Stars are my sisters.
I travel over the lifting sea.
I wear small bells in my clothing
That I may approach the morning
Anointing it with this ringing.
I wear amber in my clothing
That I may approach the morning
As one who has come from the onyx halls of night.
And the morning becomes turquoise
And full of rubies, for it is pleased to move
This way and allows me to draw close
To her, to hear her marvelous song
Played on harps fashioned by the wind
And are freely given to this theater of the morning.
I am opal and I am the color of the perfect lake.
I move toward the morning with the stories
It enjoys, hearing of the purple gardens of night,
The green lights of the gates that open the doors
Before morning, while the night still enjoys the
Plays of the light on the rivers of its realms
And rejoices to their winding and unwinding
Across the plains full of fable and legend.
These things come through the sweet
That is dreaming and a comfort of peace
Everywhere. But this is only dreaming. It is like a
Child speaking while red armies gather
On the shore, determined to create a red landscape,
Create a terrible death of visions such as these.
A sleet of arrows courses toward us even
As we gather to hear these tales of marvels.
We shield our eyes against the bursting
Shells and close our ears to the screams of
The dying. They will come. They do not care
For anything this beautiful. We hear the beating
Of our hearts before this rage, draw closer to one
Another and pray my sisters the stars will not look
Away from us. That they will somehow know the beating
Our hearts make here is still welcomed in the highest halls.
“An infinity of dust,” he says gesturing
With his entire arm, flinging it toward
An unseen horizon. “It is here that
The alphabet finds its magic garb.”
Where we least expect it to be, it will come,
Time to name again, to reach back
Into a mythic realm and extract
What heretofore seemed a useless sound.
It perched on the edge of forgetting
Armed with blue and vermillion lanterns,
With little hope of opening anything,
Least of all a mind. No formula.
The sky was most accepting. It has no
Memory, a place of shades and vanished
Sounds, the voices of the clouds and rain.
It is here that sounds lengthen into words.
No one recognizes it. It could be
A part of evening, part of a long vista.
But it draws a sharp-bladed knife
And begins to cut all dreaming to pieces,
Into something as mysterious as death.
The cedars agree with the North
Wind. They nod their heads together,
Rehearse their congress of consent.
A cry as consent. Whatever the muse
Brings will be the door. There may
Be the whitest of transgressions
But the sand will color them
And the imaginings of what
Remains invisible will rise
Before us and find themselves
Suddenly named. That which
Is not to happen, happens.
Long fingers unroll and grasp
Sin as if it had never been seen
Before. Now we stand away
From the window. All of this,
The great ocean, the whiteness
Of the waves.
Go down to the shore.
They were walking off
The end of the pier, splashing
Into the water as if nothing
Was wrong, sinking, not
Making a sound, like dummies.
We had no idea what was going
On. I suppose everything returns
To the sea. But this, this was
Had been discussing music,
Job opportunities, ways to
Remember their bodies,
Exercise, yoga, meditation.
The whole enchilada, never
Saw anything like it before.
Then almost from out of nowhere,
A voice covered these people, a
Cloak worn many times before,
By many others. “Fashion and taste.”
It said and said it again. “These things
Are things you cannot know about.
These things are things that nobody
Wins.” Not new information at all.
The stars showed us Andromeda.
The the rising of Venus and a display
With Mars and Jupiter one above
The other. We found ourselves
Looking up, walking off the end
Of the pier silently, en masse.
Everything seemed new once again.
A PLACE FOR THE MOON
This path leads along the shore-
Line for about a mile then ducks
Beneath some wind-shaped pines
Into a cove where the moon may
Always be seen as it assembles
Its lines and hoists itself
To the night sky.
Years ago many people would gather
Here to watch these preparations,
But now this place is mostly forgotten.
Those who came here have mostly died
Or have gotten themselves far, far away, no longer
Thinking of this place.
I came here with gifts for the moon,
But it will not receive me and prepares
And sits down for a few minutes
Before it is time to lift above the tree line.
I watch it practice becoming huge then
Diminishing to the much smaller size
It uses to reign as lord over the night.
It flips through its phases, tucking itself
In here and there, using the shadows
To its greatest advantage to remain
As beautiful as possible. It is
An amazing display and takes place
In that regal silence the moon demands.
After awhile, I am joined by a few
Others who know of this place.
They come for inspiration and to restart
A sense of wonder lost to themselves
In their commerce with the world.
For centuries this place has been
Such. I have seen the winds here,
Flocks of owls and creatures who
Build the night. Last to arrive
Are the dreamers in their gauzy
Garments, truly stardust and breathing,
Smoothly and deeply.
The moon begins its ascent.
The night settles into itself perfectly.
During the day so little
Has happened that here,
At the end of it, I find myself
Full of space where anything might
Occur. I can feel a keel
Pressing into these late moments.
Time to go. There is no way
To know what may happen. Only
Stars. Hanging overhead, allowing
Sailing as never before. I may
Speak to the glaze of mountains
Beyond all knowing or just tie my
Shoe, thinking it one great task,
Bound by will to capture
A landscape, the surface
Of the moment. Looking for
Landfall. When will I see
You again? Why bother with
Lost songs that wander that way,
Knowing there is only a brief flashing.
Then, if one is lucky,
An exhalation of afterglow
Before the need to find
New ports and places
Rising from these seas again
Claims me. I detain myself
A moment longer just
To say, “I love you and will
Miss you. Think of you always.
Carry all your messages like
Gold within me, a sun
On unknown seas,
Blindness may be a virtue, a signal
Made with the snap of the fingers that
Shoots a hole in the dawn thinking it is
A kind of gift from the moon,
The breeze that follows the bullet,
Completely surprised at its mission
When we can no longer hear our own voice.