Move

travis-bozeman-396018-unsplashWhen you broke my heart

It wasn’t you who broke it

I had to give permission

All the days leading up to that fall

And the nightmares moving behind my eyes like greyscale film

In someways I’d always ended at this sharpened point

I did this to myself

It took that finality to break me apart

I held the chisel to ice

A distant memory of two people filled with joy

Was like a sore on my skin unable to heal

But I want to close my torn chest of its gape

Not see the stain of you separating me from the strength that comes from letting go

I know in time you won’t be a memory

Or even a regret

You’ll be the nothing I wish you’d always been

A cool blank space where all potential pain

Dissolves as salt on snow will leave barely trace

I don’t even wish you didn’t exist

I want to stop wishing for anything in your name

You’ve been a rot in my soul too long

It’s time to move on

Between

ring1Good day then

fais de beaux rĂªves

between the spectacle

shut your eyes tight

always keep them open

conviction

affliction

conducting weather veins

bristling they ebb

pointing into heavens

would they could talk

up there up there

they look and mock our drama

what we believe ourselves to be

quietly observant at the pew

head down knees knocking

Forgive me Father for I have sinned

the day I turned on others and rubbed in

the same welt

gory and open for flies

to lay their magnitude

little children

little liars

come hold hands by the roses

learn a thorn can prick but words are mightier

wielding penchant for harm

like a crystal ball

hear the soft foot fall of night

clothe us in redeeming disguise

fingers behind our backs twix crossed

one for ourselves, one for luck

nothing left to add to the stew

all poison all venom all malice is

but easy fitting shoes on lusty urge

stay your hand my girl

spend time among the rich of heart

they hold less in their pockets

more in their eyes

as first rays of morning

broker subsuming clouds

of darkness

breaking past

releasing

light

Portraiture

f801918ca3883a4898de8530a0e88a98It is true if I could I would claim you through time

circle your coiled hair and patent smile

did the photographer pose

or you just know

how to swan your neck and hide your pain

in thrice mended sweater a size too small

our boiled wool and best kept stockings

sweating out youth

if now you lived I’d show you what came after

austerity and lit eyes of hazel

wishing into the future

is it better now? or then when

the greatest harm an unmarried pin

sticking your freedom to the quick

you laced yourself in and breathed out

coal dust and fisherman’s hands

chaffed and reddened by toil

ancestors enriching highland soil

would we have been friends?

my lack of Godhead your penchant

for John Bunion and his sermon

who can say? only the field mouse’

small and mauve in death

brought in by cat laid carefully by farm-house mat

beyond a sewing room where you cobbled looks from Paris

on muslin form, breathing life

I was clumsy and wide waisted in compare

climbing trees watching for the worm

as magpie attracted to beauty

is not capable of wearing his fine theft

he is a creature of the outdoors

looking in from cleft of oak

like I summon you through time

spend a moment here

lend me strength

show me how

you endured the fallow path and

hard winter of turning twenty

as light leaches from heathered hills

and tired men return for their supper

only the fair-headed girl lingers

until last golden arc presses against

violet hour and she too must

return her gaze to humbler pasture

Quiet sincerity

575d3e8450d2b93d9ae583716b569a05I learned

long after I should

friendship comes not

in fizz and pour

nor the brightness of

shower and radiance

nor promise and its papery craft of bows

but more often unexpected slow

hesitant over years

water leaving her tears on

marble rock

stalwart and less demonstrative

a cat who watches food put out

does not immediately approach

I fell for the fireworks

the hot kiss on lost ego

glittering words

feathered protests to believe

those party animals in their tinsel crowns

pushing me toward celebration

in those days I did not mind

the quiet soul who hung back

someone you could call upon

when deserters ran out of festivity

turned their backs on former animation

I was suckered by their demands to believe

their loudest call was truth, hear me!

now I know quiet love is the steadiest

those who may seem cold or aloof

often outlast town crier

hawking themselves for fancy

I’m sorry it took me so long to

understand silence and softness

are more often truth

much like the piper who

sung children through the mountain

bewitching their longing for loud

merriment

before they grew and knew

the sweetness of sincerity

whispered

For Jane – Pretty things

“Oh you pretty things

don’t you know you’re driving your mama’s and papa’s insane?” – David Bowie

thumbelina.jpgtake a leaf out of this book

fold it into a veined ship

let it sail the hazel brook

dried through fleet summer

now brackened with steam liquor

intoxicating swaying blackbird to

fly close to glassy reverie

their glossy ebony wing

hinting blue and green against

dappled light won with coffee grain

we didn’t rise with the lark nor

make nesting bed for a penny to bounce

high and glittering

we ate buttered toast with frozen fingertips

leaving crumbs of ourselves beneath

pillows indented by dream

for who knows how long

any river has?

then warm days shall absolve this tender

frost blinking in iridescent snow fall

drying out magic divination

cupped in saucers of captive water

the little girl thinks fairies must

look out at her as she peers down

through velvet moss and snail sheen

carving runes

what worlds of worlds of worlds

beneath our flat-footed certainty

stir against shy bramble

our fruit ever sweeter on tongue

as thimbled nectar

for children still believe

amid our pastures creatures swim

in silver netting like gowns of

spider silk and berries redder than

earnest lover

shush, if you stay your curious hand

turn not the faucet nor start the washer

in Thumbelina’s kingdom music stirs

as old as life

holding up the unseen world

 

For Jane. Put another log on the fire for me.