Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Poets fish the Night’s Oceans:


It is a difficult hunt in waters

filled with the eternally unseen

afterimages of things imagined

sensory echoes of experiences

bittersweet scent of dreams.

 

The water is deep

heavily salted with tears

forces anglers time

and time again back to the surface.

 

The plunge brings a proximity to death

the other side of life’s coin.

 

it risks forgetfulness and idle hours

staring into the currents words leave behind.

 

old friends float

other anglers greet

some hold up catches that can fade

or appear larger in the light.

 

These fish cannot sate

drive the fishers to try again and again

an addiction

to hunt the ripples, the after-taste, the hope.

 

The quest for what cannot be complete

for what cannot ever be brought

truly to the surface whole

but in parts

scales that reflect sunlight

and hold a darkness within.

 

So cold now

and so warm fishing all these years

they stretch out behind

like the drying bones of leviathans

perpetually now at rest

on the edge of night’s tilted shores.


Monday, 1 March 2021

The Carter:

 

Who is this man? Pulls the wagon

wooden wheels, the cart chocked

with femurs and skulls, the remains

removed from the clogged cemeteries

to a new place of rest; even the dead crowd

their silence louder than car horns,

strident as voices can only desire to be.

 

Who is this man? Dressed in white

so that he glows in the subterranean city

working through the days beneath the workers

working through their days; he has no sun

until he returns upstairs to sleep,

instead the gentle hum of carbide, the sound

of wooden wheels across limestone.

 

Who is this man? Leads the cart of the dead

deeper into the labyrinth as if carrying

the rejected who had no coins for Kharon

and must travel by road instead; he wears a hat

and white smock as if an artist, searches

for the site of his next great masterpiece

the ink the years, the bristles the finality of death.


Saturday, 27 February 2021

for my children because I too often forget:

 

In this fix, stuck fast

between the opening my feet dangle into

and the small space my head has found

my chest and back pressed, breath difficult –

 

I may never make sound again and here I wanted to

connect, say some things, explain but stuck fast,

the moment a rock that gives no ground, so many words,

cavern moths flutter into the shadows and are gone.

 

The pressure builds, the thought

is this the last time we’ll ever talk

and I cannot find the sound, so pressed are my ribs

so difficult to expand the lungs.

 

then the rope, the chisel,

the hammer, a chance; I forget words,

let thoughts as bats hang and sleep in the dark

and use my ears to find the path, I listen.

 

That act we so often forget

as we explore

the ears, the canals, the passage

into the underneath.


The boy as an older man to his mother:


Into this then, this space
of sacred rocks placed in balance,
the sunlight to screen thoughts.

I remember when we were young
you held my hand, mother, as I
now hold yours, your eyes then, clear
looking forward to a time of me
never to become a reality,

those rocks that hover
huddle against wind and word
create shelter in thought and deed.

This man I am, distant now
from that time of holding hands,
my children adults now
who plan that hand-holding in their futures
and whatever they will see
standing there with their’s
will match
and will not

the vision you had
and that now sometimes I glimpse echoes of
as you sit, frail, barely present
in this second between dreams.
 

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Puhpowee:

 

They make their own wind to send children

out into the world

thrive in the electrical storms

have their own force that pushes them

to emerge ready to be seen every morning

some can bend the mind

form miniature circles and amphitheaters

provide shelter and shade

 

and all the while we think of apples falling

an atom’s dance

and a cat that’s neither here nor there

 

while failing to see powers that create

as they feed on radioactive waste

and dream of one single forest again.


Tuesday, 23 February 2021

rock formations:


 

Underworld shadows, the movement of a hand

it touched my brow, the fever

smells of ochre and the litany

we will be here forever sung

as rain and wind steal particles of faith

carry them to the water’s edge,

set them adrift a million tiny babes

seeking the lagoon of some Pharaoh’s daughter.

 

When I was young in solemn oath

I did swear the bible and all the words

and fear to be truth-telling, sister, sister

you smiled and knew that lagoon would call to me

as soon as the necessary year’s accumulated

here now I float, touch my hand

and imprint a thousand caverns

sing to ensorcell any daughter’s haven.

 

Inside, in the shadows and rivulets that run

with all the actions done

handprints glow, red patterns discerned

by closing eyelids exposed to bright hope

all the while the caves chew the years

hollow the space to receive the bones

the heart a geologist watching solid steps

become the mists of a new age.


Petiole:

 

fading leaf grips with knowledge

the worst kind of hanging on

can see the future unfold

in deep green dreams

the wind whispers

you’ll come back, you’ll come back

it is always about the return

 

the earth thinks it ends

when the leaf touches down

but at night

as the saucepan catches all stories

stars hold the deeper understanding

eventually darkness will win