The Gods of Piled Stones

featured in the poetry forum March 10, 2020  :: 0 comments

I am a coward now, afraid of bullets, of sirens,
of cameras. Of the moment of truth and then
nothing. When you crawl into the cairn

you carry your living marrow under its stones
into an other place, an other world. If stone
is death and wood is life, what then here

is bullet and bone? At winter’s solstice
the defeated sun angles to touch the wall,
anointing it with buttered light breaking

with new ferocity but now at summer’s solstice
there is only my own shadow inside the shadows,
a darkness cast by only me. Is it enough?

It is must be enough. It is never enough.
The silence here is full of no triggers, sets off
nothing but wonder and is crowded with souls

who were richly remembered but not now.
Now they are unknowable. You can wonder,
imagine, but only the stones know. Until you feel

that hand inside yours. The cool warm echo
of human touch. Illusion, that palm those fingers. Elision.
It is progress against the impossible. It is nearly enough.

editors note:

The smoke, the mirrors, the things left out; all we have to make it enough. (We welcome Neile to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay

God of the In-Between

featured in the poetry forum September 12, 2019  :: 0 comments

These are the ones who don’t want me, them, those
and these: the ones with fire-crisped edges bent
and crackling who dream the orange-tipped tickling

those whose syllables are ice, the frost clouds
their rimed clothing; the aged, the young, the thin-
and thick-skinned, the raging, the quiet,
the small-minded,

the big-… I pace the never-claimed betweens, inside
the branching edges, the assents neither majestic or
pinched where there is passage for two (not one
or the many)

rooms with seats for us few but not crowds, neither
parsimonious or grand, which doesn’t mean I know
nothing of passion or still perfection but that I know
how to live

editors note:

Wondering how many are these few? Is there an in-between these in-between? – mh clay

The Solstice Gods Mess With My Head

featured in the poetry forum June 28, 2019  :: 0 comments

I feel drunk–with what? Summer maybe. Perhaps
it’s the salmon light of sunset on the patch of far clouds

that hits me like a bolt of Lagavulin lightning, or it’s that
luminous blue after sunset fades that sinks me like some

fruity azure cordial, too sweet with such a bite, just before
the light drifts black. Even though it’s morning now,

the brief night’s effects linger. The world feels strangely
weighted to the left, or my body does. I can’t help but lurch,

left left left. And my head swims with those silvery little bullheads
that dart from your feet when you’re wading

in the woven light of the tide. My head so distant
from my feet but silver dashing everywhere. I round about

my summer chores. The raspberries drop into my hands,
but the black currants must be convinced to let go.

I wrestle with them a bit just like I wrestle with the idea
of sleep, how to sleep when the nights are so sweet

and so brief? How not to sleep when the night breathes
lavender velvet through the window? Days so unbalanced

they lie about the hour as long as long as they can,
longer than anyone should, stretched beyond reason

till I know there’s been a day full of more
than the usual hours, so full of the salty summer sky

I drink down hard until I believe these nights will grow longer
till they’re ever shorter again. That the earth spins just like me.

editors note:

Salt summer; spun shadows, long cast. Solstice suckers, we. – mh clay