Crossing Over

I hope it does what it says on the tin. Since I compose so much verse, I am always wondering if I should be doing something with it, putting it to good use. One thing that pretty much happens on its own is that when someone around me dies, we sing them over. They don’t have to be personally familiar; a sense of who they were is enough to get things started, and the rest pretty much just happens.

Because I have never so far sat down with the express intention of reaching an individual person, but rather realized what was up in hindsight, the songs referring to specific deaths are mixed up with our Mythos (a term used tongue in cheek, but it may be useful). Today’s work was influenced at least a little by my friend’s recent passing. It’s more than that, but there’s a bit of data for the decoder.

‘Decoder’ puts me in mind of one of many divides amongst poets and readers: Is a good poem immediately easy to understand overall so that it speaks even to those who read it casually, or is it something that takes time to get into and is perhaps not at all what it seems on the surface? Does it enjoy becoming an instant new-old friend, or does it prefer to reward patient intimacy? Of course it isn’t either/or; it’s another line I am always tightrope-walking.

Sending this out there, and hoping it’s good–

27 February 2021


Perfect Sleep

a crossing-over song

She’s over the Moon–she’s been seen in his mirror. He did it himself for the first time last night.

She looked to the light in the East and she marveled that sometimes an ill omen chose to grow bright,

even cheerful with promise–not only of evenings passed watching the glow of the pale lunar orb

as it shone from its place on the sill of the distant horizon, an omen–a soul to absorb

from the suction of gravity drawn forth by means of a much greater force breathing in, breathing in.

She wears a collar of lace round her throat and she made it herself from the very first spin

of the threads formed of winding about one another till look at it finished so prettily, she

must know if it’s lovely to her deathless eyes it how it glimmers like moonlight to someone who’d be

enamored all over again if the heart in his bosom had power, but this one’s long gone.

The love he had in him and very much greater and higher that always came through–light upon

a singular presence that strode like a bodiless heaviness making the breath come right hard–

but she’s got a witch of a look in her eye and she’s aiming her gaze on the side of the yard

where the roses grow reddest like sheets stained the bloodiest. My silent profile, she said as she sighed,

I’ve shown it him clearly; he knows what he’s known all along, and he’s glad; on his very last ride,

a trill of a voice from a bush by the wayside, a rare cherished bird, one who sings in her sleep–

a brushing against him when shadows were heaviest nothings, lest gravity’s unending creep

taint everything live in its path with a low dreadful heaviness–dreadful depressed–cross me o’er

dearest lord–let me rest in the arms of the presence of mind that remembers her name as this sore

sick heart–feels a swift turning over toward the new source of red floods of a most subtle kind

as the Moon rises well into view through the bundle of roses reflected, translucency signed

by the one hand he’d recognize anywhere, even this sordid delusion that ends but won’t cease.

Look to the Moon in her eyes as she shows you the music that offers true sooth and release

from what you’ve been haunting that’s less than the lady who loves you so much, she’s been sending her song

in verse after verse, attending you silently, nightly; as much as you fear could go wrong,

she will only attempt all the more to grow clearer than ever–but skies in between can draw down

the waters that hang in the heavens and form into grey storming masses. You know where the Crown

ought to be, so be faithful and orient facing away from your own shadow side, where I’ll be–

lighter than air in your bosom that hums till the blood in your veins is a song back to me

and remind yourself, listen–forever, just listen. You don’t ride alone; does you Mare know your name?

Once in a cast set of eyes, one stared inward; the other attended a horse who’d gone lame

by recording her last will and testament. Reading them out by her grave gave no reason to weep.

He’d seen her, she’d felt it; they’d fully crossed over. And now they could finally dream perfect sleep.


About J

formal verse poetry and commentary at
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