As Love-Poet Seems to Be My Strongest Calling…

…what can I do but build upon my most loving recent work?

Syncope means fainting.  I have gone there too many times.  Everything physiological shuts down, if only for a few seconds.  It’s happened to me so often that I now stay present and awake, out of body.  Not only is that magic, but what it helps me be open to experience is as wonder-ful as magic gets.  I’m never alone–just look up.

8 May 2018

8

Syncope

You know you will go there. It might take some time. Time is right weak if you see through the lies
and wires of the mind that can’t help but turn over each stone in its path, yet cannot recognize
that they’re not quite a wall; they just mark the high tide-line. They’ve felt the touch of wet salt on their skin,
though they’re silent and motionless. Listen so closely, your heartbeat sounds loud—in between beats, begin

to lean into the rapt state of knowing acceptance that this is a process that cannot be told,
but can only be deeply experienced. Out in the summer before us, the sky turns to gold,
but there’s rain in the eaves—we’re our own mournful climate. Count all the creaking old stairs to the dark,
final hallway before we break through to the basement—because floors are rotten. Then, rise with the lark

from out of a faint we two fainted together. Nobody’s injured; we just dreamed a dream
out of body till pulse talked itself into coming awake through the black that was more real than seem
all the lights overhead in this long awkward moment. Hold out a hand; you’ll feel fingers entwine
with your own in a most friendly way, then please just try to rise to your feet. There’s a tiny thin line

of light we can follow—there must be a candle behind that blank panel of old wooden door.
Who’ll ever find us? It’s no use to wonder—we’re underneath many a weak ancient floor,
still dizzy, but trying to part the long darkness by willpower, using the light of our eyes
from within, like the warm source of dreams when the morning is frozen, like tears, formed when either one’s cries

become crystals that shatter. I can’t take you with me, the sorrowful echo recalls to our minds.
Shattered against the cold final stone floor where the dead were once buried and now—Window-blinds
fly open upon a glad morning where love waits beside you to watch you arrive on the shore,
practice your getting-on craft, tether soundly to one friendly pier, and let all your tears pour—

You know you will go there. The future leads—forward, beyond the last bounds of the best-sighted eye.
Through the unmist of the clearing where someone who lies by your side softly stirs—you know why
you are here; now the question is whether to stay or return to the creaking of stairs by night rain.
Slowly, a hand in your own—past the stones of the not-wall—we’ve fallen, but look where we’ve lain.

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Experimental

Several days ago, I asked an interesting new acquaintance if he would care to try a literary experiment. He was game, so I asked him to provide several key words or images to focus on while composing. I get so much random psychic–usually precog–material that I thought to see if it could be put to some sort of use.

The piece below is the result. He says I got hits, that basically the whole thing is hits. He also tells me it got a bit amorous, but look at the key phrases he came up with:

Musk—False teeth—Secret path—Rabbit foot

29 April 2018

Hare Across Your Path

The Moon’s just risen overhead; the path is lined with shining shells;
you’re walking with a solemn will toward the place of untold spells,
selecting for the best amongst them all, the fragrant tuft of hair
you last saw trapped by sweet spring buds upon the branch that blooms more fair

for your appeal to secret understanding as you stand in shade.
For love of god, your heart attempted what it never finally made—
the music of the ruined place where shining shells upon a beach
gleamed all too brightly, till you felt yourself go under, out of reach

of why the quiet thrumming came persistently, like rapid feet.
There’s the shadow swift as air about to storm—will it repeat
the words you heard on first arising out of dream and into deep
and ever more intense communion with the lore of former sleep,

by which you waken in your dream with something wet clutched in your hand?
It’s a bloody rabbit’s foot. That’s crossed your path. You understand
the meanings of the scattered constellations laid along your way.
The last time live pain broke you, you arose from prayers you’ll never pray

again—to fullest recollection of the stars beneath your skin,
the path that runs as deep as blood where all new signs and songs begin—
the tuft of hair that reeks of musk because last rut was when it tore
away from such a gallant shadow cast by moonlight, wanting more

than any—words—a hairs-breadth finer than the strength they take to tell—
but mind you well, the hare is trickster everywhere he casts the smell
of musk and ambergris aside and bids you go along: The Moon—
what if she’s really lying, and a light you still can’t read by? Soon,

the breaking down of tiny shells beneath such feet as dance all night:
Why are you afraid to fall asleep? Hold you my hand so tight,
the tuft of musky fur against your skin, as all the visions grow—
When you wake up next, you’ll tell me secrets only lovers know.

For now, whilst you’re still restless, what the wild hare shouts all round this heath:
So, my foot’s yours, but still it’s real, not like your pointless seashell teeth.
True or false: the end’s in view, so it has ways to signal you:
Tonight, wild hare across your path; tomorrow—secret paths through dew.

Not sure I’m going to try it again anytime soon.  I got a lot more involved than I anticipated, and it was pretty draining.  It was also confusing for someone I barely know to receive.  He’s till speaking to me, but who knows what he’s really thinking.

Truth is, nearly all my work is amorous.  The book I’m working on now certainly is.  Can’t exactly apologize, as love songs are my calling.

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Lost on the ride

This was a Very good night:

20 February 2018

20

Lost on the Ride

It’s a wet pillowcase ours will be, come the morning. A wet little hand leaves a wet little trail

as it traces the side of your face. Weather’s warming; it’s almost about to be spring. Without fail,

we’ll have wept ourselves into a new verdant season, dreaming with one mind, though sensing apart.

There’s a broad, lush green memorial lawn that will welcome us—long, long before we lose heart.

I sat on the swing of an evening with one hand held out, casting measures of seed far abroad.

Swing harder, swing higher! The seeds go out flying away on the wind of another world’s odd,

slightly dislocating and lonely plane till the pitch of it lands in my stomach. My flesh

goes weird in a way that feels lovely, and I want to feel it again. Then I measure the mesh

of the words as they run through my mind on the thin edge of sleep every night. I’ll be coming home soon,

I tell them with every sweet vision in which we are met with ourselves and our lovers. A Moon

rose over the worlds where our hearts were first vowed to be friends with imaginings so real and wild,

everything kisses from this moment on with its true cast and image and—bears its own child

from the mouth of the fiery inferno in which it took life amidst pain and the echoes of pain.

Down through the years, we were achingly lying where souls could not reach verdant places and rain

like the tears that are just on the fine verge of coming, the surface where wetness will run and run through

your fingers and mine as we twine them together and who is it now, is it me, is it you—

I’ve forgotten; this session’s gone on a long time. Curtains are swaying; the very walls hum.

Somebody outside is quietly playing a flute, or a radio. Love’s yet to come

to a solemn conclusion, but this much is certain: Storm’s on the rise, and the window’s cast wide.

Bound to be virtual lakes in this bed, but I can’t do aught now; ‘I’ got lost on the ride.

 

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Drowning, Pond and Pool

25 December 2017

24

Down in the Drowning Pool

Draw down through a pair of hands, the Moon down through the pouring rain
that used to make us wait outside, but now it’s found its first-born’s brain,
and deep within it, one long nerve that’s used to its own way from where
it met its future and its fate and there—Your mirror paid your fare;

it found it in the beauty you had asked for and received all night.
Music used your face to make its magic serve the higher light,
but if it tried and failed to warn you—beauty is a hard soft road.
Never paved with gold, nor paved at all, yet it must bear a load

that ages everyone it touches, like fine grave-mould on a bloom
that has the will to open widely, yet will not; this too-dark room
cannot but help the shadows gather, mold climb up the damp dark walls,
and beauty understand the madness resting well within the calls

the hymns all bear within their secret heart of hearts. I hear them sigh:
Voices who would always follow, harmonies that moan and cry
but never once identify their sources or the selves they claim—
Deeply, badly known; frustrated; those who go without a name

because they bear so many not a soul alive could once make sense
of where they came from—We who love our ancestors shall recommence
the song from line one, syllable not sung yet, but about to be—
Eerie once occasioning a soul who’s flown from star to tree

to bring the message home on wings that shiver in the cold, but veer
toward the open window where the children gather every year—
the warmest, kindest pair of hands still waiting, as they always do—
the grey, grey angels waiting here at home to welcome loved ones, you,

and your imagination—child of heaven, light, and pain, and loss,
who’s swifting coming hard and sad of age, the hands held out will cross
with other strange yet softly shining roads that lead from flesh to soul
through endless crossing highways, as you hear the call that calls you whole.

You’ve been and gone and called out for another soul, a friend, to wait
beside you as the sky cries on—as overhead, each turn of fate
has stars to show—for us, below its shadow, and its influence—
It’s all our hands, all four of them, held out, and—How’s a soul make sense?

Down in the drowning pool, the bones all clatter as they reach the face
of sheer light on the blooming surface, clear spring water, Queen Anne’s lace,
and bitter roots, devotions, dried old medicines, and ponds in must—
Deeper down the final veins, the Ocean moves; love lives on trust.

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Evergreen

My Teacher

Her Church

Christmas Eve, This Year:

24 December 2017

23

How Green We Were and Are

How green the veins of your very own valley, the one running downhill, your arms at your sides.

Children bestride a dead horse, we were told; get you safe home to bed; say your prayers; no one rides

the nightmare on purpose. She’s always hated the children she’s borne under—some say, duress.

That’s a long garment with skirts that go flapping about and fair trip her so much, she says yes

to the dead man who waits at the end of the alley. He’s hers all along; she just tries to hold out

and not be so sad she can’t answer the shadow he’s casting across her known path. She’s about

to grow worried and start from a far distant quarter to where even ghosts dance with terrible nerves.

Give it an hour till the Moon rises higher, then listen again: Angel nobody serves,

She’s had a sure sign in the interval since she was told she had often been seen with the likes

of a ghost or an angel, conjoined hand in hand, as the ocean rolls over the land and the strikes

of the birds with their beaks on the glass as the cracks fly across from horizon to starline to—this

little room lined with little closed windows where nothing and no one should be unless untimely bliss

was their calling. It calls on and on. It calls always. It calls us Forever; it calls us its friends.

Angels as light as a feather come over our eyelids and sigh to us, all that love lends

the souls it loves best comes repeating like heartbeats—so listen or not, as you will; it lends you

the long cast of its eyes through the darkest of mirrors where deep intuition knows how to come true—

but when waking comes hard and the morning too early, I feel my arm flex, and the vein is so sore.

How green was my underhill maker of dreams as I sank down and down to where cataracts roar,

and the ocean as was has become a fine stream that is littered with silver and gold in the rock.

I’m walking out with my angel by night, and the friends of my childhood—Lord, no common stock—

where we’ll all be forgiven for waiting for changes to happen that open the real door where shine

the eyes and the great combined weight of the ancestors, knowing their hearts like an old, swollen vine

that bears through the seasons and centuries—even the turnings of pages from leaf-mould to leaves

that Forever will find itself happy to shine from, a written-down salve for the wound that bereaves—

The veins of love’s very own valley are fertile with color no unhappy heart could provide.

Blue-green as sleeping through long restless nightmares, yet happy as riding—our loves all should ride

through the hours after midnight, then wake with the dew as the Sun scarcely dares show its face above land—

That’s bound to grant us an hour just to lie soft abed, each a dead man as was, hand in hand.

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Separating Line

Watch this space.  And in the meantime, listen:

Separating Line

 

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It Will Not Let Me Rest

I won’t let it rest, either:

26 June 2017

34

Love Held Strong

I don’t know how to work a heart that pounds like hooves all night, all day,

and won’t lie down and let me go to sleep no matter how I pray.

I call the name that called me first, and still the race goes on and on.

I won’t lie quiet; that is not within my power. I’ll soon be gone

if this continues. Who are you to block my way? My throat, I mean—

I don’t know how to work with you. It seems to me you’re in between

self-sacrifice and under-handed curiosity. My friend

who waited by my side when I felt faint—who’s waiting now, the end

in sight—he knows the airy ways between the worlds grow warm with spring,

lean across the windowsill like spilling-over grace, then sing

the little humming lullabye that hid behind your sleeping mind

whenever it lay so awake, it took us for a ride—the kind

you never wanted, nor will ever welcome—but are you still here?

Listening, and giving voice to everything that calls through clear,

clear casts of mind, that wants to know you feel it as it rises, breath

a little bit mistaken for a choking sound that portends death

in other stories; not in ours; will you still lean across the sill,

tell the wandering ghost your tale, sing to it, and aye—fulfill

an ancient promise in the doing so, although you feared the next

admonishment lest it should follow—readings from an elder text—

and voiceless superstitions given language here in many ways?

Even if your only ghosts speak your home tongue, their hymns of praise

will come across as foreign sometimes. In the interval, if heart

must lie just pounding, thrashing, hurting so, so much, the morning art

the helpers who attend fierce souls between old worlds—they’ll find and share

our blent endeavors. Rhyme and dance, old words so strange and weird, their care

has fallen here to us, to me, to one who lives on Earth where sweet

green trees give way to blossom every spring—Rise to your singing feet,

dear poet child, and make your telling marks with either hand as draw

all over lovely living’s face with shining masks upon the raw,

hurt, lonely, very sinking place where smiles were made before death came—

That heart was made to push us through. For god’s sake, don’t lie down, no name;

This heart won’t burst for too much love; if it falls dead, it’s for sheer lack

of all the beauty you were sent to share with us, here, in this black,

black hallway in between bright shores. And there’s—the door; and here you—stand.

When the rope was weak and broke, you held out—and love took your hand.

 

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