Palinode (birds)

 

Palinode (birds)

Simplicity, as in the cloaca. One aperture for all: eggs,
urine, sperm, feces. The majority of birds copulate
by joining the openings of their cloacae (most male
birds lack penises). Nothing is for nothing.

Nothing is for nothing, but the ache of emptiness
bestows its own reward. That movement from outer
world to inner, to anima, to breath, to flight,
approaching heaven. Birds know the way.

Knowing the way, birds express our envy of the
boundless, testament to the unity of earth and sky,
instinct’s voice. We see feathers not as epidermal
outgrowths, but as emblems of what we forever seek.

As emblems of what we seek, crows exploit man’s
folly, exposing hidden truths. Thought and memory
recede, leaving us foundered. Altered consciousness,
flight, the space to believe, simplicity’s forms in one.

 

“Palinode (birds)” first appeared in slightly different form in Otoliths in fall 2016.

 

Fossil Egg

 

Fossil Egg
The secrets that contain you.

Like what fills
the center of the fossil egg,

a never-developed
word or the crimson bud wormed black.

Repetition lends force to lies but can’t create truth.
The halogen bulb remains dark without electricity
even in the light of day.

But how to enter that space?

The yolk hardened to stone.
A man’s forgotten name.
The unmentioned flower.

Every day looming in possibility.

***

Fossil Egg first appeared in September 2019 at Recenter Press. Many thanks to the editors for taking these pieces.

 

 

 

Self-Portrait as Smudge

 

Self-Portrait as Smudge

Being this cloud on the otherwise
transparent pane, I resist removal,
smearing myself in thinner layers,
still shrouding the angry sky
or the fence post’s sagging
doubt, which is to say
my appearance may lessen
but spread, that you may rub me
out, but I’ll return, always,
beginning with that one small
and delicious obscure point.

 

“Self-Portrait as Smudge” first appeared in October 2019 in Backchannels. Many thanks to the editors for taking this piece.

 

 

 

Cyclops

 

Cyclops

Boundless loss, hemmed at the edges.
Another mended hole, wasted mornings.
Unwound, I towel off, extract loose hair.
Look for messages in the clouds, see
only deceit. I am sick with
joy. I no longer sing. My goats
shun me. Where is the love,
the missing fact. An albino
squirrel skitters up the oak.
I think of blood, of bone fragments.
The pleasures of rendering.

 

 

“Cyclops” first appeared in September 2019 at Recenter Press, a publisher “dedicated to sharing work that is grounded in both the spiritual and the material.” Many thanks to the editors for taking these pieces.

 

 

 

Where the Word Begins

 

Where the Word Begins

I end, or so it seems.
Small comfort

in the light of that lamp
reflecting from the window,
a low, interior moon
subject to whim and
circumstance.

And how do we retract
those unsaid lines,
heartfelt and meant,
but never expressed?

The hoot owl voices my response.

 

 

“Where the Word Begins” was first published in December 2018 at Amethyst Review. Thank you, Sarah Law, for accepting this poem.

Morning Suizen

 

Morning Suizen

Boundless, it sips direction in the way of all music,
tonguing each note for its salt.

We call this ecstasy. Or peace.
Follow, and they still escape, always beyond
our outstretched fingers.

Exhale slowly. What do you know?

That long tunnel, ribbed in silence.
The scent of burning cedar.
Days framed in darkness and birdsong.

 

* * *

Note: Suizen is the practice of playing the shakuhachi, the traditional Japanese bamboo flute, as a means of attaining self-realization.

 

“Morning Suizen” first appeared on Nine Muses Poetry. Many thanks to editor Annest Gwilym for taking this piece.

Two Poems Up at Recenter Press

 

My poems “Fossil Egg” and “Cyclops” are live at Recenter Press, a publisher “dedicated to sharing work that is grounded in both the spiritual and the material.” Many thanks to the editors for taking these pieces.