy of light and love in your tides,
a drowned lighthouse
coming to life in every wave of you.

I want to be brave enough
to risk the possibility
of listening to the night together
with the unveiled bride of the moon
in the bay of my arms,
I want to be the sail, the flame,
the gull of her breathing,
the blue dolphin off the coast of her mouth.

I want to swim like a mirror
the sea holds up to her face
to do her hair up with starfish
she tresses like galaxies in the depths;
I want to devote myself like a candle
to the shrine of the September moonrise
that saturates the far sky over the sad hills
like a warm breath glowing on chilled glass
when she smiles
like the wind over the abundant harvest
of the ashes I’ve stored against
this famine of passion
in the silo of the blue guitar.

I want to place my life
like a feather of fire
on the mysterious altar of lunar rain
that splashes like stars everywhere
in the telescopic silvering of the well in her eyes,
and turn these deserts of space and time
back into grasslands
crossing her thresholds
in whispers of pollen and dust.

She walks into the room
to help me paint the bedroom walls,
as I try to cover the graffiti
of my vandalized soul with white,
and a dove in a cage
panics at her approach
before an open door.

She climbs the ladder in rags with a brush
like the moon over a lake,
behind a cloud,
through the branches of a leafless willow
and everything in the room
is enhanced by her shining
and I’m rolling new skies over
the scars and fossils of old stars,
worn faces with plaster patches
to rewrite the shepherding lies,
the myths and symbols of my solitude
in the sidereal headlines of her transformative light.

Now it’s four a.m
and I’m pacing from empty room to empty room
like the pendulum of a heavy clock
that aspires to be a bell,
threshing words like wild rice
under an eyelid of peacock blue
to fill the empty hold of a buoyant heart,
the small boat of her hands,
with the eyes of a precious gathering.

And the tender snow falls quietly outside
on the crow limbs of the winter trees
like flesh returning to the bones of the dead
in a silent resurrection
more unsayable than a veil of white
that puts its finger to its lips
like an arrow of fire to a bow of blood
to hear what the hidden nightbird
under the eaves of a burning house is singing.




O, yes, the stillness comes all in one wave, one caress,
like a tide, the salve of a cool kiss of the moon
on the scorched eyelid of a black rose that burned
like a reincarnation of fire, the dark enlightenment
the stars reach for beyond the eyes at the end
of their fingertips. The unattainability that lovers
demand of the night when they blow the candles out.

A warm gust of peace on the nape of my neck
at the base of my skull, the brain stem of the daffodil
not uprooted from the bulb of its head
by the sudden moonset of a guillotine with blood on it,
but washed in a warm rain that makes it glow
like a tungsten streetlamp in the aura of a ripe apricot
in a real garden it never expected to wake up in.

There’s grace in the silence of the garrulous seance.
The ore of my labours have brought forth
a nugget of gold of inestimable age and value
among the asteroids I’ve been mining with my third eye,
strange translucencies that tremble like fluid jewels
when the nightwind is playing the lake like a harpsichord
and the fireflies are trying to read their starmaps like sheet music.

As if the sadness and the fear, the evolution of indifference,
the intermittent sobbing in the muffled asylum,
the terror of a child’s first night in hospital,
or a long term prisoner’s first night out alone on the street,
were absolved of their emotions like turbulent rivers
easing into a halcyon sea that whispers with uncanny assurance
it’ll be okay, it’ll be okay, just a bad dream that kept you awake.

Almost a voice I recognize that’s been
following my echo for light years like one attentive star
I’ve caught sight of now and again on long night walks
where the eyes of wary animals glint in the dark
like a nocturnal substitute for flowers along the roadside.

One among many who shine more brilliantly but are
merely clever compared to this sibyl of compassion that turns
their furious flames down low on the night wards of the heart
and gentles the wind that plays too hard on the broad-leaved
basswood guitars of the trees troubled by the lyrics
of the cosmic dissonance that can’t hear what the music’s
been saying before the beginning of the universe
about suffering, about love, about the soul of matter
that’s been raising the dead out of the ashes
of the urns of light like lanterns full of fireflies and stars
for 13.7 billion years now as the crow flies,
prophetic skulls aroused by the longing of the nightbirds
to add more beauty to the truth of their words,
to sing in the quantum notes of an eleven piece string theory
like a band on the corner of anywhere and the universe
banging on membranes like a pulse in the name
of a good cause, bubbles nucleating the wavelengths
of their original rapture to expand a little riff of intimate bliss
into a universal joy as pervasive as the time and space
life’s jamming in like an electric violin with a blues harp,
like an emission spectrum in the starcluster of the Pleiades,
like a moment of peace blooming along the shores
of a winter mindstream like a galactic waterlily
of oceanic awareness blooming in a crystal skull
like life in the Saturnine waters of Enceladus
inconceivably thriving in a greenhouse of habitable ice.