In that state between sleep and wake
traversing birth and mortality
there is the faintest hint of earthy candles,
macabre dreams interrupted by sighs
the soft strophe of sonnets and the odd
sensation of strung pearls falling like
tiny moons through my open palm.
At the boundaries I find you
not your spirit or rose tinged snow,
but flesh and bone and sinew.
Now I am sleeping less
roused by the wing beats of boreal Owls
circling ancient Cypress,
their knife edge talons entwining knotty branches.
When sleep intrudes fitful winds erupt
feathery curtains, vibrate my hemispheres.
A swift breeze lifts me over the
valley to a moonlit hillside of sweet lea
where a silver wolf lies down beside me.
He is the scent of golden meadows and
his eyes are the color of the eastern sky.
The sun is still low in the sky,
it’s rays have barely begun
to pierce the chill of our pale window.
Don’t go, we are scarcely out of dreaming.
Caress my breast with the lifeline of your palm
while my head rests in the crook of your shoulder.
With these fingertips you kiss one by one
I will ease the furrow of your brow and
soothe your body with the twining of my own.
Let the hours pass through us tenderly
like a shallow river of fledgling reeds.
Steve hanks art
We thirst at the pool of desire,
our reflections distorted in the liquid mirror.
Filled with apprehension we drink deeply,
soothed by the urging of an ancient sigh.
Our bones rapt in wonder, an emerald serpent binds us,
winds a savage path deep into the shadows.
He breathes his breath into us, regurgitates the ashes.
Curls around the ruins, a benevolent green shoot.
art by Fontaine
Along the banks
river sand pulls away
from a glistening shore,
dusky gemstones caught in the current.
Minute ecosystems inhabit
tiny tide pools in the wet sand.
Sometimes I stroll the embankment alone
indulging the realms of lovers
where there is no logic but
a crushing ache I hold close
to my breast.
A carapace between a heart and the
mountains where I left you.
Grant me the freedom to come undone
beneath the tender weight of hands
My sigh is a gentle quake upon your
Allow me to drown in the river of
your impossible eyes where there
is no threat of war, hard silence,
or the burden of forgiveness.
Art by Steve Hanks/ Maher Art Gallery
Browsing through souvenirs
I am reminded of you.
The door to the past swings open
releasing a sleek eel of memories
where I am nothing or at best
some trembling leaf lost on a summer breeze.
Do you think of me?
See me in constellations pressed against the sky,
hear me in the surge of tide, slick sealions riding white horses?
I would seek comfort in the moon but I am so trivial
and he is taken by the stars.
In dreams my tongue is a crimson snake
flicking the skin of your thigh,
curling around the catch in my throat.
It is god and has named me regret.
I close our door with pried fingers,
I’ve given up on prayer hands.
Art by Rita Hardy
Firelight dances through the bistro,
We lean in close and when our eyes meet
the rain storm streaming down the
stain glass window reclaims us.
Swept away through sea caves,
caverns and seal black maelstroms
we ride the darkness,
diving deep we take what we need.
Thieves, we steal only from ourselves.
In the apathetic silence between each wave every sound expands, the stars come alive and the wind echoes as soft as a poem. You, laid back in the moon light, nude but for my shadow across your shoulders. In your hand a sweating glass of rum, its swirl keeps perfect time to the far off sound of Coltrane. I need to look away from your gun powder blue eyes, the moon’s lethal shot, before my eyes betray the flight of a thousand fluttering moths in my belly. So I breath the circlets of smoke from your cigarette and the sweet scent of willing hostages naked and bare boned. Our hearts, fragile as fireflies, escape in to the madness of our minds where all we need to do is live.
No longer a subtle nuance,
crumbling ashes expose me
bare to the outside world and within.
Only fire can make me whole, where is
the flame that burned like the sun?
These amorous teeth aching to bite
soothe the throb of a wounded tongue.
Conflicted eyes follow you through weeds
to cast my sword of roses,
sweet but with thorns and all the
hurt a life can hold.
Still I follow you into history
give you my drop of blood.
In the whir of time I reach back
into a vast universe of memories
to recapture the light held captive,
to bring it forward like a tiny globe
of fire reflected in the irides of my eyes
or an ocean storming in my palm.
Escaping life we draped our nights in promises
breathed them silky as softly burning psalm.
Your memoir is imprinted on my heart,
one gentle sway and suddenly I remember.
art by Billy Knight