Duality

Reverence is my love for you, fellow traveler.

I wear my vulnerability like a billowing veil

and my steadfastness like a mounted pole

or a well-rooted bush

ever-green.

 

O to look upon you, beauty! you creature of mirth!

Your skin a pillow

for the air.

your posture,

a missing mirror found.

 

Blessed I face you in warrior’s trust

delicately holding your pain and ecstasies through my gaze.

Forest meets rich ground.

We are Illuminated.

Lush eyes moist,

gushing your insides.

 

hereafter I hold your laughter in the way of a coddle

and your weeps in the way of a rock.

how can i say yes to that when i can choose right now to sit
in dim light
sharing space with the flies inside in summertime?
these flying things reminding me that i am alive,
buzzing me further inside.
reminding me
of the record left by my imaginary scribe.
of my trials and inevitable failures.
of my gems and illustrious truths.
of famous last words.
of epitaphs and wills.
of the binding nature of the signature.
and the evolving scribbles we make daily.

a standard black fly stomps on my hand.
my hand twitches.
the involuntary function operates without my consent.
without “me.”
no command was necessary.
no imperative.
just the body moving perfectly with the ordained script of movement in this given scene.
intuition is trumped by instinct.
I am a marionette. I trust that I am held gently.

on the corner of a cloud at the end of an island

on the beach that day in paradise
the words came to us like approaching drums that didn’t stop.
for miles and miles and onward into the sky there were thousands of them

uniformed marching in red hats and tassels.
wearing feathers and carrying skin drums, snares, rattles, timpanis, wooden sticks and metal.
dancing in chaotic tandem it snaked upward from a source that became cloudy when i squinted to see a little better.
it was white, though, and clear.
warm and cool, breezy and still, silent and glorious.
looking up and questioning i turned to the side to ask you if you saw that, too
but looking down i saw there was no more beach, and there was no more you.
and there you were.

airys

the water flows up.
five streams.
and the dove upward thru the tunnel gods hand
god’s hand
petals and rain plops flowing amongst the lilies and their fetal pads.

no peering eyes of hunters
no one is tying us to the trees:
the trees, wings in mountains

we do poses.

animal love

looking up from inside of the tub to the fountain pouring down on me i don’t see a wall but an oasis, a sun-shower marking the first warm rain of spring. the warmth of the sun in raindrops affects my body differently from that of the furnace-heat, even with the window open, sun shining at dawn, on those few mornings where i do greet him (father, i’ve missed you).

this might be the 500th time i’ve sat in this tub. i was bathed in this tub as a wee babe. i’ve bled in this tub, had teenaged orgasms in this tub, prayed in this tub, sobbed, sang, shivered, slept in this tub. i’ve washed it and i’ve littered it with little hairs.

now i’m splashing around in it, celebrating the primal glory of having a bath. i play with my hair, i swing it to and fro, dangling and dready, ego-less like a cat bathing its OWN self like no one is watching (but we are, and but yet they’re not in kitty’s bubble) or a poor zoo creature stepping into a real prairie stream, and like an animal, i know love’s essence.

on the side of a stream preening, guarding and basking in my own territory,

i wouldn’t mind if you joined me.

while defrosting in the brisk and saying yes, still.

She’d spent years chasing bipolar Fire and Water both. The flame and the ocean, Dionysus and Athena. When one became too smothering, too demanding, she’d retreat to the other to beg for redemption, and both gods would provide in turn until yet again the other murmured out and she’d valley down into sanctuary again. Justifying with Balance and talk of penance she would place herself on sporadic coasts. Her dreams and poetry were filled with burning beaches, raging blazes gloriously consuming acres and acres, dozens of retreating miles of dunes, beach grass, poker-hot stones and shells. A devouring on the border, a silent epic war between the two cardinal forces was the oil, her arterial sap.  At night the moon never waned as the months went by. There was never a change, this was how she knew she was dreaming. One last rite, she spoke when her voice could no longer cut through the roar and rush and din, and she acknowledged Risk as the possibility of Eternal Return. She could not bear cursing or being cursed thus and made her way to the forest by way of a string.

 

Finding a root to rest between she wondered when the moon might be full again here, when it would be warm enough to swim like a wet fish again, to be slick, to float. She waited for a woosh to rip behind her and lift her up as a demigod.

 

And then the trees started speaking, cricking and cracking in layers. The forest creatures danced their scurry dance, showing off as the filigree amongst the trees’ vast and cozy stillness and she remembered them her childhood friends and the tale of the cottage in the woods, how she let that celebrated Pond dribble away, and she realized she forgot she had left someone in the bottom of the pot.

 

And right then, neither threatened nor threatening the lush earth mother with shade and moss birthed one more forest nymph, who you’ll sometimes notice through licks of campfire flicking her wings in a stream.

morning in the afternoon

i keep stepping in puddles in my kitchen on the floor.

my hair peevishly keeps falling into my face but i refuse to pull it back. i’m a little spiteful that way sometimes.

there are two 1/3-left bags of bread and vegetables that haven’t been put away since three days ago.

spite keeps me from doing that chore, too. didn’t buy’em, not gonna eat’em.

i start to feel like i’m in a cell phone video game with one level that never ends.

the same task and the same buttons, and then after twenty minutes the realization comes that you’re being a jackass and you slam the phone off. it’s not so bad to be on the train alone.

but for the first time in a long time it’s daytime and i am alone in the kitchen i grew up in, mine and not mine at once. and i look outside the kitchen window, a square camera lens flecked with raindrops allowing me to be privy to the moving mist outside.

it’s probably cold there. i consider chugging my coffee and diving into the unmowed yard.

like a wet dog i’d frolic in the wet grass, which wouldn’t take issue with joining onto me.

and then for a while i’d lay belly-up, then belly-down, then scratch myself a bit, then get up again.

at some point i’d come inside because i need to pee, but i’m not really a pet you see.

but i’m still in the kitchen, a box obscured from process. beams of light get lost in here like rubber balls do in children’s rooms or keys fall through gratings in thunderstorms.

that story would take too long to tell, though.

my pan has heated up and i crack an egg in it, wishing for hollandaise and remembering poaching.

drafts through the reeds

alone with my companion.

with my companion, alone.

i am alone. he is alone, and we are alone together.
the earth whispers to us a song in many languages. some only one of us hear.

but we hear a lot of them together.

the purple spiral fiddlehead fern flowers blossom, infused and doused, out of the murky warmcoolwarm surface of silk water.
within minutes we are native humans.
sitting, thinking, communicating silently.
gathering, assembling, waiting patiently.
discovering, praying, celebrating in unity.

bask in the ocean, for it will cleanse you.
let the birds come in, for they sing for you.
swim in the sun, for it will feed you.
dance in the trees, for they will tell you the truth.

Roanoke Merlot 2004

I knew the moment that I bought this bottle two years ago that it was meant to be consumed on a momentous occasion. So many moments passed that simply weren’t grand enough, and so it sat in the wine rack. And then it moved house with me. And then it sat in another, somewhat nicer wine rack. And then I took it to Miami, which didn’t feel right. Miami was a time for beer (in cozies) and rum cocktails sipped out of a mango. And then we took it to Key West, knowing that it would be consumed within those 5 hours between shuttles. I guess taking it on that bus ride should have made me aware that that trip would last the Earth time of six years. And so, sitting at the end of the island, in the middle of the Bermuda triangle, on the dock of the Navy base, this bottle was cracked open as the sun settled into the Ocean.

The dust of Long Island. Sandy, strong, dirty, resilient. Dry, but understanding. Not fleshy and lush, but woody and heavy. Forgiving of past transgressions but still bearing the callous of chaos and destruction.