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Holy in the Infinite

Adagio

Adagio (11 November 2016)

leave me
to my silent house

I wear my darkness
easily here

you were  my
beloved, mine

the body lingers here
cool sheets, rain

like a symphony
held in hand

quivering, quaking
strings, tenuous

catching whisper
wait for me

wait for me
patient, the autumn

frantic and humming
leaves reaching for a lover

in honey skies
lit like lanterns

cloud belly
apricot flesh

your body
under mine

Lay the Wind to Rest

Lay the Wind to Rest (14 October 2016)

lay the wind to rest
on the stoop
alongside
a wild brush stroke
golden leaves
and my worn-sole shoes
sighing my name
back to the streets

drifting mist
clings like ghosts
to pines
graceful bones
in the wind
the arched back
of a dancer

I drift now
the same dance
in the wave
the heart of the storm

the way the tea
blooms
and spreads

sinks
in the cup

the rain
washes away
the stars
leaving the sky
so dark and lonely
the moon in my hand

and i wonder where
you might have gone

and i turn your silence
over
and
over
in my hand
like a coin.

Tell Me

Tell Me (Bonnie’s Poem) – 3 October 2016

tell me
where does your sadness sit?
does it whisper,
wrapping itself
round your ribcage
and down your spine?

does it sit in your chest
in the soft skin
and thinning paper
of your heart
pulling at the layers
peeling back
the hurt
one at a time
until all that is left
is the rough of salt
in your throat?

does it run
syncopated
distracting
each beat
in your blood
slipping
the way vinegar
refuses to mix with the oil
in my tiny Japanese bowl

I’m the only one now
who remembers
our particular passage,
how we used to be.
But here,
tape paper over window
to keep out the draft.

My sadness sits
patiently
in empty hands
the way the ache
burrows down into bone.

Bitterness

Bitterness (21 September 2016)

when I was born,
my father lifted me
to his chest,
whispering his oldest secrets
to my new ears.
And this was how
he told me my name,
calling up the darkness.
And ever since,
I’ve held bitterness
tightly in my palms
pushed deep into pockets.

the way the roads I grew up on
turn foreign again,
the invisible exhausts me.
And as the unknown widens,
I can feel myself narrowing,
softening to the sunlight,
slipping sideways
through the draft.

and I’ve always been known
for playing my cards
too close to my chest,
for tucking them into my boots
and heading out
into the night.

you would think
I would have learned by now
how to walk without the ache,
without the snapping tremble
of feathers.

and you would think
I would have learned by now
how to love without the same.

and now your smell lingers
in the warm linens of earth
damp pines
and the darkest soil
tugging at the hem
of the new cool mornings
that wrap me in this autumn,
the rain coming down
the way I never expected you
heavy
insistent, steady.

come back
come back
call me back
from those windblown plains
come back from the edge of the ache
wrap me in the patchwork
stitching of old sins
press your heart to my hand
my palm begging
to lay down and rest.

Sparrow

Sparrow (28 June 2016)

You were choking, and I,
midwife to the omen,
pulled the sparrow
from your throat,
in a shower of ragged stars.
Dead and wet, soggy, until he shook
off his sodden feathers
and flew off,
Showering my hands,
Streaking my face,
with blood.

And the gravity of the seasons
between us,
stood apparent.
Nothing changed, nothing forgotten.

Out here,
The dead outnumber me.
I’ve been burying them
one at a time.
Handful of dirt,
stone,
more dirt.
Pressed down with my heel.

I’ve been practicing my eulogy.
And asking the trees
what they think of it
as I walk.
But of course,
Trees don’t speak.

Are the dead thirsty?
They are putting down roots here
Like the trees that don’t speak.

Rain taps on their wooden
wooden chests that they brought
from the old country.
Full of their living.

Hollow, dry.
Turned in
I remain

Put your boots on
Stand in the rain with me
Set down your dead
While we can still see one another

Untitled

Untitled (10 September 2016)

your smell lingers
in the warm linens of earth
damp pines
and the darkest soil
wrapping me in this autumn
new mornings with
the rain coming down
the way I never expected you
heavy and instant

and now
come back
from those windblown plains
where you’ve wandered
come back from the edge of your ache
bind me in the patchwork stitching
of your perceived sins
press your heart to my hand
my palm begging for your rest
in simple
holy rhythm

Hail

Hail (27 June 2016)

Hail

It all started with this.
The dead owl delivered to my doorstep,
Left in the night
Spread wings and open eyes
As if to say

Welcome to the world
Beyond the land of the living

I looked to the ocean
And found she’d run as far away
As I’d ever seen
Slack-eyed and still
As if to say

Even I have learned the loss
And have given up.

Walking away from home
By the broken down fence
And frozen pond,
Crow beating the air
warning
I’ve come too close
Two giant cats
And a coyote in my path
As if to say

Run faster child,
Your time is running out.

If you had been here,
He wouldn’t have died.
I would have traded myself
For his breathing
In an instant.

And now,
This owl feather in the envelope.

Oh, Honey

Oh, Honey (25 August 2016)

Light slants easy
across the page
you’re sweet
on my tongue
like the flesh of figs
like jam

all these words
stick to my fingers
like the honey
you fed me

sugar sweats
settles to stillness
at the bottom of the mug
stirred with that last
slow
sweep of the spoon

low tones
in the earth
the beginning of a hymnal storm
that leave you
spirit shivering
dampened and opened
turning towards sun

let me tell you
it aches to be stardust
watching yourself change
to see the sun
through your skin

oh, honey
tell me what it’s like
to walk into the wind
because my body
doesn’t recall how this goes,
how to get back
to the darkened earth
and the night sky.
save me a place
if I ever I should drift
from you

Vellum

I’ve been dead
for a long time now
I’ve sat still
letting silence slip
into my bones

Watching the winters
blow by
and those summers
syrup-slow
one long hot day
sliding into night

I twist this rosary
of rosemary
through my fingers
one bead, one branch,
one blossom at a time
practicing prayers
I forgot when I was young
stumbling over the words
I can’t quite remember

My heart turns paper-thin
I always played my cards
too close to my chest,
vellum now,
so thin and weathered,
I can see through myself
to the other side
of waiting

I can feel the wind
in my chambers
rustling curtains
but I don’t mind
as I recall the smell
sun-soaked bergamot
and lemon
in your shirt pocket

take the heat from my body
leave it on the floor
let me step out into newness
a little lighter
a little cooler

Feel the long grass
and the warm sun
against my bare leg
the drift of your fingertips
in this syrup slow night

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