A Voice No Longer Attached

fox gold untitled

From the last breath come ripples.

A sad death by one’s own desperate choice,

does nothing to silence the voice

still reverberating in waves

through the collective consciousness.

Its infinite octaves

are still peeling sound from space,

re-entering on a spinning plate

to be absorbed through every fibre.

It contains your own painful journey

and the light from its galaxy can guide

the thoughts that do not run aground

but drift through your mind

like ghost ships of sound.

It softened the night,

only a footnote for its continuation

that could not be measured.

All the change contained in one voice,

The obscure mist-like breath

that covers the moon,

the bells ringing in the day.

With a scale that makes oceans out of rain,

you drew light over silken surfaces,

searching for something in vain

through depths we could never quite fathom.

A voice no longer attached,

like a shattered glass that knows no ceiling

but stealing shards from the sky,

a divine ballroom

collapsed in liquid edges,

suggesting it is more fluid than material.

It returns to the elemental,

the crackling of fire

the far off laughter in a trickster wind

disappearing around a bend.

There was a submission,

after grappling so long with misery,

You slipped to the deep end.

Strung out like clouds along the ridge line,

it was the peaks that pierce you.

The slight crack in a soaring falsetto,

an uninterrupted echo

in the forest, accomplice to what’s hidden in dense brush.

Like the sudden illumination of a spider’s web,

delicate as a vision,

it’s the sudden realization

that we were attached to something fleeting.

How quickly it shifts,

like the switch of the rails.

Metal on metal

fingers across chalk

scraping at the spine

with tingling waves until silenced,

until resigned to the rafters of empty halls.

Now stripped of all pretense,

this tree of its leaves,

with notes falling brilliantly

like flickers of flame

on the surfaces of streams.

It remains vagrant in the subconscious,

like the purpose of dreams,

until at last you align

and drop needles

into the waiting grooves of dark circles

spinning, illuminating

a craft that was always at the point of collapse.

 

In Memory of Chris Cornell

 

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Who Else Weeps but the Sea

darker spitting cave

Spitting Cave, sacred and sleepless

under the sheets of the sea

turning ,murmuring,

in the impression

that even the most solid of walls

dissolve eventually.

A breath goes in and sometimes death comes out,

with a tremendous mist

like the projecting of a myth,

a requiem for the unfortunate of fate

drawn to the edge of this place,

only to recede back

then double forward

like the delicate dance of the tide.

They are as bold as they are blind,

concealed in an earthen fold,

not muted by time,

something of them remains,

a spirit expressed in spray,

a raised image in salt

the ocean cannot wash away

the residual scar

raised like a plaque,

sunlit and speaking of those

who never crawled back to shore.

How reason turns to rock here,

madness in the spectacle of leap.

The rush of adrenaline,

one plunge into the snare of the sea

luring from within the energy

of internal proving grounds.

Young men mostly,

coming again and again to tempt providence

but without victory,

they become victims to the same trajectory,

tiny ripples in a massive wave of remorse.

In the mind’s eye all of Argos can collapse

into darkness, into the recesses of cliffs

where white rocks of deposit

are like ancient offerings to a coming crest

when history repeats itself

from pools of unspeakable depth.

Brief, our comparative windows,

the difference between life and death

just a shade or a hue,

cloud shadow and a stranded moon

mark the fleeting presence

on the edge of this precipice.

Another massive spray paints the perfect surface,

where we can glean something

from this museum of lost souls

sucked back into undulation and gone again.

The early light,

makeshift wife to empathy,

reeling from decades

of supporting something fading.

Time sets them free in the end

and with only memories, we’re left to grasp at air.

Cliff diver, into the sky you disappear,

your crystalline skin like a cracked lens,

roseate at the edges of traumatic moments

we piece together bit by bit.

You can still see the fateful flight,

how it surfaces and replays

for you alone this morning,

for no one else weeps for them but the sea,

cascading down the cliff’s face

like a torrent of emotion

symbolically stirring

in the watery graves underneath.

From Fissure 8

Fissure-8-Hawaii-volcano-eruption-1394633

The light peeks through the cracks

where consciousness and dreams overlap.

Coastlines and seas seep through the blind

like temporal prisms in time.

On a suspended plane, a transcontinental glide

lingering long after the advancing flame

where the memory of lava and ash will remain

ballast to what is swept away

under soft carpets, in strange landscapes

you escape while you can.

On diminishing roads and infinite waterways

there is no shelter

no air without sulfur,

what landmarks are left become unfamiliar,

inverted memories in turned over turf

give a glimpse of the glowing earth

that runs red

to river beds

in the impending birth of new land.

In the absence of all else

an unobstructed wind

would hit mountains head on

like something that was expected

but not fully prepared for.

The inevitability you seek to divert

joins in the rift from a hidden source,

from a network of tunnels, subliminal.

What words can be raised

to pave what has been erased?

to bring light to a cloud of ash?

Over development and endless desecration

an angry goddess passed.

The rupture deepens and they go up,

like offerings on a pyre,

the apocalyptic matchsticks of Pahoa

and the collapse of all structure

buoyed by  an immense ocean

is a burning unceasing as the notion

that all surfaces remain beholden

to the forces that lie beneath them.

 

 

 

 

 

Like a Mark still Visible

beautiful-scenery-blue-sky-mountains-nature-Favim.com-2245272

Like a mark still visible

after the rain

the light in yin, the shade in yang

a moment’s reflection,

an obscure meeting,

the temporal sky

the armored sea

merging in alchemy.

Shadowplay through a pinched valley,

a quality of light

that will not last on the surface

but goes down

like a ship in a storm,

a squall and a gasp,

the drowned dead on driftwood raft

to isolated coasts abiding tides

feasting bonfires, glowing eyes,

the glinting edge of river carved lines.

Moors illuminated

cliff face that finds

lifting veils, precipitous falls,

gathering cloud stalls

on cathedral peaks, impermanent.

In the pasture the meditative calm

of watchful sheep

against wild hills unsheathed.

Wind works through the imagination,

through trees that bend,

disintegrate on piper’s notes

that find you in the end

impermanent.

Akin to smoke

off the surface of lakes

early light through the steam

of sipping dark coffee

and dream

for an hour, the writer

ponders the theme

from a corner,

a chronicle in the change

of action into thought,

each becoming the other

shadow absorbed

into the white walls of its lover.

The message of marks

destined to be erased

is the beauty

in what does not last permanently.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where Innocence Intersects

roses on tracks

Memory,

the planted seeds of future work.

Those moments of mystery and violence

seared into childhood innocence.

In the rows of cross country cornfields

intersecting on the empty plains of thought.

You’re the point of entry

for these stalks on all sides,

until growing overhead,

you were not able to process it yet.

When what housed creativity

was merely a foundation,

fear is the forgotten masonry

that builds fascination.

Mystery,

those luminous garments

you’ll salvage from dark closets

to give form to again.

At Dungeon rock you keep digging,

finding only madness and subterranean water,

not realizing where the gold resides,

on the tips of the trees that line Cornel path.

 

Violence always had it’s place on the knife’s edge of time.

In old Kung Fu films and in the technicolored gaze

of Medusa’s severed head,

you were transfixed to the red

that emblazoned the cars of elevated trains.

From the Bronx to Coney Island

your imagination placed supreme significance

in the division of neighborhoods into gang turf,

written dimensions on a prized and ripped map.

By middle school a fear and fascination with death

found you staring out the windows

at long black hearses

ushering in St. Pius funerals.

There was no longer the safety of naivete,

friends lost parents, people got cancer,

a heart attack took Nonna

and the small panic you’ll always remember,

phone calls that announce a stranger

penetrating that tiny world.

All these recollections

sticking like mud at low tide.

Osgood eyes wet, keen on distant birds,

deciphered as spirit in the wavering trees

and in the dreamscape of the sky.

The ocean always returns to childhood

in the scent of salt marsh,

it marches back in time

to the music tangled in the cellar wires,

memories in the decay of seaweed at Derby Wharf

where all the layers overlap and you can read

the barnacled marks when it recedes.

Out from under the shadow’s thumbprint,

you’re the exposed rock of Chocorua awaiting a storm,

you’re Waterman seeking a nook on Lafayette Ridge,

Brailsford on a weighted line in Cormorant shade,

Cochran still unsolved in the fog of Swampscott.

What breaks the silence?

What moves the instrument and goes beyond science ?

Was it violence creeping in the telepathic underground?

Tripping the wires to access

the haunted tape loop of the mind?

The sudden screetch of trolley cars

collides with Garbarek’s sublime choir,

as if the bloodied petals off of Pulcherrima’s rose

were left scattered on the tracks.

You were there at the intersection

watching the passing of the rails,

standing over these remains

to note the juxtaposition

that holds unspoken significance

to what you have yet to transform into words.

 

 

 

 

The Essence knew no Boundary

koralia bonfireThe essence knew no boundary

over great tracts of wilderness,

in the abrupt descent into the sea.

Through uninterrupted spaces,

the spirit is as evident

as the grass it passes through.

Akin to a last breath expanding outwards,

seeking a landing,

somewhere to rest its laurel leaves

with lines of light

that guide through the night,

like the lanterns of Santa Marta,

all the runaway stars

that slip through the sky to the playa,

a culmination of sparks from a dual bonfire.

Passing between flames,

we were no longer the same but altered forever.

Candles capture our image

while smoke lifts us ascendant,

etched in the moon’s white visage,

we’re stark black and in tatters,

crisscrossing footprints, overlapping shadows.

Love and loss lean on each other

until they become one in the same

mournful song of nocturnal birds taking wing,

soon settling into everything;

a scent, a fabric,

the fragments in nature that form a picture

outside of any frame, it’s nothing we can name,

that which knows no boundary.

Entrenched in the heart,

the feeling swells into a soaring crescendo,

breaking chains of attachment, Bowie’s “Heroes”

communicating directly with something immaterial.

If the spirit was a wind,

it would be as wild and wayward as these trades,

ragged from journeys, seaborne and saved.

We would get a sense of it through its impact on the waves,

in the patterns in the sand it creates.

Relating to spirit it stands

seedless yet rooted,

following the oldest  of forms,

connecting practitioners with those who passed

a half a century before.

There is a subtle stirring in these movements,

a newer manifestation of an ancient art

which is once again a communication.

 

In the next chapter, after everyone goes home,

we’ll tend to the alters.

The ash of insense and dead petals will be swept.

The salvaged portrait polished

until we find time for reflection.

The gaze in the photograph

attaches a steady line to our own memory,

like a charcoal tracing over the spaces between meaning,

in a search that is never wavering,

we can come to an understanding

that between death and life

some things endure.

 

For Uncle Joe McCauley

I think of you often

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Petals of Remembrance

flowers ashore

When a bead of rain

within the outstretched palm of a fragile flower

becomes infused with light,

it is a butterfly being plucked away by the wind.

As it begins its climb, you observe its significance,

like a ray in the sky beaming directly

towards that sublime height.

Like a ring in the eclipse,

you’re transfixed on the other side

needing certain eyes to perceive

what it briefly reveals of shadow.

The ocean, like a vast blanket of patience,

receives our red petals of remembrance,

grasping for words, let loose and

inching forwards with radiant acceptance

in the swirling chaos of everyone’s remorse.

As you push towards the void that peers

through a transparent film of tears,

you can see within

all of the sorrow and reverberation.

This raw material evaporates

like a mist from a wave that hits you head on,

like a train from out of nowhere

pulling you from the comfort of your own

and into the sudden intrusion

of unkempt and uncontrolled emotion.

Grasping for empathy in the recesses the past processes.

Red flame, like a blade that cuts through regret

at what you could not change,

seared into an embrace of impermanence,

slow dance between the living and what is pending.

Witness the last breath,

like the receding of the ocean’s edge,

that uneven line of lengthening tide pulled tight,

until the pale face of the horizon’s sky

settles into the grey of night.

A peaceful process, this loss of light

in the turbulent spaces of holding on.

The beeping of machines

shifts to swarths of green beneath majestic peaks,

prompting a transformation in those of us there to witness

the simplicity of workers turning dirt,

different machines now laying him in the earth,

a reunion of sorts

beginning with white cranes

who come to usher his spirit away.

 

 

In Memory of Ka Yick Yu

7/25/40- 12/2/17