PEACE A MOMENT
Peace a moment. A bubble of cool bliss
in the skin of a tear. Grace, with a green thorn.
The moon as I’ve never seen it before.
A ghost in the willows feathers down
upon the dark waters of the Tay
in an aura of moist summer air,
indelible as chalk on a blackboard
as if it were trying to write its name.
Solitude’s a priestess leashed to a water snake
that meditates on the moonlight
like a theta wave on its own path through life.
Look where you will, even the search parties
you organize like poems with real candlepower
are still lost in the labyrinth of your homelessness
looking for your true address until
you realize it’s been under your feet all the time.
You are the road. And there’s no one on it.
The shadows of the trees lie down
like thresholds that sense someone’s
been crying in a derelict doorway for years.
Severe sorrow. A bell for a bucket
bailing out the empty lifeboat of the moon
long, long after it’s set. Love. No help for it.
White sweet clover, swan’s plumage,
both sides of the road. The wind
in the vocal cords of the wild grape vines
overgrowing the half closed gate
of someone who meant to return one day
like a loose page of a book to its binding.
An unfinished loveletter to the fire that wrote it.
The maples reach out to touch me
to see if I’m real. Nocturnal enough,
but who’s to judge? The dream
doesn’t have a dawn or dusk. The end
goes on forever. The beginning never happens.
Born into perishing my way through life
what could death mean but another night
of living my passage through it
as the juniper sweeps my tracks
from the trails I cut down to the river
like deer paths, and the stars
in the shrine of my eyes devote their candles
to the same darkness that inspires the fireflies,
or my insights into the nature of love
as the way the nightsky is transfixed
by what is born of it like the mystery
of why life shines on its own likeness
without going blind or turning into stone
as if imagination were the first sign,
black walnut trees losing their voice
like Lyra in the west, as above, so below,
autumn approaching, o, yes, the autumn
and the poignancy, almost the flavour
of creation, that what we love last
and the deepest, is the perennial beauty
of our own passing, galaxies and waterlilies
embedded in our hydra-headed starmud
like a blue moon inseparable from
the dark waters of life it blossoms in.
A nightbird shrieks. A ghost kicked up
by the dust of the Milky Way in my wake
weeps like a sad loveletter that’s taken the words
right out of my mouth like an empty mailbox
standing at the side of the road, listening
when there’s nothing, not even an echo,
a whisper of my own innermost voice,
to the silence that lingers in the woods
for asylum from the intimacy that has
forsaken it, and the love in its heart
that trues it like an arrow fletched by the light
to a rapturous wound that hasn’t,
as the fish at both ends of the equinox
jump back like bulls-eyes into the targets
they made of their exits from one medium
to hit in the next like the tree rings
of the grand entrances we make on our way out.
Love perishes like apple bloom in the spring
to be born again among the windfalls of autumn,
the burning bridges of the maple trees
between the fountains on the moon, with birds,
and the housewells we dig like graves
here on earth, to drink our own tears from
like sacred syllables pouring through
the open floodgates of the moonrise
like a prophetic skull trying to hit
all the oracular high notes of the shrill treefrogs
celebrating the dark abundance, bright vacancy
of our corporeal entrances and disembodied exits.