The sun rises on All Souls Day.
All is quiet against the edges
of its roseate significance.
Eyes pilot dawn
to pull up the drawn shades
in celebration of all that has gone before.
The first light comes like a vagabond
from out of the dark,
like a poetry who’ll correspond
with every emerging rock and stranded moon sliver.
Seen from above, these forms are reflected,
while cloud cover shivers with the alchemy of expectation.
They’ll come like half-formed silhouettes
giving shape to the imagination,
an indentation, a footprint
on the lunar dreamscape of sand.
It is there, with the shoreline accentuated in foam,
growing out of the soft glow of the sea
receding to the strength of morning,
transforming the shadow of mourning
the passing of loved ones
like mist in the hills growing further away.
On this day they are near
to the hue as the sky breaks up the fear,
and the dark contours of thought
are merely detours to steer through,
like a road that hugs a cliff,
unforgiving if you’ll stray
too close to the edge of a petrified flame,
this old and weathered grey shaved
as dawn draws petroglyphs on the walls of the cave
to light the way.
I can hear the heart beating
the sweat beading
the rhythmic breathing
from the climbing
to ridge stillness.
Beyond a wilderness of ferns
is a sea gaze and I am brought home again.
Plans do not always bring
high winds to stagnant bookends
when becalmed in the middle of the ocean,
what draws me on remains a mystery,
how every step deconstructs what’s within,
dawn is always starting over.
and you’d swear someone was there to share it with you.
The scent of shadows in the dim light
discouraged where the passage narrows.
Vacant districts bear the distance between familiars
as the streetcar lingers
into the bells of Mission Dolores.
It seems to river the sorrow of derelict streets
where homelessness meets opulence
in the clash of sidewalk belongings and locked gates.
In the citied layers of fate,
there’s always a remnant of what came before.
A voyant’s place in it reads of inspiration
before it recedes into nostalgia
pushing fog down alleys
intersecting with emptiness
drained of pints in Dylan’s no longer,
traced with gold paint
that trails off into the night you never went gently
but merged with the solitary city motion
spinning with urgency
attracting all the sensory possibility
that was freewheeling towards you.
I’d never permanent any decision
nor create a situation
I couldn’t leave at the drop of a hat,
at least it used to be like that.
Travel sweeps up the remains
of an old fabric
left under the surface of places once passed through.
Autumn gathers leaves for the burning,
a dormant persona under the sleeves of yak skin,
layers of driftwood words
pushed towards a back pocket,
a pendant around the neck
of beaches bathed in the glow of early morning
Pushing open the doors of dreamlike half-light
spilling onto the same Folsom abandon,
somehow still wholesome in its randomness.
The simple fact that these places still exist,
I know the scent well,
the strange perfume of the road
mixed with campfire in your fibers,
damp backpacks covered by rain-soaked ponchos,
the kind that grow fond on you
and familiar as an old friend,
the kind you pick up hitching back into town
or embrace in winter when the cold clings to them
as they stamp out boots and come indoors.
It is the scent of the night
and speaks of far shores
of open answers
of freedom and chance
whose features are fading in time’s expanse,
fractured into aspects that remain
from all that came before.
What is the soul of a place
save that which is evident yet inexpressible?
Told through the very details that moved you.