(a Celtic tale)
I have brought the first living thing
To this page and it well knows your name
And it can stand in your shoes
And show the dance that invents the land.
We stand upon floods bursting from
We’ve brought with us a silence
Upon your shoulders and a quiet
To your mind, be it only for Tydain
That we can sing such a song.
We have our secrets here in poetry.
This is as good as blood and bread.
You’ve joined the song. Make it
The first the world has heard
As we gained the height of the sun.
And here we are no longer imprisoners
Of the light.
MOON BEFORE NOON
Your dogs hold your land together for you.
It is they who know where you live, not you.
A bark can sound like an angel voice;
Their breathing holds the whole place together.
The silver of aspens in the late morning
Having their way with you. You can listen to it writing
Each step of the trail, the half-moon
Just above the ridge in the full daylight.
A special punctuation your dog understands
So much better than you shall ever be able.
A man with a silver rake shivered past me,
Barely holding his pink body, covered with leaves.
Spinning a private ballet to the music of too much
Rainwater and cascades of grey, bubbles and clicking rocks.
I try to join the chorus but he has escaped into mottled shadows
Before I can get my umbrella open enough to stop the rain from
Rattling my head. I was told of ghosts here, but these are
Not ghosts, just quick choruses of splashes and rain falling
So hard even the rock stairway looks to be an illusion.
Soon I am wading up the staircase, calling just to hear
A human voice above the torrent. I’m glad I did not wear boots.
There is too much water of a sudden. The trees explode in
Receiving it and I lose my own body. I chose a direction
And decide to keep headed that way. Within fifteen minutes
The sun is dazzling billions of fine raindrops as the storm
Moves over the hill, trailing puffs of wind in its silvery train.
In the suicide, you will be waiting
On the other side for yourself.
Again and again, able to recognize
The curve of your lip. The perfect stillness
Of recognition, the taste of one’s
Own mouth in the kiss of greeting
Required no matter what the hour
Of the chosen death.
The extended tongue of hanging.
The shattered skull of a bullet.
The ozone in the burnt hairs of
The electrocuted body.
The slope of endless drugs
Shafting through the body, not knowing
What it is doing, staring once
Again into one’s own eyes.
Hoping there was another who would
Be the lover.
The flight of a single bird
Above the same ocean.
An unheard flap of wings.
The idea of trying to leave
Such a bad joke; the body
Vomits the suicide into
One small cup which must
Be drunk again and again
So great is the thirst.
“I HAD A PART IN THE FABULOUS.”
I have no idea of my destination.
The waves the sea throws up against
My ivory house quiver and shake.
The waves continue to grow,
Push over the sills, spilling
Into the room. And there is no
Sound but the sea lifting and crashing
Into these labyrinths. Able to rise
Above its walls and dwarf whatever
Building the city had allowed
To be be built this far out in the
Tidal plain. The water always rises.
No one could form
A question on any subject.
I’m calling you out. It may look
Like sex from within these waves
But nothing can touch you quite this way.
This is how I speak from inside what
You currently call yourself.
EROS, THE GLORIOUS MAKER OF FICTIONS
The serpent of form.
The spirit of form.
For I, at one time a madman,
Had learned to wait and now
Could hear the gathering of sounds
From far away as they came at me.
Closer, come to me, I say.
I have heard your voice
And the wave of the tides.
This is not imagination or a
Coincidence of place. Open them.
I am silence here and can find a room
With its own spider.
Please, these are places filled with power
And had I word or claws or a circle
Of ice to tear this apart and
To take whatever form I will,
What would you call the color of power?
A sealed door, known only to doorkeepers?
I will make a sound in you as the first-
Time trees know wind. And your body
Shall lie upon mine and the opening
We have some rules around here.
I don’t own anything. We have fluid
Halos and it doesn’t matter what
Sex you are. Whatever we choose,
Someone will see it as betrayal.
A star tries to hide.
It only wants to hold you, but
As you can see, there is no place
This is possible.
Some of us watch our parents forget
Our names. The mind dilates
And by chance you have found
A weapon inside a poem.
Go ahead, use it.
Misunderstand. You can fondle
The words here without fear
That any of this is fake. There are
Cities of this stuff right here.
Remove your shoes. Get your legs
Involved. Here, press this against yourself.
Feels better than anything you’ve ever
Owned, doesn’t it?
A voice said, Look me in the stars
And tell me truly, men of earth,
If all the soul-and-body scars
Were not too much to pay for birth.
Many thanks to D.R. Wagner for our fine breakfast of poems and pix this morning!