At the Edges

After years on the road

you return to the edges.

By sea or by land

these moments of remembrance

stand wavering in the wind

blown pages that overlap

past and present phases

like contours of a map

the weather ages on the dash.

In the dark lake water,

dragonflies skim the surface

through which you peer

from a half- submerged pier

tilting into infinity.

The occasional break

in the pine morning quiet,

leaves scenes so familiar

they are like a reflection

rippled on the surface of otherwise placid

tree trunks, those sentinels of memory.

Home again but without its shackles,

he’ll continue his travels

into the night

going bat dark

above the rustling leaves

while morbid pines weep

into these quiverring pond strokes.

Eyes stroll along the dark mirror glass

catching the glimmer

of someone’s camp fire

conquering the edges of forests

and the sides of the road.

That fire tied together all those

that kept him warm.

That glimmer of

civilization,

a barely buoyant

swimmer within disintegration.

 

By morning he had disappeared,

leaving only wet dew and coals

approaching smoke that rolls off the lake

in folds that snake through

light breaks in the branches,

ghosts in motion again.

One city blending into the next

rain of realization that nothing lasts.

Dripping wires tied it all together

in elaborate passionate gasps,

fractured into tiny pieces

glittering in the glass

of a thousand parallel eyes.

Neon revolutions of stoplight symbols

known to those who initiated

complete surrender

to that which is transparant,

time, chance, whim,

cooking them together

by the side of the road.

A cutout against the wilderness,

a flickering flame under the pine wings,

riverbrook picnics

the momentum brings

long hours westward,

a straight line to nowhere was freedom.

He thought to write it this way,

in transient moments.

Everything he had to say

moves at a rapid pace

as states recede in rearview mirrors.

The open road fades into deserts,

widens into seas,

wellsprings to seize

pens and make amends,

to frame and make sense

of the curves and the bends,

predicting where this road ends.

Will edges round out

to form something solid to grasp?

Beyond the plateaus and abrupt drop-offs,

something of substance that will last?

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Transitions

ImageYou arrived with the smell of the sea

in the fibres of yak skin.

Freeing winter from your scarf,

you’d splinter cords to start a fire

to warm wine and sit by her,

for long hours sleeping,

you would venture no further.

Always reluctant to organize your whereabouts

into any recognizable pattern,

your path bends and zig zags

like hot liquid wax moments

between movement for its own sake.

The mystery would swallow you

with an insatiable urge

and you’d follow her

through liminal spaces

poised

to watch dawn progress into day

receding into dusk

until darkness strays into the sea.

The sea that instructs

each moment,

a renewal

an assistance

without resistance

you collect the submerged images

of dream precipitation

that could never be measured

in the blank fish-like stares

that assume assimilation.

Solitary images reflected in liquid windows

blurry, empty as a drained pint

empty as one not quite

everything to their lover,

there will be another

in the bits and fragments

you piece together

apartment lights

glittering and temporal

until leading to inevitable

exile.

 

Out at sea,

the course you map

reveals only

that no two passages are alike

but transition and tread water

until currents condemned to wander

lead you through the wake of shipwrecked error.

Home would be never

more than a mirage,

an invention, a montage

of memories and voices

albatross to your myriad choices,

you hear them calling from afar,

from out of the fog and eastern forests

full of mist and crows

there arose

a familiar threshold

something concrete and not simply imagined

a place to unfold weary limbs

to transition from whim and vagrancy

to the warmth of family.

Randy Voyant

Image

You reek of memory

instant recall

involving the random, the exotic,

inconceivable places we passed through,

strange skeletons of what’s suggested

snail gloss on the slippery words we infested

tepid swamps of standing water.

The same scene goes stagnant,

the dream redundant.

Randy, if you leave it,

it will be here when you return,

closing in on itself.

Home, where silence is like sunlight

calling you to be free of walls,

corridor and cushion

the fall

leaves

you adrift

floating downstream

you shape-shift

but do not mix

suspended but not solid

with liquid precision a withdrawal,

it’s been a long time since I followed you

into the disintegration

that would eat through

voices and words

burrowing in the head,

penetrating reflections faced with dread,

you would disrupt my personality

and feed my future instead.

You corroded my position,

dissolved the pressures of decision,

connected rather than dissected,

the ideals I sought

refuge in action before thought

a spark in the dark

like an exaggerated drag

of a hand-rolled cigarette,

calloused, crackling, Navajo ends

you see endure

without a face attached to them.

Non-attachment guarantees no exemption from pain.

The less you speak, the more I understand,

blind and tapping over land,

that silence should not be confused with discontent

but used instead as an instrument

to remove obstacles

along this perilous course.

Notes on a Leaving

Notes on a leaving

no longer difficult but finding

those winding highways

that snake through your past

like a colorful yarn or an exquisite fabric.

It is the one thing that went astray

but never came apart from you.

In the interim, the time between journies,

between glances in the moonlit canopied dark

that pries lover from each other,

the melancholy amused your desire

to celebrate distance.

Lost in the silence of its resonance,

tossed and growing stagnant, your residence

in one place for too long,

you are awoken finally by the ringing of distant bells

aware that it is time to move on.

Notes on a leaving

no longer difficult but easy weaving

and dreamlike floating along familiar motions.

Glaze over the automatic lives

lined like tin soldiers in the crystal gaze.

You’ve gone far off and following

wind throwing everything up,

turning the settled over,

passing the liminal spaces,

taking nothing with it and nothing for granted.

Suffering goodbyes

voices whispering “where are you going?”

Into the pale shadows of mountains

beyond the frail gallows of shelter,

the burning scents, familiar and unbearable,

so you trade them for woodsmoke

in the momentary passing of farms.

You trade them for motion,

solitary will and illusion

concocted out of the air

where another flight of fancy

is familiar but full of mystery.

All that false security

like felt pieces increasing the ante

of what you’ll leave behind.

Notes on a leaving

no longer difficult but like receiving

the tunes of a pained instrument’s melancholy,

one assumes from the cracked voice at the exit gate

that words are no longer necessary.