WHEN THE CRYING CAME
The wind seemed to be waiting for the dawn.
It poured into the room like a confession
That it carried with it weapons and knew
How to cut throats if it needed to do so.
It seemed greedy, unknowable, except
For its obvious needs in living me as time
Does, with all events dispensable, not
Expecting me to make it to the evening,
Not expecting me to arrive that far,
Hoping I would become lost in the multitudinous
Crashing of wind-driven waves, the scattered
Lights from a million poems pretending to be
Cities where the remarkable happened over and over.
Then, standing on the patio, I heard the discussion
Afternoon was having with darkness across the hours.
I saw the silver slip from that day, saw it scattered
By those same winds, felt my vain heart branch
Into a kind of clarity that all of this was totally
Haphazard, not part of any plan at all. It was
Just step after step from the Garden of Olives
To the same Golgotha I already knew. Nothing
Personal to see here. Please move along.
MARKING THE SPOT
It was always always a blear for her to remember
When she came down from Arvada.
She had two jars. One with dried,
Very large lima beans and one with a tarantula
Spider that was just a shell. A wasp
Had used its body to raise her young,
But it was still beautiful, perfect in form
And an almost electric blue color.
She crumpled paper she had been given
Without so much as unfolding it.
“So you came back. Did you run out
Of cigarettes or miss the piano?”
She gestured toward the baby grand.
It was funny, she hadn’t even thought
About the piano since she had left.
“The piano,” she said and seated herself
On the bench seat in front of the keys.
“Here, I will play you something,” she said.
“Put those jars on the floor,” he said,
Taking a frozen chicken from the freezer.
“This will be good,” she thought.
He excused himself. After a few minutes
She could hear him showering.
She played a note. Then another.
Electric blue and pale yellow-green.
The jars suddenly seemed
It never stops. Everything is obliterated.
The sound covers everything.
We are the great pillars:
Fire, smoke, the single mind
A plague of locusts may be
Imagined to be.
Time sometimes thinks itself
A substance, a smooth mountain
Worn away by the nothingness
It truly is. It refuses to
Recognize itself. It needs
Its own universe to do this.
I write fearless of the lions that appear
To create a destiny but do not.
They are the same caprice
As time, dressed in its black suit,
Clutching its sad battle plan,
Hoping we won’t recognize it
Until it is much too late and
We are surrounded by mirrors
That will allow us to be no older
Than we are at the present,
That begs for some ritual to
Show how we purchase deceit
From time, wish to hold it, then,
With it, try to convince
Time we are its beloved.
Clouds rush in. The lions cough
From the high cliffs.
Eventually they will no longer
Fear our fires and will come to
Claim our breath, watching closely
Our uncertainty that anything
Even remotely like this were
A RUSTED GATE
This is the time God must see you.
The vigils are more than completed.
Your ideas of tomorrow have
All but been defeated.
We have come from very far away
So you will not expect us at any
Given time. We will disguise
Ourselves as prayer.
We have steel and can see within
It to observe its hunger for weapons.
We will walk slowly so you may
Come to think of us as worthy travelers.
You will begin to notice water
Filling the nights. It will pour
Into the crevices within your dreams
And form a path for canoes and
We will board them and paddle,
Never looking away from the stars.
Just after happiness and suffering
Are found conjoined on the edge
Of these waters we will see shadows
Caressing everything we notice
About our bodies; how they might seem
Memorable then immediately realize
They are no more than wire fences
Where birds come at evening to
Speak to one another. We
Become grateful that the blue
Distances surrounding us are nothing
To those birds, only a light God
Chooses to look at this evening.
He sits behind a rusted gate,
Dazed from having thought of you.
He asks you to speak.
You believe you are having a nightmare.
LOST IN THE WOODS
A rag tied tight above a frozen sea
A flag to some but not to me.
A wind that’s hollowed to the core
A heart that knows what dark is for.
A well that splashes in the air
Then slips itself beneath the bare
Rock of a cavern, below the hill
And keeps its language within it still.
A wood that hides both wolf and deer,
That praises darkness, draws it near
And finds inside its green, green soul
An empty room, a glowing coal.
A pair of eyes, a spoken word
That though uttered is never heard.
A tread upon the cool dark moss
That takes the very dreams we’ve lost.
It clusters midnight with its sounds.
It frightens children, quiets hounds.
It pretends to nothing be
But beats like a heart in a raging sea.
And so I’ve come down from the hill
To this small house, lean on its sill
Pray to the moon to keep me safe
To bless my life, to give me grace.
I may not then, then yes, I might.
I’ll craft a song made out of light.
I’ll sing it through the quilted night.
I’ll pray, I’ll pray I’ve made it right.
GUIDED BY VOICES
Burned into the flesh
But never showing as brands,
Cold sparks coming from the mouth
Like a child’s friction toy.
We sit inside our skeletons,
An electricity of energy flow through us
Firing desire, rooms of actions and reactions.
The stars begin excusing themselves,
Recognizing individuals from other
Galaxies with names that sound
So much like our own that we
Answer upon hearing them
Across impossible distances.
We have trees who understand more
Of the universe than we could
Ever hope to understand.
Their concentric rings, the fractal
Ideas they explain to us with their growing,
Their leaves translating the sun
Into exquisite energy and beauty.
The speak intimately to the wind.
We are directly guided by light
And voices. We have absolutely no
Knowledge of why we are here.
We live with death always about
To press its mouth against ours,
Sucking the sweet air from our collection
Of cells and organs, neurons and
Memories, adventures and experiences.
We have no right to be here.
We exist in a state of grace
Simply because we are here.
A candle flickers on a table.
The room is otherwise still dark.
We feel our way across it.
We sometimes touch others,
Other touch us, burning into our flesh
But never showing as brands.
The river just outside the window
Seems entirely in flames. It is only
The light from the sun upon the waters.
This is a poem,
So you’ll always look pretty
Good in it whenever
You read it.
I’ll be here too, of course,
Because this is how
I love you when I am
Not here, when there are
Only these words.
I will always think
You beautiful. I will
Always love your eyes
Running over these words.
Imagine I can feel this.
Let me hear you breathe
When you reach the end
Of the poem. I hope we
Can hear this sound forever.
You can stop reading now.
—Medusa, with thanks to D.R. Wagner for today's poems and pix! Don't forget that we're in the midst of a give-away (the new WTF): send poems in the form of the cameo (see Forms to Fiddle With in the green box at the right of this) based on our Seed of the Week: Waves to email@example.com by midnight this coming Monday, Feb. 25 and I'll send you a free WTF!