For him, II

[22 February 2020]

Frost,
and I see you standing there, head
held tall, tilted sideways, filling the space
between the under
sky and the over sky, claiming it,
calling it your own with such a sweet sense
of deference and forbearance and gentle
uncertainty that makes my
heart jump when you walk
by or maybe sometimes even brush my hand. Was
it deliberate? I count the moments
between seeings and wonder if a life could be built
here, built up over and over and over and
over, stringing together the simple rhythms
of daily things into rust-red bricks and honey-oak
floors and slightly cracked drywall and bathroom
tile: the things that give us meaning
make us human.

Distraction

[3 February 2020]

Fall safe with me,
Fall fast,
Fall free,
Fall neatly spaced in two white lines

The weight of this and that and now is
greater than it is ever was or ever
could be. If only I could take the time to
know it in its certainty.

Some day I’ll find you,
underneath the oak or the
ash or the old yew tree.

I heard you,
willow whisp
pillow kiss
heart stop clean in two white lines

Old Miller’s Pond

[25 January 2020]

And so you live, you breathe,
in the space between now and then –
every word is as it should be, every breath
and every way of thinking right. Each one
carried on the back of the one before it,
each one carrying on its back the one
that comes after it. Each one is part of
one and the same – an altar, stone on
stone on stone, consecrated and set alight
in name of something greater than itself:
itself. Every step towards or away from
is a step into further knowing of the
very thing it seeks to find. See,
the dead live: they live in the hallowed halls
of our speech, they mingle in our
blood and muscle and bone and tissue
and bodily fluids, they hide in every inhale
and triumphantly burst forth with every
proclamation: See, you, too, are dead, and
I have conquered you.

The word and the deed are consorts, sacred
and sanctimonious, each pouring forth from
the joy of the other, each delighting in being
alive, each pulling the other from obscurity
into a higher calling, a symphony of solace
unbroken, a sweet cross to bear, a meaning
making meaning nothing less than journey
into transcendence. It is now that
we can see. It is now the light falls on the olive
tree that grows in the centre of the old churchyard.

Redbush, redflame

[24 January 2019]

I sing out,
hold my hands out
stretched, filling the gap between the slats of the old broken fence post,
fingers running like braille over splinters of wood and memory
and old paint weaving together a story I forgot like I forgot yesterday
like I can only see with my eyes closed.
The redbush lost its leaves but took up half the distance
between the ground and the sky.
My lips are parched, parted,
pointed to the sky,
raindrops
kissed, taut, and caught cold in the ring of the dawn,
catching flame caught in prismatic spectres of times gone by.
We sing out,
with that selfsame virtue of certitude,
handspun between similitude and similarity and streaked scarlet, scored,
and splayed splash-golden across the screen of night sky,
silent, and silent, and silence,
just before all the lights go out.

Ogilvie Transportation Center, Platform 6

Some reach, some stretch, some
long for a terminus, an end, a when
when all things make sense, all the loose
threads of the story we weave come together
into something larger and more beautiful
than we could ever had imagined – a fresco
of feelings, a mosaic of moments stitched
together and splayed out across the web
of the night sky. I feel that way, too, sometimes,
nights when I look in the mirror and think to
myself has anything changed? Asking the
same questions. Getting the same answer:
silence. My hair grew. So I cut it.

I heard it, once

5 November 2019

I heard it, once. Heard it in the way
the dark arcs across the horizon and
the way the wind blows through the
pine needles on the shoreline at dusk.

I saw it, once. Mapped in the spaces between
the stars. I wrote your name in the snow
on the hillside. I saw your constellation in
the lines on the palm of my hand.

I tasted it, once. Tasted the gold
and the sunlight and the moonlight
and the starlight mulled like wine
and dripped down my throat like honey.

I smelled it, once. Smelled the sap
and the resin and the amber. Lemon
and hickory. Sage and cedar. Chestnut
and sea salt and mahogany.

I felt it, once. Twice. Once
was never going to be enough.

Midautumn Psalm

4 November 2019

I watch you sink into the earth, toe first.
The roots wrap around your feet and your legs and climb up your thighs and your stomach and your chest and down your arms and cradle your head.
Here, we can remember.
Here, we can forget,
Organic vision in all dignity, in all its clarity just before it reaches hindsight.
The winter violet blooms and the last of the autumn grass curls around your toes.