Tuesday, April 27, 2010

FROM HERE TO THERE

Go through the wall
when you get back

home a dust pours
onto the receiving hands

your soul becomes substantial
oscillating with the mud

face you wear dry
in the fanned air

between dignity and indignity
you can now inhabit

a long countryside under
construction, ribbed passage, consciousness

of hell as well,
of darkened light

Sunday, April 25, 2010

THE COMPLETE PRESENCE

The complete presence
of almost nothing
- the person vanished -

fulfills memory, embodies
name with face,
voice, and gesture.

Unawares, others trust -
only I am
watching this familiar

relatedness turn duplicitous,
the man seeming
equal to no

more of distance
than umbilical measure,
is, will be,

gone - uncoupled - finessing
recall from indistinct
imaginings.   His silence

breaks the trance
of speech, will
cracks, forcing acts

to hope on
incoherence for movement
toward vital, joyous

enterprise.  The car
pulls out, heads
for the horizon's

necessity of lines,
scraping past perspective's
diminishment, clouds flattening 

feeling, lowering storm,
an entranceway, where
has he closed

the door?  Skittish
at indifference?   Bowed?
The beyond boomerangs,

and the here
come back to
returns life from

what he had
thought to put
behind.  Others.  Estrangement.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

THE DANCERS

This has never happened
that things are the way they are
because they could not turn

The dancers, staged to question,
What could be more real
than the body?, improvise

and individual expressions
become an ensemble’s,
disclosing form through form’s achievement

re-assembling scattered presence
and for the self which is the audience
presenting original emotion

shaped by choice
attention focused every instant
here, where we are, as we are

      *

The dancers
are floored
to start, heaps
that separate
into the limbs
of trunks
tunneling
air, narrowing
proportion
to a wanton
flurry of leaping
motion
triumphant
grace of simple
lines no one
knew were there

      *

You carry your feet
with your breath,

lifting the pounding heart
from its cavity,

and ranging with intent
over a prophetic space

knowledge cannot reach
to put a hand on

      *

There are no lights,
but lit by wrist and fingers
upturned faces

display moon masks
until the shoulders drop
and the arms flare

as elbowing wings
bank into a spiral flight
hips pivot through

Friday, April 16, 2010

FAMILY PORTRAIT


Pop songs, on a radio,
scratched at the darkness

Your parents seemed trustworthy,
but nothing was

Doors were shutting
the house was falling asleep

Chance had left you
to wall and ceiling angles

that converged, like feelings,
foreshortening corners

In a dream you could ask
for the unfamiliar woods

where you prowled trees
that wore scalps

and the dead snapped back,
stinging across the face,

as scurry, dampness,
and torch light

conversed with you,
turned into you,

the warrior
who found his breath

No telling how
frightened or captive

the family would look
in the kitchen, in the morning

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

THE MIRACLE

We come upon
and go into
being by chance

participating
in an unfolding
of events
that didn’t happen

Fire is the event
my hatred hangs on

*

One thing happens
and then another

I take a breath
before I need to

and rocket out
of the atmosphere

The Milky Way tilts
level with my eyes,
   bracing me

I look back at the sun
and get dizzy

There is nowhere to fall

*

Years fit appearance

Spring mate flashing white

Bald spot bleaching sky

*

We draw feeling
            from the urges
and take it
   to the miracle

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

HEALING DAY


A white owl with red eyes
lands the sky
in the dense plants

at the tangled leaf
we twist around
the open garden’s edge

pulled to the sounding river
because the back
is a flowing river

rising for us
to meet the light
our darkness has become

     *

The lover, the friend,
and the stranger
each will betray you

the lover for passion,
which is beyond reproach,
the friend for gain,

which will not last,
the stranger for evil,
which has no recompense

With each you must go
willingly, permit all wounds
to bear weight afloat

in any direction,
thread scar toward sinuous
complexion

     *

The brightening light
we wade in
obliterates

agony, powerful
as a mountain,
as its agile lion,

moving past
the owl holds still
until the end,

feathers stitched
to its translucent
healing day skeleton

Monday, April 5, 2010

WHEN THE POEM MOVES ON

The starting point is at the bottom
you get to using words, their tilted
sounds and false show, for support.

Surefooted, laconic, and culpable,
you work past embellishment by girding
image with mendicant emotion,

constructing loss by left to right descent
that altogether disappears
in the inverted sky, an empty bowl

until something happens off the ground.
This is when the poem moves on,
finished with meaning, and there is nothing
     
about it to point at.  The poet goes
back in the articulate house.  Its brick
chimney draws smoke above a gable roof.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

THE FISHERMEN

Things that do not arise
conceive and feed
on memories.  An egret
stabs at a fish in the water.
Then what you desire
(and you are always in pursuit)
takes a different shape

and is remembered
for a pleasure, and knowing,
palm trees, an osprey’s nest
spilling over a utility pole,
sunset’s chill.  Fishermen
were spaced along the shore
like chess pieces in an end game.

You brought rod and reel.
Always, the scout of wind
and water’s advance. 
Old life floats upside down
in the tossing swells,
and just beneath the surface,
silver anger glints, like a lure.