Without Landmarks

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Creativity,

like the night,

is never still or silent.

Its maneuvers shadow the palm fan,

quivering like a stray

that ran from underbrush

and into the corners of sight.

A brief foray into the light,

these myriad expressions pressed in parchment,

addressed to willing ears,

descending spiral stairs

to grope without landmarks.

Wandering alone, is that signal

flashing in the distance

enough to guide or provide relief?

Or is it only the heat lightning

of brief enlightening?

Recycling,

what has this to do with redemption?

Words from out of the past,

resurfaced, reused,

infused with new imagery

that burst like a capillary

from out of tired wrists.

All education is dying slowly.

worming through sentences,

towards another border

with nothing to declare.

So close to home,

this place will be your undoing.

Stitch by stitch,

this furtive fabric of fingers roaming

over the secrets you kept to yourself,

in nights of torn confetti

bursting from out of dreams.

Words like slow daze shadows

tightrope across tree limbs,

nothing to cling to but much to uncover

in the swaying fabric it follows.

Dreams at their most palpable,

invisible during the day,

now hold silent sway in dark dominion.

Like a fruit that blooms in the last layer of night,

cycles of thought re-emerge

to form just below the surface of an urge

to keep from drowning, words buoyant

in night seemingly endless and without morning.

Osiris in obsidian silences

sizes up another descent.

The pen points below

with words beginning to decay

as they travel downward

and further away from the source.

They have perfected the art of subtle entry.

Transformation and then dissipation beneath the surface

to caress expressions of profound wetness and silence.

Projecting notes over the sheer inevitability of cliffs,

those endless horizons to dream on,

the tranquility of moons on surfaces to gleam on,

to unwind crystalline spools

of ocean jewels

loosened but not grasped,

you choose this place to unravel at last.

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Passages

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The sun and sea comingling

with sand and thoughts

that sweat into words

running off of the skin

like beads that begin

to evaporate in the heat.

Words repeat

clinging to the mind

like a tangle of vines

on the decrepit walls of a decaying palazzo.

The ocean fills the spaces between passages

and you go down,

not quite damaged but exposed

in that precarious spot

between restless pursuit and painful waiting.

Pens heavying for a vital point,

compulsively clouded in inky residue,

it is dipped again to anoint the end,

recording a passage in time.

Talk gets swallowed by the quiet forms,

now dry and windswept words

parched in the longing for rain.

Questions arise to be kept in the silence of wards,

starched white inhabitants, restless and insane,

have you moving this instrument again and again.

Like the snail’s trail that glistens over the fragile leaf,

the pen moves like a thief over delicate pages.

This subtle movement, persistant,

takes hold of eternity.

Carrying it for awhile,

it goes unbroken,

if only by thought and daylight,

words fill the empty spaces

once occupied by love.

It forms devotion,

holding up this crumbling land

once was an ocean.

It’s flow had no obstruction,

against it rock merely rested,

there was nowhere it was not,

all was invested.

Down by its edges,

passive, pensive,

up above the wellspring of words.

That through the ages

have become sunken,

calling out for inspiration,

while you rendezvous with vacancy.

Secrets may be revealed,

one passage at a time.

Over rock walls

down stairways,

one salty luminous rhyme.

The hidden coves of coral inlets

hide myriad beaches

to leave temporary footprints.

The cool dive in the morning mist

pulls out a beating heart

dripping from your fist

and though waves constantly besiege,

Shangri-La won’t resist.

The sea revealing its mystery,

on the underbelly

the scars of its history

that will continue to endure.

Subtle Signals

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When the past would conspire

to be more than dreamlike

and grow stems in the present,

memories will manifest themselves as puzzles

and what has been left unfinished

will reveal itself line by line,

stacked in preservation,

one drawer at a time.

A subtle cobweb of strands

illuminated by closer inspection.

Silent out of necessity,

neglected as streets in winter lonely,

the wind strips the pages of pretense.

Watch them dance until pressed against the backyard fence,

where the minute details flee the light of day

like tiny mammals from the talons of roving hawks.

The hastily scribbled dream pad construction of letters

are like a breadcrumb trail back,

like keys to unlock the subconscious

surging through the narrow modes

we put it through,

all the swallowed codes

of how reasonable processes should unfold.

Where else can we put these shadows?

Subtle signals still darkness,

flickering impressions

in the form of stories, symbols,

the rain-washed aftermath of chapters

in a torrential outpouring of feeling.

Fingers follow the unpeeling,

resist not nor enclose with a gilded ceiling,

the duality is always revealing

mirrors, reflections overcome by changes.

Limbs burdened by rain,

arms reaching down to hold again,

fears and doubt swaddled by routine.

Within, without, like a banyan route to the unseen.

Drowning water

Mute land for inspiration

approached with the frenzy of exploration.

Propelled on streams that mirror the mind’s mist.

Hold tightly the oar in a clenched fist

to fight against the current,

the whirlpools of hindsight

that has us drifting in circles

towards dark coves of graphite.

Our battered craft

searches for scattered scaps of light

amongst wrinkled ripples

spilling cataracts over edges

falling

frothing

following its course

like some Norse hero towards Valhalla.

Where moments die, that’s where we will be.

Amongst fallen fragments,

collecting the debris

that is pieced together

on the unfolding fabric of infinity.

The Swallows

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Following the mountains

the journey turns south,

Washes over roads

and between arroyos,

it is written in the sky above.

Scratched into the tire marks of transport,

it darkens

the temporary shelter,

from out of the elements

under a motionless roof,

a sodden rug, a couch no less elegant,

a place to hang a hammock

between the pillars

in the cloister garden courtyard

for just one night.

Summer shows cracks of autumn.

Leaves to cold stone,

the frost is coming

to leave scars on windows

in villages so high up

they seem perched precariously

in ravines of these passing scenes.

Cold wind through the chimes

precipitates the search for warmer climes

where the jungle falls into the sea

eventually he will reach Mismaloya.

Climbing hills at twilight

to gather a bucket of stars,

to empty into alleys after the rain,

serene streams moving over cobbles

bringing with it the scent of soil

calming, audible

it sets alight

the quiverring of  leaves

falling like embers

into the aroma of open fires

and fresh baked tortillas.

This strange lodger,

disheveled, wrapped in a poncho.

With no recognizable features,

is somehow illuminated

by a light now gleaming in the narrows,

like the swallows streaming

from out of cracks in the armor.

Their dance is arresting for a moment,

like a beautiful language

from out of shuttered windows.

Listen for their voices

like the ragged hymns of a chorus

awash in folklore.

Tonight the village lights candles

on the family cemetary floor.

On makeshift alters

they offer food and drink,

sugar skulls to sweeten the loss

of loved ones that passed

solemnly in procession

with glowing hands

they cup the santeria.

Dia de los muertos

Under the volcano

Draped in clouds of darkened shawls,

widowed in the shifting sky

of the eye that watches it all

from an attic window.

Above the white-washed balconies,

beyond the vines and terraced gardens

deep in the south,

you see him there in the distance

of fields and fallen walls.

Randy moving languidly

between the sounding of the bells

on ocher pathways

of terra-cotta and broken shells.

Seeming to climb behind the clouds,

he swallows golden light

to shoot out in prisms,

fractured, all his prisons

fall away with illuminated wings

to fly freely.

Perhaps the swallows he kept seeing

were angels all along.

Trapped in his chest

but hemmed in no longer,

they now circle the sky with every breath.