When the Wind is a Whim

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It’s early morning on the day of departure.

Leaving this island again,

a kind of exile,

this home without you.

Though you are there

the core is bare

beneath a lush surface.

In your face a familiarity

a place time released sand in,

if you were once a traveling companion,

I now go alone to get closer to you.

Closure from you?

Like paddling through inertia,

thoughts sea swept into the distance.

Distance, something that always did us good,

limitless author of options for

those too individualistic

to stick to one another for long.

So we remain enamored

by the solitary journey

that hammers its adversity

into this domesticity

like the common belief

that we’re somehow unique

rather than entwined.

Seems the truth is defined by both

and neither of us is truly in control.

So we journey on alone

and wear the changes proudly

as if it is the only fabric that endures.

You’ve helped me to embrace it,

accept it, reject it, rail against it

and go solo into the neons and night skies

that cross a vast ocean

to land me on a notion

that this city we built was only a prelude

to all this drifting further west.

East? West? 

It’s all one circle in the begin again.

Now here at the cliff’s precipice

I’m ready.

With a swift throw

to feed fire to the wind,

to go with illuminated wings

floating feather-like

into wherever its whim

may bring me next.

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Dancing in the Aftermath

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Darkness

Witnessed beneath the passing of storms

is an intermingling of forms

in a collective mourning.

It is like a mist that would slowly lift,

forming arms to embrace these transitory gifts.

Fear not for loss of visibility,

the mountain that is closed in by cloud

will be clear again before long.

As clear as the sound of the river,

as real as a chill’s shiver at higher elevation,

where the shrouded ridges of last light

backdrop the blank expectations

etched in the countryside.

In this expanse we trespass,

red eyed and sleepless.

Moonlight moves its restless

and illuminated stream

along the ground like silvery fingers,

gesticulating palm shadows

prowling like iguanas through the brush,

all is darkened and mysterious

when witnessed in the torch light upon leaves,

from our circles of heat,

dancing until morning to retreat

somewhere distant.

We keep the loss a continent away

and though never far from us,

some will stray,

while the hours drift

into thinking of them less,

drinking from pools that appear bottomless,

 the moon would still hover

to illuminate the cracks

of the future’s chewed through mask.

How it seeks to cover with forgetful revelry

all that distinguishes one night from another,

another night without a husband, a son or a brother.

 

From beyond the wind joins us

in dancing through the fallen leaves

and through trees made to bend over

lost loved ones as if to weep

and we leave our own notes

soaked with rain,

words of empathy,

for no mother

should feel the kind of pain

that comes from losing a son.

When he was gone,

the moon held everyone,

bound by the light

that sees the sea to its end,

to horizons perched

and appearing to teeter

over the horror

that we sometimes sail too close to

and this very wind that we hold fast to

pushes us through

a perilously slow process

of gathering our breath,

until strong enough to reverse the tide,

to release those who died,

blowing that cold wind

back into darkness again.

The Subtle Imprint

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It appeared out of a dream

like the clay embryo of the sun

drawn over crystal waters.

It coalesces with rain

rippling the shimmering surface

of a day’s meditation

and if the indigo of ancient lakes

ever empties into darkness,

the people along the edges are there to gather,

in the places myths are still told

and out of the spoken word behold

a sky that is slowly born again.

There is an origin

to where the museum ends

and real life begins.

What is left of a dwindling offering?

Where wet hillsides and rivers twist

in stone sunrise and verdant mist,

through reverberating valleys

of earth and abode,

coils of smoke expelled

from exposed terre cotta,

rooftops that appear broken

from under the weight of the sky.

 

It appeared out of the corner of the eye,

these stairways that lead to the sun.

Figures moving out of the shade

on aching limbs that had just begun

to acclimate to the reverance

forming along the paths of an ancient host.

There were holes in the cliffs of empty graves,

ghosts passing through the outposts of whisper,

beyond the Incan windows of wind,

witnessing the wails

still captive upon the terraced emptiness

that conquers the walls

of perfectly geometric bricks.

Soon twilight is carved by the Urubamba.

Sacred valleys remain where they settled,

receiving a glimpse in the shadow of the tours,

the subtle imprint of ancestors.

 

It appeared spread before

these temples to the sun.

What has been lost?

What has been won?

These patterns of taking

destined to be repeated

long after the forms subside.

Spirits still pass through the openings

long after the conquerors divide.

Sacred pouches still sprinkle the rain

from a halo of cloud

obscuring with its shroud

all the messages from the unknown,

scrawled in cryptic symbols across the stone,

this venerable home of perfect symmetry.

Pass through the arches, look to the gods,

we are where we are meant to be.