Bike Night

Twin beat of tire spokes braid night air
into set of rapids a canoe would fall upon
creases of energy propel me deliriously
forward, folds of force soft as pillows,
wells of gravity like muscles from beneath
my legs pound the circle of bicycle pedals
through night soft as sweater, dark, brilliant,
a night where you feel buoyant, lucky
to fold into slopes and quick drops, feel
the wheel spin a little more freely for a moment.
Blessed moment. It is a night where you must ride,
because there will not be more of these nights this year.
A summer night, this evening, has stolen into Fall.

Tonight I will play pool, drink beer, play for table,
see my friends, meet new friends, unexpected,
or unknown, glide through night sky glow sere
moon made. Crows will pace me, mask jet, diamond,
convince me stars race me as hard as I race them.
I reach to ride in that sky, head tipped back, dare
steel to unseat me, take me up to the road that will
surprise me. This comfortable float. I take the
moment to rise, to breach the horizon of constant
moment, seize it, freeze it, try to be the sky, the stars
can’t just be lights, they are more than beacons, the
punctuation of this voyage is almost comprehensible
because of the ease of this bike and the autumn night;
the ease of a woman’s eyes in love, dark that shine
thought, or jewel, the passion that convinces you
this is the night you must be here, right here;

my feet circle the steel of flight, my body this frame,
the night my destination, endless chain my conviction;
the road and I are both hot to go somewhere, this night must
last forever, a dream, a memory, a lazy whirlpool necklaced
with bubbles of time that crawl off my paddle, the water
accepts my passage, as the air surrounds my passage;
I float though I never stop pedalling these wheels.

Pink Poppies for Michael (for Dennis, for Chris)

garden fence frames us, history of correspondence informs our discourse; the poppy in the petal in the pod in the garden in the ground bursts; I look for you in the darkness, look for love

petals poise upon expansion, ready to write themselves in airlike instant paper story told; we tell our story about friends who died, the litany of fear and regret; you tell me it hurts and I know you’re telling the truth

each petal patiently bound within the bud, the development of character, the expression of pink; you and I miserable, content, alive, smashed in the backyard, lamenting those who no longer feel as we do, right now, secure in our understanding of each other and the transience of the moon

there is a storm that waits to be told; a lover, her beau, their families adamant refusal; the thorn in the garden, the last tangle unstaked, all so predictable, uneven, unbalanced, it’s always like that; you and I eulogize, surrounded by the quick, the moment of the fight, the moment of the duel when you face death and surrender, or create another moment; now, we face the desert, never to know if when we win, we succeed

the petal the page that lives and dies by time and absorption, born to die in the instant of colour and comprehension; we confess to each other our sins, our designs, our lies, give expiation

the garden is littered with fallen pink tissues, pages torn from the book neither of us wants to read aloud; each blossom a day, each flower a year, each seed an eternity, the pink this instant; we tell golden moments now, fool each other, moments that are memories, turn them into mythologies, compete to tell a funnier story; we shout and our laughter overcomes our tragedies

we tell the stories we have already shared, again, even though they are old stories, by now, each one, an old friend; we tell them again, anyway

I reach out to you, say it’s frightening; you reply, it’s more than that, but we’re still alive, rejoice; rejoice

coil, await the sun in this caul of instance, mask of forever; drink and sing through the night, forgive, praise, build the story

Light Fades Away

Sunset light swirls through the wind,
smells of waning days, the start of sleeping warm.
Light eddies and tumbles in little whirlpools,
dances the future of leaves, the drain of hours
of gold. Winter waits to reel, foxtrot, polka with emptiness
and snow. We sit and watch, peculiarly indifferent, idle,
indulgent with months of summer; hours creep away now,
carry empty buckets filled with sunlight,
stray by us unannounced, unmourned.

Time is the sky.
Open and yawning with blue stretch from insouicant, to ethereal
and celestine.
Time is the stretch of day between poles of night, the arch
of golden sun
set above a colonnade of clouds kiting with light.
We watch night stretch
and shrink the day thin. The sun dies slowly, agonizingly,
which we ignore;
we talk loudly in the garden to cover the embarrassing creep of darkness
into our chatter;
the fading cast of sunset, the beams a little lower in the sky;
surely the roof
is sagging,
not falling in.

Heaven fires patina, enamel, stretches out to the truth of time and space.
Insignificant specks, we bask in eternal light we do not comprehend —
the ceremony of its passing, the dance, the soluble point, the tincture
we call the horizon, another shadow in the parade of shades. We complain
we will soon have to move our lawn chairs into the garage, garden shed.
We ignore another opportunity to contemplate the infinite.
The future will be cold. We are secure in our knowledge of that.

Play

the stealing days of light fleeing south bring out
the features in the faces of the children at play;
what we see is replaced by seeing what they see
and regretting the time between seeing and remembering.

Bring out the play — they are hardened by the summer —
soft and sweet with corn and wine — lean and strong
with running until 9 or 10 at night, up at 6 for swimming
and cycling. Fall is the time of prowess, the time of

singing.
It is still early, the leaves are not cut
with fire and fodder, sinking into mud and fragility,
rustling and flexing with the wind, soon to tear and travel
a short spirit spiral into the wet grass and sudden frosts.

The man before me has something to teach me— he is
afraid of death, the death of his wife, he is looking where
I am afraid to go. Nature necessitates this. That is why I
am talking to him. He reaches out. Fall is the time of bridges.

I speak to him. I try to comfort him without fear, to pray
for him without wondering if some god, any god, could exult
in these moments of weakness, wonder if we are just
the simple relation that makes cruder, eternal beings feel superior.

We need the reminders that come our way. I pray to god this man
be given strength and grace when it is called for, let him help her
surrender if she must, fight, to remember she lived well. The children
speed around us on tricycles. The wind whips leaves in pools only I

remember at this moment. I am looking at the future and the woods are
afire with the quick and the dying. Fall is the finish, the start. I am a
squirrel picking through the first ground cover before winter. I am the leaf
to protect the roots. I am the nut that waits patiently to feed, or sprout and flower.

I am the frozen bird that no longer looks through that eye.
The children are shouting about their game. The sky glows with the end
of day. He still cannot leave. He is waiting for them to dismiss him;
they are intent on filling these last moments with noise and laughter.

It’s nothing to them. I have to ask them to say something, “Tell her you love
her, you hope she gets better, it may be your last chance to let her know”,
they can’t understand, they’re too excited about their game. The light is fading;
the game is ending; someone laughs, though we grieve.

The Stereopticon Of Autumn

parallel clouds incise brazen pink, sultry purple
no, carmine and burgundy, jewels and fine wines

russet dried bushes vainly wave
in a field of golden grass
that lay down long ago
a horizon of radiant line between
the swirl of ink wash clouds
sodden clusters of leaves
too tired, tied instead to where they lie
the collapse and removal of summer continues

sky alive, dances coloured hues,
fury and action, rushes by a hundred feet
above our heads; we, made of mud, aloof
and fading, sled drab and quotidian

it is the small amongst the immense that shines
a drudge spray of tall grass is transmuted
by an errant sunbeam into a beacon of life
against a field of decay; a wave in the harbour,
suddenly translucent, emerald,
hangs perfect, impossible … falls, then
rises, again and again

autumn is nature’s décolletage; the change from her
sumptuousness, into the sere and elegant whites that play
so well against eveningwear, tuxedos and top hats; we view
her with pleasure, her elegance traced in line and flower
highlight of the evening, her gown the talk of the ball
radiant before a background of deep velvet wallhangings
that curl into tendrils, start at Persian carpets and erupt
into frescoes that coyly disappear into shadow, the constant
shift of appearance she insists upon, ever increasing night

History

Shimmer of poplar leaves against a slap of sunlight
all flicker and history — poet’s tale of what is to be
and what is not. The time between winter and summer,
of reckoning and memory, counting and forgiving.
The grate of clouds line the ceiling as we pursue last fruit,
last seeds, last herbs, last ships set sail toward fading light.
We wait for birds to leave, days of lead, and docks to freeze.
This monody gives flight to wind that shakes leaves from trees
turns them golden in a memnoment of the sound of swimming
wind that pubbles clouds and makes rivers of storm and frost
to come. One song worth singing, it harps about you, Aeolian
moment, free, you can sing along if you remember the melody.

Night Sky

night sky palpable, stars extinguished
rubbed out with clouds of soot and jet
the time of becoming time is at hand again
last entry, last codes, last gestures, time now
the train is leaving the station. the lantern
recedes into the distance; two distinct shadows
run in converging lines to horizon of ink that
extinguishes the opaque and invisible

we descend into a tunnel of illuminated earth
corona of light surrounds us, the revealed picture
is a tempest of frames flipping too fast, texture
of earth and mud. perhaps the moon is a stone
revealed in the bank of loam that nourishes us
we are spinners on a road we build this instant

motion is the message; we pass the earth
beneath us, motionless in a new land, we
conquer distance, wander lost, still blind
we replace ourselves with imagined brilliance
if time is not ours to command, light is
we have pictures to prove it

clouds race above us; gentle rains come
a ploughing to finish the task — for the sake
of the soil, for the sake of tomorrow; ready
to sleep, this matter complete, we cannot stay to
listen to the frozen creakings, splittings to come
our plans are made, we must dream the start

Colour Falls, Rises

Fall is the colour of annealed metal,
raw copper, grey slate, iron stamped
twilight, clouds raw, rust ash brood.
Evening forges light and craft, clouds
transform, a sudden glow renews
receding tepid sky; a rainbow appears,
stamps the evening miraculous,
a covenant, we hold hands as our eyes
drink and receive this revealed Eucharist.

planes of trees

the planes of trees
are etched bare
in first full autumn storm
massed gold and orange
torn from the instant, transformed into
instantaneous, over and over each
leaf wrenched, tested, borne aloft
now cast down violently
a lesson in the geometry of space
and light, gravity and motion
the black sky belted
with streamers of russet, brown
yellow, scarlet flashing, limp
flags that march with
cold wet wind

planes of the trees (design)

mass turned instant
and instantaneous in recomposition
planes of the tree, now
etched bare in autumn lithograph
moment of inspiration
lesson in the spacing of shadow and light
balance found, forgotten, cast, reset
shapes of letters found in branches
ornaments and motifs on the go
lessons in harmony, gradients, grace
wave right before your face what is
and what should be remembered

Fall Creeps To Its End

Creeps is a pejorative term, its use clichéd —
that, is the way it is. Its use is meant to draw your attention
to the quiet oblivion that structures your knowing.
This is the moment we make the undoing
and join together. We fall with night’s dawn into azure jet
curtains. They billow and reveal an infinite heaven
traced in needlepoint, each star the story
that God’s invention exceeds our imagination.

It is the absence of things that informs us,
that which we thought we needed to know
was never enough and it wasn’t what we wanted.
The charcoal lines of bare trunks and branches
etch perfect reflections of what lies beneath us.
Each rose bush wrapped in canvas, each twig reveals
the layer beneath that is hidden and forgotten; they
know we have drifted into the time of dreaming.

The land of our dreams is an uncertain landscape
because it is so familiar. It looks like a place I know
well, just like my street, the same path to my door,
smells of my kitchen the same as I enter my home.
But it is an illusion, and I like to believe I know it
and can ignore it. Oblivious me; histrionic me; I
must be brought to this window to look through
and see in relief the panic I feel. Roots dangle
from the sky, communicate a blind, dumb deaf scream.
I shudder, feel emptiness press against me, tremble,
convinced I am collapsing, conquerable. They scream,

“Some mercy, tell us what’s the story, is this just me,
or is this a mutual hallucination?” We look into the mirror,
cross through into winter, watch its approach, a veil between us
and the starshine of love, those birthing in the wasteland.
Take this sign that in dreams we are kings, hold keys
to treasure that is ours to give. We kneel and worship
to finish what we started a lifetime ago, this moment.
The curtain surrounds us to conceal us, now reveal us.

The dissolution of our wealth was accomplished with a palette of fire.
We counted gold orange scarlet in our possession
We choose to tell the story in our fashion, but we told the story.
Our witness, our testimony, our contract, our dream
to face the rise of the moon, timbral shell in a landscape
become interior stage, and through a bleak window
winter approaches, set in diamond, trembling, naked root.

Fall creeps to its end (rorriM)

Creeps is a pejorative term and clichéd in use
that is the way it is, and it is meant to draw your attention
to the quiet oblivion that structures our knowing
this, the moment we begin the undoing, and
commence the rejoicing. We rise with night’s dawn,
azure jet curtains raise to reveal an infinite heaven, each
star the story that God’s love exceeds our imagination.
Before sun’s rise, the stage is set to judge whether we are joined
or cast apart in a cold frozen plane. The absence of things
informs us. The charcoal lines of bare trunks and branches etch
perfect reflections of what is beneath. Canvas wrapped gardens
reveal we have drifted into a time of dreaming. The land
is unfamiliar within uncertain landscape, and yet it looks
like a place I know so well. Just like my street, my house, the
smell of my kitchen in the morning as I enter, all an illusion
I like to think I know — and by knowing, I can ignore it.

Oblivious histrionic I, I must be brought to this window
and made to look through. See the roots dangle in the sky,
communicate a kind of deaf, dumb, blind scream and shudder,
feel entropy press against everything, tremble that you know
you are collapsible, conquerable. “Show some mercy!
what is the story? or is this a mutual hallucination?” Look in the
mirror, cross through to winter, the cold dark exhaustion, look,
find the star vision of life, birthe in the wasteland, take that
as a sign in our dreams we are kings, and the time to bear
gifts draws near. Worship the end of what we started.

The dissolution of our wealth is accomplished with a palette of fear,
we who once counted gold, persimmon and silk in our possession.
We can choose to tell the story, but tell the story we must.
It is our witness, our testament, our contract to dream as we watch
the rise of the moon, a timbral shell, in a landscape become
an interior stage seen through a black blank window frame
set into a teardrop that trembles on a naked planet.

rise of sumac

rise of sumac salmon red flesh
between poplars green and yellow
oak and maple emerald waters splash
about the blaze of the hillside

rise and fall of frosted highway
asphalt rush races from horizon
to horizon, tires beneath spin
car threads, parallel traces of this

crimson dawn sun, new day begun

burnt clouds 1

the burnt clouds of autumn
limn hills that have burst
into flame, quench the sky
that weeps silently, as colours
blend and corruscate between elements

the children run in circles blaring
horns of exuberance, their running
last gesture, beau geste! against fading
light; stars peek above coverlets turned
down, crimson curls slip beneath indigo

burnt clouds 2

burnt clouds of autumn
have crumbled within the sky
winds roll away the end of summer
light turns tawny
moon luminescent
each morning shines content
resigned to the haze
that obscures the dawn

Moon and Memory

moon wakes landscape to memory
in the face of identity we are satellites reflecting
worms, snakes, pale tubers rising in symphony
from chthonic rood; seeing mirrors tell
upon each of us; we join hands, afraid to howl

pale and translucent, we will never bend
light from its preordained path; we dance to mark
the spot where our foot lies. words speak. hands
slap. music mounts string, brass and tambourine
we tear ourselves apart, we consume our springs
of indifference, we eat our fears, excrete summer

we know this place; it is ours to defend
we mould this place into a shape of our understanding
we invest in this place, not another, nowhere other
than here, this place; we worship because it is hallowed
harrowed, it bears fruit though patently barren
someone told us it is ours and though we forget easily
we remember this, it is ours, someone told us so

the taste of this place is what I remember; the taste
of each other, my blood in your mouth, on your fist
I wipe away the regret of a moment ago and launch myself
at you, all thoughts, remembrances aside; the taste

soil, black and loam, acid sandy, salt and base, the blandness
of thirst, and the taste of dirt, is how I know this place

this place of thorns and grass, lush as a mattress, tough as stone
the throne of many a toss with thee; I know this place as it
has heard my groans, my laughs of privacy and deceit; I
conquered this place, you gave it to me; this place, you gave it to me

I remember these flowers as I wait to gaze at snow
I remember crystals as I watch this garden grow
I see a wave upon a beach far from any shore
in fields of grass that drown my sight; I rise, I soar
weightful, a thing of this earth, a moment’s satellite

the sky, a dream of far away
the moon, that mysterious land, impossible, free

Moon Song 1

The moon like a long lost friend
sails back into your life,
revenant, saleswoman, wife, witch,
cold and hard now, not like
the warm fluffy pillow you took to bed
through the warmth of June and July;
the picnic is over and it is time to sing
for your supper—make it a good one.

This hardened pearl
seals nights cracking with cold,
first intimation of the steel in her soul;
guardian of authenticity, spectral
spotlight, frozen or saved, moon
is the impartial observer science
dreams of—too bad they can’t touch her.

Moon Song 2

The moon sails into view, ever further from reach,
still passionate and swollen with memories of our lovemaking,
cool and distant now the fun times are done.
Previous companion of our routs, now silent accuser—
“your parties were no fun—at least now that they’re over.”
But then a hint—is it all over? Tiny fish sparkle on the river,
scales of the evening flash in silver light, time free;
a large generous orange moon looms over our harvest,
we cheer knowing how soon you turn into sallow
parsimonious planetoid, beacon hollow times, offer rinds
to comfort us during the trek through the wasteland of cold;
but this persimmon moment, your pumpkin coat announces
the feast that awaits us.

Moon Song 3

The silver harps of moon rays strum
through jet black woods, erased tree trunks,
absent starlight, empty paint stroke taken
from the back of canvas, to sing
the stolen music of the moon.

The woods, between, flits the moon, silver harp.
Did I mention it is a silver harp?
A singing, moaning, boogie harp,
I hear it quite clearly (except I keep
bumping into these trees—it is so dark.)
If only I could see the moon, I could be the moon.
If only I could escape to the world of the moon!
Strut in the plane of easy elasticity that wraps, coddles,
styles and sleekens, fashion that really does something for you;
silver lips mouth the words in the sensual manner that made
the perfect screen test, that made the starlet famous, the perfect
alabaster arms, hair … let it shine down on me. Lose the trees!

I am not out of the woods yet, I stumble over hidden roots,
kick through last year’s leaves covered with this year’s. There’s
a road here, but it’s not the road I seek. I want to be up there,
with a warm moon, a June moon, want to be a big moon,
the bigger of dreams, the better that cannot measure
the depth of the moon as it rests on the surface of the lake.

That’s what I want, a full round maternal moon that will give me suck
bear me upon an elevated road far from the slivered silver glimpse, film
broke stutter of invisible trees full motion masquerade. The flick of branches
across my eyes admonishes me to remember the root of moon struck and how
it came to be …

at which precise moment I sprawl into the wet, near mud
of the road through the woods. I make obeisance to the fool king,
mad child of the sun, sometime golden, sometime chill as a fish
bone. Cream pie splats of me and the dust are music to moon ears.
The woods silently whisper, “We told you so; stick to the road,
before it sticks to you.” Cryptically, perhaps. Roots entwine my
ankles to drag me down a notch or two. The moon lends a hand
and raises me to my feet. “Wishes are not meant to be kept,”
it whispers, pathing me along the way I would follow—
one foot upon a pole to trip me, the other resting in the air;
there is music in my climbing and when I fall, I fall singing.

Moon Game

There was no original great first line,
just you, moon — big, beautiful hang of
orange, fragile like a Japanese lantern
flower, always ahead of me, hiding behind
buildings, fat, golden, inflated, buoyant;
playmate
in a child’s game of peek-a-boo and every time,
you startle me.

Last Full Moon Before Winter

last full moon before winter
gold ball of immense proportion
arrives early for night, early for afternoon
the two chase each other as the coin
they pass between them leaps into sky
uncircumscribed, lackadaisically confident

sky is mute; no animals, birds, insects
rustle of leaves, only wire branches reaching out
to grey sky that glows copper, furnace, fulmination

the hour past noon is long past noon
shadows slant acute
sun shines bright in your eyes
no matter where you go—it’s never overhead
it’s right there—in your face

everything holds its breath
waiting for first flakes to fall
this is the prologue of winter
not the climax of autumn

old master sunset scatters
clouds, streamers, cumulus, nimbus
cirrus, each a steel hull glowing
recording heat fading, receding, tattering
black purple traces of evening, each moment
brighter than the eternal night behind

heavy horizon moment
mountainous moon
final full fulsome
high falutin’ futile
has one last laugh

last gold of autumn
triumphant, lands on the moon

the pumpkin in between

the mother with her two girls in a buggy
the pumpkin in between
black stockinged kilt sway through the crowd
the girl who looked like a movie star
who was famous, many years ago
the group of women, all in trench coats, olive
and grey and tan, bespoke with Burberry scarves
marching, their boots rise and fall in unison
the smell of crisp winds, the skirl of leaves
a whirl of perfume; grey skies dark quicker
than night arrives; the girl at the bus stop
with long hair and plentiful eyes; the skip of a short
woman crossing the street; the bustle of women
wearing wool and tweed; mothers with their children
red cheeked, gleaming; sun lower in the sky,
the apples are ready for picking, extra fancy
stains the horizon with its passing, time for one
last bittersweet harvest

Dream Time

The time of orange nights is gone, faded
the waves of grain swirl in midday.
the rain, the river, puddles have fled
to the depths that never freeze.
The songs of the wood are still,
the sky empty until a sudden flock
circles over one invisible spot.
The buzz of insect, bumble of pollen bee
dance silent now. No more cries,
laughs, conversations drifting on
perfumed breezes, the wood is empty;
the wind is empty and howling.
Brooks’ ripples are still, though they still run.
The fish still dream, white lilies float
somewhere else. The beans are run, the roses
last petals shed, saying, “this is all that
I can give.”
Sing a song to make bulbs and
seeds laugh, charm crusts for sparrows;
dream the dream that is sun soft fields;
love as you have always loved. The ice above
our heads means the dream is real. We must
swim. The time of harvest awaits us.

Leaves Shift In The Wind Like Planes Of Being

Leaves shift in the wind like planes of being,
the homeless push shopping carts through the market of life;
the costumes are what we wish we could wear all the time.
Evening winds skirl as evening winds always do, at least
since the Irish introduced the bagpipe to the Scots
(that’s just a joke.) We await the arrival of the dead—
the knowledge they carry, the deeds done, no lies, stories,
all that was avoided, forgotten, buried with them.
The moon hides behind convenient clouds. Witches fly lower —
ahh, the ladies. Their brooms exhale illuminated letters
that everyone reads as truth in need of explication.
The point of the pen keeps chasing the moment we all want
to understand, we keep reading, unwrap each new word
from cellophane, eager to feast upon our new treasure
once we’re safely back home — we can’t get enough
of that sweet thing; it’s there at our fingertips
some sort of tune you can’t recall, you heard
someone trill it once, but the wind just blew it away.

hallowe’en 2007

The Most Beautiful Winter Days Occur In Autumn

Polar clouds arrive to announce the ascendance
of winter’s hegemony. Fat flakes frost any dreams
of hanging onto summer; the grey shift of light slides,
sky constricts, meadows and fields are lost as sweeps
of taupe, beige, straw assume stoles of plain white
and fashion is mute.

A new beauty reigns. Scrubbed, shorn fields dust with snow,
as an artist adds a white stroke to denote light on a brilliant day.
Each flake conceals and outlines what lies beneath, the balance—
discovered moment — when that which is and that which will not
strain against each other and the invisible pours through.

heart attack blues (a hallowe’en romp)

baby’s looking funny
since she died
got me feeling
like suicide
baby I can’t wait
until you speak
thru that rip
in your cheek

C’mon baby
dare to be mine
You went and ate me
out of my mind
you’re no valentine
you Halloween queen
now give me back
my liver and spleen,

oh, oh, oh

give ‘em back to me
no more post amorous history
Give ‘em, give’ em back
Or else I’ll get you
with my heart attack

people say you’re a pretty ghoul
they say they like the way you drool
it’s alright I’ll just lock the door
cause once I’m gone
they won’t see you no more

baby likes the look
of any human being
she’s howling you’re the best
she’s ever seen
how about this Halloween
you bring the meat
she provides the scream

it’s apparent to me
this mutual misery
there’s no need to talk
we’re beyond all that
just one last attack
I’ll have my heart back

oh, oh, oh
oh

Late Fall

low on the evening horizon
full moon illuminates
storm cloud silhouette
drifting by

granular instant snow flakes
fall, they’ll not stick
the ground is not yet frozen
but soon, soon

Hallowe’en

Carved flickering monstrous faces, magic light
bends the trees with molten sneers,
street bobs with orange globes,
channel markers to guide the dread.

Wind carries small goblins and cats over
houses wreathed with whispering leaves
that tremble by warm blind windows,
deaf to last gurgling chokes for help.

The night is measured by small eyes
sometimes fierce as dragons, now small
and frightened by someone too large,
perhaps wearing a death’s head mask.

Streets are squalls of pirates, princesses,
vampires and witches, sudden silences of
tossed, crumbling leaves kicking on a slick
black vinyl street, rain wet, lightning lit.

Sitting behind the wheel of your car,
peering out, is that house OK? Is anyone home?
I’d feel safer if they had a jack o’ lantern
on that gothic verandah. Come on in.

The Stripe 1

Twenty days from winter solstice, the land
scape withdraws into the horizon
which is suddenly there, right in front of you,
bumping into you, an impossible snowman, winter
too soon, gable erupts with flash of low lying light
as ice crystals blind you though it is only autumn, too
early for snow. You stare at backlit drama as the roof,
tree silhouette, streetlight are exposed where the leaves
hid them all summer; aluminum pod glistens achromatic,
drenched in the rainbow of yesterday’s dew, now today’s
hoar frost promising to blossom each day, when every
thing else is dying;
sing to each other in low muted tones,
gentle splays of warmth, orange red, flickering blue,
the colour of gas rings pulsing against fulminating kettles,
sing heat as night falls, impossibly soon; implausibly human,
we illuminate the frozen, the forgotten,

time to reach out, to remember everything is given,
nothing forgiven, when those who do not have, cannot forgive.
We are not alone. We are not dying, we are just
adjusting.
Let me sing you the song of light fall into satin,
the ribbon of gold that sits serene upon the horizon as we
flee the impending night; watch the light blend pink fantastic,
twist cranberry and lemon into orange and gold until,
fleeting moment, if you turn away you will miss the wine
stain that must be the after glow of some tremendous party.

Now is the time for us to witness the intersplay light serene,
horizon in weave, cloth that lies in secret with the twist
of the night, that draws over us like a blanket, though we
are children impatient not to go to sleep.

Stripe 2 — evening star

Satellite shopping carts
bow low before the evening star
inexplicably appearing
over the horizon of the parking lot
with its krieg light towers and
barricaded landscape;
the sunset still appears,
the star of the show doing its turn —
low line of scarlet and orange,
fire and purple, painted
against the underglaze
of void and black exquisite
late fall sky, falling rapidly
into night. Low level roof mirrors
last minute clouds obscure
the silhouette frame proof
that what is above,
what is below.
The big star does puff and blow.
Nothing is above as below.

There, appearing above the marquee,
the early night sky
impossibly soon, half a page
ripped from a book
to reveal what is next,
and now the evening star
glints trapped within metal
cage shopping carts whose
mesh captures last rays
of starlight as last rays
of sunshine render them
ransom and the first time
of night arrives a child
impossibly wise for its age.

The Wall

Meet the wall.
The wall is the end—
deeper density,
soft charcoal melt into
metal door black;

the wall is grit and
corrosion and is tough
enough; the wall is always
painted red and lurid until
all colour peels off and it is
only itself, black, fading
into the end of light.

The wall settles into the way
of winter, first harbinger;
the wall is the back of the
fire, the ashes rise in the last
heat before the wall falls in
and that’s it folks, show’s over.

Sky crouches into curtain fallen
an extra foot over the ground;
sun lies crumpled script page
in the prompter’s booth, and it’s
not even bleeding; timpani pound,
horns blare down the last wall as
warmth is concealed through deceit
(indeed, we suspected.) “Sun decamps”
read the headlines. News to no one.

Smudged and wet, lying like
yesterday’s newspaper
in the gutter, autumn comes
to this—the sheet metal days,
the abandoned lot surrounded by
wall of cheap metal, and we must
endure even this as we survey
this decrepit landscape—the dying of light.

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