Travelling Companion

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For this travelling companion,

this confidant, incorrigible sibling,

I’ll be the soldier

who fights for non-existent things.

For causes unknown,

effects overblown,

in the rubble where I was thrown

in sorrow

in pleasure

the writing on the wall like a plucked feather

fall together

in the pages of each other

until the memory of movement is dead.
This mouth, fed

one last image before

sleep’s forgetfulness.

She is drawing under the light

of a paper lantern.

The ink is dark like her hair,

wet strands on parchment paper,

if only to form the cryptic letter

that wasn’t to me or anyone else.

She turns towards herself,

the time when the city is engulfed in quiet

and the music is a memory

long gone

into the brain,

shrug off the silence in vain,

tomorrow she’ll be dreaming

as I’m leaving

without a lock or a key

to her thoughts,

a strand of her hair

to keep close in my tangled corridors.

In my reading of her, in my routine stir of the surface,

lest we’ve become stagnant seaweed between

the motion of what we’ve shared.
An ocean for the abandoned there

and you are not alone

I keep telling myself,

this is why you are there for her.

When the sky’s wide rainclouds cover and color

all that proceeded under,

motherless and prone,

huddle together,

the lantern in the darkest of weather

is that you are not alone.

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Harvest an Escape

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Monte San Savino

entombed and silent,

preserved in smoke,

birthed into the next ancestor

that broke the mold,

like light through endless alleys

searching for a new home.

Blurring into another,

surrounded by remnants,

soon to uncover a passage in time.

Just before Spring

when winter is entwined in a last frost,

you lost your bearings to wandering.

Goals were offered up to a symbolic death.

Mist hanging like a pall on the rooftops,

moving across the stone with a silvery breath,

read in the meandering path like an epitaph to familiarity.

Seized with the reverie

of being lost in a foreign place.

Dragging a tired frame along the ground,

listening for the sound of echoes,

you’ve been here before.

Tracks rebound back to bells,

weaving a litany of spells,

one of which is the wish to remain,

to build a niche to destroy one day.

 

On burning bridges

you’re caught between places.

All that you built, all the pursuit,

leads to crossroads of dust

and the withering of fruit.

Still, it was nourishment for time,

to fuel the movement.

La Strada is like saying

another knot is coming loose.

New directions bent like stalks of vine

on the road to Gargonza.

Far gone and towards?

Which way is forward?

Deciphering all the cryptic signs

on horizon lines

that conspire in journals

to dissolve barriers

and toss you outside the walls.

You sleep in a contorted position.

The deep dark held you down to dream

of a familiarity skewed

as the motion picture spewed

images across the screen.

Indecipherable

until you rifle through

the drawers of your collected meaning.

This drama you may yet comprehend.

This gift to get lost in

your own countryside,

verdant and vast,

vacant for the imagination to cast in clay,

contours to assume

until it comes to decay.

The sun sweetens the grape,

harvests an escape,

while the wind plucks them away.

Another vagrant sure to stray

into different shades,

harmonized with the landscape

of tattered clothes,

of stone stairs and sleeping alone.

Without a home and in limbo,

its the oldest place one can go.

 

 

 

From a Poem Unwritten

wet cobbled roadway

How the light plays into the dark

like a moon through stained glass,

cutting a swarth across marble floors.

It seeps into the cracks

like water to the tracks,

how a distant piano

to a curious ear attracts

a frozen moment.

You follow the fleeting

seeking some origin,

reaching out for inspiration

as if it were original sin.

Recitations from a poem unwritten.

Words hidden under the tongue

of the surface incantation,

medieval in contour,

unchanged

namelessly forgotten,

however flourished with eternity.

The melancholy of indecision,

climbing the walls of narrow passages

like wisteria

you adhere to the impulse

to cover all that once lay bare,

manifest this destiny and call it progress.

I digress,

down blind alleys,

breathing in sanctuary

beneath a swaying sheet wind.

I drag tired fingers around the next bend.

The next barrier

is more impressive than the last.

There’s an attempt to grasp

something in the lapse between thoughts,

to preserve the feeling

too fleeting to remain aware

of its tingling presence.

Like a mist on the skin,

it is enough to inspire devotion.

 

Frantic steps ring off the cobbles,

a shadow climbs the wall

only to stall in chiarascuro.

Like a scene from Caravaggio,

this nameless friar

will pass through desire

until all becomes a dark entry in prayer.

Something is always left in these corners,

where candles aid their illumination

and thoughts drift elsewhere

in the dancing theatre

of undefined movements.

The unknowing becomes vagabond

to the warmest of comforts.

You find yourself

in these blankets of cloud cover,

observing holes in the disguise.

The veil suddenly lifted,

experience immediate

under infinite skies.

No longer a stranger

to reviving lines

fading like frescoes,

while time is like dead skin

floating down the drain of revision.

Flushed and transported by traces

left to sparkle on wet stone,

so that you can gaze upon these mirrors

and hasten a return home.

Home, your feeling

is kept fleeting.

A haven

so you can continue repeating

these steps that lead you

towards the perfect escape. 

A Port in the Sea of Memory

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Seasons changing

with a suggestive early morning

glowing of rose colored vapors

ascending the spiral stairs

of wrought iron alleyways.

Suddenly revealed

in their gardens of distended shadows

that splendidly hang

in a momentary shaft light,

the repetitive drift of crystal drops

that had accumulated from the season before

on the once frozen rooftops.

It captures a moment,

where journeys begin

where journeys end,

lines tied together in chimes,

loosened by the breeze,

into a musical wind that leads far and wide.

 

This has been a stopover.

A port in the sea of memory,

all brick and solemn

in the swirling fog of transient rain

caught in the trees like a sparkling headress

that addresses what has accumulated around the custom,

in a setting so contrary to where I have been living,

a land of eternal sunshine.

But this cold block of bedrock,

with alleys enclosing old feelings,

ancient and solid

ancestral and rooted

in the soil and the sidewalks,

everywhere there are landmarks.

You approach this table

from out of the travel

clutching a memento,

like an offering you leave it

to shelves and drawers

before you withdraw lightly

into the lure of the exotic.

Another train

another bus or plane

it is unnecessary for me to fortify,

this place will always remain.

On the periphery of circles,

looking inside the familiar

shadows of former times,

the brief dramas

the sad passing showers

flow in the wake of lines

holding and urging,

the only thing golden was leaving,

from out of winter

into the thaw of receiving

a necessary momentum.

Between Here and the Next Stage (A Festival)

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Empty fields to swelling crowds

blue skies to encroaching clouds

delicate sitar strings

to feedback so loud

the eardrum rings and reverberates

into the next repetitious beat.

Somehow it is tribal.

Something to rival

the isolation of the day to day,

when habits shake away in our flimsy boxes.

Finally able to shed its skin,

to levitate from within,

audience to exploration.

This profound surrender

to spontaneous movements,

surfing into the sound,

a swirl of the imagination

lifts us from the ground.

It completes the journey

without gravity,

from tension to release,

individual oppression

to collective expression.

 

We converge from all corners of the earth.

England, Iceland, Japan,

Dancer, spectator, musician.

A photographer captures our composition,

our cathartic expressions.

Along the periphery,

see her and then she is gone,

leaving only the mystery of a fleeting purpose.

A wish to ask her, if only to liberate curiosity,

if she’s no longer the same as when she came in.

Moth to butterfly, like a shifting sky

bleeding dark to call out the moon,

glowing yellow from the trees of its elevation,

reflecting in the river amphitheater.

Suddenly the night is like leather

and dark packs prowl through the weather.

You can hear their bikes and classic cars

racing towards some dead man’s curve,

they throttle into oblivion.

Mirror images become distorted

with kaleidoscopic color tableaus,

of time travel and transformation,

suddenly it is the 1960’s,

a helicopter hovers

and Vietnam imagery

uncovers the killing fields

from out of the smoke

of sonic explosions.

Music awash with reverb,

dripping with jewels,

like the moon now merging

with the creek top,

everything moving

upon an inkblot ceiling,

absorbed into the next set,

so strange and inflamed,

the fire burns through time and space,

blurring the lines

between here and the next stage.

Improvised euphoria and elation,

transformation rather than

the simple weathering of elements

in the weariness of limbs,

a remedy

on the end of a discordant melody.

 

It’s lifting.

Veils of smoke and time

falling away from the fingers

of these revered figures.

Musicians who play through

three days of psychedelic haze.

The drone of their instruments,

like planes overhead,

lights collapsing on the fields unfolding,

once nondescript

now composing

a disorienting canvass of interloping,

all manner of merging

on an indigo meadow

of blurred reference points.

It is a skewed Coachella,

like her wierd brother,

with a great record collection,

far flung and growing like a thorn

out of the hill country of central Texas.

Rain and stage light

wets the technicolor appetite.

Everything designed to alter and transform

before our dilated eyes,

translucent feathers,

tranquil waters

swell to worship

those alters of music,

those altered perceptions

of the majestic moment

reflected in each,

a glimpse of awe.