Sunday, April 29, 2007

Midnight Sun

Ground shifts and breaks apart,
moving away in great flows.
The white bear slithers on his belly
to find food on disappearing land.

His ribs rattle, stomach sucks empty.
Amidst a wash of blood he hunts
but fails. Beneath fey northern lights
tonight the life bequeathed to ice gods
will be his own.

Soon the joy of snow, twisted
patterns of flurries where bears roll
and slide, will give way
before the never-setting sun.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

While We Wait For May

The daisies continue to stretch
in search of sun

the way cathedral steps stretch
to the son of God,

or a virgin in stained glass prays,
backlit to glorious hues.

In the north
winter's white mirror thins and cracks,

while south, wood is stacked, curtains drawn,
and chairs gathered closer round the hearth.

I wait like a mourner in graven motif
alongside a tomb from 400BC,

wait like stone, as the blips on the monitor
keep talley of your heart

where you lie
inhabiting silence.

The wing beats of a flock of tears
pass over the face in the mirror.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


The house is empty,
door gaping,
he sits and watches.

The screen surrounds him,
he becomes molecules of snow
where transmissions flicker,
run along his fingers,
through hair, over cheeks.

Like a shadow tattoo
commercials for Warehouse specials,
family service announcements
about depression, and movie
of the week frame
and construct him.

He's a mini series of couch potato
seeding murder, torture, rape,
the cult cool of 45 magnum,
collating ideas for future events
from minds far more ingenious than his.

The Landing

She landed belly up
on the velvet cushioning
of the chaise longue,
lips parted as air
cut her gills.

A foreign element
so unlike the silken fluid
that usually grazed them.

The hook pierced
the pink-ridged roof
of her mouth,

lure of steel,
flash of light.


Here she is in her crouch
and hop dance. Knuckles
scrape the ground, shoulders
bunched against the weight,
face mooshed to the dust laden whirls
of breathing inner city.

Hunker down so as not to be
a tall scarlet flower
wafting above the milling throng.

Would you sit in a bright lit room
and allow tears to flow freely?
Do you know the ground
you step on is an open grave?

The Scent of Fear

When she looks into faces of people
who pass in the street she sees
empty, afraid, anxious.
Hardly any smile,
so close to madness.

Makes her wish she had stayed
within the walls of family
amid the aroma of fresh biscuits
and roast lamb.

The nights back then smelled like river,
scent of the water rising
and mingling with air.

She could see the moon
with her eyes closed.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Pathways to Temple

Does it seem to you too grand
that I call myself the moon?

I do not mean that I have charge of night,
or that all should fall and worship me.

I cannot turn midnight lakes to silver,
or gild the trees with shadows.

I can't call forth the nightbird's song,
or light stone palaces white.

I only mean I lay beneath her quiet leaves
and count the chimes as stars chink up the sky.

I only mean I feel the breeze
as the hem of her gown ruffles past my lips

and that, like her, the velvet dark
is cloth whereon I rest my thoughts.

Katherine Mansfield on writing ...

I'm reading a collection of Katherine Mansfield's letters and journal entries, collected by C.K. Stead, at the moment. I read an entry this morning that especially resonated with me and I wanted to share it here. This is part of a letter by K.M. to her husband, J.M. Murry. At the time of writing she had been ill for three years with the consumption which finally killed her:

"Isn't it possible that if one yielded there is a whole world into which one is received? It is so near and yet I am conscious that I hold back from giving myself up to it. What is this something mysterious that waits - that beckons?

And then suffering, bodily suffering such as I have known for three years. It has changed for ever everything - even the appearance of the world is not the same - there is something added. Everything has its shadow. Is it right to resist such suffering? Do you know I felt it has been an immense privilege. Yes, in spite of all. How blind we little creatures are! Darling, it's only the fairy tales we really live by. If we set out upon a journey, the greater the temptations and perils to be overcome. And if someone rebels and says, Life isn't good enough on those terms, one can only say: 'it is!' Don't misunderstand me. I don't mean 'a thorn in the flesh, my dear' - it's a million times more mysterious. It has taken me three years to understand this - to come to see this. We resist, we are terribly frightened. The little boat enters the dark fearful gulf and our only cry is to escape - 'put me on land again'. But it's useless. Nobody listens. The shadowy figure rows on. One ought to sit still and uncover one's eyes.

I believe the greatest failing of all is to be frightened. Perfect Love casteth out Fear. When I look back on my life all my mistakes have been because I was afraid ... Was that why I had to look on death? Would nothing else cure me?"

and to Hugh Walpole on writing ...

"You know that strange sense of insecurity at the last, the feeling 'I know all this, I know still more. I know down to the minutest detail and perhaps more still, but shall I dare to trust myself to tell all? It is really why we write, as I see it, that we may arrive at this moment and yet - it is stepping into the air to yield to it - a kind of anguish and rapture."

This describes for me, some of both the difficulty and reward of writing.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Cat & Dog Diary

*_Excerpts from a Dog's Diary_*

8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!

9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!

9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!

10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!

12:00 pm - Lunch! My favorite thing!

1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!

3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing

5:00 pm - Milk bones! My favorite thing!

6:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!

8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!

11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

*_Excerpts from a Cat's Diary_*

Day 983 of my captivity.

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.

They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are
fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for
the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order
to keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps me going is my dream
of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the

Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their
feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it
demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made
condescending comments about what a "good little hunter" I am. Bastards!

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was
placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I
could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my
was due to the power of "allergies." I must learn what this means, and
how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my
tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try
this again tomorrow -- but at the top of the stairs. I am convinced that
the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches.

The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released -
and seem to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded.

The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicate with
the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My
have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he
is safe. For now...