MARBLES

30 December 2014

FIREDANCER

It was waiting in the distance
A ridge at the edge of the horizon
An olive grove, I thought

It took years for me to get there
Walking a little each evening
Mildly curious, expecting nothing 
My careless drifting across the landscape

Later at home I found the gash
Slicing its way over existing scar tissue
I let my fingers touch it
It was exquisite  a secret wound

I would nurture this one
Drape it in all my intricate finery
Bandage it with black laces
Read to it from ancient story books

What beautiful olive trees I said
Staring from the periphery

I spied flames somewhere at heart’s centre
A blaze was raging
Radiating heat and a multi-hued riot
Burnishing the path and the stones beyond

A scattering of newborn stars
Caused the fire to appear striking
Its veins hypnotizing in the twilight 

Masterful thief 
A firedancer waits in the grove

01 December 2014

Unrequited Funeral

I take a funeral q.d.   
I am the widow dressed in black

My tears always neat in place
I light a candle to squandered love

I follow the coffin at a slow pace
Then watch resigned as it descends 
A little deeper every day

I got rooster as a pet
To wake me at the break of dawn
Stop dreaming widow, he’ll screech
We have a funeral today

I drizzle us with my perfume
Give us a polish and a shine
He grabs my leash, and off we go

Bless that rooster, my one and only valentine

It happens to a woman bewitched:
Asleep maybe she’s happy
Awake she mourns the loss

Of the man she never had



18 November 2014

SHALL WE DANCE?

I never aspired toward
The terpsichorean arts 
Pastel colour satins,
Diadems and stars
In my hair, point shoes
And sylph like alignment
Were lost on me.
From my perch in lowland
I could not envision
The possibility of becoming
Airborne, the freedom of
Leaping into a jeté.
I knew about discipline
That took captives,
I never considered
The liberating discipline
Of dance.

Until that cloudy, liquid
Afternoon:  
You let your
Voice spill into the room,
And I thought of dancing.
Your words were dancing,
Nimble, gliding around us,
An intoxicating choreography.

I understood
The manifold complexity
Of the art, and your
Dexterity. 
Do you remember?
That day I asked you
Timidly, hopefully,
“Shall we dance?
In our own, unique style,
            Shall we dance?”




17 November 2014

THE BEST YEAR

Being not an optimist
I am resigned to the fact
I shall not acquire the wealth I desire
I thirst for a peculiar, infinite type of wealth.

I’ll never keep it in a bank
Or watch it surge on the big board.
Philanthropy won’t be its role,              
I mean to share it all with you.

I want it plentiful as rain
Which overflows the riverbank
Abundant light in cloudless sky
The nonmaterial, ethereal I want.

I speak of love.
An infinite, measureless love
Harmonious with spirit and with flesh
A love of quiet reason, warm-hearted laughter
Whose flaws are light
As dust upon a cloudless crystal
-Weightless dust caressed away by breeze-

It’s rare such a love, but I will bargain:
Call to the stars, they gaze upon infinity
As it travels by-
Send him to me I’ll ask,
The stars have seen his sails and know his name.

I’ll bargain in the cruelest way I know:
A glimpse.  Bittering forces stars to listen
Let it last a month, a season, such a love
I’ll take it for a full year if I can,
A full year sounds very nice
And if then it must end, I’ll let go
I promise to be brave.

I will be brave
In defeat, brave in the severing.
I’ve known braveness in anger:
In their fortune,
How others squandered years of time
With you-
Why?
Live without discovery, not giving.
You.  Oh!

Perhaps one day…
Sharing even briefly a handful of infinity
And if not, I will dream:

I am awake in this dream
And I have fantasized of everything,
Even the necessity for tangible wealth,
Always an annoying detail
To pester romantic hearts.
I wager, for the tangible
Small, finite digits will suffice:

I have
Enough to buy us freshly baked loaves
Imported cheese and olives,
Enough to build a hearth from weathered fieldstone
And dress our bed with perfumed sheets, soft and smooth.
We’ll need sandalwood scented soap,
Pencil, pen, and paper,
A computer if we must.
We’ll get seeds for our garden
And splurge on a few hybrid perennials.
Candles also.  To light away the dusk.
That should do it for necessities.
The luxuries we will invoke together
As we embrace in the dark.
You’ll blow out the candles, smiling, one by one,
Together we will conjure a different fire
Its flames of inextinguishable desire
Fueled by a wealth
Of love.

16 November 2014

INTO WILDERNESS

I took stock of everyplace
I had been,
Everywhere I had touched.                             

I imagined going back to my
Old haunts  
Carefully erasing my fingerprints.

Some were covered by layers
Of dust or mold
Others showed traces of regret

Most had fissures filled with rust-
Red, angry scales
Which formed as I befriended the dispassionate.   

These embossments rendered me untouchable
A cruel and a just punishment:
Sidelined for being an apparition of myself.  

I wished for clear surfaces devoid of my history
A thorough polishing
With an obliterating magical cloth.

No, I did not want to disappear.
Relentless sky
Wilderness unfolding in complexity

Sand and foam hard as flesh
Searise mountains
Rockboned the scented land, awaited embracing.


15 November 2014

Elusive Hummingbird

From far away I hear his breathing
Laboured  
He must be running
 
I say to him
Stop 

Unlace your racing shoes
Remove them
And peel off your socks blood and sweat

I picture a stretch of
Long extensors and a venous arch
Prominently defined from the revolt
And at each ankle hinge an old wound
A round scar the colour of rust

We’ve all been crucified one way or another
In our fashion we react —
You run 

Then you slow down and wink
You bestow upon me the punishment of Tantalus
A fact you’ll deny and sweet your denial
You say take fruit, take drink, reach

My muscles never did reach
No matter how near you were
 
I love you


Runner, elusive hummingbird
As you fly from the nectar of emotion
To the elixir of intellect
To the comfort of denial
Stop


Because listen: because
I don’t want to stop

Is that my cross to bear, is that so?


14 November 2014

KOKAKO

Six o’clock Sunday morning, good morning.  Your kisses,
A cup of coffee, intimate phrases, bright day!  Outside beckons
The warmth of southern March.  Hurry, dress, and we will
Take the rocky path, we’ll march away, away toward the grey slab
Of cloud capped mountain, a stone sentinel it is, appearing into
Windowed view as morning’s promise shakes off our dizzied sleep.

Come in the kitchen where, no, please me, don’t go back to sleep,
Newborn sunlight is rushing through glass stained with canine kisses.
Wait for breakfast; ask the dog about the latest mess he’s into:
Dug up the garden, but hydrangeas and roses don’t mind, their bud beckons
Another cycle of bloom.  Yes, beautiful our garden! Cheese with your slab
Of bread? Sunlight warms the planks beneath our bare feet, and yes, we will   

Sit on dew drenched grass to lace our walking boots.  We will
Go. How perfect the fit of my hand in yours!  The hushed silence of sleep
Cloaks each house we pass, this hour belongs not to humankind.  That slab
Of gabled roof gives ample proof: there winged creatures gather in a chorus, kisses
To them are not as sweet as song.  Hear morning’s birdsong!  An avian aria beckons
At each turn: bellbird, grey warbler and fantail bel canto, nature’s madrigal.  Into

Tall evergreen soloists fly, hide and watch us passing by, we tramp the valley into
The wood to go.  And as we climb we leave the lowland green behind, hide we too will
From the world.  I follow you meander ‘round red and silver beech, your smile beckons
I keep in step.  Overhead the canopy carves light and shadow patterns, sleep
World, away world, says the wind and I intone in kind.  Soft mist softly kisses
Our flesh; vapor drifts on fern, and moss, and pendulous leaf, covers a rock slab     
                
With drops that look like tears, yes we both cry, this forest and I.  Rest upon a slab
Of broad cool stone, ask me beside you: I’ll read the riddles of your face, peer into
The luminous brown of your eyes. I have espoused the pain of sharing you, take kisses
Left discarded when you away another one’s embrace.  Seduced, I will  
Give.  I need the boundless joy of being near you.  My love won't sleep:     
It waits for you, it hopes for you, longs for you.  It beckons 

And endures as a beaten mountain endures assault.  It beckons 
You in dulcet honeyed hues: sigh it’s me you want it asks.  Near a slab
Of lichen covered rock nest a pair of wattle birds.  They sing and sleep
Unaware their ancient species is nigh extinct.  Their duet ascends into 
The air. Sing away the future loving birds.  Sing.  Soon, we two will         
For home, where waits the world, and wait, like songs caressing lips, kisses.

When at night sleep beckons we’ll entwine each other’s limbs into
Wreaths of our flesh.  In and out and around each other, sweetly we will.
Was the roving real I’ll wonder, or a slab of daydreamed thoughts and kisses?      



A CONFESSION

Sometimes I think about cauliflower ...

When I am alone
Daylight or dusk

My friends say I should give it up
One friend in particular, she is vehement:
Cauliflower again? she’ll ask

I don’t know if she is wrong or right
That’s something I truly cannot grasp

Although I’ve tried

To understand

Her point of view

Over my desk at work
I have
A poster of a beautiful head of cauliflower!

Cauliflower can be made into soup
Or a purée with almond milk and avocado oil
Add salt and white pepper
Use black pepper if you don’t have white 
Freshly ground, a must these days

I don’t need no cauliflower posters at home
Where cauliflower thoughts
Can ramble free and unrestrained

And there's no evanescence
To these thoughts nor
Can they be

Transferred

To another vegetable

The only negative thing
I have to say about cauliflower
Is that it’s a lot like love:

When love or cauliflower stink
One tends to gasp
And want to clear the air



July 19, 2014


12 November 2014

NOTHING MUCH

If you think about it
Nothing much has changed
I’m still the same 
Drowning soul holding on
To the life line you sold me

Somehow, that first time
I managed to swim ashore

I paced the sand
Decided to find a path
Any path 
Leading away from open ocean
Away from the capriciousness
Of its winds    

But the earth is round

I walked, walked
Finally I looked up 

That's when I noticed 
I had returned


11 November 2014

LIFE AFTER A BEE STING

Rain scent and the fog floats, piercing windowpane, into me.
Soaked in haze I have a drunkard’s delusions: You confess erotic. 
I know you loved me but you didn’t love me well. The fog in me.


Rain storm, ice storm, I don’t care, coat in the trash heap, I’m free.
Leafless branches whip the wind, magnolia’s death from winter’s narcotic.
Rain scent and the fog floats, piercing windowpane, into me.


Bewitched once, beguiled twice, fog thickens, I can’t see
Into you.  Desire courses my veins and a fable, they’re hypnotic.
I know you loved me but you didn’t love me well.  The fog in me.


I took them, when the side streets were offered to me
Where I stayed withdrawn from main street’s narcotic.
Rain scent and the fog floats, piercing windowpane, into me.


The sky a grey pearl, daffodil hasn’t bloomed, spring’s absentee.
Dead end paths and dead end questions, the cradle of a neurotic.
I know you loved me but you didn’t love me well.  The fog in me.


I want to sting you with the venom of a queen honeybee.
Enter a patch of milk fog.  I am there, discard your coat.  We are gothic.  
Rain scent and the fog floats, piercing windowpane, into me.
I know you loved me but you didn’t love me well.  The fog in me.



10 November 2014

HOLDING ON

We hold on
To our antediluvian edicts,
Follow rules and conventions
Everywhere: behind closed doors,
At the library, sometimes
Even in thought.
We must prove to ourselves  
We will never transgress.
Do we know from what?

When the lights are off
As we drift to sleep
We resolve for a different
Tomorrow.
Why live as we did 
Before we were swept 
By such a powerful flood?
We think of doves,
Outstretched arms,
Olive branches bearing fruit,
And we dream.

In the morning, after coffee,
We prepare for the day
But first we make sure-
Even the rebels, even the poets-
All of us make sure
We are holding on
To our antediluvian edicts.



September 2014

06 November 2014

IT’S HARD TO BE GRACEFUL

Is it preferable to be decorous
And bow gracefully
To the poet who holds all the cards?
The one I love
And pine for?

He recognized instantly I was
Still am, always will be

Was what?

Deep in love?
Deep in the arts?
Deep in the throat?

Or is it preferable to get angry?
Disappear again?
Which does he deserve?

He said to guard against
Sounding obtrusive

A man of few words 
He managed to say 

Obtrusive 

To me
And I was hurt but I apologised 
To the poet who holds all the cards

He keeps himself in check
He won’t let a single card slip by
And he shows them all to me 
Just so I know what I am missing

Look, this is the king of hearts he says
What a specimen!
Look, here’s the queen of hearts, a sad lady
How come such sadness? he asks

He’s a pretender, he knows how come

Each card signifies a loss
Each one reminds me of my job:
Entertain him, caress his vanity
Well, why stop at a caress?
How about a good old b and j?
His vanity deserves it
After all he practices his hobby
With superlative artistry 
He is the poet of seduction

Forgive me
I sound obtrusive, I know
Hard to avoid obtrusiveness 
Hard to be graceful

Plus he meditates 
A pilgrim of mountaintops 
Which makes him even more desirable

I crave the gamut
I mean, what good is swimming
If you won’t dive? 

I address him:

Will you draw me into the raw
Uncloaked intimacy of your orbit?

I am such a lousy card player!

THE DEPARTURE

Autumn.  The last sweet season before winter’s frost
Covers the earth and everything burrows inward.
A tender chill is in the air, and piled colors lost
From where they grew crunch underfoot upon the yard.

I am a visitor tonight, returning to the grounds
Where long ago I brought books and heart, as offerings to place
Onto discovery’s doorstep.  Now, hearing vibrant sounds
I follow a row of lampposts where athletes set to race.

I watch the gracefulness of youth, the passion which commands the field.
To spectators, age has gifted scarring for body and soul. 
And you, my cherished, peaceful warrior, whose intellect is battle’s shield
In this summering of life will sprint anew, leave our borders, leave us all.

Beloved voyager, I have no power to make clocks lose motion
And I know how futile the attempt to show my devotion.


11/08/2005

ON THE SUBJECT OF ANGELS

If I believed in angels,
I would wonder who
The angel would be
Assigned to look after me.

The love I called sweet angel
Is gone
And I let everything crumble into ruins since then

The threads holding me to life
Dissolved
And I am not a weaver to lace them back again

I ask for an ethereal angel,
Sexless, like I want to be.
Give me a celestial angel
To hover round me lovingly.

My sweet angel, a love I thought
Was true
Packed up, boarded a plane, and left me miserable and blue

Someone enticed him to a far-off shore
Gleefully now
Has him in tow, back turned to me, he has abandoned me

In myths, winged angels
Always accompany your soul,
And at life’s end they hold your hand
As heartbeat fades and body turns cold.

I love a man who is capricious,
To be disconsolate
Is my reward.  A piece of me broke off and died

When sweet capricious cast me aside.
Forsaken,
Not yet a cynic, I choose to yearn for his return

If I lacked passion
As do ethereals,
How fortunate would I be:
I’d live each day agony free.

I know angels do not exist,
Neither in love, nor in the heavens:
They live in dreams, they are a wish

And I know I’m a fallen human,
Coveting another’s happiness.   
My cup raised high, I toast to emptiness 

I’ll drink red wine till my bottle’s done.
Fly down archangel, share a glass
Then strike me lifeless,
Discard me where the dead amass.
                                              
  

MY LOVER IS A HUNTER

Oh, lover, you have aimed at my heart, left me
To howl like a beast caught in a hunter’s trap.

Crushed from the weight of hopelessness
I feel

Bones smashed, flesh torn, my body broken,
Broken by lovemaking that does not heal.

My arms are

Outstretched, empty, craving your embrace
Yet you’ll not come 

I cannot escape from abyss to find passage to your heart
My movements futile labor, all measures a step back
To the backwoods 

Backwoods sequester me, wild nature grows round me:
I see clouds rush, shadows appear, an umbra obstructs sunlight
Yes, home; and I hear the wind lash upon the weeds 

I speak to you
Of love

You, a phantom now.  Only my echo sounds your reply,
A whispering of my own words, filtered, distorted: 

Beast
Nest in your trap, gnaw raw your wounds, the hunter

The hunter left these woods.