Thursday, March 31, 2016

Nose Down, Tail Up

Poised like an underweight boulder flexing
its undeveloped apex at the milk and honey below,
a turtle promises an avalanche, intends
an impending spread of consequences
heavier than a hundred butterflies flapping
their catalysts at the future. His shell is poised
to invest all the slow-motion promise of his start-up
in the dividends of his momentum:
ripples that swear to sever the reflection
from what it reflects and ravage those pebbles
content to populate a pond’s unprotected coastline.
Soon, says this still frame to the next, soon
we will be a picture made of motion.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Late This Morning

The clouds abandoned their high ground for a hilltop,
stooping to peer down until their shoulders poured out.
Their thousand faces fell like falling was freedom.  
A troop of infant thunderheads toddled from the front,  
Left their lightning leaning against the posts they deserted,  
Left their license to kill picnics and bride’s big days
In yesterday’s poorly forecasted pants, and wore
fog-face to play hooky with our troubled solids.   
A plumage of wet tongues toured the neighborhood angles
hoping to scour their softness off, scrape away
their skinlessness, rub an actual elbow, test
the limits of the privilege of formlessness
on our abundant corners. To a sheltered cloud
our rooftops might seem a field of caltrops worth
stomping on, to see if their feet can feel, if a wisp
could ever know a thorn’s love, if the mists could learn
separation that cuts like loss, not just drifting apart.
These empty giants have no heels to leave undipped
in the river of invincibility, and
maybe they long to confess a secret weakness
they’ll never have. So these clouds have come down to squander
a strength older than inheritance itself for
a few gropes of grass and tailpipes and plastic flags,
they forsake the divine right of physics that floats
their wandering lifestyle for a chance to touch
dirt and die the death of a dewdrop. 
These clouds must despise the immunity earned
by grandfather sky, the wisdom of separate beds  
learned by falling hard for the first mountain he saw.
Her motherhood is a debt they cannot forget
as easily as their shapes or gratitude.  Again
one cloud strains his head through the pin oak,
in hopes the grasp of green exceeds the leaves’
rules of engagement, that they’ve grown sharp enough
to punish the wind for cutting in, but the cloud
only feels another fearless unclasping of hands,
another joyless reunion on another other side.
Escape is still not enough.  They needed to prove they’re not
proud, defrock the stratosphere, bare the sky’s limits.
So this morning they blotted out that bloodless
blue, they tossed their first-class tickets for the jet stream,
diverted the burning baggage of sunlight into
each other, puffed-up prisms that they are, and spread
that wealth of white like Jack Frost burst a vein,
blurred the sky back to the color of canvas, and
then forgot which philosophy they were teaching.
When the chance of rain came to collect, they danced
like girls unable to imagine the cost of lust,
they held bits of world just long enough to wet them
and let them go, like boys who never lost a toy
in an ocean or a forest, they can’t imagine
how susceptible they are to all that endlessness,
and then the show was over. The clouds were driven
back to their mansions, and the story of their morning

wasn’t even worth telling to each other, up there.

Hypnagogic Gallop

My hands are full of fire,
My feet are stumps of blood.
I have been climbing this mountain
Since Noah rode the flood.