I wonder, do Datura dream?
They wake early each morning
with open petal throats of hope
to offer up a vulnerable essence.
They give the best they have to give
from the very roots of their love,
believing themselves life-sweetening;
the pleasure of summer.
And we smile at them.
We breathe them in, intimate.
We whisper of beauty
naming them Angels' Trumpets,
beloved of the moon.
Yet we know,
we know that they are poison
and by them,
we can never be fed.
We have known all this time.
And if they notice?
Frank and I met at The Fioretti.
It’s one of his favorite spots, you know
because of the outdoor seating
that lets us dine with his animal friends.
Besides, he really loves their vegan Ruben.
The wait-staff knows us well
and turns a blind eye
when he slips his Birks off under the table
or when Verna, his favorite chicken,
hops up for a snuggle and the promise of pie crumbs.
Though we love the view and Genmaicha, tonight we are quiet.
We watch dusk come slowly over the café,
turning itself round three times,
like an old cat,
before settling with a sigh to rest upon the land.
We are mourning for Newton;
thinking of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary;
tasting tragedy and loss.
We hold hands; pet nearby feather and fur.
We reach for every source of hope, like survivors do.
Then through his palm
and through my tears I feel a whisper.
On the wind, rumbling up through the dirt,
speeding into me,
I hear a new prayer...
I am as I was born, an instrument of peace.
Where there is hatred, let me listen and offer compassion.
Where there is injury, let me bring healing and mercy.
Where there is doubt, let me honor questioning.
Where there is despair, let me know my own fortune and let me share it.
Where there is darkness, let me sit and offer comfort in the night.
Where there is sadness, let me embrace.
Oh Life and all that is Divine,
may we offer consolation and may we open to consoling;
may we be understood as we continue to work for greater understanding,
may we love and let ourselves be loved.
For we are blessed in giving and receiving,
and in forgiving, we learn to cut ourselves some slack
for in living, we are born to Eternal Love.
pulls up slowly in a black limousine
and rolls down the darkened glass.
Tossing out cloudburst and a crumpled pack of Marlboros,
the open window lingers,
beckoning to bodies pressed in niches and beneath awnings.
But with what promise?
The Mackenzie’s, Rigby’s and I
ignore the implication,
turning our eyes and empty jars south
hoping for a warm bus, deserved kindness
and the significant transfer.
|October overslept today,
then burst forth from rumpled sheets,
rumbling into foggy socks.
No time, even for cinnamon tea,
and she’s out the door in a tumble of grey oilskin,
stuffing titian locks into her Brimmer.
She rakes up breeze-webs with her passing
and I feel her moving through me
on the platform, in the rain.
The dead are riding the trains again,
reading newspapers over our shoulders
and whispering to the unattended.
Sometimes I only half-sleep on leaving’s eve,
splitting flesh and fetch
between two realms.
One keeps watch all night,
recording the slumber shapes
that we sculpt against the sheets.
While the sky blends from indigo to rose,
we fold and unfold an origami of touch
a couple of argentine utensils in a drawer.
- Current Location:Chicago
"You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep."
Venus crossing the face of the sun on June 8, 2004 - photo by Paul Hyndman
Sky watchers, people of the Nile,
today I feel you.
I feel you in the tilting of our faces,
turned up, watching the bright magic of Ra.
I feel you in my ears and mind chanting,
“as above, so below - as above, so below”.
And above me
Venus treads the boards
to hold her whole self before the sun.
She unfurls her desire in the light,
shining within a shining so great
that nothing cannot been seen.
And I wonder
if she spurs her reflections below
Despite this well of longing, I feel afraid to ask for love.
It has turned its face from me with such sharpness
that I have forgotten the taste of succor.
With a mouthful of sour wine,
I have held that love asked for,
is love less valued; less true upon receiving.
In that way, I have taken what was offered.
I have found safety, yet I starve.
How does one dare
to ask, to risk; to gain
or to hear a resounding “no”?
How does one learn to transit the sun?
I went back tonight
with shadow and and the rush of the river.
I let myself be drawn
by that old magnet
and a lilac-like nostalgia.
In the dapple
made even darker by leaves
who heavy, reach across the streetlamp,
I stand at the fence. Its nightshade clad arms
square nine-hundred hours and hang humid
in the after-storm air.
We are familiar,
each to each other,
They smell of rain.
I smell of longing.
The slim row is fertile.
I know it all in the blue-black,
even without stepping in;
wilds of raspberry
over a carpet of smiling straw-bonnets
and a riot of yarrow,
so outrageous that he's had to put a picket fence around.
Time curves in
to kiss itself
and I'm standing here,
feeling loneness so large
it's as if
I'm the only living child in summer.
Solo and map-less
at an empty crossroads
unfurled in unnamed arms;
and a fist of roads not taken.
A traveler could fret,
to sort one from the other,
when definition eludes,
determined only with a first step.
Fear not the path,
nor those that will not walk it with you.
Be yet a way-maker,
whose two feet cannot suffer true loneliness,
if only for the having of each other.
Early spring comes after a misplaced winter
in crocus fingers,
impatient to point to the warming sun.
I look up, at their insistence,
tipping back my fervent face
to gulp the liquid light.
I will soak it in. I will carry it in my freckles
and in this blood orange
that you brought me, across four hundred miles.
When you return,
I will offer it all up to you,
in lips, sugared with citrus and a star's promise.