28 July 2011

One Alone

My leaves are alive
remembering reaching for whatever light will still touch me here
and bear my aching
Don’t be deceived by all this brush
whipping old branch ends
complicated webs made by spiders
lurking roots and 
dead pieces of us
thumping your toes
making you take huge
unexpected steps on surprised legs
That’s not me
not litter
nor fertile ground
nor landscape
No
not these limbs
not this stem
not my trunk
They are flexible and life flows so easily in them that
they can grow in any direction
past storm wounds
around vandals
trying to get rid of their hearts
by knifing them into my skin
See the twists
see the curves?
I am growing
up
and my leaves are again tender
I am one, alone
The curling leaf-bones aren’t me
lacy and spent
the ghosts thick at my feet
I’ve shed those
they’re soft now
The small stretching things beneath me
spry thriving ones with their genius their love 
and their branchless reaching
they aren’t me either
My seeds don’t encumber me
they encumber no-one
they weigh nothing down and guess what
you are not the exception
They bless the ground they grow on
and they gather up their own life 
to the lucky sky
Look closer
you’ll see that 
I am one,
alone
My beauty or lack of it
my strength and my release
expanding from in to out
and the ground to my crown
those are mine alone
And if I flower
maybe you can witness it
And if you were to walk under me 
with open eyes
with talking mouth falling silent
maybe you can make use of my perfect shade
And if you can perceive my springing shape
stretching solitary among many
like a hand raised in thanks
then maybe you can even 
collect some drops of what the sky gives to me
and the trickle of my own life’s overflow
on the bowl of your tongue

18 July 2011

Hunting Moon

Not looking at the moon
but she’s looking for me
she’s hunting
her colorless stare falls on my shins.  
Her arrow is pulled far, far back 
and she’s been waiting quite a while now
for me to make a mistake.
I won’t let her see my face
there’s too much waiting to be seen there
and she’s good at reading her prey.  
In my low bed tucked right under the window she can’t find my eyes
and I keep it that way.
When I step out the door 
into the air of the night munchers and singers
I am careful to look down.  
All those other humans rolling and sighing 
checking their clocks glowing
stepping on floors with bare toes
circling back to their bored pillows
and she has her sights on me.  
It’s amazing and
a problem.

He sees her
on a night like this 
I’m betting.
A constellation trying to form itself
uncomfortably
he noticing her
she prying her way through the shadowed window
for me.
And I
right here at the one point that could join them
I am spreading my hands as far away from 
my apple-seed star heart 
as I can.  
If you haven’t seen an apple-seed star, here’s what you do
  1. Pick up an apple.  The more ordinary the better.  Roundish; reddish, greenish or golden
  2. Slice it the wrong way.  Right through its body.  Through the belly.  Without a thought.  With the first knife that comes to hand
  3. Observe.  One of these is in your chest.  Sure, it’s small and dark, for a star.  It’s true that at this point, your heart’s seeds are like small sleeping bugs.  They’re too nascent to shine.  These are just the seeds of a future light
My far-flung palms lie on their small cotton fields
their fingers loose-curled
not holding.
Not letting go either.
My ears listening hard for my own breath
I am hoping the moon might change her tactic
and let fly a message from her bow
but knowing
that all she offers
is the only impartial light to be had
in the entire universe.

Yet the line in between pulls
tugs me up through fathoms 
out of the room (night-silvered like a jewel box)
and into the space where longing ones
may float endlessly
in our own dark spangled embraces.
I do not look outward, to a window holding her roundness 
the only way I let myself look is in.
I pull the pulling line back into the vault of my ribs
I play it, with its glinting hook
its hook which is sharp, curving, and precise as an earring
and sweet as an open ear 
wishing to be a mouth
wishing to call another breath
close, close, close.

Summer Moon

Soft fruit moon
resting there ripely, then

calmly lifting yourself over the cheek of the sky’s dark face
just after your brother has set
(The sky discovering itself

Waking, suddenly sobered, in the evening 
after rioting
blue and loud and blinding
all day

Turning, quietly, to a bed of bruised colours)
Moon 
don’t dive behind the sharp sooty tree shadows
Don’t leave us
Land in my hand
I will hold you
like a warm egg
until I can manage to let you go
with free fingers
Will you rise then
balloon-like
ponderous and deliberate
and do your slow, swishing backstroke
across your black lake?
Settle instead
lightly 
in a corner of my room
like a cat
Come sit by the gentle warmth that you make
by reflecting the light
of this neighbourhood of the universe
back to itself
In any case, fruit moon
I will pour your clear liquid lamplight
into a twinkling goblet
and drink your gold-and-silver face
drop by drop 
all year long

You Smiled

Your smile a quiet folded paper note
dipped in silver
a sliver of light
parting the cloud cover
all sound of the world turned off 
for that one moment
less a wise-ass high-five
than a quick echo-location 
of mutual heartbeat

14 July 2011

Sweet Black Truth Dance

A man we all called sugar
as if he was our lover to sweet talk
our child to protect

He contemplates
he pulls truth from his linty pockets
and shows it on his palm


He says
If I could whisper in that young one’s ear, I would say
        Be full of care
        Pause
        If you’re undecided just pause
The truth rushes from his mouth
in waves foaming
hissing with unclenching energy of relief
        I’m continuing to make amends to those that I’ve hurt
        I’m at a point where I can accept it
I don’t know how much his body hurts
but it might be a lot
He swept a treasure together from dirty corners
and spent his life feeling freed only while beating
being beaten
Body pain being no match 
for what was or was not inside

Pain a mere phantom 
and so knowable
compared to the self’s frantic solutions to the problem of
alone and sad and unable to say so
My groping inner creature gets this
how the fear of not being                 of stopping being
is the closest friend
of the fear of what one could do         what I could do
In our shuffling forgetting remembrance of the ending
we have fortunes of evidence of what we could do
in the heaps the mounds the rafts
of slips we make on our daily walks 
down our black-forested trails
We manage to pretend not to notice
driven onward by them all the while
Or should I speak only for me and him
he tapping into my deaths
with his sweet black truth

9 July 2011

July Ninth

The air is my special effect
I am the wizard

who makes it shiver

I move my arm without thinking
It swings down with some kind of finality

My hand lands
in the sweating space beside my hip,
loosely holding nothing
ready for the unknown

My falling limb describes a careless sphere of power
The air splinters without breaking

mirroring itself out in warped waves of shine

And every time I shift my weight
or stop suddenly
or double at my centre
veined hands on slippery knees

my margins snap out -

and I zap my own egg-shaped halo
into existence

The air is cooperating today
The air is in the mood

Everything is in the mood this hotly shrouded afternoon
afternoon like hiding under a bed sheet

Even me

I weave my spell as thickly as I can

all around myself

Not for connection but

for protection



I have just burst
I am ripe beyond reckoning
I am a blown rose


And I am
not

safe

My pieces of cloth 

cling to my busy flesh like hands


Where red muscle hardness moves under pliant skin

my straps tug a little more
than is really necessary

feeling a long sought-after straining

of one
against another one



My shoes wrap my feet in themselves
holding tight

anticipating the pressures
of each of my landings



All this is good
I have done it all before

And even on days like this

days like a pillow on your head

I can make space for my own blood

I can crack the crowding sky open enough
to run inside my own skin

to run into myself

bending darkened air into flying light as I go



I am followed

into the space I pry open

by an inconsequential-looking patch of shade
However
it is dense and dogged

Why does it want to touch my feet

Why always trying to come between me
and the ground I need?



It’s not even mine

I’ve got my own dark
I’ve got plenty
Can’t you see

Can’t you go home, pitiful piece of us

I didn’t ask for you to chase me into my
happiest, stickiest,
fiercest, impossible
places

I didn’t invite you to steal this perfume from my mouth

I didn’t call you to rob from me
just when I’m trying 


to bloom, to sweeten, and to
fall
from this tree.