THE QUIET OF THE HIVE
I do not know the names of many stars.
I see them reflected in open wells,
Tossed across the surface of the Great Lakes.
I imagine the hugeness of their noise
Had they atmosphere and we the kind
Of ears that fain would hear these
Flaming doors into everything from
The images of birds to the breathing of
The sleep of bees dreaming in the quiet
Of the hive. So I walk within them
Without ever coming close to knowing
What it is they are or their names, perhaps
Pronounceable by anyone. Are they
The mind of our hopes sparkling
Everywhere around us, or just a jingling
Of songs stolen from the night
And made to burn like this,
So full of imagination and deception,
A fineness of understanding thrown
Against the haphazard business
Of our eyes, moments on the heart,
Lifting ourselves through the finest
Colors into a clarity usually seen
Only in our tears?
(first pub. on Medusa’s Kitchen, 2012)
They call my home a dreaming star.
I am silver boy, the teeth of sleep.
The song is of many horsemen.
They wait for their souls
And circle endlessly.
Oh look! Someone has opened
A window. We can see across the veldt.
Black lions wrestle with
Charms that once belonged
To the sea.
You may think I’m making up
But I have marks on my body
That show where I was torn.
There is a sullen beauty
To these words, the daily
Murder. Resist the burning
Of the cities. The hate-filled
Mouths of those who will
The roaring house.
Petals of flames.
I will walk beside you.
Parades of weeping monsters
Bang against the teeth
Of the village.
Here a thousand moons
Boldly move in the air.
Did you choose to come here?
A CABIN ON THE CREEK
A constant changing of the light.
A dry Summer and the view
From the footbridge toward
The redwood grove.
The cabin in the clearing.
The bees were the bass
Through the forest trees.
Some have begun to set
Hard fruit, others still
Shower the shadows with
White and pink petals.
We make love on top
Of the sleeping bags on the floor.
Later, we go out to see
That the stars are truly golden.
There are silver lines
Describing the constellations
Deer pass just at the edge of
The light cast from a window.
“Is it always like this?” I ask
“Of course,” you answer,
A LESSON LEARNED
She said this was the place where
Angels came when they got hurt,
Seriously so. Broken wings, lost halos,
A confounding of language that could
Only be communicated through dance.
The sunset was harvesting evening
Reds. Pushing them into big baskets
And trucking them out across the flood
Plain, hoping the rains were still
Too far away to matter to the composition.
One could hear the low grumble
The airplane engines make
When the fuel mixture is just right.
Sometimes they sound exactly like angels.
When she opened her mouth
I could see the landing lights
Trailing away into her personal darkness.
“Don’t make her talk when she is doing that.
It’s too hard to tell the angels from actual prayers.”
Like something caught
In her smile that wasn’t
Supposed to be there.
The tail of the kite separating
From the kite and floating
Away, the way dreams
Do when you wake
In the middle of the
Night and you can find
Them connected to everything
Your body knows but now
Is unable to recognize.
Urgent as footsteps
Across the gravel drive,
Trailing off into the garden.
“I don’t know what you mean?”
LAS COSAS POQUITO
A little space
Between the covers of a book
Or the gate leading from the verandah
To the garden. The mirror
Where the Western sky makes evening.
You may keep these things
As part of the mysterious
Breathing, windows, the tallest
Trees, a series of fine green hills,
The sound of someone playing
The piano and it is not quite
Dawn, the gravel on Key Street.
Here, these things will always be.
Not vanishing at all, Still.
Their own conversation,
Long after we have left the room.
MOON IN THICKET
The moon seen
Through a thicket
Of bamboo. Barely
There. It burns
Deep within the heart.
—Medusa, with thanks to D.R. Wagner for today’s fine poems and photos!
Celebrate your mind today by reading a book, telling a story,
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