Atlas, in parallel

Atlas stretched and flexed, but my brittle shoulders cracked;
which was sadly typical – or ingrained, even entrenched.

Versed in common rhetoric, I had adapted to the sweep of years
but shed a flake of life at each inflection:
~ When I’d learned to feed the looping thread towards the needle’s eye;
~ When I’d traced the whipping cord, recurring through the labyrinth –
pursuing meaning in the tail;
~ When I’d thought the prize to celebrate was learning how
to paper over cracks and fix some bugs – enough, to come again tomorrow;
~ When things I’d feared were inbuilt limitations to the versions that we share –
and the masks we wear, together;
~ When what survived was hidden in exceptions to my flawed pursuits
of mirages, of dreams I’d cared about so much – until I leant on them instead;
~ When (haltingly) I’d left behind those childish things, to find
that hope was badly drawn, and charity was bound, threadbare;
~ When threads were all there was to see.

At least – I think – those threads were real, despite my contemplation;
But did they – could they – lead to grace, or even beauty?

 

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~ smoky red

Now birds hunt not sing, evoking older fears
of a single strike we felt could cast us down;
and daydreams, of likening to those encountered briefly
while switching (versatile) between the roles
we’d made within the gift of life.  Sometime supplicants,
always turning on the pinwheel, stiffened by surprise,
we are held safely, still, but shaking / in each others’ smoky hands
and cleaving to the promise of rebirth…

Clear blue

Branches etched out movement on a bright November sky
tracing their patterns of regret and birching silver stripes
of clarity above the shadowed lowering wood,
sharpened by a northwind blown across the course
to shiver those still trailing leaves of painted-on decay
in dissipated beauty drawn from distant, coppered splendour…

Cold and heedless of disorder under heaven
but (stumbling) striking sparks on harder ground,
we wandered through this landscape:
silent figures with our dogs, casting crablike
in their underworld of withered bush and musk,
stepping lightly through its sere, discoloured fall.

Brush

Dust had appeared, a fallout from the air
Swish-brush, swish-brush, swish-brush
A brush is handled, organises and attacks
Brisk-brush, brisk-brush, brisk-brush
The dust falls back, conforming
Swish-brush, swish-brush, swish-brush
Some dust conceals itself in corners
Brisk-brush, brisk-brush, brisk-brush
Other dust escapes down cracks
Swish-brush, swish-brush, swish-brush
Clouds of unintended consequence are raised
Brisk-brush, brisk-brush, brisk-brush
Satisfied, eventually the brush moves on
Swish-brush, swish-brush, swish-brush
The dust settles.  It has time…