Tag Archives: JS

Last Days

Last Days

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

Ghost

ghost driveway

Ghost

It comes back           in the framework of an ache
New to the knee           though you’ve had no injury
Stretching           and the gap closes instantly
Between confidence           and a death you’ve seen already

It’s not a ghost           which keeps you up at night
It’s certainty           any telltale pain appearing suddenly
The ghost is           your memory, incomplete, waiting
The last memory           that it comes back.

Six late-August evenings (6)

Six late-August evenings (6)

 

6.

Amsterdam Avenue. A memory of a memory
Hiding beneath the cooling street. Like litter

Chasing cars and settling without regret
Along the surface and away, further away

With every step towards the next autumn.
Whose wake are we in now,

Thinking we’ll catch up to them, finally
And make it right?

‘Being Without Bent’

July walnut

‘Being Without Bent’

Light and shadow leaf out from the same tree
I sit under the roots of the sky grateful for absence

Because I know its shapes make the present
Present itself against this blue sincerity

It is too early for the crickets to give advice
The hornets of time find another corner of wood

As the porch shadow turns east and I sit in my new self

The climbing moon pauses on a mulberry leaf
And later on the neighbor’s roof unnoticed

The pale afternoon ladder has no rungs
But the moon turns slowly until upside

Down it can fall up the sky

Summer Midnight

cactus1

Summer Midnight

A man wakes in a hotel room
In an unfamiliar time zone. He has all his memory

and yet he carries nothing with him from that time.
Like the new summer from the spring he is all effect and no cause.

Outside in the dark he walks as if on the floor of a great sea.
But the ground plants have sucked all the water from the place

And have taken on a strange bristly beauty as if floating upwards.
Opening his mouth to say a name the word dries on his tongue.

One hundred and eleven degrees: three above auspicious.
Of the river his lover grew up alongside and the low-tide’s waves

Of the bay he knew as a child he hears nothing. But he hears
a message as when a great wave has washed over you

And floating in the foam you find a scrawled message
from the past forecasting that a wave is about to crash.

The hotel swallows the moon like a horizon.
One lizard on a row of stones.

Praying Mantis and Peony, Late May

mantis1

Praying Mantis and Peony, Late May

After the peony scrolls have been read
And the leaves of the peonies are clustered

Armor, I stand for a while to hear what comes
After the words on the scrolls have washed away

After the rain on the cascading layered leaves
Stills I see one poised on one leaf then grasping

It fully stepping with little effort to its underside then
Another smaller within inches and more

On either side praying mantis and praying mantis
So rare in my childhood I saw only one and now

For the second year they are here roaming
These leaves among the scraps of longing

And the sturdy sky boats of green even
On the porch we have seen them last summer

One the size of my hand climbed
On my daughter’s head and would not come down

The cicada they say is so pure it can live on dew
But the praying mantis who catches the cicada

Is emblematic of courage and perseverance
Here at peace after the rain when everything

That can be read has been read and the mind
Is perfectly balanced on the leaves of days

We stand silently knowing something purer will come
We will have to grasp before it changes yet again

 

mantis2