~ 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…


Sehnsucht (Saudade)

Empty thoughts – a dry river in the night:

Of wanderers condemned to replay – and enjoy –
a game whose rules are crossed
so we can never win, but only hope,
repeatedly forgetting the result.
Mere humans and yet more:
we, the godless, and our longing.

Of our strange mistress – unkind,
unsentimental, alien and rare –
who consumes our fat and leaves us lean
transfiguring what’s left until
we are transformed in her devotion
so that at last we’re marrowed bones
transfixed by our desires;
covenanted to the most elusive of ideas
in which, in truth, we had no choice but to believe.

Of a futile longing, for some thing unknown,
someone half-glimpsed, disguised, unrecognised.
How can this feel so much was lost?

To Assay

We endured a process, a trial (ein Prozess),
underwent fire, quenched in water and ice,
then were weighed in the balance,
to assay, to clarify, who we each are,
which neither passed us nor failed us;
For now.
But we were found wanting,
our weakness exposed, our values surrendered
when verdicts closed in and dissent was destroyed –
collateral damage from purity’s claims –
as to trial turned to harden and temper;
For now.
With our beautiful alloys’ complexities purged,
we were stripped back to essentials, bone-bare,
separate elements reduced from our cores –
your quicksilver 80 and my carbon 6 –
then washed out, washed up, washed away;
For now.
Sealed in our selves, our bubbles, our skulls,
cut off in our cells, we mistrusted,
misplayed the prisoner’s dilemma
and then lost our appeal, while
arguing who was to blame;
For now.  Always?
Briefly intensely aligned, until put to the fire,
we reacted in different divergent ways
that distilled a new source (ein neuer Urquell)
imprinting our hermetic genetic codes;
Pristine and inviolate?  Or free to adapt?
Whenever.  However.
This question rises and presses and grows –
now the outcome is settled, until next assayed,
or our code mutates, or new cause intervenes –
Cette question, ce qui permet d’essayer;
Une fois. Encore. Toujours.

Suddenly torn

Our fates are joined, by acts
That only drive us apart;
So a little personal tragedy –
Perfectly, blindly, inexorably –
Has trashed us to the floor;

The ragged tear has left my soul
Imprinted with your heart;
The good you sparked – exhibited,
Striped, bled, dried, wasted bare –
Gone from me for evermore.

Points of View, or, Tides

Yelling! Out, out, out!
Against! Over, over, over!
And again: What you see
Depends on where you stand.

I am drawn to your conflicted love:
Je déteste toi ! Baise-moi !
We share our food,
We drink from the same spring,
We mirror our reflections
But we don’t see eye to eye.

I wish you joy of what I give
– sweat of my brow, toil of my hand –
I give you all I have to give
– what you wanted, asked at last –
But face the acrid, bitter taste
To see trust lightly spurned.

Hot anger blows over and away;
But cold fury’s icy grip does not
Relinquish us, its hand of fate
Is frozen, unforgiving, dark,
Sweeping out to sea
On entropy’s relentless tide;

Implacable, we bite and tear,
Sharp cuts, intended wounds,
To hurt the other’s tender heart;
Distressed relief released,
In blood, but merciless,
Until we can love no more.

Yelling! Out, out, out!
Against! Over, over, over!
But always: What you see
Depends on where you stand.

Two Days

A day of wonders!! But
Afterwards, all those things
You said, that added up to
Nullify all I ever did for you,
And hurt, and rub it in;
And I forgive you that.

Please don’t fuck Xanthe!
Though I’ll forgive that too.
You are your self, no other;
You don’t know best at all;
We are just people, and
You know not what you do.

Solstice Eve

Clear skies above a cold day:
a tricking frosty early morning,
icy edge of wind this afternoon;

Music drifts in from the next room,
smokers hang out across the way,
addicted to their habits,

As I fix on thoughts of her,
who fought so hard to reach out,
to what I can take for granted.

Remembered: calmly pushing back her hair,
nervously tearing shreds of paper,
stepping lightly in her beauty;

The most fragile shine the brightest,
the kindest words come from the poorest,
those who’ve failed will learn the most.

Always, the closest can hurt us most:
that fear is true, but is it honest,
and when would it allow for joy?

So as I study, becalmed, by a window,
welcoming the peace that stillness brings,
imperceptibly my life will lengthen

Even as its days are short. Has it
a new beginning, as yet unknown,
unexpected, unsuspected, immaculate?

Low thoughts of loss alongside respite;
hours of daylight in a dark season;
tomorrow’s solstice: it will turn —-

And what of life? Is it a season,
a year, a cycle? Or too uncertain?
But, in compassion, we may share it.