Smokestacks

To feel no panic at the thought
To feel only pride in the action

Fish once swam,
Swam through sapphire seas,
Breeding in instinctual rhythm
From crystal canyon fingertips
To coral nested ventricles,
As it stands we as humans
Were once tropical rain-forests,
We were once oceans
Teeming with spawn and opportunities
To be innocent

We have forgotten

the oceans are on fire

Rebuild and repair
World of residence concrete pledged,
Priorities misspoken
Flesh broken into
Lead plumbing inserted
Brick and mortar replaced beauty and effervescence

Succumbing to an illness; cherished children of us
We are sick and dying and we don’t know why
Why love feels this way these days

the oceans are on fire
the oceans are on fire

An illness cherished; children of us,
We are sick and dying

Three Masses From Afar

Ember rest
Again
Reset when

Twilight falls upon this vermillion-
Washed lakeland feel at home feel
At home here laughter like
Landscapes puncturing aqueous mirrors;

Islands unexplored in true measure

Incendiaries seen incendiaries
Felt beating
Away at tree trunks add
Another ring another year tied to finger left of center

Aluminum cans popped
Open fizzling, silently we roar,

Silently we all roar

Tamping gravel to dirt,
Memory to stone

Which of us will bear
The brightest constellation?
Carry the boulder-blasted torch songs
Towards empyreal horizon?

All dancing
All dancing
Trances set
To still-life in motion,

Cricket orchestras illuminated as if
Actually fireflies

Smoke,
A burn
Smoldering supple
And endearing

Superior’s Frisco

Hogsback Mountain- a love story:

Staircases of roots tangled together
Crawling deeper into earth
And down into my heart,

Nests perched above
Gold glows abundant with eagle eggs
With wings and raptor beaks
These children are my own,

Barefoot it’s been awhile,
Hasn’t it? A cologne of spring-
Fed trickling streams tickle my senses,
Flames flick up towards stained glass windows,
Birch pine cedar
Depicting scenes of solemn reverie,
Eager to portray our history,
Present these quiet kisses of ours
In vague images to the world are you
Bragging? Almost,

Made it to peak shirtless
Saw again the naked prosperity of our relationship,
Distance can’t impede what is meant to be-

The consummation of one’s soul
Through great granite skyscrapers
Soft water city nestled in-between fractures interlocking,
To grow is to erode
Break down skin to dirt
Sprout ferns and somehow,

I’ve never felt more human

Do you remember two summers ago-
The first time we met?
I ran straight to summit
Smoking Nightcap in a Prebem Holm freehand,
Not once letting ember rest
I read Kerouac to you
Aloud so all surrounding above and below
Could hear,

Oh,
How far we have come,
How far we have come

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

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?

Seeking Physical Presence In A Stock Photo

Teenage intuition seeks alternatives to baring witness
Conversations  delayed till no longer relevant

Legs run
Tracing root systems to river’s edge
Flames whisper from peripheral’s blur
Time capsule’s accordance
Flesh is buried
Trinkets sewn of heart string
Reunite with hand prints on hinges
Pulling heavy breath through narrow openings
Stumbling still abled
Safety in knowing but not showing face,
Translated shoe laces missing
Tied a knot somewhere
Stopped the bleeding for a little while longer
Scrapbook sheets left behind
Licked a stamp as last chance exit
To be returned anywhere
Except every moment not shared

A picture framed
Gravel roads kaleidoscope stained
Porch light projecting a phosphorescent montage of letters kept
Context shown as postscript flashbacks
Narrated by voices in tones of bodies present,
Pressed together pen under skin
Wrote in cursive slender yet elegant,
A signature and hyphen followed by
A smile with some numbers added
Replaced the thought of never seeing you

An Epilogue of You and I

Settling for
Sand falling in precipital pattern,
A cloud cupped in your hands
Formed an hourglass spoke nothing of
Coincidence rather, we watched
Intently the flipped motion picture
Of a mountain evanesce into transparent mist

Potentially blunt ignorance
Or just enjoying a sentient moment
Of naivety, loosely strung
Cotton clothing embraced the moisture
As gift from Lake Michigan,
Shaving warmth from skin
To accept this weight felt closer in sharing
something other than a kiss,
It seemed limitless
The possibility of being able
To walk anywhere

Barren feet beget tandem path
Turned twisted pulling memories from momentum
And the smallest actions go unnoticed
Distance in inconspicuous space
Hinting at inevitable outcome,

Breathing-a mercurial montage
Fizzling forth collective images
Immortalized in wet cement
Chalk drawings of cigarettes
Lighting up caves of empty
Fields between hair and glistening cheekbones,

And the last grain of sand stumbles
Triumphantly to earth
And we felt such relief