Not Far From Maplewood

There were those trees in your backyard
Wild cedar growing in the gully
Near your woodshed basking in decrepit beauty
Situated above as if being the river’s shepherd

After we discovered that tea
Was literally just plants and hot water

Those cedar trees glowed silky
Smooth a hypnotic amber- such honey slipped
So efficiently down our throats coated
Our intestines and every breath
We spoke

The colour of those years
Between ten and seventeen
Was cedar’s milk

Crafting bows from broken boughs,
Using those freshest of buds as crow’s
Nest, survey flood basin’s reign
Blueprints written in sand script
Loamy soil serving as scroll,
We would attack at noon
And be back before dinner,

Then football season came
And those trees illuminated
In Autumn’s adolescent snow
Caught more passes than your father did

And every Spring
When those rusty red braids of hair
Caught fire releasing forth a flurry
Of gold we’d stand in awe,
Wondering where their children would land
And if we’d ever
Get the chance to meet them

As We Are Simply Scar Tissue

Bruises shaded deep
Berry blue, flax vermilion and setting-sangria-washed-aglow
Imprinted upon bare-feet walking
Cautiously then erratic
To catch a frisbee or for just,
The joy of moving faster through space
Gliding like a swallow swift
Through softened saccharine air
Swooping gracefully
Grass bearing weight graciously upon returning to Earth

Battered soles of joy bring forth a topography map
And in an instant of rest
Wandering cognizance dives forward
Returning to pockmark lakes
Sibylline breath in colour
Seeing saturation succumb to form,
With two raspy hands on speculum shoals
Pine needles drifting sweetly so, a scroll written
A diary entry to a body ever shifting
Remember, for it’s best that I disappear for now

Blinded by wanderlust
Where else are we to go but deeper?
Unwrap the bow-tied gift of injury
Allow ourselves to feel and bleed beneath
Truest incendiaries

Sharing laughs and lack of oxygen
Looking at
The collateral each person
Seeing their own vision
Of a past kept underneath ruptured skin
What is suffering if not a kaleidoscope of memory?

Red

There was no where to run so we wept,
As thunder came a freight train
On this crystal clear day we wept
So softly, lightening struck
Water erupted drenched were you,
Drenched was I,
In what colour I have forced
To the back of my mind, I cannot remember
The colour of the water, I have tried so hard to forget

So alone we stood facing one another
A clearing here in this forest of willow
And cedar but mostly in this forest
We were surrounded by the peeling white leather
Of Betula papyrifera,

Our eyes met
Cerulean oceans of German descent,
Black- a beautiful Autumn night of genus Sciurus
And we wept in a mutual moment of understanding,

First silence-a lifetime it felt
As though we had a formed a lasting friendship
Entirely separate from this reality
Then thunder and rain, oh flood waters
I screamed “Where’s Noah’s Arc?” I screamed
But there was no boat
For there was no savior
For I had pulled the trigger
For I can still remember that feeling
As my throat was ripped open and stuffed like a teddy bear

Father smiled,
Yelled “Congratulations!”
As his child drowned
No more than twenty meters away

 

Driftwood Amongst an Open Field

Ardor or Orphic
What wheat has become
A blanket for a beating heart?
Not rushed but suddenly
Sewn in this

Sweet cacophony of impertinent rhythm

What roses, mad and pure,
In mid-efflorescence hide playfully
Amongst flax-strung tongue figurines such as these?
Effort wrought brought stars to skin
A celestial proposition in Morse Code
Blinking with summer’s language
Batting eyelashes light up saccharine
Skies of humid veneration

And the gardens before us,
In all their fervor
Cast heat deep into Evening’s cerulean ocean
And the gardens before us,
In all their fervor
Cast heat deep into Evening’s cerulean ocean,

And our bodies reflexive
Rippled and dissipated in a breeze
Of delicate liqueur almost as if
We were nothing at all all along

An Uncertainty of Importance

Pine pitch feet dangle

Splash of water proving
Only that this is where I am
That I can distinguish between hot and cold
And this water is black tea
Floral bouquet basking in a setting sun warm

and I smell like shit
Like gay masturbation
Like a nicotine and divorce bonfire

Still surrounding
Amongst familiar paths of a childhood
Long since passed no one speaks

Letting inner sadist run free
I play hooky with mosquitoes and smother
The embers nearly allowing flaxen glitter
To perish before breathing back just enough life,

Another splash
I am here
Feeling only water and diluted rays
Of sunshine stretching sapling liquor thin
Along shallow canyons breaking surface tension
Sink and sink oh liver of mine
One inch at a time,

Translucent wings carry a plump bug away
Leaving an itch and drip of blood-
So this is why the rivers of the Upper Peninsula
All resemble rusty cinnamon- that colour of bad dreams
Lost concentration
Distance a dilemma
Lost in thought
Still getting in places I shouldn’t be
Is it bad timing if I was going to find out regardless?

Kicking a submerged boulder
Tumbling, plummeting
Into turbid tranquility

Could I ever outrun such a burden as this?

A Brief Visitation

Under an eave between house and wood shed
It rains seas of gray and weariness and I
Alone captivated in a field of tobacco smoke,
Watch the wet persistent birds
With their damp persistent wings
Fly back and forth,
From canopy to feeder
Gorging themselves on sunflower seeds,

Fruit fumed slowly with hickory permeates
Bringing back summers now spent,
Past purchases where the sun
Was nothing but an ambient metronome
Ticking in rhythm to the beats of adolescent fervency,
Oh, sear seen afternoons where rivers clung optimistically
To bedrock and the birds serenely dry sung
Illimitable hymnals and the young sang along
Knowing exactly the melody

There is a flash of lightning
An expansion of air,
Feathers flutter instantly
An unnoticed second heaven makes an appearance
Only to vanish with company
But persistent as always
Wings of sangria and pecan shortly after
Return and gorge
Stuck maybe in a world far from my own

To Identify Time of Death

Mostly diluted
Ever so
A tad bit acidic
I was given a chance to feel
Instead I got intoxicated,

Left knowing but distant
Always unable to conceal intention
Drowning in vegetative stories
Remember when?

Loss is a virtue often experienced
Yet so rarely noticed-
Does nature understand
That I feel death as ferns in freezing weather?
As blissful white clouds floating
Such that heaven seems earth-bound?

A shoulder to breathe
Sober up nestle nude against cedar tree trunk
Ever so fleeting
It makes sense doesn’t it?
It is absence that becomes the burden
The memory that provides relief
And this body of mine
Is nothing but never present,
Stuck turning rich nectar
Into watered-down interpretations of flowers
In bloom, delaying impact inevitably
A world concocted with jaded connotations

Life has been made
Continues to exist
Going to cities and learning to keep secrets,
People have spoken to this face of mine
Loves lost and renewed
Though a daydream it seems

Waiting to wake up
Upon the snap of two brittle fingers
Will I remember the past four years?