Glaciers

The young man should not look others in the mirror,
for some it means stretching down towards a fate
wizened or withered, bending as well as porcelain.

Or is it watching oranges and lemons plummet
from branches bending nearer autumn
as grey waves swoop away promise of distant lands?

But these are shores and drops the old man
lingering over the nectar of decades
has seen and known and stumbled over.

So the still young look on regardless,
towards tomorrow’s glassy valleys and Byzantium

much as the berg calves itself into the ocean,
the rift, so far, a thin hope for charting life.

Depending on the myth

Eating the fruit or seeds and pith
means staying or going, while we lament
the source of fears, mists we’re sent.

And long enough stranded on the shore
imagining the skein in the far, dark sky
and braving despair gladly,

already how far this resplendent neverness
seems etched like smoke and ice beneath the skin.
Towers tell their pain in ethered puffs,

a translucent track through twilight.
The world has clouds and light enough already
to tend the moon, abseiling night.

It’s already etched in, the scent of skin,
to this damp and sliding soil, the swallowing earth
wondering what fruit, if any, it may birth.

July

Swallowed with a gulp, the end of which
is still middle of somewhere,
going ebb over hands
with the silhouette of days.

Yeah, but it’s all gauze shadow-shirts
singing at the wind
trampling the fir
stirring up names for cravings.

Rushing one course again, what a mess
when it happens year-sure like this,
shooing the cat, a scatting tide
goes while winter, never.

Freckledark

Frowning for his wallet,
right and left
the hand sorting
as if this were a billiard slot
in too-blue denim,
the mathematician wondered
of and on, gravity and love

who was kind or wise
or punch-drunk enough between courses,
while the sleeveless waiter
subtracted plates for laughs,
that easy substitution,
to gift the children the hours
so they might name intervals
of light and dark and space.

Fingers tickling the harmonica slide
of keys while standing struck
in freckledark, passing from quietsmile

he thought of strained tomatoes
seeds and pulp twinned and unmeshed,
passing through the universe’s sieve
of strange music, before and after.

They would be gathering up themselves,
presents, papers and steadying
towards their adult cages and nods

for the journey into well-thumbed nearenough
and its additive spell,

  less lemonfrost and more humdark.

He would buy them a chemistry kit,

  tomorrow?
or whatever best suited
its notyet shape,
that they might create
or compound metals and numbers new,
something to turn the world over
and inside out again,

the word for it
just out
of his fingers’ fumbling grasp.

Earth, smoke, dusk

Years later it would spark and burn,
suspicions though from the back seat
mistook country murmurs for smoke
as the mountain road wound,
curved and never let you look
beyond a fraction of a minute.
Melways in your lap spoke signs
as the navigator peering out
sending passage from over the shoulder,
over straight ways becoming loud
as light scatters in slits and slots
cut through by holidaymakers out of time,
wanting to step out of time holding
aboard the few spare days
miseries like sour fruit, skin tight.
Little did you see, rattling by
through the pass because
the days depend on knowing
as you glanced ridge-wards
looking for landmarks
through the jagged horizon
that where there will be ash
the forest stands again now,
dark smear, twilight,
crumbs, leaves,
day’s sprout.

Sea-spray

I have been reading the sea,
through one of its many windows, you might say,
if you knew the bliss and waft of foam,
inviting fingers of the waves, their willing arms
talking dust and detritus to swooning tips.

Hold the stain of these pages
by the spine of their dull watermark, sand-blessed,
up to the shade of youth,
faintly superstitious and quiet
to all the bellowing infinities.

The tide of days sweeps in,
soon and now.

A little longer we will sit here,
catching the near-far silence with wondering,
entrained on the here and soft horizon.
We will wait, still longer, until the mist
gull-high and dream deep fills the soul.

Andante days

Where are the andante days of spring,
where gone their watercolor glow?
For now all leaves pass maple brown
while minds run glazed by snow.

The lanes soon grey and smooth with noise
of gusts rushing in to break
some sediment of yesterday
that these chill months cannot slake.

And yet the year leaps on anew
as full heart-heavy times can’t last
more than a lulling interlude
knows soon these skies will have passed.

Moonfall on a broken atlas

Hand on the rudder, reading pagewise as the silt
scurries up in the wake
only the slow drift of hair askew and dripping,
this swirlpool of story

We in silence here have been sitting
and still drifting until the float
of mosquitoes swells, reminding now night
that it too should be stirring

With faces bending low into caverns dark
the limestone of slow-brewed selves
jutting in some other script whose curlicues
tease out an atlas obscura

And running back with the flow, forward-bound,
you know, as the breathless drop does
where water takes on water
  together and asunder, waiting

Absent-hearted, the pause holds back the tide
of days bearing up the calling night
whose darkness pools as much as light,
where moonfall and falling boats both rise.

Walking dreams

I’ve been scrambling the thesaurus for its tangerine clouds,
trying to whip solutions from the dust into truth.

Instead a mess of stars and gusts send hinges daywards
while all answers adhere to the flanks of trailing ships.

And all nouns collect behind the frowning ether
furnishing the shadowed rooms, dreary with their suggestions.

Sitting here, watching and scouring the silence,
the days keep slipping their skins, becoming new words.