Monday, May 31, 2010

Verse: Paolo's Song

(for my v-bro, @twiteryeanot, who likes birds, bees, flowers, trees... two out of four isn't bad)

do those bees
ever rest

always hunting,

running here
and there

the constant drone
reminds me

of lorries
congested on the M8

you'd think they'd know
it's a holiday

let it be

the only bustle
should be

soft green waves
of meadow grass

tickling stately elms
and oaks

until their
cozy canopies

of leaves
begin to tremble

and stroke the infinite
arms of the sky

bare but for
the occasional cloud

the only punctuation

for such
a perfect day

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Verse: Kites

(thanks to @lagonk for the tweet that I stole from him...)

something about
the colour of the wind

when it is
out of breath

or the scent
of the living sky

nestled on
the river bank

compels me to tether
myself to you

and close my eyes
for a while

maybe later
when we are awake

and untangled
we could try

to touch our reflections
in the water

as they
go drifting by

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Verse: this is my love

this is
my love

it is
in chaos

and in
pragmatic silence

in life
being love

and my
open mouth

it is
here now

in air
and light

in distances
and increments

shadows and
warm whispers

it is
not enough

and yet
too much

for me
to express

and i
wait only

for you
to take

this longing
from me

I cannot
bear it

any more.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Verse: Lynn's poem

(today is @Lynn_H_I's birthday. On Wednesday, she asked me to write a poem for today about 'both the beauty and fear of increasing age.' This is the result. Happy Birthday, Lynn. I hope this is okay.)

every day
i'm born

delivered from dreams
of everything and nothing
to the light

and the struggle
to make sense
of my surroundings

as i stumble
to the mirror
to find my face

to remember
who i am

i'm always afraid
i won't recognize me
but there i am

and everything
is a little bit grayer
a little bit softer

pinches my cheeks
tugs on my skin

like a child
clutches her mother's hand
in the market

it won't let go
and i think
when did I get so old?

how is it
always different
and yet the same

be my mirror now
tell me what you see
and be kind

if you can't
be honest

i have this theory
that we are like grapes

smooth youth
that ripen
in the sun

until we sag
and shrivel

are we not
just as sweet
as before

if not
more so

all that life
so acutely concentrated

and longing
for one glance
your lips


how many times
have i imagined
us years from now

watching TV
without a word
you, me

each of us glancing
occasionally at the other
just as we do now

just for one smile
just to see if we're
still there

it seems so modest
so mundane
and yet necessary

i cannot
imagine the future
without you

let us go
let us dine
drink or dance

before darkness
and its million
silver minions
find us

let us love
a while yet
before our bodies

let us
go on this way
forever, now
as long as we can

we could
even write
our own endings
in the meantime

they will be
tender and
sometimes sublime

most important of all
they will be
our own

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Verse: come into this verse

come into
this verse
and be born

and everything
before this moment
will become irrelevant

what happens next
is yet to be written
and all up to you

you can
raise your voice
with fists

you can
discard your name
and travel

or you can sit
and wait
for winter

to chain you
to its bed.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Verse: what your soul looks like

this is something
i have given
much thought to
over the years

and i have
narrowed it down
to the following

which in my opinion
best describe
what i imagine
your soul looks like

it is either
the first snow of winter
before it is
blemished by automobiles

or that moment
when the light
restores all the colors
of the day

there may be others
but even so
it is hard for me
to choose just one

even so
you know
i am prone
to exaggeration.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Verse: stalemate

the silence slowly
filled everything

the sink
and the wine glasses

our eyes
and our lungs

and we did not
make a sound in protest

we sat very still
for hours

each waiting for
the other

to make
the first move.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Verse: prayer

i live
with you
far from
the sky

gathering days
just as
they ripen
on vines

and making
the bed
every morning
after breakfast

washing floors
the dishes
keeping chaos
at bay

this is
just reportage
no colour
no context

there are
some things
i cannot
say here

the other
life that
we live
is unknown

not even
to poetry
to sky
to anyone

oh please
let us
go on
this way

naked, warm
and alive

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Verse: hymn for her

if you
can be anywhere

be in
the morning

to illuminate
this small haven

and that
will be enough

i'll find you
in the foreground

i'll embrace
your bright notions

slumber in
your silences

and kiss
the moments you consecrate

and it
will happen gradually

often when
you aren't looking

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Verse: by request

oh to begin
old and then

be cooled
note by note

with music
with quiet earth

night magics
and desire

I want
danger and depth

hot strokes
and naked whispers

i want everything
in an instant

then i want nothing
at least no transgressions

or falsehoods
just your eyes

to illuminate mine
because my heart

is a desert
until you smile

Friday, May 21, 2010

Verse: solitaire

no words
to cancel
my words out

no song
to sing
with mine

no breath
resides within
this breath

no sigh
to greet mine
with mercy

no voice
meets mine
in silence

Thursday, May 20, 2010

verse: icarus

(for @magpienikki, who dreams of flying...)

i hear
my voice singing
to me

and i
fall into
the sky

five fathoms
deep into

it's something
like swimming
but different

through constellations
of light

reaching down
to caress the crest
of undulating hills

i ride the wind
like dust
or dandelion seeds

from time
and earth

until the sun
ignites my

and i
find myself
staring at the ceiling

once more
to gravity's embrace.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Verse: remains

(for cre8tivkj)

i know
it seems
an odd notion

but once
i thought
i was the ocean

i was restless then
inclined to wander
for days

and the moon
held me
in its silent sway

until i grew soft
and lazy
swollen by summer rains

now sand
in my pocket
is all that remains.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Verse: song of sighs

it's always
with me
and you

is there anything
that cannot
be blamed on love

that's why
i'm taking this picture
now so you know
it wasn't me

i would only
ask for every

and in return
offer you no more
than a song of sighs
i set on fire

and secret treaties
that are
as yet
to be negotiated

in every breath
we share.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Verse: forming

when i
am not awake

there is
no sky to fall into

i am bent upon
the anvil of the earth

lost amid sparks
of artificial fires

and the musk
of old acquaintances

with no sound
in my mouth

a song of sand

i wrote out
on my arm

to sing to you

when i know
its intent is pure

and i can see
no trace

of moon in
your eye.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Verse: conversation with the sky (part I)

you are

i cannot
trust you

with anything
and yet

it is
my fault

i just wanted
to know

why you were
so blue.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

verse: song of everything

i inhabited
an artificial fire

i swallowed a ghost
which i named love

it became tattered
i mended it

i forgot my name
and wandered away

i met you i knew
i didn't need it any more

Friday, May 14, 2010

Verse: close

swept up in
a concrete wave

the wind
feels like sweat

and everyone
is stuck together

moving slow and
winding like serpents

the buildings
seem to sway like sycamores

and the sun
is swimming naked

in that
big blue sky

because it's too warm
to wear a cloud

and i am
amid the humid

searching for relief
for you

i know that
you are close

because i can taste
your breath

like spearmint
in my mouth

i can feel
your cool grip

on my heart.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Verse: ventriloquist

i did not
lose my voice
i neglected it

i discarded
it said

made it
a conduit
for other voices

and sentenced it
to silence
on all things personal

until your
happy return
from accidental exile

when you
showed me how
to project it

and every day since
i find my voice
in different places

the unmade bed
the laundry
in pools of sunlight

so many places
and yet always
often the same

yet if i
should ever lose
this voice

through carelessness
tedium or
some unknown other

maybe you
could lend me

i think
that would
sustain and me

in those times
when i have nothing
to say.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Verse: silent tongues

armed with a hundred
tiny treacheries

they emerge
hungry and on fire

from their deep beds
to be with us

to probe
and penetrate

to flick and flicker
spark and supplicate

to write our names
in warm wet circles

and extinguish

in a sweet and
sudden celebration

leaving us to wipe
their fevered brows

cradle them and
make no sound

until we are certain
they are asleep

until we are certain
they cannot hear us.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Verse: Dream Letter 2.0

dear L
as always
you were right

i write you
in silence
which is grey to me

no object
of desire

i am split
between miscellany
and some wish

and as yet
unknown to me

not sure
why i am here
but for birth

and you
in your absence
i reimagine you

it's not deliberate
or different
than any other day

it's just something
i do to pass
the unoccupied time

when it's this quiet
interminable hours
seem to double up

they say
they don't know you
but they lie

gorgeous and immaculate
i call you

and they still
plead ignorance
of the fact

that you are
everything i think
you are, only more

i know
i am given
to exaggeration

to talking
about you when
i've nothing to say

forgive me
and i
will start again

this time
i'll let you keep
your anonymity

and i
will offer you

Monday, May 10, 2010

Verse: correspondence

winter left without
a forwarding address

made me the custodian
of its correspondence

in among the final notices
the fuel bills

the slick brochures touting
tropical getaways

and the menus
from Estia and the Armview

i found this
one postcard

from you saying
it's been a while i know

but i think i've found
a compromise

a way we can
make this work

you know
where to reach me.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Verse: roundlelay

was swallowing me whole
it started in my heart
and moved on to my soul
and every little part
and every little gland
it took my lungs
it took my hands
and after a while
it took my smile
and all my rhyme
and scattered me
like dandelion seeds in

Verse: cloudburst on connaught

on connaught

and everyone
strafed by the torrent

began to run
for cover

but I gathered
up the rain

put it
in my pocket

for safe keeping
and tended to the wounded.

Verse: Eva

if you asked
where she was from
she'd say ramea

at least
if you knew
about newfoundland

she even attached
a small stone
to a wooden relief

of that island
hanging on
her wall

to show you
where ramea
would be

and every time
she came to visit
when I was a kid

she brought me
comic books
from united book store

the flintstones
superman and
the flash

but all that
i would read
would be spiderman

it was
the highlight of
any week

sitting in
her tiny lap
while she read to me

which she stopped
doing when i began
to correct her

too young to know
she didn't have
much schooling

her thick accent
we used to get her
to say cathedral

and fall about
she didn't mind

to the untrained
eye she looked small

but you did not
want to be on
the other side

of that finger
that jabbed in your ribs
when you were bad

spoiled me
for macaroni and cheese
for my whole life

content to sit
and knit
or crochet

watching her stories
the price is right
all day

her gnarled fingers
wove the most
incredible things

without any effort
at all
it seemed

all the times
she called my brother
sam, not tim

the one time
we sang christmas carols
at the table

she always wished
we had done that
more often

i once bought her
a paddington bear
because of his hat

and a puffin
i dressed
in a mac & sou'wester

when her blood count
was low near the end
she would say

that she lived
two years too long
she didn't like hospitals

the last time
i saw her she said
so you're leaving

like it
was nothing
at all

but the one thing
that I remember
most of all

was that last christmas
i sat and read
her a story about a puffin

the only way
i knew
to make amends

to say i'm sorry
for all those times
that i corrected her

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Verse: church music

may be heretical

but music
is my church

it is
the only baptism

i can

its hymnal
is infinite

and i worship
at its altar

i go.

Verse: suspension

i feel
a new beginning
coming on

i feed
the old shadow
to midnight

I find
infinite limits
in invisible light

i free
the timid ghosts
inside me

i fumble
into grace

and flourish
when you call
my name.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Verse: word with wings

every day
is a word
with wings

and i'm
singing them
to you

until they
become something
tangible and precise

until they
become part
of your life.

Verse: interlude

was an interlude

a simple shroud
to cover

that we lost

in autumn's
ceremonial fire

but the earth
did not perish

in those flames
nor did we

what came after
was a rest

before the renaissance
the gradual thaw

bringing a clean slate
for nature, for us

to fill in
to crown with creation

everything is pregnant
with possibility

the real harvest
begins now.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

verse: twitter poem

(This is a slightly modified version of something I wrote on twitter)

writing a poem
is like courting
a pretty lady

i'm constantly
over my words

and the closer
so often
eludes me.

Verse: routine

how shall i
wake morning today

with just
a gentle nudge

or a whisper
in her ear

and when
she is up

do I throw back
the curtains

open the windows
and invite her

into my
modest apartment

set a place
at my table

and offer her
wild strawberries

or some cereal
sprinkled on yogurt

or should I
go out

and meet her
where she resides

in the quickening

on windsor
and willow

waiting at
the bus stop on north

racing across
the oxford schoolyard

and every where
in between

maybe i should
just let her sleep

it'd be a nice
change of pace

and besides
it's early yet.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Verse: Hunter

(for @tracystgeorge)

amazing how the days
become a blur

of sunburned shoulders
and sleeping until 6:30

or that weekend
in St. Augustine

when there was
no hot water

and everything was
held together with masking tape

singular moments
and many things

or piling up

the laundry and
the field trips

in moments that are
liquid, almost stolen

I sometimes forget
who you are

you change
so much

in the brief

when I'm
not looking.

Verse: 6:00 a.m.

had i
not gone outside
at that moment

i would
not have seen
the rainbow

standing there
astride allan and north
it seemed startled to see me

nor would i
have seen
the flickering embers

of the drowsy
morning sky
and how they crackled

as they were
slowly extinguished by
the onset of the rain.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Verse: instructions

put the moon
where there is
no moon

on a sidewalk
or a ceiling
or in the soil

or draw
a heart
on your palm

shake hands
with every stranger
that you encounter

with your eyes
wide open

project them
on walls
even if no one is looking

tell secrets
your secrets
make them the custodians

the night sky
to the scent of lilac

or add to this
whatever you feel
is missing.

Verse: Selena says

she asks
'are you doing anything
exciting to day'

and I say
I'm looking
for work, for inspiration

she says
'you know
we had an orange moon

all the volcanic ash
the light refracted
isn't that poetic

i think
you should write
a moon poem'

and i think about
the oranges in the fridge
i haven't eaten for weeks

i think
of the moon
silver, and plump as a peach

and i recall
one time, as a kid
eating ice cream

staring at the sky
seeing the waning sun
singe the clouds

it looked
so much like candy
i wanted to taste it

the closest thing
to an orange moon
i've ever seen

and it all
seems like a dream
to me now.

Verse: place setting

i was up
before the day
even knew
what it was
going to wear

at the table
waiting for sunshine
to fill
and slosh around
my cereal bowl.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Verse: Silence

is my enemy

it is an

a fear that
the phone won't ring

and no work
will come

it is
ever present

and it is
everywhere i go

it is
simple and subtle

precise and

it doesn't need you

it is
more eloquent

than any words
that I can offer you

it is
here now in me

like some cancer

intent on convincing me
that I am not here

that I have
nothing to say

that you
are not listening.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Verse: sunday on coburg

coming home
on coburg

i caught him

soft, stealthy steps
across the matted lawn

the front stairs

not to wake the flowers

he must have known
I was staring

because he stopped
to look at me

eyes wide
and emerald green

slightly startled
as if to say

you look
familiar, somehow

as if
to say

don't tell anyone
you saw me.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Verse: Expressions

in tangles

in dashed
out thoughts

that like
the light

find shadows
and seduce them

then turn
on themselves

or move on
like evictees

seeking some other

or like water
drawn to a drain

or colours
in the night sky

see how
they run

grown so fast
I hardly recognize them

as my own

and if you
didn't know

where exactly
this was going

neither did I.