Even attempting to climb the perilous cliff,
I am not afraid of falling.
The sensual rhythms of this lonely morning
devour me, reconciled
to my private chamber, suspended.
Far under the cliff, the gulls
are united with the ocean, as that
deep blue speckled-white
beckons me to its bed.
Wolves and warriors are rooted to the hunt.
I am rooted to this risk, edge-clinging,
fated to ultimately rest
in the body of a miracle.
There are miles below and miles above,
awakening sounds of insects burrowing,
of swallows nest-emerging—
a holy vapour all around that fills
the void with necessity.
PIECES TO GATHER
A drowned fish, silver, snared
with an expression of permanent ache.
Eyes, fish stunned, fish glass
glaring from a window in the market
in the dubious afternoon.
The shattered green
of ocean from a storm-struck sky,
lightening-flesh tipping, ripping the lid
and letting in the rains.
Mountains of harsh winters, opaque
like the wings on a featherless angel.
Mountains, male in their faith and in their marriage
Chains, slate grey and criminal
as clouds over rainbows, as necessary
as a first childhood dream
laughed at, forgotten.
Tonight, the void creeps
in, with him, through
the wood framed doors.
like a heap of ash after
a day underground.
the bone, the eager heart, the eyes
that follow every gesture.
What survives now of the tower dream,
the stone skipping and the wishing well?
Both hands pressed against the T.V. set,
trying to block the talk
the cut and thistle.
Both lovers glancing at the street lights’
for the other to give
a blue blue touch
SEED OF LIVING
return a million times
over: the chance
in every life cycle
I could tear my breath
in half attempting
a different rhythm.
I could be burning, bloated
on mistakes and bad beginnings.
Nightmares flail across the void,
Then tomorrow, the television,
the zodiac spin, anger at circumstances.
It is the condition that makes sway
dandelion leaves, breaks
the stem of the sunflower.
As dusk denies every pent-up demand.
As morning cleanses every hard-held need obsolete.
We rise to deliver
our final wounds.
I hang from an inward thread,
frayed by storm. You
sit in your chair, plastered
with brittle privacy.
Neither of us moves to warm the air.
The floor between turns to quicksand
with a thick layer of hovering mosquitoes above.
Anger with a voice too tight to speak
takes the form of ant-like apparitions, covering
our four-corned walls.
It will be done. We will be bone
and nothing else when this is through.
It will not matter,
the scent of our first or final kiss
for the proud demon-martyrs
embracing our ribs,
taking seat on our laps
have all but swallowed us whole,
Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader—not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.
Many thanks to Allison Grayhurst for returning to the Kitchen this morning with her fine poems, all the way from Toronto! Read more from Allison at www.allisongrayhurst.com/.
And don’t forget your Sac. poems for Sac. Poetry Day this Friday! Send them—and photos and artwork—to email@example.com/.
Photos in this column can be enlarged by
clicking on them once, then clicking on the x
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