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The Ways We Touch

The ways we touch are numberless, 

on crowded streets so full of fleeting feet

two gazes meet 

through the mirror-windows of the eyes

the cheeks flush, 

a rosy blush like signal fires on mountain tops

announcing danger - a stranger at the gates, a welcome break

to end the siege of loneliness with arrows from the heart.


The ways we touch surrender us to otherness -

How some people emanate an energy that permeates a room

and enters us with heedless rush to move us to their tune.

The same way

A single string, struck-strumming

will set the whole guitar shop humming, 

One note, 

amplified by hollowed wood's embrace

enfolds and saturates the space.

Like guitars we are, 

hallowed bodies, 

rib cage cradling rhythm,

thumping intuition

Sensitive to everything, 

in sympathy we echo what's around.


The ways we touch dismantle us.

A conversation in a time of crisis

A good friend’s words, truth cutting

sends ripples cross the surface of the mind

as stones skip upon on a lake -

the marks they make, evidence of energy unleashed

circles

in a line

like our lives that tend to loop over time,

Then sink below the surface to move on darker currents

forgotten and absorbed to the depths below.

The ways we touch are numberless

between the sheets as lovers, across the hush

of history and memory, 

through pages penned by sages

and records wearing out the grooves

fingertips that swirl and lips that speak to nerves of air

Ears to catch life's riversong ever rushing on

The eyes, the nose - poetry and prose - gardenia, jasmine, rose.


The calculus of consciousness, 

the elegance of chance

In resonance we are, 

wind among the grass.

 
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To Be Seen

You long to be seen 

to be seen for the beauty of your solitude.

To be known

the way you are when you’re alone,

defiant as a campfire in the night 

on great wide open plains

where valor and the spark of flame

dance as question marks against the dark.


The way you hold the embers of your life,

joy and grief and sacrifice,

inside

your ring of light,

as fireflies conspire with stars

to draw your eyes away, always away

from where you are - 

one breath, one heart,

the invisible edge 

where flames turn blue

and life ignites to art, 

gifting vapors to the sky

prayers of smoke and soul and mortal fate.

To be alive, and so to burn, to strive and yearn,

and in the end to learn


freedom consists of this -

choosing where to focus.


what to sharpen, what to blur

open, close

the aperture relentlessly

the mind’s eye, the body's eyes

go on dancing

restless and hungry

because they know

the only way to be seen is

to see.

 
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Fault Lines

When I get down

head hung from the headlines

of injustice and disaster -

hurricanes, bullet's reign

fire’s rage -

I walk the streets

My eyes cast down

on cracked ground, 

the concrete split by fault lines

shifting,

Reminding me 

that what is rigid always breaks

and this seeming chaos

begins to make sense:

We are in the midst

of tectonic fate

and the volcanic rage of slaves

attempting to throw off the chains

of invisible masters.


A great change is bursting forth

There will be tidal waves

and new mountain ranges

of world order,

dissolving borders.

No solid ground.

Just the spinning universe of self

That chooses

from one moment to the next

where to step

A whirling dervish in communion

with centrifugal force

in the calm

I

of the storm.


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There’s Magic In This World

Be the light you want to see 

the love you want to feel

it's the only remedy 

for wounds that will not heal

You ask me why those scars

that decorate your heart

keep burning in your eyes

like sacrificial art


Have you considered?

perhaps you could…


Lift the magnifying glass

that amplifies your lack

and brands your precious life 

in the image of your past


Familiar heat will dissolve

Your engine fall apart

and you’ll have to find a new way 

through the riddles in the dark 


I too tried to fight it

the unbearable lightness,

the enormous burden of freedom

The naked I 

in grief and praise;

so vulnerable it shines -

imprisoned it so others 

would not be frightened by its light


Years running from cage to cage

my fugitive ankles chafed

with the memory of manacles,

in fever dreams and nightmare sweats.


Then one cold morning

not wanting to go on

I walked barefoot out into the street, 

the slender palm trees were swaying

in the steel blue rhythm of the wind

And from somewhere inside me,

brought to life by the coarse, pebbly grain of asphalt on my soles

the ghost of hope spoke with feeble voice

a stubborn prayer to live 

as the palm trees lived,

as the wind

I spoke 

my boundless desires 

into the world

and saw them take shape,

my frozen breath birthing clouds of sound in winter air

and i remembered what i had known as a child


There’s magic in this world

as words breathe vapor, so thoughts weave fate

the music of the mind, the music of the spheres

more than i may understand but somehow I can hear

a harmony larger than me that reconciles strain


Do you hear it yet? 

Sweet one.

Don’t worry, Don’t fret

It's always waiting, patiently creating

hints and elegant coincidence.

the skeptics can deny it, and die trying

but there's magic in this world.

I too tried to fight it

but there's magic in this world.

 
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Two Views


In my house,

I have a room in which,

Good Friend,

You and I were two windows

side by side

Two views on the same sky.

Shaded by our gifts and the

different

complexion of our eyes

Sometimes stained like glass

from the blood of the artist’s sacrifice

But now -

crac ked gla s s , warped wöööd,

time passed -


Now,

The room is full of rumourous shadows,

so saturated in contrast

it makes my head ache,

I look out the window

One shows day and one shows night,

which is truth and which denial ?

who’s the judge and who’s on trial ?


I do not go there anymore.

It makes my heart ache.


But

perhaps

one day you will visit me again

and the sledgehammers of our laughter

will shatter glass and knock down walls

and we will meet again

in open air

without our frames

to paint the sky with words

and long-forgotten names.