Elixir

First Seed Ripening

the white bauhinia in the spring
whose branches swell and stream with bloom
holds all the good world blossoming
as promise of the fruit to come
she whose body swells in bloom
as laden as the trees of spring
smiles with the knowledge that her womb
contains the first seed ripening
lullaby baby lie all lovely
move in sloping arms of sleep
you are form where calm moved freely
fact where all before was hope
and when she lies with him at night
he touches her body in awe
the joy that swells to make her great
cannot be told, may not be shared
although she lies so close to him
that he might touch the springs he knows
he who planted the white tree
may only watch how rich it grows
lullaby baby lie all lovely
move in sloping arms of sleep
you are form where calm moved freely
fact where all before was hope
something more than one another
that all people wish together
all is small and great and simple
all is too vast to keep
the flowers toss and splash in light
the cup, the essence of all springs
she moves in the same delight
and in her smile vast knowledge sings

My Skin is a Glove

my skin is a glove that you wear without knowing
so that I and no other will read you
your hand gives me, why is my face a shadow?
a shadow why do you close your eyes?
but a room finally
the taste of your breath to remember
some things are smoke and my lungs
ache, ache and will not be eased
the air pretends we are not there
that is our conquest
but a room finally
the taste of your breath to remember
secrets of a body just so
there is no taste, no fruit in the world
unimaginable or with saviour
I deny nothing
water is never still and we are
cupped within a glass
each night a small part
scrambles into the air, somewhere away raining
but a room finally
the taste of your breath to remember
secrets of a body just so
there is no taste, no fruit in the world
unimaginable or with saviour
I deny nothing

Stuff of Myths

you will be sitting in the body warmth of midwinter now
your skin a meeting place
and cold will be fingering your shirt buttons
your narrow shrank could be feasted upon
and outside the wind will be cunning, full of appetite
it will seek a way, it will knock itself senseless
but you, you will retain your practised indifference
as if you could not be hurt as if you’d never been hurt
it tastes an old flavour, once called love
on open beaches, naked in sandy waters of blue tropics
movement and the surface of this planet force winds
they assume stony shapes, they invent cold hands
but never disbelieve the sensual air on your body
it keeps you living, put on warm clothes
but do not believe this will save you
your own self radiates, that is why the frozen wind is forced back
you are a long long way from me, my hungry tongue buffets
from a long way
it tastes an old flavour, once called love
on open beaches, naked in sandy waters of blue tropics
open the door now, the faces are they still shining?
in the procession I nudge and finger
like the wind I am nothing

Pierrot

beneath a wavering artificial moon
columbine leers with her lips the tune of nudity
pretty boy, her breasts like cloven hoofs
forget the cigarette butts of her words
reverting to the last voracity
what moon has ever crossed this eroded sky?
from the stench of bad crossed music,
columbine’s once hair is lewd as sexing serpents
come and I will touch the sun that was never innocence
clutching only my nerves and this rusted, dusty rail
but what moon has ever crossed this eroded sky?
but by the banks of creeks the early summer sun
is warm and innocent with doves
that is this one reality
and my nerves are dust and the dust in her mouth is vile
only the moon, aching sad moon
grace as pierrot, sings out of tune to the rails and the dove
but what moon has ever crossed this eroded sky?
but by the banks of creeks the early summer sun
is warm and innocent with doves
that is this one reality

Traditional Song

when I was a child and days were all
I laughed and teased and called you names
and though you used to plead and call
I would not let you share my games
when I was a boy and days were all
I laughed and swelled to see our names
entwined in chalk upon the wall
I longed to have you share my games
remembering is rain among the hills
in ways that shade and shape to otherwise
memory in the landscape of ourselves
in ways that shade and shape to otherwise
when I was a youth and night was all
I writhed in bed and joined our names
as in your gales I dreamed to fall
though you had never shared my games
when I was grown and night was all
I learned and eased and cried love’s names
and in my heart I heard you call
how you had let me share your games
remembering is rain among the hills
in ways that shade and shape to otherwise
memory in the landscape of ourselves
in ways that shade and shape to otherwise
now we are grown and night takes all
I have forgotten all your names
it is too late now to recall
we never learned each other’s games

A Circle of Moonlight

her husband’s breath breaks heavily
over her face beaching in upon her
he is asleep
she has not found it easy
to accommodate his shape
in the hallway lines of soiled clothes
trace the contours of the last fight with the children
before they let her drop
but now, just now she can still ease out, ease out into sleep
to a circle of moonlight where she moves alone
she wills herself still and tight
it is no use each minute
drums with the wrong silence, the wrong noise
on the rigid tendons of her own unease
but now, just now she can still ease out, ease out into sleep
to a circle of moonlight where she moves alone

Sleep Soundly, Peacefullyliving together you and I
create a shelter for our child
and all the dangers of the sky
and all the terrors of the world
we must withstand, we must withhold
that he sleep soundly, peacefully
moving together, separately
we must reach a single home
we must be a unity
to be a place where he may come
without distress and without harm
and sleep here soundly, peacefully
pull back the net and let me see
the marvellous terror of his trust
and darling, stand here close to me
who is the owner, who the guest?
we two are in a place most blessed
he sleeps here soundly, peacefully

Hemispheresthere are no mysteries that have beyond the boundaries
that you and I contain and reach together
day and day there are no themes together that we do not explain
and animate and act upon
but we must live it out too close to see the shape,
we have no time to mark the way
the sharp sun scratches into afternoon
and knows tomorrow is already gone
though sharp sun scratches into afternoon
tomorrow’s life and plight have been begun
we ache to make forever hold our mark and all around the land
that we have held is moving in the glare
our sight is spoiled oh hold me, my best crafts can only speak
the city garbage-tips of what I seek
but this embrace that all are simply at
is plan and planet ringed about with light
the sharp sun scratches into afternoon
and knows tomorrow is already gone
though sharp sun scratches into afternoon
tomorrow’s life and plight have been begun
man on a barque around the hemisphere or shuffling molecules
or past the moon is home at last
is truly humbly one notated among seasons of the year
is not outside the mystery
but here, the operative, the tool
let us begin with miracles
the sharp sun scratches into afternoon
and knows tomorrow is already gone
before the sharp sun scratches afternoon
and our quick metals are all gone

Nocturne

listen the night is dark
though it’s amazing how much light
pretends otherwise, the stars could be hidden by clouds
we are alone, there is no silence
the night engages with a full choir
of possibilities
and so it must be
I do not plan clouds to obliterate the stars
but anyone can see night is the order of the day
the business of light all around us
cannot postpone
the eventual darkness that must be
the occurrence of sound stitches us into the solitude
of togetherness
and so it must be
I do not plan clouds to obliterate the stars
but anyone can see night is the order of the day
and so it must be
listen to all the music of the spheres
grinding and dreaming of collision
and you know the ultimate of silence
night proposes the supremacy of the sun
even the earth believes
there is music in that

Last Night’s Comfort

dumb light feels about and finds the window
bare and early and on the slope the trees are sharp
as soon as shape describes them surely
even grass with its grace knives the air to point clearly
today’s a world been told already
and in her room with rug and pillow
our small daughter stirs and cries
last night’s comfort has turned hollow
and cold cuts at where she lies
proving every naked place
I lift her, quick as light is easy
warm into our crumpled bed
to crouch and cuddle to us closely
’til the cold is forced outside
this much of comfort must be shared
awake I stand and draw the blinds
and in her room with rug and pillow
our small daughter stirs and cries
last night’s comfort has turned hollow
and cold cuts at where she lies
proving every naked place
it’s too early to go out
I wait and listen to the world

SnapshotI am speaking to you there without
question when I see last leaves still
safety pinned to the edges of central park
it is you I note this for
and when I see the colours and feel of clothes
in the heavy glass windows
you are the one I am a camera for
I survey all the faces on 5th avenue
the henna coloured skater with her
green tutu and sagging chin every day
ice lit for a smile in the plaza
I go to the cinemas full of lonely singles
to remember dark images for you
and you are the one I am a camera for
in bars and elevators I am coding
messages receive this please over are you receiving me?
the nights are long I just want to
speak with somebody, anybody
I toss on the double bed, naked in blankets
out of reach are you still there?
you are the one I am a camera for

Copyright (c) 2011