Foraging for stars

Cutting up the sky to reinvent the earth,
in some small way, would be like plucking a star
from its socket, endarkening a nest of stories.

Their blazing path peeled clean away
dips the ordered life out of joint, amiss.
Can’t you have that too, the dream made flesh: this?

Must it always keep diving back under the dark surface
into escaping orbit, far and slippery beyond your touch?
All the while you wonder rivulets and speak so much

your eyes wishing myths might breathe again, for once,
for the first time, your mouth and lips testing
the bruise of these soft syllables, foraging for stars.

Advertisements

Ghost objects

they tip off the tongue and its rolling train
  tracks bending towards the haze again

misremembered fruit, globed like another language
  whose sharp breeze stirs many somethings

count the footsteps the moment after landing
  as a clock quivers the second after seconding

the sour trace of absence sings
  yesterday will hold what clings

a jacket for its dust

a mountain ledge offers poses and position
on which to lean an easel
as one image knows another
in their easy friendship

suggests the moon stretching out a hand,
the fine-rimmed sun offering its cheek,
so to speak, while the earth waits
like a jacket for its dust

everything consumes like rippled cloth
unfurled over the cracks and rises
of a silent city, all-engulfing,
rhymes and myths and up-lipped cheeks

and down we go, valleying as quickly
as the mind permits
like dice with swift surprises
only the wind knows

those other sides our view reminds
we cannot speak each eroded peak

Tomorrow rises

It’s easy as uncapping the street to discover yesterday,
difficult as this time-worn patina, spore-seed grown
in the pollen breath of memory and expectation.
Worming into the silent, still canals of there and back,
Arches, shadows and bridges gather and disperse
according to rules of place and absence,
indecipherable as palm lines or half-known faces
a heartbeat away from empathy.

Here we are, could be, once more again
sipping questions against the mist-slung skies,
because every truth suggests something to hold onto,
every artifact was worth preserving, someone said.
Just as our galaxies might meet, their planets align,
nebulae brushing up against the rain-kissed glass.

All the never-yesterdays are gone,
never to have arrived, replaced instead
by all the nothings fleeing,
leaving behind these swarming infinities.
Something lingers in the trembling notes
like itchy moths rumbling the quiet cabin,
leaving while wishing to grasp those pulsing lights.

Look, below. How those palisades and ponds
conjured only out of mind, their continental dreams
retracting into a soft simmer, then the quiet.

In another life we are always
leaving things behind,
the dull remains
of misbegotten youth
with its rinsed out yesterdays.

Yes night, O night, with your nostalgic ebb and laugh,
turning over moods for greedy fodder
though you are here
even you must relent and close up show,
your library hours cease for now:
touching feet to your solid waters,
the street spills, and tomorrow rises.

[A note: this is something I wrote elsewhere first, but I’ve redrafted. Ironically the revised version is more melancholic and darker, an almost inversion of the poem that gave it birth. The narrator is fictionalised :)]