The shadows reject appeals for calm;
a taut darkness waits in the hollows.
Narrow eaves overlook
the plazas where the pigeons feed on the discarded –
like us –
the piteous refuse of our fire-fevered modernity.
From the corner squats,
the stools support the weight of
who understand what’s at stake:
There are black corridors which lead to questions,
and a labyrinthine set of deceits guide
the forlorn, on ragged knees, further afield,
back, away from listeners,
even away from recognizable answers,
all lifted, anyway, stolen and not
assembled along the edges of this urban blight
discarded from the Center, alight with another fire,
warming to the homeless hands who dare venture this far.
Wary eyes roll suspiciously this way and that.
A confetti´d stew of ash flakes and gray frozen rain fill the cups
while a scramble for position takes place on the roof.
From here, the grand fireworks display will be seen better.
From here, at least, all are closer to Heaven.
They never heard what hit them.
NO END IN SIGHT
The Solstice stood
as the end of the world
came and went.
No ear-splitting din,
crashing rocks, nor
Heaven shattering moments
held us in terror.
Streets were normally bare,
late Christmas lights bending with the wind
a sparkling glare of
bells and stars
over the land, but
along the ocean,
birds went about their
business with sagacious
Eager cats beheld the
spectacle from afar,
quiet among the bushes,
quiet in feral determination.
In quiet too, the first
horizon to sky
on all sides, then
the blue crystallized-
revealing white dance flakes
hugging slippery roads
and angled corners.
The gas stations were
Lutheran solemn, local roundabouts
listless, as well.
crossed the faces of tourists
The solstice stood, still,
as the end of the world
came & went.
As it would, again,
As it should.
A HRÍSEY MOMENT
Pick it apart:
A gnarled, murmured clacking of the rocks, smoothened black, is heard
as casual waves roll and recede, flashing silver splashy glints
of sun on the beach;
the thunder-like muffled clap of the cliffs
struck below the road in the cavernous salt-soured dark underneath;
the offending lupine, everywhere torn, shorn, strewn rudely before each
before the squat lighthouse;
to the left, an unsought aching raven caws, unnoticed;
up above, the far-away look on the eyes of the falcon atop the yellowed ridge.
Down in the harbor, before the ferry returns,
the squeal of the one metal palette in the middle,
tied fast to the boat
echoes with a strange, lonely passion, mimicking the occasional whales.
On their way home from school,
two nimble girls report the day’s events to each other vividly
whispering as they pass the stranger,
lost in poetic thought.
I pass along the trail in the early summer air
after midnight, the breeze dying down,
a thin purple line pushing close from the West.
Along the ridges, several Kria chirps are heard,
too late for consolation.
Not necessarily cruel,
but all trace of kindness concealed.
Just in front, along the rise, a
stone bridge squats above its
weakened trickle which carefully turns
down to the marsh
before the lake.
It is not past the season but
the anguish reveals itself
like reluctantly unfolding leaves
holding their enclosed treasure,
too tender for summer-
a sweetness in the air is momentarily tasted and then,
along the face,
runs down to
deep within, salt and sweetness pressed together
offering calibrated solace
and a pale, liminal hope.
What’s next is wrenching.
ASH FORGOTTEN, ASH FORSOOK
After the funeral
ash forgotten, ash forsook.
It had gone well enough.
The rain retorted bitterly at first though,
and he, grim-stiff, straightened his sore legs
as if, once calmed, a different night could be seen
behind the clouds.
The window’s inner sweat beaded between its panes
allowing the traveler a moment to stretch
before switching off the lamp.
he’d soak his heart in the sticky warm moonlight
pressing through the shaking prism drops on his face
and, eventually looking down at the arm
which wrote his words across each salted page,
let it all take its measure, one tear, after tear
at a time, revealing
the gap through which he might be seen someday.
The slow horses of the night rode more swiftly, now that he remembered…
In the morning the storm rolled west,
over the water, the wet earth smelling potent, alive.
Inside, the dampness lay flat all across the old wooden floorboards,
disturbing little yet stirring a chill above, on those bare feet,
making the trip downstairs the more immediate necessity.
Soon, roasted coffee wafted,
flexed its rich, warmly muscled hold
on the mind as he settled in the bench,
cornered by the window. Outside,
the bright flash and low roars swept the mind momentarily
of the early dullness which reluctantly passed with each sip.
There it was again: whip-crack –flash…boom!
Near the bottom of the cup, the thickened brown remains
jolted and swirled, grainy
and bitter dark as he turned, startled to look outside.
Shaking, then settling.
Shaking, then settling.
The rain began again.
The rain dropped its wailing symphony in
waves on the roof
as the storm rolled back landward,
bright this time, born of that
eerie light which made its arrival more solemn in its
deceiving shine before the next cup began and the
darkness passed over once again by noon.
Uncooperative gray and rolling black.
The sleep wiped eyes bounced low and laterally
across the room then,
wood secured, stomach warmed,
a question raised,
the retorts bitterly regular, again, and again,
“Ash forgotten, ash forsook?”