Home is

This subject is obviously preying on my mind. The Oracle knows. She said it was okay to have a two line puente.

 

Home is where the heart is, always or never.

Look and you may find it through the mists of midday,

 

not in the dark dance of icy mornings, nor in

the salt smile of the ocean, a sop for fools

 

who see hearth fires in a cracked glass,

though ice, steel-cold, coats budding shoots.

 

For those who dream of tropic seas and the comfort of

cushioned wealth, when frost webs splinter the panes

 

~the signs are there in the clouds

and the rumbling of the earth~

 

Remember, she says, ice melts, glass breaks,

and desire is devoured by death.

 

Listen; a voice, a word lingers where fish dart

and wild dogs howl the moon—hope is sailing.

 

Only on a night like this, washed clean by ocean

winds, can we see the stars beyond the clouds,

 

fiery ghosts of the youth of the world, and where

the stars shine and when the midday mists clear, home.

Something broken

I went right to the last page of offered words and it didn’t get any better. The Oracle is weeping too.

 

I am dancing in the dark

no voices hear

in the heart of the night.

Something is broken

in the light or life itself,

the brilliance used up perhaps.

Wild fire haunts the sky

no longer limpid but full of smoke,

and the glowing eye

beats down with ferocious glare.

I listen for the faded voices, lost laughter,

catch only words tossed in the stream—

tree, star, home—

the morning melts in the heat,

clouds pass.

Blue as frost

A collaborative poem with the Oracle. Perseverance through to the last page of words often brings a hopeful ending.

DecFrost3

cold

silver-furred

dogs my steps

 

light shivers

a dance

of broken glass

 

beneath this sky

that none can warm

no breath melt the ice

 

only fools

find joy

in wild mornings

 

broken things die

enfolded by clouds

and the night

 

yet they wake

blue as angels

in the soft vastness of home

Fire-words

Painting Paul Klee’s Fish Magic

Fish_Magic

 

Fire-words growl in the breath of morning,

anger snarls red in the golden memory of sunrise.

Remember the night, you whisper,

those times of soft thoughts and tenderness,

let them not drift into forgetting like smoke clouds

 

~on a rainy day~

 

like this, there is no more magic,

eternity drinks from a cracked cup,

and stars spill through a hole in the ocean.

What was secret

is now just darkness, lost

 

~in the vastness of the truth~

 

there is hope, you say,

small grains finer than sand,

scattered far and high as stars,

quick and vivid as fish shoals

in sunlit shallows

 

~where kelp waves like grass~

 

I peer and see the jewel-glitter.

Smile at the dew in the grass, you say,

bird shadows skimming,

let burning joy melt the monumental marble of sorrow.

I see and touch, the cup runs over, and I let it go.

No darkness ever

 

Only on mornings like this

beneath skies like this

when the soft air surrounds me

in a velvet embrace

can I think of you without weeping,

no cool-scented night ever recapture

 

~the time we had~

 

was red and raw as bird music,

as sunlight in forest gloom,

rain-shine shimmering on lake skin.

Here and now on my tongue,

the words of never letting go

still mock the silence

 

~in this lonely place ~

 

peace falls

like water over stones, climbing,

a river of roses to the light,

no darkness can ever dim

the beauty of our world

that was.

 

 

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Earthlines

Yesterday, Olutomi Akinsanya at Wordcipher suggested we pull a poem out of the exchange we had a few weeks ago inspired by my short poem Treeline. You can see the conversation in the comments. I had a go at it yesterday but we lost internet (again) for the rest of the day, so I’m posting it now. If I could choose an image for this collaborative poem/meandering it would be Kerfe’s painting to illustrate her poem Inside of the out both words and colours seem to me to fit perfectly. Thanks, Kerfe for the loan 🙂

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Here a mountain rises,

a woman draped in robes of flowing green

above a valley carved by giants at play,

and boulders tossed in some wild game.

Did they carve their runic names in coombs and craters,

wield hammer and water, riveting sea

to land with glittering fjords?

Here a sandline, spiked with desert-parched rocks,

runs doggedly miles, merging seamlessly with the sky

in rainbow strata, bright as the spread wings of bird-myth.

Wings spread and water pours, endless waterfalls,

emptying mountainous giant bellies,

spouting river cords, binding sea, land, mountain, desert

and the creatures of myth, mountain and sky.

All with roots delve deep in the ocean,

where sea caves echo with the clamour of stories,

the builders of the earth’s foundations,

digging, carving, shaping sea images,

purple as mussel shells glowing with pearl light,

echoing with the sad song of doomed whales,

then rising on monstrous tides,

soaring on phoenix wings above rainbow cliffs

and the still, craggy face of the mountain woman and her flowing

waterfall of greenery—nature, calm and chaos,

weaving the dolphin-leaping stories of earthlines.

 

 

Home

The Oracle suggested the first section of this poem which became a collaborative poem when Pranab (in bold) chimed in.

 

Why ask where home lies?

Look out on the night ocean,

listen to its wings beating,

see how green morning wakes,

slow and soft as peace falling, stars wheeling,

in the vast silence of the universe,

and we are there.

 

Who knows where home lies;

We erased the boundaries long ago,

Only to be walled in by our fears,

Tired bodies searching for a place

For the soul to rest.

Home is but a distant dream,

Heart crying for a soothing touch—

Who knows where home lies.

 

Is it home, or a wanting, a yearning

for something ultimately unattainable?

Is home a place where stars fill the night garden,

where roses fill the day with scent?

Is it you or some other

who fits into the frame

and leaves no white spaces?

Is there such a place as home,

or is it hanging in the sky,

a star refusing to fall?

 

Home now is where

Ghosts roam the corridors

And the mind hallucinates,

Hearing voices where there are none.

Blank walls stare back

As invisible images silently float.

No one hears you speak,

No one sees the tears

Flowing dry.

Fie to the solace,

Home is where the heart is,

The heart can go back

Home again.

 

Night thoughts on waking

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A cat can walk away in the morning

with no remorse,

only perhaps a sense of loss,

a vague longing for the soft, fat life we call home.

I will never let it go,

this fiery desire to sail the night ocean

held tight in your embrace.

 

And yet, and yet,

sometimes it seems as though the ship has sailed

the stars dimmed and fled

dipped beneath the ocean’s skin

to lie like dusky pearls

fathoms out of reach,

and then I hear the voices whisper—

 

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Blow, wind,

sweep away the dreams of never letting go.

Scream, shadows

at parting sleep.

Life’s music will smooth with shining rain

and sweet honeyed sun

the memories we used to share.

 

And yet, and yet,

before the dawn breaks

and the orioles chime the hour

of waking

peace falls soft as rain feathers

from a passing cloud of owls.

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All,

above, below, about, between,

after dark,

listen.

In the quiet of our place,

here,

where roots drink and boughs blossom,

we breathe the song of the world,

 

and contentment fills the spaces

left by the shadows

chased from their dusty corners

by the golden voices of the birds.