Clear a Space Among the Ruin


IMG_1186t kaniakapupu black and white

You can imagine it in its splendor,

for surely the full moon casts a glow

over the ruins of Kaniakapupu in the

early hours.

This emergence

from the contours of a clouded sarcophagus,

will leave no witness.

No one taking meaningless pictures

to capture or extract from its essence,

nothing to distract from a dance,

luminous as it is sudden in its disappearance.

Our temporal bodies a nonentity

to the unseen symmetry of stones

and in their reflection our own illusions unlearned.

To clear a space for illumination, for the imagination,

an axis of paths scratched out of the convolution of bamboo,

a place for the wind to gather leaves

in the striptease of season’s silence

shaken and committed to streams

and in the passage of time

sense the essence of nature

whose falls appear out of the gloom of mountains,

from under the veil of ghostly heights

too treacherous to reveal secrets to foolish climbers.

Rain, relief, sadness and acceptance,

all upon the skin of the message;

trust the process.

Light, like a torch through the canopy,

gifts a brief glance at the inner geometry,

the blurred boundary between the spirit and the living,

between stillness and motion,

receive inspiration like a transmission.

Surfaces mirror the soul,

control the discourse

over what is known of forests.

Remnants of history, partial achievement

coming into focus from out of obscurity.

Clear a space for the sacred,

somewhere to retreat

from the profanity of the city.

All the modern means of obstruction,

the flow confined to concrete,

the land mined under the guise of progress.

Under the shadow of glass,

no one seems to care that it can never last.

In a hundred years, when the forces of nature

clear another space,

what will be the state of our ruin?

the legacy of our folly?








The Wound


When night finally collapses,

dawn is the wound through which the light passes.

As the great moon, in the trajectory of its swoon,

consolidates to day,

witness its fade into listless clouds

braced for a fall

with only a thin gauze

to soak up the remains of its thaw.

Beyond the slumber of the creator

behind the shear walls of the crater,

smoke fills the windswept precipice,

smoldering beneath the retreat of dark,

the sun was the first spark, the most prominent streak

that flashed across the page.

With a pause to peek over the edges,

it’ll teeter like an illuminated feather

spreading under waves of undulating color

blinding the horizon’s climatic ending.

If words parted the veil of memory,

starting a slow descent from its volcanic cavity,

bright lines would burn from an inner landscape like a vision,

over fields of new growth with regeneration.

Through each entity, no construct spared

nor offered immunity,

it clears every border

progressing towards her sea

where sharks of the subconscious,

sensitive to emotional debris,

encircle the tattered remnants of the past

sinking slowly into shadow,

eclipsing the material

with shades of stained glass in eternity.

Like a prism, the light passes through

even the deepest wounds eventually.


Canvass Transparency


Focusing on a point in-between

all the moments that came and will be.

A blank canvass

for the transparent vision

that if not for these columns

would be a decline into confusion.

A pondering of illuminated strands

stretched and torn

where hobbies are born out of the illusion

of sewing them back together.

A life picked apart.

A progression that picks up art

as it goes

until the last breath poses the question,

“What is left and what is worth bringing?”

For a collector of scenes,

becoming aware

of how they thread themselves into dreams,

like a canvass transparency

so that light can filter through in words,

a luminescent dial pointed towards this possibility.

With spasms of inspiration,

like an electric current,

climbing the spine.

A direct circuit

that feeds into the divine,

shines like a beacon’s light

across the night to suspend time,

like a bridge that connects no land.


The sun returns to fill in the cracks

between the cold and the blanket.

You feel eternity in the warmth alone,

when prone to consider

the thin veil between us.

Most days you lay hidden in variable weather.

So seeking diversion elsewhere,

you try to forget her.

Like a divergent thought

splitting paths

leaving traces

like shadow on the open spaces

or skin on the pillows of cloud,

a canvass, transparent

passing without a sound.

Another curve suddenly,

with no segway

(distant railroad whistles)

Only the lonely longing

that is evident in a melancholy heart

bound to an excess of feeling.

Warming to a kind of spontaneous animation,

the dancing flames,

the wrist that weaves its keening

into addresses and names.

It is stamped with a charred scent,

another goodbye,

post cards from a starter fire

inspires impermanence

with a burnt edge and a piece of paper.

Drifting up with sparks of insight,

dancing flecks moving aimless

into the dark of the night.

Fireflies in oblivion

you could almost grasp

as the last gasp of the hearth

crackles for all it is worth

in an amphitheater of shadows.

With Nightly Emergence


Words wander in sync with churchbells in Bologna.

Under the shadow of its narrows,

light filters through breaks in the buildings,

through tables populated by candlelight,

conversations, from unknown lips

would converge with nightly emergence.

Words, dream initiated thoughtful insomnia,

turn corners in the narrow quarters,

casting lamplight on the rain-wet familiarity

of past lives and old journals.

I fish your form out of the moving masses

that make up the internal rhythm of the city.

The main drag, the ongoing strip

shows one curve at a time.

Each choice, each rhyme,

cast in fascination’s design,

you familiarize and then rationalize

that you have claimed some of it as your own.

Heading for the exits,

through the archways,

into the stream of intermingling strangers,

words, delicately dance

on transient departures towards

shuttered windows in the glittering night.

We live out these sentences.

Share this common tension.

The outline of rooms,

the lack of attention.

Silence, like auditory acid,

eats straight to but not through

the mood chains I succumbed to.

The darkest shades from the smallest brush strokes

cast shadows as if caught in the gaze

of a probing searchlight.

The most distorted images regurgitated,

the words you write

projected on blank walls,

larger than the letters would allow.

Another pendulous moment

perched over the present,

punctuated by suspicious sidelong glances,

distracted and separated

by the thick sheen of magazines.

On this overlapping stitch

we’ve weaved this one life.

I know better

than to hope for brighter fabrics of weather.

Whether or not we’re together,

I look for beacons in the future’s fog,

for exclamations in the tired log

of plateaued feelings.

Mounting indifference, climbing to the ceiling,

gilded, guided by light

glimmering off of some discarded metal fender

from a vehicle that brought us closer

to whatever it was we were never

going to be able to hold on to.

A Source of Light

In foreign places

information is akin to light.

On the side of the road

it is a night time haven.

In truck stops and depot salons,

like currency, it opens doors,

temporary dwellings, hostels and hotels

lodged in strange cities of stone.

You grope there alone in the dark

drawn to the neon address

found on folded maps

to bunk under the light of tiny lamps

while other travellers

in their silent mass

of backpacks and belongings

sleep to make tomorrow’s hidden itineraries.

Some spoke to you of their lands

like the lines on their hands

and in yours there rests a pen

to write as much as you can comprehend

of fragments and fleeting stories.

Your mind under sleepless duress,

one part exhaustion

one part inspiration,

will press in swollen pages

and collapse in this location,

a crooked position

of notebook spines and meandering highways.

The ecstacy and pursuit

of what cannot be written down,

notes to yourself

notes from the underground,

that which will go unread

from a hidden source is

bled into countless streams,

fed into oceans

careening motions

that momentum through tunnels, expelled.

Soon brush fires spread

at the edge of cities.

Like a spontaneous blaze of wanderlust,

even when contained

will linger like rust

on the firepots you took to the road,

camping out of the jeep.

The land was one deep surface

you could never keep level

under the source of dark writing.

Always a guest

in rooms of flickering insight.

Moved by what they suggest

before extinguished

one by one

the searchlights going out

and senses are left


on intervals of breath

and dreams taking route.