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.

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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

Lodestone

Another name for wisdom forgets
how marks and stains overwrite their past,
means pretending autumn always was, and leaves
never stood intact and green before.

Offering a tribute to ruin and rubble
in its tranquil splendour requires a certain trance,
a suspension the young sparrow makes
scrounging in the diagonal rays.

Of carbon, only take diamond and coal,
pulling teeth from time’s hard gums,
those sore trophies and a body
brandishing its happy scars.

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.

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.

Between falls

Wait at the vacant drop
displaced from ocean home
and this taste for words, an obsession
in cataloguing kept thoughts
will some day expire from overuse

perhaps fiddling at the margins
trying to push every symbol and break
into place has meant losing
sight and preferring
the skin-deep difference

there’s a density to looks
and the way a smile smells
or the mind retreats
flapping towards the equator
when winter’s skin forms

instead it’s always line music
always edges and rests and rhymes
inventing a pleasure of gulls
shaking loose a patience of drops
until, between falls, we rise.

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.

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

The Lotus Box

whenever I latch onto the words
having taken the long view, telescopic,
I’m always seeing their double duplicated –
hearsay’s echoes draw us close
before meaning does more than halve
instead of staving off a rhyme
that falls off mountainsides
pretending to echo.
there’s no meaning here, I should warn you
I’m mustering deception and its breezes,
lest you step too close to the sucker punch.
ego has its own ways of eating
echo chambers and projections,
offering an impression of bitter defeat
when hope is replaced with honesty
but these turns, like my mind,
realise a lotus box, sliding
away from the suggestions of a monument,
means acceptance of the exaggerated past,
not the failure of fable
nor the silence of tomorrow.