They Come Dressed in Feathers

thumbnail_-facebook_1483738169765That was how the spirit left the scene,

with one feathered wing dipped in the ashen sea.

The moment becomes a window,

the photo an eternity to gaze through


becoming signs, rippling to find

where the child once stood,

so that the saddened would be assured,

as they gathered along the shore

beneath oak and behind shades,

that this was how he made the transition.

The next phase of the journey,

no longer earth bound,

contours cast off and scattered to the deep,

commingling than expanding

to include these wings

and all the moments that are arresting.

We can find you when heavy clouds accumulate,

as the light that breaks through the sorrow,

as the wisdom that all is temporal.

The ways and the means we mill over

must appear smaller from up there,

ant-like and in miniature.

The shadows that surround

can levitate from the ground

when the sun moves them,

when all the white homes

appear like a runway of bones for those in flight,

passing with flashing talons

to penetrate the dreams of those inside.

Clear as the glint in your eyes,

I remember the whole trajectory,

as you cross the sky like an Egyptian deity

with one feathered wing dipped in the ashen sea.


Up north the family cottage grows cold.

The once glowing furnace of the potbellied stove

emits no smoke from its chimney beneath the trees.

Yet the floors still creak

and something beyond the elements speak at the edges,

with the spring of your essences.

It moves beneath everything,

even when no one is listening.

The sound of cracked ice on the lake

reminds me that the ancestors will take

the surroundings given and speak through them,

moving the pine’s limbs to shadowbox with the wind,

they make themselves known, if only briefly,

outside the pages of that great mystery

unread in the cobwebbed dust of your library.

Our lives are the layers in the walls they built,

slivers of glass in the windows and lamps they fastened

another stitch in the tapestry,

that which completes me, speaks through me,

through the imagination, peering from a darkened sky,

projecting light on the pillows of the dream’s eye

like a moon wrapped in sheets of cloud

on a winter’s night.

I hear you most clearly in the quiet hours

before anyone wakes,

when the lake would ripple its way to the pier

and two loons draped in mist would appear,

skimming the water’s gaze

over the length of the great Birch,

they’ll materialize and search

through my guise, at once familiar

in white tunic and shoes of leather,

they’ll come dressed in feathers,

dipping one wing in the surfaces of memory,

moving what preceded me,

deconstructing but giving breath to me,

an extension, their living entity,

poised between worlds.


These Wayward Notes Roamed

Paris-7742sPeering over the edge of the half opened drawer,

you’re afforded a glimpse

through the void

of a former life

whose mind structures and stacked spines

were wayward notes roaming

undefined decades ago

through the oldest quarters of Paris.

What was left unfinished, the letters like lamplight

on the avenues and the pinched parallels of Marais.

What do they say of mystery?

Of being buried alive?

One fist seizes the light

seeking breath to break free of binds,

experience in hindsight

relegated to a page in time,

to squeezing sentences of quintessences,

dissolving these contour lines.

Mystery,  in the wake of transport

what can it take of the forgotten?

That which is no longer mentioned of moments

overwhelming the air of another postponement.

The bell’s chorus wakes the wasted ideal,

an incarnation through atonement

beneath the shell of inaction

reverberation towards something whole.

Mystery, that melancholy departure

pressed into the fibre of indecipherable spaces,

twilighted in notebooks

that grid and translate the travel,

blurring the towns in-between.

Still it remains pliant,

rounding out reason’s edges.

Along the border of the Seign river

it is under a saintly finger

as it dabs the transparent clouds

shot through with light

and by dusk spewing blood.

Mystery is the host

holy enough to reveal no wounds

from the dogmatic wars,

it makes it through without scars

without cracks in wonder

it is a stained window in a cathedral,

a marble current in the Parisien sky.

There’s a subtle door in the repetition of poems

unlocking the divine,

a cadence recognized in dreams and visions

sinking softly into a receptive mind.

Mystery, pulled from the void like a rebirth,

sets a glow over the changes,

encouraging new curves in the regiment

of the sensitive imbued with luminous purpose,

to illustrate and turn further pages.




Easter Morning, Luakaha

Through breaks in the canopy,

light is drawn suddenly over a bed of fallen stone.

Moss blankets a threshold

of cascading liquid

glistened in silk visitation

through parted curtains,

dawn fills what’s uncertain of solitude.

A glint in the eyes trained on dark corners,

was the last vestige of night.

Waterfalls write whitely from a distance,

like fingers scratching through the gloom.

You become spontaneous witness

to the surface moved to tears,

a hall of mirrors, a montage of grieving

in the mountain’s visage asking

“Who else goes through this?”

Curtain of rain and disembodied mist

disguising a precipice that seems to suggest

were only a brief process

passing through nature’s indifference.

A dream that’s continuous

confronts barricades of resistance

to the inevitable disintegration.

Through the alchemy of our shared creativity,

birth bookends death

returning to nothing save the breath

that moves the water, fills cracks in the void

with voices amplified,

in the solitude of jungles you’ll have to decide.

Paths splinter with myriad choices,

birds call out with spontaneous rejoices,

its Easter morning

and out of the rebirth and ceiling bouquet

light gifted all who comingle freely

with a new day.

What is Completed?


The interpretation of art,

like a rebirth of thought.

Each new piece regenerates

all that came before it.

It venerates the ancestor

of no definitive answer,

instead coloring and giving birth

to an infinite texture.

Contours you’ll resume

by tracing this womb throughout.

It begins by lightly brushing the surface,

as graceful as a lizard’s limbs

over the coarse skin of tree bark.

The canvass stretched taut,

silent and thin as a moth’s wings

deafening when you’re listening

to a certain frequency of rain,

it resonates like a train of thought,

seismic as a teardrop in a pool,

radiating in myriad directions.

Each stroke is an impression,

passing over the surface like an apparition,

tuned into the unseen,

its lingering reception recalling

all those things that stay with you.

Each step is an embryo

for new material to come through

the subconscious,

no longer dormant

but with a slow flow

as if emerging from a volcano,

the vaporous past absorbed into the current,

transformed from within,

to be reborn as new land

calling into question

as you perceive from the edge

“What is ever fully completed?”

Collective Memory Cryptic Topography


Allowing light to penetrate this cryptic topography.

The sun accentuates its elliptic identity

from above, a translucent jade

ensconced the loss and uncompromising decay

like the texture of a masquerade

cloaked in symbols to unnerve

the jungle’s passion play.

All the secrets were concealed

footprints and past evidence sealed

behind a cordoned clearing

irreparable sin

all manner of excess and fascination

expresses itself in backwater reflections.

Dark waters seized in the stream bed

where weeks of rain and flood merge

limb and blood

vine wound bone rock

hair strewn skin

all coarsing within the accepting earth.

The canopy takes another breath

initiating a rebirth

from what rooted us to death,

a banyon tightened noose

and sometimes they are never cut loose

but you imagine it and are held in thrall,

left to heed compulsion’s call,

to fill a page torn from the mystery

like leaves from a tree in pendulous pause

without a soul to witness

the collaborating forest

while tongues of mist

whisper of its myths

on distant peaks.

When silence speaks,

it’s through the wind

an invocation,

buoyant and blanketing

the sharpest contours

softening in the rain and cloud shadow

able to penetrate passages narrow,

cautious by approach,

a barely audible voice

from the minaret of choice

lost in circles under a darkened dome

you come to the remains of a forgotten home

just beyond the crossroads,

 a ruin from antiquity

to leave offerings of wisdom

on the altars of the collective memory.


The Kicker

What happens to a kicker,

caught in the threads of responsibility?


with hydra’s heads and a woman’s body,

is futility.

So he tries to live alone

above shopfronts dealing in abandon.

Without electricity

the squatter lights another candle

saying “There’s no soundtrack for the silence.”

for the writer, alone with the spirits,

or was it wine?

The divine shell of the right word?

Under the spell of the moon,

a voyeur by trade

caught in a strange perfume.

The ever-shifting paths

now at crossroads to illume

the hiker with boots caked in mud

or something immaterial like blood

from warriors felled long ago.

Scars on the terrain he taps with bamboo

staffs left on the side of the path

to one day resume the circle, reborn.

The kicker

detached and transient

on truck beds and benches with no blanket,

in rot gut alleys with marquee-lit features,

a fractured passenger,

through the shadow

of sunsets and season’s shift,

he’s circles in the reverance,

like wind and gone.

All the possibilities

peopled with walls that enclose

the character in a chapter,

while pages fall

flimsy to the willful winds.

See them blown like feathers

into the atmosphere,

to be hung for ages

from the axis there,

these sages shaving

secrets they do not fully reveal.

Here they leave you stranded

without boundaries of form,

secluded personalities reborn

through fleeting doors.

The awkwardness of finding words

to forge stakes in a moment,

to pinion the motion of flight

to give breath and devotion

to that which is just out of sight.

Attempting to grasp and pin it down,

you assign words and drown

out the sound of interference,

the majestic OM

the wind blOWs,

kicking up dust in its disappearance.