Wind & Road

sometimes
there are far too many words,
and sometimes
not near enough-

for the heart blooms
in its summers,
and hides deep
in its winters,

following no definable season;
and the soul
no single constellation,
and the mind…

well, does it matter?
there is a moment,
every night,
before I drift off,

when I see you
on this wild voyage too.

Entanglement

The chords of sunset fall to the earth
and drift ever lightly,
flowing through warmth of a summer
to fade down low-key in the electric descent of the night,

where your touch
is the ghost of the last solstice;
your voice,
the thunder of the preceding equinox,
and the kinetic energy
of angels all fallen to perfection;
where your soul
is a roaring and territorial
song of the solar aurescent…

and your heart-

your heart, seeking in the wilds of humanity
a home that was here, ever-present.

Staring down the slowly-racing horizon,
breathing in the dusklight,
lungs filling deep with the dust of dead suns,

one silent prayer,
one lone evocation into the dark defiant, my dear:

may, one day,
you deny your god
before the crowing of the next sunrise

by daring to look up as you once did-
to watch the stars.

falling_star_by_snatti89-dc392e7
artist: https://deviantart.com/snatti89

Waves III

Listen, now;
this is where the story gets really good.

Once conscripts
in the fleet of fate violent,
now only inheritors
of the mark of mystery;

once free to stay bound in irons
and to sleep in chains;
now there are temple paths
and distant cities of gold come a-calling.

So who now will rise up and strike forth
into the heart of dawn?

If you will it so,
then you must journey through the soul of night.

For footprints, once trailing a path through the wreckage
lead to a bottle, open on the ground-

(as lightning let down its hair,
shunting
and stabbing

thunderblack

over the reaches to the mountains beyond,
in between the scent of salt and the sound of the shore,
into the drunken sinking sundown-

sliding off naked stars
into the blankets of ocean waves
where sand slips into surf)

-a bottle lay open on the ground,

where scraps of memory tumbled out,
where scraps of sacred words
combusted into flames of feast and famine,

where scraps of scripts of saints
of time, signature, and distance
immolated under the grace notes of the open heart,

and a full measure of passions improvised
fancied itself the fire, and danced in the sparkening
under the veil of the night;

where, no longer bound by letters of the heartless bedestined,

they both hauled up and raised the black.

For love is a weightless anchor of light,
and an open rebellion against the agents of death.

Behold the horizon laughing in the sinking sundown.
Behold the gift of the wind.
Behold the map and the music.
Behold the sound of laughter unfurled in the kiss.

If you find a bottle like that, one day
(and I hope you do),
hold it to your ear.

You may hear the sound of magic.

For in the space
where hands like theirs meet,
the storm itself envies.

Capitola Beach - Jean Guillet
artist: https://chateaugrief.deviantart.com

You Could Go Home

Or,

you could take a walk
into the oncoming twilight of an early June,

just before the magic hour saunters in,

when liquid light-gold flows in slow-motion
through green leaves,
in between dark branches.

Maybe someone is kindling common air to sacred flame
through the mouth of a trumpet.

Maybe the lilacs are sprayed up
against the brick walls.

Perhaps a lover
waits for you.

Maybe dance.
Maybe death.

Perhaps fame.
Perhaps fortune.

Or,

perhaps it’s just an early June,
and maybe

just the magic hour.

After the Rain
artist: https://snatti89.deviantart.com

silvernote

if nothing else,
i’ve been faithful
to the nature true of the heart,
to the calling wild of the bone,

even to the song
that dances in the eye;

so if you’re reading this,
and nodding to yourself,

then you understand-
even if they’re truly gone,

there is always
a final
unresolved
grace note

after these perfect progressions,
after these imperfect improvisations,
after these harmonics resonant,

after this light
and this music

Timestamp

I shake a bucket of grain and whistle through my lips
under the summer sky
and the horses thunder in from the south pasture.

I lose favor with a teacher
because I beat everyone’s score
including hers.

I grow up,
but really I don’t.

She tells me I’m weak.

My folks never hold hands.

My sister is popular,
and skillful, and still mostly humble.
My sister is successful.

I live in the shadows.
I love from the shadows.

My truck breaks down.

I am selfish.
I give up everything.

You take me in a night of rain and darkness
and the universe opens to our cries
and we enter the kingdom of heaven.

I am in hell.
I drink the flames.

I work overtime.
I work two jobs.
Life is a third.

I apologize to my grandmother as she’s dying
because she won’t live to see me get married,
I’m not even with anyone,
and she shushes me and says it’s ok,
yes she will.

Before he passes,
my grandfather agrees there is nothing after death.

Her eyes pass over me.

I lie in bed and listen to the storm.

I tattoo my body with text.
I tattoo my heart with your memory.

I drive down a dirt road.
I fish in the dark.
I sharpen my knife.
I am strong.
I am unbreakable.
I cry alone in the night.

There’s neon.
There’s drifting smoke.
There’s a hole where you should be.

I sell my soul.
I let my heart get ripped out and eaten.
I grow a new one.

He threatens me.
I don’t care.

I listen to windchimes.
I load 1,000 bales of hay.
I stare into the arm of the Milky Way.
I want you but I don’t know who you are yet.

She doesn’t understand.
They don’t understand.
I don’t understand.

You tell me you love me.
You mean it.

I drop out.
I write.
I tread upon paths of stars and faint imaginings.
I live.
I die.
I breathe.

My mother teaches us.
My father teaches us.
They still never hold hands.

You see my soul, undressed.
You tell me of its shape.

I dream of mountains and oceans and deserts.

I wander the museum at 9 years of age
and wonder why everyone else isn’t here.

You’re gone.

Light moves through the trees.

We try to tell each other of the light
we see in the other
and we don’t believe a goddamn word of it.

I watch people destroy the goodness we’re all born with.

You show me your demons.

I punish him because he deserves it.
Then I realize no one deserves it.

I watch children and dogs give freely
from hearts bigger than we’d ever admit.

My nostrils are filled with red dust
and I make money at brandings.

I sign a petition for equality.
I join no party.
I write for the paper and document campus protests.

On Saturday night
I break bottles against old brick and howl at the moon.
I am saved.
I am damned.

I abdicate my throne
and they don’t understand.
I’m late
because leaves and grass fill me
where shiny parades of nothing cannot.

My family wonders what I am.
I wonder what I am.

I wonder.
You wonder.

I’m not confident.
I don’t join the Master’s program.
I’m too confident.
My horse stumbles on deadfall and rolls backwards over me.

I sit in the pickup bed with my dog
and we watch the sun set.

I take you in a night of fire and thunder
and we burn and die and are reborn.

I write a research paper on biological science.
My life is a country song.

I am not practical.
I don’t want to be practical.
I should be practical.

I burst into flames.
I immolate the darkness.
I fan my wings and fly out of reach.

I am invective incarnate.

My fist makes a hole in the wall.

I bury my dog.
I bury my horse.
I bury my flame.
I bury my heart.

I run.
I hide.
I give my old saddle away.

I love.
I dream.
I shouldn’t dream.
But I do.

I love the way you dream.

I work too hard.
I don’t work enough.
I move too fast.
I don’t move fast enough.
I help too much.
I don’t help at all.
I love too hard.
I don’t love the right way.
I care too much.
I don’t care about the right things.

I don’t understand;
but I hope, I think
maybe,
you do.

I shake a bucket of grain and whistle through my lips
under the summer sky
and the horses thunder in from the south pasture.

1.618034

I have offered up my lamentations
out of the dust of Eden
and painted them into the night.

I have trodden stars underfoot
and crushed them
into the wine of singularities.

(so my younger self told me in a dream,
reaching forward in the temporal
as I now enter the embrace of the world
and age into my slavery)
I’d pay good money to hear what yours told you.

Shall we build a fire then, in this desolation,
and brand me with the aspect of shadow?
How shall we brand you?

If Pride were ground into powder,
I suspect it could then be an anointing
upon this corruption;
perhaps even an atonement-
simple enough, yes?

Enough.

Show me then-
come, show me,
while there is still some serenity;
let us examine your engines of the dark
and the nightmare-fuel within
(are you watching closely?
energy equals matter
times the speed of light squared).

Drift you now to the far shores,
sleep, and dream,
drift with your own permission-
for a song of this magnitude radiant
shall fly only to constellations;
was meant only for the season of sowing.

Do you not see how alive you are?
And do we have an according then, you & I?

For as I see all hands open
in these songs of light and dark,
and music woven out of silence cleansed
in the cloudwalk ascendant,
purified in the cosmotic night,
washed in the blood of the earth;
so do I see you dare to direct your gaze
up.

Now
take my lantern
and I’ll hold your hymns-

say it’s a good trade.
(it’s a good trade)

Behold then:
the field opening verdant in its laughter,
bathed in blossomscent,
how even the black dirt and red clay
sing under the sun
in their rushing to meet the mountains;

for winter will come again,
and still all will sing,
still all will sing.
Come,
for the river is deep, and wide;
the water clear, and cool.
I tell you my grace and yours was bartered between us
in these bending waves of wildwheat.

Have you forgotten?
This is an accord, in fact,
with the song aureate in all things.

I know you can hear it.

The dark washes off so easily,
so easily, my love,
so easily.

There was an old father in the desert,
a long time ago,
(have you heard this one?)
who stretched his hands toward heaven,
and told his disciple
as his fingers turned to dancing fire,

If you will,
you can become all flame.

No Spirits on Royal Street

“Well?”

Well what.

“You’re at the Monteleone.”

And?

“So write something.”

Oh, like it just came to you.

“My God, at least drink something.”

Do I need to tell you about inflation?

“Ha! Lord, please tell me
you’re not always this boring.”

Only when I want to be.
Requires some concentrated effort.

“Son, that sounds entirely exhausting.”

It is. But I’ll come back and buy us a round.

“Now that, I’d like to see,”
said Faulkner’s ghost.
“At your speed, son,
this place’ll be full-up of spirits by then.”