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,
amplified by hollowed wood's embrace
enfolds and saturates the space.
Like guitars we are,
rib cage cradling rhythm,
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
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.
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,
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
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
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
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,
No solid ground.
Just the spinning universe of self
from one moment to the next
where to step
A whirling dervish in communion
with centrifugal force
in the calm
of the storm.
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
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?
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.
In my house,
I have a room in which,
You and I were two windows
side by side
Two views on the same sky.
Shaded by our gifts and the
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 -
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.
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.