An Atheist Facing Death

June 10, 2010  :: 0 comments

Shadows running from the scorching light
the world a lantern parade
we can only run in circles;
staying still
we evade the light

I long to express the intangible;
the unborn, the unmade, unsaid.
To form my heart into a womb
for the unborn;
a still point that transcends the space that enfolds it.

The whispers I wish to hear are yet to have been spoken, are silent,
beyond substance.
Such ecstatic sighs ? that remain just out of reach lingering in the wind,
howling screams unimagined, uncreated.

I hunger for the inexpressible;
to craft this silence into words.
To glimpse through the bars of this prison cell.
To speak the illusive and inexpressible.
To pin down these inner silences
That tear so at my being;
Locked in silence
Each of us must hold
This loneliness to our chest.

So I write, and my poised heart cries out,
as it strokes vague longings
intangible resolutions
that move through my experience of succession.
I look for another way
to hold reason and passion in tension.

To an outside that is beyond my grasp,
this outside that is inside me.
Inarticulate it moves beyond my grasp;
remaining beyond me;
Sitting outside me
There in the world
That beats inside my chest.

Unresolved contradictions crowd in upon me
as I look towards a dark horizon
where shadows juxtapose dissimilar images
erasing the known.

These images intertwine into frightening shapes
forming reflections that are not one but many;
tearing myself from myself
I know this pale future laughs at my futile attempts
To avoid knowledge too painful to face.

Searching the world for beautiful metaphors will always be a self-depleting process;
What I find there is only insubstantial shadows;
Words and images
merely a woolly rug to place around the self;
something to protect against a cold unbearable contingency.

Though is it because I search only for the how of? things?
Should I simply take delight in existence;
that something exists instead of nothing;
that the World is?
Love is the mystical made manifest.

And it is true at night in the darkness
under star light, and delicate moonlight
there are certainties;
encircling arms, embracing touch, the warmth of breath;
undeniable.

Autumn Leaves

June 10, 2010  :: 0 comments

Brown leaves drift? in the wind,
it is autumn again.
We met in the spring and spent that autumn together
never knowing how precious each falling leaf, which with the? days drifted away.
We met in the spring, you died in winter
when the Magnolias were blooming so,
six years ago.
We were together then, now you are gone from me, though you linger in the wind.
Your flame still burns brightly
for it is protected from the wind.

And so I return once again to you, in seeking you
I find myself again,? in this fading dusty world;
Your flame burns brightly also, I remember fleeting looks
how we both skived around some things,
we both knew but did not want to know.
The years have not faded my love
and so I return to you, I seek you
and there I find myself.
Debbie I love you so.

Only the lost dare to dream, so time has faded my memory
still the dream lives on;
We knew though we never knew;
we saw through a glass darkly.
We were not blind;
perhaps we stumbled
but? a part of us both knew.
I know at end you thought of leaving,
by the things you left behind,
some hidden from yourself,
but it was you who showed me where to look
though you were buried weeks ago.

Everything falls away from us, not just the days.
We watch? ourselves decay? and age;
here everything slips away from us;
those we love and cherish are taken from us,
and we know not where they go.

We are left to hide in the shadows
and linger and wonder and dream.
In another spring time that is nowhere,
in another spring time when the sun is high
and we no longer need to run from its sustaining light.

Then how dreams seemed possible, just on the horizon.
The cruel wind blows hard; it blows our dreams away,
like dried leaves they swirl and whisper in the wind.
Long ago when the sun was brighter,
All things crumble and decay, we all do too.
Our dreams drive us on?
as we dash and hide from the sun.

The Gobi Desert

June 10, 2010  :: 0 comments

Staining the horizon, they come,
dancing hunters marked by harsh desert night;
the horsemen come galloping,
defining the deep silence;
with their stammer and canter;
thunder.
Iron hooves caress frozen rocks and sand;
Predatory shadows armored by scale and leather,
they ride upon nimble feet;

a torrent tormenting the silence,
they clatter, shatter, in a tangle of flesh and iron,
chasing the cold wind? across rocks and sand,
the horsemen come, riding down through the centuries.

In a fury of crushing iron
they spread panic into the heart of Europe;
Armed with bow and arrow,
each one sits astride his galloping horse;
they take aim, draw back the bow,
and in a flash transform the day.

Elsewhere a golden eagle soars through the cloud,
the man waits patently astride his horse for the eagle,
to take the prey down,
in its majesty, this female bird of prey can not be cowed
yet the man knows she will return to him,
as a man always returns to a women.

In this rocky desert survival hangs by a thin thread,
two predators have formed a pact,
based on trust
but nothing as emotional or abstract
as love,
just the desire to live, to hunt, to survive.

The reportorial bird has found its prey,
it swoops and the wolf has no where to hide
and is soon held tightly;
the wolf looks into her eyes
and knows death has found him;
the man approaches, the wolf dies quickly.

His eyes search the vast expanse of sky,
a glimpse of shadow on the horizon, the first sign
that this bird of prey returns to him,
after years,
she returns from her mating,
though she must go back to the call, the wilderness, the rocks, the hunt.
Tonight, they both together will dine.

In this vastness of contrasting color,
rock, grassland, merging mountains,
a simmering oasis sparkles with sunlight.
Bordered by the Altai mountains, the grasslands,
the prairies of Mongolia, the Tibetan plateau,
and the north China plains,
this rainbow desert sits at the top of the world.

A dry place of rock and sand,
where the snow leopard hunts,
the golden eagle stretches it wings
to touch the stars,
the Gobi bear lives walks its peaks,
along with the gray wolf,
this place of predator, silence,
rock and sand, its vastness.

This place of eons, and towns
those seeking silk had to pass through;
cold and icy, a place of contrasting color
that changes with the night, in star light,
the silence.
Here man feels his smallness
compared to this sand, the rocks and mountains.

They huddle against the coldness of the night,
this thin skin of animal skin,
of? tent and dreams,
is all that separates them from the freezing stars.
In a circle these round houses sit in this vastness.
In this thin skin
they sing their dreams,
cuddled together against the cold freezing night;
they sing of ? glory, past years.
The days of old.

Genghis Khan;
one man who made the? world shiver,
in bringing many tribes into one.
He made the knees of Europe tremble and knock,
when the many became strong;
the stars were not distant then.
The old men sit and sing
their song in this thin skin

How the Golden eagle returns to? the man.
they sing of life, of death.
In this thin skin the struggle
goes on; children, future hunters,
all sit huddled against the cold.

In this thin skin they sing
their dreams,
cuddled against the cold freezing night,
they sing of ? glory, past years.
The old men sit and sing
their song in this thin skin

Outside
the darkness is broken only by the freezing stars,
the vastness of space.

In this bleak place
full of the trickle of distant suns
struggling against the vast night.

On Bret Whitley’s Self-Portrait in the Studio 1976

March 19, 2010  :: 0 comments

Self gazing into an oval glass
This life scarred face
Proclaims the strain of trying
To catch each dashing moment
Resolving itself into here and now.

In this space the gaunt body of reason is alien;
It will never understand this catharsis
That attempts to ensnare the fleeting moment:
This metamorphosis
That traces vanishing apparitions,
In an attempt to reach beyond bare facts
Towards an incandescent blue presence
That lashes all conceptions of unity.

The face in the looking glass
Is marked by snake infested hair:
The creator becomes a monster
Searching experience
As the self consumes itself
Exploring subterranean spaces

Sculptured bony blue nude hints
Of an experience of liberation.
It reaches past the drizzle of hindsight;
The hope of canceling confusion
In a radiance that moves beyond images
That grasps other mythologies.

The nude’s pregnant tones whisper of elusive moments.
A strangeness only the blood can sense;
For in its evasive flow
The blood knows inarticulate groans
Can not be fixed
Within the picture-frame of definition.
This ecstatic freedom glances into the mirror
To find other traces
Another unexpected genealogy.

In these moments of purity
Objects become inexhaustible:
Liquid outlines form
Ripples of celebration.

These glimpses see the credible take flight
While images exhumed
From the depths are regarded
With a slow deliberation
Before being lost to the intricate
Double deception of art’s mirrored maze.

Eros to Psyche

March 19, 2010  :: 0 comments

Psyche my other self
I stumbled
pricked by my own arrow.

Psyche your beauty

exceeds the stars
such beauty stunned me,

and I fell.

Psyche with dawn
I must leave you

seek me not or my face look upon.

Psyche, you held

the lamp high.
You betrayed me.
In shocked delight at? the sight
you fell and pricked your self.
You betrayed love,
as all lovers must do.
Now I must leave you.

Psyche your audacious beauty
made Aphrodite jealous.
I was sent to bring punishment upon you.
I stumbled and fell,

pricked by my own arrow.

Psyche you listened to them,
Now a darkness separates us.
The lamp you held high,
so you in frightening

solitude must? go,

You have betrayed love,
as all lovers must.
Look to the ants, the bees, the water-reeds
and find yourself, me,
in the darkness.

Psyche,

Mistrust and suspicion

come between us.
I gave you myself,?

only my face
I asked you not to see.

I did not ask for much.
You have betrayed me
as all lovers must.
Now my nostalgic heart

must depart from you.
Look for yourself, me,

in the darkness.

In the darkness,

look and bring back
one pot of Persephone’s beauty cream.
look for your self, for me,
In the darkness,

Psyche.

Is love not a darkness,

that takes the self from the self?
you have betrayed love
as all lovers must.

Look for yourself, me,

in the darkness that is love,
and you shall find me
once again in truth and love,

When all hope has gone,

look for yourself, me,
in the darkness and find me.
When you have given up on love,
life,
look into the void and find yourself, me.

Love betrays us all,
or do? we betray love?
your beauty is the sun
to me.

Is love not a darkness,
Psyche?
We surrender to love
and lose ourselves to each other.
such darkness is binding,
blinding.
We open our eyes to find self
and it is gone.
I must leave you now,

Psyche.

No Second Chance

March 19, 2010  :: 0 comments

for Karen, in memory;

I remember you still,
We were two searching souls lost in back one way streets.
I still shed tears
that I did not love you enough to tell you;
or perhaps,
I loved you too much.

I remember you still.
How you knew the streets intimately;
you walked them every night.

How we fought the world; and the world won.
I still live, you are gone.
Who knows why some are taken and others are left to linger on.
Determined by circumstance,
we chased star dusted nightmare;
that crystallized honey, Bolivian flake.
I have not forgotten you,
and how in? the end
it was your past that took you.

I remember you still,
I never said it then,
so I say it now these long tears ago,
I think of you now and then;
and how your heart was? scarred by others;
as the heart always is.
Perhaps it is not so much where we go,
that matters, so much,
but what we leave behind us,
in this mad dash into night.

I never said it then,
all those long years ago,
perhaps? I loved you too much,
I never told you,
you never knew,
so I say it now.

I remember you still,
and how on one night stands,
we searched madness together;
that sweet flake, pure and deceiving;
those one night flights into that blight.
I think of you some times;
how we chased midnight shadows,
and how our hearts touched if not our words.
In the end your past? killed you,
and not the syringe that was still in your arm,
when you were found,
huddled in that shop front..
We are all victims of victims, but some of us more so than others.
You had nowhere else to go.

I remember you still,
and our desperate flights
together chasing ecstasy,
looking for our? heaven as we explored hell.
Your desires just out of reach,
your dreams slipped through your fingers.
Fate turned in upon you.

Life gave you no second chance;
perhaps death will.

The Homeless

January 11, 2010  :: 0 comments

Sitting in the corner, back to the wall,
the observer becomes the pen, and feels no more;
skin is flayed; here the silent screams can be ignored;
we are all homeless here, shut out into the cold.

We are left to walk the back streets,
memory so icy cold, frozen;
these back streets are cracked and broken,
lined by deserted and crumbling buildings,
all haunted by the ghost of time passed

In this age of surface and broken pavements,
each moment a fleeting side show
caught in perception,

held by memory,
I sit in this bony apartment,

searching through these archives,
what seemed certain then, now is seen for what it was,

an illusion.
How easy it is to see
only what you want to see;
how easy it is not to hear the cries of the innocent,
the homeless
who must find deserted back streets
so they can sleep.

Black on White

January 11, 2010  :: 0 comments

Lies
black on white, white on black;
I too am a liar

but I always tell the truth;
though some lies reverse to become? truth;

this is the secret of words, so precious few realize,
to be not to be,
to lie and tell the truth,
to sit within the mist of illusion
but not tell lies,

Words are precious things, they rule us but we also rule them;
but to rule is? to submit to them,

to lie is to tell the truth, it just is how it is with them.

To hide, to seek, to tread? a white, dusty path; I do not know.
To give all to nothingness,
to know that is your birthright.
I do not know;
reflections of ourselves is all we know; reflections of reflections we get lost in this mirrored maze;

I do not know but grope for the direction,
reflections of reflections;
I am no teacher, I am but a student, a student of the self; my heart, my Art.

Without this refection of nothingness,
I fade into the night,
the darkness,
I struggle, I cry, I fear;
I am like you, we all do;
but there is nothing to fear;

Truth is simple?,
the only truth, the universal truth, the one truth that lays the foundation for all others is this :

We fade, we shimmer though we wished we could burn like the sun, for eons;
we cannot but be a falling star,
a flash in the night,
we must surrender everything to darkness
for without it
we are but shadows that float in the night,

shadows cast by the light.

We all fade, some shimmer.
Life does pass in? a flash
and we move from dark to dark;
Without the night, there can be no light,
we are stretched between the light and dark
with nowhere to hide, we must accept our plight.

We fade at sunrise;
shadows, we linger only in the night;
and must run from daylight.

Silent Whispers in the Darkness

November 23, 2009  :: 0 comments

For Debbie, my dead lover, on the 5th year since her death.

Beyond reach soft whispers
Come and go delicately;
I still reach for you.
I find only emptiness.
Silently the dawn breaks
My bound heart.
I still search for you
only to find cheating shadows;
Fragments, memories, phantoms;
Those gentle words you left behind.

The day finds me sitting alone,
with your words to keep me company
Lingering over these words
Each single connotation
wraps me in silence.

Through words I look back
To remembered yesterdays.
Those fleeting fading days
we spent together

Appealing to your words
I trace each one
looking for other possibilities,
meanings that can slide under
this cruel measure of reason.

So my days are spent
Reflecting on each slippery connotation
looking for something solid
to fill my heart.
These fragments only bind
my grieving heart to this distant present.

Still I measure each word
you left behind
what else can I do?
Lingering in this shadowy place
I am a prisoner walking the yard:
each word a step
in this struggle to find meaning.

Experience remains a tapestry
woven from loss and gain.
I am torn between a head
that reasons
and a tattered heart that knows.

Left to trace borderlines
I weigh possibilities
one past against another
Looking for connections;
experience still remains
wrapped in silence;
I will not let this rocky world
shatter me.

But memory is more than words,
A sound touches my heart
I am filled with another time
Emotion, impressions, colors
Flood over me,
but the distant moment returns me to myself.

Silence whispers into the night,
as I toss and turn
seeking you in my dreams.
I long for your wildness
Just one delicate embrace;
To reach beyond
To touch velvet softly the darkness.
Silence still whispers at dawn light;
My heart hungers, a lonely sax;
Desire moves past my blood;
bare tenderness
Longs to be touched.
I whisper your name into the night
You cannot answer me;
I remain tangled in desire.

Hey Joe

October 12, 2009  :: 0 comments

To Johnny Olson from Mad Swirl magazine, whose poem “Joe” put me in such a mad swirl.

I have been down back one ways
I have faced the odds
Within, those without too.
Joe, john, johnny, or hello Joe.
I have know hunger
the odds within me
Would always get me, Joe

hello, Joe.
“It hurts when a mate dies
Does it not?”
are all our dreams fading?
Sometimes, I do not
Want to be here,
Joe;
I have always been a lonely poet,

an exile, a stranger to myself,
Or what I was expected to be.

This nation was baptized in blood
in Turkey.
Some we look up for failures;
Ned Kelly, Les Darcy,
Lenny McPherson,
Turkey;
hey Joe.

I raise my glass again to the God Dionysus
The God of the vine
who taught us to turn the fruit of the vine
into wine.

What you you think, Joe,
the land of the brave and free is it fading?

“The Leaves of Grass”,
Billy Holiday,

“The Death of a Salesman”,
Lenny Bruce,
Martin Luther King.
are our dreams dying?
are they, Joe?

Well Joe,

what is it to be a man?

What is this thing or something else,

this phantom or ghost that haunts us,

that we must yield to

but nothing else not even death.
Hey Joe?

I have felt you here around me.
I caught a glimpses of sparkling light.
I am used to having the dead around,
I live with them.
They can do me no harm;
and besides I need the company,
Could only have been you or Ricky,

Joe.

Ricky died last November.
For Ricky

enough was never enough.
He died from a toxic tonic.
It is not Ricky,

it could only be you

Joe.

Ricky told me with relish,
the last time he had plenty,
how he fucked his brains out.
Ricky was a lost soul

he needed his tonics.
The only way

To escape the voices
in his head.

Hey Joe,
I know you are listening.
All my heroes

died at Gallipoli.

I have never met my real father,
or had a mother’s love;
hey Joe

My first father my uncle
he use to go to Tommo’s,

A two-up game;
Used to drive the coppers crazy;

it did,

the location changed daily,

they could never find it,

to bust it.
it was invitation only,
in a day before mobile phones;
that meant you had to be in the know.

Lenny McPherson,
Joe Misner,
Tom Domican,

Tilly Devine,
Kate Leigh;

Hey Joe,

The world is stranger than fiction.
is it not?
I know
how fate can turn in upon us;
you do, too,
don’t you

Joe?

Birth is woman’s business,
death is the only thing for us.

It just is how it is.
Women must yield to the pain of child-birth;
we are taught to yield to nothing.

Love is always stronger than pride
is it not?
let me tell you about an angel
the fact is I do not know her
but I know she is beautiful with a delicate touch
as only a woman can have;
I who have loved and lost,
as love always does;
we expect too much from it;
but what there.

what else is there,
hey Joe?

Hey Joe.

The mind is the last boundary
and where it will take us,
I do not know.
I do not know anything;
not even if it is the mind or the heart.
all I know is that we must love;
is that not so,
hey Joe.