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?

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

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

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

Apparently

For Friday and possibly for always

Pose a question
Mark bent into exclamation
Rushed from asunder stumbled to gather

A glass of lemonade
With dashes of lavender
Would be refreshing
Sipped through an initial burst of feeling piqued
Something once experienced
Rusted over
An accident aged and placed on the shelf
Of an antique shop

Unrecognizable
as water reflects the presence of health
In the absence of body,

Mackinac waited for us,
Waved as the car drove over Michigan
Spoke softly to Huron
An understanding
Listen clearly
Possibly always

The tongue protects memory
Wrapping each with degradation
Of reality and actuality
Placing a fire where
There was none before
Ward off sharpened teeth
Smoke drenched
The bugs won’t bother,

Habitual garments worn for assurance
If visible it won’t be noticed,
Clothes kept close
Weighted with a slate scraped clean
Set the table and laugh
Everything said
Is all in my head
And so are so many
Other things

There Was A Place, Then There Was Nothing

Thin sticks snapped in half
Plucked purposely as if our beating hearts
Were special, souls ripe and fragile,
Beneath what heroes is this moment owed to?

For long tomorrow, cloaked in razor’s mist
Alone, out beyond where crickets dance
And fish become airborne,
To what celestial bodies are responsible
For the placement of you and I here together
Cradled in cedar wicker baskets?

A swish of river water, a toast
To concord finally, breathing so gently
We are where we need to be
But like birds’ nests our presence will only be noticed
Long after we’ve fucked and flown away and our children are no longer crying

Evidence existing simply in decay-
A ragged collection of once life,
Amazing how skin cells
Become the epitaph for happenstance,

Foot prints leading to soot
Hiding within them an abstract
Pattern of context migratory diagrams
Synced flying straight to smoke
Signals sat broken
Under oh, great blanket of missed opportunity
Warm and comforting
What have we done to deserve this?