Tarot Basics for Late-Night Walks
All things being equal
I will take the eight of swords.
The lady in my dreams sits up the tree
A ways next to the star. The card
For the eight of swords has only four edges
But each is a double edged sword
So you should keep it in your pocket
When approaching trees in dreams.
Five Devastating Kicking Techniques
Sit down into the kick
And spread out until you are irresistible.
Hold a single moment mid-kick
Perfectly balanced and do
Not move the rest of your life
Winter Weather Warning kick
Promise vengeance. Promise no mercy.
Then walk softly and meekly past.
Then kick a week later.
Turn your kick into soft raindrops
That hurt nobody. Immediately
A million small green kicks emerge.
People come outside and beg to be kicked.
Kicking the habit is
Just another kick.
Landscape, mild February night, with parked car in lot by field and trees and second smaller landscape closer than it appears
Mid-dusk turns gray green; image on an old TV.
The shadow on a rock thrown by the lot’s
Halogen lights lands with jumpy dog stillness.
Wind spills through lowered windows unevenly
Like coffee in a cup after a sudden brake spills,
Returns, spills again. Go out eleven steps
Into the woods and the dead leaves hanging
On the tree are wilder than the dead leaves
On the tree in the school parking lot. The wind
Passing through them has a different accent.
From a driver’s seat you can look backward
Without moving your head. Without thinking.
You imagine a speeding car coming up beside
You, too late to stop moving into the same lane.
The future can keep only one of you intact.
But blink and it is only three trees, on the lot’s
Far edge, in some complex leafless interaction
With the rest of the world which has no idea
How much they see. Don’t take those gestures
For scenery. They have been waiting here
A hundred years to warn you that the past is
Speeding up and passing you on the left.
The width of the white wall
On either side of six
Inches of air is all
You to the ground
You to the past
Monsters wait at the margins.
Tackling anything head-on
If everything I do when
Awake if everything
Good is the dream time
I call you
To tell me I’m wrong
Because I could
Not dream you
Poem to be read in the middle of the night
In the forest path dream where the light slashing through
leaves are words written too fast for me to read
And your spirit animal pauses, its white head shifting as if sniffing
the undergrowth and pulling the colors of the undergrowth into the air
I am the trunk of the blue tree, observing silently as you walk by,
grazed by your eyes like understanding is a wounding season
Still unaware the words in the air are poems I am writing
by the light that filters past me unabsorbed and I’m growing only
to be still, rooted deep at passage’s edge to the turning earth
beneath the whistling sun shuffling its days
-painting by Mary Winifred Hood Schwaner
Told me to wait another two nights.
and the truth would rise like ice cubes
In a celebratory drink. Without taste
But accentuating the taste that’s there
Already, then adding volume to it
While weakening the taste but by then
It’s not the taste you’re after is it and where
Has it got to finally, absorbed, invisible?
The moon looks full but it’s not. Not that
It matters but it does. Like other things
That never happened but did anyway
And because they never happened never end
Dusk and Beyond
The dusk sky is a gameboard of bats,
everyone’s lost apologies for what
They knew they did wrong but could not find
The words to admit. Homeless things.
The poet’s night shift has me emotional–
The moon’s pendulum scythe swings
Below the tree line and I wake up astonished
To be alive. The poem holds a word
To my throat and the word is your missing
touch. In the world are some animals whose feet
Never touch the ground. Birds who only
Land on the uncertainty of open water.
Just as in you there are poems
that may never land on the tree of language
But whose wingbeats keep you awake,
Whose migration over open space
Turns everyone’s heads though they hear
Only your voice on a quiet morning.