Clouds in formation

Scale down
Feel the dirt, hard concrete,
wary neighbor’s stare.
I walk street-lined forests
parking lots
businesses closed for the night.
Flit by, a ghostly presence.
You never would answer my
Circe-eyed stare, babbling confessions.
Less caricature than urchin hiding
behind the starlit screen.
You were everybody’s dream.
You said:  “We are our own future.”
Everyone believed.
Stopping to remember
soot-encrusted steps.
Smoking Marlboro cigarettes.
That core of authenticity.
Out of boredom, nervous waiting,
demon dancing fairy tales,
skittering fancies.
I didn’t know at twenty
any more than I do today.
Overly bright subway lights.
People flashing drawn and green
stop to stop,
popping bursts of bubble-wrap.
Iridescent jellybeans.
Childish prancing.
Seated at this well-worn window,
watching winter unfurl,
reminded of planetary inhibitions.
Starlight only entices, never means to
settle down, to calcify.
Looking backward,
whispers of dust
molecules in migration.
There is a viscosity to twilight.
Cut from the core
fruit of neural womb, gestating decades
sluggish, subject to cravings, livid dreams.
Within the secrets of the seed,
occluded aspects of beginnings.
petal by petal.
Sacred in the morning dew,
enticing fragrant fields,
as if myths foretell our lives.
The story I tell myself
may as well
be the best I can imagine
after multitudes of imagining.
Clouds focus attention on
divisions of atmosphere.
Fire burns within,
unaffected by sunlight.

Persephone’s Breakthrough

This is where the idea is born.
Soft green meadows gently transforming into fall
Sounds of dying, scent of woodfire and candlelight
No separation between what is becoming
Accept and be revealed
Summer’s wild adventures
Spring was a torrent of clarity, precious rain,
Earth coarse, ready for fecund pleasure
Queen of night in daylight’s realm
obsessed in flowering
roses and daffodils
valleys and nubile hills
all is vanity and laughing vice
“But, Mother, I’m not a nice girl.
I’m a creature of the breeze; secure in shadow;
alive on the cutting edge of the storm.”
Myth in revision
Standing at the back of the playground
learning theater, tucking metaphors
into interstices of sense and anticipation
In spring, kicking stones along sandy riverbeds
reading the classics
to savor practice: valor, glory, dramatic lines
Summer deceives
the stink of rot where flowers bloom
ancient feuds, retaliations, rage
tyrannosaurus feeding future waste,
absorbing a zeitgeist of want, of predation
Within greed-swollen seed infectious fear
makes merry with misery’s habit
Mythology frustrates, curls back on its own ash
Eyes burn with hazy summer wine and wilding
Feet connect dust to sky — but only in designated
spheres, with designated peers, self-selected inhibitions
Sweat out poison into the ground; now, eat the bounty
Midsummer farce, far from honor, far from sunrise,
counting out the chimes as if time were treasure
Silly summer madness as if what matters
is so circumscribed, so predictable
Early autumn firelight
reminiscent of witch hunts, ghosts of calvary,
dire warnings and endless hide and strike
The game, the funhouse, turns deadly
Sanctuary calls, demanding sacrifice
The noble phoenix fed on frankenseed
can not rise
Skies descend, dark mirroring
Smell the woodsmoke, intoxicating, soft and sweet,
masks the taste of bitter bile, secret vomiting,
starving despite harvest’s gay array of treats
Faded, nearly blind, falling in and out of
shamanic fever, primeval native callings beyond sight,
ripple of tribal beat at the periphery
ecstatic vision dark/light/agony and brilliant breaks
starbright constellations
Traversing worlds
seasons, years, moments of clarity
no need to navigate, to invent boundaries;
dance of the highlands warmth and sustenance
makes whole

A Vignette

It was a simple house in a simple town.
The road was long and winding.
Two men sat by the road.
They were playing cards.
One man had a bottle which was occasionally passed.
They were not playing for any stakes,
but as an excuse for companionship.
It was a simple house in a simple town.
Old gnarled, stately trees formed a woods
that lined the roadway.
It was noon, but the day was overcast;
not dark, but pleasantly muted.
It was autumn.
The trees were proud of majestic leaves,
gold and magenta which covered their branches
and sprinkled the earth.
Small furry creatures would skitter, retreat
amidst the trees, leaves and loam.
The men were aware of all this world in the
backgrounds of their pleasantness,
relaxed peaceful companionship,
as they played cards, passed the bottle,
shared casual conversation, affectionate reflection.
It was a simple house in a simple town
by the side of a long, windy road
surrounded by woods.
A plane passed overhead
and was briefly a part of this scene,
before moving on to more important places.

My Story

Who or what am I?
Why am I here?
Tenuous, flailing, unfocussed
miles from clear.
There seemed to be reason
lost some sodden season.
I wanted in from the rain.
And now?  I appear, I’m afraid,
bare of identification.
I swear to Creation
I exist.
That’s never enough, is it?
Exact explanation required.
Unprepared for tough quizzing,
I fly.  Desire condenses, fervent quest
for surcease.
Unfettered senses transcend serene, calm,
toward peace.
Fire of self-renascence
burns through fog of fear.
Centers here.

Give and Take

Taking it all into myself.
Thus has it always been so.
Taking it all and twisting and tweaking.
Making it all into a blessing.
I see visions. I hear angels.
Let me take you into myself.
Let me bless you.
Let me believe in you.
Let me see through your eyes,
walk on your legs,
imagine with your biography.
I can but reach to you.  So poignantly.
What I do never matters.
What I say has no gravitas.
What I pray for
gets lost in the queue of prayers.
I am breathing
crisp air of autumn’s evening.
I am walking.
Mist obscures my view.
Lost in mirage, in a Van Gogh painting,
face wrenching laughter, luminous tears.
A vision of weeping, knees bent and falling;
permission I grant me.
I am loving with open heart
a frightened child who once declared:
I can take it.

Autumnal Vision

Wind, rain: a snuggle under the covers morning
Dreamtime —
“dreaming of the way things might have been”?
Someone asked: What short of revolution could remake
the world to be
more fair, peaceful, more encouraging of love?
My new mantra: “lighten up”:
Eyes upward, facing mysteries of stars and heavens
Heart lightened, to more merry, merry be
I lighten the load to my aching shoulders, and find
worlds of light and joy easier to carry
I look to ancient wisdoms to enlighten my soul
And I laugh, lightly, brightly,
let loose too tightly inheld breath of
Breathing freely, I inhale
the exhilarating scent of changing leaves

Life, the Universe and Everything

Life, the Universe and Everything
(for Patty)
Let’s talk about life
the one you have and the one you imagined . . .
With all the world of possibilities,
what have you settled for?
Waking up in the cool, cool morning
Autumn crisp — as your lungs reach for air
The sounds, the smells, the awaited adventures
Anticipation . . .
Or merely another day?
Do you long for love in the dark, dusky evening?
Do you count the countless stars,
knowing a miracle is on its way?
Has the chill of eternity captured your imagination?
What anchors you to Earth?
What makes you want to stay?
A journey of a thousand destinies
Written deep within your soul
Traveling daily through all the possibilities
Which are the parts that make you whole?

Juicy round autumn

Juicy round autumn
burnished red and golden
mesmerizing quality of time today.
Hunger forgotten when life is a garden.
Sow and weep
while you sleep
a new day grows.
Getting our time together.
Getting in touch with weather again.
And there’s been so much to weather
again and again and again.
Sunrays are playing
warming the walkways
flashing out rainbows
in random puddles and streams.
Clear skies and starlight
awaken the night hours
expanding the time to harvest our dreams.

Waking Beauty

You saw me, a playing child, laughing amongst the roses.
My shining eyes reflected worlds;
singsong choruses to which I danced proclaimed their glory.
I, a cherub princess, all the doting subjects at my command,
all I asked was their love and beneficence.
Fairies clapped for me, flittered in with luminescent kisses,
fed me on honey, cakes and sweet lilac tea,
whispered me their blessings, giggling and tittering,
watched over me with warm caresses of enchanted nurturing.
I loved easily, laughed whole-heartedly, sang from my soul
happy dance tunes and whimsical madrigals.
There shone radiant magic throughout the land
in the morning of the world.
It was not so easy as I grew.
Word got out, worried whisperings,
that there was a curse upon me.
Those who had seemed so open and friendly
grew distant, masked their faces so I would not call to them,
or became furtively hostile so I would stay away.
I thought it was the power, soon to be mine by succession.
Surely they feared to be too familiar with the potential Queen.
I tried to reassure them, to be warm and familiar, to look for
little ways to please them.
The fairies still played with me, but sometimes turned mean.
They whispered ugly rumours, pinched me and flew away.
They called me fat and ugly and would feed me only thistle and briar.
Then, sometimes, without notice, all would be forgiven, all would be
a madcap party, a whirling swirl of luscious scents and colours,
a warm embrace of magical happiness,
warm and safe and cherished.
I learned to be needy without showing need;
peering sideways into partially opened doors
to see if I could find one safe to enter.
I took to finding little chores that would take me into
unused corners,
bending over so none would look into my face with malice.
I took to wearing common clothing, layered into camouflage.
I took to telling myself that I must indeed be awfully horrid and
worthless to have lost so much and be so reviled.
I took to taking on any sorry chore that would have me
that I might say to the courtiers:
“Look, I am a humble laborer, not worth your attention.”
So I was spinning and pricked my finger, as the curse foretold.
My blood called forth the evil energy to swoop into my open wound.
Life moving along beyond my senseless form, without my knowledge or input.
Who can tell what may have been done with my unprotesting body.
I was not dead, not appropriate for burial;
still helplessly breathing, metabolizing/catabolizing, inexorably,
yet so slowly, so quietly, so manifestly without power, so easily forgotten.
The wicked ones who would benefit from my demise became old and dust
while I slept.
Those who were false to me acquired many more sins and salvations,
traveling their own rocky roads.
The curse took no notice of time or circumstance.
I existed in a liminal state of vague dream images,
static discharge of random sensory neurons.
I did not expect; I did not wait; I was not aware of being.
Sometimes excruciating nightmares might overtake me;
no matter.
I could neither hear nor utter, but just breathe on
as images vaguely formed and dissipated.
They say there was a malaise over the kingdom.
Work became hard to find and
wandering adventurers moved about the land
hoping to find their fortune.
There was a far off war diminishing the resources
and often intense skirmishes along the borders
increasing fear and bravado.
The once wise and strong ruling family, disrupted in
succession squabbles, had been deposed.
There were no strong rulers, but only petty tyrants,
and not so petty.
The gardens had gone to weeds and brambles.
The fields suffered; sometimes from drought,
sometimes from mildew,
sometimes from marauding scavengers.
Perhaps these were my nightmares come to life.
There was a young prince from a noble but impoverished
He had grown strong and brave, taking in stories of better times.
He had heard the fable of the cursed princess,
sleeping, hidden, once a source of glory and happiness
in a merry and prosperous land.
He had nothing but a dream, to find me.
They say he set out down a road that others had followed.
But where others had met with sorry fates, or become lost,
or defeated by the impenetrability of the twisted trees and brambles,
he found no encumbrance.
There I was, within his reach, so pale and still.
It is said that he wept for joy, took me up into his arms,
whirled me about and kissed me reverently,
infused his buoyant dream into my sleeping form.
I felt the warmth of living moving through me.
I felt safe, exultant, cherished.
My senses slowly revealed themselves,
though true consciousness had not yet returned.
He held me close and danced me into movement,
laughing freely and whispering words of encouragement.
He did not rush me, nor let me feel anything but loving support.
He told me how he had grown up dreaming of finding me,
returning me to my rightful place,
removing the curse upon the land.
“And what, my lady,” he asked, “have you been dreaming all these silent years?”

Athena’s Gift

Athena fair
stalwart daughter of Zeus
graces her time and place
with divine knowledge.
Today unlined face,
silken hair,
robust yet fragile form
are proclaimed as the graces
of womanhood.
Athena, lost in the pantheon,
whispers to the nightears
of her faithful,
saying:  “True woman’s mind
inclines to wisdom.”
But Daddy’s girl
wants more recompense
for loneliness.