26 December 2012

Turn And Face (in flowing)


I am cat I am mouse

Hungry eagle and dangling rabbit
also dripping salmon
talons in my rose flesh

Hiding doesn’t work for long:
you have to move eventually

so I hunt myself

I run between rain trees 
they become slips dark flashes
mere suggestions of round solidity,
passed by 
and passed by

they become carven-stone witnesses,
their cheeks wet

I run among them
until I lose my own plot
until I turn 
and turn
to chase my hunter

The deer pursuing Artemis
looking now, running now
for her white-bone arrow

taking it into the heart
and plunging on



State Your Case (in staccato)


I am in your mouth now, you can taste me
You saw me 
oh you want to say me

You keep me on your tongue between your mountain teeth

Strike a stone on the earth 
show some faith

Throw down a stone in the waters 
hear it speak one word

You can pray any way you want, why deny it?

Name me anything 
just name me 
drop me make a move

Make your move

Given a chance I will roll down the hill of your story 
of your desire

Then it gets simple

Just follow



Spill Over (in chaos)


Somewhere uphill
a lake turned, tired, in its bed of stone

Scraped by dreaming
it opened its mouth to breathe

instead a river poured out
pummelled a raw path of
must move
must move on

Seeking, 
it found.

Just the edge it needed 
arose.

It hurled itself over the jutting bone of earth
to fall and fall
a wingless howling angel horde

Yeah,
that’s where I took over.

Pounded down upon.
Hammered.

I received messages through my neck bones
I watched chill streams of broken
pelt off my elbows and fingerprints

I did try to keep it together for a while

I dried my hands twice in my sun-heated hair
I wound the strands with their dusty animal smell 
tight around my fingers

I bandaged my wrists snug
I sat my hands down by my campfire
I led them to a vivid bed of coals

Cornered, 
they steamed.

The eyes in their palms were open much wider 
than I had known they could open

They glared at me with fierce disbelief.

Their stare slapped my cheeks
until I melted from my neck bones
received breath of lake
drank blood of river

And my blood fell down inside my heart
my bones fell down inside my skin
my mind fell down into my hands

So I shook them 
I shook them
from my hands I shook holy drops like clear cries
onto the desperate yawning dry ground



Because We Can (in lyrical)


Sweetly we land 
in the lap in the hand

First we are feather

we flap, we whistle
we lift it all up and it costs us

and when it costs too much we are lost
but it's okay because 
we can fall down invisible spiral staircases
mid-flight
anytime

Next we are pebble

our sweet little plunking landings
make the pretty fish look up
to where the water is sending important ripples 
out from the centres of our light stone bellies

the water says yes, yes
to the way we cooperate with being thrown
and to our gentle splash

And last
we are key

we simply
open



Born Yesterday (in stillness)


Since I
am empress of innocence
and I
am ever green

I give myself massive
and royal permission
to be precisely as gullible
as I am, as I am
with this slow wave 
of my hand, of my hand

Crowned with nothing 
and holding my staff of transparency
I still feel the need to beg

So I bend side and side like a tower of kelp
I touch the space that stands
between my feet

I petition the air, the entering air
oh grant my simplicity
preserve my naive 
protect my bias toward truth
safeguard my sincere
my willing to, my willing to
my falling for, my falling for

Be sure of it
my head will nod as you speak, as you speak
I will believe you every time, every time
if you fool me I will not be too surprised

I am one step ahead because
I know
I am a fool

See my smile
see it as stupid that’s fine, that’s fine
that’s true

My stupid grin 
that offers too much for you to handle
will crack me open, open

You will wish you could follow 
into the newborn spaces
my smile is too stupid, too stupid
to be afraid of


16 December 2012

Dust Dances


And then another bottle said,
drink me too.

Young Alice, she is always finding ways
to remind me how these things are done.
Throwing corked mysteries on my path.
I wonder if she sticks around to watch.

I tipped it to my mouth, of course I did.
I got the ride I always wanted.

How many times have you found a shaft of sun
looking through your window?

Looking for us.
Are you there?
(You see,
one is hard to see 
when one has drunk from that particular bottle.)

How many times have you stilled for even a fraction of a moment
or bowed even slightly
to the sweet mercy of sun-through-window

lighting and warming 
a patch of floor for your cold feet?

Are you there?
Here I am.
(We’re hard to hear, tiny as we are,
but we speak anyway.)

Have you caught Sun raining down his buttery spotlight
right through your locked layers of glass
to stage a Dance of Dust for you?

Well, I drank when invited.
I got the ride I always wanted.

Swimming, flying, floating, diving
carried along 
by a circling galaxy
of minuscule fragments of everything that ever was.

Here I am
illuminated in my true form:
an excited speck of dust.



10 December 2012

I Swallowed


The bottle said
drink me

I followed the way of Wild Young Alices

I grew so large
I towered over my pride

although it made me sick of myself
I swallowed more

my hair became trees
my skull a summit
scraped clean inside and out
by fierceness
of weathers 
of all the days

all
all
I am all there
standing there
exposed

head bowed to winds that whip me

I am the walking place 
for the soles 
of your climbing feet

come
stand on my head
see what there is to be seen

review my dominion
look all you want 
at the open flatland 
and the liquid rippled sea
of my soft belly

they do not hide 
from the defeat
dealt by your gaze

they do not hide 
from the defeat
of your turning away
in your boredom
in your discomfort

in the hugeness of my soft belly I am obvious
I am not hidden

I am evidence
that it can be done

we can grow into our falling
we can rise by plunging
into our mountain hearts
and our spreading defenselessness

feel how the rains come
to wash my undefended brow
to run in roaring falls down my cragged face
to cry
to release
the dead lost pride

The Heart And What To Do With It, a speech to myself


light it within
light it within
light the heart within

spark your will on the stones
light the wick with your bones
light the heart within

give it breath after breath
feed it transparent pools
of your melting powers held down

give it your blood
give it your hands
let your touch be born from its sound

hand over all listening
hand over all listening
it's so much better at it than you

say yes after yes
it will burn all the holes 
you will ever need to look through

let it do all your looking
give to it all seeing
let heart focus you as its eye

let it do the talking
but don't expect words 
to land in your mouth from its sky





5 November 2012

Three Poems for Gabrielle Roth: 3, Because


Because of you
my power is not wandering
like a lost child on a crowded street 
without a hand to hold
unclaimed ashamed
small fists balled up tight
eyes terrified
to look into other eyes

And because of you
my power is safe with me
where it belongs

And because of you
there is not a two-legged hole in the shape of me
in this world
and my life is not missing its heart

And because of you
I reach from from the cast seed of my pulse
I reach from where I’ve been thrown down rhythmically
in strands of heartbeat
to the soil

Because of you
I reach from the seed of my pulse to the light
and I grow greener

And I do believe
I do believe
I do believe

that my fruit will fall very sweet
back to earth
when the time comes
for falling


Three Poems for Gabrielle Roth: 2, To The Problem Thief


Gabrielle,
You have robbed the problems from my mind

I am left with me
and with life

My pockets are empty of spare problems
I’m sorry I have no problems to share with anyone today

You make me laugh every day
at my problem-less state
It’s like throwing out your television,
all this time
all this joy 
all this self,
what shall I do now?

No really the safe is empty I’m not joking

Since you burgled me,
silent as a hunter’s wing,
in your black feathered crown 
with your wise thieving fingers,
I’ve got no piles of problems to count

And since I am breathing
and I woke up this morning
again
and there was breakfast for my family
and they are 
not
in
pain
my hands are empty
and free to fly with you

And my laugh has dark flight feathers now too
and my beady eye gleams a lot more often
and my appetite
is so healthy

I am refusing to be bored with myself
and the ordinary is always getting my attention now
because it is perfect

The ebony beads of the ordinary count the days
clicking one by one
to make my rosary of plain old moments

Together they make my 
mad
imperfect
delicious 
slapped-awake dance

I wear your problem-thieving finger marks on my cheek,
where you slapped me awake

And my warrior paint,
the stripes I earned from you,
they are permanent

And I send my blood-tipped arrow
into your sky,
straight up

See me crouched here in my Amazon squat

See my Artemis neck craning my skull 
to hunt your shadow
as you cross the moon again and again,
making your spider’s web over her face,
spinning me a bull’s eye to aim for

You call my sharp gleaming truth from my bow
to stand
and to deliver


Three Poems for Gabrielle Roth: 1, I Have Been Taught


The sacred mountain
let me crawl on him today.
I scrabbled up his toes where they spread wide,
twining with the river's emptying fingers.

Crawled, all the while looking up.

Looking for his several
serious and patient faces of stone,
I entered the shallow earth-veins
that trace his shins and thighs.

I crept under
his thick-woven robes.

His layers and layers
of tufted green needles 
and tissue of gold leaf
hung in hush,
still as stars.

And the birds
and the creatures
stayed cupped in his dark folds
and held their wondrous tongues.

Looking for love,
I stopped to pant a little
and saw my feet
planted there on his brown belly-skin.

Plain grey and humble and palm-fitting
was the little rock heart
he rolled onto my toes then
when I stopped there to breathe.

Looking for more
from the heart-shedding mountain,
I kept walking.
Asking for eagle vision.

I took the beautiful way up.
I took the way that is steep.
I took the way of following the falling edge.

I padded up his great shoulders
that disappear in heroic verticals
of mountain chest and mountain heart.

This is the way I've been taught:

Trace the climb with sweat running over your heart.

Follow the heart's needle
right over the magnetic edges of known ground.

Spread the chest bones to the thin air
of what's left to breathe
when your fistfuls have been released.

This is the way 
I've been taught
to learn 
to see.

And so I followed my feet all the way.
Up even the sharp ridges of his cheekbones
I followed,
and there it was.
The best sight.

The best dance floor,
where I can walk in the grey and the blue.

Where I can be close neighbour and kin
to the black-feathered whisperers -
the sun-bringers, the shadow-wings.

Today they made their chuckling observations,
as usual,
and their splendid thermal acrobatics
were not withheld.

They made their sky-carving invitations
to nudge my breath into flight.

As I have been taught to do
at the Cliff of Raven Dancer,
I was seduced
into selves
that were waiting patiently for me

and into 
the oneness
the great oneness
that is faith itself.


24 September 2012

Sun Eaters


because we already have the sun in our bellies
we think nothing of swallowing it again

we look upon the golden ball of blinding fire
and we say yes

yes to its way of 
burn it down
yes to its way of
use it up

we know the sky’s fire-god eye will blink
will leave us again and again

we know that very soon now it will walk out of our dome
and things will dim to a simmer for a while that feels long

so really
what else would we do
but show it the way back into us

so we hold the sun in our tender hands 
without fear of scalding and smoking like tinder about to catch

so we crouch like the lithe spiritual athletes we are
and dribble that sun like a basketball
with demonically free grins on our faces

so we hold it up like the cup 
that holds everything we treasure most
and we we pour el sol out

it courses in fiery veins
over our faces and into our hungry throats

yes is our answer to breaking things

yes is the word we speak to breaking through 
to unknown, uproarious territories
and godly habits
of perception

yes 
drinking the nearest star
that is how we intend
to embrace 
it all

31 July 2012

Biter


you certainly weren't cornered 
in fact your freedom is colossal
you bit me anyway
kind of hurts
poorly-defended places that were already purple-blue of 5 a.m. sky
full-flowered sweet spots attempting to un-blossom
trying to pull it all back into the bud
bones say
girl
even your ghosts have given up on you
kind of sweet
twisted sugar-and-air ropes binding elbows to ribs
tagging right ankle to left
so easy to fall this way
so hard to get back up
back teeth say
girl
this is too much
this aftertaste of what the fuck
some of me is pawing through the cupboard for the first aid kit
throwing things over my shoulder
some of me labours and sweats to snip away 
the grabby threads of honey between
the rest of me admits you deserve a high five