Kestrel on the wind

Kestrel
I shared the wind today,
A passing kestrel hovered upon its
Silver wings, likening our moment

To his own small knowing
Of a kindness we did partake in,
This wind, and he and I then.

He held himself against fair breeze,
In speaking of our joining,
I the grass and he the trees,

Holding each to the moment as
Children to a sheet flapping,
The wind between in foment,

Words for no one to know but
Kestrel and me, and he did see
Prey upon the field below,

And in an instant he was gone,
Down along the ground he dove,
Leaving me to hold the wind alone,

For his end loosed did flutter,
Although I could not mind such bother,
I knew the meaning of his stutter,

Between my place and his,
The space we shared was this,
For knowing ourselves and

How we joined in breathing
The very wind we held at ends,
And shared this autumn evening.

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Spoken

I dream of the cold white winds
High up
In the Tushar mountains.

The still voice

Of a lover is the cold
Wind shaking my slumber.

Breathing in

Almost imperceptibly.
Not moving.
My ears fill with sound.

Pines high

Upon the swept slopes
Whisper, “she does not love
You anymore, walking brother.”

“But why,” I reply.

Only the sound of snow
Falling upon Tushar,

Falling upon my heart,shimmering-snow-through-mountain-pines

Gently draws nigh.

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Often

Often in spaces where trees had lived and breathed,
The red tail had sat in wait,
With cocked head peering,

The gray squirrel had halted to eat,
Scratching furiously at mites
Upon his tiny ears,

The ants had marched northward,
High into mossy branched tips,
And back again, foraging.

Often I had waited beneath the shade,
Catching the small summer breeze,
Made of sounds between leaves,

And looking skyward I had seen among the
Green arms at length, a storm approaching,
Until at last the water poured,

Downward on the trunks like so much
Sweat, and ran along the roots in rivulets
Of muddy brown, down and down.

Often in space like this,
Where trees had lived and breathed,
As siblings, I sit alone and see

Only the small saplings in crowds,
Beneath same blank sky as shroud,
And rue my scattered family.

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Once

Once I did not want words, words
Words.

Because I could not think about them.

And so you leaned in upon my chest,

My face falling in your hair,

We traded gentle breaths.Silent
Once

When I did not want words.

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Essay on time bent

I dreamt of three ladies and I among them. The children were there and laughter caught the air as they frolicked about. Then out the door and down the hall and into the field we went, all they while I caught not your eye. You know me and I you as lovers, and yet you give nothing to anyone as you laugh and chat and smile.

Now I am diving into a cold river as the kids shout with exclamation at the sight. I throw them and tug them, cajole and wrestle them in gleeful play. The water is cold and brown, but no one cares.

You lie propped on the grass, blanket spread beneath your blue-jean legs, those dark sunglasses and a simple white cotton button up blouse making you look like Audrey Hepburn. You are cool with your chatting laughter and yet you are always watching me with that quick, side eye glance. I feel the tension of your wants colliding with mine.

We traverse the high bank, the kids and I, time and again. We run and leap, far out, into the cold river’s depths. I remain underwater for long lengths, wanting to breath as a fish does; letting myself rise under my own slow buoyancy until I bubble to the surface at last with a gasp, and wipe the brown cold from my eyes to fix upon your glance.

It must be wrecking you because you shift and throw your legs behind, leaning forward a bit and placing a hand in front of your lap for balance. I want to peer until you shift again, but no, I am tackled from behind by one child’s excited mugging. He’s swum up from underneath and he climbs me at once like a tree. I allow him this fun and my torso sinks as he strides up my back and onto my shoulders.

Under the cold water I close my eyes and see you on the bank, warming your hair in the sun and drinking wine.

I could stay in this cold moment, under this brown river, holding a giggling child’s hands forever. My soul could climb the bank and throw itself wet and wild upon the corner of your blanket and ask for a sip of your wine.

In fact, my soul does this very thing. Just for a moment we are lovers, our eyes lock and share the rare knowledge of perfect, lovely hope with all its unbridled joy of being. Just for a moment we are magnificent.

And then the child’s balance fails and my lungs burn and I kick hard and burst from the unconscious tomb beneath this brown cold, and suck in the bright, noisy world above once more. Shaking my head I clear the water from my eyes and growl low and the children howl with neat squeals and splash furiously in retreat.

There are times in a life, small slices of time, milliseconds of a moment really, when it all wells up and concentrates, as it must have done in the seconds prior to Vesuvius or the instant of Hiroshima. The force of millenniums focuses into an instrument of such vast destructive power as would alter time itself. And then..a pause.

A slight bend in the fabric of time, a slight alteration occurs, in the imminence of this moment.

Here hangs in balance all of life annihilated and all of life created.

Where whales reach the apex of breach, vast sprays of ocean turning back on themselves and seeking again their creator. Seventy tons floats between escape and retraction in this instant.

I saw the Phoenix rising in that moment, upward from ashes powdered by the searing heat of those nights and weeks when love burned and raged in yellow flame. But hurt wearing a hat of soft felt had struck the match with a hardness unmatched in its certain uncertainty.

All of the slight bends in that fabric of time remain along the corridor, used
but not forgotten in their black intensity.

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Handkerchief

Washing this white handkerchief balanced upon a log,
Above a rushing mountain water clear by a foot from
My foot and oh, how very cold water from the mountains

Feels, or does not feel when, upon wanting all this
Red to cleanse itself from this white fluttering being
Held under, the hand numbs with icy cold flow washing

This whiter kerchief in a clear mountain stream,
Almost as though a dream, it happened so slowly
Staring at a lover as a lover stares into clear

Mountain water which rushes and in rushing, numbs
The eyes hypnotically when in truth it is rushing
But when in looking it holds its cold clear truths

Falling, falling, falling she was then rushing
With cold clear water hypnotic, I…must have fallen
Also, red stains on my face and hand, rocks and land.

After a while you don’t feel the cold, even the numbness
Doesn’t hurt, simply blue, blue all now blue and you,
Left alone in your washing, want to stop this rushing,

Only if you could stop this rushing, water flowing,
Down this mountain, and she would rise and smile,
And we would drink together this clear cold stream.Rushing

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Stillness

Upstairs my office sits insulated to either side,
Save for the large picture window filled across
This winter morn with sparkling forest floor,
From which rises the sentinel oaks and dark elms.

Like quiet black skeletons they stare in,
With calm resolution of their immobility.
No sound. Not one small breeze moves. Cold.
They study me carefully bathed with golden

Light now piercing each black pupil. At last,
The voices, low at first, then heavier emerge,
In concert with bright brown meadow behind.
Green patterns of chorus rise in harmony,

Along their rigid spines as though to lift
Each one toward a blank heaven – a song!
Rise up winter man, from dark solitude
Stretch out your eyes, open your strong soul,

Move with joy, for you are free to come or go,
Put out your hand and feel our mother sun,
Sing with us of beauty in our resting,
As we compose the song of spring in stillness.

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