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.
Always full song
The moon passes through the branches
separating the coarser from finer particles
flows back to unity
Smaller but closer on the curve of your
Eye, always full no matter how much
Of what you show is in the dark
Inconveniently as bread.
After our walk
we wanted no one else
to enjoy the moon like that
so we buried it.
Li Po found it floating face down
in the river and revived it.
It’s like when you think you see
a corpse in the water
but it’s back-floating
looking up at its real self.
Six late-August evenings (2)
I heard the earth breathing through its lungs the trees.
Outside the beasts of habit prowled back and forth.
But we are all beasts on another’s street.
Inside, we are the small shadows of the trees,
Doing their opposite, breathing in what they exhale
As the earth breathes in our every word,
Translating each into half a hand of shade above us.
When dawn breaks, the sidewalk is empty.
A newspaper lays on its side by the butterfly bush,
Condensation misting words within the plastic bag,
The beasts of habit are nowhere to be seen
But the grass, wet and flattened as if from a struggle.
The headline says that the words
Had just fallen during the night
From the future
Looking to the ground on an overcast full moon evening and seeing the sky
And on waking we move from the month
of vines to the month of ivy.
our own growth relies on support to sensing
and a path we create by ascending.