Breath locked in the stilness of conspiracy,
You remember to walk like a deer through leaves
Emerging from a cloak of unbeing.
Wholly here now in the vapors of slowed time,
Light free from inconstant skin,
Forms your soul from the bones of memory.
Your footsteps shimmer
In the halo of my unconscious
Where we have walked
Trailing a whorl of stars.
Sweeps of stone godlight
Appear in my hands through wintered glass webs.
Dust flickers between radiant worlds
To lay at last in the shadows on the bed,
In the mirthless prank of your scent's echo.
The deathless energy of night's fiction
Fills me- breathes you into being whole;
The ghost of your fingers,
The whisper of a thousand tongues
Like spells of the earth,
Like fatal wounds of memory.
Night Below Deck
Attempting to sleep up one side
Of the sea and down to the still,
Smooth trough of the swell is, of course,
Hopeless. As if only motion
Mattered and sound; the deep bass slap
On the hull’s drum could be ignored.
Clinging to a notion of time
That is based on light and waking
Whole, on a balanced sea is wrong
Too. There is a dream of many
Fish in a light sea somewhere now
Ahead where we sail to meet them-
Where they are laughing in their calm
Arc below the black wave runners-
Waiting without storm, without fear.
The sheen of moonlit lake
Silent as eyes
Ripples in the aftermath of smooth stones
In their casual flight.
We speak through gestures-
The sound of stones’ plummet to the lakebed,
Leaves kicked up into whirling falls,
The exaggerated shadows of brooding trees.
Now- let us shed our dialects
And shift into this common tongue
Slippery with autumn rain.
WHEN THE LION COMES
They will not cry out.
A lost wind wrecks them,
Plague in the north breeze.
Dry death winds stir
Ancient fears from long gaunt dunes.
They will not sing.
Herds darken in their eyes.
The desert prowls at their feet, inching,
Claiming more grass.
Red sands lock their eyes-
Tears blown before the dunes.
They will not laugh at the zebra dance.
They will not call to the elephants
Brooding between fences.
They will not run when the lion comes.
Though the echoes
Say we are
All we say
We are, silence
Says we are windless
The sudden rush
In the distance says
A black wind leaves the world
Without friction. My lifted
Wheels glide across the grand
Glass with a new mind-
In the steel
There is no remembering
Of the true road.
But an angel watches my soul
Pass between my teeth
And lays her hand across my eyes
So I cannot see my own return
Before I have left.
The whole world now
In the air around my face
Believes in tomorrow going
And coming back.
ELEGY FOR ALLAN HOLDSWORTH
A silent bell
It cannot be, a soundless heart.
A quiet wave.
The ears refuse a sudden sleep
Where once a magic reigned.
And so we sing from every cell
And search for every song unsung
And revel in the mystery
Of angels that have come.