Galapagos

Reaching outward towards some island
traced out in hyphens and hieroglyphs,

in lamp-lit hours, drifting shapes,
cinnamon-tinged mysteries of life’s arrangement.

How: inventing a story to fit that sweet desire
for how things lunged forward with or without us

into a Galapagos, held in distant regard,
some classic inched down, only a name.

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Sand dreams

Here is where I retreat,
under yawning bark and view

releasing a tiny, forgotten universe
held together by lashings of memory.

I imagine owning the fabulous adornments
of a reckless youth, brittle inventions

or useful battle scars, the bright ferment
giving birth to aged sighs, a slow release.

To sit and sift through novels of a past
that feels real by its invention

with old rocking-chair men poring through
dusty tabloids of shuttered, bygone hopes,

cursing and loving the past in lamentations,
possessing it again in monochrome

under cover of roofs, hats, denials.
Devotion in this place takes no shape

dissolving out of reach and view,
though the past is always underfoot.

Or we invent it without seeing, without knowing
we have pinned all our hopes to its mast,

much as the earth astounds the castaway skies,
bracing the stars, the dream’s quiet music.

Pursued

Palate of silver winds and shades too slow
to tame the stretching vectors,
birds we scrape words across, like Zeno
inventing a puzzle of the entrancing sky,
draining its unclenchable mystery.

Until even in the woods of thought
under the wide-brimmed canopy of metaphor,
conversations become homonyms
for each other.

Inhabiting that small cabin of quiet history,
pursued by the flushing snow
of restless thoughts tilling rooftops,
with the morning carving its diminuendo
a familiar shape of day
whirring everything into the self-same shape.

To be otherwise, to be other
in words to step
beyond mere echo of that forest
outside these walls.

Voices I have read before, I shelter under
your steady frame, dreaming instead
how new colours will slide out across the tongue of time,
how leaves will split across their horizons,
spilling out new verbs
that we can taste the unmade universe.

No more than this, much more
we twist to escape the comfort
of everything we have already read,
and steady paths known by ripe grass
that swoops and waves and tells
without knowing why,
other than that it must.

A thousand dreams of blue

In a thousand dreams of blue,
over and over,
strummed by sandwiched sea and sky,
gull-clear and even-tempered
valves of light announce a melody.
Everything under-wing, this worship
of waves, whose art
is never letting go.
And somewhere, sometime
astir between despair and hope
plucks out the firmament
into a dazzling array
away from its short monochrome,
you announce yourself
the very definition of azure.

Dandelion dust

Restart the breath of spring, retake dew drops
as morning flows down the flute of nature’s spine.

Now yesterday’s bright petals grow paper sharp,
from hours of constancy fading like a subtle wind

while countless dawns suggest an ode (there is one here,
somewhere) inscribed on the bark of others’ dreams

and parched desires. Removing themselves from the minutes
they have pulled over and slowed for no reason

other than to inhale the river’s dust and wondrous deltas,
still under the endless lamp of time.

The all-divulging sea

In the steady arclight
of afternoons past
bewitched by imagination
trading memories
for the eel-skin future

warbling and ajar with loose change
those small schemes
whose butterfly netting
swat at skyscrapers
hardly leaving a stain

your back pressed up against the window
of some line you read
once this morning
or in a somewhere moment
all its indented caverns aflutter

while bursting in again
the moon falls quiet
restless and reflecting
as the all-divulging sea

Shine

When I wanted a river,
An ocean arrived
With its astounding medley
Of tremors and surges,
In its sudden bending and sway.

Absent Poseidon, the sea cannot
Be locked shut and its glare
Pretended away.

I have known sudden
As something relative,
Shocking and startling increments
With their readable auras.

Citrus,
  Bright sun,
    Soft teeth,
Pressing an ear to the vagabond skin of time.

This is dancing weightless
On the silent pond,
Holding the brine of white noise
Between lips.
And wanting, waiting.

You cannot wash away the bay,
Forget the bitter lapping
Against the sweet.

Mythologies

Knowing nothing is all you ever know.
Like seeing the fallen cedar limb that has come
down while you were taking the temperature of tomorrow
with a question.

On a whim, that reckless cousin of fate,
you drive out again to that pond where yet again
airy thoughts collect into a solid mass.

Take aim against the water’s pale skin,
or at least imagine how a measured throw
might glance against the grain and skim
the order of things.

As if stories were other than a claim against chaos,
the invention of ripples from clean silence.

Decades

X.
Reckoning with solid rules.

Having reached the point where the years seem to hold
A constancy and by the end of which
Adulthood blooms over the horizon,
Relish the way letters form the same each time
You sign initials, your self.

Who?
You.
Shrugging off sudden autumns,
Questioning unreachable flights,
Admitting guises you cannot take.

Yet ecstatic: how things balance out
At least into certainty
Because you grasp the names for things,
What they might become,
What you might not.

XX.
Where you try on new selves like clothes.

Expectation is a fairy godmother
Who disappoints, going AWOL, shirking her duties.
What, did you believe that maps were more than suggestions?
Or that smiles could not become obsolete?

When you could have been burning time
Years took on more solitude than solace,
Fields rolled out of view,
Acres emptied themselves into the wind.

XXX.
Where you climb the monolith.

In the accumulation of milestones and markers,
Still you might make a break from it,
For the unseen and unmet refuses to taper off
Unless the past is always revisiting us.

Speaking doesn’t make it so,
Nor does wanting, hoping, yearning
Or relenting.

Out strolling and talking, years back,
Between roses and summer, dividing possibility
Into intervals of life. Born under a comet,
Reminder of how long the journey,
How patient a return.